My issue is that people see Vow of Poverty as 'omfg broken', when the benefits it provides are only marginally better than what one could acquire through classic adventuring.
So, here's some numbers.
Level 01: +4 Exalted AC Bonus
Previous Total: 0gp
AC Bonus: +40,000gp (Bonus2x2,500)
New Total: 40,000gp
Level 02: Bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 40,000gp
New Total: 40,000gp
Level 03: +5 Exalted AC Bonus, endure elements
Previous Total: 40,000gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +22,500gp (new total is 62,500gp)
Endure Elements: +1,000gp (Use activated: level x caster level x 2,000 gp / 2 [for 24 hr duration])
New Total: 63,500gp
Level 04: Exalted strike +1, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 63,500gp
Exalted Strike: +2,000gp (+1 Weapon)
New Total: 65,500gp
Level 05: Sustenance
Previous Total: 65,500gp
Sustenance: +2,500gp (as per Ring of Sustenance)
New Total: 68,000gp
Level 06: +6 Exalted AC Bonus, deflection +1, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 68,000gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +27,500gp (new total is 90,000gp)
Deflection AC Bonus: +2,000 gp (Bonus2x2,000gp)
New Total: 97,500gp
Level 07: Resistance +1, +2 Ability Enhancement
Previous Total: 97,500gp
Resistance +1: +1,000gp (cf. Cloak of Resistance)
+2 Ability: +4,000 gp (cf. items)
New Total: 102,500gp
Level 08: Natural armor +1, mind shielding, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 102,500gp
Natural armor: +2,000gp (cf. Amulet of Natural Armor)
Mind shielding: +8,000gp (cf. Ring of Mind Shielding)
New Total: 110,500gp
Level 09: +7 Exalted AC Bonus
Previous Total: 110,500gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +32,500gp (new total is 122,500gp)
New Total: 143,000gp
Level 10: Exalted Strike +2 (good), damage reduction 5/magic, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 143,000gp
Exalted Strike: +6,000gp (new total is 8,000gp; for monks, Greater Magic Fang + permanency may be getting cheaper)
Damage Reduction 5/magic: +8,000 (ad hoc -- figure a little lower than the price of medium adamantine, since magic damage should be reasonable common)
New Total: 157,000gp
Level 11: Ability score enhancement: +4/+2
Previous Total: 157,000gp
+4 Ability: 16,000gp (cf. +4 stat items)
New Total: 173,000gp
Level 12: +8 Exalted AC Bonus, deflection +2, greater sustenance, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 173,000gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +37,500gp (new total is 160,000gp)
Deflection AC Bonus: +6,000 gp (New total is 8,000gp)
Greater sustenance: +18,000 (cf. ioun stone)
New Total: 234,500gp
Level 13: Resistance +2, energy resistance 5
Previous Total: 234,500gp
Resistance +2: +3,000gp (new total is 4,000gp)
Energy resistance 5: +19,500 (ad hoc -- resist energy spells provide more and are cheaper, but the item they compare to is pricier than an 'always active' version of the spell; since this only provides 5 points, went with half the price of the minor ring added in four 'similar abilities' as per the rules)
New Total: 257,000gp
Level 14: Exalted strike +3, freedom of movement, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 257,000gp
Exalted Strike: +10,000gp (for a monk, Greater Magic Fang + permanency is now cheaper and provides greater effect at this level -- we will continue to value it as a 'magic weapon enhancement bonus')
Freedom of movement: +40,000gp (cf. ring of Freedom of Movement)
New Total: 307,000gp
Level 15: Exalted AC Bonus +9, ability score enhancement +6/+4/+2, damage reduction 5/evil
Previous Total: 307,000gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +40,500gp (new total is 202,500gp)
Ability Score Enhancement: +36,000gp (cf. item)
Damage reduction 5/evil: +68,000gp (subtracting the total from the 5/magic -- cf. Mantle of Faith, which is WAAAAAAAY overpriced in my opinion, unless it's a non-slot item).
