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My animal companion has an Amulet of Mighty Fists that only gives me, say, +1, Frost, without any enhancement bonus. So it's a +2 equivalency, with a +1 enhancement bonus.

Let's say that I then cast a Greater Magic Fang which would grant a +3.

I can see any of the following things happen.

  1. Nothing -- there's already an enhancement situation.
  2. No more Frost. It's now a +3 enhancement bonus with no special abilities.
  3. +3/Frost -- it takes the greater of the two enhancement bonuses and keeps the special abilities.

Honestly I can accept see any of these. Right now we're playing that it's the recipient's choice of 1 or 2. Any opinions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your first paragraph is a little confusing. Is it +1 frost or just frost? You say +1, then you say without any enhancement bonus, then you say with a +1 enhancement bonus. The answer is the same either way, but it would improve the question to phrase that more clearly. \$\endgroup\$ – John Montgomery Sep 18 '20 at 17:39
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It's #3

Assuming nothing else about the animal companion, if the animal companion wears a frost amulet of mighty fists, then the companion is the subject of a greater magic fang spell so that its natural weapon gains a +3 enhancement bonus, the animal companion benefits fully from both the amulet and spell.

(Unlike a typical magic weapon—see here—the amulet specifically says that it does not first need to grant a +1 enhancement bonus before it can grant magic weapon special abilities, so a frost amulet of mighty fists that grants no enhancement bonus is a legit standalone item.)

The magic weapon special ability frost from the amulet is priced as a +1 enhancement bonus and that +1 enhancement bonus counts toward the +10 maximum virtual enhancement bonus that a weapon can possess ("A single weapon cannot have a[n]… enhancement bonus plus [magic weapon] special ability bonus equivalents… higher than +10"; see here). However, the magic weapon in question—the animal companion's natural weapon—doesn't have an actual numeric enhancement bonus until the greater magic fang spell, so the greater magic fang spell functions normally and completely, granting its full bonus to the natural weapon.

Were this instead a +1 frost amulet of mighty fists, the greater magic fang spell's numeric enhancement bonus would overlap with the amulet's numeric enhancement bonus, and only the bigger enhancement bonus would apply, hence still just the +3. Further, the amulet's frost weapon special ability would continue to function normally in this case, too.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Pro tip for AoMF: It is not required to have a +1 bonus before adding other abilities, but it is also capped at a +5 effective total. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Sep 18 '20 at 12:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also notable, this isn't unique to AoMF and GMF; Greater Magic Weapon can improve the Enhancement bonus of physical weapons that have special properties as well (as well, Magic Vestment can give a significant AC boost if you want it). \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 18 '20 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon -- yes, I wanted to have an enhancement bonus there for the concrete example; I actually don't in the game :) \$\endgroup\$ – SirPentor Sep 23 '20 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, with the +5 cap (or +10 for weapons). If we have an amulet with no enhancement bonus and a +4 effective total and then cast GMF with a +3. Getting the whole +3 would take it up to a +7 effective total, so I'm assuming that it would end up only being a +1, yes? \$\endgroup\$ – SirPentor Sep 24 '20 at 21:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SirPentor Maybe? I don't understand what's meant by this part: "[S]o I'm assuming that it would end up only being a +1, yes?" A flaming frost shock thundering amulet of mighty fists has an effective +4 bonus that, when combined with the +3 enhancement bonus from the magic fang spell means that the natural weapon has an effective +7 enhancement bonus for the purposes of the +10 Max Bonus rule (which, honestly, needs its own name). The +3 enhancement bonus from the magic fang spell doesn't count toward the amulet's maximum of a +5 effective enhancement bonus at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 25 '20 at 0:35
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Equipment can benefit from multiple enhancements

With certain exceptions, a weapon can benefit from multiple enhancements. The same principle applies to unarmed strikes and natural attacks. Abilities and benefits add together, but there are certain exceptions and limitations.

  • Enhancement bonuses do not stack. Bonuses of the same type do not stack, enhancement bonuses are no exception. The highest bonus would apply, as indicated by the core rulebook.

  • Special abilities of differing types stack. So, frost and flaming stack, but not multiple instances of either of these abilities. This rule also applies to abilities that function as other abilities. So, adding flaming to a flaming burst will provide no additional benefit.

    There's no rules that say adding new special abilities causes existing ones to disappear, and there's plenty of NPC statblocks (like this) that cast greater magic weapon on a weapon that already has special abilities

  • The bonus equivalency can never exceed +10. This is a hard cap for all weapons. See this FAQ.

Bonus equivalency only applies for determining the price of a magic weapon. Aside from the +10 hard cap, it's irrelevant for determining how multiple enhancement effects stack on a magic weapon.

This NPC has a canonical example of a +1 unholy cold iron falchion that turns into a +3 unholy cold iron falchion with an oil of greater magic weapon.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have links to sources other than the +10 cap? If I understand correctly, you're saying that in my sample, it would be scenario 3. Is that simply your interpretation or can you point to rules that state that? The interpretation is whether it's stacking "overall" (meaning the total bonus equivalency) or if the actual enhancement bonus stacks separately from the special abilities, right? I can't find crystal-clear rules on that. \$\endgroup\$ – SirPentor Sep 23 '20 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but bonus equivalency is only relevant for crafting and the +10 hard cap. It otherwise has nothing too do with stacking enhancement effects. I added some references and a concrete NPC example. \$\endgroup\$ – Cyrad Sep 24 '20 at 11:28

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