Automatic Bonus Progression - How does it -really- work?


Rules Questions

101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Dark Archive

So I'm bit confused by both ABP and capacity version, I think I get gist of regular one but capacity version goes over my head since I suck with math. However thats not something I want opinion about:

So if I wanted to implement Automatic Bonus Progression in AP, what should I do? Should I just remove all items removed and lower prices of items with +2whatever? Or should I do that AND cut amount of gold in half? And what about unique weapons of plot importance, would they be too weak or should I buff them somehow?

Paizo Employee Designer

CorvusMask wrote:

So I'm bit confused by both ABP and capacity version, I think I get gist of regular one but capacity version goes over my head since I suck with math. However thats not something I want opinion about:

So if I wanted to implement Automatic Bonus Progression in AP, what should I do? Should I just remove all items removed and lower prices of items with +2whatever? Or should I do that AND cut amount of gold in half? And what about unique weapons of plot importance, would they be too weak or should I buff them somehow?

Just take the plusses off those plot weapons (so if it was a +X weapon with a variety of other powers, keep the other powers). As to net wealth to hand out, your goal is to hand out half as much wealth overall. If the adventure is built in such a way that removing all the +stuff already removes half the wealth, then you're in great shape right away! If not, toggle as appropriate (if the adventure has too much money in +items, you might even have to add a little bit of wealth, but that wouldn't be common).

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

So I'm bit confused by both ABP and capacity version, I think I get gist of regular one but capacity version goes over my head since I suck with math. However thats not something I want opinion about:

So if I wanted to implement Automatic Bonus Progression in AP, what should I do? Should I just remove all items removed and lower prices of items with +2whatever? Or should I do that AND cut amount of gold in half? And what about unique weapons of plot importance, would they be too weak or should I buff them somehow?

Just take the plusses off those plot weapons (so if it was a +X weapon with a variety of other powers, keep the other powers). As to net wealth to hand out, your goal is to hand out half as much wealth overall. If the adventure is built in such a way that removing all the +stuff already removes half the wealth, then you're in great shape right away! If not, toggle as appropriate (if the adventure has too much money in +items, you might even have to add a little bit of wealth, but that wouldn't be common).

Umm, how do I calculate that? I'm not good with math like I said, do I calculate items by their fullprice or by selling price(aka half of the price)? And I heard some APs already give too much wealth if players do everything, so umm... So should I just give them half of the wealth ap does or by average by wealth table?

Also, umm, does ABP work in Iron Gods? I mean, I don't remember there being much "+whatever rifles" available so players would have to enhancement those rifles themselves, so how does that impact loot calculation when they can get those bonuses for free?

(BTW, regardless of my confusion with ABP, I do bit regret that when I started running RotR I initially wanted to run it vanilla to see how game works by vanilla xD I mean I did use some optional rules like hero points, and I did eventually add other house rules, but ABP isn't something that can be added in middle of campaign well and I do notice trend of almost everyone using stat belts or saving money for more expensive stat belts. Ah well, something to keep in mind if I run RotR someday again)

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

So I'm bit confused by both ABP and capacity version, I think I get gist of regular one but capacity version goes over my head since I suck with math. However thats not something I want opinion about:

So if I wanted to implement Automatic Bonus Progression in AP, what should I do? Should I just remove all items removed and lower prices of items with +2whatever? Or should I do that AND cut amount of gold in half? And what about unique weapons of plot importance, would they be too weak or should I buff them somehow?

Just take the plusses off those plot weapons (so if it was a +X weapon with a variety of other powers, keep the other powers). As to net wealth to hand out, your goal is to hand out half as much wealth overall. If the adventure is built in such a way that removing all the +stuff already removes half the wealth, then you're in great shape right away! If not, toggle as appropriate (if the adventure has too much money in +items, you might even have to add a little bit of wealth, but that wouldn't be common).

Umm, how do I calculate that? I'm not good with math like I said, do I calculate items by their fullprice or by selling price(aka half of the price)? And I heard some APs already give too much wealth if players do everything, so umm... So should I just give them half of the wealth ap does or by average by wealth table?

