The masterwork rules are added primarily to compensate that it’s so hard to get magical weapons, but also because there really are very large differences in worksmanship quality with weapons. I’d assume that the average weapon in DnD world is pretty good, and MW is as good as it gets. In Hokaland, a regular weapon is decent/low quality and there are levels of improvements to be made.
Prices are cumulative with original weapon/armor cost.
A masterwork weapon can be improved (this is more for game mechanics than realism) by paying 100gp plus the cost difference. The idea is that it’s already a very good weapon so changing the weight balance slightly or adding one or two layers of folded metal on top of the existing metalwork will improve effectiveness without re-forging the whole weapon.
Note that while a +1 or +2 bonus here is slightly more expensive than a magic version of +2 (that you have to pay to stack with magic), it adds +2 total attack outside of the exponentially increasing cost of magical items.
(lvl * lvl * 300)
- Masterwork I – 300gp – +1 to attack roll, enchantable and improvable.
- Masterwork II – 1200gp – +1 to attack and damage roll.
- Masterwork III – 2700gp – Cumulative with enchantment bonuses, +1 hardness, +10 hit points.
- Masterwork IV – 4800gp – +2 to attack roll, +1 to damage roll.
- Masterwork V – 7500gp – +2 to attack and damage roll.
- Masterwork VI – 10800gp – Cumulative with enchantment bonuses, +1 hardness, +10 hit points.
(lvl * lvl 150)
- Masterwork I – 150gp – Armor check penalty -1, enchantable and improvable.
- Masterwork II – 600gp – +1 to AC.
- Masterwork III – 1350 – Cumulative with enchantment bonuses, +1 hardness, +5 hit points.
- Masterwork IV – 2400 – +1 hardness, +5 hit points.
- Masterwork V – 3750 – +2 to AC.
- Masterwork VI – 5400 – Cumulative with enchantment bonuses, +2 hardness, +10 hit points.
These non-magical enhancement bonuses stack with Damage Conversion.