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CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 08:49 PM
I'm planning on running a gestalt game soon (on these very forums! Stay tuned!), but I feel the need to fiddle with the basic gestalt assumptions.

A thought occurs: What if I limited each character to only 1 full-casting class (should they choose to have one)? No wizard/clerics or druid/psions, for instance. (I refer to any class that bestows casting/manifesting up to 9th level spells/powers)

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I like the idea of a wizard/cleric devoted to a god of magic, or a very confused druid/dread necromancer. Still, this might encourage more interesting mixtures of Tier 1-2 classes with lower Tier ones, and make resource expenditure issues less of an... issue. I've almost convinced myself that this is a crappy idea already; any other opinions welcome.

Another thought: I'd like to limit folks to only 1 PRC at a time per character. However, what is there to be said for double prestige? Does that make it somehow less prestigious?

Also, I'd like any prestige class that causes a loss in CL to hurt. I want to avoid any 'class juggling,' switching off the non-PRC side of the gestalt with a casting class to avoid CL loss. Is there a way to put that into more coherent, intelligible words? My brain-thoughts fail me.

Does anyone else have any houserules or fiddlings with gestalt games that I should know of? My brain is an open book.

tahu88810
2010-03-13, 08:52 PM
I've seen gestalt games run the way you described, and they worked out well. With less cheese than you normally see in gestalt, anyhow. (That isn't to say regular 3.5 is somehow less cheesy than gestalt, but...yeah)

Starscream
2010-03-13, 08:53 PM
Another thought: I'd like to limit folks to only 1 PRC at a time per character. However, what is there to be said for double prestige? Does that make it somehow less prestigious?

The SRD actually makes this explicit:


A gestalt character canít combine two prestige classes at any level, although itís okay to combine a prestige class and a regular class. Prestige classes that are essentially class combinations-such as the arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and eldritch knight-should be prohibited if youíre using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of whatís already a high-powered variant. Because itís possible for gestalt characters to qualify for prestige classes earlier than normal, the game master is entirely justified in toughening the prerequisites of a prestige class so itís available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters.

Personally, I use the Tier System with gestalt a lot. My rule is that a tier 1 class may gestalt only with Expert, Warrior, Commoner (if they don't want to bother) and Aristocrat. A tier 2 can gestalt with any class of tier 6 or below. A tier 3 with any tier 5 or below. And a tier 4 with any tier 4 or below.

Works pretty well, overall.

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 08:56 PM
I know many people caution against allowing simultaneous progression PRCs such as Mystic Theurge or Cerebremancer in gestalt. What would be the impications of allowing them? Could you make a wizard/cleric/psion/incarnate? While part of me says that is silly, another part says that is awesome.

What if I allowed them only if one side of the gestalt was not associated with the theurge? A fighter//wizard/cleric/mystic theurge, say? That way, the theurge is still checked by the loss in progression from either side.

Still, you could have a wizard/binder/anima mage//psion/incarnate/soulmanifester, or some similar sort of nonsense. Such a character would never run out of spells, but on any given adventure that just sounds like a bunch of unused potential and wasted power (in most people's hands...)

Frosty
2010-03-13, 08:59 PM
How do you decide which classes are which tier? Optimization goes a long way in changing tiers for many classes. And PrCs also sometimes drastically change the tier rating of a class.

Beguiler? Tier 3. Gnome Beguiler into Shadowcraft Mage? Tier 1.

AmberVael
2010-03-13, 09:08 PM
Also, I'd like any prestige class that causes a loss in CL to hurt. I want to avoid any 'class juggling,' switching off the non-PRC side of the gestalt with a casting class to avoid CL loss. Is there a way to put that into more coherent, intelligible words? My brain-thoughts fail me.

I very much recommend against this. Really, the most powerful prestige classes are the ones that completely advance you anyway- Gestalt is an option that finally allows some of the other, more interesting ones to be worth while. By penalizing CL loss classes, you're essentially just making people rely on all the methods they'd normally use, which kind of makes gestalt less of an interesting variant.

