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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Doing my part to save some of the awesome stuff on the WOTC forums before they disappear. All credit goes to jwt and those that helped make the original.
    From here onwards, everything is jwt's work. Enjoy.

    Spoiler: Edits
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    Edit1 (28/09/15): reformatted some of the harder to read areas. Added Spoilers for the star ratings where there were large numbers of entries to make searching easier.



    Spoiler: Abbreviations for Source Books
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    Dungeon Master's Guide: DMG
    Complete Warrior: CW
    Complete Arcane: CA
    Complete Divine: CD
    Complete Adventurer: CA
    Complete Psionicist: CP
    Book of Exaulted Deeds: BoED
    Lords of Madness: LoM
    Heroes of Battle: HoB
    Heroes of Horror: HoH
    Frostburn: Fb
    Sandstorm: Sst
    Stormwrack: Sw
    Races of Destiny: RoD
    Races of Stone: RoS
    Races of the Wild: RoW
    Races of Eberron: RoE
    Tome of Magic: ToM
    Miniature's Handbook: MH
    Underdark: Ud
    Dungeon Master's Guide II: DMGII
    Shining South: SS
    Unapproachable East: UE
    Lost Empires of Faerun: LEoF


    General Strategies:

    The key optimization strategy is to take as many special abilities as you can afford. All the way up to +9. You can make up for the lack of enhancement pluses with Magic Vestment. Consider putting it on a wand or a staff so you don't drive your cleric crazy. A few levels in UMD and you can buff up in the AM, and let your cleric memorize those other cool spells on his list.

    Also consider using a spell that mimicks a special ability to temporarily buff your armor. If it's not a buff you will need often then put the buff in a scroll. If it is a buff you will use all the time, then try placing the buff in a staff or a wand. It is likely to be cheaper than putting it on your weapon directly, and it frees up your weapon for other cooler special abilities.

    For spellcasters and other stealthy types, you might be allowed to add certain special abilities to bracers. Check with your DM to see what they might allow. Also, consider a Mithril buckler - with no ASF, and no movement cost you don't need a proficiency, but you can tap into all these wonderful enhancements.
    Last edited by Seruvius; 2015-09-28 at 08:24 AM.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    +1 Special Abilities

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
    Show


    Acidic (MIC, p6) :- ** Acid is the "best" element, but this only works when grappled. Very Meh, and useless after low level.

    Anchoring (MIC, p6) :- *** Ask yourself, how many times will you be bull rushed, tripped or overrun in your adventuring career? You might consider it if this is a common tactic for your PC, especially if you are a tripper.

    Anchoring, Greater (MIC, p6) :- *** (Synergy) See Anchoring

    Arrow Catching (SRD) :- * (Shield Only) Ugh. Not only does it put you in the line of fire, but it also insists that you use your max enhancement bonus to get the max benefit. I can see a knight using this one, but in general, just say no.

    Bashing (SRD) :- *** (Light and Heavy Shields Only) Meh. If you want to be a two-weapon fighter then just do it.

    Blinding (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) OK at lower levels, but it effects friend and foe, and that DC is too low for it to be of much use past 7th level or so.

    Blurring (MIC, p9) :- **** (Armor Only) As per the spell. Consider combining with mirror image.

    Death Ward (MIC, p10) :- ***** Fighters won't care about this one too much, but this is a must have for low fort save characters. At only +1 and with auto activation compare this to the +4 bonus that does the same thing, only more times per day

    Displacement (MIC, p10) :- **** (Armor Only) You can only use it once per day, but 'cmon its frickin' Displacement.

    Dragondodger (MIC, p10) :- * (Light Armor Only) Terrible. Even in a dragon heavy campaign, you might get breathed on 10 or 12 times. No, save your cash for something else.

    Drowcraft (Ud, p70) :- * A terrible bonus for players, but good for the DM. Still it is NO FUN to see that great armor of yours become useless, so DMs use it sparingly.

    Ectoplasmic Feedback (MIC, p10) :- ** (Armor Only) Way too specific to be worth wasting a slot on your armor.

    Energy Defense (MIC, p11) :- *** (Synergy) The MIC changed a lot that was wrong with this ability. It is much cheaper now, and it last for most of the daily encounters.

    Focused (Cadv, p127) :- *** Specifically there to nerf thieves. And it does this well. It is also useful in other situation thus the rating.

    Fortification, Light (SRD) :- ***** You are a squishy meatbag, and criticals can do you in quickly. Remember that criticals ALWAYS swing the favor of a campaign to the bad guys, so anything you can do to nerf this is very good.

    Ghost Ward (MIC, p11) :- ***** I love this one. With Magic Vestment, and this on your armor and shield you can add +10 to your touch AC. YES PLEASE!

    Malleable (Ud, p70) :- ** Another campaign specific armour. But even if you will spend your entire career in a cave, this is still medocre at best.

    Mobility (MIC, p13) :- **** (Light Armor Only) Grants a pretty good feat for a +1 bonus. I'll buy it.

    Nacreous (Sw, p129):- ** (Sw, p129) :- ** Campaign Specific: designed for fighters who are going to be underwater, but DM may consider giving it to a foe with the right type of DR.

    Nimbleness (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) Good for Gishes and rogues.

    Paired (MH, p40) :- ** This one is for DM or if you are in a military campaign. Otherwise, it ain't gonna help your standard gaming group.

    Ranged (MIC, p13) :- ** (Non-Tower shields only) Fun, and very cool looking, but kinda useless in the long run.

    Sanctuary (SS, p54) :- ** The will save on this ability is much too low to last a career.

    Soulbound (MIC, p14) :- **** If you are using the magic of incarnum, then this is killer. If not you are likely looking at the writeup going what the hell??

    Styptic (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) Another ability that is sweet when you need it and a burden when you don't. At least it is cheap.

    Twilight (MIC, p15) :- **** (Armor Only) This is a fun one if you like playing gishes (armored mages). And it is dirt cheap too.

    Variable (MIC, p15) :- *** Interesting ability. Makes a tower shield useful.



    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
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    Spoiler: 5 Star Special Abilities
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    5 Star Special Abilities

    Death Ward (MIC, p10) :- ***** Fighters won't care about this one too much, but this is a must have for low fort save characters. At only +1 and with auto activation compare this to the +4 bonus that does the same thing, only more times per day

    Fortification, Light (SRD) :- ***** You are a squishy meatbag, and criticals can do you in quickly. Remember that criticals ALWAYS swing the favor of a campaign to the bad guys, so anything you can do to nerf this is very good.

    Ghost Ward (MIC, p11) :- ***** I love this one. With Magic Vestment, and this on your armor and shield you can add +10 to your touch AC. YES PLEASE!

    Soulbound (MIC, p14) :- **** If you are using the magic of incarnum, then this is killer. If not you are likely looking at the writeup going what the hell??


    Spoiler: 4 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    4 Star Special Abilities

    Blurring (MIC, p9) :- **** (Armor Only) As per the spell. Consider combining with mirror image.

    Displacement (MIC, p10) :- **** (Armor Only) You can only use it once per day, but 'cmon its frickin' Displacement.

    Mobility (MIC, p13) :- **** (Light Armor Only) Grants a pretty good feat for a +1 bonus. I'll buy it.

    Twilight (MIC, p15) :- **** (Armor Only) This is a fun one if you like playing gishes (armored mages). And it is dirt cheap too.


    Spoiler: 3 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    3 Star Special Abilities

    Anchoring (MIC, p6) :- *** Ask yourself, how many times will you be bull rushed, tripped or overrun in your adventuring career? You might consider it if this is a common tactic for your PC, especially if you are a tripper.

    Anchoring, Greater (MIC, p6) :- *** (Synergy) See Anchoring

    Bashing (SRD) :- *** (Light and Heavy Shields Only) Meh. If you want to be a two-weapon fighter then just do it.

    Energy Defense (MIC, p11) :- *** (Synergy) The MIC changed a lot that was wrong with this ability. It is much cheaper now, and it last for most of the daily encounters.

    Focused (Cadv, p127) :- *** Specifically there to nerf thieves. And it does this well. It is also useful in other situation thus the rating.

    Nimbleness (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) Good for Gishes and rogues.

    Variable (MIC, p15) :- *** Interesting ability. Makes a tower shield useful.


    Spoiler: 2 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    2 Star Special Abilities

    Acidic (MIC, p6) :- ** Acid is the "best" element, but this only works when grappled. Very Meh, and useless after low level.

    Blinding (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) OK at lower levels, but it effects friend and foe, and that DC is too low for it to be of much use past 7th level or so.

    Ectoplasmic Feedback (MIC, p10) :- ** (Armor Only) Way too specific to be worth wasting a slot on your armor.

    Malleable (Ud, p70) :- ** Another campaign specific armour. But even if you will spend your entire career in a cave, this is still medocre at best.

    Nacreous (Sw, p129):- ** (Sw, p129) :- ** Campaign Specific: designed for fighters who are going to be underwater, but DM may consider giving it to a foe with the right type of DR.

    Paired (MH, p40) :- ** This one is for DM or if you are in a military campaign. Otherwise, it ain't gonna help your standard gaming group.

    Ranged (MIC, p13) :- ** (Non-Tower shields only) Fun, and very cool looking, but kinda useless in the long run. Sanctuary (SS, p54) :- ** The will save on this ability is much too low to last a career.

    Styptic (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) Another ability that is sweet when you need it and a burden when you don't. At least it is cheap.


    Spoiler: 1 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    1 Star Special Abilities

    Arrow Catching (SRD) :- * (Shield Only) Ugh. Not only does it put you in the line of fire, but it also insists that you use your max enhancement bonus to get the max benefit. I can see a knight using this one, but in general, just say no.

    Dragondodger (MIC, p10) :- * (Light Armor Only) Terrible. Even in a dragon heavy campaign, you might get breathed on 10 or 12 times. No, save your cash for something else.

    Drowcraft (Ud, p70) :- * A terrible bonus for players, but good for the DM. Still it is NO FUN to see that great armor of yours become useless, so DMs use it sparingly.


    Last edited by Seruvius; 2015-09-28 at 07:54 AM.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    +2 Special Abilities

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
    Show

    Angelic (BoED, p112) :- *** The sacred bonus to AC is nice, but expensive for the benefit. The +4 to saves vs. evil spells won't come into play often enough.

    Animated (SRD) :- *** (Shield Only) Now you don't have to give up a shield to fight two handed. Shame they had to nerf it for spellcasters though. Casters should consider a mithril buckler with this enchantment.

    Arrow Deflection (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) Not an enhancement that will last you the rest of your career, and kinda expensive to boot. It would be great for high reflex save characters. If they could use a shield.

    Axeblock (MIC, p7) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!

    Beastskin (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only) Too character specific to be a must have, but very good for Druids.

    Blurring, Greater (MIC, p9) :- **** (Armor Only) See Blurring, but consider this one carefully. It is likely that the regular old blurring will be more than what you need.

    Ectoplasmic Wall (MIC, p11) :- **** (Shield Only) Pretty sweet for battlefield control, and it can get you out of a bad combat situation quickly.

    Empyrcal (BoED, p112) :- ** This is not so good. It would be better if it didn't add the most common bonus type. AND consider that you will have to go to +5 on enhancement bonuses to get max benefit, costing you other special abilities.

    Energy Immunity (MIC, p11) :- **** Its the flexability here that makes this one so nice; and the MIC made it cheaper. Go figure.

    Hammerblock (MIC, p12) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!

    Illithidwrought (Ud, p70) :- *** Another one that is better for DMs, but a +1 insight bonus to AC is still nothing to sneeze at.

    Power resistance (13) (SRD) :- * See Spell Resistance.

    Retaliation (MIC, p14) :- *** (Armor Only) Yeah - I'm not too fond of the "you get hurt when I get hurt" abilities. Still - this is one of the better ones.

    Sacred (BoED, p112) :- *** It doesn't take much of a bonus (or minus) to make turning into a great tool. Plus your turn check may fuel other special abilities. Thus while this has limited appeal, for those who need it this is a must have.

    Soulbound, Greater (MIC, p14) :- **** See Soulbound

    Spearblock (MIC, p14) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!

    Spell resistance (13) (SRD) :- * By the time you can afford this +2 ability you will likely be facing 11th level casters - or higher (Remember the BBEG typically has a higher Level than you) so for a couple of levels you may have a 1 in 20 chance of stopping a spell. After that it is useless. YUCK!


    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
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    5 Star Special Abilities
    Empty

    Spoiler: 4 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    4 Star Special Abilities
    Axeblock (MIC, p7) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!

    Blurring, Greater (MIC, p9) :- **** (Armor Only) See Blurring, but consider this one carefully. It is likely that the regular old blurring will be more than what you need.

    Ectoplasmic Wall (MIC, p11) :- **** (Shield Only) Pretty sweet for battlefield control, and it can get you out of a bad combat situation quickly.

    Energy Immunity (MIC, p11) :- **** Its the flexability here that makes this one so nice; and the MIC made it cheaper. Go figure.

    Hammerblock (MIC, p12) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!

    Soulbound, Greater (MIC, p14) :- **** See Soulbound

    Spearblock (MIC, p14) :- **** DR is a good thing, and this is cheap!


    Spoiler: 3 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    3 Star Special Abilities

    Angelic (BoED, p112) :- *** The sacred bonus to AC is nice, but expensive for the benefit. The +4 to saves vs. evil spells won't come into play often enough.

    Animated (SRD) :- *** (Shield Only) Now you don't have to give up a shield to fight two handed. Shame they had to nerf it for spellcasters though. Casters should consider a mithril buckler with this enchantment.

    Beastskin (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only) Too character specific to be a must have, but very good for Druids.

    Illithidwrought (Ud, p70) :- *** Another one that is better for DMs, but a +1 insight bonus to AC is still nothing to sneeze at.

    Retaliation (MIC, p14) :- *** (Armor Only) Yeah - I'm not too fond of the "you get hurt when I get hurt" abilities. Still - this is one of the better ones.

    Sacred (BoED, p112) :- *** It doesn't take much of a bonus (or minus) to make turning into a great tool. Plus your turn check may fuel other special abilities. Thus while this has limited appeal, for those who need it this is a must have.


    Spoiler: 2 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    2 Star Special Abilities
    Arrow Deflection (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) Not an enhancement that will last you the rest of your career, and kinda expensive to boot. It would be great for high reflex save characters. If they could use a shield.

    Empyrcal (BoED, p112) :- ** This is not so good. It would be better if it didn't add the most common bonus type. AND consider that you will have to go to +5 on enhancement bonuses to get max benefit, costing you other special abilities.


    Spoiler: 1 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    1 Star Special Abilities

    Power resistance (13) (SRD) :- * See Spell Resistance.

    Spell resistance (13) (SRD) :- * By the time you can afford this +2 ability you will likely be facing 11th level casters - or higher (Remember the BBEG typically has a higher Level than you) so for a couple of levels you may have a 1 in 20 chance of stopping a spell. After that it is useless. YUCK!


    Last edited by Seruvius; 2015-09-28 at 08:07 AM.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    +3 Special Abilities

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
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    Exalted (BoED, p112) :- *** The constant 'prot from evil' is nice, but when was the last time you got attacked by an unholy weapon, let alone had vile damage thrown at you. This makes a little too expensive for the benefit.

    Fortification, Moderate (SRD) :- ***** See other fortification abilities for details

    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** (Synergy) I like these as they help out your buddies also.

    Ghost Touch (SRD) :- ** For as often as this will come up in a game, +3 is really WAY too much for what you get. Look at the Ghost Touch Armor spell in the Spell Compendium. Put it on a scroll, then pocket the difference (less my 10% consulting fee of course.)

    Gleaming (SRD) :- **** A constant 20% miss chance is worth a +3 bonus.

    Halfweight (Ud, p70) :- *** Expensive, but you are buying a feat here. Great for sneaky types, or a gish build.

    Invulnerability (SRD) :- ** 5 point DR vs. magic. That is hardly invunerable. Too expensive for what you get, when you can afford your +3 armor enhancement, 5 points will be a drop in the bucket - assuming they can't just bypass the DR naturally.

    Power resistance (15) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Roaring (MIC, p14) :- *** (Armor Only) Missle Reflection is OK. Won't be useful in the later levels, but a +4 competence bonus to initiative is worth it.

    Spell resistance (15) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Vanishing (MIC, p15) :- **** Completely undetectable twice per day is great for any character, but especially nice for you sneaky folks.

    Wild (SRD) :- **** Holy cow! If you can wild shape this one is a must have. For added munchkin-y goodness ask your DM if special abilities of the armor are available in wild -shape form as well. Don't tell her I told you to ask though.



    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
    Show


    5 Star Special Abilities


    Fortification, Moderate (SRD) :- ***** See other fortification abilities for details


    4 Star Special Abilities


    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** (Synergy) I like these as they help out your buddies also.

    Gleaming (SRD) :- **** A constant 20% miss chance is worth a +3 bonus.

    Vanishing (MIC, p15) :- **** Completely undetectable twice per day is great for any character, but especially nice for you sneaky folks.

    Wild (SRD) :- **** Holy cow! If you can wild shape this one is a must have. For added munchkin-y goodness ask your DM if special abilities of the armor are available in wild -shape form as well. Don't tell her I told you to ask though.


    3 Star Special Abilities


    Exalted (BoED, p112) :- *** The constant 'prot from evil' is nice, but when was the last time you got attacked by an unholy weapon, let alone had vile damage thrown at you. This makes a little too expensive for the benefit.

    Halfweight (Ud, p70) :- *** Expensive, but you are buying a feat here. Great for sneaky types, or a gish build.

    Roaring (MIC, p14) :- *** (Armor Only) Missle Reflection is OK. Won't be useful in the later levels, but a +4 competence bonus to initiative is worth it.


    2 Star Special Abilities


    Ghost Touch (SRD) :- ** For as often as this will come up in a game, +3 is really WAY too much for what you get. Look at the Ghost Touch Armor spell in the Spell Compendium. Put it on a scroll, then pocket the difference (less my 10% consulting fee of course.)

    Invulnerability (SRD) :- ** 5 point DR vs. magic. That is hardly invunerable. Too expensive for what you get, when you can afford your +3 armor enhancement, 5 points will be a drop in the bucket - assuming they can't just bypass the DR naturally.


    1 Star Special Abilities


    Power resistance (15) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Spell resistance (15) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.
    Last edited by Seruvius; 2015-09-28 at 08:08 AM.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    +4 Special Abilities

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
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    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** (Synergy) This is one of those abilities that aid your compaitriots, so it gets plusses in my book.

    Power resistance (17) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Radiant (MIC, p13) :- **** Expensive, but 10 points off WHATEVER ENERGY you are hit with is a good ability.

    Soulfire (BoED, p112) :- *** This is a nice one, but when compared to the Death Ward special ability, it is very expensive. The question is - how many death effects are you likely to face in a given day. And do ya feel lucky?

    Spell resistance (17) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.


    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
    Show

    5 Star Special Abilities

    Radiant (MIC, p13) :- **** Expensive, but 10 points off WHATEVER ENERGY you are hit with is a good ability.


    4 Star Special Abilities


    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** (Synergy) This is one of those abilities that aid your compaitriots, so it gets plusses in my book.


    3 Star Special Abilities


    Soulfire (BoED, p112) :- *** This is a nice one, but when compared to the Death Ward special ability, it is very expensive. The question is - how many death effects are you likely to face in a given day. And do ya feel lucky?


    2 Star Special Abilities


    None Yet


    1 Star Special Abilities


    Power resistance (17) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Spell resistance (17) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    +5 Special Abilities

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
    Show

    Fortification, Heavy (SRD) :- ***** See other fortification abilities for details

    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** Pretty good ability, but ironically it may be better to do this with an ability that is less than 100% immune to crits.

    Freedom (MIC, p11) :- **** (Armor Only) This one will cost you, but you get a continuous freedom of movement. That means NO GRAPPLES; which nerfs the worst special attack of many monsters.

    Power resistance (19) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Proof against Transmutation (CA, p142) :- *** Good for fighters, but essential for mages. Put this on your bracers!

    Reflecting (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) Spell Turing is one of those things that I just don't get. Unless your campaign is to infiltrate Thay (or the like), you just don't run into that many spellcasters to make it worth a +5 bonus.

    Spell resistance (19) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Spell Trapping (DMGII, p252) :- * Nice try, but it is still paired with a very lame power. Once you get to aford this you can almost guarentee that the enemy will not fail that 21+ caster level check.

    Time buttress (MIC, p15) :- **** (Shield Only) Sweet power, but the 1round / day limitation stops it from being a 5. This is great for rogues or anyone else with sneak attack but no reach.


    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
    Show


    5 Star Special Abilities


    Fortification, Heavy (SRD) :- ***** See other fortification abilities for details


    4 Star Special Abilities


    Fortifying Defense (DMGII, p251) :- **** Pretty good ability, but ironically it may be better to do this with an ability that is less than 100% immune to crits.

    Freedom (MIC, p11) :- **** (Armor Only) This one will cost you, but you get a continuous freedom of movement. That means NO GRAPPLES; which nerfs the worst special attack of many monsters.

    Time buttress (MIC, p15) :- **** (Shield Only) Sweet power, but the 1round / day limitation stops it from being a 5. This is great for rogues or anyone else with sneak attack but no reach.