Also, umm, does ABP work in Iron Gods? I mean, I don't remember there being much "+whatever rifles" available so players would have to enhancement those rifles themselves, so how does that impact loot calculation when they can get those bonuses for free?

(BTW, regardless of my confusion with ABP, I do bit regret that when I started running RotR I initially wanted to run it vanilla to see how game works by vanilla xD I mean I did use some optional rules like hero points, and I did eventually add other house rules, but ABP isn't something that can be added in middle of campaign well and I do notice trend of...

I'd say probably half what the AP gives if that's easier to figure out, but half of total WBL works too. Really whichever one is simplest for you should be great.

You should in theory be able to switch in the middle of the campaign, but it would require removing those items (and likely giving those players refunds, other than halving the wealth).

Tech stuff will be weird since as you say, it's often expensive without giving Big 6 style bonuses. It probably means that you have to cut out more loot that isn't Big 6 from Iron Gods than you normally would to achieve half wealth.


Holy crap, Mark, isn't it 1:23 where you are? And also where I am? And I'm kind of a hypocrite? Y'know what, nevermind. :P

Paizo Employee Designer

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Holy crap, Mark, isn't it 1:23 where you are? And also where I am? And I'm kind of a hypocrite? Y'know what, nevermind. :P

Yeah, probably.


Yes welcome to the (literal) dark side. *evil laugh*

Dark Archive

Uh, just to check, Big 6 refers to stat bonuses right? Ok, good.

I guess just cutting monetary loot might help since tech items aren't for most part worth much when sold(due to being timeworn) so uh...

Yeah I'd probably be in need of guide if I used that with Iron Gods or I guess I just should go with vanilla again? :'D Though it will be disappointing if in tech campaign people use stat belts again


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
I run with kobold cleaver option 1 but not 2. It seems only fair to me when a 3rd level spell would completely replace your bonus anyway.
I would strongly recommend removing the spell in a game with ABP that used the variants we've been discussing for Kobold Cleaver's game, particularly since the spell would generally give a smaller bonus than your attunement anyway so would only be useful in weird edge cases.

What spell are we talking about here?

Paizo Employee Designer

Zaister wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
I run with kobold cleaver option 1 but not 2. It seems only fair to me when a 3rd level spell would completely replace your bonus anyway.
I would strongly recommend removing the spell in a game with ABP that used the variants we've been discussing for Kobold Cleaver's game, particularly since the spell would generally give a smaller bonus than your attunement anyway so would only be useful in weird edge cases.
What spell are we talking about here?

I thought it was greater magic weapon?

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:

Uh, just to check, Big 6 refers to stat bonuses right? Ok, good.

I guess just cutting monetary loot might help since tech items aren't for most part worth much when sold(due to being timeworn) so uh...

Yeah I'd probably be in need of guide if I used that with Iron Gods or I guess I just should go with vanilla again? :'D Though it will be disappointing if in tech campaign people use stat belts again

All the items that ABP replaces: Stat boosters, +weapons, +armors/+shields, cloaks of resistance, ring of protection, amulet of natural armor.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
What i'm considering doing is taking it out of the players hands completely. The bonus they will just naturally gain no atunement there just direct buff to the characters like a class ability is. Then reduce Gold I give out drastically and focus on giving out fun non stat buffing items. There will still be flaming keen axes but it will have no plus at all the player will add pluses to anything they pick up. So the only things that might influence decisions on what to use will be feats and if they want to use a frost weapon over a flaming or etc.

After rereading it Pretty much what the kobold suggested.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Regarding Iron Gods: I've been using APB in that campaign, but we decided not to use weapon and armor attunement, and in total this has worked out nicely.

I'll be starting two new campaigns early next years (new Curse of the Crimson Throne and Wrath of the Righteous), and I am unsure if I want to use attunement then.

I've run a one-off adventure with on of these groups (Daughters of Fury), and we used attunement there to test it (the original non-blog-version), but as the adventure only goes to level 6, there is no more than simple +1 attunement, and we didn't get into the territory where you would want to attune an item with a special ability, except for a very short time right at the end of the adventure.

