View Full Version : Gestalt as a template

2007-12-28, 09:59 AM
A random thought occurred to me this morning*. In the messed up system that the 3rd Edition CR system is, how much harder is a gestalt NPC than a regular NPC? Assuming class combos that have some synergy without brokenness, that is.

Has anyone tried making boss NPCs gestalt against a non-gestalt party? How did it go?

*Technically, it was around 13:30, but time is relative as some guy once said.

Duke of URL
2007-12-28, 10:47 AM
The tricky thing about gestalt is that while it provides more options, it doesn't provide additional actions.

As such, you're looking at developing as much passive synergy as possible, so that you don't have to use actions to get the benefits. Each of those passive benefits can be evaluated as to whether or not they merit a CR increase, just as if it was any other ability added to the base creature. This leads to no hard-and-fast rule or guideline, however.

The ability to use multiple options for active abilities may merit a CR increase for versatility, but not a very large one, I would think.

2007-12-28, 11:12 AM
Actually, taking a cue from Dragon Quest games, I tend to have my higher level "boss" NPCs get extra initiatives. Usually an extra one every 5 levels or so. (Of course, my players can be thankful my villainous casters tend to blast.) But, I've also had Gestalt NPCs and it's nice, but not game breaking unless you get something really sick like a Cleric Druid with all those delightful buffs on both you and your animal companion, before popping off into wild shape and breaking face in ways that face has never been broken before.

2007-12-28, 11:32 AM
What about giving Gestalt a LA? What would it be? I'm guessing something about +3 or +4?

2007-12-28, 11:36 AM
:smallwink: If you gave Gestalt a LA, wouldn't you be able to buy off the LA with Gestalt levels?

2007-12-28, 11:49 AM
From the Gestalt rules:

Gestalt characters can obviously handle more opposition than standard characters. The simplest way to compensate for this is to use adventures with tougher monsters. In general, a party of four gestalt characters can handle multiple encounters with a single monster of a Challenge Rating equal to their average level + 1.

So, reversing that, it seems reasonable to say that a gestalt NPC has a CR 1 higher than a non-gestalt NPC. That seems fairly reasonable at low levels, though later on (once gestalt character have access to more powerful swift and immediate actions, and can thus better take advantage of their gestalt nature) I'd bump it up to +2 CR.

This would only really get messy when adding class levels to monsters, since you could have situations where half of the gestalt is associated and half isn't. I'd probably just count all gestalt levels as associated as long as part of the gestalt class was (which should almost always be the case). So one gestalt level would increase a monster's CR by 2, and subsequent levels would increase it by 1 each.

2007-12-28, 11:50 AM
I'm thinking +2 or so. 2 is supposed to represent doubled power (which it doesn't, IMHO, but w/e), as evidenced by XP tables. Realistically though, +3 or 4 sound better. Also, please don't compare poorly multiclassed characters to gestalts of lower level :smallwink: