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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Gestalt for melee only?

    I've been reading about Gestalt a lot, and since I never really had a chance to test out how it played, all I'll be saying here is purely hypothetical.

    I was wondering if allowing melee classes to gestalt would allow them to be on par with caster classes at later levels. Of course, within those kinds of "rules" To9S classes wouldn't be allowed to Gestalt. Pure melee classes would be the only one allowed (Barb, Fighter, Monk, maybe Rogue, Bard?).

    Or maybe even allowing Gestalt only starting at lvl 7 or something, so you'd get something like Fighter 10//Monk 3 or I dunno.

    What do you think? I know it's pretty vague right now, but the idea's there and thinking about the whole "how would it work" would be useless if this is not such a good idea.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Do you think House Rule #2 from JaronK's tier list would work for what you're trying to do here?

    It seems pretty similar.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Seems plausible.

    I might expand it a bit, and allow gestalt of any non-spellcaster classes, where spellcaster classes are any with 5th level spells (so paladin is gestaltable but bard isn't).

    Only use this at high levels. It takes time for casters uberness to come in fully.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Using Gestalt rules for mundane and standard rules for magical characters is a very easy fix, but even with the doubled class features, the big three tend to dominate the game. I would also allow Rangers and Paladins for the Gestalt classes, by the way.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    @Emy: Thanks! I never even noticed those houses rules, it's pretty much what I had in mind. Only, less limited.

    @dspeyer: The spell levels as a limit is a nice option, I like that. Clean and simple.

    @Satyr: I know it won't fix everything and casters will still dominate if they chose to do so, but it will give melee characters more options without having to resort to Bo9S (believe it or not, some people don't like it, yeah I know weird but what can I do ).

    Seeing as the idea isn't that bad, and that someone actually already thought about a "system" for this, I'm really starting to think about developing the idea. Is there anything I should know about Gestalt that isn't written in UA since I can't really test it in an actual game? Do take in consideration that casters will not be able to access Gestalt so Full Plate wearing Wizards or whatnot won't be possible, so obviously those kind of "combos" in don't really care about.

    Thanks a lot!

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    I would actually suggest to combine this with the Tome of Battle and allow Characters to take one of the Bo9S classes on one branch of the Gestalt character, but not on both. The same regulation can be made for "lesser spellcasters" like bards or warlocks, while the big ones are limited on the usual rules.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrass View Post
    Is there anything I should know about Gestalt that isn't written in UA since I can't really test it in an actual game?
    Just a couple of things:

    1) The gestalt rules are closer to guidelines. They tend to be ambiguous in places, and identifying those ambiguities and making DM rulings on them in advance will save you tons of headaches.

    2) The rules basically assume that you're playing core. They were written before the multiclassing feats (Daring Outlaw, etc.) were introduced, and do not anticipate them. They even ignore the impact of bloodlines, which are also introduced in UA, and can be exploited if not clamped down by the DM.


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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    A Fighter 10//Rogue 10 is better than either a Fighter 10 or a Rogue 10, sure. In that sense it's a power-up, and since it benefits only mundane classes, it's a step towards balancing them against casters.

    However, it doesn't actually give them any new abilities of the sort they'd need to start to approach casters. It does give greater versatility and staying power, but not a huge amount of either because of the constraints on what you can multiclass. The options available to mundane classes are still thoroughly overshadowed by those available to full casters. The Wizard 10 is still going to be capable of a host of encounter-stopping or campaign-redirecting acts several times a day that the Fighter 10//Rogue 10 just can't come close to.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    The Wizard 10 is still going to be capable of a host of encounter-stopping or campaign-redirecting acts several times a day that the Fighter 10//Rogue 10 just can't come close to.
    Even if I see your point, I would point out few things:

    - It happens PCs "ruin" an encounter. Maybe it's more difficult for meleers, needeing say a lot of criticals or a 20, 20 hit, but IMHO it's not so tragic.