Players found it weird that you would be able to attune basically anything, even, say, a broken-off table leg, if you wanted, so I decided early on that only masterwork items could be attuned

I'm still torn on the issue if I want to use attunement in the new campaigns, especially since I intend to fully convert NPCs to use ABP rules, too, and I'm not really sure on how to convert their weapons and armors, especially if using the extended capacity rules. Hm.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
I thought it was greater magic weapon?

Ah, yes, that makes sense. Magic vestment should probably be removed, too, then.

I have also changed the stat-boosting spells such as bull's strength, etc., so that they no longer provide enhancement bonuses, but they do provide all the derived stuff, so, for example, bull's strength gives you +2 to attacks and damage based off Strength, +2 to Strength-based skills and Strength checks, and +2 to DCs based off Strength. Yes, that makes the spells better, because you can even get these bonuses if you already have an enhancement bonus to the ability score in question, but I think it's a change that fits nicely into the ABP system. (In fact, if you're especially meticulous, even with the standard rules these spells do not actually increase your ability scores and only affect the derived stats, because they do not last 24 hours.)

Another thing that I'm wondering how to adapt to weapon attunement is my DR/magic house rule. After seeing enough high CR creatures with, say DR 15/magic, I wanted to do something about this, because, really, who would fight a CR 15 creature, for example, without a magic weapon—these DRs are really wasted abilities that do nothing. So I've been ruling that each +1 enhancement bonus of your weapon reduces the DR value of a creature with DR/magic by 5 points. Now, however, if characters automatically have weapon enhancement bonuses scaling with level, I'm basically back to where I started on this issue. So, I'm not sure if there's something that can be done to make DR/magic not be a non-ability with the attunement system.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

well you could keep bull str it wouldn't be that different really after the level people start getting the belts you stop using those spells anyways. not to much of a difference then.

I think the high cr DR is meant more for npc armies and the like. You can establish why i group of 4 adventurer can handle it but not an army of 500.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Another thing for Iron Gods: here and there characters can find stat-boosting cyberware such as mark II wirejack tendons or a mark I thorcaic nanite chamber. According to the APB rules, these should not really exist, but I thought these were to cool to be removed completely, so I changed them to items that can be activated 3/day as a swift action, granting effects similiar to (my version of—see above post) the appropriate stat-boosting spells for 5 minutes.

So, for some of the items that can be found in this AP, the mark II wirejack tendons, while active, give you +2 to Dexterity checks, Dexterity-based skill checks, Initiative checks, Reflex saves, to attack and damage rolls where the Dexterity modifier is applied, and to the DC of any spell or ability based on Dexterity, as well as your CMB if it uses your Dexterity modifier, and finally you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC and CMD. The mark I thoracic nanite chamber grants a +1 bonus to Constitution checks, Fortitude saves, and to the DC of any ability based on Constitution, as well as an amount of temporary hit points equal to your character level that disappear when the effect ends.

Dark Archive

Hmm, well, point of ABP is to free up slots for other items and Technology stuff doesn't for most part use slots so... Only question really is how much attunement combined with technology weapons and armor affect how much I should calculate the loot ._. Or at least how expensiveness of technology stuff affect it

Like, umm, if I remove attunement, how much should I change loot calculation since it wouldn't be half anymore?

Also, umm, if I introduce ABP in start of RotR's fifth book, well, umm, how does that work since I obviously haven't cut the loot in half so far. So should I just remove magic items they have bought without giving them gold back or what? Would I have broken ap so far?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Zaister wrote:

Another thing for Iron Gods: here and there characters can find stat-boosting cyberware such as mark II wirejack tendons or a mark I thorcaic nanite chamber. According to the APB rules, these should not really exist, but I thought these were to cool to be removed completely, so I changed them to items that can be activated 3/day as a swift action, granting effects similiar to (my version of—see above post) the appropriate stat-boosting spells for 5 minutes.

So, for some of the items that can be found in this AP, the mark II wirejack tendons, while active, give you +2 to Dexterity checks, Dexterity-based skill checks, Initiative checks, Reflex saves, to attack and damage rolls where the Dexterity modifier is applied, and to the DC of any spell or ability based on Dexterity, as well as your CMB if it uses your Dexterity modifier, and finally you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC and CMD. The mark I thoracic nanite chamber grants a +1 bonus to Constitution checks, Fortitude saves, and to the DC of any ability based on Constitution, as well as an amount of temporary hit points equal to your character level that disappear when the effect ends.

