[RPG] Does a magic weapon/armor increase in Hardness/HP based on its raw or its effective enhancement bonus, including special abilities


I have been working on a weapon plan for as my character develops and so I have been examining the rules concerning weapons. I got to a point where I am not sure how the rules work. It has to do with enhancement value adding to the hardness and hp of the item under the damaging objects.

Add +2 for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.

Add 10 hp for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.

Assume weapon has 5 hardness and 10 hp to start with. These values I am confident of. Each level of enhancement increases hardness by 2 and hp by 10.

  • Enhancement +1 = 7 hardness and 20 hp
  • Enhancement +2 = 9 hardness and 30 hp
  • Enhancement +3 = 11 hardness and 40 hp
  • Enhancement +4 = 13 hardness and 50 hp
  • Enhancement +5 = 15 hardness and 60 hp

What I would like to know is when you have an equivalent +6 to +10 weapon, is that enhancement value factored into the weapon's hardness and hp or does it only count the numerical enhancements?

So say I have a +1 flaming weapon which is equivalent to a +2 weapon. Would the hardness 7 or 9?

Best Answer

Enhancement bonus is clearly seperated from other magical effects on equipment. Therefore, when Damaging Objects specifies 'enhancement bonus' and not 'effective enhancement bonus', it is implicitly stating that only the base enhancement bonus provides an item more Hardness and HP.

To put it another way, a +2 Longsword makes the weapon simply better than it was, whereas a +1 Flaming Longsword would just add the ability to deal Fire damage. Adding the ability to deal Fire damage does not make the weapon more durable or sharp, which is what an enhancement bonus 'represents'.

From Damaging Objects

Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item's hit points.

And from Common Terms

An enhancement bonus represents an increase in the sturdiness and/or effectiveness of armor or natural armor, or the effectiveness of a weapon, or a general bonus to an ability score.

Finally, from Magic Armor

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities... cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents, including those from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

All emphasis mine. The most incriminating line is the bold from the third link, clearly stating that 'Special abilities' are not part of the 'enhancement bonus'.

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