I've just been skimming through the Magic Item Compendium & I'm confused about the "+n Bonus" prices on some of the items, does this mean that a player using the item is subject to a penalty?

For example:

RETALIATION Price: +2 bonus Property: Armor Caster Level: 9th Aura: Moderate; (DC 19) necromancy Activation: — The surface of this armor roils with pent-up energy. A suit of armor that has this property strikes back at foes who hit hard in melee...

Reading more, the MIC p.4 explains pricing as below:

Price (Item Level): The purchase price of the item, in gold pieces (gp). The item’s level (see page 226) is given in parentheses

Which sounds to me like there is a set price for bonuses and the item/property is equivalent to that, however I've not managed to find any mention of a structure like that.

Looking through Chapter 6: "Using Magical Items", there are lots of mentions of bonuses but nothing I can see that could be construed as being applicable as a pricing structure.

I think I'm barking up the wrong tree.


1 Answer 1


When determining the price or a magic weapon or armor you look at the bonus it provides plus any increases from properties. So assuming that the Retaliation property was placed on a +1 suit of armor it would be costed as though it were a +3 suit of armor (9000gp + the cost of the masterwork suit of armor)

From the SRD (emphasis added):

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities. Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. A suit of armor cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that SRD link is very helpful, thanks. I must admit I'm still a bit confused with all this table referencing. So if I wanted to apply the Resistance property to a bog-standard set of Leather armour. Leather armour is 10gp, to which the 150gp cost is added for masterwork quality, seeing as magic items are inherently masterwork. That is in line with the cost shown in the "Random Armour Type" table. The "+1 Bonus" is then the level you apply from the "Item" column of the "Armour and Shields" table, which gives you the price. Which would be 1,160gp Is that correct? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 14:43
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @N00b-a-Tron9000 Don't forget that the armor must be at least +1 to have other properties added to it (last sentence of the rule I quoted in my answer), but otherwise it looks like you are doing it right. \$\endgroup\$
    – diego
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 14:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @noob-a-tron 9000 also before you can make armor a +1 it must first be MW. So (base value + MW + "+1" +other enchantments) .....also not to get too complicated but there are also additional costs for applying properties to a non-standard slot (ie boots of darkvision) or adding/mixing different enchantments.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 22:35

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