    3 Star Special Abilities

    Proof against Transmutation (CA, p142) :- *** Good for fighters, but essential for mages. Put this on your bracers!


    2 Star Special Abilities


    Reflecting (SRD) :- ** (Shield Only) Spell Turing is one of those things that I just don't get. Unless your campaign is to infiltrate Thay (or the like), you just don't run into that many spellcasters to make it worth a +5 bonus.


    1 Star Special Abilities


    Power resistance (19) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Spell resistance (19) (SRD) :- * See the +2 spell resistance special abilities. This, like the others, is a waste.

    Spell Trapping (DMGII, p252) :- * Nice try, but it is still paired with a very lame power. Once you get to aford this you can almost guarentee that the enemy will not fail that 21+ caster level check.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Special Abilities with Flat Costs

    Note: These special abilities are worth more than the one's listed above. Why? Well think of them as slotless items. Unless you go epic, you get a maximum of 9 slots on a weapon. The following abilities allow you to improve your weapon without using those slots - remember that you are still limited by the max of 200,000gp for pre-epic items. Except for the gold in your pocket that is.

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
    Show


    Acid resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 All the resistance special abilities keep pace with the damage output very well. It will never stop all the energy damage, but it will get about 1/2 of it on average. You get less bang for your buck at the higher levels, but the lower levels do not scale well at all. Ask your DM if you can improve the resistance by paying the difference. Works very well with Improved Evasion.

    Acid resistance, Greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Acid resistance, Improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Agility (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only) +500 It’s a common bonus type, but its psedo-slotless; its pretty cheap, but its only one save, and its not cheap enough to make it less than 1/3 the price of a slotless resistance bonus item.

    Agility, Greater (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only, Synergy) +8,000 See Agility.

    Agility, Improved (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only, Synergy) +4,000 See Agility.

    Anti-Impact (CW, p133) :- ** +2,000 It just doesn't come into play that often.

    Aporter (MIC, p6) :- ***** +20,000 Expensive for only twice per day, but it is a great way to get out of a grapple (or to port out of a monster's belly, and it cheaper than freedom. The MIC made this one much better by more then halving the price!

    Averter (MIC, p7) :- ** (Shield Only) +13,000 The will save is kinda low for the cost. Once you can buy it very few creatures will be affected buy it, and you only get three shots at it.

    Balance (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only) +3,750 How often do you make balance checks. If it is once or twice an gaming session then these might be woth the price. Still Balance is no Diplomacy.

    Balance, Greater (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only, Synergy) +18,750 See Balance

    Balance, Improved (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only, Synergy) +11,250 See Balance

    Bane Blind (MIC, p7) :- ***** (Armor Only) +15,000 Costly, but WOW! Total concealment - this nerfs sent, tremorsense, all of it. Well worth it for the sneaky types.

    Blinking (MIC, p9) :- ** (Armor Only) +15,000 Not as good as you might initially think. Remember that you too have a 50% miss chance while blinking.

    Blueshine (MIC, p9) :- ** (Metal Armor Only) +1,500 Practially useless in game terms. Get this only if you want your warrior to be shiney.

    Buoyant (MIC, p9) :- ** (Armor Only) +4,000 Campaign Specific: even in a seaborne campaign this is still pretty weak

    Burning (Unknown) :- * +90,000 I am not a fan of fire damage, and this is far too costly for a 10 pt cold resistance.

    Called (MIC, p9) :- **** +2,000 I like it, it has crunch, it has flavor, and the price is right. Now there is no need for Glammered armor.

    Cold resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Cold resistance, Greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Cold resistance, Improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Comfort (SS, p52) :- ** (Armor Only) +5,000 Campaign specific: if you are off to the desert or the north then give this one a look, otherwise skip it.

    Commander (MIC, p9) :- ** +2,000 Not much bang for your buck, and it is only really good until your Cleric gets 3rd level spells.

    Cool (Sst, p130) :- ** (Armor Only) +2,400 Campaign specific: if you are off to the desert then give this one a look, otherwise skip it.

    Daylight (MIC, p9) :- *** +3,000 Not too shabby for the cost. But don't rely on this for your primary light source.

    Deep (Sw, p128) :- * (Armor Only) +22,500 Used to be good, but it is trumped by Deepdweller now.

    Deepdweller (MIC, p10) :- **** (Armor Only) +12,000 I think this is supposed to replace Deep, with a new price, but there are some subtle differences so I submit both here for completeness. Anyway, never take Deep - only take Deepdweller.

    Dessication Resistance (Sst, p130) :- ** (Armor Only) +9,000 Campaign specific: Dessication damage is nasty and hard to resist, but this is way expensive compared to other resistances.

    Easy Travel (MIC, p10) :- *** +1,500 Cheap, but very campaign specific - and really not of too much good unless every armored person in the party has a set.

    Ectoplasmic (SRD) :- ** (Armor Only) +10,800 Shades of Venkman aside, this is more for getting through a tight spot, which should be more than covered by your spellcasters. In combat, it gives you a commonly defeated DR, and lowers your AC, so meh.

    Electricity resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Electricity resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Electricity resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Etherealness (SRD) :- * +49,000 This would be great, if only it weren't so expensive. By the time you can afford this your spellcasters should be able to get the entire party ethereal when needed. As for fighting ethereal creatures, a ghost touch crystal or the spell Ghost touch weapon will cover what you need.

    Fearsome (MIC, p11) :- **** +15,000 The DC save is low, but you still get an effect that is pretty good even if they make their save.

    Fire resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Fire resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Fire resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Floating (SRD) :- **** +4,000 So cheap. If you are around water this beats any other water type abilities hands down, and is a no brainer. (Only reason it didn't get 5 was because it is campaign specific.) Also compare to bouyant before you buy.

    Gilled (MIC, p11) :- ** (Armor Only) +6,000 Mainly for DMs, but if your are playing an aquatic type, this is a must have.

    Glamered (SRD) :- ** +2,700 Dress up your fighter for parties without him getting all uncomfortable and wiggly outside of his armor. Now worth less due to called special ability.

    Healing (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +8,000 Auto heal when dying is nice. Better at lower levels, before you run into the 'save or die' spells, but still very useful. And now MUCH cheaper.

    Healing, Greater (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +24,000 Auto heal when dying is nice. This property was added to make the healing scalable, which I like, and is smart design wiork..

    Health (SS, p53) :- * +11,250 Unless you are going to be fighting all Lycanthropes or the like, this is not so good.

    Heartening (MIC, p12) :- ** (Shield Only) +2,000 5 unstackable temprary hit points twice per day. For how much? No thank you.

    Heraldic Crest, Courage (HoB, p130) :- ***** +4,000 Get this for the increased initative. That makes all the difference at higher levels.

    Heraldic Crest, Ferocity (HoB, p130) :- ** +6,000 OK, but limited to mainly Barbarians.

    Heraldic Crest, Glory (HoB, p130) :- *** +11,000 The damage incrase is OK, but herosim makes this ability.

    Heraldic Crest, Honour (HoB, p130) :- * +12,000 Ugh - very costly for some limited circumstantial benefits and a 1/day SLA.

    Heraldic Crest, Insight (HoB, p130) :- ** +5,000 Too expensive for the bonus to spot that you get.

    Heraldic Crest, Valiant Defense (HoB, p130) :- *** +6,000 Not too shabby for the price.

    Landing (MIC, p12) :- *** (Armor Only) +4,000 Eh… Compare to a ring of feather falling, this doesn't look so hot, but it is slotless…

    Linked (MIC, p12) :- *** +6,000 Nice ability, but you gotta pay for it for every person in your party who will use it, so the costs can get up there.

    Magic Eating (MIC, p12) :- ** (Armor Only) +10,000 You know my opinions on spell resistance abilities. Same goes here; aklthough the new price makes it a bit more attractive

    Manifester (MIC, p12) :- *** (Shield Only) +6,000 For psionic users only. This is the psionic equivalent of Mord's lubrication, so its nice for them.

    Masking (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +40,000 If you need to not be seen, then this is a must have. The caster check to bypass the effect is reasonably high.

    Menacing (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) +30,000 The DC is low (unless you give it to a Paladin or Sorcerer), but it scales with the PC, and there is an effect even if you make the save! The new price makes this even better.

    Mindarmor (MIC, p13) :- **** +3,000 Good for bumping up your will save, with an untyped get bonus type. The new price makes it a must have for your tank, 'Sir Gullible'

    Mirror Image (SS, p53) :- ***** +20,000 Are you kidding me? 3 times per day. What fighter wouldn't want this? It gives the fighter an 86% (or more) miss chance! Combine with blurring for maximum fun.

    Phasing (SRD) :- *** +66,520 Another 'wall nerfing' ability, that is average for the price.

    Proof against Enchantments (SS, p53) :- **** +50,000 Effectively a mind blank spell with 3 uses. Very nice enchantment for easily swayed fighter types.

    Quickness (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) +5,000 This one is for all the dwarves in the house. Add it to a monk's bracers for cheesy goodness.

    Sailing (SS, p53) :- *** (Armor Only) +20,000 Campaing specific, but if you are going to be on a ship, this is a VERY nice enchanment.

    Scorpion Carapace (Sst, p130) :- *** (Armor Only) +32,000 Campaign specific: Two pretty good feats, but really only worth in in sandy areas (ie the desert)

    Seeing (SRD) :- *** +6,000 Not too bad, but a little too small a bonus / benefit to really balance out the price.

    Shadow (SRD) :- *** +3,750 Obviously designed for the sneaky types. The price is right, making this a must have for the stealthy ones. Doesn't scale up so well on a cost / benefit, so it is better at lower levels. For the cost of the most expensive special ability you could dimension door past the guards.

    Shadow, greater (SRD) :- ** +33,750 See Shadow

    Shadow, improved (SRD) :- *** +15,000 See Shadow

    Silent moves (SRD) :- *** +3,750 See Shadow

    Silent moves, greater (SRD) :- ** +33,750 See Shadow

    Silent moves, improved (SRD) :- *** +15,000 See Shadow

    Slick (SRD) :- ** +3,750 Erm… OK, I guess. But it won't be useful for very long at all unless you are putting skill points into escape artist. And then when your casters can cast freedom of movement….

    Slick, greater (SRD) :- * +33,750 See Slick

    Slick, improved (SRD) :- ** +15,000 See Slick

    Slippery Aura (DMGII, p252) :- **** +45,000 Double saves are cool and you get to share this with your friends!

    Slippery Mind (DMGII, p252) :- *** +45,000 You get a double save, but it is limited in scope, so the cost drives down this rating.

    Sonic resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Sonic resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Sonic resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Speed (MIC, p14) :- *** +6,000 Haste is great, but the duration is VERY short.

    Stamina (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +500 See Agility.

    Stamina, Greater (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +8,000 See Agility.

    Stamina, Improved (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +4,000 See Agility.

    Stonemeld (Unknown) :- *** +80,000 Costly, but the DR 5/- is always welcome, plus you can meld with stone. How cool is that?

    Undead controlling (SRD) :- *** +49,000 Campaign Specific: Good in any campaign, but too expensive to just slap it on a suit of armor for 'just in case'

    Underwater Action (Unknown) :- * +86,000 Way too costly for the equivalent of freedom of movement.

    Vermin Controlling (SS, p54) :- ** +49,000 Campaign specific: How many games will you be in where it is worth more than a +6 enhancement bonus to you main stat to control rats?

    Whirlwind (Unknown) :- *** +90,000 Nice, but kinda expensive for the ability to fly. The whirlwind ability doesn't add that much.

    Woodwalk (MIC, p15) :- *** +9,000 If you are going to be outdoors this is a killer special ability.

    Xorn Movement (Ud, p70) :- ***** +36,000 Expensive, but you get burrowing for 9 mins / day - much more that you are likely to need it.


    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
    Show


    Spoiler: 5 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    5 Star Special Abilities


    Aporter (MIC, p6) :- ***** +20,000 Expensive for only twice per day, but it is a great way to get out of a grapple (or to port out of a monster's belly, and it cheaper than freedom. The MIC made this one much better by more then halving the price!

    Bane Blind (MIC, p7) :- ***** (Armor Only) +15,000 Costly, but WOW! Total concealment - this nerfs sent, tremorsense, all of it. Well worth it for the sneaky types.

    Heraldic Crest, Courage (HoB, p130) :- ***** +4,000 Get this for the increased initative. That makes all the difference at higher levels.

    Mirror Image (SS, p53) :- ***** +20,000 Are you kidding me? 3 times per day. What fighter wouldn't want this? It gives the fighter an 86% (or more) miss chance! Combine with blurring for maximum fun.

    Xorn Movement (Ud, p70) :- ***** +36,000 Expensive, but you get burrowing for 9 mins / day - much more that you are likely to need it.


    Spoiler: 4 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    4 Star Special Abilities


    Called (MIC, p9) :- **** +2,000 I like it, it has crunch, it has flavor, and the price is right. Now there is no need for Glammered armor.

    Deepdweller (MIC, p10) :- **** (Armor Only) +12,000 I think this is supposed to replace Deep, with a new price, but there are some subtle differences so I submit both here for completeness. Anyway, never take Deep - only take Deepdweller.

    Fearsome (MIC, p11) :- **** +15,000 The DC save is low, but you still get an effect that is pretty good even if they make their save.

    Floating (SRD) :- **** +4,000 So cheap. If you are around water this beats any other water type abilities hands down, and is a no brainer. (Only reason it didn't get 5 was because it is campaign specific.) Also compare to bouyant before you buy.

    Healing (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +8,000 Auto heal when dying is nice. Better at lower levels, before you run into the 'save or die' spells, but still very useful. And now MUCH cheaper.

    Healing, Greater (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +24,000 Auto heal when dying is nice. This property was added to make the healing scalable, which I like, and is smart design wiork..

    Masking (MIC, p12) :- **** (Armor Only) +40,000 If you need to not be seen, then this is a must have. The caster check to bypass the effect is reasonably high.

    Mindarmor (MIC, p13) :- **** +3,000 Good for bumping up your will save, with an untyped get bonus type. The new price makes it a must have for your tank, 'Sir Gullible'

    Proof against Enchantments (SS, p53) :- **** +50,000 Effectively a mind blank spell with 3 uses. Very nice enchantment for easily swayed fighter types.

    Slippery Aura (DMGII, p252) :- **** +45,000 Double saves are cool and you get to share this with your friends!


    Spoiler: 3 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    3 Star Special Abilities


    Acid resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 All the resistance special abilities keep pace with the damage output very well. It will never stop all the energy damage, but it will get about 1/2 of it on average. You get less bang for your buck at the higher levels, but the lower levels do not scale well at all. Ask your DM if you can improve the resistance by paying the difference. Works very well with Improved Evasion.

    Acid resistance, Greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Acid resistance, Improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Balance (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only) +3,750 How often do you make balance checks. If it is once or twice an gaming session then these might be woth the price. Still Balance is no Diplomacy.

    Balance, Greater (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only, Synergy) +18,750 See Balance

    Balance, Improved (MIC, p7) :- *** (Armor Only, Synergy) +11,250 See Balance

    Cold resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Cold resistance, Greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Cold resistance, Improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Daylight (MIC, p9) :- *** +3,000 Not too shabby for the cost. But don't rely on this for your primary light source.

    Easy Travel (MIC, p10) :- *** +1,500 Cheap, but very campaign specific - and really not of too much good unless every armored person in the party has a set.

    Electricity resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Electricity resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Electricity resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Fire resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Fire resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Fire resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Heraldic Crest, Glory (HoB, p130) :- *** +11,000 The damage incrase is OK, but herosim makes this ability.

    Heraldic Crest, Valiant Defense (HoB, p130) :- *** +6,000 Not too shabby for the price.

    Landing (MIC, p12) :- *** (Armor Only) +4,000 Eh… Compare to a ring of feather falling, this doesn't look so hot, but it is slotless…

    Linked (MIC, p12) :- *** +6,000 Nice ability, but you gotta pay for it for every person in your party who will use it, so the costs can get up there.

    Manifester (MIC, p12) :- *** (Shield Only) +6,000 For psionic users only. This is the psionic equivalent of Mord's lubrication, so its nice for them.

    Menacing (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) +30,000 The DC is low (unless you give it to a Paladin or Sorcerer), but it scales with the PC, and there is an effect even if you make the save! The new price makes this even better.

    Phasing (SRD) :- *** +66,520 Another 'wall nerfing' ability, that is average for the price.

    Quickness (MIC, p13) :- *** (Armor Only) +5,000 This one is for all the dwarves in the house. Add it to a monk's bracers for cheesy goodness.

    Sailing (SS, p53) :- *** (Armor Only) +20,000 Campaing specific, but if you are going to be on a ship, this is a VERY nice enchanment.

    Scorpion Carapace (Sst, p130) :- *** (Armor Only) +32,000 Campaign specific: Two pretty good feats, but really only worth in in sandy areas (ie the desert)

    Seeing (SRD) :- *** +6,000 Not too bad, but a little too small a bonus / benefit to really balance out the price.

    Shadow (SRD) :- *** +3,750 Obviously designed for the sneaky types. The price is right, making this a must have for the stealthy ones. Doesn't scale up so well on a cost / benefit, so it is better at lower levels. For the cost of the most expensive special ability you could dimension door past the guards.

    Shadow, improved (SRD) :- *** +15,000 See Shadow

    Silent moves (SRD) :- *** +3,750 See Shadow

    Silent moves, improved (SRD) :- *** +15,000 See Shadow

    Slippery Mind (DMGII, p252) :- *** +45,000 You get a double save, but it is limited in scope, so the cost drives down this rating.

    Sonic resistance (SRD) :- *** +18,000 See Acid Resistance

    Sonic resistance, greater (SRD) :- *** +66,000 See Acid Resistance

    Sonic resistance, improved (SRD) :- *** +42,000 See Acid Resistance

    Speed (MIC, p14) :- *** +6,000 Haste is great, but the duration is VERY short.

    Stonemeld (Unknown) :- *** +80,000 Costly, but the DR 5/- is always welcome, plus you can meld with stone. How cool is that?

    Undead controlling (SRD) :- *** +49,000 Campaign Specific: Good in any campaign, but too expensive to just slap it on a suit of armor for 'just in case'

    Whirlwind (Unknown) :- *** +90,000 Nice, but kinda expensive for the ability to fly. The whirlwind ability doesn't add that much.

    Woodwalk (MIC, p15) :- *** +9,000 If you are going to be outdoors this is a killer special ability.


    Spoiler: 2 Star Special Abilities
    Show

    2 Star Special Abilities


    Agility (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only) +500 It’s a common bonus type, but its psedo-slotless; its pretty cheap, but its only one save, and its not cheap enough to make it less than 1/3 the price of a slotless resistance bonus item.

    Agility, Greater (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only, Synergy) +8,000 See Agility.

    Agility, Improved (MIC, p6) :- ** (Armor Only, Synergy) +4,000 See Agility.

    Anti-Impact (CW, p133) :- ** +2,000 It just doesn't come into play that often.

    Averter (MIC, p7) :- ** (Shield Only) +13,000 The will save is kinda low for the cost. Once you can buy it very few creatures will be affected buy it, and you only get three shots at it.

    Blinking (MIC, p9) :- ** (Armor Only) +15,000 Not as good as you might initially think. Remember that you too have a 50% miss chance while blinking.

    Blueshine (MIC, p9) :- ** (Metal Armor Only) +1,500 Practially useless in game terms. Get this only if you want your warrior to be shiney.

    Buoyant (MIC, p9) :- ** (Armor Only) +4,000 Campaign Specific: even in a seaborne campaign this is still pretty weak

    Comfort (SS, p52) :- ** (Armor Only) +5,000 Campaign specific: if you are off to the desert or the north then give this one a look, otherwise skip it.

    Commander (MIC, p9) :- ** +2,000 Not much bang for your buck, and it is only really good until your Cleric gets 3rd level spells.

    Cool (Sst, p130) :- ** (Armor Only) +2,400 Campaign specific: if you are off to the desert then give this one a look, otherwise skip it.

    Dessication Resistance (Sst, p130) :- ** (Armor Only) +9,000 Campaign specific: Dessication damage is nasty and hard to resist, but this is way expensive compared to other resistances.

    Ectoplasmic (SRD) :- ** (Armor Only) +10,800 Shades of Venkman aside, this is more for getting through a tight spot, which should be more than covered by your spellcasters. In combat, it gives you a commonly defeated DR, and lowers your AC, so meh.

    Gilled (MIC, p11) :- ** (Armor Only) +6,000 Mainly for DMs, but if your are playing an aquatic type, this is a must have.

    Glamered (SRD) :- ** +2,700 Dress up your fighter for parties without him getting all uncomfortable and wiggly outside of his armor. Now worth less due to called special ability.

    Heartening (MIC, p12) :- ** (Shield Only) +2,000 5 unstackable temprary hit points twice per day. For how much? No thank you.

    Heraldic Crest, Ferocity (HoB, p130) :- ** +6,000 OK, but limited to mainly Barbarians.

    Heraldic Crest, Insight (HoB, p130) :- ** +5,000 Too expensive for the bonus to spot that you get.