    - If campaing redirecting and encounter ruining happens so often, it's the case to think if the thing has been designed well?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    - It happens PCs "ruin" an encounter. Maybe it's more difficult for meleers, needeing say a lot of criticals or a 20, 20 hit, but IMHO it's not so tragic.
    I didn't say "ruin", I said "stop". As in, for the most part, mundane classes' chief option in any encounter will be to deal damage until the encounter goes away (for combat encounters, of course. For situations that can be dealt with via skills, it's a little more balanced). Casters can have a greater effect with a single action (than a mundane class can with that same action).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    - If campaing redirecting and encounter ruining happens so often, it's the case to think if the thing has been designed well?
    I wasn't using those terms as epithets. It's just that the range and scale of effects available via spells - and generally, a very wide range of large-scale effects are available to a single caster character - makes them capable of doing more, with a more dramatic impact on individual fights and a more unpredictable effect on the direction of an entire game, than a mundane class. Your Fighter//Rogue can hit things very well, can sneak around, can pick locks, disarm traps, steal treasure, sweet-talk the locals, pump captives for information, make enemies in to friends via words and deeds, etc. But the Wizard can zap himself around the planet, control the minds of his enemies, create wealth from nothing, kill people with a word, etc. (note: not actually bothering to check whether all these things are technically true of a tenth-level wizard - it's beside my point).

    It's undeniably harder for a DM to prepare a campaign that anticipates the possible actions of the Wizard than of the Fighter//Rogue, but certainly you're right that a good one should at least be able to try. However, even if the DM can deal with whatever the Wizard might pull out of his bag of tricks, it'll still be the Wizard supplying all the dramatic interventions, not the Fighter//Rogue.

    (And of course, any character regardless of mechanical abilities can throw a DM for a loop just by doing something unexpected, regardless of questions of encounter design or power/versatility. Again, not the point.)

    My point is simply: casters overshadow mundane (assuming you accept that they do so at all) because a) they have more options available to them and b) the options available to them are individually more powerful than those available to mundane classes. Gestalting two mundane classes doesn't increase the power of the options they have available more than a very little, and doesn't increase the number available anywhere near enough.

    Balancing mundane and magical is better done by a) altering how mundane abilities work, such as by using ToB to allow more powerful individual options that cover the glaring deficiencies of core melee, b) eliminating specific highly-abusable magical options, and c) both players and DM cooperating in encounter design, character creation, and ongoing play to make sure everyone has a niche and a strength to play to.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post

    Balancing mundane and magical is better done by a) altering how mundane abilities work, such as by using ToB to allow more powerful individual options that cover the glaring deficiencies of core melee, b) eliminating specific highly-abusable magical options, and c) both players and DM cooperating in encounter design, character creation, and ongoing play to make sure everyone has a niche and a strength to play to.
    Another idea could be place drawbacks for spellcasting some spells considered broken.

    Example: you lose sanity casting time stop and celerity, because they, say, bend time and bending time is hard for a mind of a creature different from a Phane.
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2009-06-17 at 07:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Usually Gestalt is between melee and casting or between casting and casting. But if you're going for pure melee gestalt, a few possibilities come to mind. Scout//Fighter, Scout//Barbarian, Rogue//Ninja, Monk//Fighter. Or, go Monk//Swashbuckler with Kung Fu Genius, and forget about Wisdom and Strength.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Just warning in a low level gestalt campaign I'm in, it does create havoc with your encounters.

    For instance, in a pitched team battle our Fighter//Paladin (don't know why, but that's what he wanted, we're limited to specific second classes) took a Manticore down in one on one combat at level 3 with out much difficulty. Granted, I think the DM under utilized it slightly, but still, Gestalt can bring out the punch in ways unexpected.
    Last edited by aivanther; 2009-06-17 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Poor writing ability

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Here's some tips from a DM who's had considerable experience with Gestalt:

