View Full Version : Gestalt in a non-gestalt game

2010-11-23, 08:29 AM
For my next campaign i want to offer my players the option to gestalt. They will be allowed to do so with certain classes and they will have to stick with those 2 classes the whole time (no further multi-classing or PRC's). This choice will give that character a 1 LA adjustment.
Exception will be made on a case-by-case basis.

From the core-classes i will not allow the full casters to gestalt.

About my players:
- They do not optimize much, they will play a Monk 7 or so.
- They are not much of the opinion that full casters are more powerfull than non-casters, not as much as i am at least

So at ECL 7 a player can either be a Barbarian 7 or a Barbarian 6//Rogue 6. I guess the 3d6 Sneak attack + abilities + skills does outweigh the loss of that 7th barbarian level.

My question? How would you feel about such an option and do you think it decreases the gap in power a bit?

2010-11-23, 09:16 AM
not allowing full casters to gestalt is a good start, but the level adjustment idea won't exactly balance it out that much. for the cost of a level, a barbarian can double it's base skill points, get a better reflex save, get evasion, and get sneak attack? That 6th level Barbarian/Rogue is going to do much better than the 7th level barbarian. Though on the other hand... it does give some power to non casters so that balances the whole "caster vs non caster" thing... and the group isn't much for optimization so i guess it could work, but do realize, your non casters are almost always going to choose gestalt over non gestalt.

2010-11-23, 09:42 AM
Thing is, a gestalt is a LOT more powerful than a normal PC, even if you stick to base classes. A barbarian with a zillion skill points and some sneak attack dice is one thing, but it gets worse from there.

Anything combined with fighter, for example, becomes a full BAB build with tons of bonus feats for clobbering things. A Duskblade or a rogue is a pretty scary concept here.

Are you letting them choose their own combinations? Because if you are, you will want to veto Swashbuckler/Rogue on sight. (Add daring outlaw and it becomes super-stabber.)

2010-11-23, 09:48 AM
Feats like Daring Outlaw are usually ruled to apply to only one side of the build, if allowed at all in Gestalt.

In other words, a character with only Rogue//Swashbuckler would not be allowed to take it. I would however allow it if someone wanted to do say, Rogue x/Swashbuckler x//Factotum or something, since DO is mostly meant as a fix for Swash's lackluster features and damage dealing.

2010-11-23, 09:49 AM
I will assume non-magic players will take the Gestalt.

I do not really see a huge problem with a Swashbuckler//Rogue. Taking Daring Outlaw will add nothing for the character in my opinion, and even if it would work by RAW, i will say it wont, but that will not be neccesary, because none of my players would dare to ask such a thing.

If they get creative and find a nice combo, good for them. I also seem to have a way of fixing characters that are lacking behind in power by giving them a bit of optimization advice (while keeping the flavor in mind) or allowing some homebrew feat that would normally be a bit too good.

2010-11-23, 10:21 AM
I think that if your players do not optimize, and they do not abuse full casters, I'd just give little bonuses to tier 1's and tier 2s while letting everyone else gestalt freely.
Or, let everyone gestalt freely but only in a way that the total tier number is never above 7. (wizard/warrior is okay, sorcerer/fighter is okay, druid/rogue is blocked).

Only problem is when some players really do not want to gestalt.

2010-11-23, 10:30 AM
Or, let everyone gestalt freely but only in a way that the total tier number is never above 7. (wizard/warrior is okay, sorcerer/fighter is okay, druid/rogue is blocked).

I think you mean equal to or greater than 7. If it was less than 7, Sorcerer/Wizard would be a-ok (remember, smaller tier numbers are better).

2010-11-23, 10:39 AM
You might consider LA +2. I know the standard wisdom is that gestalt is less than LA +2, because a barbarian 6//rogue 6 is worse than a barbarian 6 and a rogue 6, but I'm not 100% convinced of that. There are some abilities that get better because you have them on the same dude. Even the barbarian//rogue there, sneak attack is a whole lot better due to being on a monstrous raging attack bonus machine with a milliondy hitpoints (so they can flank without worrying too much).

2010-11-23, 10:43 AM
With LA+2 i doubt i am giving the non-casters a bonus at all, in fact, i might as well include casters at that point, since they will probably become weaker.

2010-11-23, 10:59 AM
I've been playing with the same idea; I say go for it. Yes, the gestalt characters will be better than their straight versions +1, but you've still got action economy to worry about. It doesn't matter if you can do 50 cool things when you've got combat that lasts 4 rounds. If your players were optimizers I'd say be mote careful, but I've got players who will gestalt monk/fighter, take weapon focus 4 times, and be perfectly happy.

Also, the idea of a sneak-attacking barbarian is pretty great.

Sir Swindle89
2010-11-23, 11:07 AM
you could give the gestalters 4 of every 5 levels, i think thats a slightly higher ration than what UA says their CR goes up by. (not that CR matters but it's still an idea.

2010-11-23, 11:32 AM
Here's a system I regularly encounter in some form of another. Tier 4 classes (Ranger, Rogue, Barbarian, Warlock...) can freely "gestalt" with one of the NPC classes Warrior, Expert and Aristocrat, adding its features to those of their main class. Tier 5 classes (Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Soulknife...) can freely "gestalt" with each other and all NPC classes, including Adept and its arcane counterpart from the Eberron setting book.

For example, you can have a Ranger(Expert) with a good Will save and a better skill list, a Rogue(Aristocrat) with D8 HD, good Will save, weapon/armor proficiencies and some additional class skills, a Monk(Fighter) with full BAB and bonus feats, a Fighter(Monk) which is basically the same thing with a different fluff, or even a multiclassed Rogue(Aristocrat) 3/Monk(Fighter) 1/Ranger(Expert) 2/Psychic Warrior 6 if you want to for some reason. But not a Barbarian(Rogue) or a Warblade(Factotum).

2010-11-23, 02:09 PM
Aww, an here I thought there was someone out there who would hypothetically let me play a Ranger/Rogue called Garrett.

2010-11-23, 02:50 PM
Have you considered the "partial gestalt" suggested in JaronK's tier system (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5293.0)?