Ryuuk
2010-03-13, 09:10 PM
If you want to avoid juggling, you should better define what gestalt is. Per raw, there's no such thing as sides, you just pick two classes each level and take the features for both.

Try making a step by step process to building a gestalt character. something like:

At level 1, pick two classes, designate 1 as class A and the other as class B. As you level up, you may either continue advancing in each class or, should you choose to multiclass, designate the new class as either A or B and taking a level in that class instead of in your current class with the same label. Once you have labeled a class, you cannot change the label and each class can only have 1 label. At each level, you must have one class with the A label and one with the B label.

elonin
2010-03-13, 09:17 PM
Does this touch semi casters at all? Also how do you feel about wizard on one side of a gestalt with some other class on the other side that is broken up by a CL reducing prc on the other side. This would allow a wizard to get a prc like mind bender.

Starscream
2010-03-13, 09:19 PM
How do you decide which classes are which tier? Optimization goes a long way in changing tiers for many classes. And PrCs also sometimes drastically change the tier rating of a class.

Beguiler? Tier 3. Gnome Beguiler into Shadowcraft Mage? Tier 1.

Prestige Classes have tiers too (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5198.0), although they are measured by how much they improve your base class.

Oh, and if a PrC moves you above Tier 1 you can only gestalt with Commoner for those levels (meaning no benefit whatsoever). At least that means a wizard gives up something when they take a PrC other than familiar advancement, even if that something is just a bigger HD, higher BaB, better fort or ref save, and some more skill points.

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 09:26 PM
I very much recommend against this. Really, the most powerful prestige classes are the ones that completely advance you anyway- Gestalt is an option that finally allows some of the other, more interesting ones to be worth while. By penalizing CL loss classes, you're essentially just making people rely on all the methods they'd normally use, which kind of makes gestalt less of an interesting variant.

Hmm. That's very true on many levels.

What of the 'multiclassing' feats from Complete Scoundrel? Should those be banned outright? (Daring Outlaw, etc.) Or is that just 'melee can't have nice things?'

Ryuuk
2010-03-13, 09:32 PM
Feats like that are essentially melee's Mystic Theurge. If you're allowing those classes, then you might as well allow these feats.

What I would recommend would be putting hard caps on class progression equal to your ECL. This way, you won't have things like Wizard 10 // X 5 / Full Casting PRC 5 casting as a level 15th wizard at ECL 10.

Sophismata
2010-03-13, 09:34 PM
Personally, I'd allow prestige classes, regular classes and what-not with the following caveats:

1. You may not double-progress any class feature. So, one level can (at most), give you 1 caster level, 1 manifester level, 1 initiator level, +1 level of sneak attack, etc...

2. LA and RHD, if allowed, count for one side of the gestalt.

3. Builds must be supplied in advance. Certain builds may be banned on an individual basis (TO, infinite loops, etc).

4. If you break the action economy, you will be looked at more harshly with regard to (3). (Synchronicity abuse is generally frowned upon, and considered uncreative).

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 09:39 PM
I'd definitely have to approach things on a case-by-case basis... Just throwing around different ideas.

Overall, I'm not too concerned about melee getting boosts. They could use the help compared to casters in most cases.

Hmm...

Would you recommend fractional BAB/saves? That would help keep things sane, it would seem...

Raiki
2010-03-13, 09:43 PM
Personally, I'd allow prestige classes, regular classes and what-not with the following caveats:

1. You may not double-progress any class feature. So, one level can (at most), give you 1 caster level, 1 manifester level, 1 initiator level, +1 level of sneak attack, etc...

2. LA and RHD, if allowed, count for one side of the gestalt.

3. Builds must be supplied in advance. Certain builds may be banned on an individual basis (TO, infinite loops, etc).

4. If you break the action economy, you will be looked at more harshly with regard to (3). (Synchronicity abuse is generally frowned upon, and considered uncreative).

I agree with you on most points, but have one thing I feel obligated to disagree with. Sneak attack/Sudden Strike/Skirmish/Whatever other precision damage you can think of should absolutely not be capped by your ECL. Rogues face enough challenges. A Rogue/Ninja//Spellthief/Scout or whatever that manages to get +20-30d6 damage on sneak attacks (which is possible with PrCs that give SA) still doesn't even come close to comparing with a straight Wizard 20//Psion 20. Apply liberal doses of Rule #3 if things get out of hand.

