# Can a mage use multiple Foci to decrease the difficulty of an Arete roll?

As the title says, would a mage (according to the latest Revised edition) be able to use multiple applicable Foci for his Tradition/Sphere when casting an Effect in order to decrease the difficulty?
The table in page 208 of the book mentions a general case with little detail however, as it may imply only mages having Arete >=6 who are using a Focus in their selected Spheres. Moreover, the question can generate multiple sub-queries related to the imposed difficulty modifier:

1. Using more than one appropriate Foci for an Effect while Arete<6 (required)
2. Using more than one Foci where none is needed.
3. Using more more than one Foci where one or both qualify as "specialty" or "unique" as per the same table.

While its been a while I can safely say "Why not?" But remember that modifier cannot be lower than -3.

Example: Dreamspeaker (and a voodoo priest) Midnight is trying to summon Papa Legba and plant him inside a host. He gathers his followers into ritual chamber. He whips them into frenzy with music and dance (first focus), lights hand made narcotic candles made from the fat of the dead (second focus - unique one) and and finally he sacrifices the black chicken (third foci).

While it was vulgar magic with observers with difficulty of ~9, now its only 6.

• It's funny because I was thinking of making a Constantine-like hollow one... :P Do you have any sources to support this? Unique and unneeded Foci give a total of -2 so do you think that could apply here, making the 3rd one redundant if Midnight had an Arete of 6, making him not need Foci foci for this Spirit Effect? Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 6:30
• Lets say that there is no rule saying that you can use only one foci. And your point as a mage is to convince reality to change and focus is a tool that helps to achieve it. When you reach arete 6 you DON"T NEED foci, but you still CAN use it since it will still work the same on the reality. Its like with fixing an old rusty screw: if you are weak, you'd need tools (i.e. a spanner and a hammer) to move it, if you are strong you can use bare hands, but using such tools will STILL BE EASIER. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 8:32

As I have read the books in Spanish some "lost in translation" could have happened (and seeing the quality of translations, I doubt it didn't happen). From what I know, the rules state that for each Sphere you require at last one Foci, but nothing sais you cannot have more than one (I believe they even encourage it). But that is not to say, that you can (or need to) use all of them for each Effect you cast. When you cast an Effect, you describe how you are going to do it, all the components/show/gestures that you put into scene can be described in two ways, each separately is a Foci, all together is the Foci.

1. – If your Arete is < 6, you need to use Foci, period. You will receive no bonus for using it.
2. If you think they are different Foci then: You will receive a -1 for each Foci you are using (when none are needed) up to -3 that @Kris Wojcik mentioned. But if you think they are all together, one Foci, then you will receive a -1 only. I usually think the latter, since all of it is required for the Effect to work, right? (Investigating this sounds really Hermetic-way).