View Full Version : Gestalt Skillmonkey Build

2008-12-25, 10:47 AM
I've been thinking of creating a Gestalt Skillmonkey. 32 PB. Level 20. Needs as much as it can of both Stealth (Hide/Move Silently/Disable Device/Open Lock etc.) and Spyness (Diplomacy/Gather Info/Bluff/Sense Motive). Doesn't need much combat ability, yet it needs to be able to kill that annoying last couple of guards he can't bypass, maybe due to them sitting on the treasure or something. Magic is OK, though I don't want a character that can't work in a powerful AMF.
I'm thinking of a kind of a Rogue 10/Exemplar (sp?) 10//Bard 20, but that's just basic speculation for now.
Skill tricks are good to go.

2008-12-25, 10:51 AM
Does it need to be of more "common" races or do outsiders and other creatures also work? If they do, does your DM count LA to only slow the other progression or both? Are all common sources allowed? Beguiler for example.

2008-12-25, 10:56 AM
I forgot to mention race. I'd rather if it was one of the common races. Gray Elf or Halfling seems like the most obvious choices to me, but Human may be good enough too.

2008-12-25, 11:03 AM
Human Factotum//Rogue/Exemplar.

2008-12-25, 11:21 AM
I'd definitely take straight Factotum on one side. You could take Rogue on the other, but that would be pretty wasteful, and I like Factotum's skill list over Rogue's extra skillpoints. Few Exemplar-dips would be nice. Spellcasting on the other side would kick ass. Alternatively, Warblade-build would get you a decent combat ability. I'd probably prioritise magic though; it's way more helpful at being unnoticed than martial skill. Also, dispatching of people easily is right in the magic's domain. So probably Wizard//Factotum (I wonder how that keeps coming up whenever someone mentions "gestalt").

2008-12-25, 11:51 AM
You could put a race with racial bonuses to int. Since it's gestalt you can afford some LA.

So Factotum//LA

possibly Tiefling.

2008-12-25, 11:54 AM
I'd definitely take straight Factotum on one side. You could take Rogue on the other, but that would be pretty wasteful, and I like Factotum's skill list over Rogue's extra skillpoints.

What does Factotum have on skill list rogue doesn't?

2008-12-25, 12:00 PM
What does Factotum have on skill list rogue doesn't?

Everything ever. Factotums are literally good at everything. All skills are class skills.

2008-12-25, 12:02 PM
Everything ever. Factotums are literally good at everything. All skills are class skills.

Lemme rephrase that. What do Factotums have that I don't have and need?

2008-12-25, 12:17 PM
I'd lean towards the grey elf for full movement speed, though smaller races will help you hide better. Picking goblin gives you the best of both, including the dex and move silently bonus you're after.

Pick up a mithril shirt with shadow and silent moves enchantments (see www.d20srd.org or DMG). There's also eyes of the eagle, goggles of minute seeing, lense of detection, vest of escape and other armor enchantments you may want to consider. But don't go overboard; these cost quite a bit for what you get. You may want to get other gear first, especially at early levels when gold is tight.

Since it sounds like you'll be doing solo fights, a mithril buckler will help as well. Defense is far cheaper and easier to get a lot of compared to offense, so for solo fights this will be far better than your alternatives. Especially if you spread it out 3 ways: armor, shield, ring of protection. Since it has no armor check penalty, you can wield a mithril buckler without proficiency without penalty (see armor non-proficiency rules).

Naturally get the standard stat boosters: gloves of dex and amulet of health.

Darkwood and mithril will save weight if you have a low strength. You need a light load to keep your speed up and avoid an armor check penalty. See DMG or www.d20srd.org for more info.

At higher levels when you can afford a +2 weapon without cutting into other nice gear, get one with spell storing. The damage from the stored spell will be awesome for brief combats. Unless you can pump your UMD up the wazoo, consider a 1 level dip into wizard or cleric or assasin to get the stored spell. Even with only 1 level you can make an easy caster level check to use 2nd or 3rd level scrolls. Wands are auto-success regardless of level. At earlier levels a masterwork weapon or weapons will be plenty. Possible stored spells include shocking grasp, inflict serious wounds, vampiric touch,

Combat Strat:
If you'll only be fighting armed guards, choose a medium sized race and can spare the feats, then getting sai proficiency or fighting two-handed would let you disarm them to make the combats more one-sided in your favor. You can go two-handed with a one-handed weapon then switch back after the disarm(s) (or just use a sai). You can do so with a worn buckler, it merely gives -1 AB and negates the buckler for the round. I'd open up combats with a sneak attack plus stored spell, then disarm. If you pump your hide check up to crazyville, you could also start with "sniping" within 30 feet until you get noticed (see hide and spot skill rules). Consider dipping in to 1 or 2 levels of monk but continue to wear armor (no flurry, oh well). That'll give sai proficiency, kama proficiency, stunning fist and combat reflexes (for weapon-picking-up AoO's).

