Wielding arcane power has its drawbacks, but some people learn to keep their focus even when things don't go right. If a character with this Edge is Shaken as a result of failing to invoke a spell or by a result on the Siphoning Table, he gets an immediate Spirit roll at –2 to recover.

Hellfrost: Players Guide, P27 (Focus Edge)

The only rules stating a shaken effect are in the siphoning table. Can your character get shaken if he fails an arcane roll, and if yes, where is it written?


Since the edge has

Requirements: .. Arcane Background (Any)

the intention seems to be that characters not suffering from Siphoning can also take and use it, regardless of the reference to "arcane powers". Clerics and hrimwisards have Backlash:

A cleric who rolls a 1 on his Faith die, regardless of the Wild die, is automatically Shaken (HFPG 50)

Backlash: Hrimwisards do not suffer from the Si- phoning. On a roll of 1 on his arcane skill die, regardless of Wild Die, he is Shaken and suffers a level of Fatigue .. (HFPG 55)

Although it is unclear from the phrasing whether you have to actually fail the casting to benefit from Focus. It would be weird if you could maintain your composure better if you completely fail to cast, though. It comes to a GM ruling i think. I would recommend allowing the use of the edge anytime a cleric gets Shaken as a result of trying to cast a spell.

Note: While the No Power Points setting rule is in effect, there is no Backlash for other arcane characters, because there aren't any:

Forbidden Edges: .. Arcane Background (Psionics, Superpowers, or Weird Science) [HFPG 16]

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Psionics and Arcane also have Backlash (although Psionics calls it Brainburn) \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri Jun 26 '18 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kviiri In the basic rules, yes. But in Hellfrost Backlash is replaced with Siphoning for AB(Magic) and I cannot find any references to psions. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Jun 26 '18 at 9:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I found it: "The following setting rules apply to all forms of Arcane Background in the Hellfrost setting. Unless a change is noted below, the normal rules apply." Hellfrost PH P49 No Power Point Rules: "Failure: All currently maintained powers are cancelled and the caster is Shaken." SW P109 \$\endgroup\$ – Melba Jun 26 '18 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Melba there's nothing wrong with self-answering your own question. It sounds like you've found your answer (which is better than I managed) \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jun 26 '18 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs But is it true? It might be that the part about the shaken condition in the focus edge refers to the Hrimwisardry Backlash rule (Hellfrost PH P55): Hrimwisards do not suffer from the Siphoning. On a roll of 1 on his arcane skill die, regardless of Wild Die, he is Shaken and suffers a level of Fatigue, which is recovered after 30 minutes \$\endgroup\$ – Melba Jun 26 '18 at 17:55

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