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the_archduke
2010-08-31, 01:52 PM
I am making a gestalt tank type character. I know I want one side to be straight crusader, but I am drawing a blank on what would be a good, synergistic counterpart on the other side.

Race is Dragonborn Lesser Aasimar.

Eldan
2010-08-31, 01:55 PM
The crusader has active power in his strikes. Usually, a good combination for gestalt is something with active powers and something with passive powers which are constantly active or long-term. A buffer.

Now, good buffer classes are the incarnum classes, the binder, the druid, a divine caster or psychic warrior focusing on self-buff and a few others. All of these help make you a better fighter.

subject42
2010-08-31, 01:57 PM
Warlock also makes for a good Crusader gestalt, especially if you pick passive invocations and eldritch glaive.

Fax Celestis
2010-08-31, 01:59 PM
My vote's for Dragonfire Adept, taking Draconic Aura and Double Aura feats. Now you radiate buffs to your allies, have a CON-based breath weapon at will, some neat CHA-based backup invocations, and your Crusader maneuvers and features. You can be almost entirely CON/CHA, with STR/DEX/INT as backups however you like.

Keld Denar
2010-08-31, 02:04 PM
Yea, I'd suggest either Incarnate or PsyWar. While Crusader has SOME Cha based features (the +will save ability and the smite), they are relatively minor. You could easily afford the wisdom you need to make PsyWar or Incarnate function decently. Crusader has full BAB, which offsets the stunted BAB of those two, and PsyWar gives you some extra feats to pull off some controler feat chains (like Combat Reflexes and Standstill or Imp Trip) along with Expansion to increase your threat range (which is great with a Spiked Chain + Thicket of Blades). Incarnate, on the other hand, gives you some REALLY powerful mobility and passive defensive options like really high SR and decent AC, along with incredibly high pumpable attack bonuses which translate well with full BAB and either Stone Power or Power Attack.

Just some thoughts.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-31, 02:15 PM
I second incarnate or psychic warrior. 16 wis is easy to reach for a crusader, and you can focus on longterm buffs and the more powerful buffs/debuffs (Helloooo perfect riposte/form of doom/inconstant location/lion's charge/hustle!).


And incarnate just goes well with everything. You get a fly speed or a boost to reflex saves + uncanny dodge (plus evasion), you get a ragelike buff for ac or damage or attack, you get a ton of immunities! a Lawful Neutral Crusader//Incarnate is nasty.

Tetrasodium
2010-08-31, 02:18 PM
wizard>divine oracle 2 or better would give you some extra flexibility even if most of your spells are walls & fog type things with a few out of combat useful stuff depending on group dynamic, evasion in heavy armor by a different name from divine oracle 2 is nice as well :).

ErrantX
2010-08-31, 02:22 PM
It may be boring, but Paladin (especially if Pathfinder paladin is allowed), or Cloistered Cleric would make for a great gestalt for a Crusader as well. Ardent would be pretty good too!

-X

Draz74
2010-08-31, 02:27 PM
Another vote for Incarnate; the only ability score it really needs is CON, and it gives a lot of options for useful melee buffs that don't interfere (action economy-wise) with using your Maneuvers. Interesting flavor combo, too. And Crusader covers Incarnate's weaknesses nicely (poor BAB and minimal skill points).

Other than that ... well, I'm a fan of using Tome of Battle on both sides of Gestalt, with Master of Nine on one side. Or I'm sure it's true that Binder could be quite valuable in this arrangement.

Or Riposte-variant Scout. Suddenly you've got loads of skills, a good Reflex save, and a whole new flavor ...

Fax Celestis
2010-08-31, 02:29 PM
Or Riposte-variant Scout. Suddenly you've got loads of skills, a good Reflex save, and a whole new flavor ...

Riposte scout goes better with knight, imo. Pull them in with Test of Mettle, use Combat Expertise, get Riposte. Victory.

Person_Man
2010-08-31, 02:32 PM
Pretty much anything that wouldn't introduce MAD works well with Crusader. Incarnate, Binder, or Dragonfire Adept would be the obvious choices. I think there are a few Cha based casters that wouldn't limit your armor somewhere (Dread Necromancer?) but I can't think of any off hand.

You might also want to consider Druid, as Wildshape allows you to dump Str and Dex.

