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


Rules Questions

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per d20pfsrd,

In this system, magic weapons, armor, and shields never have enhancement bonuses of their own; those bonuses are granted only through attunement. Any weapon, armor, or shield special abilities on attuned items count against a character's enhancement bonus from attunement. To determine an attuned magic item's enhancement bonus, subtract the cost of its special ability from the enhancement bonus granted by attunement. (This applies only to special abilities whose cost is equivalent to an enhancement bonus, not to those that cost a flat amount of gold pieces.) For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar. If a character doesn't have enough of an enhancement bonus to afford the special ability (such as a 4th-level character with a vorpal longsword), she can still use the weapon's power on its own, but the weapon gains no enhancement bonus.

Does this mean you essentially "spend/give up" some of your attunement to acquire the weapon/armor special ability that the item has?

Also, I don't follow the last sentence at all. A 4th level character should most definitely not have a Vorpal Weapon.


You get the weapon abilities no matter what, a commoner can pick up a flaming sword and it will still be a flaming sword. But, it conflicts with the magical energy you can invest into it, so it reduces the automatic bonus that you would provide to it.

Quote:
A 4th level character should most definitely not have a Vorpal Weapon.

They probably shouldn't because of WBL, but if they do the weapon doesn't suddenly become weaker.


Milo v3 wrote:

You get the weapon abilities no matter what, a commoner can pick up a flaming sword and it will still be a flaming sword. But, it conflicts with the magical energy you can invest into it, so it reduces the automatic bonus that you would provide to it.

Does this mean it is impossible to acquire a +5 Vorpal weapon? (what is essentially a +10 weapon).


Zenogu wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:

You get the weapon abilities no matter what, a commoner can pick up a flaming sword and it will still be a flaming sword. But, it conflicts with the magical energy you can invest into it, so it reduces the automatic bonus that you would provide to it.

Does this mean it is impossible to acquire a +5 Vorpal weapon? (what is essentially a +10 weapon).

You can use legendary boons at 19 to increase your limits, but yeah its one of the major flaws of the base progression that you cant get above a +5 equivalent weapon or armor until 19. That's corrected with an alternative from this blog post.


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That blog post regarding the pricing and such is so weird, I can't even understand it.

Sometimes I think they could stand to simplify things so that they aren't so damn confusing. I don't understand how capacity correlates with the enhancement bonuses, and how they're getting the costs and such for a given armor/weapon.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

That blog post regarding the pricing and such is so weird, I can't even understand it.

Sometimes I think they could stand to simplify things so that they aren't so damn confusing. I don't understand how capacity correlates with the enhancement bonuses, and how they're getting the costs and such for a given armor/weapon.

I started reading it, and got lost very quickly.

I really like the idea of Automatic Bonus Progression, but the weapon part of it is rather limiting. Namely in that it assumes you're only carrying 1 or 2 weapons. Sometimes I like to pack a +1 Undead Bane Morningstar at later levels, just in case I come across a Lich. Or have an Adaptive Longbow for a decent ranged attack. And that sort of style isn't really supported by this unfortunately.


Zenogu wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

That blog post regarding the pricing and such is so weird, I can't even understand it.

Sometimes I think they could stand to simplify things so that they aren't so damn confusing. I don't understand how capacity correlates with the enhancement bonuses, and how they're getting the costs and such for a given armor/weapon.

I started reading it, and got lost very quickly.

I really like the idea of Automatic Bonus Progression, but the weapon part of it is rather limiting. Namely in that it assumes you're only carrying 1 or 2 weapons. Sometimes I like to pack a +1 Undead Bane Morningstar at later levels, just in case I come across a Lich. Or have an Adaptive Longbow for a decent ranged attack. And that sort of style isn't really supported by this unfortunately.

No, it's not. And it sucks. The best that can support it is the whole +1/+1 thing, where you can attune two separate weapons (a primary and a back-up weapon). Even that's lackluster, because by that point, you're reducing your primary effectiveness just because you need to keep a Secondary weapon "relevant".

To be honest, I didn't realize that the "Only +5" cap was enforced within the rules, as listed in the Legendary Weapons/Armor options; me and a friend argued with the GM as to how that could not possibly take place for a good hour, and only rolled with it because GM said so. Never have I been so wrong before...

Paizo Employee Designer

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I highly recommend using the system from the blog Calth linked, if you can understand it. It has the best math for handling weapons with automatic bonus progression (and is IMO the best choice, no contest, if you understand it), but it's not the easiest to grok, which is the reason why it wasn't the one in the book.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I highly recommend using the system from the blog Calth linked, if you can understand it. It has the best math for handling weapons with automatic bonus progression (and is IMO the best choice, no contest, if you understand it), but it's not the easiest to grok, which is the reason why it wasn't the one in the book.

