A weapon must be masterwork to be enchanted, it also must have +1 enhancement bonus before it can be enchanted. Does the +1 enhancement bonus* from being masterwork apply?

Example Calculation: +1 Benevolent Rapier

Rapier 20gp

Masterwork 300gp

Benevolent 2000gp

Total: 2320gp

*Note: This is a non-magical bonus to attack rolls

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Does the +1 enchantment bonus apply to what, exactly? This question is a bit unclear (as shown by what appear to be two answers pointing out different things) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 28, 2017 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems i misunderstood the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jun 28, 2017 at 14:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik, as far as I can tell, based on the price in his example, is he's wanting a MWK weapon to COUNT as a +1 Weapon for the purpose of enchanting. See his calculation for a +1 Benevolent Rapier price. \$\endgroup\$
    – godskook
    Jun 28, 2017 at 14:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Awfully close, but I'll let the community decide if this is a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2017 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I was just about to write the same. Technically, the weapon must first be made magical — it's unfortunate the d20 System lacks a good term for this — then the weapon can have added to it magic weapon special abilities. While AD&D and AD&D 2e synonymize enchantment with make magical (as do many video games), the d20 System doesn't, using enchantment exclusively as a term for the school of magic dealing with charming and the like. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2017 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


It does not

This is explained on Magic Weapons:

A magic weapon is enhanced to strike more truly and deliver more damage. Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonuses on attack rolls do not stack with their enhancement bonuses on attack rolls.

You will notice that though both add an enhancement bonus, the masterwork's enhancement bonus is not a magic weapon's enhancement bonus, which is required before you can add a Special Ability to weapons:

Creating a magic weapon has a special prerequisite: The creator’s caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus of the weapon. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met. A magic weapon must have at least a 1 enhancement bonus to have any melee or ranged special weapon abilities.

Though both are enhancement bonuses, a masterwork weapon is not a magic weapon yet. It becomes a magical weapon once you bestow the first +1 magical enhancement bonus on it, as explained on this answer about calculating the costs of a magical weapon.

The distinction here, and better explained on Ryan's answer, is that the masterwork's enhancement bonus is applied on your attack rolls, while the magic weapon's enhancement bonus is applied on the weapon, which increases your attack rolls aswell. Being bonuses of the same type, they don't stack.


Ah, no. This is one of those “could they not afford a thesaurus?” moments, where they keep using the same word for slightly different things.

There is a difference between an enhancement bonus to some particular roll, and an enhancement bonus to the weapon itself, which is a property that items can have. They re-use the name because enhancement bonuses to items usually result in those items giving enhancement bonuses to certain things, but it’s still pretty unclear.

Being a masterwork weapon adds a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls. Having a +1 enhancement bonus to a weapon also adds a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls, as well as a +1 enhancement bonus to damage, but it is also more than that. For example, having a +1 enhancement bonus to the weapon also improves its hit points and hardness, allows it overcome DR /magic, and makes it eligible to receive special weapon properties. Having a weapon that offers enhancement bonuses on some or all rolls relevant to that weapon’s use is not the same as having an enhancement bonus to the weapon.

Since a +1 weapon is always also a masterwork weapon, it has two separate +1 enhancement bonuses to attack rolls, and these don’t stack.

And when the rules say that a magic weapon must have a +1 enhancement bonus before you can add special properties, it means that it must be a +1 weapon, not merely that it must have enhancement bonuses to the right rolls. So even if you found some other way to add a +1 enhancement bonus to the weapon’s damage, and also had a +1 enhancement bonus to attack because it’s masterwork, that still wouldn’t quite qualify.

That means your +1 benevolent rapier needs to be a rapier (20 gp), that is masterwork (+300 gp), that has a +1 enhancement bonus (+2,000 gp), and then has the benevolent property (+6,000 gp for going from +1-equivalent to +2-equivalent). Total cost is 8,320 gp. With 2,320 gp, you can only afford a +1 rapier.

In neat tabular form:

Item or enhancement Cost
rapier 20 gp
masterwork 300 gp
+1 enhancement 2,000 gp
benevolent property 6,000 gp
Total 8,320 gp

In this case, the order they’re written is also the order in which these have to be applied: each line is a requirement for the next one.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan The OP's links uniformly use the term "enhancement bonus". You use the term "enhancement" separately. I don't see where the OP's links include that. Did you invent the stand alone "enhancement" term? If not, can you point out where in the rules it comes from? In fact, on the magic weapons page, "enhancement" without "bonus" is used exactly once, and not in any way related to this problem. Hence my request for rules quotes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk, its colloquially used as the same term. KRyan isn't inventing anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – godskook
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk, cherry-quoting KRyan won't prove your point, and if you want to debate his or my question further, I suggest you start a chat room for it, cause this has past comment-level conversation. \$\endgroup\$
    – godskook
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk You are correct, I misremembered how this is worded. The distinction, then, is between an enhancement bonus to a roll, and an enhancement bonus to a weapon. A masterwork weapon offers an enhancement bonus to attack rolls made with it, but it does not, itself, have an enhancement bonus. A +1 weapon, on the other hand, does have an enhancement bonus, that is, there is a +1 enhancement bonus to the weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Ah, that might be it. So the masterwork weapon grants an enhancement bonus to attack rolls. The magic weapon has an enhancement bonus, which it also grants to attack rolls (and damage rolls). The enhancement bonus an item has is probably referred to elsewhere, like in item saving throws. (grants might be the wrong term) \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:36


A MWK weapon does not count as a +1 weapon for crafting purposes, and doesn't even give the benefits of a +1 weapon. Let's compare real quick:


  • +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls


  • +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls
  • +1 enhancement bonus on damage rolls
  • Overcome DR as a +1 magic weapon
  • Treated as a magic item instead of a mundane item for various ancillary purposes.

As you can see, the value of these two attributes is different.

If you wanted a +1 Benevolent weapon, you'd pay:

Rapier        20gp
Masterwork  +300gp
+1 Weapon  +2000gp
Benevolent +6000gp(8000gp total enchantment costs)
Total       8320gp
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you quote the that requires you have a "+1 weapon"? I can find many rules that states you must have a weapon with at least a +1 enhancement bonus, but I can find no rules in the pathfinder srd that requires a "+1 weapon". \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ "A weapon with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus." MWK does not give the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – godskook
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ State that in your answer. You claim that they are different, and that one doesn't qualify, but you don't state why or where the rules state that this difference is important. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 28, 2017 at 20:23

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