New Total: 451,500gp
Level 16: Natural armor +2, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 451,500gp
Natural Armor +2: +6,000 gp (new total is 8,000gp)
New Total: 457,500gp
Level 17: Exalted strike +4, resistance +3, regeneration
Previous Total: 457,500gp
Exalted strike +4: +14,000gp (new total is 32,000gp)
Resistance +3: +5,000gp (new total is 9,000gp)
Regeneration: +75,000gp (ad hoc based on ring of regeneration -- the VoP version does NOT allow limbs to be reattached.
New Total: 551,500gp
Level 18: +10 Exalted AC Bonus, deflection +3, true seeing, bonus exalted feat
Previous Total: 476,500gp
Exalted AC Bonus: +47,500gp (new total is 250,000gp)
Deflection +3: +10,000gp (new total is 18,000gp)
True Seeing: +80,000gp (ad hoc - Robe of Eyes is 120,000 and brings more abilities, but the straight-up cost of True Seeing alone is 180,000)
New Total: 689,000gp
Level 19: Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, damage reduction 10/evil
Previous Total: 614,500gp
Ability +8: +64,000gp (assuming non-epic rules)
Damage reduction 10/evil: +68,000 (ad hoc - double the insane price of the Mantle of Faith for double the bonus)
nbsp; New Total: 821,000gp
Level 20: Exalted strike +5, energy resistance 15
Previous Total: 746,000gp
Exalted Strike +5: +18,000gp (new total is 50,000gp)
Energy Resistance 15: +45,500gp (ad hoc -- new total is 65,000gp -- went with half-way between ring offering 10 and 20, with four similar abilities)
New Total: 884,500gp
The value the Vow of Poverty provides (excluding fairly bleh bonus feats) seems pretty obscene.
However, I'd argue that the "exalted" armor bonus is artificially inflating the numbers, considering that for every class that can wear light armor or better, you can get the same bonus as an armor bonus for MUCH cheaper. A chain shirt provides the same +4 as the first level of the Vow of Poverty benefits.
An exalted bonus runs at bonus2 x 2,500 gp. A comparable armour bonus (Bracers of Armour or wearing armour that is enchanted) runs bonus2 x 1,000 gp. So, for example, the +10 Exalted bonus from the feat runs at 250,000 GP, whereas say +10 Bracers of Armour (hypothetical, I know) would run at 100,000 GP.
Since a Vow of Poverty character cannot obtain an armour bonus other than through spells like mage armor, luminous armor, and, uh, greater versions of these spells, the Exalted bonus functions primarily as a replacement for an armor bonus (with some other perks, naturally).
To illustrate the difference that I personally feel this bonus provides, I have table with the regular loot by level, exalted value by level, and exalted value without the armour bonus by level.
|Level||Normal||Exalted||Exalted w/o AC|
I will note that treating it as an armor bonus price-wise puts it similar to or just under the wealth accumulated through 'classical' means, all ad hocing aside.
Assuming you don't ad hoc the regeneration down a notch, that only brings up the price 15,000gp from level 17 on (since I put it at 75,000/90,000).
I also personally believe the Mantle of Faith is supposed to be a non-slot item (I couldn't confirm it, but it seems far too steep otherwise). Halving the cost brings the price down by 34,000 from levels 15-18, and down 68,000 for 19 and 20, further undercutting the accumulated value of goods for most characters.
The only unvalued 'feature' would be the bonus exalted feats, and I've had a difficult time picking 'good' exalted feats, as I find most are fairly weak.
Monks are really the only problem, but that's ONLY because of the AC bonus -- drop that altogether if you want, but provide some other benefits. There are roleplaying restrictions for this feat but the value of benefits is only marginally better than a regular adventurer would have, and only because the exalted bonus is a non-armor, non-shield, non-deflection bonus.
So there's the breakdown of all the toys and their costs, for reference.
Vow of Poverty isn't broken unless it's on a monk and the roleplaying restrictions are not being enforced. :)
Edit: Fixing my sloppy formatting.