(Related to How many magic items or magic item equivalents should I give out alongside inherent bonuses in D&D 4e? )

I'm about to start my another 4th edition game, and I want to use Inherent Bonuses to cut down on the number of magic items in my game - but I don't want to eliminate them entirely. I like having the players customize their items as they go (see How to make magic items more interesting? )

I always use the official Character Builder to manage characters and items so I/we don't have to do all that math and exception handling.

My problem is that I want to give out magic items for their powers, not their combat enhancements (To Hit, Damage, or Armor Class, etc.) and I don't want to have to hand correct each power card to remove the math.

Has anyone found a way to get the Character Builder to ignore the enhancements? Is there some alternative?


2 Answers 2


I'm not sure if this is what you are after, but the simplest way to stop the math adjustments from showing up on the cards for your attack powers etc. is to simply equip the non-magical equivalent of the item, making sure to uncheck the boxes on the Equipment page in the 'Show on Power Cards' column for the magical versions.

That is, if they are to have a Magic Dagger of Whateverness, give them that magical dagger but equip the non-magical 'Dagger' item and ensure that only the 'Dagger' has a tick in the checkbox for 'Show on Power Cards'.

EDIT: The 'Show on Power Cards' option is found in the sixth column of the Inventory tab, which is the default first tab of the Equipment section. It may not show up unless you scroll a bit sideways, and only equippable items have checkboxes.

The items cards will still show their bonuses, but only on the actual items cards themselves - the power cards will show only the inherent bonuses. All special powers granted by the magical version will show up on the item cards themselves. The one exception are those items that grant class-related powers, such as the Tome of Summoning granting extra spells. The extra spells will not show up unless you equip the item, which forces the adjustments to show up on the power cards again. This can be worked around by using the 'House-rule' function on the 'Powers' page to simply manually grant the addtional powers separately from the items.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Whoah! That might do it! I will try that when I get back to a real computer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup. Just don't equip the magic items and you don't get the enhancement bonus. Though I don't see the interface for "and ensure that only the 'Dagger' has a tick in the checkbox for 'Show on Power Cards'." Also, the "House-Rule" button to add the powers directly to the person is awesome. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ For the checkbox, it will tick itself automatically for any item you equip, so you probably didn't have to worry about it, except that sometimes it insists on listing any and all items you have that fill the criteria, equipped or not - hence the need to uncheck the boxes. For reference though, on the Equipment page there is an Inventory tab, which lists all your items. There is a scroll bar at the bottom of the white area that contains the items - move it and a sixth column will be revealed entitled 'Show on Power Cards'. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ +200 @Ananisapta - Found it (the header of the column is clipped on my computer, but sure enough there is a checkbox.) Thanks again! Enjoy the bounty! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 7:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @F.RandallFarmer - You're welcome, and thanks. I've spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling with the builder, so I'd forgotten it was one of the things I stumbled across by accident rather than it being obvious as to where it was. I adjusted my answer for anyone else having problems locating it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 7:29

I can't find an answer either way if the builder automatically figures it out when you equip a magic item and have inherent bonuses, so I don't have advice on that. I may, however, suggest you use boons and other alternate rewards which function like item powers, but are slot-less and in keeping with a lewt light campaign setting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've already tried it. A +6 item enhancement bonus is given to a character, no matter if the Inherent Bonus option is selected on the character. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been doing some more forums reading and its apparently supposed to work that way since you can find magic weapons in dark sun and other low magic settings, just rare. The character builder is set to go with the higher modifier and then disregard the other (since the explicitly don't stack). Try looking at the alternative rewards then if you want to keep using character builder as your main tool. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 21:31

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