    1. Gestalt PCs sometimes require Gestalt enemies. If you have a classed encounter (such as a Vampire Warblade), be sure to gestalt him the same way you do the PCs otherwise he will be a pushover.
    2. Never, ever use anything less than 32 PB for a Gestalt game. Especially if you use JaronK's Partial Gestalt rules. You PCs won't be able to keep up with one side if you go under 32. I found 43 PB to be a good base to start with, and give lower PB to people who play Tier 2 and up classes (like 28 PB for a Wizard or Archivist, and 32 for a Sorcerer).
    3. The Action Economy becomes more noticable when you Gestalt classes. Remember this when running encounters, and be sure to keep track of which actions your PCs are not using to know where their weak points are. Gestalt PCs do not get additional actions per round unless they plan way ahead with something like a Factotum or use White Raven Tactics.
    4. Encounters should not be a single enemy. Ever! Groups of 6 or 7 enemies work best against a part of 4 or 5. Encounters should be a minimum 2 CRs higher than the party's ECL, unless you use an enemy with class levels.
    5. WBL is very tight on certain builds. A TWFing Ranger//UMD-Focused Rogue is going to need more of his WBL than a Ranged Combat Ranger//Sneak Attack-focused Rogue, despite the two being the same classes. I recomend a slight increase in WBL allowance for characters who can't craft their own magic items, somewhere around 10% to 25% increase will help these players.
    6. The main goal of Partial Gestalt, as JaronK said, is to bring the lower tier classes up to par with the higher tier classes. But even this is only a minor boost to the lower tiers, as tier 2 and up can still dominate the world thanks to game breaking spells like Genesis and so forth. Be very aware of what spells you let your players use.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Melee characters can break games too. For instance, in the very first campaign I ever played, I had a crazily multiclassed Gnome Fighter who served as the party tank. By the time that game ended at about level 18, I think I caused more headaches for the DM than all of the casters combined.

    I had focused a lot on defense, so my AC was really high. Due in large part to my multiclassing, I had excellent saves, and I had Evasion and Mettle, and I think even some DR. It eventually got to the point where nothing could pose a real threat to me without being potentially fatal to my teammates. Although we did run into a lot of Rangers with Favored Enemy(Gnome) towards the end.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    great melee gestalts could include but not limited to,
    fighter/duskblade->great with weapon master build for one hit, one kill
    monk/druide->sick, just plain sick

    also in a low magic setting i tried a monk/fighter focusing on two weapon fighting and took the vow of poverty feat....also sick

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Using a druid in the gestalt would very likely be at odds with the original intention to creae mundane characters which are balanced with spellcasters - like the druid - via Gestalt.

    The best counsel and can give related to Gestalt rules is to use them to create interesting and versatile characters, and not strivng for power. Gestalt rules allow to create much less stereotypic characters, and that should be the aim of the game, treating any issues of power as mostly secondary.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    Melee characters can break games too. For instance, in the very first campaign I ever played, I had a crazily multiclassed Gnome Fighter who served as the party tank. By the time that game ended at about level 18, I think I caused more headaches for the DM than all of the casters combined.

    I had focused a lot on defense, so my AC was really high. Due in large part to my multiclassing, I had excellent saves, and I had Evasion and Mettle, and I think even some DR. It eventually got to the point where nothing could pose a real threat to me without being potentially fatal to my teammates. Although we did run into a lot of Rangers with Favored Enemy(Gnome) towards the end.
    That's an example of the DM being Too Dumb to Live. Melee characters can't create entire planes of existence with one spell slot, now can they?

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Gestalt PCs sometimes require Gestalt enemies. If you have a classed encounter (such as a Vampire Warblade), be sure to gestalt him the same way you do the PCs otherwise he will be a pushover.
    That is something good to know, but considering casters aren't Gestalt, should I go easy on this or they should be strong enough as it is?

    Never, ever use anything less than 32 PB for a Gestalt game. Especially if you use JaronK's Partial Gestalt rules. You PCs won't be able to keep up with one side if you go under 32. I found 43 PB to be a good base to start with, and give lower PB to people who play Tier 2 and up classes (like 28 PB for a Wizard or Archivist, and 32 for a Sorcerer).
    I usually play with 32 PB anyways so I guess there's no problem here.

    Encounters should not be a single enemy. Ever! Groups of 6 or 7 enemies work best against a part of 4 or 5. Encounters should be a minimum 2 CRs higher than the party's ECL, unless you use an enemy with class levels.
    As I said before, casters aren't gestalt and I worried their effectiveness will suffer from facing monsters 2 CR higher than they are. Or dying really easily for that matter... However, I'm guessing I can just send "test mobs" to see how much they can manage higher level monsters or whatnot.

