View Full Version : Gestalt Help: (DM Side)

2007-02-06, 12:43 PM
I'm starting a campaign that's basically aimed to play with the psyche's of my roomates and friends. We're used to high-power, monty haul type campaigns, which, with a bunch of new players, is fine.

I wanted to give them the feeling of actually being able to do a lot of things, feeling like they're hella powerful, when in actuality, they're all pretty much at the whims of whatever cosmic evil dwells. Eventually, It'll snowball into a full-fledged horror campaign. So, I went with a gestalt, 25 point buy. I figured some of the newbies would suffer from MAD, but generally have powerful enough combinations to stay useful.

Now, I mentioned to them that it's starting off in a massive metropolis. Their
choices for classes?

Ranger / Rogue.
Warblade / Rogue.
Druid / Rogue.
Swordsage / Rogue.
Bard / Rogue.

Right. So, we have maybe 2-3 healing spells a day, no serious arcane to speak of, and the druid's ultimate plan is to be a vermin lord from the BOVD.

So, my questions are three-fold:

1) What do I throw at these guys that gives them a run for their money, but doesn't feel like they're being gimped? (Undead would be a slap in the face, for instance. Doesn't mean they won't have their fair share of vampires eventually, though.)

2) How do I keep the ToB characters from dominating the game? They're the two newest characters, so I gave them the info on ToB to get them hooked, and the bard, for instance, isn't worried so much about combat as about getting a legion of groupies. I have a feeling that the ranger and the Druid are going to feel horribly, horribly under-classed, though..

3) With this many people sneaking around, should I go ahead and design splinter-cell/Theif type areas, with the blatantly obvious "THIEVES GO HERE" dark, narrow pathways? Or, should I just go ahead and make the buildings as normal, trusting their obscene Hide/MS modifiers to keep them safe?

2007-02-06, 01:05 PM
Huh. Well first of all, a lot of them won't be much more powerful than normal characters. Heck, Bard//Rogue and Ranger//Rogue? Really, the three that are decent strength are the Druid, the Swordsage, and the Warblade. So... just be careful. Don't assume these guys are very powerful. Honestly, they're probably about as strong as standard 40 point buy normal characters, so don't kill them off!

1) I'd say go sneak attackable critters, with a non sneak attackable boss fight. How about a vampire with minions? With their skill points, you've got a lot of skill monkeys (but they might not necessarily have a lot of hide/move silently), so something that's not a dungeon crawl would be more appropriate. Perhaps have them stumble onto a plot in a little town, where it turns out all the leadership of the town (a bunch of human experts, plus most of the town gaurd) are controlled by a vampire cult... but don't tell them it's a vampire that's running it, just that there's some wicked plot. Once they get into the thick of things, and don't know who they can trust, start letting them fight monsters... Katanes and the like would be interesting. Finally, give them the chance to sneak up on the big boss, only to find out their sneak attack plan won't work...

Anyway, it's a thought.

2) Well, you've got a druid, which is going to be a lot more powerful than any melee. Remember, ToB just makes melees keep up a bit better with high level casters. Casters still win. If this game is all level 1 and 2, the ToBs will do better, but once you get to high level, assuming the druid's not played incompentantly, it's the druid that will dominate. I mean, it's a druid. They have a special manuever called "turn into legendary ape, cast spikes and shillelegh on my quarterstaff, and bludgeon everyone to death." The bard and ranger will be outclassed, but that's because those are very weak combos. Not much you can do about that, honestly, though if the bard is the party face you can just involve more intrigue to get him into the game.

3) Set up situations in towns with people, and see what they do, at least for the first few games. Without knowing their skills, it's hard to say what's best. It's a good idea to check those skills over though... if two people have diplomacy, you can bring them into the story by making talking more important, then use a few locks and traps to bring others in.


Yuki Akuma
2007-02-06, 01:07 PM
... Wait, you're worried about the druid feeling underpowered?

... You're kidding, right?

Did he not take Natural Spell or something?

2007-02-06, 01:15 PM
... Wait, you're worried about the druid feeling underpowered?

... You're kidding, right?

Did he not take Natural Spell or something?

Yeah, he..... doesn't do optimization.

2007-02-06, 01:22 PM
Does it matter? He's still got Wild Shape. Heck, even without Natural Spell he can do plenty. That's sort of the point of Druids. As long as you don't multiclass with something really weird, they can pretty much rock regardless.


2007-02-06, 10:25 PM
Clearly, they want a sneaking type game. So give it to them.

"You have to get into the impenetratable fortress, retrieve the artifact guarded by undead and constructs, and avoid the deadly traps along the way."

Deathtrap Dungeon FTW! Traps every five steps, with critters leaning into the undead/construct types which are immune to Sneak Attack. Don't worry, the Druid can just shift into a Dire Bear and rip them in half, and the Swordsage can cleave them in twain.

Seriously, I'd ask your party why EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM went something/rogue. That's not very common, and some of them are very sub-optimal (Bard/Rogue, I'm lookin' at YOU).

Their one weakness is no real arcane caster, so they don't have elemental flavor damage output, so here's another thing to throw at them:

OozeMaster and the Thousand Oozes, Slimes, and other creepy things immune to weapon damage that need elemental flavor to kill!

Dungeon crawl that has oozes and slimes et al crawling out of every crack, on every celing waiting to drop down, and behind every door. At the end, you have the gestalt Wiz/Oozemaster//Monk. It's a Wizard... with Evasion, insane touch AC, and all the 'I Win' buttons typical of wizards.

Show them why everyone should not take the same freeking class. Maybe then someone will remember to be a cleric or a wizard.