In general, I would avoid stacking MELEE//MELEE though, and go for MELEE//CASTER or MELEE//SKILL MONKEY instead. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is rarely a good thing.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-08-31, 03:02 PM
If you can take a level adjustment on one side instead of a class level, consider gaining Mineral Warrior (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20031003e) (ignore the picture, that's what a demon looks like with it). It's an acquired template, so you can get it after Dragonborn and you won't lose anything it grants. If you went with the Wings aspect and get Mineral Warrior before 6th level you'll still gain a fly speed, though the Heart aspect with Entangling Exhalation would probably be your best choice. Your mental stats will balance out instead of taking a hit, and you'll get a significant bonuses to your ability to tank with the Con bonus, +3 natural armor, and DR 8/Adamantine, plus a burrow speed and darkvision, and it only costs you one class level. In case questions arise about how you gained the template, it's granted via the spell Mineralize Warrior from that same book. The spell is costly, but it indentures you to the caster for a year, so just say that was your payment for receiving it and it's already been completed and in the past.

For the rest of your gestalt progression, Psychic Warrior is indeed a great choice. You'll have plenty of bonus feats for defensive choices like Shield Specialization, Shield Ward, Focused Shield, (Greater) Heavy Armor Optimization, Deflective Armor, and maybe Psionic Dodge. Get Psionic Meditation and (Greater) Psionic Weapon to add some damage to your strikes and then recover your focus in the same round, and use a Deep Crystal weapon for more damage output. You could also use Psionic Meditation with Psychic Renewal to use the same maneuver round after round.

Kylarra
2010-08-31, 03:23 PM
I'll second-third-whatever DFA to be thrown on the other side. It's a nice con-based class which adds more utility without detracting from whatever you really want to focus on.

Wings of Peace
2010-08-31, 03:49 PM
Wizard 5->Jade Phoenix Mage 10->Master of the Nine 5 for hyper Intiator Level advancement and varied maneuver selection.

Edit: Alternatively, Wizard 5-> Jade Phoenix Mage 10/Master of the Nine 2/Arcane Duelist 3

Fax Celestis
2010-08-31, 04:03 PM
JPM is not an allowable gestalt class.

Wings of Peace
2010-08-31, 04:05 PM
JPM is not an allowable gestalt class.

I beg to differ, it's not a "suggested" gestalt class.

the_archduke
2010-08-31, 04:07 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. Dragonfire Adept is exactly what I am looking for. It fits the character concept to a T and has all the nice mechanical benefits mentioned.

Thanks again everyone for the ideas.

Fax Celestis
2010-08-31, 04:11 PM
I beg to differ, it's not a "suggested" gestalt class.
I beg to differ as well.

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.

Wings of Peace
2010-08-31, 04:15 PM
I beg to differ as well.


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.

Fixed that for you.

Noodles2375
2010-08-31, 04:22 PM
Anything that keys off of charisma should be pretty good because I think there are crusader abilities that key off of charisma.

Having favored soul on the other side can give you some awesome buffing/debuffing and battlefield control effects.

The spirit shaman, OA shaman, shugenja or Wilder would also work. I think the wilder might not be the best pick as it has a very limited casting advancement. I think you end up getting only one power per power level as you advance.

On the other hand, all of these classes require you to get your spell stat up to 19 to be most useful at high levels. If you're going to high levels, the psywar would be awesome because you only need a 16 in wisdom to manifest his highest level powers.

Douglas
2010-08-31, 04:33 PM
Fixed that for you.
Yes, it's only "should". It is, however, a strong enough recommendation that following it is nearly universally assumed as the default, and suggestions that ignore it are very rarely usable. Making a build suggestion that ignores the recommendation to ban combo PrCs is usually a pointless waste of both your and the recipient's time unless it has already been stated that the specific game the build is for does allow such PrCs.

Da Beast
2010-08-31, 04:41 PM
Sorry if this has already been said, too lazy to read the whole topic right now.

You could try bard on the other side with two weapon fighting and normal inspire courage optimization. TWF with inspire courage/dragonfire inspiration and furious counterstrike would deliver some serious hurt. On top of that you'd have d10 hd, all good saves, full BAB, 6 skill points per level, bard casting and devoted spirit strikes for healing. The only problems are the crusader's lack of tiger claw (maybe the DM would let you switch out stone dragon for tiger claw?) and how ridiculously feat intensive this build would be. You'd want the TWF fighting feats, song of the heart, DF inspiration, draconic heritage (battle dragon), song of the white raven, snowflake wardance and probably a few others I'm forgetting. Consider something like fighter 2/crusader 18//bard 18/psychic warrior 2 just to cover all the feats you'll need.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-08-31, 04:42 PM
Incarnate works. Another idea is to splash a variety of good dipping classes to get a lot of nifty abilities. Feat Rogue 2 for skills and feats and evasion, Cloistered Cleric 1 for knowledge devotion and other domain powers, Swordsage 1 for a splash of other maneuvers, et cetera.