Thanks, I'm gearing up for an ABP Iron Gods game myself and I'd been wondering how I was going to keep these items in.

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I thought it was greater magic weapon?

Ah, yes, that makes sense. Magic vestment should probably be removed, too, then.

I have also changed the stat-boosting spells such as bull's strength, etc., so that they no longer provide enhancement bonuses, but they do provide all the derived stuff, so, for example, bull's strength gives you +2 to attacks and damage based off Strength, +2 to Strength-based skills and Strength checks, and +2 to DCs based off Strength. Yes, that makes the spells better, because you can even get these bonuses if you already have an enhancement bonus to the ability score in question, but I think it's a change that fits nicely into the ABP system. (In fact, if you're especially meticulous, even with the standard rules these spells do not actually increase your ability scores and only affect the derived stats, because they do not last 24 hours.)

Another thing that I'm wondering how to adapt to weapon attunement is my DR/magic house rule. After seeing enough high CR creatures with, say DR 15/magic, I wanted to do something about this, because, really, who would fight a CR 15 creature, for example, without a magic weapon—these DRs are really wasted abilities that do nothing. So I've been ruling that each +1 enhancement bonus of your weapon reduces the DR value of a creature with DR/magic by 5 points. Now, however, if characters automatically have weapon enhancement bonuses scaling with level, I'm basically back to where I started on this issue. So, I'm not sure if there's something that can be done to make DR/magic not be a non-ability with the attunement system.

Would changing these buffing spells to rounds/level help with the balance mentioned above?

Dark Archive

Zaister wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I thought it was greater magic weapon?

Ah, yes, that makes sense. Magic vestment should probably be removed, too, then.

I have also changed the stat-boosting spells such as bull's strength, etc., so that they no longer provide enhancement bonuses, but they do provide all the derived stuff, so, for example, bull's strength gives you +2 to attacks and damage based off Strength, +2 to Strength-based skills and Strength checks, and +2 to DCs based off Strength. Yes, that makes the spells better, because you can even get these bonuses if you already have an enhancement bonus to the ability score in question, but I think it's a change that fits nicely into the ABP system. (In fact, if you're especially meticulous, even with the standard rules these spells do not actually increase your ability scores and only affect the derived stats, because they do not last 24 hours.)

Another thing that I'm wondering how to adapt to weapon attunement is my DR/magic house rule. After seeing enough high CR creatures with, say DR 15/magic, I wanted to do something about this, because, really, who would fight a CR 15 creature, for example, without a magic weapon—these DRs are really wasted abilities that do nothing. So I've been ruling that each +1 enhancement bonus of your weapon reduces the DR value of a creature with DR/magic by 5 points. Now, however, if characters automatically have weapon enhancement bonuses scaling with level, I'm basically back to where I started on this issue. So, I'm not sure if there's something that can be done to make DR/magic not be a non-ability with the attunement system.

Another option would be to remove 5 points of DR/magic for each +1 attunement they have attained?


Someone just brought up two interesting points to me. How would you handle magi, warpriests, and other classes that gain "Make my weapon magic" special abilities? And do animal companions and eidolons get ABP?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Someone just brought up two interesting points to me. How would you handle magi, warpriests, and other classes that gain "Make my weapon magic" special abilities? And do animal companions and eidolons get ABP?

At least for magus (arcane pool) and warpriest (sacred weapon), the abilities contain language indicating that the granted bonuses stack with any existing bonuses the weapon might have, to a maximum of +5. I'd handle that the same way with ABP as I would with the normal system.


I don't see how stuff like the Magus, Warpriest, or Occultist's "improve my weapon" mechanics needing any update to work with ABP.

They're already designed around "you can take a +n weapon and make it better" so if the "+n" is due to your intrinsic awesomeness invested into the weapon rather than the awesomeness of the weapon itself, it doesn't really make any difference.