Read the skill rules carefully for each individual skill and the general rules, especiallly taking a 10 and 20. I'd frequently take 10's while sneaking, for example, and take 10's or even 20's when searching. Otherwise it will only take 1 botched roll to blow your cover, which is pretty lame. Search entire areas, rather than telling the DM every little square you search. Just figure out how many rounds or minutes it takes and go for it. That'll be simplest if you take a 10 or 20; otherwise I'd ask the DM to make secret rolls for each object in the area, rather than rolling for each and every square.

Also note all the special uses of skills, like moving at full speed with a penalty to the check. Per the FAQ you can charge during an accelerated tumble. Useful if you want to come out of the shadows to hit the guard 30 feet towards the back first, though I mainly mentioned it b/c it's flippin' awesome. Even though he technically sees you when you leave concealment to do so, you most certainly catch him in the surprise round so he's still flat-footed for sneak attackage. You can do a half-distance charge in the surprise round as a standard action (or any time when you cannot take full round actions).

If you do pump UMD, consider packing scrolls of glibness.

2008-12-25, 12:23 PM
Short and simple for me:
Binder 20//Rogue 20.

2008-12-25, 12:27 PM
Uh no, not ToM please...

2008-12-25, 12:29 PM
Pick up some marshal. Marshal motivate X can be really handy.

2008-12-25, 02:03 PM
Factotum 20 / Anything 20. Hell, you could take CW Samurai on the other side and still be a good skillmonkey. There's better choices, obviously.

2008-12-25, 02:23 PM
What classes have 8+Int skill points/level?
Here's a list I've got so far;
Rogue (Core)
Scout (CAdv)
Exemplar (CAdv)
Spymaster (CAdv)
Dungeon Delver (CAdv)
Nightsong Infitrator (CAdv)
Uncanny Trickster (CS)

2008-12-25, 03:13 PM
Because Factotum looks like a jack of all trades, but that's a lie. Factotums are actually really good at one thing, way better than anyone else.

Skill checks.

2008-12-25, 04:25 PM
And anything requiring a strength, dexterity, or constitution check, like winning initiative or bull rushing.

My build would look like Factotum 20/Marshal 3/Bard/Sublime Chord/Virtuoso. You get fairly good combat ability comparable to a rogue with better hit dice, except rather than sneak attack, you have loads of standard actions and iaijutsu focus. You also have 9th level spells and SLAs, and a great diplomacy check. Oh by the way, you add your int to any physical skill, partially negating the need for dexterity, and you add your Charisma to combat maneuvers, such as trip, bull rush, and breaking doors. You can easily get + 13 or more to trip without even touching improved trip, and you can also fill the party face, trapfinder, and spellcasting roles.

There's a reason that factotum's awesome. You won't miss the 2 skill points because your main skill is INT. Be a Dragonborn Gray Elf.

2008-12-25, 05:32 PM

Factotum has all skills on its skill list, 6+int (and always high ints), makes dex and str based skills based off int, and another ability that improves skills.

Artificer has moment of presience, choose destiny, avatar of the gods (I think that is the spell name), the bard spell that gives you a luck bonus to attack or skills, lore of the gods, etc.

Plus with the other choice of spellls you can be somebody else each day. One day you are a ninja, the next a fighter, the third a blaster, a fourth a spellcaster.

2008-12-25, 06:55 PM
Fire Elf Factotum 20//Incarnate 20 (or Incarnate 15/Exemplar ?/?? ?)

Binding the theft gloves lets you pump essentia into Open Locks, Disable Device, and Trapfinding.

There's the silvertongue meld that pumps various social stats. Incarnate 3 and 15 both raise the per meld cap on how much essentia can be in one meld.

Might also be worth putting Rogue 1 in front of the Incarnate levels, to get the extra 8 skill points at level one.

2008-12-25, 07:29 PM
warblade/rogue. warblade/scout, warblade/factotum.

int synergy is the key factor. scout or factotum can ease into dread commando prc for some nasty fun sneakiness.

2008-12-25, 09:03 PM
Rogue//Archivist or Factotum//Archivist.

Archivists can eventually cast a lot of useful wizard spells (via the domain list) in addition to being able to heal themselves. Even if your DM limits you to 2 domains, as some DMs do, the travel and trickery domains would be pretty awesome.

Human Paragon 3
2008-12-26, 12:14 AM
Human Factotum//Rogue/Exemplar.

THIS. Exactly what I first thought of. Depending on what skills you actually want to excel in, Spymaster or Thief Acrobat may also be of use.

2008-12-26, 02:03 AM

What Psion power do you pick? Psychic Reformation. Lets you re-choose your skills (among other things - check the description).

2008-12-26, 05:04 AM
Consider rogue/scout//warlock. Maybe mix in some factotatum on the left side if your int is high. Use swift ambusher to boost your damage. Take the dark template from Tome of Magic if stealth and movement are critical.

