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For some enchants it list +x bonus where x is some number between 1 and 5 and others it list a value in gold pieces

For example Improved slick is listed under +4 special ability's with a base price of 15000. Spell resistance (17) is on the same table with base price of +4 bonus

If I put Spell resistance (17) on +5 armor it have a total bonus of 9 which I use to determine cost

If I put Improved slick on +5 armor the final cost is 25000 for the armor plus 15000 for the enchant correct? Balanced has a cost of +1 bonus and if I put that on in addition to the slick is the total bonus of the armor +6 or +10? As Improved slick is listed under the +4 ability does that +4 get added in to the total bonus of the armor?

What is the cost of putting on Improved slick and Balanced to +5 armor?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that armor is not "enchanted"... enchantment is a school of magic relating to charming and controlling creatures. It has become common parlance (thanks World of Warcraft and Dragon Age) but is innaccurate. The (admittedly confusing) term actually used is magical armor enhancement and the specific ones you're referring to are magical armor special abilities. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 12 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of I'm having difficulty understanding the price of magic arms and armor special abilities \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 12 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ (For reference, the linked question is a D&D 3.5e one.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 12 at 0:43
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The tables with d% entries on them on this page are used by the GM for randomly generating magic armor, like if the GM's filling a random treasure hoard in a dungeon or stocking a shop; they give the GM an idea of what magic armor special abilities are approximately equivalent. As a player, though, you only need to worry about Table: Armor and Shield Pricing by Bonus. Those other tables don't change that table.

Further, when a magic armor, shield, or weapon special ability has a flat price—a price that's measured in gp rather than magical pluses—that magic special ability can be added to that item by paying that price. No chart need be consulted.

(In both cases, there may still be the matters of both finding a character who can add the magic special abilities to the item and finding the time to have those magic special abilities added, but those're matters for the campaign not this answer. If you're making a new character—NPC or PC—who's entering play with above-level-1 gear, you can usually ignore that.)

Thus adding the magic armor special ability improved slick to any already magic +1 or better armor—because armor (like shields and weapons) must already be at least that magical before they can be made even more magical—means paying 15,000 gp, regardless of the present total pluses of the magic armor.

Sort of similarly, adding the magic armor special ability balanced to any already magic +1 or better armor means just paying the difference between the magic armor's current pluses and the final pluses it'll have when the new ability is added. In this case, that's the difference between +5 magic armor and +6 armor, so that price is 11,000 gp.

In sum, adding both the magic armor special ability balanced and improved slick to +5 magic armor means paying for both—a total of 26,000 gp—and the armor will end up being +5 balanced improved slick armor. If the owner wanted another magic armor special ability added to the armor, and that magic armor special ability is measured in pluses, the owner'd pay the difference between the new pluses and the current armor's total bonus of +6 (i.e. the +5 enhancement bonus and the virtual +1 from the magic armor special ability balanced).

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Enchanting an existing +5 armor to add Balanced and Improved Slick costs 26,000 gp (market price), or 13,000 gp if upgrading it yourself.

Straightforwardly:

  • Items with a special ability with a flat price simply add that price to the total. Improved Slick simply costs +15,000 gp regardless of the existing enhancement.
  • Items with a special ability priced as an enhancement bonus cost as much as if they had that added to their enhancement bonus. In other words, a +5 Balanced armor costs as much as a +6 armor (36,000 gp). Note: This doesn't actually increase the armor bonus, just the price.
  • Upgrading an existing item costs the difference between the original item and the market value of the upgraded item. See Upgrading Magic Items.
  • If you have the Craft Arms and Armor feat and are upgrading the item yourself, you pay half as much in any case.

