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    Default Gestalt vs Wizard

    How would a gestalt Monk/ranger stack up against a wizard? What tier would they be? What would be a good way of determining the relative tier of gestalt classes?

    I ask because I'd like to build a campaign that includes a few gestalt classes as a way to balance the truly broken ones like Monk or Bard, but I obviously don't want to surpass wizard as a measure of strength.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Off topic: this isn't really the subforum to discuss this kind of things. This is the homebrew subforum and is meant for homebrew only. You should go to the 3.5 forums.

    On topic: I would say the wizard would most likely still 'win' due to the sheer versatility and amount of possibilities the wizard has. A Ranger/Monk gestalt would need to get close, and bash his skull in with weapons or fists. A wizard, especially high level wizard can do that from hundereds of feet away, multiple times a day. this is just a very blunt example of course, but i think you see what I'm getting at. Even when gestalting, its not easy to surpass a horribly optimized nicely made Wizard without taking Tier 1 or 2

    The tier of gestalt character would really depend on the classes, and how they completent each other. One way to determine the Tier, in my opinion, would be see what the tier of both classes is and take the highest of the two if they are different, and add one if they synergize eachother rather well (with some exceptions). If they are the same tier maybe one tier higher, and if they synergize well, maybe even 2 tiers. Still, i don't know the limits (or lack of) most classes have.

    Also bard is not broken, considered tier 3, which is considered the a good focus point for balance in homebrew.

    Monk isn't broken either, but a bit underwelming the amount of useless class features it gets is just too much. Monk is a pretty good class to dip into for a level or 2 to get some feats, with the possibilities presented in Unearthed Arcana, or to get Evasion early, and three good saves.
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    The only class balanced against a wizard is a gestalt barbarian/bard/cleric/druid/monk/rogue/sorcerer/wizard.

    More seriously, I think people forget the major difference between arcane spellcasters and other characters : all class features are imitable. A 2nd level spell will incapacitate them. Just buy a scroll and grapple them. Unlike sorcerers, they will have to know what to expect.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyVG View Post
    Off topic: this isn't really the subforum to discuss this kind of things. This is the homebrew subforum and is meant for homebrew only.
    It sort of is, actually, because I'm trying to come up with homebrew rules for gestalting. I know its not a perfect fit, but I don't think its totally out of place either. I could be wrong. Perhaps I would attract more interest in the other forum? But I'm happy with the response so far here.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyVG View Post
    I would say the wizard would most likely still 'win' due to the sheer versatility and amount of possibilities the wizard has. A Ranger/Monk gestalt would need to get close, and bash his skull in with weapons or fists.
    Archery. There's a feat I'm using, I forget where I found it, called Zen Archery, which allows you to use your wisdom bonus for ranged attacks. I'm not saying that they'd win, but maybe they'd get up there in tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyVG View Post
    Also bard is not broken, considered tier 3, which is considered the a good focus point for balance in homebrew.

    Monk isn't broken either, but a bit underwelming the amount of useless class features it gets is just too much. Monk is a pretty good class to dip into for a level or 2 to get some feats, with the possibilities presented in Unearthed Arcana, or to get Evasion early, and three good saves.
    I'm hoping to make all player classes at least tier two, with a few maybe tier one but still underpower from the wizard and the druid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Network View Post
    The only class balanced against a wizard is a gestalt barbarian/bard/cleric/druid/monk/rogue/sorcerer/wizard.

    More seriously, I think people forget the major difference between arcane spellcasters and other characters : all class features are imitable. A 2nd level spell will incapacitate them. Just buy a scroll and grapple them. Unlike sorcerers, they will have to know what to expect.
    Its true. A rogue with a stack of scrolls and Use Magic Device should take 'em out. Its actually nice that Wizards are so unbalanced, because it gives that frikkin skill some use. That's a topic for a future thread: alternative uses for Use Magic Device.

    It also means that there is actually a reason for a character to take levels in fighter: they will always be able to find a job working for a wizard. Tanking damage in melee.

    I'm actually going to present these to my players as set classes, not just options to combine endlessly. So what combos would be most prevalent in a setting dominated by wizards and clerics and druids?