Like, I played an Occultist in an ABP game, and when it came time to use legacy weapon on my attuned weapon, I just was able to add to its numerical bonus to hit and damage or add special abilities like I normally did; it worked fine. Just insist that the weapon can't get more than +5 to hit and damage or more than +5 worth of special abilities, regardless of the source and the math is exactly the same.

Only way this really works out better is if a player has a cold iron sword, a mithral sword, and an adamantine sword and they attune one every day based on what they expect to fight, but that's hardly game breaking (since if we want magical abilities on those swords, you're going to have to full price for each of them anyway.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

My group has been using ABP in our hell's rebels game. It's better than normal but I'm thinking the "innate item bonuses" mechanic may be less cheesy when it comes to weapons. Weapon enchantments don't feel special anymore.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

As to companions, in most games, their gear comes out of the PC's share of the treasure (and eidolons in particular actually literally share slots, so eidolon and summoner can't both have a cloak), so you could let the PC divvy up their bonuses between herself and her pet (either in whole, or even in part, like taking a +2 enhancement bonus to natural armor and giving +1 to each). Another way to do it that I've seen some people use is to make it so the PC with the companion loses half their normal wealth twice (thus gaining no wealth ever) and then the companion gets the full benefits. I don't like that one myself because it eliminates one of the things I like about ABP, the ability to hand out more weird non-bonus items.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
jonesy076 wrote:
Weapon enchantments don't feel special anymore.

A suggestion for this is to make "weapon enchantments" (flaming, impact, keen, etc.) to be a thing you absolutely cannot buy or pay anybody to put there for you. If you happen to come across a flaming sword or an impact hammer, you can get someone to improve its capacity but the only way to get flaming swords is to find them/take them from others helps make them feel more special. Plus this gets players to value the enchantments that might not be the best ones more than they ordinarily do; people don't generally get excited about finding a flaming burst longsword, because so many things resist fire, but if it's the flaming burst longsword or just a normal one, the fact that you do extra damage sometimes is better than nothing.


What Cabbage said. This system actually saves magic weapons from being dull and proscribed, as they used to be—now you can withhold magic items from the party without feeling like you're seriously impacting their survivability.


Mark Seifter wrote:
As to companions, in most games, their gear comes out of the PC's share of the treasure (and eidolons in particular actually literally share slots, so eidolon and summoner can't both have a cloak), so you could let the PC divvy up their bonuses between herself and her pet (either in whole, or even in part, like taking a +2 enhancement bonus to natural armor and giving +1 to each). Another way to do it that I've seen some people use is to make it so the PC with the companion loses half their normal wealth twice (thus gaining no wealth ever) and then the companion gets the full benefits. I don't like that one myself because it eliminates one of the things I like about ABP, the ability to hand out more weird non-bonus items.

Another option I've seen done well is to progress the companion on its HD-2 or so. Since beyond the first couple levels the companion lags behind HD vs lvl anyways the amount of treasure added is only about 10%.


Calth wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
As to companions, in most games, their gear comes out of the PC's share of the treasure (and eidolons in particular actually literally share slots, so eidolon and summoner can't both have a cloak), so you could let the PC divvy up their bonuses between herself and her pet (either in whole, or even in part, like taking a +2 enhancement bonus to natural armor and giving +1 to each). Another way to do it that I've seen some people use is to make it so the PC with the companion loses half their normal wealth twice (thus gaining no wealth ever) and then the companion gets the full benefits. I don't like that one myself because it eliminates one of the things I like about ABP, the ability to hand out more weird non-bonus items.
Another option I've seen done well is to progress the companion on its HD-2 or so. Since beyond the first couple levels the companion lags behind HD vs lvl anyways the amount of treasure added is only about 10%.

This is basically what I do as well with one caveat; I allow the character to choose between themselves and their animal companion as to who gets the lesser ability on an ability by ability basis. The druid who doesn't much care about weapon attunement can thus elect to have their animal companion utilize the bonus allotted to a character of their PC's level while they take the bonus that would be allotted to a creature of the companions hit dice -2. For eidolons etc., they can siphon the bonus the PC would be granted entirely (simulating their shared slots).

101 to 129 of 129 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Automatic Bonus Progression - How does it -really- work? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.