For your particular example:

  • Suppose we start by buying a +5 chain shirt. This costs 25,250 gp: normal chain shirt costs 100 gp, masterwork costs another 150 gp, and a +5 armor costs 25,000 gp.
  • We hire a wizard enhance it to add the Balanced property. Balanced is a +1 property, meaning that our item will now cost as much as if it was a +6 item (36,250 gp market value). The resulting item is a +5 Balanced chain shirt, still with only a +5 armor class enhancement, and now with the Balanced property.
    • We only pay the difference between the value of the original and upgraded item, so we pay 11,000 gp. If we had upgraded it ourself, it would cost only 5,500 gp.
  • We hire the wizard again to add the Improved Slick property. This has a price of +15,000 gp, so we literally just pay 15,000 gp. If we had crafted it ourselves, this would cost only half, or 7,500 gp.

In total, it costs 26,000 gp to upgrade an existing +5 armor to add Balanced and Improved Slick, or half that (13,000 gp) if you upgrade it yourself using Craft Magic Arms and Armor. The resulting armor still grants only a +5 enhancement bonus to AC, and has the Balanced and Improved Slick properties.

The Magic Item table listing Improved Slick as a +4 quality is only for the purposes of randomly determining it as treasure; in the SRD the price is clearly listed beside it, along with a note that this value is what is added to the base price.

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The table you are looking for is Armor and Shield Pricing by Bonus, on the Magic Armor page:

\begin{array}{c|c} \text{Armor or Shield Bonus} & \text{Base Price} \\ \hline +1 & 1,000 \\ +2 & 4,000 \\ +3 & 9,000 \\ +4 & 16,000 \\ +5 & 25,000 \\ +6 & 36,000 \\ +7 & 49,000 \\ +8 & 64,000 \\ +9 & 81,000 \\ +10 & 100,000 \end{array}

When looking at the price of the Special Ability you want, if the price is listed as a GP value then that is the price you will pay for that ability, full stop. So, it will always cost 15,000 to add Improved Slick to your armor, as per your example. If the price is listed as +(1-5) bonus, you move that many levels down on the chart and pay the difference between the two levels. If you want to add Balanced to a suit of +5 armor You would pay the difference in price between +5 and +6, which is 11,000.

However, when adding multiple Special Abilities to the same suit of armor things become a bit more complicated. The order you add the abilities is important if the cost of one ability is +(1-5) but the other is a flat cost since your starting bonus will change after you've added an ability. So for your final example the cost of adding Balanced to your armor will change depending on whether you add it first or second.

If you have a suit of +5 Magic Armor, then Improved Slick (+4) puts your base price at +9, even though you only spent 40,000 total to get there. This means that Balanced would cost the difference between +9 and +10, which comes to 19,000. However, if you add Balanced first it would cost the 11,000 mentioned before, and then Improved Slick would still cost 15,000 because it always costs the same amount.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can the However be supported with the text? That is, there's nothing in the description of the magic armor special ability improved slick to indicate any interaction with the improved slick ability's placement on the +4 Armor Special Abilities that's used to determine random armor special abilities. The improved slick ability itself doesn't say +4 anywhere. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 11 at 8:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey_I_Can_Chan It had never occurred to me that I may have been reading those tables incorrectly. I had assumed the fact that the abilities in those tables don't repeat themselves meant that they were unique to each category and therefore could only be found on armor of that type. I just figured the fixed price was to indicate that they were not as valuable as the more powerful Special Abilities in that same tier. So by your interpretation, does that mean Improved Slick would count as a +1 or a +0 towards the limit of +10? \$\endgroup\$ – GreedyRadish Mar 11 at 11:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Essentially, a +0, but more accurately not a + at all.. You can have as many as you can afford. Flat cost is just flat cost. (There's probably an arbitrary gp semi-maximum limit like in 3.5 in Pathfinder, too, though.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 11 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Out of curiosity, do you also follow the process this answer describes for magic weapons?) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 11 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey_I_Can_Chan I do. Weapons have a lot fewer options that are priced as a flat rate and I've never had anyone in my games try to add Dueling or Transformative to a weapon. The other twomelee options (Impervious and Glamered) are a flat price listed in the +1 table so I had always counted them as +1 towards the +10 limit. \$\endgroup\$ – GreedyRadish Mar 12 at 14:40

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