    WBL is very tight on certain builds. A TWFing Ranger//UMD-Focused Rogue is going to need more of his WBL than a Ranged Combat Ranger//Sneak Attack-focused Rogue, despite the two being the same classes. I recomend a slight increase in WBL allowance for characters who can't craft their own magic items, somewhere around 10% to 25% increase will help these players.
    That would be unfair to players who decided to play casters so I don't think I will do this.

    The main goal of Partial Gestalt, as JaronK said, is to bring the lower tier classes up to par with the higher tier classes. But even this is only a minor boost to the lower tiers, as tier 2 and up can still dominate the world thanks to game breaking spells like Genesis and so forth. Be very aware of what spells you let your players use.
    I know this, but I also plan on banning some spells to limit casters a bit, but not enough so they are boring/useless. It still won't balance it out as nicely as I'd like, but it'll be an improvement and that's enough for me since my groups tend to work together (out of character anyways) so others don't feel useless.


    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei
    My point is simply: casters overshadow mundane (assuming you accept that they do so at all) because a) they have more options available to them and b) the options available to them are individually more powerful than those available to mundane classes. Gestalting two mundane classes doesn't increase the power of the options they have available more than a very little, and doesn't increase the number available anywhere near enough.
    I'm fully aware of this, but it will give them more options - maybe not in combat, but out of combat yes - and allow them to be useful somewhere else than when they are taking a hit for the wizard. That way the Fighter can have a little healing power (Paladin) or have some Monk abilities or be able to bluff is way out of something. They won't be as strong as casters, but they will be more self-sufficient.

    Plus I think this "partial gestalt" plus the banning of certain spells will help a lot. We'll see how that goes, I may post my findings when I've tested it out in a game (as soon as I get time to play again >_<).

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrass View Post
    That is something good to know, but considering casters aren't Gestalt, should I go easy on this or they should be strong enough as it is?
    Depends on how optimized they are. I assume standard GOD Wizard and CoDzilla optimization when I refer to casters, but if your players aren't up to that level then it may be a good idea to pull punches and aim for even-CR Encounters.

    As I said before, casters aren't gestalt and I worried their effectiveness will suffer from facing monsters 2 CR higher than they are. Or dying really easily for that matter... However, I'm guessing I can just send "test mobs" to see how much they can manage higher level monsters or whatnot.
    3 CR 6's= a CR 8 or 9 encounter. For an ECL 7 or 8 party, this is the starting point.
    That would be unfair to players who decided to play casters so I don't think I will do this.
    Casters can bypass the WBL with ease, either via loopholes or magic item creation feats (which effectively double their WBL). Even banning the loopholes won't prevent an Artificer from being able to start with double the normal WBL. This is something you need to take into account. If the casters think it isn't fair, tell them to grab a feat and go cry in their Demiplane. They can deal with getting less WBL than the Fighter (even though they would be getting full WBL access anyway).

    And it all goes to hell when Wish and Miracle hit the table.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    That's an example of the DM being Too Dumb to Live. Melee characters can't create entire planes of existence with one spell slot, now can they?
    With good UMD and a scroll of Genesis, they can create entire planes of existence without using any spell slots. Also, that's completely irrelevant.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    With good UMD and a scroll of Genesis, they can create entire planes of existence without using any spell slots. Also, that's completely irrelevant.
    ...


    Can they make a Concentration check to avoid losing the spell every time something distracts them? If not, then they are not able to make a demiplane. Plus, it takes them hours to cast the spell, whereas a Shadowcraft Mage can do it in a Standard action.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    ...


    Can they make a Concentration check to avoid losing the spell every time something distracts them? If not, then they are not able to make a demiplane.
    Yes, they can.
    Plus, it takes them hours to cast the spell,
    8 hours a day for one week, to be exact
    whereas a Shadowcraft Mage can do it in a Standard action.
    How?

    Anyway, as I said, it's completely irrelevant. Having your own personal demiplane is cool, but it's not the only route to power.

  24. - Top - End - #24

    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    How?
    Heighten Silent Image+Earth Spell+Shadowcraft Mage's 3rd level class feature to turn a Figment spell into a Conjuration Creation spell that's a lower level than the Figment spell. You use Earth Spell+Heighten Spell to make a 10th level version of Silent Image, then use it to cast a Shadow Genesis as a Standard action. Broken as hell, but legit.