So let me see if I understand it properly:

Capacity refers to a character's level of Attunement, whereas the +1-+5 still refers a given items level of enhancement, correct?

So if I had, say, a +2 Longsword, and I have 2 Capacity, that means in order for me to use my 2 Capacity with that +2 Longsword (to give it the Impact property, for example), I would take the price of the +2 Longsword (8,000) subtracted from the place on the table (48,000), meaning I would have to spend 40,000 gold on that Longsword to apply my Capacity to said weapon?

Whereas if I had a partymember craft it, it would only cost 20,000 gold, correct?

Let's not even take into consideration that if the weapon were lost/stolen, or destroyed/broken, that you would have to spend that money again on a separate weapon to reuse the Capacity that you had.

Paizo Employee Designer

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I highly recommend using the system from the blog Calth linked, if you can understand it. It has the best math for handling weapons with automatic bonus progression (and is IMO the best choice, no contest, if you understand it), but it's not the easiest to grok, which is the reason why it wasn't the one in the book.

So let me see if I understand it properly:

Capacity refers to a character's level of Attunement, whereas the +1-+5 still refers a given items level of enhancement, correct?

So if I had, say, a +2 Longsword, and I have 2 Capacity, that means in order for me to use my 2 Capacity with that +2 Longsword (to give it the Impact property, for example), I would take the price of the +2 Longsword (8,000) subtracted from the place on the table (48,000), meaning I would have to spend 40,000 gold on that Longsword to apply my Capacity to said weapon?

Whereas if I had a partymember craft it, it would only cost 20,000 gold, correct?

Let's not even take into consideration that if the weapon were lost/stolen, or destroyed/broken, that you would have to spend that money again on a separate weapon to reuse the Capacity that you had.

No, an impact weapon with 0 capacity costs 8,000 gp, an impact weapon with 1 capacity costs 16,000 gp, and an impact weapon with 2 capacity costs 24,000 gp. When you find a weapon, it has a certain capacity, as well as special abilities like impact. You provide the enhancement bonus (up to the maximum of the capacity). So in addition to the number difference, it's not the case that you have a +2 longsword and then add capacity to add impact. It's that you have an impact longsword and add capacity so you can use a higher enhancement bonus.

Lost/stolen/destroyed/broken is equally true for any magic item; if you mean sold and replaced, then you've increased the value of the item when you raised the capacity, so it sells for more now, just like if you upgraded a weapon normally.


Meaning you're still "paying" for the actual enhancement bonuses. Is that right?

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Meaning you're still "paying" for the actual enhancement bonuses. Is that right?

No, you're essentially paying to add your extras to a weapon with a free enhancement bonus.

Consider in the core system, you own a free +2 sword and want to add impact. The price to buy the upgrade is 24,000 gp (the same as you pay with capacity). The +2 was still a freebie. If you had to pay for both, it would cost 32,000 gp. That's why the math of capacity is the most fitting math; it's the exact correct cost in the regular system, assuming you get the enhancement part for free, and ABP reduces your WBL by the correct amount.


When my group uses Automatic Bonus Progression, I allow a trait that lets you to swap what weapon you have attuned as a swift action.


Err... Wouldn't that be a free Impact sword, and you're paying for the capacity of your +2?

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Err... Wouldn't that be a free Impact sword, and you're paying for the capacity of your +2?

Nope. The fact that the math is confusing is why the simpler (but not as accurate) adjudication in the book is what we went with officially. The thing is that adding impact to a sword should cost a varying amount depending on its enhancement. Capacity allows this to work out correctly based on changing enhancement bonuses, and it uses the same math as you would in the regular system.


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To restate what Mark is saying, the price in the chart is, using normal pathfinder costs, (Cost of special abilities) = (Cost of sum of enhancement and special abilities) - (Cost of enhancement). In this case, enhancement is called capability, and is the maximum enhancement bonus you can apply to the weapon from your attunement..

So a +4 holy keen furious (+8) greatsword costs 128000 (+8 cost) - 32000(+4 cost) = 96000, which is the chart entry for +4 equivalent weapon with 4 capacity, as it should be.

Or, you can reframe the automatic progression as a gp value that can only be used to pay for enhancement bonuses. +1 attunement is worth 2000 gp, +2 8000, +3 18000, +4 32000, +5 50000 gp. That's the mathematical basis of the table.

The title of the y-axis of the table is a little misleading, it says enhancement, but its really "enhancement bonus equivalent of all desired special abilities", which is a mouthful.


I keep getting the terminology mixed up. But let's see if I got it right.

A 9th level character using both of these systems has a Weapon Attunement of +2. Free +2 Battleaxe. Whoo!