Edit: And to adress the actual question:

I'm going to be running a modified gestalt system in the next game I run. It's going to be based heavily on the tier system (with a few classes moved up or down 1 tier at my discretion, I might post the list later). The basic theory is, swap the numbering of the tiers around. 1=6, 2=5, 3=4, 4=3, 5=2, 6=1. Now, at any given level, you are allowed to take 2 classes, whos tiers must not add up to more than 7.

For example, If at level 1 you pick Wizard (tier 6 in this measurement), your options for the other side are NPC classes (In gestalt, I bump CW Samurai up to tier 2 (5). However, if you pick Factotum (Tier 4), you can also play anything of tier 3 or lower. I think the system works out quite well.

~R~

Soonerdj
2010-03-13, 09:45 PM
I use (or looking back would have preferred to use) a version of the partial gestalt rules where one side of your progression has to be a base class from 1-20.

For example you could play a Warrior // Dread Necro and either end up with Warrior 20 or Dread Necro 20 but at least one side with 20 levels in a class. I think it would cut down on people who take bits and pieces from different base classes erratically. And that leads to making the characters have a more consistent concept and evening the power base.

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 09:47 PM
I use (or looking back would have preferred to use) a version of the partial gestalt rules where one side of your progression has to be base class from 1-20.

For example you could play a Warrior // Dread Necro and either end up with warrior 20 or Dread Necro 20 but at least one side with 20 levels in a class. I think it would cut down on people who take bits and pieces from different base classes both because it makes the character have a more consistent concept and evening the power base.

This one hears wisdom. Would it like to learn more of the Enkindlers?

Pluto
2010-03-13, 09:55 PM
I know many people caution against allowing simultaneous progression PRCs such as Mystic Theurge or Cerebremancer in gestalt. What would be the impications of allowing them? Could you make a wizard/cleric/psion/incarnate? While part of me says that is silly, another part says that is awesome.
Most of what gestalt does is iron out the clunky 3.5 multiclassing system.

Keeping the PrC patches for the multiclass sytem makes awkward things like--
Druid 3/Barbarian 17//Wizard 3/Arcane Hierophant 10/Mystic Theurge 7
--possible without losing any caster levels from either side.

It's not exactly broken if everyone uses this sort of system, but it doesn't work well alongside the simpler builds that gestalt was conceived around.
(It basically gets 17 free levels of Druid compared to a Barbarian 20//Wizard 20.)

The Caster//Noncaster thing isn't a particularly good rule, IMO.
Caster//Casters typically aren't very impressive beside noncaster//casters: the dual-casters only have one set of actions and spellcasters typically give a character fairly unimpressive abilities when they aren't casting spells [I'm ignoring DMM'ers, Telepaths and Druids for a moment].

Factotum is the one you have to watch for: it's a no-brainer for almost any build (Int synergy or not).

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I'm axing the caster limitation. There's nothing wrong with wizard/archivists!

Yeah, factotums... gotta love'm. I'd probably limit Cunning Surge to 1 extra action a round. That helps a bit.

I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and take things one at a time...

Proven_Paradox
2010-03-13, 10:07 PM
In general, taking two casting classes at the same time is a bad idea in gestalt. Unless you're abusing ways to break action economy (which I wouldn't recommend allowing: I've got a Wizard/Swiftblade//Factotum build that gets off four spells a round) you run out of actions to use your spell slots/power points with, and end the day with a lot of untapped potential. Allowing that kind of combination doesn't really hurt anything, because there are dozens of better optoins out there for them (anything that grants feats, fills in weak saves or HP, grants passive boosts, Factotum, so on). I wouldn't worry about allowing that.

As for Theurge style classes, I've found that as long as you make them take it all on one side and don't allow them to make up lost caster levels, it works all right. They'll be casting spells a level or more lower than they otherwise would, and that more than makes up for the extra spell slots. The same goes for the theurge-style feats like Swift Tracker.