    I like the idea of a paladin/monk gestalt, since the ability scores and special powers synergize rather well. I don't know about the horse, though. Bard/Paladin also work kinda well.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    in the tier system one of the sugested fixes(to the best of my memory, I would sugest you look it up) is to just let T4 class gesalt with another T5 class, and T3 classes gesalt with a T6 class... a general power up.
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    You could gestalt all the tier 3 and under classes together and then you might beat a wizard.
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    I dunno, i think a Beguiler-Dread Necromancer-Bard-Swordsage-Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige)-Wildshape Varient Ranger-Duskblade-Factotum-Warblade-Psionic Warrior might stand up to a wizard fairly well.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    It depends on the optimization level of the team. The key perk of the first two tiers is that they can engage any element of the rules. (Including, but not limited to, poorly worded/designed elements.) On the one hand, the Mindrape/Love's Pain/fast time Genesis trick is all but unbeatable. On the other hand, a wizard who stocks up on nothing but damaging evocations can be taken down by a well-played monk.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    quick fix: ban wizard and all T1-2, and you can balance for T3.
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    My table has seen some notable success balancing against Wizards using a T2 and a partial casting class (a combination like Favored Soul and Paladin for example). While I haven't tried every combo, I've seen my players use the following against Wizards effectively:

    Favored Soul/Paladin (played as a dragon-slayer)
    Favored Soul/Warlock (played as a crafter)
    Sorcerer/Barbarian (played as having dependency issues)
    Psion/Bard (this was...special to GM)
    Sorcerer/Wilder (played as mentally unstable, lots of fun)
    Bard/Paladin/Ardent (had trouble balancing the Bard and Paladin bits)

    In general, the combos that have a T2 full caster and a combat class work in harmony quite well against T1 classes (provided the GM isn't an @$$; some Wizard spell combos I've seen are literally unbeatable if you spring them on an unsuspecting party).

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by urkthegurk View Post
    Archery. There's a feat I'm using, I forget where I found it, called Zen Archery, which allows you to use your wisdom bonus for ranged attacks. I'm not saying that they'd win, but maybe they'd get up there in tier 2?
    That isn't tier 2, it isn't even close. Archery can be completely eliminated as a threat with a single casting of wind wall. Tier 2 classes have access to the most powerful problem-solving options in the game, just not to all of them. The build you describe doesn't even have top-tier options in combat, and out of combat it brings nothing to the table an ordinary ranger or monk wouldn't. Solid Tier 4.
    I'm hoping to make all player classes at least tier two, with a few maybe tier one but still underpower from the wizard and the druid.
    That's a tall order, and probably one which can't be accomplished without full casting or some similarly powerful and versatile subsystem.
    It also means that there is actually a reason for a character to take levels in fighter: they will always be able to find a job working for a wizard. Tanking damage in melee.
    Tanking isn't really a DnD party role, and even if it was wizards would be better at it due to their greatly increased durability. In order to tank you need a way to make things pay attention to you, and fighters just don't have that.

    I'm actually going to present these to my players as set classes, not just options to combine endlessly. So what combos would be most prevalent in a setting dominated by wizards and clerics and druids?
    Try Factotum//Warblade(King of Combat, some skills and spells outside it), Paladin//Sorcerer(Gish-in-a-box, might wanna remove ACF in some armor) and Monk//Ninja//Healer//Adept(Should be high tier 3. Maybe Tier 2 if you expand the adept spell list enough.)

    Quote Originally Posted by urkthegurk View Post
    I dunno, i think a Beguiler-Dread Necromancer-Bard-Swordsage-Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige)-Wildshape Varient Ranger-Duskblade-Factotum-Warblade-Psionic Warrior might stand up to a wizard fairly well.
    Take out the Factotum and that's high Tier 2. Or, I suppose, it would probably exist outside the system the way truenamer does. At low optimization levels it's terribly broken, at high levels it's potentially competitive with wizard if well played and at very high levels it falls behind. With the factotum included it's a bit muddier.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by urkthegurk View Post
    I dunno, i think a Beguiler-Dread Necromancer-Bard-Swordsage-Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige)-Wildshape Varient Ranger-Duskblade-Factotum-Warblade-Psionic Warrior might stand up to a wizard fairly well.
    Isn't binder with the summon monster vestige tier 2 though?
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    quick fix: ban wizard and all T1-2, and you can balance for T3.
    I could do that, but I actually like that the wizard is more powerful than everyone. Because, you know, wizard. I might ban it as a PC class, but then I'm just creating high-powered enemies that even an entire team of low-tier PCs might have trouble taking out. But it would be sort of Conan-fafner-and-the-grey-mouser esque.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidoro View Post
    That isn't tier 2, it isn't even close. Archery can be completely eliminated as a threat with a single casting of wind wall. Tier 2 classes have access to the most powerful problem-solving options in the game, just not to all of them. The build you describe doesn't even have top-tier options in combat, and out of combat it brings nothing to the table an ordinary ranger or monk wouldn't. Solid Tier 4.
    True dat. I guess I meant, 'hey, they do have some way of hitting at range...' can we make some sort of ability that negates wind wall effects, I mean come on. It is something that comes up in natural environments too, so it seems like there should be a solution to your entire strategy being nerfed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidoro View Post
    TThat's a tall order, and probably one which can't be accomplished without full casting or some similarly powerful and versatile subsystem.
    I'm entirely comfortable abandoning some classes completely in order to do this, so everyone is likely to have at least some degree of spellcasting. So perhaps Fighters and what have you take on the role of the idiotic 'warrior' NPC class (as if fighters weren't ****ty enough!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saidoro View Post
    T
    Tanking isn't really a DnD party role, and even if it was wizards would be better at it due to their greatly increased durability. In order to tank you need a way to make things pay attention to you, and fighters just don't have that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saidoro View Post
    T
    Try Factotum//Warblade(King of Combat, some skills and spells outside it), Paladin//Sorcerer(Gish-in-a-box, might wanna remove ACF in some armor) and Monk//Ninja//Healer//Adept(Should be high tier 3. Maybe Tier 2 if you expand the adept spell list enough.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis Vigil View Post