But we want it to hit like a bus, so we're considering the Impact Special Ability. That's going to require a 2 Capacity, correct? That's where the 24,000 comes from.

Now I've hit level 14 with this character, and I've still got that same Battleaxe. Now I can Attune it to +3, and it still hits like a bus with the Impact ability. I decide to be bold, and spend a heavy investment into adding the Speed special weapon ability to it, which will require another 3 capacity. I'm going to assume, according to that chart, that's 78,000gp for the 5 total capacity minus the 24,000gp for the 2 capacity it already has. So that will take a 54,000gp investment into this Battleaxe.

Is that right, Mark? I'm not trying to be picky, just genuinely interested.


Calth wrote:


The title of the y-axis of the table is a little misleading, it says enhancement, but its really "enhancement bonus equivalent of all desired special abilities", which is a mouthful.

oh. OH. That's where I'm getting my terminology mixed up then. Whoops.


Zenogu wrote:

I keep getting the terminology mixed up. But let's see if I got it right.

A 9th level character using both of these systems has a Weapon Attunement of +2. Free +2 Battleaxe. Whoo!

But we want it to hit like a bus, so we're considering the Impact Special Ability. That's going to require a 2 Capacity, correct? That's where the 24,000 comes from.

Now I've hit level 14 with this character, and I've still got that same Battleaxe. Now I can Attune it to +3, and it still hits like a bus with the Impact ability. I decide to be bold, and spend a heavy investment into adding the Speed special weapon ability to it, which will require another 3 capacity. I'm going to assume, according to that chart, that's 78,000gp for the 5 total capacity minus the 24,000gp for the 2 capacity it already has. So that will take a 54,000gp investment into this Battleaxe.

Is that right, Mark? I'm not trying to be picky, just genuinely interested.

Youre mixing up your axes. Capability is for your automatic bonuses, so its 2 in your first case and 3 in your second case.

Youre first weapon would be a +2 (impact) with two capability (+2 enhancement bonus from attunement) and cost 24000 (which is what you got, because the table is symmetric)

The second weapon would be +5 (impact speed) with +3 capability, cost 110000 - 24000 you already paid, or 86000 gp.

EDIT: Ok, looks like you figured it out from my previous post.

Paizo Employee Designer

Yup, just like Calth says. In fact, the text above the chart explains the y axis as "the total enhancement bonus of the weapon’s special abilities," but that wouldn't fit in the actual chart.

Personally, I love the ABP, but I'm a stickler for the math, and of course I understand the chart I myself created, so I always use the capacity variant.


Calth wrote:
Zenogu wrote:

I keep getting the terminology mixed up. But let's see if I got it right.

A 9th level character using both of these systems has a Weapon Attunement of +2. Free +2 Battleaxe. Whoo!

But we want it to hit like a bus, so we're considering the Impact Special Ability. That's going to require a 2 Capacity, correct? That's where the 24,000 comes from.

Now I've hit level 14 with this character, and I've still got that same Battleaxe. Now I can Attune it to +3, and it still hits like a bus with the Impact ability. I decide to be bold, and spend a heavy investment into adding the Speed special weapon ability to it, which will require another 3 capacity. I'm going to assume, according to that chart, that's 78,000gp for the 5 total capacity minus the 24,000gp for the 2 capacity it already has. So that will take a 54,000gp investment into this Battleaxe.

Is that right, Mark? I'm not trying to be picky, just genuinely interested.

Youre mixing up your axes. Capability is for your automatic bonuses, so its 2 in your first case and 3 in your second case.

Youre first weapon would be a +2 (impact) with two capability (+2 enhancement bonus from attunement) and cost 24000 (which is what you got, because the table is symmetric)

The second weapon would be +5 (impact speed) with +3 capability, cost 110000 - 24000 you already paid, or 86000 gp.

EDIT: Ok, looks like you figured it out from my previous post.

Yup, you're right. Thanks for shedding some light on this for me.

This raises some more questions however. So essentially, a +5 Vorpal Longsword will still cost the 150,000gp. As per the ABP rules, the player will still need to subtract the 5 enhancement bonus in order to utilize the Vorpal property. Is that right?


Zenogu wrote:
Calth wrote:
Zenogu wrote:

I keep getting the terminology mixed up. But let's see if I got it right.

A 9th level character using both of these systems has a Weapon Attunement of +2. Free +2 Battleaxe. Whoo!

But we want it to hit like a bus, so we're considering the Impact Special Ability. That's going to require a 2 Capacity, correct? That's where the 24,000 comes from.

Now I've hit level 14 with this character, and I've still got that same Battleaxe. Now I can Attune it to +3, and it still hits like a bus with the Impact ability. I decide to be bold, and spend a heavy investment into adding the Speed special weapon ability to it, which will require another 3 capacity. I'm going to assume, according to that chart, that's 78,000gp for the 5 total capacity minus the 24,000gp for the 2 capacity it already has. So that will take a 54,000gp investment into this Battleaxe.