And yes, you should use fractional saves/BAB. Keeps things manageable.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-13, 10:08 PM
However, if you pick Factotum (Tier 4)

If you are going to use that method, get your tiers straight.

Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area.

Factotum is tier 3. It is strictly better than a rogue, which is tier 4. One of the It also combines very well in gestalt. If you need more convincing look at the tier thread, where they talk about it in more detail.

Lycanthromancer
2010-03-13, 10:28 PM
In general, taking two casting classes at the same time is a bad idea in gestalt. Unless you're abusing ways to break action economy (which I wouldn't recommend allowing: I've got a Wizard/Swiftblade//Factotum build that gets off four spells a round) you run out of actions to use your spell slots/power points with, and end the day with a lot of untapped potential. Allowing that kind of combination doesn't really hurt anything, because there are dozens of better optoins out there for them (anything that grants feats, fills in weak saves or HP, grants passive boosts, Factotum, so on). I wouldn't worry about allowing that.That being said, pick any two full-manifesting classes. Gestalt them. Bask in the awesome.

Soonerdj
2010-03-13, 10:32 PM
This one hears wisdom. Would it like to learn more of the Enkindlers?

Perhaps, where can I learn more?

Corey
2010-03-13, 10:54 PM
I think you ultimately have to decide what to allow on a case-by-case basis.

I could build a character that has a full sorcerer progression, gets +Cha to saves from Paladin of Slaughter, gets another +Cha to saves from Hexblade, gets Evasion-like benefits to all three saves from Hexblade Mettle and a Ring of Evasion, and has enough levels of Bard/Sublime Chord to get another batch of 9th-level spells known and spell slots, plus a +13 deflection armor from Sirine's Grace.

His weakest saves would probably be >+55 at Level 20. I don't think you can stop that via general rules (assuming that bothers you); you just have to say "tone it down, please".

Kylarra
2010-03-13, 10:59 PM
What I would recommend would be putting hard caps on class progression equal to your ECL. This way, you won't have things like Wizard 10 // X 5 / Full Casting PRC 5 casting as a level 15th wizard at ECL 10.That doesn't work the way you think it does. If both sides would advance your casting then you're only +1 caster. It doesn't add the benefits of the same feature twice.

Ryuuk
2010-03-13, 11:02 PM
That doesn't work the way you think it does. If both sides would advance your casting then you're only +1 caster. It doesn't add the benefits of the same feature twice.

I've seen it tried before, thought it'd be best to explicitly block it. You're right though, it automatically falls into the 'same feature' clause.

CockroachTeaParty
2010-03-13, 11:24 PM
Perhaps, where can I learn more?

Obscure Mass Effect joke. Don't worry about it.

deuxhero
2010-03-13, 11:32 PM
Full Caster//Full caster is one of the worst gestalt combos (you still have only 1 set of actions). Factotum 8/warblade 12//Wizard/wizard prc is much much worse.

Lycanthromancer
2010-03-13, 11:50 PM
Full Caster//Full caster is one of the worst gestalt combos (you still have only 1 set of actions). Factotum 8/warblade 12//Wizard/wizard prc is much much worse.Generally true, but my point earlier still stands: any two full-manifesting classes (no, I don't count the divine mind, because it sucks) complement each other very well.

With bonus psionic/metapsionic/Expanded Knowledge feats (from psywar or psion), a combined power point pool, the wilder's ability to wild surge any power available to be manifested, and psionics' insane action economy breakage, they do so very well together.

:smallwink:

Defiant
2010-03-13, 11:55 PM
I have an amazing idea for a gestalt.

Everyone must gestalt with wizard. That way power levels are balanced (within the party) and you have a whole variety of different types of wizard.

Lycanthromancer
2010-03-14, 12:05 AM
I have an amazing idea for a gestalt.

Everyone must gestalt with wizard. That way power levels are balanced (within the party) and you have a whole variety of different types of wizard.How about everyone must gestalt with a caster class or equivalent (such as psionics or incarnum)?

That way everyone gets some of the yummy options that casters get.

