Focus Rolls are a test of the character's perception using all five of his senses. A character who is looking for something, or who has a chance to notice something such as a partially obscured clue or a hidden enemy using any of his five regular senses, will need to make a Focus roll. The player may initiate such a roll ("I'd like to search the room,") or the GM may alert the players to do so, knowing that something is happening at that moment. The GM may impose penalties in the form of a Difficulty Rating if, for example, the target is well hidden, and the character could receive other bonuses or penalties due to certain sense-related advantages or disadvantages. The character may also use certain skills if the roll involves the right circumstances.
On a Poor success, the character might have a “nagging suspicion” that the GM can be creative about (“for some reason, you feel as though there is something you’re missing”). That character cannot make another Focus roll in the same instance, and will only uncover what is hidden if they look in exactly the right place. They can, however, inform the other players of their suspicion so their party can help them to uncover what they are missing. On higher success ranks, the GM should reveal slightly more information to the character, such as the examples below reveal. Sometimes, a GM might choose to make this roll in secret for the character, or would tell the player to roll without explaining why. He may say something like "Make a sight-based Focus roll" to let the player know that his bonuses from Keen Sight apply.
- Examples: Five players are wandering through a dark cemetery. The GM informs them to make a Focus roll (he tells them it's sight-based, in case they have appropriate skills, advantages, or disadvantages). All five roll, and make different success ranks. Here is how the GM might reveal to each of them what they find:
- Failure: You fail to notice anything out of the ordinary.
- Poor: There is something in the distance that you know must be there but which you can't quite make out.
- Fair: There is something here watching you. You see shadows moving just outside the edge of your sight.
- Good: As you walk, you notice shadows, possibly three or four, moving with the party on the hill to your right.
- Excellent: You notice three humanoid shapes moving just up the hill to your right. There is a glint of metal, as though they are armed.