Is that right, Mark? I'm not trying to be picky, just genuinely interested.

Youre mixing up your axes. Capability is for your automatic bonuses, so its 2 in your first case and 3 in your second case.

Youre first weapon would be a +2 (impact) with two capability (+2 enhancement bonus from attunement) and cost 24000 (which is what you got, because the table is symmetric)

The second weapon would be +5 (impact speed) with +3 capability, cost 110000 - 24000 you already paid, or 86000 gp.

EDIT: Ok, looks like you figured it out from my previous post.

Yup, you're right. Thanks for shedding some light on this for me.

This raises some more questions however. So essentially, a +5 Vorpal Longsword will still cost the 150,000gp. As per the ABP rules, the player will still need tosubtract the 5 enhancement bonus in order to utilize the Vorpal property. Is that right?

No. With this system you get both the enhancement bonus (equal to the minimum of their attunement or the weapons capability) and the special properties.


Zenogu wrote:

per d20pfsrd,

For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar.

This is what I'm referring to, the subtraction.

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Zenogu wrote:

per d20pfsrd,

For example, if a character with a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus (for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar.

This is what I'm referring to, the subtraction.

You are correct as per the rules in Unchained. Calth and I are suggesting to use the (more complicated, but imo mathematically more satisfying) alternative from the blog, which doesn't work the same way.

The official rules don't have capacity at all, you just pay the lower price for the weapon but subtract specials from affinity.


Ohhhh. I see. That part of the ABP rules don't follow your chart.

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Ohhhh. I see. That part of the ABP rules don't follow your chart.

Yup. When Jason (correctly) discerned that the rules in the chart were too complex for a general release, he came up with the new rules that are in the book as an alternative that are much easier to use. They work OK, but they wind up charging you for versatility, rather than an increase, and then there's a few edge cases where you can abuse them by buying a golf cart of inexpensive situational +1 weapons (such as bane everything) and attuning the one you need (bane is notable for being strictly better than flat enhancement if you know for sure what you're facing).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I highly recommend using the system from the blog Calth linked, if you can understand it. It has the best math for handling weapons with automatic bonus progression (and is IMO the best choice, no contest, if you understand it), but it's not the easiest to grok, which is the reason why it wasn't the one in the book.

So let me see if I understand it properly:

Capacity refers to a character's level of Attunement, whereas the +1-+5 still refers a given items level of enhancement, correct?

So if I had, say, a +2 Longsword, and I have 2 Capacity, that means in order for me to use my 2 Capacity with that +2 Longsword (to give it the Impact property, for example), I would take the price of the +2 Longsword (8,000) subtracted from the place on the table (48,000), meaning I would have to spend 40,000 gold on that Longsword to apply my Capacity to said weapon?

Whereas if I had a partymember craft it, it would only cost 20,000 gold, correct?

Let's not even take into consideration that if the weapon were lost/stolen, or destroyed/broken, that you would have to spend that money again on a separate weapon to reuse the Capacity that you had.

No, an impact weapon with 0 capacity costs 8,000 gp, an impact weapon with 1 capacity costs 16,000 gp, and an impact weapon with 2 capacity costs 24,000 gp. When you find a weapon, it has a certain capacity, as well as special abilities like impact. You provide the enhancement bonus (up to the maximum of the capacity). So in addition to the number difference, it's not the case that you have a +2 longsword and then add capacity to add impact. It's that you have an impact longsword and add capacity so you can use a higher enhancement bonus.

Lost/stolen/destroyed/broken is equally true for any magic item; if you mean sold and replaced, then you've increased the value of the item when you raised the capacity, so it sells for more now, just like if you upgraded a weapon normally.

So Capacity determines how much of an Enhancement Bonus you receive from the weapon, whereas the +1-+5 refers to the total amount of extra abilities you can apply to the weapon, correct?

This means that instead of a +2 to add Impact, you have an Impact weapon to add +2 (assuming Capacity 2), for example? And that the maximum benefits technically are a +10 weapon, with a result of 5 Capacity (AKA +5 Enhancement Bonus), with +5 of special ability equivalents?

Additionally, the costs listed in the table are the price you would have to pay for each subject? (In other words, if you wanted a +2(2) Weapon, it costs 24,000 to purchase and 12,000 to craft as normal?)

Paizo Employee Designer

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I highly recommend using the system from the blog Calth linked, if you can understand it. It has the best math for handling weapons with automatic bonus progression (and is IMO the best choice, no contest, if you understand it), but it's not the easiest to grok, which is the reason why it wasn't the one in the book.

