Focus Rounds

This is one of those rules that is going to get shuffled into the “advanced” rule pile. It adds an interesting option for certain situations and characters but could be ignored most of the time.

Right now the Reflex attribute is vitally important for a lot of conflict because it not only ranks you in who goes first in the initiative order, but also determines how much you can accomplish in a round.

However sometimes you only want to accomplish one vital thing in a round. Working on generating Boosts by spending actions is cool but it might not be the only way to do things. Yes I want the players to be able to spend an action to generate boosts that the group can share and that will be the default but from the beginning I was thinking of generating larger Boosts just for your character.

How currently I think that should work is to opt out of the regular Reflex initiative and take a Focus Round. What that would mean is rolling against Psyche instead and taking one powerful action that turn. Instead of getting a number of actions in that turn, the character would get one action but with a Boost of 3 per success. If the Psyche roll yielded four successes the character would get a Boost of 9 (an automatic success if there are no Drains) and a Boost of 3 to the action roll. These Boosts only last for that turn but could be very powerful.

To see why that’s significant, let’s talk about generating Boosts in a normal Reflex round.

Generating a Boost by spending an action is a weaker effect but potentially longer lasting. If you spend an action you’d get a Boost of 1 to start but by default it only lasts a turn. If you succeed in your roll, you can spend successes on several things. Spending a success can make the Boost 1 higher. Spending a success can make the boost persistent (until removed or it expires). Spending a success can also be used to share the boost with another character.

That’s a lot of effects. I think in playtests, it will result in a lot of persistent Boost 1s which might need some kind of management, we’ll have to test.

The best part is these effects can be use together without issue. Another character could create a low level boost for your character to use and then you could enter a focus round.

So when would a character taking a focus round fall in the initiative order? Simply put, they will place according to their successes just like they had rolled for Reflex. The justification for this is their extreme focus helps them to act quickly as they notice an opportunity.

As if The Artifact needed more options… but there you are. One more option for your character’s in 4th Edition.

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