    Magic Eating (MIC, p12) :- ** (Armor Only) +10,000 You know my opinions on spell resistance abilities. Same goes here; aklthough the new price makes it a bit more attractive

    Shadow, greater (SRD) :- ** +33,750 See Shadow

    Silent moves, greater (SRD) :- ** +33,750 See Shadow

    Slick (SRD) :- ** +3,750 Erm… OK, I guess. But it won't be useful for very long at all unless you are putting skill points into escape artist. And then when your casters can cast freedom of movement….

    Slick, improved (SRD) :- ** +15,000 See Slick

    Stamina (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +500 See Agility.

    Stamina, Greater (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +8,000 See Agility.

    Stamina, Improved (MIC, p15) :- ** (Armor Only) +4,000 See Agility.

    Vermin Controlling (SS, p54) :- ** +49,000 Campaign specific: How many games will you be in where it is worth more than a +6 enhancement bonus to you main stat to control rats?



    Spoiler: 1 Star Special Abilities
    Show


    1 Star Special Abilities


    Burning (Unknown) :- * +90,000 I am not a fan of fire damage, and this is far too costly for a 10 pt cold resistance.

    Deep (Sw, p128) :- * (Armor Only) +22,500 Used to be good, but it is trumped by Deepdweller now.

    Etherealness (SRD) :- * +49,000 This would be great, if only it weren't so expensive. By the time you can afford this your spellcasters should be able to get the entire party ethereal when needed. As for fighting ethereal creatures, a ghost touch crystal or the spell Ghost touch weapon will cover what you need.

    Health (SS, p53) :- * +11,250 Unless you are going to be fighting all Lycanthropes or the like, this is not so good.

    Heraldic Crest, Honour (HoB, p130) :- * +12,000 Ugh - very costly for some limited circumstantial benefits and a 1/day SLA.

    Slick, greater (SRD) :- * +33,750 See Slick

    Underwater Action (Unknown) :- * +86,000 Way too costly for the equivalent of freedom of movement.


    Last edited by Seruvius; 2015-09-28 at 08:13 AM.
    GENERATION 17: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.


    Shadows over Thornfall. A 5e Campaign Journal (sadly never completed) http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...over-Thornfall

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
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    Norwich
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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Augment Crystals

    Augment crystals turn a great deal of the special abilities usefulness on their heads. Once an ability that was VERY useful but only in a few situations meant that you never pick it. You would instead just suck it up that one time out of 50 that you could use it. Now with Augment Crystals it is perfectly viable, even desirable, to get that ghosttouch ability, since it will not be using up precious space on your main weapon.

    Note too, that augment crystals do not add to the gp value of the weapon or armor. They are separate entities. So augment crystals also allow you to break that epic level cap on total gp value of an item; albeit through a back door, but still.

    You might want to ask your GM ahead of time how they will consider Greater Magic Weapon / Magic Vestment and Augment Crystals will interact. It may be that you can use the greater augment crystals on a spell boosted enhancement bonus. It may not be OK. I can see where a GM might rule either way.

    Spoiler: Listed Alphabetically
    Show



    Clasp of Energy Protection, Greater (MIC, p24) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Clasp of Energy Protection, Least (MIC, p24) :- **** +500 Standard energy protection, but now it doesn't cost you plusses, or burn you if you make a bad choice.

    Clasp of Energy Protection, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- **** +1,500 See Least version

    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Greater (MIC, p24) :- * +3,400 See Least version

    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Least (MIC, p24) :- * +300 This is one for the DM, mainly, unless sundering armor is common in your game. I think its dirty pool, but YMMV.

    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- * +1,400 See Least version

    Crystal of Adaptation, Greater (MIC, p24) :- *** +3,000 Still Campaign Specific, but this is a nicer benefit.

    Crystal of Adaptation, Least (MIC, p24) :- * +500 Campaign Specific and not so useful, but check out the lesser and greater ones

    Crystal of Adaptation, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- *** +1,500 Still Campaign Specific, but this is a nicer benefit.

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Greater (MIC, p25) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +250 Campaign Specific, but each one is really good for seagoing campaigns. And look at the price!

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- **** +1,000 See Least version - but looky SWIM SPEED!

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Greater (MIC, p25) :- **** +5,000 See Least version, but now you can deflect that ray.

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 Pretty good when you consider this includes ranged touch attacks.

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +2,500 See Least version

    Crystal of Bent Sight (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 This is what these crystals were designed for.

    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ** +5,000 OK now this is a decent bonus to grapple, but it is still VERY specific in its nature.

    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Least (MIC, p25) :- * +500 Whatever - I mean so you are SLIGHTLY more difficult to grapple.

    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- * +3,000 See Least Version

    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ***** +5,000 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.

    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +200 Very good protection for low fort save folks.

    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +1,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ***** +10,000 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 Very good protection for low will save folks.

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +4,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Screening, Greater (MIC, p26) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Screening, Least (MIC, p26) :- **** +400 Excellent - the ghost touch protection without taking up abiliteis on your armor

    Crystal of Screening, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- **** +1,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Stamina, Greater (MIC, p26) :- ***** +2,700 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.

    Crystal of Stamina, Least (MIC, p26) :- *** +300 Very good protection for low fort save folks.

    Crystal of Stamina, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- *** +900 See Least version

    Iron Ward Diamond, Greater (MIC, p26) :- ** +8,000 See Least version

    Iron Ward Diamond, Least (MIC, p26) :- ** +500 I like DR, but this is costly, and you need better and better armour as the benefits increase.

    Iron Ward Diamond, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- ** +2,000 See Least version

    Restful Crystal (MIC, p26) :- **** +500 Oh so cheap, and it will last you throughout your carrer.

    Rubicund Frenzy, Greater (MIC, p26) :- * +6,000 See Least version

    Rubicund Frenzy, Least (MIC, p26) :- * +500 Yuck. Morale bonuses to fear affects are so easy to come by via common spells.

    Rubicund Frenzy, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- * +2,000 See Least version


    Spoiler: Listed by Usefulness
    Show


    Spoiler: 5 Star Augment Crystals
    Show

    5 Star Augment Crystals


    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ***** +5,000 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ***** +10,000 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.

    Crystal of Stamina, Greater (MIC, p26) :- ***** +2,700 The automatic re-roll makes this one a killer crystal.




    Spoiler: 4 Star Augment Crystals
    Show

    4 Star Augment Crystals


    Clasp of Energy Protection, Greater (MIC, p24) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Clasp of Energy Protection, Least (MIC, p24) :- **** +500 Standard energy protection, but now it doesn't cost you plusses, or burn you if you make a bad choice.

    Clasp of Energy Protection, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- **** +1,500 See Least version

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Greater (MIC, p25) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- **** +1,000 See Least version - but looky SWIM SPEED!

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Greater (MIC, p25) :- **** +5,000 See Least version, but now you can deflect that ray.

    Crystal of Screening, Greater (MIC, p26) :- **** +3,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Screening, Least (MIC, p26) :- **** +400 Excellent - the ghost touch protection without taking up abiliteis on your armor

    Crystal of Screening, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- **** +1,000 See Least version

    Restful Crystal (MIC, p26) :- **** +500 Oh so cheap, and it will last you throughout your carrer.




    Spoiler: 3 Star Augment Crystals
    Show

    3 Star Augment Crystals


    Crystal of Adaptation, Greater (MIC, p24) :- *** +3,000 Still Campaign Specific, but this is a nicer benefit.

    Crystal of Adaptation, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- *** +1,500 Still Campaign Specific, but this is a nicer benefit.

    Crystal of Aquatic Action, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +250 Campaign Specific, but each one is really good for seagoing campaigns. And look at the price!

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 Pretty good when you consider this includes ranged touch attacks.

    Crystal of Arrow Deflection, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +2,500 See Least version

    Crystal of Bent Sight (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 This is what these crystals were designed for.

    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +200 Very good protection for low fort save folks.

    Crystal of Lifekeeping, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +1,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Least (MIC, p25) :- *** +500 Very good protection for low will save folks.

    Crystal of Mind Cloaking, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- *** +4,000 See Least version

    Crystal of Stamina, Least (MIC, p26) :- *** +300 Very good protection for low fort save folks.

    Crystal of Stamina, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- *** +900 See Least version




    Spoiler: 2 Star Augment Crystals
    Show

    2 Star Augment Crystals


    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Greater (MIC, p25) :- ** +5,000 OK now this is a decent bonus to grapple, but it is still VERY specific in its nature.

    Iron Ward Diamond, Greater (MIC, p26) :- ** +8,000 See Least version

    Iron Ward Diamond, Least (MIC, p26) :- ** +500 I like DR, but this is costly, and you need better and better armour as the benefits increase.

    Iron Ward Diamond, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- ** +2,000 See Least version




    Spoiler: 1 Star Augment Crystals
    Show

    1 Star Augment Crystals


    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Greater (MIC, p24) :- * +3,400 See Least version

    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Least (MIC, p24) :- * +300 This is one for the DM, mainly, unless sundering armor is common in your game. I think its dirty pool, but YMMV.

    Crystal of Adamant Armor, Lesser (MIC, p24) :- * +1,400 See Least version

    Crystal of Adaptation, Least (MIC, p24) :- * +500 Campaign Specific and not so useful, but check out the lesser and greater ones

    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Least (MIC, p25) :- * +500 Whatever - I mean so you are SLIGHTLY more difficult to grapple.

    Crystal of Glancing Blows, Lesser (MIC, p25) :- * +3,000 See Least Version

    Rubicund Frenzy, Greater (MIC, p26) :- * +6,000 See Least version

    Rubicund Frenzy, Least (MIC, p26) :- * +500 Yuck. Morale bonuses to fear affects are so easy to come by via common spells.

    Rubicund Frenzy, Lesser (MIC, p26) :- * +2,000 See Least version



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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    This and the weapon enhancement guide are some of my most-frequented guides. I even saved an html-format copy of the threads. Good save!!
    Last edited by Optimator; 2015-09-27 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Phone typos

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimator View Post
    This and the weapon enhancement guide are some of my most-frequented guides. I even saved an html-format copy of the threads. Good save!!
    Same for me, hence why I decided to save both of them and now they are both more or less in their final state here on GiantITP. yaaay.
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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimator View Post
    This and the weapon enhancement guide are some of my most-frequented guides. I even saved an html-format copy of the threads. Good save!!
    Hey - cool. So glad you like them. It took some work to pull them together, and all the community input was invaluable.

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    I disagree with some of these rankings. Here's my notes from a currently-unfinished Armor Handbook I've been working on intermittently:

    Armor Enhancements Part I (A through E)

    Absorbing
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 22, Ghostwalk p. 62)
    This property originally appeared in Defenders of the Faith and Ghostwalk as "Absorbing", but the designers apparently changed the name to "Buffering" when it was included in the Arms & Equipment Guide. This enhancement provides protection against energy drain and ability drain, but the number of levels/points it can absorb per day is limited to the armor/shield's enhancement bonus. To make matters worse, it's not cheap to begin with, so to get any decent number of uses/day, you'll have to pay for at least a +5 or +6 enhancement. Absorbing also has an additional feature that allows a Fort save against negative energy effects that normally don't allow a save, which appears to keep working even if you've absorbed the maximum levels/points per day. This may be useful if your DM likes to use a of vampire sorcerers spamming fell-drained enervations. However, while there are other enhancements or magic items that offer similar protection (see Death Ward below), the Soulfire property (+4 enhancement, Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112) trumps them all: complete and continuous immunity to all negative energy effects.

    Acidic
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 6)
    This enhancement originally appeared in the Arms & Equipment Guide as a +4, and then was thankfully knocked down to a much more reasonable +1. Acidic provides an unlimited supply of acid damage, which has a few practical applications: it discourages opponents from grappling you, adds extra damage if you want to grapple and maintain a hold/pin for a round, and outside of combat you can use it to burn through furniture, doors, walls, etc. But if you're looking for something that does damage every time you get hit with a melee attack, consider adding Hamatula Barbs (+2 enhancement, Planar Handbook p. 78).

    Acid Resistance
    Price: +18000 GP, +42000 (Improved), +66000 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    Unless your DM is running a campaign called "Revenge of the Acid-Born Acid Elementals From The Elemental Plane of Acid Who Hate Everything Not Made Out Of Acid", it's difficult to tell how often a particular energy resistance will be useful. Given that acid resistance 10 costs more than an armor/shield +4, it's way too expensive to be practical. You're better off spending that money on Clasps of Energy Protection (500/1500/3000 GP, MIC p. 24), Rings of Energy Resistance (12000/28000/44000 GP, DMG) or paying for protection from energy/resist energy spells/potions as they become needed.

    Agility
    Price: +500 GP, +4000 GP (Improved), +8000 (Greater)
    (MIC p. 6)
    This can help shore up a weak Ref save, but you'll have to weigh the trade-off between this and buying a Cloak of Resistance. The Cloak is more expensive and takes up an item slot, but you get a resistance bonus to all your saves.

    Amphibious
    Price: +21000 GP
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    Overpriced. Even the water-breathing version of Aquatic (+3 enhancement, A&EG p. 92) is generally cheaper. Or just buy a Necklace of Adaptation (9000 GP, DMG) instead.

    Anchoring
    Price: +1/+2 enhancement
    (MIC p. 6)
    Meh. There are a gazillion and a half ways to get a bonus to resist bull rush, trips, etc. Most of them are cheaper than a +1 or +2 enhancement.

    Angelic
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112)
    In general, you should never pay for an enhancement bonus that grants a worse AC bonus than the price of the enhancement, and Angelic is a good example of this. Instead of paying for Angelic armor +1, you could buy armor +3 for the same price, and that +2 enhancement bonus that would have gone into Angelic is added to your AC all the time against almost all creatures, instead of just against [evil] creatures. Besides, a 1st-level protection from evil spell offers a better AC bonus (+2 deflection) than Angelic. The +4 sacred bonus against [evil] spells sounds somewhat decent, but [evil] spells aren't common enough to be worth a +2 enhancement bonus, and there are way too many other ways to buff your saves.

    Animated
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Get it! Worth it! Animated shields are particularly useful at mid- to high-levels where every additional +1 bonus to AC becomes progressively more expensive. This enhancement is pretty much the last nail in the coffin of Sword-and-Board fighting, rendering that style completely obsolete, as the Two-Handed Power-Attack Wombats and the Two-Weapon-Fighting Whirling-Dervishes can now get all the advantages of a shield without ruining their combat style.

    Anti-Impact
    Price: +2000 GP
    (Complete Warrior p. 133)
    While a Ring of Feather Falling is almost the same price and negates all falling damage instead of just half, it doesn't protect against everything else Anti-Impact could cover. Unfortunately, while constriction and falling are explicitly mentioned in the description, these other conditions (falling objects, trample damage, rockslides, various crusher/smasher traps) are kind of left up to DM interpretation. Still, the +2000 GP doesn't increase the cost of your other enhancements, and it's cheap enough you can buy both Anti-Impact and a feather fall item, in which case you've got a backup if the feather fall gets lost/stolen/sundered/dispelled. So my recommendation on this one is a "Strong Buy".

    Antipathy
    Price: +4 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 22)
    This is way too situational to be worth blowing all that money on a +4 enhancement. Once per day, you can specify a specific creature type or alignment, and for 2 hours any creature with the matching type or alignment has to make a Will save DC 24 to get within 60' of you. However, it's an enchantment (compulsion) with the [mind-affecting] tag, so there are a great deal of creatures out there that are going to be immune to begin with. Against everything else that doesn't match that creature type or alignment, this +4 enhancement is useless.

    Aporter
    Price: +20000 GP
    (MIC p. 6)
    Considering the number of items offering a similar ability, this is too expensive for dimension door as a standard action only 2/day. Anklets of Translocation (1400 GP) can teleport up to 10' 2/day as a swift action, Boots of Swift Passage (5000 GP) can teleport up to 20' 5/day as a move action, Bolt Shirt (5000 GP) can teleport up to 60' 1/day as a move action, Dimension Stride Boots (2000 GP) can teleport up to 20' 5/day or 60' 1/day as a standard action, and Boots of Big Stepping (6000 GP) can teleport up to 60' 3/day as a standard action. Aporter's 800' range beats them all hands-down, but 800' is off the map for most D&D combats. You'll get a lot better utility out of the swift- and move-action teleports, and if you need a long-range emergency teleport, consider buying a Greater Glyph Seal (2000 GP) and paying a spellcaster for the spell.

    Aquatic
    Price: +2 enhancement, +3 enhancement with water breathing
    (Masters of the Wild p. 28, Arms & Equipment Guide p. 92)
    This enhancement (which for some reason wasn't updated in either Stormwrack or the MIC) negates the need to make Swim checks to move around underwater. This is a little different from the Buoyant enhancement (see below), which negates the Armor Check Penalty on Swim checks, but still requires you to make Swim checks every round unless you have a swim speed. If you already have a swim speed, then this enhancement is useless to you. If you want to get a swim speed, a Lesser Crystal of Aquatic Action (MIC p. 25) only costs 1000 GP. For the water breathing version, there are several cheaper alternatives: Cloak of the Manta Ray (7200 GP, DMG) polymorphs you into a manta ray with water breathing and a 60' swim speed (unlimited duration and uses/day), but appears to only work in saltwater; Bottle of Air (7250 GP, DMG) is about the same price but periodically requires using a standard action to get more air; and the Necklace of Adaptation (9000 GP, DMG) provides fresh air in any environment, including vacuum, and complete immunity to toxic gases/vapors/inhalations. Aquatic armor provides no protection from pressure damage in very deep water (DMG p. 304).

    Arrow Catching
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Originally appearing in the Arms & Equipment Guide and then incorporated into the 3.5 DMG, this is one of the worst enhancements in the game. Actually, it's a lot closer to a curse. Instead of a +1 AC bonus that applies to all attacks, you get +1 AC against ranged attacks, but all ranged attacks within 5' try to hit you instead of the intended target. You get to dodge *one* of those attacks with a Ref save DC 20, but to make things even worse any miss chance you might have due to concealment or spell effects is ignored. You can turn this ability on/off with a standard action, but then you're wasting an action that could have been used on something more productive. If you really want better protection from ranged attacks, a Lesser Crystal of Arrow Deflection costs 2500 GP (MIC p. 25) and provides a +5 untyped AC bonus against all ranged attacks.

    Arrow Deflection
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Once per round, deflect a ranged attack with a Ref save DC 20. While this provides the equivalent of the Deflect Arrows feat and is slightly more useful than Arrow Catching, it's way too overpriced for what it does. As I pointed out with Arrow Catching, a Lesser Crystal of Arrow Deflection costs 2500 GP (MIC p. 25) and provides a +5 untyped AC bonus against all ranged attacks (including boulders).

    Averter
    Price: +13000 GP
    (SRD/Expanded Psionic Handbook p. 162, MIC p. 7)
    While this may be somewhat useful for rear-echelon-squishies, it has two knocks against it: the Will save DC 14 is too low to be reliably useful, and it's mind-affecting, so a lot of creatures will be immune to it. At best, it only works for 9 rounds a day, and creatures with ranged attacks will still be able to attack outside of 30'. You're probably better off trying to bum a sanctuary or protection from whatnot spell from the party cleric.

    Axeblock
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Complete Warrior p. 133, MIC p. 7)
    Waste of money. Too easy to bypass, and you're probably a lot better off putting that +2 enhancement bonus towards your AC.

    Balance
    Price: +3750 GP, +15000 GP (Improved), +33750 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    If the bonus was anything other than competence, this might be worth it. As it is, you're paying too much for a skill bonus. DMG guidelines suggest (bonus)^2 x 100. While there aren't a lot of wondrous items out there with bonuses to Balance, it's also a skill where you very rarely ever see a DC higher than 10. It's much more important to have 5 ranks in Balance (to avoid being flat-footed while on a slippery/narrow surface) than it is to have a +5 bonus on your skill check. If you need help with Balance checks, try a Belt of Ultimate Athleticism (3600 GP, MIC p. 75), which allows you to "take 10" on Balance/Climb/Jump/Swim/Tumble, and 1/day "take 20".

    Bane Blind
    Price: +15000 GP
    (MIC p. 7)
    Only useful to rangers, and even for rangers, I wouldn't recommend spending 15000 GP on this. How often do rangers expect to find themselves in combat against *just* their favored enemies? You're better off spending that money on items that can make you invisible to *everybody*. For example, scrape up another +5000 GP and you can get a Ring of Invisibility with unlimited uses. For 11000 GP, Boots of Tracklessness (MIC p. 79) can give you 7 rounds of greater invisibility 1/day. For only 2500 GP, a Vanisher Cloak (MIC p. 145) offers up to 12 rounds of invisibility.

    Bashing
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (DMG)
    One of the few nice things that Sword & Board gets, and well worth it. As Person_Man's Guide to Shields says, this is pretty much required if you're doing anything offensively with a shield. For the price of a +1 enhancement, you get to treat the shield as a +1 weapon, and the shield's damage goes up two size categories (small shield does 1d6 damage, large shield does 1d8). Add shield spikes and Greater Mighty Wallop for more size increases. A shield can be enchanted separately as a bludgeoning weapon (or piercing with shield spikes), but it doesn't look like the +1 provided by Bashing stacks with a weapon enhancement bonus.

