Back when I was learning about how to craft magic items in 3.5, I was told by the GM that in order to get around enhancement bonuses not stacking, you could make an item with a "misc" bonus, or an "unnamed" bonus, as these do stack.

He explained that you could make an item that normally has an enhancement bonus (say, Cloak of Charisma +2 enhancement) have a misc/unamed bonus instead by paying double the cost. So you could wear more than one stat increasing item for the same stat.

However, I have been unable to find this rule anywhere in the books. Was this a houserule and the GM gave me the wrong impression?

Can you pay double to craft an item that would normally give an enhancement bonus to instead give an unnamed bonus? And if so, where is this in the rules?


Yes, you can make such items. Items with these sorts of bonuses exist, so someone had to have made them, and when there are stats for a magic item, there are also rules for how to make that magic item.

For making a custom item with untyped bonuses, the pricing guidelines do not suggest a price. For bonuses to AC, “unusual” types cost 25% more than deflection bonuses (which, themselves, cost twice as much as enhancement bonuses to armor), while for saving throws, unusual bonus types cost twice as much as resistance bonuses. But in these cases, there is a specific list of unusual bonus types, rather than completely untyped. This matters if you were to make multiple of these items (though, with three to four different bonus types listed, you can still make several).

There are no pricing guidelines for truly untyped bonuses because those should be quite rare, seeing as they stack with everything. I probably wouldn’t allow untyped bonuses to ability scores outside of artifacts, myself.

TL;DR: They can be made, but pricing isn’t specified and “double cost” is probably getting off easy; it should most likely be more than that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting.. "[...]there is a specific list of unusual bonus types, rather than completely untyped". Are these written somewhere in official material? Or are you just saying not to literally use "misc" and "unamed"? \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo Jun 28 '14 at 19:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Roflo: There are examples given, such as Sacred, Luck, Insight, but as far as I know the list is open to be expanded by supplements. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jun 28 '14 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dave, good to know. Perhaps you should consider adding that bit to your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo Jun 28 '14 at 22:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, the GM in question called them "misc" bonuses, but FAQs from the Wizards site I have read refer to them as "unnamed" bonuses, because the type of bonus is not named (For example "+2 bonus to Dex" rather than "+2 Enhancement bonus to Dex"). \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Campbell Jun 29 '14 at 11:04

As far as I am aware, it is a house rule.

The rules for pricing AC items do set a cost for (other) typed bonuses, but these are intended to be specific types such as Sacred, Luck or Insight, not untyped. No similar rules are listed for ability bonuses, however.

The standard rules are that bonuses of different types do stack: So you can have a +2 Sacred Bonus and a +2 Enhancement Bonus, which stack to +4. The exception is the Dodge bonus, which does stack with other dodge bonuses from a different source. However, magic items cannot provide a dodge bonus (though I can't find the table explaining that).

The basic modifiers rules are availiable at http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm

The stacking rules are there to help enforce the "Bonus Squared" cost progression of items, which is linked to the amount of gold expected per level. Having a linearly increasing option would cause massive inflation of PC capabilities at later levels, although one could plausibly make it work for a short game and fixed level bracket.

(Also, bear in mind that there is another double-cost option for "No space limitation". If combined an item crafter could create a huge number of small trinkets, each giving +1 to an ability.)

My opinion on the matter is as such: GMs should be looking over proposed magic items as a matter of course, the table is called Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values after all, and if you believe a specific item not to be a problem in the game you are playing then allow it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which is exactly what happened to the GM in question. The party just covered themselves in "no space limitation" items with "misc" bonuses to ability score. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Campbell Jun 29 '14 at 11:06

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