So let me see if I understand it properly:

Capacity refers to a character's level of Attunement, whereas the +1-+5 still refers a given items level of enhancement, correct?

So if I had, say, a +2 Longsword, and I have 2 Capacity, that means in order for me to use my 2 Capacity with that +2 Longsword (to give it the Impact property, for example), I would take the price of the +2 Longsword (8,000) subtracted from the place on the table (48,000), meaning I would have to spend 40,000 gold on that Longsword to apply my Capacity to said weapon?

Whereas if I had a partymember craft it, it would only cost 20,000 gold, correct?

Let's not even take into consideration that if the weapon were lost/stolen, or destroyed/broken, that you would have to spend that money again on a separate weapon to reuse the Capacity that you had.

No, an impact weapon with 0 capacity costs 8,000 gp, an impact weapon with 1 capacity costs 16,000 gp, and an impact weapon with 2 capacity costs 24,000 gp. When you find a weapon, it has a certain capacity, as well as special abilities like impact. You provide the enhancement bonus (up to the maximum of the capacity). So in addition to the number difference, it's not the case that you have a +2 longsword and then add capacity to add impact. It's that you have an impact longsword and add capacity so you can use a higher enhancement bonus.

Lost/stolen/destroyed/broken is equally true for any magic item; if you mean sold and replaced, then you've increased the value of the item when you raised the capacity, so it sells for more now, just like if you upgraded a

...

Completely correct, with the caveat that capacity is the max enhancement bonus you can apply (capped also by your own attunement from ABP). A low-level character who stumbled upon a 5 capacity vorpal sword would get their usual enhancement bonus, which would increase as they leveled up.


Piggybacking off this thread to ask a related question: Does a character have to be attuned to a weapon to benefit from its special abilities?

IE If I'm a melee-focused fighter attuned to my two daggers who carries a flaming longbow for ranged support, do I benefit from the flaming special ability when I use the bow even though I'm not attuned to it?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Kudaku wrote:

Piggybacking off this thread to ask a related question: Does a character have to be attuned to a weapon to benefit from its special abilities?

IE If I'm a melee-focused fighter attuned to my two daggers who carries a flaming longbow for ranged support, do I benefit from the flaming special ability when I use the bow even though I'm not attuned to it?

You totally get all the extras even if not attuned (in either version). It's like the guy who finds a vorpal sword before having +5 attunement.


Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?


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Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

It is and it isn't. From what I can tell, you can only ever craft a weapon up to +5 worth of properties, per the table, so that's 50,000 to purchase and 25,000 to craft, which is standard from the Core Rulebook.

Then you have the Capacity limits of 0-5. A 0 Capacity obviously costs nothing (and each weapon comes standard with it). Adding a Capacity point to a weapon equals 4,000 X Capacity Number, which is 2,000 X Capacity Number to craft. So a (0) Flaming Sword costs 2,000 to purchase, whereas a (1) Flaming Sword costs 6,000 to purchase.

The key thing to note is that you're doing two separate calculations (one which is cut in half, and the other is basically doubled from the first, but added separately instead of multiplied together with the original as it is in the Core).

I honestly question how this would work with Unique Weapons.

With this system, a weapon like the Frostbrand is considered a (3) Frost Greatsword. This means that it has a generic calculation of 14,000 Gold (whereas the Book counterpart would place that amount at 32,000 Gold). Now, taking the original book price of a +3 Frost Greatsword (32,350 Gold) subtracting from the 54,475 Gold it costs, leaves us with a 12,125 Gold difference in price of extra abilities (some of which are nice, by the way). Tacking that amount back onto the new price (14,000) leaves us with a Frostbrand that costs 26,475 gold total. This means that a Frostbrand in this rules set is valued 28,000 gold less than a Frostbrand in the original rules set. This cost is reduced by more than half, and the Frostbrand is actually a fairly powerful sword amongst the given Unique Weapons.

However, if we take a maximum weapon, a (5) Vorpal Greatsword, a weapon valued at 150,350 Gold, and subtract it from a generic +10 Weapon from the original rules set, 200,350 Gold, we're given a 50,000 Gold difference, which is ~1/4 of the original cost subtracted.

So with that explained, in some instances it factors it in a little too well, but by the endgame, you're not paying for it as much, but it's still certainly cutting out more than its share.

Also, /endnumbersrant


I also forgot to raise this as a question: Does one increase a weapon's given capacity the same way they would apply Special Abilities to the weapon? With a Craft Check?

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

Darksol had an interesting analysis of it from the doubling/halving perspective based on multipliers, but from flat additive/subtractive gp instead, it does so much more precisely (this is because the powers of the automatic bonus progression are worth more than half your expected WBL, additively, so when you add them all up with whatever you bought with the other half, you will always come out close but ahead).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

It is and it isn't. From what I can tell, you can only ever craft a weapon up to +5 worth of properties, per the table, so that's 50,000 to purchase and 25,000 to craft, which is standard from the Core Rulebook.