    Or you use Uncanny Forethought, and leave a 9th level slot open to spontaneously cast Genesis as a Full Round action at a -2 CL penalty. Also broken, as there's no limit to the casting time on Uncanny Forethought as written.


    Anyway, as I said, it's completely irrelevant. Having your own personal demiplane is cool, but it's not the only route to power.
    Until you realize you can set the Time trait of your demiplane to be 144,000 times faster than the Material Plane (in other words, 1 round on the material plane is one day in your demiplane, as there's 144,000 rounds in 24 hours). Then you cast Gate in the middle of combat whenever you start running out of spells, sleep for a few hours in your Demiplane, recover your spell slots, step out and rape reality with a fresh set of spells. Repeat into absurdity.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Until you realize you can set the Time trait of your demiplane to be 144,000 times faster than the Material Plane (in other words, 1 round on the material plane is one day in your demiplane, as there's 144,000 rounds in 24 hours). Then you cast Gate in the middle of combat whenever you start running out of spells, sleep for a few hours in your Demiplane, recover your spell slots, step out and rape reality with a fresh set of spells. Repeat into absurdity.
    Such a plane is highly useful as suggested above. I strongly suggest finding one that a wizard created, thus saving yourself the XP. Setting a trap there for the original creator is completely optional, since you are unlikely to ever run into him given the timeflow difference, and if you do that means he's probably out of spells anyway.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Easy answer:

    Goliath Swordsage 20 // (Lion Totem) Barbarian 3/Fighter 2/Frostrager 5/ Frenzied Berserker 10.

    Outside of the required feats, take Martial Study: Iron Heart Surge around the time you get Frenzied Berserker levels, and Extra Rage if you can squeeze it in.

    You win.
    Funny, I always figured I'd be killed by a paladin.
    So, what you're saying is we rolled a 1 on our credit check?

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    All right, so I finally had time to type it all out, here's what I got. A lot less detailed than what I expected, but whatever.

    Classes are to use a partial Gestalt rule. Here’s how it will work:
    • Melee classes and classes with spell levels lower than spell level 6 will be able to Gestalt with another class. The secondary class has to follow the same restriction as the first one.
    • Martial character classes (from the Tome of Battle) are excluded from this rule.
    • The character using this variant rule cannot use any Multiclass feat (Daring Outlaw, etc)
    • A character using this variant can take a spell caster class. When he does however, he effectively levels both sides with only one class. Ex: a Fighter 4//Rogue 4 takes a level of Sorcerer for his fifth level. His level will then become Fighter 4/ Sorcerer 1//Rogue 4.


    Anything you guys think I should add?

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Something about warlock and binder? Also, psionics?

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Oh wow totally forgot Psionics =/

    I'm guessing I'll treat them the same way as spell casters, 6th level powers mean the class can't Gestalt.

    Warlocks and Dragon Shaman (They are the same right? Or close enough?) I don't know how they really play out, never had the chance to test one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    As for Binders or anything in the Tome of Magic, we never used those classes but including them in the rule is a good thing, to prevent any abuse by my players. Where should I side them? Casters or do I let them Gestalt their levels?
    Last edited by Cedrass; 2009-06-20 at 12:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Gestalt for melee only?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrass View Post
    Oh wow totally forgot Psionics =/

    I'm guessing I'll treat them the same way as spell casters, 6th level powers mean the class can't Gestalt.

    Warlocks and Dragon Shaman (They are the same right? Or close enough?) I don't know how they really play out, never had the chance to test one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    As for Binders or anything in the Tome of Magic, we never used those classes but including them in the rule is a good thing, to prevent any abuse by my players. Where should I side them? Casters or do I let them Gestalt their levels?
    I think you can allow Dragon Shamans to Gestalt with your meleers without much trouble. Warlock almost works, but be aware that a warlock with sneak attack is going to do a whole lot of damage. Without sneak attack, the warlock is just fine.
    Regarding multiclass feats, they don't break the Gestalt game at all. Just remember that at each level, at most one class can advance any specific thing, such as contribute towards the multiclass total level. Thus a Swashbuckler 4//Rogue 4 has a total of 4 Swashbuckler+Rogue levels.

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