    Beastskin
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Complete Adventurer p. 127, MIC p. 7)
    A cheaper version of the Wild property, but requires one of your daily wildshape uses to activate. For Druid levels 6-9, this may limit how long you can stay in wildshape, but after Druid level 10, all-day wildshape becomes fairly trivial. The other difference with Wild armor is Beastskin reshapes itself to your new form and stays visible, while Wild armor is absorbed into your new form. This may look a little odd on some animals (well... snakes, mostly), but also means that other physical enhancements/additions (netcutter spikes, camouflage pattern, forestwarden shroud, swapping augment crystals) are still available.

    Blinding
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Twice per day you have a chance to blind everyone within 20' for 1d4 rounds, but the Ref save DC 14 is too low to consider this useful. There are friendly fire issues (allies could get blinded), and there are much better ways to blind your enemies (I'm looking at you, Mr. Eggshell Grenade).

    Blinking
    Price: +15000 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    For a 1/day 3rd-level spell effect, this is too expensive. Even with a caster level of 10, the price should only be 3 x 10 x 1800 / 5 = 10800 GP. Another problem with blink is although your enemies have a 50% miss chance when they attack you, you have a 20% miss chance on all your attacks. You can avoid this with Blindfight + Mage Slayer + Pierce Magical Concealment, but that's a pretty hefty feat investment. You're better off saving up for a Ring of Blinking (27000 GP, unlimited uses) or picking up a cheaper magic item with an invisibility effect, such as Boots of Tracklessness (11000 GP, MIC p. 79, 7 rounds of greater invisibility per day) or Vanisher Cloak (2500 GP, MIC p. 145, up to 12 rounds of invisibility).

    Blueshine
    Price: +1500 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    A good cheap fixed-cost enhancement and you never need to worry about rust monsters or acid on your armor ever again. While most sneak-based builds will have better competence bonuses elsewhere (e.g., Cloak of Elvenkind), the +2 competence bonus on Hide checks is a nice little perk for those odd moments when a clanking-ironclad-behemoth-type decides that discretion is the better part of valor. However, if you don't care about the Hide bonus, the Durable property (+500 GP, Dungeonscape p. 39) offers even better protection (immune to rust, acid, and green slime damage) for only 1/3rd the cost.

    Blurring
    Price: +1 enhancement, or +3 enhancement (Greater)
    (MIC p. 9)
    If you have access to the Smoking property (+1 enhancement, Lords of Darkness p. 180) don't bother with blurring. With Smoking armor/netcutter spikes +1, you can get a continuous 20% miss chance for only 8350 GP, and anyone who enters your square has to make a Fort save DC 13 vs. nausea.

    Buffering
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 92)
    The text in A&EG is almost identical to Absorbing, which originally appeared in Defenders of the Faith and Ghostwalk (see above). To recap: too expensive for a limited number of uses. Get Soulfire (+4 enhancement, Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112) instead.

    Buoyant
    Price: +4000 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    Suck it up and walk across the bottom. The average D&D character can hold his breath for 2-3 minutes before they have to worry about drowning, which is usually more than enough time to solve the "I'm wet!" problem. If you're worried about the Armor Check Penalty on swim checks, for only 250 GP you can buy a Least Crystal of Aquatic Action to negate them. If you need bonuses on Swim checks, consider the Floating property (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 162): same price, same effect on ACP, but you get a +4 circumstance bonus on Swim checks instead of a +2 competence bonus. Or save yourself some GP and buy a keel for 50 GP (Stormwrack p. 106) or a Swimmer's Kit (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 28) for 15 GP. Stormwrack (printed 2 years before the MIC) had a slightly different Buoyant property as a +1 enhancement: armor weighed 50% less than normal, and the armor check penalty on Swim checks wasn't doubled. Neither version offers any protection from pressure damage in very deep water (DMG p. 304).

    Called
    Price: +2000 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    Remember all those complicated rules for donning armor, donning hastily, etc.? *Poof.* You can ignore them now. One standard action and it's fully donned. The only problem with Called is there are other options that might be cheaper or more efficient. If you're just worried about sleeping in armor, a Restful Crystal (500 GP, MIC p. 26) or Restful property (+500 GP, Dungeonscape p. 39) is cheaper. If you're throwing your shield around and need to get it back in your hand, a Lesser Crystal of Return (1000 GP, MIC p. 65) is cheaper and only requires a move action, but only works if the shield within 30' (Called works at any distance on the same plane, so long as someone else hasn't picked up the shield yet). The chief competitor for Called is the Ring of Arming (5000 GP, MIC p. 122), which is more expensive but offers more action-efficiency. With the same standard action, the Ring of Arming can ready your armor, shield, and multiple weapons. The Ring of Arming also allows you to swap between two different armor/weapon sets or a set of more diplomatic clothing for social events. If you have a simpler armor/weapons layout (one suit of armor, no shield, and one weapon you can already quickdraw), then paying only 2000 GP for Called may be all you need and keeps your ring slots open.

    Calming
    Price: +4000 GP (plus the cost for the sentira special material)
    (Secrets of Sarlona p. 137)
    A bit overpriced. A Tunic of Steady Spellcasting (2500 GP, MIC p. 144) grants the same +5 competence bonus to Concentration checks, and is priced exactly as a +5 skill bonus item should be. This property can only be added to armor made out of sentira (Secrets of Sarlona p. 135), which drives up the price even more.

    Charming
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 23)
    Any opponent who strikes you must save vs. charm person (Will save DC 11, 1 hour duration), charm animal (Will save DC 11, 1 hour duration), or charm monster (Will save DC 14, 7 hour duration). Opponents who strike you in melee get a +4 bonus to their save (which I guess means ranged attacks are more likely to charm? Okay...), and there's a strong argument that if your opponent is currently being threatened or attacked by you or your allies, they get an additional +5 bonus to their save. While the save DCs are very low and a large number of creatures are resistant/immune to enchantments and mind-effects, the save vs. charm is a continuous effect that triggers every time you get hit. Even creatures with high Will saves are eventually going to roll a 1. So this is a very powerful enhancement, and possibly a game-breaker.

    Cold Resistance
    Price: +18000 GP, +42000 (Improved), +66000 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    See Acid Resistance above. Way too expensive. If you need cold resistance, stick with a Clasp of Energy Protection (500/1500/3000 GP, MIC p. 24), Ring of Energy Resistance (12000/28000/44000 GP, DMG), or spells/potions. Actually, there's another somewhat cheaper alternative in Races of Faerun (p. 170): the Warming property can provide cold resistance 5 as a +1 enhancement or duplicate the basic Cold Resistance property entirely as a +2 enhancement for about half the cost (armor +3 = 9000 GP, Fire Resistance = 18000 GP). You might also want to consider a Cloak of Elemental Protection (1000 GP, MIC p. 87), an Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97), or a Blue Octopus Amulet ([url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030607a"]Ghostwalk Web Enhancement[/url]) as cheaper alternatives.

    Comfort
    Price: +5000 GP
    (Shining South p. 52)
    A continuous endure elements effect, but considering an Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97) does the same thing and offers up to 30 points of immediate fire/cold resistance, this enhancement is overpriced.

    Command
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93)
    Way too overpriced. The +4 competence bonus on all Charisma-based checks sounds pretty good, but it's probably cheaper to just find or buy a skill-bonus item on the skill you need (+4 competence bonus = 1600 GP). The +2 bonus on Will saves for all allies within 30' also sounds pretty good, except morale bonuses on Will saves are already fairly common: the bard's inspire courage, barbarian's rage, cleric's bless spell, etc. Even if you're trying to optimize a Charisma-based skill (i.e., Use Magic Device) a Circlet of Persuasion (4500 GP, DMG, +3 competence bonus on all Charisma-based checks) with a masterwork tool (50 GP, +2 circumstance bonus) is a better deal.

    Commander
    Price: +2000 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    This appears to be an update to Command (see above), but the new name (slightly different but still different) means it's treated as a new property. However, even with the price cut down to +2000 GP, it's still a bit overpriced. A masterwork tool for Diplomacy (e.g., a "Fancy Hat") is only 50 GP for a +2 circumstance bonus, or you could pay for a custom +2 skill-bonus item for only 400 GP. The morale bonus on Will saves has dropped to +1, which means the same effect can be granted by a 1st-level bard or cleric. If all you need is a +1 bonus on Will saves, a Cloak of Resistance +1 only costs 1000 GP but applies to all three saves, or for only 250 GP you can get a Least Crystal of Mind Cloaking (MIC p. 25) for +1 competence bonus on Will saves. For the same price as the Commander property, you can get the Lesser Crystal of Mind Cloaking for a +3 competence bonus that still stacks with inspire courage or bless.

    Cooling
    Price: +1/+2 enhancement
    (Races of Faerun p. 170)
    In general, this enhancement is *much* cheaper than buying Fire Resistance. While you can pick up any particular energy resistance 5 (including [force] or [sonic]) with a Dragoncraft armor/shield, that can't be combined with other special materials such as adamantine/darkleaf/mithral/etc. There are also some other cheaper alternatives to consider: the Cloak of Elemental Protection (1000 GP, MIC p. 87) offers energy resistance 10 to one energy type 1/day as an immediate action, and the Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97) offers up to 10-20 points of fire/cold resistance as an immediate action for a certain number of charges per day. A Blue Octopus Amulet ([url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030607a"]Ghostwalk Web Enhancement[/url]) can absorb up to 60 points of fire damage before burning out. While a +2 Cooling enhancement generally costs cheaper than a Ring of Minor Fire Resistance (12000 GP, DMG), the Ring becomes a better deal once your total armor enhancements gets up to +4 or more.

    Dancing
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93)
    This enhancement was made entirely obsolete with the Animated property (+2 enhancement, DMG), which does not need to be picked up and re-activated every 4 rounds.

    Dark
    Price: +8000 GP
    (Drow of the Underdark p. 97)
    A +5 circumstance bonus on Hide checks might be worth it for 8K... up until you get to the part where it only works against creatures with darkvision. And here's the really odd part: it works regardless of the current illumination conditions. In a campaign that's exclusively underground and everything you encounter has darkvision by default, then this may be a must-get for any sneaky-types. While it's a bit overpriced for a skill bonus, a circumstance bonus (which stacks with almost everything) is usually worth paying more for. However, outside an underground campaign, there are other ways to get circumstance bonuses on Hide: +2 for chameleon leather (360 GP, Serpent Kingdoms p. 148), +2 untyped bonus for shadowsilk (1500-2500 GP, Tome of Magic p. 155), +1 for darkweave (+100 GP, Eberron Campaign Setting p. 122), +2 for camouflage kit (40 GP, Complete Adventurer p. 122), or +1 alchemical bonus for blend cream (50 GP, Complete Adventurer p. 118). You can also add a camouflage pattern (+300 GP, FR Underdark p. 66) for a +2 circumstance bonus in a particular terrain (such as underground). If symbionts are available, the Shadow Sibling (8000 GP, Magic of Eberron p. 156) grants a +4 circumstance bonus to Hide checks and as an immediate action can give you a 50% miss chance against one attack a number of times per day equal to your Con bonus. Later when you can afford it, the Hat of Anonymity (12500 GP, MIC p. 109) grants a +5 untyped bonus to Hide checks and a continuous nondetection effect.

    Darksoul Protection
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Book of Vile Darkness p. 111)
    Apparently it pays (or is at least cheaper) to be evil. With this enhancement, you take 1/2 damage from any attacks that specifically target [evil] creatures, such as smite evil or holy weapons. However, most DMs do not typically send a lot of angels, archons, and eladrins after PCs unless they've done something to really, really deserve it... in which case, 1/2 damage is probably not going to help much.

    Daylight
    Price: +3000 GP
    (MIC p. 9)
    Updated from the Arms & Equipment Guide where it was an overpriced +2 enhancement, the new version now offers a bit of a discount for something similar to a 1/day 3rd level spell effect (normally 5400 GP). The swift action to activate/deactivate is a very nice touch, but it's hard to get excited about an effect that's functionally just a bigger torch or sunrod. Okay, yes, it has a 60' radius of bright light and creatures with daylight sensitivity get a -1 penalty (whoa!... a whole minus one? They are totally shaking in their boots.), but I am still annoyed that a spell called "daylight" doesn't actually count as actual daylight (for getting rid of those pesky vampires). The biggest benefit of the daylight property is as a 3rd level light spell, it suppresses/negates the effects of any darkness spells. If your DM loves to use drow and other darkness-happy creatures, then it may be worth taking, but for general-use illumination, there are better options with lower prices.

    Death Ward
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Complete Arcane p. 142, MIC p. 10)
    This property originally appeared in Magic of Faerun as a +2 enhancement, but was updated in the MIC and knocked down to a +1. While it's now a lot more affordable, it works only 1/day for only one effect, whereas the original version stayed active for the next 70 minutes. I'm not entirely sure if I can recommend this enhancement... I frequently see it recommended as "one of the good ones", but I'm leery of anything that only works 1/day and is then useless for the rest of the day. While this is undeniably useful for ignoring the occasional blown-save weenie-death, those save-or-die effects may not come up often enough in the campaign to invest your resources into this property. And yes, it can be used on any negative energy effect such as inflict spells or chill touch, but do you really want to waste your 1/day Get Out of Death Free card on a piddling inflict spell when you might need it later for a save-or-die? Against any creatures with energy drain or a death effect they can use more than once, okay fine you can ignore the first hit but that +1 enhancement is useless for the rest of the encounter. If undead with energy drain or death effects come up often enough, a Bone Ring (20000 GP, MIC p. 75), Choker of Life Protection (14000 GP, MIC p. 216), or Talisman of Undying Fortitude (8000 GP, MIC p. 188) might be a better investment. Or if you can afford it, you can get complete and continuous immunity to all negative energy effects with the Soulfire property (+4 enhancement, Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112).

    Deepdweller
    Price: +12000 GP
    (MIC p. 10)
    While this is very similar to the Deep property that appears in Stormwrack (+22500 GP, grants darkvision 60' rather than an aquatic version of low-light vision) and thankfully a lot cheaper, it's still too expensive for what are mostly non-combat utility effects. While this may be the cheapest option for avoiding pressure damage in very deep water environments (DMG p. 304), even at 12000 GP this is probably beyond the resources of low-level PCs and still a big chunk of money for mid-level PCs. At higher levels, all-day water breathing or polymorph effects are generally cheaper. The other advantage Deepdweller has over Deep is it negates the Armor Check Penalty on Swim checks. However, you can get the same effect for only 250 GP with a Least Crystal of Aquatic Action.

    Demonmight Ward
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Book of Vile Darkness p. 111)
    This is another example of where you pay for a +2 enhancement that's worse than putting that same bonus on your AC. Demonmight Ward gives you a +1 AC against good creatures, or +2 AC against good outsiders. But if you'd put that same enhancement bonus on your armor, you'd have +2 AC against all creatures, including good outsiders. Ok, yeah, you also get a +1 untyped save bonus against spells/effects from good creatures, or a +2 untyped save bonus against spells with the [good] descriptor, but it's not worth what is essentially an AC penalty against all non-good creatures. There are dozens if not hundreds of cheaper/better ways to buff your saves.

    Dessication Resistance
    Price: +9000 GP
    (Sandstorm p. 130)
    In a desert-themed campaign that uses a lot of material from Sandstorm, this is a very useful enhancement to have, and cheaper than buying a continuous protection from dessication effect: 2 x 3 x 2000 x 1.5 = 18000 GP. However, even in a desert environment, dessication damage is still rare enough that you could easily live without this enhancement.

    Displacement
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 10)
    Only 5 rounds of displacement? FAIL. While adding armor/netcutter spikes with the Smoking property (+1 enhancement, Lords of Darkness p. 180) is more expensive (about 8350 GP), it grants a continuous 20% miss chance.

    Distracting
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93)
    A fantastic idea ruined by some very poor wording. Opponents engaged in melee have to make a Will save every round or become dazed - wow, that could be game-breaker, since there are no creatures that are naturally immune to the daze condition (not even undead, constructs, plants, oozes, etc.). However, the description specifies "affected by the daze spell", which pretty much ruins everything. As a zero-level spell the save DC is 10, and while the daze condition is not normally mind-affecting, the spell is, so anything that is mindless or immune to mind-affects (undead, constructs, plants, oozes, and now most vermin too) is unaffected, and the spell itself only works on humanoids with 4HD or less. At the level you can afford this enhancement, humanoids with 4HD or less are no longer much of a threat.

    Dragondodger
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 10)
    While the effectiveness of this enhancement depends on how often you get hit with breath weapons, even outside of dragons a breath weapon is one of the most common special attacks in the game. Evasion is really useful, and a +1 enhancement is going to be a lot cheaper than trying to buy a Ring of Evasion (25000 GP, DMG). If you know your campaign is going to involve a lot of dragons or other creatures with breath weapons, then this is definitely worth slapping on a buckler +1. Even if you have the evasion ability already, if the ability description has a stacking clause that allows it to stack with other evasion abilities, this could be a great way to upgrade to Improved Evasion against breath attacks.

    Dreadful
    Price: +1 enhancement (plus the cost for the sentira special material)
    (Secrets of Sarlona p. 137)
    Not worth it. You're trading a +1 AC bonus that applies to nearly all attacks for a -1 morale penalty on melee attack rolls that's a mind-affecting fear effect. Anything making a ranged attack or immune to mind-affects gets to ignore the penalty, so you're better off just keeping the +1 enhancement bonus to your AC. Also, this property can only be added to armor made out of sentira (Secrets of Sarlona p. 135), which drives up the price even more.

    Drowcraft
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (FR Underdark p. 70)
    Not only is this enhancement specific to a particular campaign world (Faerun) and a particular geographic location (Underdark), it only works in very specific locations in the Underdark: caverns that radiate faerzress energy. In those areas, you get a +2 deflection bonus for only a +1 enhancement, but outside of those areas, you get bupkis. Even worse, if your armor ever gets exposed to sunlight, it disintegrates. So unless you're a hardcore grognard trying to keep some sort of G-D-Q series nostalgia-fest alive, skip it.

    Durable
    Price: +500 GP
    (Dungeonscape p. 39)
    Go ahead, hug a rust monster. Go surfing with an acidborn shark. Go... ok, seriously, we don't want to know what you're doing with the green slime. As soon as you can afford it, this is a MUST GET. Only works for metal armors (sorry, treehuggers), but for 1/3rd the cost of Blueshine (+1500 GP, MIC p. 9), your armor gets complete immunity to acid, rust, *and* green slime.

    Ease
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Masters of the Wild p. 28)
    Don't bother. This enhancement has been made obsolete with the Restful property (+500 GP, Dungeonscape p. 39) or Restful Crystal (500 GP, MIC p. 26). If you need to don your armor quickly, then the Called property (+2000 GP, MIC p. 9) or Ring of Arming (5000 GP, MIC p. 122) is a better investment.

    Easy Travel
    Price: +1500 GP.
    (Heroes of Battle p. 129, MIC p. 10)
    Buy this as soon as you can afford it. Aside from the fact that your capacity to acquire loot is somewhat directly related to how much loot you can carry, there are class abilities, flight speeds, and spell effects that may stop working if you're not lightly encumbered. By treating medium loads as light loads, this enhancement gives you roughly the equivalent of a +5 inherent bonus to your Strength score. Add a Belt of Wide Earth (8000 GP, MIC p. 204), and you can double your carrying capacity on top of that, or the equivalent of a +10 inherent bonus to your Strength score. While this is a no-brainer for the non-Muggles wiggling their fingers or high-Dex/low-Str support-squishies in the back row, even frontline tanks need to make sure they can load up on whoopass without restricting their movement. Easy Travel doesn't actually increase your maximum carrying capacity, but it does increase how much you can carry without slowing down, which means you're more likely to get whatever you're carrying back home. This is particularly important if you're using any kind of flight, either inside or outside of combat. While all the various methods of flying are very inconsistent with what happens when you try to carry too much weight, most of the time something bad happens when you're anything more than lightly encumbered.

    Ectoplasmic
    Price: +10800 GP
    (Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 162)
    The wearer can use ectoplasmic form 1/day, the psionic equivalent of gaseous form. However, the cost is double what it should be (3 x 5 x 1800 / 5 = 5400 GP). The psionic version has a shorter duration (5 minutes instead of 10 minutes), but you gain a faster fly speed: 20' (perfect). With psionic/magic transparency in place (generally the default), DR 10/psionic is the same as DR 10/magic... which is to say, one of the easiest DRs to bypass. Unfortunately, neither ectoplasmic form nor gaseous form offer any kind of concealment or miss chance, so if you lose your armor bonus and have no deflection/dodge/force effects, you may actually become *easier* to hit while in ectoplasmic form. The best use of this ability is something of a "Get Out of Certain Death Free Card", where the ability to fly and/or fit through teeny-tiny openings allows you to escape from some sort of uberkiller deathtrap or a large number of enemies with no magical/psionic/ranged attacks. In that case, you're probably better off just buying a psionic tattoo or a potion belt (60 GP, FRCS p. 97) with a couple potions of gaseous form.

