Sand, Serpents, and Scales
“Boons” are, to put it simply, non-physical magical items. The Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 and the Dark Sun Campaign Setting undergo some of the specifics of using Boons in place of magical items, but I can’t expect my players to have those sources now can I?
Long story short, characters gain an enhancement bonus to attack, damage, and defenses based on character level;
Defenses: +1 through +6 at 2nd level, 7th level, 12th level, 17th level, 22nd level, and 27th level respectively.
Whenever wearing armor, you can treat the armor as though it is of masterwork quality equivalent to the enhancement bonus you have to defenses.
Attacks: +1 through +6 at 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th, and 29th level.
If wielding a non-magical weapon (which you basically will be) your critical hit dice is +1d6 per enhancement bonus.
In addition to this nifty replacement system, however, characters will also recieve “Boons.” Boons are essentially non-physical magical items-benefits that a character recieves that are not a result of feats, classes, skills, etc but rather a third source. Boons can represent anything from divine providence to specific training to magical powers to whatever. It doesn’t matter-the point is that boons are effectively magical items.
Money, by and large, is ignored as a roleplaying factor in Sand, Serpents, and Scales; it is not used to power rituals, and it is not used to craft magical items. Instead, characters acquire what is known as “Potential.” Potential can be used in-between encounters (though not between every encounter) in order to improve certain boons. In addition, some boons are known as Common Boons (there’s a separate page for all the common boons). You can use potential in order to “learn” or upgrade common boons. Finally, certain roleplaying situations may allow a character to “Sacrifice of Themselves” to gain a temporary benefit. This can potentially require an expenditure of potential.