How do I calculate the cost of upgrading a piece of equipment with a flat gp cost ability? It costs the same amount to add, for example, the Expeditious ability to a set of +1 armor as it would to add it to a set of +3 armor. Expeditious, disregarding its price, counts as a +2 equivalent ability.

This, to me, is fine for factoring into the maximum effective armor bonus a piece of equipment can have. However, if the Expeditious ability were to factor into the price for further upgrades to the armor, such as upgrading the +1 Expeditious armor to +3 Expeditious armor, it would create a price discrepancy of over 40% compared to simply forging a new set of armor, enhancing it to +3, then adding Expeditious to it, and that price gap only gets wider as the enhancement bonuses get higher.

Is this price gap intentional, or do flat cost abilities not affect the price of upgrades?


1 Answer 1


"Expeditious, disregarding its price, counts as a +2 equivalent ability." This is incorrect. The only place you'll find Expeditious listed with +2 abilities is the GM's random armor generation table, because it's considered approximately as useful as a +2.

"How do I calculate the cost of upgrading a piece of equipment with a flat gp cost ability?" Add the cost of the ability to the armor's cost, or the ability's cost to craft to the armor's crafting cost. Nothing else changes.

"...do flat cost abilities not affect the price of upgrades?" They don't affect the price of upgrades, because they don't add to the item's total enhancement bonus. (Most non-combat abilities fall into this category. Generally, combat enhancements are + bonuses while non-combat are flat cost, but that's not a hard and fast rule.)

It takes some reading between the lines, but the chart for armor special abilities on page 463 of the Core Rulebook should help with understanding this. Abilities marked as +1 bonus or +2 bonus have a footnote stating that you need to those bonuses to the enhancement bonus to determine market value; flat cost abilities do not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the book handy so I'm searching the PFSRD for rules support now, shouldn't be long. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 5:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like this was one of those things that the writers felt everyone already knew from 3.5 and never bothered actually writing out anywhere. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 6:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you can put as many flat cost abilities as you want on a single piece of gear? Seems wacky, but okay. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ They don't affect combat (generally, or only in specific niches), so it doesn't unbalance anything. They're utility add-ons, half of which could be miscellaneous magic items. +5 to ride checks or +3 resistance vs. poison won't make a huge difference in most fights. Glamered gets figured out after the first hit, Expeditious likely adds the most damage of all of them simply by making you able to get in range from 10 feet further away - and how often does that situation come up, that you're exactly 5 to 10 feet out of range? (5 to 20 on a charge) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 21:20

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