    Ectoplasmic Feedback
    Price: +1 enhancement bonus
    (MIC p. 10)
    The biggest problem with this enhancement is if anything incorporeal does touch you, the odds are pretty good that whatever it's touching you with is going to hurt a heckuva lot more than you touching it for a piddly 1d6 damage. If you want to discourage inappropriate touching, a Glyph Seal (1000 GP, MIC p. 161) with magic missile or blast of force might be more effective.

    Ectoplasmic Wall
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (MIC p. 11)
    So let me get this straight... I spend some money on at least a +3 shield, but to create the wall I have to drop the shield? It only lasts for 7 rounds, at which point I no longer have access to my shield, and once that 7 rounds is up, I have to spend an action to pick up the shield? Not only is this lame, it's too expensive for something that only lasts 7 rounds per day. If you need a temporary wall effect to buy you some time, a Thorn Pouch (4400 GP, MIC p. 188) is cheaper and can create a wall of thorns that lasts 9 rounds 1/day.

    Electricity Resistance
    Price: +18000 GP, +42000 (Improved), +66000 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    See Acid Resistance above. Way too expensive. If you need electricity resistance, stick with a Clasp of Energy Protection (500/1500/3000 GP, MIC p. 24), Ring of Energy Resistance (12000/28000/44000 GP, DMG), or spells/potions.

    Empyreal
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112)
    This property allows you to transfer your armor/shield's enhancement bonus into a sacred bonus to your saves. However, to get at least a +1 bonus to your saves, you have to buy the equivalent an armor/shield +3 (9000 GP) when a cloak of resistance +1 only costs 1000 GP. To get the most of this property, you need a fairly high enhancement bonus to begin with, and adding Empyreal on top of that just makes it even more expensive. You also give up adding that enhancement bonus to your AC for a round. In almost all cases, buying a better cloak of resistance is probably going to be cheaper, and you keep your enhancement bonus on your AC. The Resilient property (Forge of War p. 118) could also be a cheaper alternative. For only a +1 enhancement, you can shift your enhancement bonus to one save (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will) as an immediate action, which lasts until the end of your next turn. While Empyreal applies to all three saves, it can only be activated on your turn.

    Energy Defense [Synergy]
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 11)
    While this doesn't seem all that expensive at first glance, it needs some kind of Energy Resistance to start with, which is at least a +18000 GP investment. The damage is quite decent (1d6+10), but it can only be used up to 15 rounds a day, assuming your enemies are considerate enough to attack you with non-reach melee weapons. Both enhancements would be at least 22000 GP to start with, which is almost as much as an armor +5 or shield +5, and most of that enhancement bonus could be put toward something with more utility or a better duration.

    Energy Drain
    Price: +10000 GP
    (Ghostwalk p. 62 and [url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20031225a"]Ghostwalk 3.5 Update[/url])
    Up until the Ghostwalk 3.5 update added "once per day" to the shield version of this enhancement, this may have been one of most powerful enhancements in the game: hit with a shield bash, and the target gains 1d4 negative levels, no save. The armor version uses a touch attack instead of a shield bash, and can be used an unlimited number of times per day, but as a standard action can only be used once per round. If you treat the Energy Drain effect as if you were "Holding the Charge", which lets you combine the touch attack with an unarmed strike or natural weapon attack (as with a vampire's slam), then a free enervation effect every round is very much in the neighborhood of MUST GET for any unarmed/natural attack build.

    Energy Immunity
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (MIC p. 11)
    The good news is buying energy immunity is probably a lot cheaper than buying energy resistance, you get to pick which energy type, and it's an immediate action to activate, so you can make sure you're not wasting this enhancement on an attack it can't protect against. The bad news is it only works 1/day for 1 minute. If you're going to invest resources in a +2 enhancement, then it should work more than 10 rounds per day. If you're looking for more permanent immunity to fire or cold damage, then it might be worth it to save up and pay a druid to cast mantle of the fiery spirit (16200 GP, Sandstorm p. 118) or mantle of the icy soul (10450 GP, Frostburn p. 101). For electricity, acid, or sonic damage, a scroll of energy immunity (Spell Compendium) lasts 24 hours and costs 1650 GP (divine) or 2275 GP (arcane).

    Ethereal
    Price: +3 enhancement (self-only) or +4 enhancement (others included)
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 23)
    It's pretty clear that one version of this enhancement was updated and included in the 3.5 DMG (see next entry), but if you want to get really picky about RAW, slightly different name still means it's a different enhancement. The first version (updated in the 3.5 DMG) allows the owner to use ethereal jaunt, but the duration is only 9 rounds (the DMG version has an unlimited duration). However, there is no limited uses per day, so you could keep activating this enhancement every 9 rounds for as long as you like. The second version allows you to cast etherealness as an 11th level cleric (which normally can't cast a 9th level spell in 3.5). The caster level is set to 11, which limits the number of additional allies you can bring along to 3 and sets the duration to 11 minutes, again there is no mention of limited uses per day, so you can keep re-activating this enhancement to stay ethereal longer if you like. While either version is generally cheaper and much more powerful than the DMG version, it's extremely unlikely that a DM is going to allow this enhancement to be considered a separate ability than the DMG version.

    Etherealness
    Price: +49000 GP
    (DMG)
    Provides ethereal jaunt 1/day, but the duration is unlimited. Not really affordable at low- to mid-levels, but very handy for a high-level character, and the fixed cost means it doesn't count towards your +10 enhancement bonus limit.

    Exalted
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112)
    Although somewhat better than Angelic, you're giving up a possible +3 AC bonus for a +2 deflection bonus that only works against [evil] creatures. The continuous protection from evil has other benefits (particularly against mind-control effects), but whether this enhancement is worth it depends quite a bit on how often you get attacked by [evil] creatures, unholy weapons, and vile damage.

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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Armor Enhancements Part II (F through P)

    Fear
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Oriental Adventures p. 122)
    Not worth it. Can only be used 3/day, it affects your allies (instead of just enemies), and the Will save DC 14 is too low. See the Fearsome enhancement below for possible alternatives.

    Fearsome
    Price: +5000 GP
    (Drow of the Underdark p. 97)
    This property first appeared in Defenders of the Faith as a +2 enhancement with a continuous fear effect, and then included with essentially the same wording in the Arms & Equipment Guide. It was updated in the Magic Item Compendium in March 2007 with a fixed +15000 GP cost and 3 uses per day, and then revised in Drow of the Underdark two months later with a +5000 GP cost and a completely different ability. This last version is the most current, and probably the most useful since it's become a key component in a lot of Demoralize-based fear builds. The Drow version grants a +5 enhancement bonus on Intimidate checks (so it stacks with most other bonuses), and allows you to Demoralize as a move action rather than a standard action. When combined with the Imperious Command feat (also in Drow of the Underdark, p. 50), demoralized opponents cower for 1 round (can't act, -2 AC, no Dex bonus) and then are shaken for 1 round. Add the Never Outnumbered skill trick (Complete Scoundrel p. 87), and Demoralize becomes an area effect with a 10' radius. If you don't have Drow of the Underdark book, the MIC version is somewhat decent for +15000 GP: 3/day, create an aura of terror with a 20' radius, every creature (watch out for allies!) must make a Will save DC 16 or become panicked for 1 round. On a successful save, they are still shaken for 1 round, which can be very useful if you have other shaken effects that stack. The DotF/A&EG version isn't too shabby, either: continuous 40' radius aura of fear, only affects opponents, Will save DC 14 vs. panicked for 7 rounds, or on a successful save shaken for 1 round.

    Feathered
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 24, Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93)
    Since the duration of the fly spell changed when the 3.0 rules were updated to 3.5, you'll have to check with your DM if he wants to use the duration listed in the description (50 minutes) or "as the fly spell" (also listed in the description), which is now 5 minutes. The Flying weapon enhancement in Oriental Adventures (which can be added to a shield for +16200 GP) has a similar ability, also with a duration of 50 minutes, but there's slightly more wiggle-room on RAW: since the description says "almost as if using the fly spell", you can argue "almost" means it's not exactly the same effect as the spell (and it isn't, since the arm holding that shield is immobilized while flying), thus the 50 minute duration overrides the usual duration. However, even at 50 minutes, a +2 enhancement is probably not the most effective way to get a flight speed. There are several other options for continuous flight: Feathered Wings graft (10000 GP, Fiend Folio p. 210) is one of the cheapest, but has a pretty hefty downside for non-evil alignments. Winged Mask (13000 GP, Magic of Faerun p. 168) is a little more expensive, and you glow like a torch whenever you use it (so not the best option for sneaky-types). Flight can also be obtained via Dragonborn of Bahumat or feats: Dragon Wings + Improved Dragon Wings (Races of the Dragon p. 100) or Celestial/Fiendish Bloodline + Outsider Wings (Races of Faerun p. 162/163, 167). And that's not even getting into alter self/polymorph shenanigans (check out the Phylactery of Change, 11200 GP, A&EG p. 135, for all-day polymorph up to 7HD).

    Floating
    Price: +4000 GP
    (Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 162)
    This enhancement appears to have been updated in the MIC as the "Buoyant" property, but since the names are different they are both still considered separate enhancements. Floating has all the advantages and disadvantages of Buoyant, except for one notable difference: this version gives you a +4 circumstance bonus on Swim checks rather than a +2 competence bonus. As with Buoyant, you're much better off just buying a Least Crystal of Aquatic Action (MIC p. 25) for 250 GP, and if you're just looking for a bonus on swim checks, then consider buying a keel for 50 GP (Stormwrack p. 106) or a Swimmer's Kit (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 28) for 15 GP.

    Fire Resistance
    Price: +18000 GP, +42000 GP (Improved), +66000 GP (Greater)
    (DMG)
    See Acid Resistance above. Way too expensive. If you need fire resistance, stick with a Clasp of Energy Protection (500/1500/3000 GP, MIC p. 24), Rings of Energy Resistance (12000/28000/44000 GP, DMG), or spells/potions. Like Cold Resistance, there's another somewhat cheaper alternative in Races of Faerun (p. 170): the Cooling property can provide fire resistance 5 as a +1 enhancement or duplicate the basic Fire Resistance property entirely as a +2 enhancement for about half the cost (armor +3 = 9000 GP, Fire Resistance = 18000 GP). You might also want to consider a Cloak of Elemental Protection (1000 GP, MIC p. 87), an Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97), or a Blue Octopus Amulet ([url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030607a"]Ghostwalk Web Enhancement[/url]) as cheaper alternatives.

    Fire Warding
    Price: +24000 GP
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    Only useful for someone with the [cold] subtype, but even then, I don't think I'd want to pay for the equivalent of armor +5 to still take 100% fire damage. Actually, I'd be much more inclined to pay 16200 GP for a 15th level druid to cast mantle of the fiery spirit on me (Sandstorm p. 118), which would give me the [fire] subtype and make me immune to fire damage.

    Focused
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Complete Adventurer p. 127)
    I want to like this ability, but unless you go up against a lot of opponents who love to feint, it's not really worth it. Rather than get a +1 AC bonus that applies whenever you're threatened by only one creature, you're better off just increasing the enhancement bonus on your shield by +1, which applies whenever you're attacked by any number of creatures at any time. The +10 circumstance bonus on Sense Motive checks vs. feinting is quite undeniably nifty, but how often does anyone ever use feint against you, if ever? If you really need something like that, then consider a Third Eye Expose (2500 GP, MIC p. 141) or a Crystal Mask of Discernment (10000 GP, MIC p. 90).

    Fortification
    Price: +1 (light), +3 (moderate), +5 (heavy)
    (DMG)
    I hate paying for things that only have a chance of working, but even with only a 25% or 50% chance, nothing quite beats that feeling of smugness when you tell your DM all of that extra critical damage he rolled just went to waste. This is a good "Go-To" pick if you're thinking about upgrading your armor but aren't sure what enhancement to get, and "When in doubt, get more Fortification" isn't a bad rule of thumb. Fortification becomes much more important at higher levels as every creature gets more attacks, which means getting hit with more criticals, and you're more likely to run into optimized crit-hunter and sneak-attacker builds. You've also got a lot more time and effort invested in the character, so it makes sense to make your character immune to lucky criticals and upgrade to Heavy Fortification as soon as finances allow. Like most big-value enhancements, it's cheaper to put Heavy Fortification on a buckler +1 where your other enhancements won't drive up the price. Another way to get this enhancement is to buy a Gemstone of Fortification (Draconomicon p. 83), which on the upside is slotless, but on the downside it has to be permanently embedded in your flesh to work. If you're not a dragon, this probably means paying for a limited wish, which may set you back about 2410 GP, but the price of the gemstone is about 1000 GP cheaper than buying it on an armor/shield: 3000 GP for Light, 15000 GP for Moderate, and 35000 GP for Heavy.

    Freedom
    Price: +5 enhancement
    (MIC p. 11)
    One of the few +5 enhancements that's worth every grubby copper piece. Freedom of movement auto-wins against all grappling, entangle, solid fog, and dozens of other nasty effects. In high-level games, freedom of movement is almost a requirement. Rather than trying to pay for this on top of your other armor enhancements, consider putting it on some bracers of armor +1 (see A&EG p. 130, arms slot) for 36000 GP. This is cheaper than a Ring of Freedom of Movement (40000 GP, DMG) and keeps your ring slots free. If your arms slot is taken, you can also get a harness of armor (Lost Empires of Faerun p. 155) that occupies the vest slot, but you have to pay more for it, 54000 GP. Although the MIC lists this enhancement as armor-only, a lenient DM might let you put it on a buckler +1. If you can't quite afford either the enhancement or the ring, a Vest of Free Movement (12000 GP, MIC p. 198) can give you up to 9 rounds of FoM per day.

    Frost Warding
    Price: +24000 GP
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    Only useful for someone with the [fire] subtype, but as with Fire Warding, I don't think I'd want to pay for the equivalent of armor +5 to still take 100% cold damage. And the spell to gain the [cold] subtype is cheaper: 10450 GP for a 9th level druid to cast mantle of the icy soul, which makes you immune to cold damage.

    Ghost Disrupting
    Price: +3600 GP
    (Ghostwalk p. 62 and [url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20031225a"]Ghostwalk 3.5 Update[/url])
    This appears to be a reworking of Undead Disrupting from Defenders of the Faith (p. 24), which allows you to cast a 0-level cantrip 4/day... but since it only affects ghosts rather than all undead, even in a Ghostwalk campaign it's even more pathetically lame than that enhancement. An unlimited use magic item for a cantrip should only cost 900 GP (0.5 x 1 x 1800). Although the Ghostwalk 3.5 Update dropped the price from a ludicrously overpriced +2 enhancement to only 3600 GP, do not ever buy this enhancement, or you will be laughted at.

    Ghost Touch
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (DMG)
    This is painfully expensive (armor/shield +4 is at least 16000 GP, while a Ghost Touch weapon is only a +1 enhancement), but increasing your touch AC, particularly against incorporeal creatures, is notoriously difficult. The Ghostwalk campaign book actually dropped the price to a +1 enhancement (where ghosts are all over the place), but this only applies to that campaign world. There are a variety of alternatives, but nothing particularly cheap or permanent. The description of Riverine (Stormwrack p. 128) doesn't say so, but any armor made almost entirely out of walls of force should be fully effective against incorporeal attacks. However, unless you're buying a shield (+4000 GP) or light armor (+9000 GP), it's not any cheaper than Ghost Touch (+16000 for medium, +25000 for heavy). Astral Driftmetal (Planar Handbook p. 70) is a little cheaper than Riverine and fully effective against incorporeal attacks, but it only works on certain armors (breastplate, shield, or any heavy armor) and the +12000 GP price tag is still pretty hefty. The ghost touch armor spell from Ghostwalk did make it into the Spell Compendium, so that may be available from a potion/oil or a wand, but that only lasts 1 minute/caster level. Ghostwall Shellac (150 GP, Dungeonscape p. 35) might last longer (4d6 hours), but takes a lot of prep time (1 minute to apply, then wait 1 hour while it dries) and it only works against creatures that are still on the ethereal plane (ghosts). It has no effect on other incorporeal creatures. The cheapest alternative is to buy the armor as ectoplasmic equipment (Ghostwalk p. 44), which is treated as if it had the [I]ghost touch[I] property. This costs +5 GP/pound (looks like this is added to the base price, otherwise ectoplasmic full plate would only cost 250 GP), but it has a limited 10-day duration to start with. You can extend this by paying for ectoplasmic stabilizer (up to 100 days for 50 GP/pound), but it's probably much cheaper to buy Unguent of Timelessness (150 GP, DMG) to extend the duration for +365 days. Ectoplasmic armor can be purchased as masterwork quality, and can even be enchanted. If you're worried about the duration running out, you can add more Unguent of Timelessness or ectoplasmic stabilizer later. I can't find any definitive rulings on whether ectoplasm counts as an organic, metallic, or magical substance, so you'll have to discuss some of the more specific implications with your DM (that is, can druids wear it, what happens in an anti-magic field, etc.).

    Ghost Ward
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Libris Mortis p. 75, MIC p. 11)
    While this appears to be an attempt to make a more affordable version of the Ghost Touch property (see above), if you're worried about incorporeal undead then you're probably much better off buying a Lesser Crystal of Screening (1000 gp, MIC p. 26) or Ectoplasmic armor (Ghostwalk p. 44) plus Unguent of Timelessness (150 GP, DMG). However, Ghost Ward doesn't just apply your enhancement bonus to incorporeal touch attacks, it applies to *all* touch attacks (including ranged!). Keeping your normal AC high is already difficult and expensive, but buffing touch AC is even harder. To get the most out of this property, you want this on a shield with the highest enhancement bonus you can afford. It's not so great on armor, since the armor bonus on your armor is much more likely to be higher than its enhancement bonus, in which case Riverine might be a better option (half of your armor/enhancement bonus becomes a deflection bonus). You're also missing out on whatever armor properties that +5 enhancement bonus might have given you, but if you need those, you can add them to a buckler, bracers of armor, dastana, chahar-aina, etc. At higher levels where touch AC can be a big Achilles heel, adding Ghost Ward to a shield +5 can be well worth it, particularly if you frequently run into spellcasters throwing around a lot of no-save rays with metamagic effects up the ying-yang.

    Gilled
    Price: +6000 GP
    (MIC p. 11)
    While this property has gotten a bit of a discount since it first appeared in Stormwrack (where it was +7500 GP) and is now more comparable to a Bottle of Air or Necklace of Adaptation, it's still too expensive for most low-level aquatic non-amphibian characters that might need it, which annoys me. By the time an aquatic water-breather can afford this, the "can't breathe air" problem has probably been fixed. The other annoying thing is the description isn't detailed enough about what it actually does or how it provides respiration: is the owner still able to be suffocated/strangled, and is he vulnerable/immune to inhaled toxins or stinking cloud effects? If you want to play an aquatic humanoid or monstrous humanoid and need to pick up continuous air-breathing, it's easier to take the -2 hit to Dexterity with the Amphibious template (Stormwrack p. 136), at which point Gilled armor would be pointlessly redundant. However, for non-humanoid creatures, Gilled armor is one of the cheapest options for continuous air-breathing.

    Glamered
    Price: +2700 GP
    (DMG)
    Very nice cheap fixed cost, but mostly this is just useless window-dressing. One of the genre tropes in D&D is the PCs generally get to walk around wherever they want as fully-armored battletanks, armed to the teeth, expecting full-scale combat to erupt at any possible moment (which, oddly enough, happens often enough to justify never taking off your armor). Most NPCs don't notice fully-armored PCs as being that unusual, but if it comes up in a heavy-roleplaying/social-engineering scenario, there are plenty of illusion spells, Disguise kits/checks, and alter self/polymorph shenanigans that spending money on this enhancement shouldn't be necessary. Actually, a really high Disguise check is probably better than Glamered, since detect magic or true seeing does diddley-squat against Disguise.

    Gleaming
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 162)
    While a continuous 20% miss chance is definitely an improvement over the limited-use Blinking or Blurring properties, armor spikes +1 with the Smoking property (+1 enhancement, Lords of Darkness p. 180) for only 8350 GP is still a better deal.

    Gnashing
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Champions of Ruin p. 40)
    This enhancement auto-hits with a 1d6 bite attack whenever you're grappling an opponent. While the Acidic enhancement does something similar for a little bit more damage (2d4 acid damage while grappling), it only triggers with a full-round of contact, while Gnashing looks like it triggers even if the grapple only started that turn or your opponent manages to wiggle out of it before a full round has occurred. It's also not clear when exactly the bite happens... if an opponent grapples you outside of your turn, do they get bit immediately when the grapple starts, or does the bite happen on your turn? If it does bite immediately, then this enhancement makes a nice grapple deterrent, and is more useful than Acidic to a "casual grappler" that wants to grapple occasionally but doesn't want to waste several full-round actions on just grappling. If you're more of a full-time grappler, then Acidic may do more damage in the long run.

