NPC Level Bonus and Magic Threshold

As player characters gain levels, they choose feats and gain magic items that increase their attack bonuses and defenses. The level bonus, shown on the table below, is an abstraction that helps NPCs keep pace with characters. You can think of it as representing feats you’re not bothering to choose, low-level magic items, or the NPC’s intrinsic power.

Add this number to the NPC’s Armor Class and other defenses, attack rolls, and damage rolls. An NPC’s magic threshold is related to the level bonus. If you give an NPC a magic item that grants a bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls or to defenses, subtract the magic threshold from that bonus before you apply it.

For example, if you give a 12th-level NPC a +4 magic longsword, add only a +2 bonus to his or her attack rolls and damage rolls, since the magic threshold at that level is +2.

LevelLevel BonusMagic Threshold
1st–5th+1+0
6th–10th+3+1
11th–15th+5+2
16th–20th+7+3
21st–25th+9+4
26th–30th+11+5

Published in Dungeon Master's Guide, page(s) 187.