Automatic Bonus Progression

In order to face the dangers of the game, characters in the game normally need items that grant bonuses to their statistics. With this variant, characters instead gain those bonuses automatically as they increase in level, allowing them to use magic item slots for more interesting items.

All characters gain the abilities listed on the table below when they reach the appropriate level. Items that only grant bonuses to AC, saving throws, and ability scores don’t exist in this variant, and wish and similar spells never grant inherent bonuses to ability scores. Magic weapons and armor do exist, but grant only special abilities, not enhancement bonuses; calculate their prices with the table.

Level Bonuses Gained
1st -
2nd
3rd Resistance +1
4th Armor attunement +1, weapon attunement +1
5th Deflection +1
6th Mental prowess +2
7th Physical prowess +2
8th Armor attunement 1/1, resistance 2, toughening +1, weapon attunement +1/1
9th Armor attunement +2, weapon attunement +2
10th Deflection +2, resistance +3
11th Mental prowess +4
12th Physical prowess +4
13th Mental prowess 4/2, physical prowess 4/2, resistance +4, toughening +2
14th Armor attunement 2/2 or 3, resistance +5, weapon attunement +2/2 or +3
15th Armor attunement 3/3 or 4, mental prowess +6/2 or 4/4, weapon attunement 3/3 or +4
16th Deflection 3, physical prowess +6/2 or 4/4, toughening +3
17th Armor attunement 4/3 or 5, deflection +4, mental prowess +6/2/2 or +4/4/2, physical prowess +6/2/2 or +4/4/2, toughening +4, weapon attunement +4/3 or +5
18th Deflection 5, mental prowess +6/4/2 or +4/4/4, physical prowess +6/4/2 or +4/4/+4, toughening +5
19th 3 legendary gifts
20th 5 legendary gifts (8 total)

Armor Attunement
The character can attune herself to one suit of armor or one shield in her possession; she can change that attunement once per day. If she selects a normal set of clothing as her armor, it counts as having a starting enhancement bonus of +0. The attuned suit of armor gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level.

At 8th level, she can split her attunement between a suit of armor and a shield, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus.

At 9th level, she can grant a suit of armor or a shield a +2 enhancement bonus (instead of granting each a +1 enhancement bonus).

At 14th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +3 enhancement bonus or grant each a +2 enhancement bonus.

At 15th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +4 enhancement bonus or grant both a +3 enhancement bonus.

At 17th level, she can either grant a suit of armor or a shield a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one a +4 enhancement bonus and the other a +3 enhancement bonus.

Deflection
The character gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC at 5th level; this bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Mental Prowess
At 6th level, the character chooses one mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Physical Prowess
At 7th level, the character chooses one physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 12th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 16th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Resistance
At 3rd level, the character gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, to +3 at 10th level, to +4 at 13th level, and to +5 at 14th level.

Toughening
At 8th level, the character gains a +1 enhancement bonus to natural armor. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Weapon Attunement
The character can attune herself to any one weapon in her possession, and can change that attunement once per day. The attuned weapon gains a +1 enhancement bonus at 4th level. At 8th level, the character can split her attunement between two weapons, granting each a +1 enhancement bonus. At 9th level, she can grant a single weapon a +2 enhancement bonus instead of granting two weapons a +1 enhancement bonus each. At 14th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +3 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +2 enhancement bonus each. At 15th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +4 enhancement bonus or grant two weapons a +3 enhancement bonus each. At 17th level, she can either grant a single weapon a +5 enhancement bonus or grant one weapon a +4 enhancement bonus and another weapon a +3 enhancement bonus.

Magic Weapons and Armor
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.

In this system, adding bonus-equivalent special abilities to items costs significantly less because you are paying only for the special ability, not for a base enhancement bonus (see the table below). To determine the price of specific weapons and armor, remove the flat enhancement bonus and reduce the item’s cost by the amount listed on the table below. For example, a flame tongue is normally worth 20,715 gp, but under this system, it would lose its +1 enhancement bonus and its price would be reduced to 18,715 gp. Specific weapons and armor can be attuned; they then grant the character’s enhancement bonuses from weapon attunement and armor attunement as normal.

Automatic Bonus Progression

Iron Gods Xannelson