    Half-Weight
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (FR Underdark p. 70)
    In almost all cases, a mithral breastplate or mithral full-plate is going to be the best base armor you can buy. However, there may be a few cases where mithral isn't available or you have to use some other special material, and you still need some way to knock the weight category of that armor down, either to avoid ASF or keep your class features working (Ranger's Combat Style, etc.). Even mithral only goes so far... there is no material that can reduce the weight category of full-plate down to light, but Half-Weight will do the job. It works particularly well when combined with really heavy special materials, such as adamantine or blended quartz. The biggest downside to this enhancement is it's really expensive, usually on top of an already expensive special material. However, a +4 armor is only +16000 GP, while mithral full-plate was going to cost you at least 10650 GP anyway. You can keep down the cost of your other enhancements by moving them to a shield/buckler or Bracers of Armor (check the sidebar on A&EG p. 130). The other feature of Half-Weight that should be noted is when it's combined with Illithid-Wrought, it's only a +2 enhancement. However, this only saves you money if you're a psionic creature: Illithid-Wrought Half-Weight armor +1 (+5 enhancement total, +1 AC bonus, +2 insight bonus to AC) costs the same as Half-Weight armor +2 (+5 enhancement total, +2 AC bonus) but has a better AC bonus. If you're not a psionic creature, the insight bonus to AC is only +1, and you might as well just buy the Half-Weight armor +2 in that case.

    Hamatula Barbs
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    This enhancement is a much better deal than the Retaliation property (+2 enhancement, MIC p. 14): 1d8 piercing and slashing damage every time you get hit with a melee or natural weapon attack. The downside compared to Retaliation is the 1d8 damage doesn't bypass DR and doesn't work against opponents attacking with reach weapons, but without the 10-point activation threshold, you're going to do more damage a lot more often. Most opponents hardly ever have reach weapons, so this is one of the better +2 enhancements... but don't be surprised if you pick this up and later notice all of the low-level mooks in your DM's campaign are now suddenly carrying around longspears wherever they go.

    Hammerblock
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Complete Warrior p. 134, MIC p. 12)
    Waste of money. Too easy to bypass, and you're probably a lot better off putting that +2 enhancement bonus towards your AC.

    Healing
    Price: +8000 GP, +24000 GP (Greater)
    (MIC p. 12)
    I can't quite make up my mind if this property is worth it or overpriced. On one hand, a Belt of Healing is much, much cheaper... but then again, a Belt of Healing is so horrendously underpriced, it makes spending 1 CP on a torch feel like a huge waste of money. And some DMs ban or re-price the Belt of Healing. The equivalent of a cure moderate wounds 1/day should only cost about 2160 GP. On the other hand, the swift-action to activate and the auto-heal at -1 to -9 HP feature might be worth 8000 GP, since it follows the general advice for combat healing: "Don't give up attacks to heal." Then again, a wand of close wounds (Spell Compendium p. 48, immediate action to heal 1d4+3 HP) only costs 4500 GP. And on the gripping hand, when you really, really *need* healing, no price is too high. Except for the Greater Healing version: 28000 GP for two cure serious wounds, even at caster level 15th and as a swift-action, is beyond ludicrously expensive.

    Health
    Price: +11250 GP
    (Shining South p. 53)
    On the one hand, continuous immunity to both natural *and* supernatural diseases sounds kinda nice. On the other hand, disease comes up so rarely and remove disease is so easy to get ahold of, there's really no reason to blow 11250 GP on this. Just buy a potion of remove disease for 750 GP or bum it off a paladin for free.

    Heartening
    Price: +2000 GP (MIC)
    (MIC p. 12)
    Considering that an Amulet of Tears (MIC p. 70) can give you up to 36 temporary HP per day for only 2300 GP, this enhancement is probably a waste of money. On the other hand, the amulet slot is so important, some characters might not have room for an Amulet of Tears. 2000 GP for only 10 temporary HP per day isn't exactly a bargain, but at least it's a fixed cost and you're not paying for a +1 enhancement. The immediate action is nice, but a wand chamber (100 GP, Dungeonscape) plus a wand of close wounds (4500 GP, Spell Compendium p. 48, immediate action to heal 1d4+3 HP) would probably be a better investment. The version in the SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook is much cheaper, only 720 GP, but only grants 4 temp HP 1/day as an immediate action. Technically, the MIC version supercedes the SRD/XPH version, but if you don't have the MIC, the SRD/XPH version is available for free online.

    Hideous
    Price: +3750 GP, +15000 GP (Improved), +33750 GP (Greater)
    (Champions of Ruin p. 40)
    Not worth it. A competence bonus should only cost (bonus)^2 x 100 GP, so not only are you paying too much for a skill bonus, you also take -2 penalty on Diplomacy checks.

    Ice
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 24)
    This is a very odd enhancement... first, it casts a slow effect on the first five opponents to come within 30' of the owner... but doesn't specify if this is the first five opponents per round, per day, per lifetime, or whatever... so by RAW, after the first five opponents get within 30' of you, it no longer tries to slow anything. The second effect is ray of frost 5/day... but it would be a cold day in hell indeed when paying 16000 GP for a cantrip 5/day would be considered worth it. If you need ray of frost at will, then Gloves of the Uldra Savant (3100 GP, MIC p. 137) is a lot cheaper.

    Illithid-Wrought
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (FR Underdark p. 60)
    This enhancement is only worth it if you're a psionic creature and you pair it up with the Half-Weight enhancement. Otherwise, you're trading a +2 AC bonus for a +2 insight bonus to AC. When combined with Half-Weight, you wind up buying the equivalent of armor +5 (25000 GP) for a +3 AC bonus, which may be worth it if you really need full-plate that counts as light armor. If you're not psionic, don't bother: you pay for armor +5 but only get a +2 AC bonus, while just plain Half-Weight armor +2 costs the same and gives the same +2 AC bonus.

    Invulnerability
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Waste of money. By the time you can afford this, every single creature and their dog will have attacks that can bypass DR/magic.

    Landing
    Price: +4000 GP
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 162, MIC p. 12)
    Kind of a waste, considering that feather fall is much cheaper and can be picked up a variety of ways: Ring of Feather Fall (2200 GP, DMG), Ring of the Four Winds (2000 GP, MIC p. 124), Life Ring (400 GP, MIC p. 163), Safewing Emblem (250 GP, MIC p. 131), Feather Fall Talisman (50 GP, Sharn: City of Towers p. 170). However, there is one interesting quirk to this enhancement that might be useful for a certain build. Unlike feather fall, Landing doesn't slow your descent. So you can use effects that increase your size (enlarge person, expansion, alter self, polymorph, etc.), use flight or a short-range teleport effect, (benign transposition, dimension hop/step/door, shadow jaunt/step/blink maneuvers, abrupt jaunt ACF, etc.) to get above your opponent, and use the falling object rules to do up to 20d6 damage (no save!) to your opponent. Combine with Battle Jump feat (Unapproachable East p. 42) and Pounce to add insult (and more injury) to injury.

    Linked
    Price: +6000 GP
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 12)
    If you're looking for some kind of long-range communication to keep in touch with party members, the MIC version of Linked is too expensive for something you can only use 3/day (Note: the SRD/XPH version is the same price but has no limitations on distance or uses-per-day). There are several cheaper options, but most of them have other restrictions on range or uses per day. Rings of Communication (2000 GP, MIC p. 122) are cheaper and have unlimited uses, but only within a range of 1 mile. Sending Stones (1400 GP, MIC p. 184) have no range limitation, but you're limited to 25 words and can only be used 1/day. Circle of Sound (2000 GP per ring, Eberron Campaign Setting p. 271) has unlimited verbal communication via a message spell, but only has 220' range and can be blocked by physical barriers. The best long-range communication device is an Aspect Mirror (4000 GP, Complete Scoundrel p. 113), which works anywhere on the same plane and provides unlimited audio/video communication.

    Magic-Eating
    Price: +10000 GP
    (MIC p. 12)
    This is a nerf of an enhancement that originally appeared in Magic of Faerun and then Complete Arcane (+3 enhancement, Magic of Faerun p. 137 or Complete Arcane p. 142). The original version provided SR 13, but any spell that targeted the wearer and failed to overcome this wimpishly low SR was "consumed" by the armor, which converted it into 1d8 temporary HP (up to 8 max). The new version is even more pathetically lame... by the time you can afford it, the amount of temp HP it can provide is almost useless. The name is also now a huge disappointment: it doesn't really eat any magic at all. It doesn't absorb or consume any of the spell energy, it doesn't help you make any saves, it doesn't reduce any effects that happen on a successful save, and it does diddley-squat if you fail the save or against any area-effect or no-save spell. If you really want something that "eats" a magic spell, then you might want to take a look at Spell-Catching (+2/+4 enhancement, Forge of War p. 118), or save up for one of the lavender Ioun Stones (20000 GP for up to 4th level spells, 40000 GP for up to 8th level spells, DMG) or a Rod of Absorption (50000 GP, DMG).

    Malleable
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (FR Underdark p. 60)
    If you're larger than medium or spend a lot of time in a larger-sized form, GET THIS. It negates one of the big headaches for squeezing: in tight spaces (down to half your normal width), your movement is no longer considered hampered (i.e., squares no longer cost double movement). However, you still have a -4 penalty on attacks and AC while squeezing. You also retain your Dex bonus in really, really tight spaces (less than half your normal width), although I'd guess that doesn't come up nearly quite so often. If you have a larger-sized mount that can wear magic barding, then this is probably the first enhancement you should put on it until you can afford a Shrink Collar (10000 GP, A&EG p. 80).

    Manifester
    Price: 10800 GP (SRD/XPH) or +6000 GP (MIC)
    (SRD/Expanded Psionic Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 12)
    Originally printed in the Expanded Psionics Handbook with a 10800 GP price tag, the MIC knocked the price down to a more affordable 6000 GP. This is one of the only properties in the game that can provide extra Power Points on a daily basis rather than disposable one-shots (Cognizance Crystals, etc.). It's also one of the few ways a completely non-psionic character can activate psionic items that require Power Points. Actually, I'm not entirely sure that's possible... the text says the 3 PP can be used to "manifest a psionic power", but it's not clear if that's the same as activating a power stored in another object... you'll probably need a Use Magic/Psionic Device check. And there aren't that many psionic objects that require PPs to activate anyway... the only ones I can think of are psicrowns and the Darklight (Secrets of Sarlona p. 140). If you are a psionic-user, however, 6000 GP for 3 PP/day is probably worth it (a lot cheaper than buying a 3 PP Cognizance Crystal for 4000 GP every day).

    Masking
    Price: +40000 GP
    (MIC p. 12)
    While Masking provides a continuous nondetection effect on the owner and all his equipment, it still allows a caster level check, which can be problematic if you spend a lot of money on this enhancement but your enemies can blow through a DC 25 caster level check without breaking a sweat. For only 12500 GP, a Hat of Anonymity (MIC p. 109) provides the same nondetection effect (slightly lower DC 22, though) and an untyped +5 Hide bonus. If you're just looking to hide your alignment or thoughts, a Ring of Mind Shielding (8000 GP, DMG) provides immunity to detect alignment, detect thoughts, and discern lies without allowing a caster level check. Full-on mind blank is available with a Third Eye Conceal (120000 GP, MIC p. 141).

    Menacing
    Price: +30000 GP
    (MIC p. 13)
    Would anyone really spend 30000 GP on this, considering a cleric or wizard can cast cause fear at level 1? More troubling is Menacing only affects one creature, while Fearsome costs half as much but has the decency to be a 20' aura. The only real advantage Menacing has is the save DC scales up as your HD or Charisma bonus gets higher, but the target's HD must be lower than your own. This means most bosses won't be affected, and the one target per use is unlikely to clear out all that many minions. For 30000 GP, this is a lousy way to try to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents. If you really want to scare things more efficiently, consider buying a Frightful Crest draconic graft for 28000 GP. This is a little cheaper than menacing, but it activates on any charge or attack, panicks all non-dragon enemies within 30' for 1 round on a failed save (shaken for 1 round on a successful save), and has the same Will save DC as Menacing: 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha modifier. Buying a Frightful weapon (+3 enhancement, Deities & Demigods p. 67) would probably be even cheaper, about 16300 GP. Whenever you attack with a Frightful weapon, all enemies within 30' must make a Will save DC 16 or become shaken for 3d6 rounds, and any enemy struck by the weapon becomes panicked for 3d6 rounds on a failed save.

    Mindarmor
    Price: 24000 GP (SRD/XPH) or +3000 GP (MIC)
    (SRD/Expanded Psionic Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 13)
    The MIC version is worth it, particularly for meatshield-types with low Will saves. The +5 untyped bonus stacks with a Crystal of Mind Cloaking, resistance bonuses, and morale bonuses. The immediate action activation allows you to respond to an attack/spell/ability where you know you'll need it, which helps make up for the 3/day limit, and it lasts until the end of your next turn. The SRD/XPH version is more of a toss-up... it grants a continuous +3 insight bonus on all mind-affecting and compulsion effects, but costs a whopping 24000 GP. You're better off buying a Lesser Crystal of Mind Cloaking (2000 GP, MIC p. 25) or Cloak of Resistance +3 (9000 GP, DMG).

    Mirror Image
    Price: +20000 GP
    (Shining South p. 53)
    Creating 6 duplicate images of yourself is loads of fun, a staple defensive spell, and still a viable tactic in mid- to high-level ranges. However, this enhancement is a bit overpriced, by about 7000 GP: a 2nd level spell, caster level 6th, 3/day command word item should only cost 12960 GP. However, if your armor is already loaded down with other enhancements, the fixed 20K cost is worth it. If you don't mind or can easily afford the extra cost, then this is a great pick.

    Mobility
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 13)
    This enhancement allows you to pick up one of the much-reviled "useless prereq feats" without blowing one of your precious feat slots on it. If you are using this enhancement to qualify for a feat or prestige class, it's also a good jumping-off point for an argument about whether or not you can use magic items to qualify for prestige classes (Note: by RAW, yes you can, but you may risk losing all your class abilities that require the feat if that magic item gets dispelled/lost/destroyed later.) As far as whether or not Mobility is useful, the feat becomes almost completely worthless once your character can consistently hit a Tumble check DC 15. If you're having trouble getting ranks in Tumble, most melee-heavy classes have Ride as a class skill, and you can use the Skilled City Dweller ACF in this Cityscape Web Enhancement to swap Ride for Tumble. You can also pick up Tumble as a class skill with the Martial Study feat (Tome of Battle p. 31, pick any Desert Wind maneuver) or the Apprentice feat (DMGII p. 176, associated skill for Martial Artist).

    Negative Energy Protection
    Price: +6000 GP
    (Ghostwalk p. 62 and [url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20031225a"]Ghostwalk 3.5 Update[/url])
    This enhancement had kind of an identity crisis going on with Death Ward for a while, since death ward and negative energy protection were separate spells in 3.0, but they got folded together into death ward in 3.5. The MIC updated the Death Ward enhancement to apply to all negative energy effects, and the Ghostwalk 3.5 Update tweaked Negative Energy Protection so it only protects against level-draining attacks without directly referencing a spell that no longer exists. It also dropped the price to a much more reasonable 6000 GP. Unfortunately, it's still 1/day and it activates automatically, so unlike Death Ward you can't decide when you want to use it. Fortunately, unlike Death Ward, it lasts for 5 rounds, which is nice perk because most creatures with level-draining attacks can use them more than once. This might not be long enough to get you through the entire encounter, but long enough to get the upper hand or make a tactical withdrawal. However, unless you routinely run into creatures with level-draining attacks, Death Ward is probably a better investment, since it covers *all* types of negative energy effects instead of just level-draining.

    Nimbleness
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 13)
    This is may or may not be worth the bother, depending on what your Dex bonus is and whether you've already gone above your current armor's Max Dex bonus. Increasing your armor's enhancement bonus by +1 or increasing the Max Dex by +1 results in roughly the same thing: +1 bonus to AC. The only reason to add Nimbleness is if you're trying to reduce your Armor Check Penalty on skills you use frequently, or you can upgrade into a better type of armor with a higher armor bonus but with a slightly worse Max Dex. For example, if you have a Dex bonus of +3 and already have Mithral Full Plate +1, your total AC bonus is +12 (+8 armor, +1 enhancement, +3 Max Dex). You can upgrade to Mithral Mechanus Gear +1 (Planar Handbook p. 69) with Nimbleness for a total AC bonus of +14 (+10 armor, +1 enhancement, +3 Max Dex), as opposed to a total AC bonus of +13 if you upgrade to Mithral Full Plate +2 (+8 armor, +2 enhancement, +3 Max Dex) or Mithral Mechanus Gear +1 without Nimbleness (+10, +1 enhancement, +2 Max Dex). Nimbleness is also quite handy for reducing ACP to zero, which also reduces the non-proficiency penalty to zero. A Mithral Breastplate +1 of Nimbleness, for example, has an ACP of 0 and can be worn without penalty by any character that isn't proficient in any type of armor (add the Twilight property and a Thistledown Suit from Races of the Wild, and the Arcane Spell Failure is also 0%). This can also be done on a few exotic armors/shields to avoid wasting a feat on Exotic Armor/Shield Proficiency, such as the Tumbler's Breastplate and Extreme Shield from Races of Stone. Combining Mithral + Nimbleness + Hellforged template (DMGII p. 277) allows you to reduce ACP by as much as 6 points, enough to bring the ACP on Full Plate down to zero. For more details on reducing ACP, refer to ##this section##.

    Nacreous
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Stormwrack p. 129)
    In an aquatic campaign where the majority of your antagonists are wielding piercing weapons, this enhancement might be worth it. You trade a +1 AC bonus for a +2 AC against piercing attacks, and most everything else that's bludgeoning or slashing has a -2 attack penalty and only does 1/2 damage (per the DMG p. 92). Otherwise, assuming equal odds of bludgeoning/slashing/piercing types of attack, you're trading +1 AC vs. 100% of attacks for +2 AC vs. 33% of attacks. I think the odds are better with the +1 AC bonus.

    Ocular
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Champions of Ruin p. 40)
    While "all around vision" sounds very cool, a +4 competence bonus on two skills should only cost (bonus)^2 x 100, so 3200 GP. The second feature is the wearer can't be flanked, which is an effect that isn't readily available on any other magic item. However, if it's sneak attack damage you're worried about, there are a large variety of methods to avoid that, such as concealment or fortification. As a +1 enhancement, it might be worth it, but as a +2 I'd skip it.

    Paired
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Miniatures Handbook p. 40)
    This enhancement is only worth it if you're adjacent to at least two allies who also have Paired shields. Only 1 adjacent ally (such as an animal companion/familiar/cohort) provides only a +1 AC bonus, which you could have gotten by just buying a shield +2 instead. Unfortunately, having to coordinate the actions of three or more allies to take advantage of the higher AC bonus means your movement may be restricted or make certain tactical choices (such as flanking or 5' steps) more difficult. On the other hand, if you can surround yourself with 8 allies, your enhancement bonus increases by +8. Another odd quirk is if you're larger than medium-size, the maximum number of possible adjacent allies goes up (12 allies for large, 16 for huge, etc.). Add flying, and the squares both above and below you are also "adjacent", so a medium-sized character could have up to 26 adjacent allies, large-sized would be 56, huge-sized would be *mumble-mumble*... uh, "a lot". So while I don't really see this enhancement as all that practical for PCs, you could make a really annoying/frustrating BBEG who increases his size up to colossal and then surrounds himself with 296 medium-sized flying minions all carrying Paired shields for a +297 enhancement bonus to AC. Make them tiny-sized minions and it goes up to 1184, diminutive-sized goes up to 7400, fine-sized goes up to 29600... ugh, the math... make it stop!

    Phasing
    Price: +65520 GP
    (Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163)
    Expensive, but based on phase door 1/day with a 13th level caster/manifester, somewhat comparable: 7 x 13 x 1800 / 5 = 32760 GP for 30' of travel, while this property offers 60' of travel per day that can be broken up over multiple uses. However, there are a large number of various [teleport] effects that are available for much cheaper, most notably the Boots of Big Stepping (MIC p. 76) for only 6000 GP. If you're willing to spend 65K on Phasing, there is one notable quirk to it: it's a conjuration (creation) effect, so it's not affected by anticipate teleportation or other effects that might trigger on a [teleport] tag. I'm not entirely sure what happens with dimensional anchor/lock, though... phase door isn't listed under the spells it specifically blocks against, but then again I don't see how something that blocks ethereal jaunt or etherealness wouldn't block a tunnel through the ethereal plane.

    Planar Tolerance
    Price: +25000 GP
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    Surprisingly enough, actually priced just about right... a continuous planar tolerance effect would normally cost 4 x 7 x 2000 = 56000 GP per the DMG guidelines. However, a continuous [I]avoid planar effects[I] would only cost 2 x 3 x 2000 x 2 = 24000 GP. The real question is how often is your character on a plane with a harmful environment where he needs to spend 25000 GP just to survive? If you can afford to pay for this enhancement, then you can probably afford to pay for plane shift or some other form of planar travel, in which case you could just move to some other plane with an environment that isn't trying to kill you.