Keld Denar
2010-08-31, 04:45 PM
Bard would indeed be interesting. Sit in Aura of Chaos stance, crank up the Dragonfire Inspiration, and hope you roll lots of 6s. Pew pew pew!

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-08-31, 04:47 PM
Bard would indeed be interesting. Sit in Aura of Chaos stance, crank up the Dragonfire Inspiration, and hope you roll lots of 6s. Pew pew pew!

Throw an Arcane Strike in there for good measure, you've got a higher chance to roll 4 on every d4 than a 6 on every d6.

Da Beast
2010-08-31, 04:51 PM
Bard makes everything better :smallbiggrin:

At level 20 with maxed DF inspiration (sonic), Crackling cacophony and lvl 6 arcane strike you'd have +28d6+6d4 to all eight of your attacks. 12 attacks if the DM will allow you tiger claw for raging mongoose. Or you could ditch crusader altogether for warblade//bard and do TWF stormguard warrior whiteraven tactics raging mongoose time stands still for 24 attacks a round at +40+28d6+6d4 :smallamused:.

Edit: That would be an average of +166 damage per attack on 24 attacks. On second thought, don't do that, that would be mean.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-08-31, 05:10 PM
Aura of Chaos average additional damage per die:

d4: 5/6
d6: 7/10
d8: 9/14
d10: 11/18
d12: 13/22
dN: (N+1)/(2*(N-1))
d2 with reroll 1s: Never mind

Maybe it's just me, but it seems a little low. If you get 4d4 from arcane strike 7d6 from DFI and 1d8 from a longsword you're cranking out an additional ~8 damage per hit, which I suppose is okay.

Eldariel
2010-08-31, 08:16 PM
Suggesting DMM Cleric.

Wings of Peace
2010-08-31, 09:17 PM
Yes, it's only "should". It is, however, a strong enough recommendation that following it is nearly universally assumed as the default, and suggestions that ignore it are very rarely usable. Making a build suggestion that ignores the recommendation to ban combo PrCs is usually a pointless waste of both your and the recipient's time unless it has already been stated that the specific game the build is for does allow such PrCs.

Universally assumed by whom? There are more than enough threads on this board by both players for whom it is a real option and players who simply misread the rule as a hard ban than a soft suggestion as to make your point invalid.

Further, given that the OP simply asked for suggestions as to what the best progression of classes might be without stating a desired level of power and given that the other responses more than reasonably addressed a moderately powered campaign it seems entirely within reason to suggest a high powered alternative as moderate and low power solutions were already well covered.

Soranar
2010-08-31, 10:21 PM
Another vote for Druid

-you can dump DEX and STR (you already have a penalty to DEX)
-you can fly through your spells or wildshape so you can take the mind aspect (breath weapons are usually not worth it instead of simply attacking) which gives you more immunities
-2 most important saves and a bonus to it through crusader
-more skillpoints and nice skill selection
-You can be a bear that executes maneuvers with a Hitpoint reserve (and when you stop wildshaping you regain all your HP to boot
-plenty of spells to pump yourself with, your animal companion can be influenced by your maneuvers too (mostly white raven)

The two classes tend to complement each other very well (although merging any tier 1 class with nearly anything is always good)

If you go for bard, take the obtain familiar feat for an insanely strong pet

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-08-31, 10:39 PM
Bard would definitely be a good choice.

Dragon Shaman/Bard makes for an easier entry into DFI. Song of White Raven minimizes your Bard investment requirement. A one-level dip in Marshall gives another aura or two to buff the party with. War Chanter is an awesome way to really boost your party to insane levels. Suddenly, everyone has a full BAB, so you can have people dipping with a 3/4 BAB (say Warlock//Rogue) and still get that last iterative attack. And you can have two songs up at a time with War Chanter 5, so you could have *BOTH* DFI and IC going at the same time.

Escheton
2010-09-01, 12:04 AM
It's weak as hell in a opt-fu gestalt group but it's pretty neat for tanking: Knight. It allows you to actually draw aggro besides standing in the way.
Also get some cha and goad.

PId6
2010-09-01, 03:27 AM
Favored Soul or (Cloistered) Cleric. Either one offers good passive buffs (especially if you go DMM), doesn't interfere with wearing armor, and is fairly thematically appropriate as well. Cleric is better for domains, Turn Undead, and prepared spells, but Favored Soul has advantages in all good saves and Cha synergy.