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All Rules in Pathfinder Unchained

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Automatic Bonus Progression

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 156
In order to face the dangers of the game, characters in the Pathfinder RPG 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. Decrease character wealth by level to half the normal amount. The automatic bonuses are often more beneficial than that reduction in wealth, but characters have less flexibility, so the advantages and disadvantages balance out. 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 in the Magic Weapons and Armor section.

If you want to remove magic items entirely (or make them so exceedingly rare that there is no expectation of finding them), consider giving the characters bonuses from the following table as if they were 2 levels higher. The table extends to 22nd level to account for games without magic items.

LevelBonus Gained
3rdResistance +1
4thArmor attunement +1, weapon attunement +1
5thDeflection +1
6thMental prowess +2
7thPhysical prowess +2
8thArmor attunement +1/+1, resistance +2, toughening +1, weapon attunement +1/+1
9thArmor attunement +2, weapon attunement +2
10thDeflection +2, resistance +3
11thMental prowess +4
12thPhysical prowess +4
13thMental prowess +4/+2, physical prowess +4/+2, resistance +4, toughening +2
14thArmor attunement +2/+2 or +3, resistance +5, weapon attunement +2/+2 or +3
15thArmor attunement +3/+3 or +4, mental prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4, weapon attunement +3/+3 or +4
16thDeflection +3, physical prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4, toughening +3
17thArmor 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
18thDeflection +5, mental prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, physical prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, toughening +5
19th3 legendary gifts
20th5 legendary gifts (8 total)
21st7 legendary gifts (15 total)
22nd8 legendary gifts (23 total)


Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 156
The entries below describe the bonuses characters gain.

Magic Weapons and Armor

Source Pathfinder Unchained pg. 157
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.

Base Price ModifierWeapon CostArmor/Shield Cost
+12,000 gp1,000 gp
+28,000 gp4,000 gp
+318,000 gp9,000 gp
+432,000 gp16,000 gp
+550,000 gp25,000 gp