I'm not sure why crafting came into the equation. Under the ABP, your wealth now caps at 440,000gp, rather than 880,000gp. That's all I'm concerned about, as most of my players don't bother with Crafting feats.

Good point about the specific items. That seems like a bit of a headache. I was looking to simplify alot of things with these rules, and remove the "necessary shopping" for typical things. I have found quite the opposite ):

Paizo Employee Designer

Zenogu wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

It is and it isn't. From what I can tell, you can only ever craft a weapon up to +5 worth of properties, per the table, so that's 50,000 to purchase and 25,000 to craft, which is standard from the Core Rulebook.

I'm not sure why crafting came into the equation. Under the ABP, your wealth now caps at 440,000gp, rather than 880,000gp. That's all I'm concerned about, as most of my players don't bother with Crafting feats.

Good point about the specific items. That seems like a bit of a headache. I was looking to simplify alot of things with these rules, and remove the "necessary shopping" for typical things. I have found quite the opposite ):

If you just want to keep it simple, you should use the rules printed in the book, much as I prefer capacity. The printed rules give you all the math on bonuses you need to make the d20 rolls work out at higher levels. Your players won't have to worry about Big 6 items, and weapon special abilities are costly enough to use until high levels that they will not be likely to buy them unless it really fits their concept or is strictly overpowered compared to a +1 (like furious for a barbarian). This will allow them to spend pretty much all their money on utility items / whatever they want, rather than "Big 6".


I may try to use it without the attunement to weapons/armor, since some characters can get by entirely without either of those items (like sorcerers).

The slightly hairy part of that calculation is determined by either the use of a single or two attuned weapons. I.e. A typical warrior will don +10 armor and a +10 weapon, which equates to 300,000k. But a dual wielder or a shield user add some significant costs to that. I realize not everyone is going to walk around with +10 items, but it should still be reasonably attainable.


Thanks for your input, everyone. Much appreciated!

Unchained is still probably my favorite book to date. We're still implementing other chapters, and it was nice to see someone else notice some of the "stiff" parts of the game.


Zenogu wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

It is and it isn't. From what I can tell, you can only ever craft a weapon up to +5 worth of properties, per the table, so that's 50,000 to purchase and 25,000 to craft, which is standard from the Core Rulebook.

I'm not sure why crafting came into the equation. Under the ABP, your wealth now caps at 440,000gp, rather than 880,000gp. That's all I'm concerned about, as most of my players don't bother with Crafting feats.

Good point about the specific items. That seems like a bit of a headache. I was looking to simplify alot of things with these rules, and remove the "necessary shopping" for typical things. I have found quite the opposite ):

Crafting comes into the equation much as it does as if the ABP rules weren't in place. Crafting wasn't really fundamentally changed, more that its numbers were changed, and the question you posed was essentially "Does this new ABP chart really work well in comparison to the alternative WBL?" And in order to evaluate that, we have to compare how much it would cost to purchase, as well as how much it would cost to craft (to determine how valuable crafting feats in adventuring parties would pose).

Crafting items is just as important to determine WBL, primarily because crafting halves the cost it takes for characters to normally acquire such items.

Expanding the (5) Vorpal Greatsword here, assuming the 440,000 WBL, the total cost would be 150,350 to purchase, which takes a little over 1/3 of your total WBL to obtain. That's a lot of cash to fork over; and that's doubly painful for TWF or trying to keep versatility relevant. The same is true for characters using both Armor and Shields, although their pricing is only half as bad (but trying to make a Shield function as both Armor and a Weapon is perhaps the pinnacle of WBL sadness).

Similarly, purchasing a +6 all stats item costs 144,000, which means that a (5)+5 Greatsword isn't that far from those costs, which is interesting. However, if we were to compare crafting, you're looking at paying 75,175 gold for the sword, and 72,000 for the +6 all stats item, which leaves the sword and the belt taking a little under 1/4 of your total WBL.

To be fair, I would second the "Remove Weapon/Armor Attunement" decision, as not only is this alternative more costly percentage-wise, but as you noted, determining the prices of Unique Items (you never know, some players may want them; I know there are a few that are really nice) can be a real pain, if not impossible to determine.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Zenogu wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Zenogu wrote:
Does this capacity chart also consider that the players' wealth is cut in half, as per the ABP rules?

It is and it isn't. From what I can tell, you can only ever craft a weapon up to +5 worth of properties, per the table, so that's 50,000 to purchase and 25,000 to craft, which is standard from the Core Rulebook.

