The system works quite well in general.
Its biggest problem (or asset :-)) is that it removes player choice. Normally a player can throw lots of money at some part of his character to get very, very good at it (eg, AC). Now he hasn't the choice.
A secondary issue is that some of the bonuses are all but useless for a particular character. For example, having to get a shield bonus or a secondary magical weapon (or a magical weapon at all, for that matter).
Characters end up with bonuses they wouldn't have bothered to get otherwise. This may be a good thing in some ways (hey, the ftr has Int :-)) but it may be bad in other ways (The martial adding both Wis and Cha to AC is getting those bonuses for "free").
It somewhat changes balance and optimization points.
HOWEVER, its effect is generally fairly minor. You might be 1 or 2 lower or higher to hit, your stat boost items might come a level later, etc. None of that really matters all that much in the great scheme of things.
It has the really, really nice effect of opening up all kinds of magic items that otherwise couldn't be taken (use up a slot, too expensive, etc). Its WONDERFUL if you want to have a campaign withOUT Ye Olde Magic Shoppe at every corner.
|Darigaaz the Igniter|
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The main issue I have with ABP is that it doesn't let you keep your AC as high as I would like (~15+Lv). And a minor nitpick is that you have to pick a mental attribute earlier than a physical one, but that's an easy houserule (let them pick any attribute to boost, then next level has to be mental if they picked a physical and vise versa).
|David knott 242|
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).
I'm not sure if just straight dividing the bonus is always appropriate though. It feels like it should sometimes work more like using two weapons or armor and shield, where if you get a +4 to armor attunement, you could split that up as +3 to you and +3 to your companion. And from there your +3 could still be divided as +2/+2, if you are using armor and shield.