I've got a question regarding the capacity and progress of the arcane pool the black blade of a bladebound magus actually acquires, since there is somewhat of a discord in my party because of that. The book (and other sources) state that the black blade has got an arcane pool with a number of points equal to 1 + its Intelligence bonus.
Now some members of my party think that with "Intelligence bonus" the actual Intelligence modifier is meant, although it's obscure why Paizo had not just used that exact wording. Also, if the modifier was meant as bonus, why would the blade progress up to Intelligence 19? Why not 18 or 20?
However looking through the rulebooks I stumbled across other cases like the summoner's eidolon and the druid's eidolon, where you may not find an "Intelligence bonus", but "Strength bonuses" and "Dexterity bonus", which state: "Add this modifier to the eidolon’s Strength and Dexterity scores,...", or "Add this value to the animal companion’s Strength and Dexterity scores."
The black blade's ability progression seems to be similarly regulated as shown in it's statistics chart, only that the definition of it's Intelligence Bonus seems to be included into it's Intelligence definition, which states "...It starts at 10 and increases by 1 for every two levels ...".
Has someone got an idea? Can this be even explained by "RAW", or is this in any case leading to an interpretation?
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I doubt that the intention was to be only positive intelligence modifiers, because Energy Attunement specifies that you can start to use it at 5th level. Precisely 5th level is the 1st level where the black blade has 12 Intelligence so there was no need for this statement. Furthermore The blade never has a negative modifier to Int. However RAW Cyrad is right.
Edit: I see now that the pool is 1+ the bonus so the sword has a pool at level 1, my bad.
modifier is used if they want negatives to be applied. bonus is used if they want only positive numbers. And I imagine penalty would be used if they only wanted negatives.
Forgive me my suspicion, but...Well, in order to prevent negatives to be applied the rules are usually written like this: „X+Ability Modifier (minimum 1)“
In fact I yet have to see a ruling where they do not use that formula and instead refer to an ability bonus. Why change their usual constellation? Also why would they use „(ability) bonus“ twice with two different meanings? (See eidolon)
X+modifier (min 1) means that the minimum of the entire thing is 1.
Like if it's 3+wis mod per day (min 1) then if you have a -2 wisdom you have 1 use. with a -3 you'd still have 1 use because of the min 1 part.
If you had something that said 3+wis bonus then you'd not see the min 1 part because the min is already 3.
I might have misunderstood.
Paladin is the fastest example to see "bonus" used.
"the paladin adds her Cha bonus (if any) to her attack rolls"
They don't want to ever get worse when you smite so they say use the bonus.