I'm not sure why crafting came into the equation. Under the ABP, your wealth now caps at 440,000gp, rather than 880,000gp. That's all I'm concerned about, as most of my players don't bother with Crafting feats.

Good point about the specific items. That seems like a bit of a headache. I was looking to simplify alot of things with these rules, and remove the "necessary shopping" for typical things. I have found quite the opposite ):

Expanding the (5) Vorpal Greatsword here, assuming the 440,000 WBL, the total cost would be 150,350 to purchase, which takes a little over 1/3 of your total WBL to obtain. That's a lot of cash to fork over; and that's doubly painful for TWF or trying to keep versatility relevant. The same is true for characters using both Armor and Shields, although their pricing is only half as bad (but trying to make a Shield function as both Armor and a Weapon is perhaps the pinnacle of WBL sadness).

Similarly, purchasing a +6 all stats item costs 144,000, which means that a (5)+5 Greatsword isn't that far from those costs, which is interesting. However, if we were to compare crafting, you're looking at paying 75,175 gold for the sword, and 72,000 for the +6 all stats item, which leaves the sword and the belt taking a little under 1/4 of your total WBL.

To be fair, I would second the "Remove Weapon/Armor Attunement" decision, as not only is this alternative more costly percentage-wise, but as you noted, determining the prices of Unique Items (you never know, some players may want them; I know there are a few that are really nice) can be a real pain, if not impossible to determine.

Astute observation! I may just pursue a way to implement ABP without the Attunements. I may not be able to account for Singe/Dual Wield and Shield users, but we can calculate the reverse of everything else, right? Let's take a look:

Ideally, things stop progressing at level 18 in the chart. Without Armor/Weapons, here's basically a list of what you've got.

Ring of Protection +5 (50,000gp)
Amulet of Natural Armor +5 (50,000gp)
Cloak of Resistance +5 (25,000gp)
Headband of Mental Perfection (at +4 to all, that's 64,000gp)
Belt of Physical Perfection (at +4 to all, that's 64,000gp)
(I realize that +6/+4/+2 is an option for ABP, and if you had a headband/belt of that variety, it's rather close to 64k.)

Together, that's 253,000gp that's accounted for in the ABP without armors and weapons.
253,000gp is 28.75% of your 880,000gp. So there is 71.25% that -isn't- accounted for

A quickly recalculated chart looks like this (rounded down, without silver pieces):
2nd... 712 gp
3rd... 2,137 gp
4th... 4,275 gp
5th... 7,481 gp
6th... 11,400 gp
7th... 16,743 gp
8th... 23,512 gp
9th... 32,775 gp
10th... 44,175 gp
11th... 58,425 gp
12th... 76,950 gp
13th... 99,750 gp
14th... 131,812 gp
15th... 171,000 gp
16th... 224,437 gp
17th... 292,125 gp
18th... 377,625 gp
19th... 488,062 gp
20th... 627,000 gp

(Please correct me if I'm wrong, or have an imperfect train of thought).

Now that's essentially 600k to spend on weapons/armors/shields, other wondrous items that fill the body, rings amulets and cloaks that do fun things. Does that seem high, or about right?


Since you are ignoring the gp value of legendary boons, your numbers are off by quite a bit.

One computation is 75000(weapon and armor value at level 18)/328000(total ABP value at level 18) * 50% (WBL reduction) = 11.4% reduction is for weapon and armor attunement.

Another is 75000 / 530000 (Non-adjusted WBL at 18) = 14.2%. Makes sense that this number is a little higher since ABP increases your effective WBL by like 10%.

Averaging the two out, a reasonable value would be 12.5%, or one eighth. So if you wanted ABP without weapon and armor attunements, you would reduce your WBL by 37.5%, not 28.75% that you came up with. Should also reduce legendary boons by 1 at level 20.


Calth wrote:

Since you are ignoring the gp value of legendary boons, your numbers are off by quite a bit.

One computation is 75000(weapon and armor value at level 18)/328000(total ABP value at level 18) * 50% (WBL reduction) = 11.4% reduction is for weapon and armor attunement.

Another is 75000 / 530000 (Non-adjusted WBL at 18) = 14.2%. Makes sense that this number is a little higher since ABP increases your effective WBL by like 10%.

Averaging the two out, a reasonable value would be 12.5%, or one eighth. So if you wanted ABP without weapon and armor attunements, you would reduce your WBL by 37.5%, not 28.75% that you came up with. Should also reduce legendary boons by 1 at level 20.

Ah yes, definitely forgot the boons. 4 of them pertain to Armor/Weapon/Dual Weapon though. Perhaps it's better that they're left out along with the Attunements? The rest of them could still be bought up.


Legendary Boon values for Level 20 are approximately 170,000 Gold, if we are going for either a +10 Weapon, a +10 Armor/Shield, or a +6 All/+5 Inherent, or a mix'n'match.