The key thing is that primary skillmonkey classes have a lot of overlap. To make effective use of gestalt, you want to add something different, such as magic. Warlock is handy here because it's unlimited use, so you can treat it like skills.

2008-12-26, 06:11 AM
Warlock is handy here because it's unlimited use, so you can treat it like skills.

Here is someone who understands my mindset. Will look into that.

2008-12-26, 06:26 AM
Lemme rephrase that. What do Factotums have that I don't have and need? +Int Mod to all Dexterity and Strength Based Checks, this includes: Bullrush, Trip, Disarm and Initiative.

2008-12-26, 07:35 AM
+Int Mod to all Dexterity and Strength Based Checks, this includes: Bullrush, Trip, Disarm and Initiative.

One more thing: The ability to add their Factotum-level to a skill once per day. The once/day may seem like a dealbreaker at first, but it means that you can effectively excel at all skills. Forgery? You hardly need more than one check per day anyways; you need full 1 rank in it to make almost unbeatable rolls. Appraise? Yea. Autohypnosis? How handy. Knowledges? Imagine, Architecture & Engineering, Nobility & Royalty, etc. at your fingertips (again, you'll mostly need that one roll per day for those). Crafts? They're all "roll once per day" so you effectively get your full Factotum-level on them.

Actually, now that I think about it, for simply maximizing skills, Bard/Sublime Chord // Factotum is indeed the way to go. Take Bardic Knack instead of Bardic Knowledge (it should extent to Sublime Chord) and you get to use half your Bard-level instead of your ranks in any skill. Then Factotum adds Factotum-level on top of that. So effectively, you can roll all the rare skills at 1 * your character level + stats & synergies. That's in addition to insane skillpoints. And in addition to having Int to all your physical skills, and having a great Cha anyways (since you're a Bard), leaving only Wis-derived skills down (and Keen Intellect would allow deriving a number of them off Int). The two-attribute dependancy of this build is really annoying though.

You could, of course, make a Venerable Dragonwrought (Desert) Kobold. +3 to all mentals & +2 to Dex for -4 to Str (and -2 to Wis for a total of +1, bleh) is really what a character like that wants. Start with 20 in both, Int and Cha (as a bonus, that only costs 26 points so you still have some to work with; optimally you'd probably have to drop either Cha or Int to 19 though)! You could go with 4/14/14/20/10/18 (points being 8/12/14/17/9/15). As a bonus, you get very potent Magic to augment your abilities. And thanks to adding your Int to everything, your Str is little trouble (although you probably don't want to carry too much, even being Small; mostly just your Handy Haversack and some clothes). Level-ups would all go to Int with a Tome for Int and Cha later on (+4 Cha, +5 Int) for a total of 36 Int and 28 Cha. I could see a one-level Marshal-dip for Motivate Whatever too (Motivate Wis?), depending on how good you want to be at everything. It would cost you bit of your Bardic Knack though. Same with Exemplar, the dip is very doable, but it'd cost you some of your Factotum-sauce. Still, skill mastery in ~ 10 skills sounds pretty solid.

But yea, Factotum+Bard/Sublime Chord (assuming that you can continue to trade Bardic Knowledge, which Sublime Chord too gets, for Bardic Knack as per PHBII Bard) gets you +30 to every skill you have 1 rank in on level 20 (those with full ranks can get as much as +43 before ability scores). In Int/Dex/Con/Str-derived max ranked skills, you can be rolling at +56 easily. This already puts many of the epic skills well within your reach. Also, +30 items exist so you can be rolling at +86 once per day, or even more if it's Dex, Str or Con-based. Not exactly trying here yet, but those are the basic numbers you'd work with. Unfortunately Keen Intellect doesn't allow Listen based off Int; it's limited to Spot. So you'd have a God's vision, but only way-above-average in hearing. Of course, you could take 10 on Spot-checks (probably; if you took that Exemplar-level), which adds a bit to that.

2008-12-26, 09:46 AM
+Int Mod to all Dexterity and Strength Based Checks, this includes: Bullrush, Trip, Disarm and Initiative.

Yes, likewise for a few levels of marshal. Motivate Dexterity adds your Charsima bonus to all Dex checks, including initiative - for you and your party. Suddenly everyone can sneak, move silently, balance, and gets the jump on people. As much fun as it is to have solid skills for yourself, being able to boost everyone's skills can be more fun.

2008-12-26, 09:49 AM
Yes, which is why you take both, Marshal and Factotum-levels. And Bard. And then you're a walking beacon of awesome at everything.

2008-12-26, 10:04 AM
Human Factotum//Scout/Exemplar.

2008-12-26, 10:25 AM
I've never been sold on the factotum class in general, but in Gestalt, I'd pick it up for one side in a heartbeat. Pick something I want to excel at for the other side (Likely warblade--i love warblades), and factotum on the other, so I'm capable at everything else that warblade isn't.

2008-12-26, 10:55 AM
And the Int Synergy is staggering, plus several Maneuvers per turn is just sexy.