Kylarra
2010-03-14, 12:07 AM
Yeah psionics is the exception to the fullcaster//fullcaster "suckage" thing.

Godskook
2010-03-14, 12:26 AM
Cockroach, I highly recommend you read, and re-read the Test of Spite rule-set, and then delve into the 'whys' behind their rule-set.

Also, as to dual-progression feats, I'd say don't worry.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-03-14, 01:43 AM
On the subject of dual-progression PrCs: I allow them in gestalt, with the caveat that only one class gets advanced at each level--you can take Arcane Heirophant for the class abilities if you want, for instance, but each level advances arcane or divine casting, not both.

Godskook
2010-03-14, 01:50 AM
On the subject of dual-progression PrCs: I allow them in gestalt, with the caveat that only one class gets advanced at each level--you can take Arcane Heirophant for the class abilities if you want, for instance, but each level advances arcane or divine casting, not both.

And I think that AH is one of the best examples of a class that'd *still* be worth it with that restriction.

Deathslayer7
2010-03-14, 02:00 AM
some rules I use for gestalt:

you cannot advance two PrC at one time.
PrC that give you, for example, +1 Arcane spellcasting on both sides of the progression do not stack with each other.
You can only choose two PrC total for your gestalting and three regular base classes.
RHD and LA all go on one side of the gestalt.

This system stops much of the cheesiness associated with gestalt, but even then you have to be careful.

Satyr
2010-03-14, 05:16 AM
The best rule for Gestalt games I can think of: Full spellcasters are single class character (or: their other gestalt half is the Commoner), other characters can gestalt freely. A full spellcaster who multiclass in a normal class can take a gestalt half with it, but oly for the class levels in a normal class. Likewise, if a normal character multiclass into a full spellcasting lass, he only gets the one class, not the usual double feature. This works for prestige classes in the same way as for base classes - when it furthers full casting level, it is not part of the gestalt.
This does wonders for the character balance.

I have no problems with the dual progression of prestige classes, wither, as it only concerns normal characters in this system and not spellcasters who could break the game much more easily.

Sophismata
2010-03-14, 09:54 AM
I agree with you on most points, but have one thing I feel obligated to disagree with. Sneak attack/Sudden Strike/Skirmish/Whatever other precision damage you can think of should absolutely not be capped by your ECL.

Strictly speaking, it's a convenience thing. It's easier to have a general rule for all cases. I have no particular issue with Sudden Strike, Skirmish, and Sneak Attack all stacking (and as different class features, this particular combination is allowed under the rule in question). While I guess you could make a an exception for double-progressing precision damage, there isn't a huge need to do so, I believe.

Volkov
2010-03-14, 01:22 PM
Look out for monster hit dice gestalts, a wizard is d12 hit dice and all good saves is a unholy monstrosity to the Nth degree.

Glimbur
2010-03-14, 02:44 PM
Look out for monster hit dice gestalts, a wizard is d12 hit dice and all good saves is a unholy monstrosity to the Nth degree.

Honestly, I'd be more worried about a wizard gestalting to get crazy class abilities than a wizard gestalting with dragon hit dice. Sure, full BAB, d12 HD, and all good saves are nice, but compare that to Factotum 8 for extra actions; Warblade for maneuvers, or Incarnum for all sorts of weird powers and defenses. Bigger numbers can easily be countered via bigger numbers; it's the weird stuff that is often more powerful.

Icewraith
2010-03-14, 02:59 PM
Consider a slightly higher point buy than you normally would, it will encourage your gestalt players to pick more MAD classes. Also, gestalt makes previously lower-regarded classes like monk awesome!

At higher levels, a monk/warblade with a quarterstaff can flurry of blows with dancing/raging mongoose for 7 attacks at highest AB, throw in twf for even more attacks at a penalty to hit (also consider polearm flurry feats from dragon compendium). This gets even worse with Time Stands Still, with a maximum of 14-16 attacks at highest (Fighter) BAB in a round. The rules for which penalties apply get weird at that point though. The warblade solves the monk's issue of "things to do on the round you move in before full attacking" nicely with a large variety of nasty single-action maneuvers.