An enhancement bonus represents a magical increase in the effectiveness of an item. Multiple enhancement bonuses of the same type do not stack. Also, enhancement bonuses that cover many areas do not stack with a specific type. For example, Speed which provides an enhancement bonus to move speed does not stack with Striding. Only the highest enhancement bonus applies for each type. Therefore, only an item or a spell is necessary to get the best bonus, so as you begin equipping items that provide bonuses like Acid Resistance, casting Resist Energy becomes unnecessary. Many types of Enhancement bonuses exist.
+X Enhancement Bonus
- Adds X to the Armor Class for an armor
- Adds X to the Attack and damage rolls for a weapon1
- For shields, an enhancement bonus increases attack, damage, shield bonus to armor class and damage reduction when actively blocking (stacks with other forms of DR)
- When actively blocking with an orb, an enhancement bonus increases your Saves as well as your 5 core Energy Resistances by the X.
1 When wielding two weapons, each weapon uses its own X. When using a ranged weapon, only the ammo or the weapon's plus number is used, whichever is higher. Therefore, it's best to use +1 ranged weapons (minimum amount), with +5 ammo (which is easily obtained through crafting, vendors or conjuring with spells).
- Weapons that have any X enhancement bonus will bypass DR/Magic.
- Armor that has any X enhancement bonus is automatically considered Masterwork, and thus it isn't as cumbersome, reducing the Armor Check Penalty by 1.
Other Enhancement Bonuses
Many other enhancement bonuses exist for many Character sheet scores.
Enhancement 'type' bonuses are also the most commonly used bonus type for some other things besides the standard plus bonuses such as:
- A specific skill for some spells (like Jump) and some magic items (another more common kind of skill bonus is a competence bonus)
- A specific ability for some spells (like Bull's strength) and some magic items
- Attack speed (e.g. from a Melee Alacrity item, a speed item, items or Haste spell)
- Run speed (e.g. from a striding item, a speed item or a Haste spell)
- Numerous others.