The rules and language presented on this page are Open Game Content
This variant rule around ability ability bonuses places more power in the hands of characters while reducing their reliance on items. Further this permits NPCs to be more challenging without drastically increasing their gear carried.
From second level onward, every time a character gains a level he gains a +1 inherent bonus to an ability of his choice. These bonuses are cumulative up to a maximum bonus of half the total character level. Thus, a level 20 character has a limit of a +10 inherent bonus for any given ability score. Only elite characters, such as PCs, garner these bonuses. Characters of races with monstrous classes (e.g. Ettin) receive the inherent bonus for each hit die they acquire rather than each character level.
|Level||Bonus Points||Max per ability|
To accommodate this change, all items that grant ability bonuses are much less common and accordingly more expensive.
Items and spells that grant temporary enhancement bonuses remain as they are.
Generally speaking all items or conditions that grant permanent enhancement bonuses no longer exist save as follows:
Gauntlets of Ogre Power: These gauntlets are made of tough leather with iron studs running across the back of the hands and fingers. They grant the wearer great strength, adding a either a +1 or a +2 enhancement bonus to his Strength score. Both gauntlets must be worn for the magic to be effective.
Faint transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, bull’s strength; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2),;Weight 4 lb.
Belt of Giant Strength: This wide belt is made of thick leather and studded with iron. The belt adds to the wearer’s Strength score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +3 and +5
Moderate transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, bull’s strength; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5); Weight 1 lb.
Gloves of Dexterity: These thin leather gloves are very flexible and allow for delicate manipulation. They add to the wearer’s Dexterity score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +5. Both gloves must be worn for the magic to be effective.
Moderate transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, cat’s grace; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5);
Amulet of Health: This amulet is a golden disk on a chain. It usually bears the image of a lion or other powerful animal. The amulet grants the wearer an enhancement bonus to Constitution between +1 and +5. An amulet of health may also take the form of a tunic.
Moderate transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, bear’s endurance; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5);
Headband of Intellect: This device is a light cord with a small gem set so that it rests upon the forehead of the wearer. The headband adds to the wearer’s Intelligence score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +5. This enhancement bonus does not earn the wearer extra skill points when a new level is attained; use the unenhanced Intelligence bonus to determine skill points.
Moderate transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, fox’s cunning; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5);
Periapt of Wisdom: Although it appears to be a normal pearl on a light chain, a periapt of wisdom actually increases the possessor’s Wisdom score in the form of an enhancement bonus between +1 and +5 (depending on the individual item).
Moderate transmutation; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, owl’s wisdom; Price 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5);
Cloak of Charisma: This lightweight and fashionable cloak has a highly decorative silver trim. When in a character’s possession, it adds an enhancement bonus between +1 and +5 to her Charisma score. A Cloak of Charisma may also take the form of a circlet.
Moderate transmutation; CL 8th; Craft Wondrous Item, eagle’s splendor; 27,500 gp (+1), 55,000 gp (+2), 82,500 gp (+3), 110,000 gp (+4), 137,500 gp (+5); Weight 2 lb.
Ioun Stones: These crystalline stones always float in the air and must be within 3 feet of their owner to be of any use. When a character first acquires a stone, she must hold it and then release it, whereupon it takes up a circling orbit 1d3 feet from her head. Thereafter, a stone must be grasped or netted to separate it from its owner. The owner may voluntarily seize and stow a stone (to keep it safe while she is sleeping, for example), but she loses the benefits of the stone during that time. Ioun stones have AC 24, 10 hit points, and hardness 5.
|Clear||Spindle||Sustains creature without food or water||4,000 gp|
|Dusty rose||Prism||+1 insight bonus to AC||5,000 gp|
|Dark blue||Rhomboid||Alertness (as the feat)||10,000 gp|
|Vibrant purple||Prism||Stores three levels of spells, as a ring of spell storing||36,000 gp|
|Iridescent||Spindle||Sustains creature without air||18,000 gp|
|Pale lavender||Ellipsoid||Absorbs spells of 4th level or lower1||20,000 gp|
|Pearly white||Spindle||Regenerate 1 point of damage per hour||20,000 gp|
|Pale green||Prism||+1 competence bonus on attack rolls, saves, skill checks, and ability checks||30,000 gp|
|Orange||Prism||+1 caster level||30,000 gp|
|Lavender and green||Ellipsoid||Absorbs spells of 8th level or lower2||40,000 gp|
|Deep red||Sphere||+2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity||55,000 gp|
|Incandescent blue||Sphere||+2 enhancement bonus to Wisdom||55,000 gp|
|Pale blue||Rhomboid||+2 enhancement bonus to Strength||55,000 gp|
|Pink||Rhomboid||+2 enhancement bonus to Constitution||55,000 gp|
|Pink and green||Sphere||+2 enhancement bonus to Charisma||55,000 gp|
|Scarlet and blue||Sphere||+2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence||55,000 gp|
|1 After absorbing twenty spell levels, the stone burns out and turns to dull gray, forever useless.|
|2 After absorbing fifty spell levels, the stone burns out and turns dull gray, forever useless.|
Regeneration from the pearly white ioun stone works like a ring of regeneration. (It only cures damage taken while the character is using the stone.) The pale lavender and lavender and green stones work like a rod of absorption, but absorbing a spell requires a readied action, and these stones cannot be used to empower spells. Stored spells in the vibrant purple stone must be placed by a spellcaster but can be used by anyone (see ring of minor spell storing).
Moderate varied; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, creator must be 12th level.
Rod of Splendor: The possessor of this rod gains a +2 bonus to Charisma based skills and checks for as long as she holds or carries the item. Once per day, the rod creates and garbs her in clothing of the finest fabrics, plus adornments of furs and jewels.
Apparel created by the magic of the rod remains in existence for 12 hours. However, if the possessor attempts to sell or give away any part of it, to use it for a spell component, or the like, all the apparel immediately disappears. The same applies if any of it is forcibly taken from her.
The value of noble garb created by the rod ranges from 7,000 to 10,000 gp (1d4+6 x1,000 gp)—1,000 gp for the fabric alone, 5,000 gp for the furs, and the rest for the jewel trim (maximum of twenty gems, maximum value 200 gp each).
In addition, the rod has a second special power, usable once per week. Upon command, it creates a palatial tent—a huge pavilion of silk 60 feet across. Inside the tent are temporary furnishings and food suitable to the splendor of the pavilion and sufficient to entertain as many as one hundred persons. The tent and its trappings last for one day. At the end of that time, the tent and all objects associated with it (including any items that were taken out of the tent) disappear.
Strong conjuration and transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Rod, eagle’s splendor, fabricate, major creation; Price 25,000 gp.
Monster Levels, Ability Scores, and ECL
Monsters also gain bonus ability scores as they advance in HD, this advancement is presumed to begin at the monster's second hit die. A creature used at below its standard hit die amount will see a comesurate reduction in its ability scores equal to the difference in HD, leaving room for future advancement. For players of monsterous characters this means that often a monsters starting statistics at first level, and ability bonuses from racial levels may be muted slightly, in exchange they receive a discount to the ECL of high HD creatures equal to -1 per four HD beyond first. (-1 at 5 HD, -2 at 9 HD -3 at 13 HD, etc.)
The rules for Ettin's Provide an illustration at the bottom of the page.