Replacing "required" magical items with scaling bonuses


Homebrew and House Rules


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In both 3.5 and Pathfinder I've been bothered by the way certain magical items are practically required in order for a character to survive and be effective in battle. Not only are they boring... the existence of these items means that you can't use anything else that would take the same item slots.

So, I've been starting to work on an optional rule set that would give characters automatic bonuses which would replace the worst offenders: Cloak of Resistance, Amulet of Natural Armor, Ring of Protection, and all the stat boosting belts and headbands.

Here's my current draft of the system on Googledocs.

It isn't complete yet. The main problem that I'm still thinking on is what to do about ability scores enhancement and inherent bonuses. Giving these out without changing the balance of the game has been an interesting problem. I'm currently just saying "here, have whatever you would have with 25% of your WBL" approach for replacing Enhancement and Inherent bonuses to Ability Scores.

Anyway, any feedback is appreciated. Ideally, I would want to be able to let my players use this system without having to make significant adjustments to any adventure path that I put them through, so I'm trying to get the balance right. If anyone feels like looking over the system, I'd like it if you could give me your opinion on a few things:

1. Is this a good set of automatic bonuses to give to all characters?
2. Do you think it is right to use 25% of a character's expected WBL to calculate the amount he would be spending on Ability Score boosting items?
3. Is it better to have the progression of these stat boosts to be linear, or do you think they should reflect what players will usually have at each level of the game when using items?
4. Do you think that it is an issue if players begin getting some bonuses (such as natural armor and resistance) a little early, but then the bonus doesn't max out until near level 20.
5. Should it continue to be 'expensive' for a character to focus entirely his Physical (or Mental) stats?
6. Should Inherent bonuses be removed from the calculations for the automatic Ability Score bonuses? Removing Inherent bonuses would lead to a more linear progression.
7. Should armor and weapon enhancement bonuses be added to the chart? (I'm currently focusing on removing things which take up item slots)


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

No responses? Maybe I'm asking for too much, if you feel like just offering a quick opinion feel free to ignore my list of questions... not that I was trying to force people to do that anyway, lol.


You might wanna check on this. I think it is the most known try on the board:


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
DracoDruid wrote:

You might wanna check on this. I think it is the most known try on the board:

Thanks for pointing that out me me. Hmmm, it seems pretty good, I think I'll see if I can get any ideas from it.

I'm not sure that this is exactly what I'm looking for, because I'm currently leaning towards not just giving players enhancement bonuses to weapons and armor since there is some fun to be had in customizing those.

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