    Poison Spike
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Book of Vile Darkness p. 111)
    All-day unlimited use poison attack, and it's an armor enhancement so it's already half the cost of a weapon enhancement, and you don't even have to pay extra for the armor spikes. To get a poison effect on a weapon, you'd have to pay at least 8300 GP: Dagger of Venom (8302 GP, DMG) has a poison attack 1/day (DC 14, 1d10 Con/1d10 Con), or the Venomous property (+1 enhancement, MIC p. 45) can get up to 3/day (DC 14, 1d4 Str/1d4 Str). The ability damage from these poison spikes isn't quite as strong, but the Fort save DC is a bit higher (DC 16, primary/secondary 1d3 Str), the poison applies itself automatically so you never need to check to see if you poison yourself, and you never run out of uses/day. This enhancement is a fantastic bargain for a poison-friendly build, but there are a few drawbacks. The armor spikes are "mundane", so if you need them to be magical or want to add more weapon enhancements, you have to pay for that separately. Like all poisons, the save DC starts out fairly low with no way to increase it as you level up, and there's a risk you'll poison yourself when you roll a '1' on an attack (Ref save DC 15 to avoid). The spikes can be retracted or extended with a command word, but I have no idea why you'd waste a standard action to do so, since there doesn't seem to be any penalty or risk to leaving the spikes out, and most adventurers wander around like fully-armored tanks bristling with weapons, spikes, and glowing-blasty-pointy-things all the time without drawing so much as a raised eyebrow.

    Power Resistance
    Price: +2/+3/+4/+5 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163)
    This property is essentially the same as the Spell Resistance property, particularly if psionic/magic transparency is in effect. Like Spell Resistance (see below), if you can't pick up PR/SR via a class or racial ability, paying for PR/SR on your armor may be cheaper than trying to get it on some other item. See the Spell Resistance entry for more details on specific items and alternative options.

    Presence
    Price: +8000 GP
    (Oriental Adventures p. 122)
    The Oriental Adventures errata changed the price from a +2 enhancement to +8000 GP, but that's still twice as expensive as a Cloak of Charisma +2 (4000 GP, DMG). So that's a pretty big "NO". Per the "Adding Common Item Effects to Existing Items" rules in the MIC (p. 233), a Charisma enhancement can be added to any head- or shoulder-slot item.

    Proof Against Enchantments
    Price: +50000 GP
    (Shining South p. 53)
    Gives you immunity to the first three enchantments you're targeted with per day. Ok, well, at least you're not paying 50K for something that only works 1/day. However, since it looks like you don't get to choose which enchantment effects it triggers on, you run the risk of it negating things that wouldn't have worked anyway or that you're already immune to (cause fear, daze, sleep, etc.). Most of the really nasty enchantment effects can be avoided via protection from evil, which is fairly easy to get even at 1st level. If you never get hit with any enchantment effects, then that 50K was completely wasted that day. And if you ever do go up against a dedicated enchanter, he can blow through your 3/day in 3 rounds, and then that 50K is worthless and you're his personal meatpuppet for the rest of the day. You're better off putting that 50K on something that helps every single round or doesn't run out of uses per day.

    Proof Against Transmutation
    Price: +5 enhancement
    (Complete Arcane p. 142)
    Expensive, yes, but it offers complete and continuous immunity to a large variety of save-or-die effects, including polymorph, petrification, and even disintegrate. While the price puts it out of the range of anything but a high-level game, I find it hard to imagine any high-level game where this enhancement wouldn't be extremely useful, particularly if you're tangling with anything from the Far Realms. At lower levels, if you're looking for something cheaper, there's the Amulet of Inviolate Form (11000 GP, MIC p. 69), which has 7 one-shot charges, but you have to decide if you're going to use a charge before you make your saving throw. The Talisman of Undying Fortitude (8000 GP, MIC p. 188) also provides 3 rounds of immunity 2/day to a wide variety of effects, including anything that requires a Fortitude save, but you have to activate it with a swift action beforehand. There's also the Belt of Reinforced Form (5400 GP, Drow of the Underdark p. 98) that offers a +4 untyped save bonus against any transmutation effect.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Armor Enhancements Part III (Q through X)

    Quickness
    Price: +1 enhancement (SRD/XPH) or +5000 GP (MIC)
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 13)
    Originally this appeared in the Expaned Psionic Handbook as a +1 enhancement that provided an untyped +5' bonus to your speed. When it was updated in the MIC, the price was fixed at +5000 GP, but unfortunately the +5' speed became an enhancement bonus. This is particularly annoying because it won't stack with other enhancement bonuses, such as the Monk's Unarmored Speed Bonus, expeditious retreat, haste, longstrider, etc. This might be worth it on light armor if you don't already have an enhancement bonus to your speed, but for medium and heavy armors you can add a Crystal of Alacrity (MIC p. 195) to add a +5' morale bonus to your speed, which stacks with both a Barbarian's Fast Movement and a Monk's Unarmored Speed Bonus.

    Radiant
    Price: +4 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 13)
    So let me get this straight... if I want armor with just acid resistance 10, it costs at least 18000 GP, but if I want energy resistance to all five basic energy types, it only costs 25000 GP? There are probably cheaper ways to pick up better energy resistance, but this is a much better deal than wasting money on acid/cold/electricity/fire/sonic resistance. Oh, and the armor radiates light if it takes any energy damage (equivalent to a hooded lantern), with some somewhat cumbersome rules to calculate how long the light lasts, but I'm not sure why anyone would bother. However, there is an amusing thought that if you wanted a continuous light source you could just light yourself on fire and let your armor absorb the damage (1d6/round).

    Ranged
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 13)
    This is one of the best shield enhancements in the game: two +1 weapon enhancements (Throwing + Returning) for the price of one! Not only that, but... okay, say it with me: "I am Captain America! Freedom Prevails!" You also get a damage upgrade, even if you don't already have the Bashing property: light shields/bucklers do 1d6 slashing damage (which may open up some combos with certain feats/spells), and heavy shields do 1d8. You do lose the benefits of your shield until the start of your next turn, but... totally worth it for the Captain America stuff.

    Reflecting
    Price: +5 enhancement
    (DMG)
    While this spell-turning ability is cheaper than a Ring of Spell Turning, you're investing at least 36000 GP into an ability that only works 1/day, and only against spellcasters. That money is probably better spent on enhancements and bonuses that apply to more than just one spell effect. Besides, a spellcaster smart enough to take you out with a single uberspell is also probably smart enough to know you have Reflecting armor, and take steps to counter or avoid its effects. Once you use this ability, that +5 enhancement bonus does absolutely nothing against the rest of his spells.

    Resilient
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Forge of War p. 118)
    A cheaper and somewhat more useful version of the Empyreal property (+2 enhancement, Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112), Resilient can be activated as an immediate action to shift the enhancement bonus from your armor/shield to one of your saves (Fortitude, Reflex, or Will) until the end of your next turn. Like Empyreal, you need a high enhancement bonus to begin with to get the best payoff with this property, but with Resilient you're paying less or getting a better save bonus than Empyreal. As an immediate action, you're also less likely to "waste" giving up your AC bonus for a save bonus on a round where you don't have to make any saves. If your base armor/shield enhancement is only +1 or your total non-AC enhancements are already pretty high, then you're probably better off spending your money on some other saving throw item. But if your base armor/shield enhancement is +3 or more, and you've already maxed out your resistance bonus, then Resilient could be a very effective enhancement.

    Restful
    Price: +500 GP
    (Dungeonscape p. 39)
    This is the exact same price as a Restful Crystal (500 GP, MIC p. 26), but leaves your augment crystal slot open for something else. For any kind of medium or heavy armor, this should be one of the first enhancements you buy, right along with Durable (+500 GP, same page).

    Retaliation
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (MIC p. 14)
    What concerns me with this enhancement is there's something of an inverse relationship here: an opponent that's more likely to exceed the 10 damage threshold is much less likely to care about taking 1d6 damage in retaliation. Likewise, lower-level threats where that 1d6 is going to hurt more are less likely to inflict 10 damage. Another big concern is how you calculate when things like the owner's damage reduction and energy resistance take effect. If the retaliation effect triggers on the raw damage before you subtract DR and energy resistance, then pairing this armor up with something like stoneskin is a nice combo: you ignore hits below 10 damage, anything above that and your opponent gets a nice little reward for exceeding your DR. If your DM rules that you actually have to lose the HPs to trigger the effect, then it's probably not worth the bother. There's also the little puzzle of although the description says treat this damage as magic for the purposes of DR, it doesn't specify if this would be treated like a spell (which bypasses DR) or magic weapon damage (which would still be reduced/negated by something like DR 5/silver or DR 5/good). If your DM rules it as weapon damage, then you've got another little puzzle of whether it's bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. I do appreciate that, unlike Energy Defense, this enhancement keeps working continuously, but if you're looking for something that damages an attacker every time you get hit with a melee attack, then for the same price consider Hamatula Barbs (+2 enhancement, Planar Handbook p. 78) instead.

    Roaring
    Price: +3
    (MIC p. 14)
    And here we have yet another reminder that in D&D, damage from arrows and crossbow bolts completely blows goatfolk. While Roaring isn't nearly as awful as Arrow Catching or Arrow Deflection, it's still a big (and expensive) pile of steaming disappointment. At the level you can afford this enhancement, the odds that you'll ever be peppered with non-magical projectiles are abysmally low. While the unlimited automatic deflection is very nice and has a good chance to seriously hurt or take down any poor bastard who can't afford to buy a magic bow or arrows, it's completely circumvented by a simple 1st-level magic weapon spell, and there are way too many other lower-level options that render most non-magical projectiles useless or nearly so: entropic shield, protection from arrows, and wind wall, just to name a few. The other oddity to this enhancement is the "Roaring" part, the mechanics of which aren't particularly well-defined. It sounds like it's supposed to act like an "early warning" alarm if you're taken by surprise, but the +4 competence bonus on initiative checks doesn't actually help you spot an ambush or do much to prevent an opponent from getting a surprise round. What about when you're the one trying to ambush someone else, wouldn't the loud roar ruin any chance for surprise? Assuming it doesn't, why does warning your opponent just before you attack give you a +4 bonus to initiative? Why don't your allies, who presumably already know what the roaring means, get the same bonus to initiative? Do you still get the bonus if you're silenced or deafened? There's an endearing perversity to the idea that a rogue wearing Roaring armor could surprise an opponent, stab him during the surprise round, and then get a bonus to stab him again before he can react, all because his armor had the decency to warn his opponent of the impending attack... but if you're looking for a bonus to initiative, you're much better off enchanting some armor/netcutter spikes or a shield with the Warning enhancement, which grants a +5 insight bonus on initiative checks (and is much quieter).

    Sacred
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Defenders of the Faith p. 24, Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93, Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112)
    Requires turn undead to be useful, but there are two issues with this. First, there are way too many other ways to buff your effective level for turning undead. And second, between Divine Metamagic or the various devotion feats in Complete Champion, most self-respecting clerics would never be caught (un?)dead using their turn undead uses to actually turn undead.

    Sailing
    Price: +20000 GP
    (Shining South p. 53)
    Autosucceed on any Balance check up to DC 20 while on a ship, and a +5 circumstance bonus on swim checks. While that's all very well and good, and possibly quite useful in a high-seas campaign with lots of swashbuckling, it's not something I'd pay 20K for.

    Sanctuary
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Shining South p. 54)
    A 3/day command-word item that casts a 1st level spell should only cost 1080 GP: (1 x 1 x 1800) x 3/5. So it's overpriced as a +1 enhancement. And while I do think sanctuary is a very good, very underappreciated spell, it has one very glaring weakness: as a 1st level spell, the save DC tends to be extremely low. While spellcasters can fix this with a high casting attribute, attribute boosters, and/or Heighten Spell, that won't work here since the enhancement fixes the Will save at DC 11. So while this might be a somewhat useful enhancement at very low levels, it would quickly become irrelevant.

    Scorpion's Carapace
    Price: +32000 GP
    (Sandstorm p. 130)
    Kind of expensive to pick up two obscure feats: Scorpion's Resolve, which grants a +4 untyped bonus against mind-affecting spells and abilities, and Scorpion's Sense, which grants something like tremorsense out to 10' (or 20' if in an area covered with ash, dust, loose earth, or sand). While the Mindarmor property is much cheaper (3000 GP, MIC p. 13) for a +5 untyped bonus on mind-affecting saves, Mindarmor can only be used 3/day, and the +4 from Scorpion's Resolve is continuous and untyped, so it stacks with Mindarmor and a Crystal of Mind Cloaking (500/4000/10000 GP, MIC p. 25). While the range on Scorpion's Sense is a bit short, it's not explicitly identified as tremorsense, so it works against the Darkstalker feat (Lords of Madness p. 179). It only pinpoints, though, so you still have to roll for % miss chance. Picking up a Blindfold of True Darkness (9000 GP, MIC p. 75) for blindsight 30' is probably a better deal. While Scorpion's Resolve and Scorpion's Sense are both undeniably useful feats, there are a variety of alternatives that won't set you back 32000 GP.

    Seeing
    Price: +6000 GP
    (Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163)
    This is somewhat similar to the Ocular enhancement, but not nearly as useful. You get a +1 enhancement bonus to Spot checks (Really? 6K for a +1 bonus? Can't wait to cash in on that bargain!), and any attacker flanking you gets only a +1 bonus instead of a +2. However, you still count as flanked... so I have no idea why you'd spend 6K on this. You're better off buying a Ring of Protection +1 for 2000 GP to improve your AC against all opponents, not just flankers.

    Sentinel
    Price: +15120 GP
    (Cityscape Web Enhancement, Part 3)
    This is essentially a "security camera" that city guards can use to alert their superiors or identify a suspect. Unfortunately, it has a limited number of uses (3/day for up to 7 minutes each use), which makes it difficult to use for frequent long-range communication. A pair of Aspect Mirrors (4000 GP, Complete Scoundrel p. 113) would be much cheaper, and they work continuously.

    Shadow
    Price: +3750 GP, +15000 GP (Improved), +33750 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    If the bonus was anything other than competence, this might be worth it. As it is, you're paying too much for a skill bonus. DMG guidelines suggest (bonus)^2 x 100. Cloak of Elvenkind is already 2500 GP, Skin of the Chameleon (15000 GP, MIC p. 170) can be worn over armor for a +10 competence bonus, and a +15 competence bonus shouldn't cost more than 22500 GP. If you're trying to optimize Hide checks with a sneak build, consider starting with Chameleon Leather (+2 circumstance bonus on Hide checks, Serpent Kingdoms p. 148) or Shadowsilk leather/hide armor (+2 untyped bonus on Hide checks, Tome of Magic p. 155).

    Shapeshifting
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Oriental Adventures p. 122)
    Shapeshifting converts your armor's enhancement bonus into a deflection bonus when you're in an alternate form, so if you have access to wildshape, polymorph, metamorphosis, etc., then this might be well worth blowing a wad of cash on a higher enhancement bonus. A deflection bonus stacks with just about everything applies to nearly every attack imaginable: touch attacks, incorporeal attacks, brilliant energy weapons, etc. If you can put this on a dastana or chahar-aina, then you can convert an enhancement bonus that normally doesn't stack with your base armor bonus to a deflection bonus that does stack. Once you get up to a +3 enhancement bonus or higher, it's cheaper than a Ring of Protection: armor +4 = 16000 GP vs. ring +3 = 18000 GP, armor +5 = 25000 GP vs. ring +4 = 32000 GP, armor +6 = 36000 GP vs. ring +5 = 50000 GP.

    Signaling
    Price: +12960 GP
    (Oriental Adventures p. 123)
    Pay 13K for a 2nd-level spell 3/day? No thanks. As with the Linked property, there are several cheaper options, but most of them have other restrictions on range or uses per day. Rings of Communication (2000 GP, MIC p. 122) are cheaper and have unlimited uses, but only within a range of 1 mile. Sending Stones (1400 GP, MIC p. 184) have no range limitation, but you're limited to 25 words and can only be used 1/day. Circle of Sound (2000 GP per ring, Eberron Campaign Setting p. 271) has unlimited verbal communication via a message spell, but only has 220' range and can be blocked by physical barriers. The best long-range communication device is an Aspect Mirror (4000 GP, Complete Scoundrel p. 113), which works anywhere on the same plane and provides unlimited audio/video communication.

    Silent Moves
    Price: +3750 GP, +15000 GP (Improved), +33750 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    The same criticism from Shadow applies here as well. You're paying too much for a competence bonus, and Boots of Elvenkind already provide a +5 competence bonus on Move Silently checks for 2500 GP. If you're trying to optimize Move Silently checks with a sneak build, Shadowsilk leather/hide armor (Tome of Magic p. 155) provides a +2 untyped bonus to Move Silently checks. Muffling (+300 GP, FR Underdark p. 66) can also be added to any armor for a +2 circumstance bonus on Move Silently checks.

    Slick
    Price: +3750 GP, +15000 GP (Improved), +33750 (Greater)
    (DMG)
    As with Shadow and Silent Moves, you're paying too much for a competence bonus. While there isn't an equivalent to Boots/Cloak of Elvenkind, there's the Vest of Escape (5200 GP, DMG) for a +6 competence bonus, Silkslick Belt (2000 GP, MIC p. 136) for a +10 competence bonus, or Oil of Slipperiness (1000 GP, DMG) for a +20 competence bonus. There's also Slippery Oil (50 GP, Dragon Compendium p. 119) for a +5 untyped bonus, which stacks with a +2 alchemical bonus from Spelunker's Oil (15 GP, Drow of the Underdark p. 93), and a +2 circumstance bonus from a Spelunker's Kit (80 GP, FR Underdark p. 67). If all you need to escape from is nets or webs, then Netcutter Spikes (+200 GP, Races of the Wild p. 167) grant a +4 circumstance bonus to getting out of entangling effects.

    Slimy
    Price: +16200 GP
    (Planar Handbook p. 78)
    Up until the Spell Compendium was printed and dropped babau slime from a 3rd level spell down to a 1st level spell, this enhancement was priced appropriately: 3 x 5 x 1800 x 3 / 5 = 16200 GP. However, a 1st-level spell effect 3/day should only cost 1 x 1 x 1800 x 3 / 5 = 1080 GP. Even assuming the damage was closer to what you'd expect from a 3rd level spell, it only damages creatures if they attack with an unarmed strike, melee touch, or natural weapon attack. If you're looking for something that does damage while grappling, then Acidic is a better deal (+1 enhancement, MIC p. 6, no activation required, unlimited use). If you're looking for something that does damage against anything striking you in melee, then get Hamatula Barbs instead (+2 enhancement, same book/same page).

    Soulbound
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Magic of Incarnum p. 110, MIC p. 14)
    Even assuming your character is a meldshaper and has the spare essentia to invest in this enhancement, this isn't worth it. This property is only effective on an armor/shield that only has a +1 enhancement bonus applying towards your AC (any higher, and you're better off just upgrading to an armor/shield +3 and investing your essentia elsewhere). You have the option of investing either 1 or 2 points of essentia, but if you only invest 1 point, you're not even breaking even: you paid for a +1 enhancement that gives you a +1 AC bonus and you have one less essentia to spend elsewhere. If you spend 2 points of essentia, you get a +2 AC bonus, but half of that you already paid for, so you're essentially spending 2 points of essentia for a +1 AC bonus. You're better off just buying an armor/shield +2 and investing those 2 points of essentia into a soulmeld that can give you a +2 AC bonus (+4 total AC bonus), such as an Ankheg Breastplate, Crystal Helm, Incarnate Avatar (Good), Totem Avatar, or Wormtail Belt. Binding the armor/shield to a chakra doesn't provide much of a benefit, either... you're wasting your arm chakra on a bonus that can be obtained from several other unbound soulmelds (Behir Gorget, Shedu Crown, etc.), and binding to the soul chakra is only available to 19th-level Incarnates. The only real advantage to getting a Soulbound armor/shield is if you need to attach a Greater Augment Crystal, you can get the equivalent of a +3 enhancement bonus (required for a greater crystal) by only paying for a +2 enhancement bonus, but if you have to invest those 2 points of essentia elsewhere or they get drained away, the greater crystal will stop working.

    Soulbound, Greater [Synergy]
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (MIC p. 14)
    Like the not-so-great version, you're better off just buying an armor/shield +3 and investing your essentia into a soulmeld that gives you a one-for-one AC bonus per essentia ratio (see above). You already paid for the equivalent of an armor/shield +3, so you only get a better AC bonus by investing 3 or 4 points of essentia. However, your essentia capacity is limited by your character level, so this property's essentia capacity can't go up to 3 until you're 12th level, and it doesn't go up to 4 until you're 18th level (at which point, being able to afford an armor/shield +5 probably isn't all that difficult). Since soulmeld capacities are easier to increase via class abilities or feats, you're much better off investing those 3 or 4 points of essentia into soulmelds that grant an AC bonus.

    Soulfire
    Price: +4 enhancement
    (Book of Exalted Deeds p. 112)
    This is one of the few high-price enhancements that's worth it: continuous complete immunity to death effects, energy/ability drain, negative energy effects, most of the really nasty undead attacks, and almost the entire school of Necromancy. You pay quite a bit more for it, but this beats the pants off of Death Ward, Absorbing, and Buffering enhancements, which are limited to a number of uses/day. The description only mentions "armor", but check with your DM if you can put this on a buckler +1 (25165 GP total) to keep your other enhancements from driving up the price.

    Spearblock
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (Complete Warrior p. 134, MIC p. 12)
    Waste of money. Too easy to bypass, and you're probably a lot better off putting that +2 enhancement bonus towards your AC.