The ABP values for Weapon/Armor Attunements are approximately 75,000 Gold. Combined, this results in 245,000 Gold.

Since he estimated 253,000 Gold, I think he is well within the ballpark.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Legendary Boon values for Level 20 are approximately 170,000 Gold, if we are going for either a +10 Weapon, a +10 Armor/Shield, or a +6 All/+5 Inherent, or a mix'n'match.

The ABP values for Weapon/Armor Attunements are approximately 75,000 Gold. Combined, this results in 245,000 Gold.

Since he estimated 253,000 Gold, I think he is well within the ballpark.

That's pretty close to the boon estimation as I got. I may just deal without them.

That 253,000 gp is an estimation of the "Big 5" though, not weapons and armor. (Ring, Amulet, Cloak, and 2 Stat Items). Should those numbers be comparable?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

If I'm not mistaken, magical weapons in the core game are always considered masterwork. So a +1 longsword costs 2000 + 300 + 15 gp.
How does this work in unchained with 0 capacity items? Are they still considered magical and masterwork? So a capacity 0 flaming longsword still costs 2315gp and provides both +1d6 fire damage and +1 to attack rolls; while capacity 1 flaming longsword costs 8315 gp and adds +1 to damage rolls on top of that for extra 6K gp?


flykiller wrote:

If I'm not mistaken, magical weapons in the core game are always considered masterwork. So a +1 longsword costs 2000 + 300 + 15 gp.

How does this work in unchained with 0 capacity items? Are they still considered magical and masterwork? So a capacity 0 flaming longsword still costs 2315gp and provides both +1d6 fire damage and +1 to attack rolls; while capacity 1 flaming longsword costs 8315 gp and adds +1 to damage rolls on top of that for extra 6K gp?

I would imagine that if you wanted to add Capacity to an item (in order to apply your ABP enhancements to them), you would need to spend the Masterwork Cost before you could add Capacity. At least, that's one argument.

Another interpretation would be if you wanted to add the +5 of magical properties, the weapon has to be Masterwork. Which makes sense; in this system, the +1 Enhancements to Attack/Damage for your weapons are solved with your ABP. Since this table assumes the ABP solves your +1-+5 Enhancement issues, and these benefits don't require Masterwork, the concept of "Weapon must be Masterwork before adding +1" goes down the toilet. Similarly, the concept of "Weapon must be at least +1 before adding special properties" makes no sense, since there are +1(0) [read: +1 Property (0 Capacity)] weapons out there, and it's listed in the table, it makes the most sense to rule that a weapon must be Masterwork before adding a +1 Property to it.

Grand Lodge

I am curious if anyone has played for an extended time using ABP but removing the weapon/armor attuning. I like ABP but have never been a fan of the attunement side of it. I lack the foresight to see if any unintended problems (WBL or otherwise) will crop up during play.


It's been decent thus far, but I've only tested it in one group. Not having to worry about the typical magic items cuts down on a lot of the homework for the GM. Leaving out attunements allows for spending extra gold on decent backup weapons (without having to worry about wasting an attunement for the day).

Less homework, but still enough flexibility for the players.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thewms wrote:
I am curious if anyone has played for an extended time using ABP but removing the weapon/armor attuning. I like ABP but have never been a fan of the attunement side of it. I lack the foresight to see if any unintended problems (WBL or otherwise) will crop up during play.

I use an alternate ABP system largely to avoid attunement.

Basically, I got rid of legendary boons, gave everyone a pool of stat enhancement bonuses to assign (total / max limit both increasing by level), and replaced weapon/armor attunement with an enhancement bonus (increasing with level) which automatically applies to any weapons/armor used.

The only thing which might be considered a 'WBL problem' is a tendency to keep items with every different ability imaginable. All those specific weapons/armor with some unique feature become a lot more viable when the enhancement bonus automatically scales with level. Instead of selling the super stealthy armor because it only has a +1 enhancement bonus, players are more likely to hang on to it for when they have a stealth mission.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Thewms wrote:
I am curious if anyone has played for an extended time using ABP but removing the weapon/armor attuning. I like ABP but have never been a fan of the attunement side of it. I lack the foresight to see if any unintended problems (WBL or otherwise) will crop up during play.

I went a slightly different direction with my group. Since Pathfinder Unchained came out while my campaign was already running, I adopted ABP but simply left in everything that was supposed to go away: There are still stat belts, weapons & armor with static bonuses, stat books, and so forth. I did this because otherwise I would effectively be punishing the players who had spent their money on those items, and on top of that I would have to come up with some justification as to why they didn't work anymore.

So far it's worked fine. No one has tried to abuse anything and leaving all the regular magic items in allows me more flexibility as the GM.

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