Ability Focus applies to a creature's special attack. Assuming that the Alchemist's Bomb is a special attack:

  • Would Ability Focus (Bomb) apply to all bomb discoveries such as Cursed Bomb and Frost Bomb? Or,
  • Are separate feats required for the different bomb variations?

In 3.5, variations of the Warlock's Eldritch Blast were all covered by a single Ability Focus (Eldritch Blast), but in Pathfinder a Witch's Hexes are each treated as separate abilities.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie While Paizo recommends GM approval for players taking monster feats, players still can take them if they get that approval. For many of the monster feats (perhaps most notably Ability Focus), even that much is really more oversight than is justified. It was an ad hoc ruling made long after the original printing and not everything with that label deserves that ruling, or was ever intended to have it. Wizards of the Coast made the opposite ruling, and several of the feats (including Ability Focus) are shared between the systems. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 25 '18 at 22:21

This is not explicitly spelled out anywhere to my knowledge. However, the alchemist gains a singular bomb ability, and then alchemist discoveries can be used to “modify” bombs:

Discoveries that modify bombs that are marked with an asterisk (*) do not stack. Only one such discovery can be applied to an individual bomb.

That suggests that even when you apply different discoveries to your bomb attacks, you are still using the same bomb attack, just modified by one discovery or another.

The phrasing of individual bomb-modifying discoveries, such as anarchic bombs, also back this up:

When the alchemist creates a bomb, he can choose to have it deal chaotic divine damage. Lawful creatures that take a direct hit from an anarchic bomb must succeed at a Fortitude save or be staggered on their next turn. Against neutral creatures, anarchic bombs deal half damage, and such targets are not affected by their staggering effect. Anarchic bombs have no effect on chaotic-aligned creatures.

“When the alchemist creates a bomb” suggests that the “anarchic bomb” is still “a bomb” and should be affected by Ability Focus (bombs).

This seems different, to me, from hexes, which are each a separate effect, simply all chosen from the same list. The alchemist’s analogue there would be the discoveries themselves—the ruling on Ability Focus (hexes) probably should apply equally to the idea of Ability Focus (discoveries).

Ultimately, though, you’ll have to ask your GM. For that matter, Ability Focus is a monster feat: Paizo’s recommendation is that players clear all monster feats with the GM before selecting them, so you probably have to talk to your GM about it anyway. Personally, my games ignore the rulings about monster feats and about Ability Focus and hexes (and that carries over to discoveries), but that’s my game.

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