    Speed
    Price: +6000 GP
    (MIC p. 14)
    Lame... 6000 GP for only 3 rounds of haste? This is half the cost of Boots of Speed, but the boots give you 10 rounds for 12000 GP (1200 GP per round, cheaper than 2000 GP per round), and they are activated with a free action instead of a swift. You may be better off putting a wand chamber (100 GP, Dungeonscape) for your shield and buying a wand of swift haste (6000 GP, or about 48 GP per round of haste, on average).

    Spell-Catching
    Price: +2 enhancement or +4 enhancement (Greater)
    (Forge of War p. 118)
    This is an interesting enhancement that has both defensive and offensive capabilities. There are several magic items that can absorb spells, such as the pale lavender Ioun Stone (20000 GP) or Rod of Absorption (50000 GP) in the DMG, but Spell-Catching allows you to store the absorbed spell up to an hour and cast it yourself (with the usual casting time). While a Spellbade (+6000 GP, Player's Guide to Faerun p. 120), Ring of Spell-Battle (12000 GP, MIC p. 127) or Ring of Spell Turning (98280 GP, DMG) allow an enemy spell to be redirected back to the caster automatically or as a free/immediate action, Spell-Catching can also be used by a friendly spellcaster as a Spell-Storing weapon to let the meatbags cast their own buffs. This is particularly useful for swift-action buffs, since it doesn't cut into the meatbag's action economy quite so much. Unfortunately, unlike Spell-Storing, Spell-Catching only works 1/day, and the stored spell only lasts 1 hour, which is disappointing for a +2 enhancement. You can get the same effect with a Spell-Storing weapon or Ring of Minor Spell Storing by using a Ring of Spell-Battle to redirect a spell to target the Spell-Storing weapon/ring instead. The Greater version can absorb a spell up to 6th level, but for a +4 enhancement I expect something that works more often than 1/day. If you're worried about one particular spell, then a Spellblade is a much better deal, has no limit on uses per day, and can even absorb up to 9th level spells.

    Spell Resistance
    Price: +2/+3/+4/+5 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Like Damage Reduction, Spell Resistance can be extremely expensive, but it becomes much more important at higher levels where creatures are more likely to have spellcasting/SLAs, and save-or-die or no-save effects are much more common. If you can't get SR via a class ability, racial ability, or some other effect, then paying for SR on your armor isn't a bad deal. For example, Aribeth's Ring (50000 GP, Magic of Faerun p. 145) for example grants SR 17, but armor +1 with SR 17 would only cost half that (25000 GP). Robe of the Archmagi offers SR 18 (among other things) for 75000 GP, compared to armor +1 with SR 19 for only 36000 GP. Once you get up to SR 19, however, to get any higher than that (SR 21) you have to cough up 90000 GP for a Mantle of Spell Resistance (DMG) or Skin of the Psion (XPH/SRD/MIC). If you're looking for something more temporary, a Salve of Minor Spell Resistance (1350 GP, MIC p. 183) is a great deal: SR 17 for 5 minutes.

    Spider Boon
    Price: +9000 GP
    (Drow of the Underdark p. 97)
    +4 enhancement bonus to Climb and Escape Artist checks? Meh. Webs from monstrous spiders can't affect you? Meh. Gain a Climb speed 3/day for 8 rounds? Slippers of Spider Climbing (4800 GP, DMG) are cheaper and can be used at-will up to 10 minutes per day, so... meh. Rod of Cats is only slightly more expensive (10620 GP, MIC p. 56) but offers 50 minutes of spider climb, or if you need more uses per day, you could buy several pairs of Boots of Dragonstriding (1500 GP, MIC p. 77) for 10 minutes 1/day.

    Spider Bound
    Price: +2500 GP (buckler), +5000 GP (light), +10000 GP (heavy), +15000 GP (tower)
    (Drow of the Underdark p. 97)
    Anything your bound spider can do can be done for a heckuva lot cheaper with an Amber Amulet of Vermin (500-1200 GP, MIC p. 68). If you need something that lasts longer than 10 rounds/day, then a Figurine of Woundrous Power: Gold Beetle (11200 GP, Sandstorm p. 133) is a much better deal than a monstrous spider (even a huge one). There is an interesting trick you can do with Spider Bound if you take a buckler +1, add the Variable (+1 enhancement, MIC p. 15) and Called (+2000, MIC p. 9) properties: 6165 GP total, which is much cheaper than enchanting a tower shield directly. Switch the buckler into a tower shield, transform it into a huge monstrous spider for 10 rounds, and when it gets squished or the duration expires, it turns back into a tower shield that you can call back to your arm with a standard action. However... an Amber Amulet of Vermin still does everything a Spider Bound shield can do for a heckuva lot cheaper, and you get to keep your shield bonus.

    Stamina
    Price: +500 GP, +4000 GP (Improved), +8000 (Greater)
    (MIC p. 15)
    Similar to Agility, this can help shore up a weak Fort save, but you'll have to weigh the trade-off between this and buying a Cloak of Resistance. The Cloak is more expensive and takes up an item slot, but you get a resistance bonus to all your saves.

    Strength
    Price: 8000 GP (+2) or 32000 GP (+4)
    (Magic of Faerun p. 137)
    This property provides the same enhancement bonus to Strength as Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+2) or Belt of Giant Strength (+4), but doubles the cost. The MIC already allows you to add an enhancement bonus to Strength on any item that occupies the arms/hands/waist slot (pp. 233-234) for the same price as the Gauntlets/Belt, so there's no reason for you to ever pay double for the same bonus on a body slot item.

    Styptic
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 15)
    It's hard to tell if this enhancement is worth it, but that probably depends quite a bit on how often you find your character bleeding to death. A Brooch of Stability (1000 GP, MIC p. 83) is cheaper, but only works 1/day. A Scarab of Stabilization (20000 GP, MIC p. 132) is much more expensive, but also provides a one-shot "Get Out of Death Free" card. The ability to ignore Con damage due to blood drain is nice, but for such a relatively rare special attack I was hoping for better than a 75% failure rate. All in all, you're probably better off just buying a Brooch of Stability, and if you find that you need it more than 1/day, buy more Brooches of Stability.

    Swarmguard
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Dungeonscape p. 39)
    In general, swarms don't tend to come up often enough to really justify picking up this enhancement. However, when they do show up, they can be significantly more dangerous than their CR suggests because most PC aren't prepared to deal with them. Swarmguard provides DR 5/- vs. swarm damage, and also gives the wearer an untyped bonus on saves against the distraction/nausea effect equal to the armor bonus. This last feature is kind of nice, since you can get a very high save bonus just by picking an armor with a higher armor bonus (full plate, heavy plate, mechanus gear, etc.), and your enhancement bonus can increase your armor bonus even further, particularly when you add magic vestment on top of it. However, unless your DM is known for his deep unnatural love of swarms, you can skip this enhancement.

    Time Buttress
    Price: +5 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 15)
    While I certainly won't deny the sheer awesomeness of being completely immune to anything that can kill you for 1 round, there are 14399 other rounds in a day where that +5 enhancement bonus is doing absolutely nothing for you. The other problem with this enhancement is it takes a standard action to activate, which means you have to guess when you're going to need it most, and it may turn out that you didn't need to be invulnerable for that round. If this effect could be activated with an immediate action, so you could respond to the really big piles of flying excrement just before they hit the proverbial fan, then it might be worth it. The Scarab of Invulnerability (40000 GP, MIC p. 132) offers a similar effect and only takes a swift action to activate, but the loopholes are bit different: the Scarab only protects you from harmful effects that do damage, while Time Buttress protects you from all attacks/spells/powers, harmful and helpful. Either way, that money is better spent on something that makes you look awesome more than 1 round per day.

    Twilight
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 15)
    This property has been printed in something like a dozen different sourcebooks, but wherever you can find it, it's pure awesomesauce for arcane spellcasters. For more information on reducing Arcane Spell Failure, I've got an ##entire section## on doing just that.

    Undead Controlling
    Price: +49000 GP
    (DMG)
    I don't know all that much about necromancer builds, but this property has a couple problems with it. First, even mindless undead get a Will save DC 17, which is so low even 1HD skeletons and zombies are going to succeed about 30-35% of the time. And second, there are cheaper and more effective ways to raise 26HD of undead under your control than spending 49000 GP on this property.

    Undead Disrupting
    Price: +3600 GP
    (Ghostwalk p. 62 and [url http=" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20031225a"]Ghostwalk 3.5 Update[/url])
    Allows the owner to cast disrupt undead 4/day. An unlimited use magic item for a cantrip should only cost 900 GP (0.5 x 1 x 1800). Although the Ghostwalk 3.5 Update dropped the price from a ludicrously overpriced +2 enhancement to only 3600 GP, as I advised with Ghost Disrupting, do not buy this enhancement or you will be laughed at.

    Vanishing
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionic Handbook p. 163, MIC p. 15)
    In the SRD/XPH, this property is based on the cloud mind power, which is somewhat similar to invisibility except the target gets a Will save to detect you, but if he fails, he can't detect you by any means unless you attack or large pieces of furniture start moving around him for no apparent reason, in which case he gets another Will save. Normally, the cloud mind power only affects one target creature, but the armor enhancement version appears to affect every creature around the owner (no range is listed, but a close-range ability with a 3rd level manifester would work out to 40'). The MIC version makes no mention of cloud mind at all, so there is no Will save and no maximum range. The language about being detected has also changed, and now you can't be detected by any non-magical sense/ability (including scent, tremorsense, blindsense, Listen and Spot checks). Thus, it's a little better than just plain ol' vanilla invisibility (which can still be pinpointed via scent, blindsense, or Listen/Spot checks), but not quite as good as greater invisibility. The duration (3 minutes, 2/day) is better than most of the cheaper invisibility items, but if you're going to spend 16000 GP on this armor enhancement, you're only 4000 GP away from a Ring of Invisibility with unlimited uses. If you're only looking for an invisibility effect for sneak-attacking purposes, then you can save some money with Boots of Tracklessness (11000 GP, MIC p. 79) for 7 rounds of greater invisibility 1/day or a Vanisher Cloak (2500 GP, MIC p. 145) for up to 12 rounds of not-so-greater invisibility.

    Variable
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (MIC p. 15)
    If you've got a character that uses a wide variety of combat styles or wants to switch to a different weapon that doesn't work well with his existing shield, then adding this property can help prevent a shield from becoming irrelevant. You can also use this property to save yourself some cash if you need a shield made out of a special material with an expensive per-pound cost. For example, if you need a tower shield made out of blended quartz (+2000 GP/pound, A&EG p. 18), you can pay for a 5-pound buckler +1, add the Variable property for another +3000 GP, and then switch it into a 45-pound tower shield. There are some other tricks you can do with Variable, though... because a shield can also be enchanted as a weapon, you can add the Sizing property (+5000 GP, MIC p. 43) to turn your shield into a colossal-sized tower shield. Assuming that most shields are about half as wide as the amount of space a creature occupies, and tower shields are as tall as the creature it protects, by some rough napkin calculations this means a colossal tower shield is about 15' x 30'. Add the Flying property (+1 enhancement, Magic of Faerun p. 140), and you've got yourself a huge double-wide flying carpet that provides total concealment. Make the shield out of Riverine (+4000 GP, Stormwrack p. 128) and now you've got a floating 15' x 30' wall of force. Another trick with the colossal flying tower shield: use it as a floating platform to summon a few celestial bison (1800 lbs, SMIII), fiendish rhinos (6000 lbs, SMVI), or anchor a thick wall of ice on top of the shield. Then shrink it down to a fine-sized buckler, and bombard anyone underneath with 20d6 falling object damage (no save).

    Vengeful
    Price: +1 enhancement (plus the cost for the sentira special material)
    (Secrets of Sarlona p.137)
    If you don't have a bard or cleric in your party that isn't already buffing you with morale bonuses, then this enhancement might be worth it. If anyone damaged you with a spell or targeted you with a harmful effect since your last turn, you get a +2 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls, and a +1 morale bonus on saves against effects from these same enemies. This may be particularly useful for archer builds (the attack/damage bonus does not specify melee nor does it have any specific range) who could use all the bonus damage they can get (and can respond in kind to targets smart enough not to stand next to them), but a 2nd level bard casting inspirational boost can provide the same morale bonus to attacks/damage/saves. As with the Calming and Dreadful properties, Vengeful can only be added to armor made out of sentira (Secrets of Sarlona p. 135), which drives up the price.

    Vermin Controlling
    Price: +49000 GP
    (Shining South p. 54)
    This enhancement is almost identical to, and shares some of the same problems, as Undead Controlling from the DMG. Vermin still get a Will save DC 17, and although they generally have worse saves than undead, even a 2HD spider swarm will make the save 20% of the time. However, unlike Undead Controlling, there aren't a lot of ways to control vermin, so this enhancement could be quite useful for warlocks, druids, or summoners who use summon monster or summon swarm a lot, particularly this last spell since it confers no ability to control the swarm once it's been summoned. Swarms also have several advantages over undead: turn undead has no effect on them, they are immune to weapon damage and a wide variety of spells, they do damage automatically over an area rather than make an attack roll, and anything that takes damage is subject to a Distraction (Ex) effect (i.e., Fort save vs. nausea). Also, since controlling vermin isn't overtly [evil] (just creepy), you're less likely to get smited or the "mob with torches and pitchforks" treatment for it. So, for a warlock, druid, or summoner that deals a lot with vermin, this is definitely something you want to invest in. The biggest downside to nibbling your enemies to death with swarms of insects is it takes a considerable amount of time. In the time it takes to nibble someone to death, you could cast a dozen standard-action spells that could do it quicker... but that wouldn't be nearly as satisfying.

    Wall
    Price: +2 enhancement
    (SRD/Expanded Psionics Handbook p. 163)
    This was updated in the MIC as "Ectoplasmic Wall", but since the designers changed the name, the "Wall" property would still be considered a separate enhancement. While it's still not worth a +2 enhancement, the SRD/XPH version has some notable differences: the area affected can go up to twelve 10-foot squares or a hemisphere with a 12' radius (MIC version is ten 10-foot squares or hemisphere with a 10' radius), it's 3 inches thick instead of 2 inches (30 HP per 5' section, hardness 5), and the duration is 7 *minutes* rather than 7 rounds. However, since your opponents can hack it apart or force their way through with a Strength check (DC 21), I don't think the longer duration makes it any more useful.

    Warming
    Price: +1/+2 enhancement
    (Races of Faerun p. 170)
    As with Cooling, this enhancement is generally *much* cheaper than buying Cold Resistance. While you can pick up any particular energy resistance 5 (including [force] or [sonic]) with a Dragoncraft armor/shield, that can't be combined with other special materials such as adamantine/darkleaf/mithral/etc. There are also some other cheaper alternatives to consider: the Cloak of Elemental Protection (1000 GP, MIC p. 87) offers energy resistance 10 to one energy type 1/day as an immediate action, and the Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97) offers up to 10-20 points of fire/cold resistance as an immediate action for a certain number of charges per day. While a +2 Warming enhancement generally costs cheaper than a Ring of Minor Cold Resistance (12000 GP, DMG), the Ring becomes a better deal once your total armor enhancements gets up to +4 or more.

    Wary
    Price: +5000 GP
    (Champions of Ruin p. 40)
    This enhancement is only useful for characters that have at least 8 levels of Rogue and are currently being flanked by someone else with at least 4 more levels of Rogue. Given the number of different ways you can qualify for or negate sneak attack damage, the conditions where this enhancement would help are just way too narrow to be useful. Skip it and consider putting your money towards a Smoking weapon or Fortification.

    Wild
    Price: +3 enhancement
    (DMG)
    Pretty much an "I Am Druidzilla" T-shirt, this is a must-have for any druid that spends a lot of time in wildshape, since it allows you to stack your natural armor bonus with your armor bonus and enhancement bonus. For shields, Animated (+2 enhancement) is cheaper. If you can't quite afford this yet, there are a few cheaper alternatives. Beastskin property (MIC p. 7) is only a +2 enhancement, but costs one extra use of wildshape. Shapeshifting (Oriental Adventures p. 122) is only a +1 enhancement, but it converts your enhancement bonus into a deflection bonus, which might be a good idea if your base armor bonus is low but your enhancement bonus is much higher. If your natural form and wildshape form are roughly the same size and shape, you can probably get by with a Wilding Clasp (4000 GP, MIC p. 190), but this may severely limit the number of wildshape forms you can change into if your DM gets nitpicky about humanoid/animal physiology.

    Woodwalk
    Price: +9000 GP
    (MIC p. 15)
    Since this enhancement requires the woodland stride class feature, it's only useful to druids and rangers... in which case they may be already able to cast tree stride or they can just buy a scroll for 700 GP (although this appears to be an error in the DMG, should probably be 1125 GP), and that lasts up to 9 hours for up to 9 jumps.

    Wrapping
    Price: +1 enhancement
    (Arms & Equipment Guide p. 93)
    This is an unusual and possibly underrated debuffing property, somewhat similar to Fleshgrinding (Book of Vile Darkness p. 111) but instead of doing damage, it attaches to an opponent and incurs an additional -5 Armor Check Penalty on skill checks and a -2 circumstance penalty on attacks. These penalties also apply to the shield's owner, but he can release it as a free action. His opponent has to spend an action and make a Strength Check DC 20 to remove it. It does not require a grapple check and since it doesn't actually prevent an opponent from moving, freedom of movement won't work. It can't be used against incorporeal creatures or anything Huge-sized or larger, but everything else seems to be fair game. It could be interesting to combine this property into a Bashing Throwing Wrapping Fleshgrinding heavy spiked shield +1 (27167 GP by my calculations), which you can throw at an opponent, automatically attach it as a free action, and then have it grind 2d6+1 points of damage for 5 rounds while incurring a -5 ACP and -2 attack penalty. We want to use Throwing instead of Ranged or Returning because we don't want the shield to come back right away, but to get it back after the fleshgrinding is done, we can add the Called property for +2000 GP (MIC p. 9, I'm assuming "wrapped/fleshgrinding" is not the same as "worn") or a Lesser Crystal of Return for +1000 GP (MIC p. 65, move action instead of standard). Since the -2 on attacks is a circumstance penalty, it's possible that getting hit by multiple wrapping shields could stack, although I imagine most DMs will rule that multiple shields using the same enhancement would count as the "same source".

    Xorn Movement
    Price: +36000 GP
    (FR Underdark p. 70)
    This enhancement gives you 9 rounds/day of xorn movement, a spell it says is supposed to be in chapter 4 but isn't actually there. The spell is printed in the Manual of the Planes, however, and as a 5th level wizard/sorcerer spell, 36000 GP is overpriced. It should only cost 16200 GP (5 x 9 x 1800 / 5). Even at 36K for 9 rounds/day, earth glide is an extremely powerful ability, and very difficult to get anywhere else. However, in the same Underdark book (p. 74), there's a Figurine of Wondrous Power: Sardonyx Stone Flyer, that can earth glide both itself and its rider for up to 1 hour/day, for only 16500 GP. That should be more than enough time to completely glide through your DM's uberkiller deathtrap dungeon and make a note of every secret passage, trap, inhabitants, minions, bosses, etc. So skip the armor enhancement and buy the figurine instead.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Saving from WOTC Forum: The 3.5 Armor and Shield thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Healing
    Price: +8000 GP, +2400 GP (Greater)
    (MIC p. 12)
    I can't quite make up my mind if this property is worth it or overpriced. On one hand, a Belt of Healing is much, much cheaper... but then again, a Belt of Healing is so horrendously underpriced, it makes spending 1 CP on a torch feel like a huge waste of money. And some DMs ban or re-price the Belt of Healing. The equivalent of a cure moderate wounds 1/day should only cost about 2160 GP. On the other hand, the swift-action to activate and the auto-heal at -1 to -9 HP feature might be worth 8000 GP, since it follows the general advice for combat healing: "Don't give up attacks to heal." Then again, a wand of close wounds (Spell Compendium p. 48, immediate action to heal 1d4+3 HP) only costs 4500 GP. And on the gripping hand, when you really, really *need* healing, no price is too high. Except for the Greater Healing version: 28000 GP for two cure serious wounds, even at caster level 15th and as a swift-action, is beyond ludicrously expensive.
    I can't Count how many lives this has safed so far. Sure, without it you would have 8000 gp more to spend, but I don't think those would have prevented the Situation in that Healing will save you.

    You could compare the Healing enchantment to the 3rd Level spell "Close Wounds": it heals much less than comparable 3rd Level healing spells, but it can save a life that a Cure Serious Wound can not.
    Neither Healing nor Close Wounds are efficient healing, but that is not their key Feature. Instead they provide healing when you really need it.

    To make a Magic: The Gathering analogy: compare Counterspell to Force of Will. Both spells have exactly the same effect ("Counter target spell"). But Counterspell is clearly more efficient: you trade 2 mana and 1 Card to Counter 1 spell. For Force of Will it's either 5 mana and a Card OR 2 cards and 1 life to Counter 1 spell.
    But Force of Will will save you in situations where Counterspell could not.

    Both Force of Will and Healing/Close Wounds are Panic Buttons and Safety Nets.

    Maybe at very high Levels it becomes less usefull, but for Levels up to at least 14 HP damage that doesn't overkill you 10 times is a common occurance.

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