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Enhanced Arcane Focus is an artificer infusion that's applied to a rod, staff, or wand, and adds +1 to spell attack rolls.

Alchemist artificers also get the Alchemical Savant feature, which lets them add their Intelligence modifier to healing and elemental damage rolls when they use alchemist's supplies as the focus.

On the surface, it seems like these features can't be combined: Enhanced Arcane Focus can't apply to the specific focus needed for Alchemical Savant. But artificers have a lot of versatility in the foci they use, and I know there are magic items out there that can improve this versatility further (like the Ruby of the War Mage).

Is there any way to use the attack bonus of Enhanced Arcane Focus (or any similar bonus to spell attack rolls, like a Wand of the War Mage) and the damage bonus of Alchemical Savant on the same spell?

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4 Answers 4

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You just have to be holding the Infused Item

Enhanced Arcane Focus says:

Item: A rod, staff or wand (requires attunement) . . . While holding this item, a creature gains +1 bonus to spell attack rolls.

It doesn't require you to cast spells through it, in fact the rod, staff or ward doesn't even need to be an Arcane Focus, just that you've infused an item of those three categories and are holding it (and are attuned!).

Then you proceed to, while holding it, cast spells holding in your other hand with your Alchemical Supplies, giving you the +1 (or +2 at 10th level) benefit.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I totally missed that! I'd been assuming you needed to cast through the focus for the benefit, but it seems that's not the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Nov 16, 2021 at 20:33
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Enhanced Arcane Focus cannot be used in conjunction with Alchemical Savant

The simple fact is that the Alchemical Savant feature requires the Artificer to be using their Alchemy Supplies as the spellcasting focus in order to gain the healing/damage bonus, but the Enhanced Arcane Focus infusion cannot be applied to Alchemy Supplies. So unless there exists a non-magical wand/staff/rod that can, somehow, double as a set of alchemy supplies (which there is no such item Rules as Written), it's not possible to benefit from both these features at once.

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Alchemists' Supplies can be infused using the Enhanced Arcane Focus infusion and can also benefit from the Alchemical Savant subclass feature. These effects stack.

An alchemist's supplies can indeed be infused using the enhanced arcane focus infusion. The alchemist's supplies can also benefit from the 'alchemical savant' subclass feature. Since both of these effects exist simultaneously and are not from identically named game sources they stack.

The reasons/justifications are listed below:

1.) A rod is listed as a scepter or just a heavy cylinder. Magic rods are typically made of metal, wood or bone. It's about 2-3 feet long, 1 inch thick and 2-5 pounds.

2.) Thus ONLY magic rods are defined as TYPICALLY made of metal wood or bone (Meaning NOT always).

3.) Alchemists' supplies include a glass stirring ROD (meaning it is a ROD made of glass).

4.) Tools Required States: that you must have a spellcasting focus - specifically thieves' tools or some kind of artisan's tool. It also states that after gaining the infuse item feature at 2nd level you can use ANY item bearing one of your infusions as a spellcasting focus.

5.) Infusing an Item states: you can touch a non-magical object and imbue it with one of your artificer infusions, turning it into a magical item. An infusion works on only certain types of objects, as specified in the infusions description. (i.e. ANY object of the specified type for the infusion).

6.) Enhanced Arcane Focus states: A rod, staff or wand (requires attunement).

7.) If the definition of a term is specified (which it is), then the use of that term refers to its specified definition.

Thus the glass stirring rod is indeed a ROD and has all the features of the predefined term rod, and is made of glass, an atypical but not invalid material. It is an alchemist tool, which is a type of artisan's tool, which can be used as a spellcasting focus for an artificers' spells and thus can benefit from the alchemical savant subclass feature. Since it is a rod, it can also be infused using the enhanced arcane focus infusion. Thus both effects are applied and since they are not duplicate game effects of the same name, they stack.

The entire premise of the infusion system is the imbuement of non-magical objects into magical objects and the description of rod states that MAGIC rods are TYPICALLY made of metal, wood or bone.

The term TYPICALLY means that rods can in fact, be made out of other materials. Since the normal process to create magical items is not being used to create artificer infused magical items, it is very reasonable that artificer infusions can be used on non-metal, non-wood and non-bone rods.

This is even further corroborated by the fact that even permanent magical rods are NOT strictly required to be made of metal, wood or bone.

Thus it makes even more sense that the glass stirring rod can be used for the enhanced arcane focus infusion.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Especially since the target of the infusion doesn't need to be the particular sort of rod that works as a focus, per the accepted answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draconis
    Oct 3, 2023 at 23:08
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Been a while since anyone answered this but I just started playing an artificer/alchemist and just found it. I think you'll find if you look at the list of items in the Alchemist's kit, one of the listed items is a small glass rod for stirring. Which means, of course, that you can totally use it as a focus, and benefit from Alchemical Savant at the same time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack, Feldon! Feel free to check out the tour to get a good feel of how this site works, and check out the help center if you have any questions! \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Aug 19, 2022 at 5:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Back to your answer, I'm struggling to find what relevant information it brings to the table, especially after reading the accepted answer. Could you please elaborate? Even better if you add a quote to the rule books. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Aug 19, 2022 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ A Rod is a scepter sized object specifically designed to be an arcane focus. I don't think a small glass stir stick would qualify. \$\endgroup\$
    – JohnP
    Aug 19, 2022 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Small correction it doesnt say small glass rod, it just says glass rod, other than that no physical characteristics are listed. It's entirely possible that it is that big, I've seen ones that big when I took Chem, and it's also feasible that since it's part of Alchemical Supplies it is in fact used to channel (at least in part) the spells into the potions \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2022 at 8:12

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