View Full Version : Using Point-buy for ability enhancing items.

2011-04-26, 12:57 PM
This was inspired by the ability scores thread were someone asked the question why higher ability scores really need to cost more in point-buy. The answer that of course sprung to my head immediately was that they are rarer and require more training since everything is based on the average person.

But then my mind wandered to things like the cloak of charisma that gives the same "enhancement" bonus to everyone with no regard of how capable that person already is.
Should a person with a low intelligence or strenght not benegit more from something that has magic imbued in it to increase the specific ability?

So my question would be wether a system of the following qualities would unbalance a normal game of D&D.


1. Items that give enhancement bonuses to ability scores are defined by the number of "points" invested in them.

2. each point invested has a price of 2000gp

3. To create an item of specific point value a certain caster level is necessary. To be precise, a caster may only imbue a value of points into enhancing one ability score into an item that is no higher than her Caster level to the power of 1.5. (CL4=8points, CL9=27 points etc)

4. The actual effect of an item is based on the characters' basic (original+inherent bonuses) ability score.

5. The actual increase in score is calculated using the continued point-buy system. This means an increase from 18 to 19 costs 4 points, 20 to 21 costs 5 points, etc.

6. There is no distinction between epic or not as the point-limit is defined by Caster level.


This would mean a hypothetical lvl 4 character could invest 8 points towards one ability score maximum. This increase could then either give a character with a natural 8 in that score a bonus of +7 to 15, or a character with a natural 18 a bonus of +2 to twenty since both would be the same "cost" based on the point buy system.

Possible problems that can be easily seen:

This would make it exceedingly easy to bring each score up to certain point in higher levels since raising those low scores is very cheap.
It would further make increasing high scores very expensive.

A CL 20 character could invest 89 points into a score enhancing item.
By the afforementioned point-buy continuation, this could bring a character from 8 to 29, but a character with a base 30 would only get a +7 to 37.
But for both the item would cost the same (178,000gp market price)

2011-04-28, 04:42 PM
bumping in hope someone will comment.

Das Beeg Kabooa
2011-04-28, 05:32 PM
I don't understand. Don't point buy systems already include a gold limit based on the level the character is starting from?

Would they not already be able to invest in an item to wear to increase their stats as they'd want?

2011-04-28, 05:40 PM
Ah, no. The current system has pricings for ability enhancing items, yes. But they affect each individual the same way.
The ones i propose would give beings with lower ability score greater value.

A crafter can imbue an item with a set number of points up to his maximum (which is defined by his caster level).
When a character then equips this item his ability score is increased as if he would have spent the imbued number of points on his score based on the ability point-buy system.

I used the example:

a character with an ability score of 8 puts on an item that is imbued with 8 points in this ability score.
By point buy rules, spening 8 points on an ability score that starts as 8 raises it to 15, so that is the ability score the item would leave him with if equipped. this is equivalent of a current +7 item.

A character with a natural score of 18 in the same ability would equip this item only to find that his score only increases by +2. (an 18 costs 16 points to have in point-buy and the next step up would cost 4 points per score-point of increase)

Das Beeg Kabooa
2011-04-28, 05:42 PM
So using the hypothetical fourth level, to get a +7 ability score item, yes, I'd say that's probably a little overboard.

2011-04-28, 05:49 PM
well, thats just it.
It would only allow such increase with scores that are originally very low.

And at 4th level you would not get this kind of item most likely as I set the price at 2000gp per imbued point market price.
So unless you craft it yourself, an 8 point item would cost 16,000gp.

I found this system interesting since it allows the players to raise their abilities to a point for relatively little money but gets prohibitively expensive the higher the base score is.

EDIT: And it is debatable wether players would spend even this kind of money on abilities they hold in such disregard that they only have so little of them. (unless you use straight rolling for character creation)