    Favored Soul/Paladin (played as a dragon-slayer)
    Favored Soul/Warlock (played as a crafter)
    Sorcerer/Barbarian (played as having dependency issues)
    Psion/Bard (this was...special to GM)
    Sorcerer/Wilder (played as mentally unstable, lots of fun)
    Bard/Paladin/Ardent (had trouble balancing the Bard and Paladin bits)
    All strong ideas. I'm thinking Paladin/Sorcerer will be practically a given for this setting, although the paladin/Favored soul combo might show some competition.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    the way to eliminate windwall as a problem is flight... just maneuver around the tiny wall. you can do it easily on foot as well. their is a reason I have never seen it actually used... it is so easy to avoid.
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    So you're saying Monk/Ranger/Scout/Adept might go a good way to completing the equation?

    BTW, how to pathfinder classes stack up on the tiers? still pretty much the same?

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    the way to eliminate windwall as a problem is flight... just maneuver around the tiny wall. you can do it easily on foot as well. their is a reason I have never seen it actually used... it is so easy to avoid.
    I've seen it used to fantastic effect in smaller areas. Open areas not so much, but smaller places like the entrance to a cave work great for it.

    As for the builds, Favored Soul/Paladin was a great one, and probably the most enjoyable build I've ever done. So many utility spells! And the ability to wade straight into melee because of bonus combat feats on Favored Soul plus Paladin full BAB was great. The need for good Cha also made it a great party face, too.

    Not sure if you'd allow them, but I did make some feats that might help with the tier gap as well, if someone didn't really want to gestalt. Have a link.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by urkthegurk View Post
    So you're saying Monk/Ranger/Scout/Adept might go a good way to completing the equation?
    See this? This is tier 3. A Tier 2 isn't someone who's better at fighting, it's someone who usually doesn't have to fight in the first place. Teleportation bypasses the issue of travel, turning into a ghost/swarm/ghost swarm bypasses the issue of defenses, reading and controlling minds bypasses the issue of diplomacy, and so on.

    Tier 2s are rare in fiction, usually being either someone who's stolen the powers of multiple Tier 3s, or a reality warper.

    BTW, how to pathfinder classes stack up on the tiers? still pretty much the same?
    They shifted within the tiers a bit, but the only class to actually change places was the paladin (+1 tier).

    Quote Originally Posted by urkthegurk View Post
    I could do that, but I actually like that the wizard is more powerful than everyone. Because, you know, wizard. I might ban it as a PC class, but then I'm just creating high-powered enemies that even an entire team of low-tier PCs might have trouble taking out. But it would be sort of Conan-fafner-and-the-grey-mouser esque.
    The problem with that is "more powerful" is supposed to be synonymous with "higher level". If you want that fluff, just say an lv6 fighter is a supreme swordmaster with decades of experience, while an lv6 wizard is a kid who started studying last month.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2012-07-30 at 01:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    the way to eliminate windwall as a problem is flight... just maneuver around the tiny wall. you can do it easily on foot as well. their is a reason I have never seen it actually used... it is so easy to avoid.
    that, and windwall is eliminated by the best weapon mods you can use on ranged.

    anyway, Without resorting to homebrew classes:

    Warblade with Thunderbolts, Gestalted with Bard. Rogue i think also has to be thrown in so that you get the kind of damage needed
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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    See this
    The problem with that is "more powerful" is supposed to be synonymous with "higher level". If you want that fluff, just say an lv6 fighter is a supreme swordmaster with decades of experience, while an lv6 wizard is a kid who started studying last month.
    Well the higher level thing obvs didn't work. In older version of DnD, classes leveled differently, I think the game designers forgot that's NOT what they were doing here. That being said, fluff-wise a fighter (in my game) will see a lot more combat than a wizard, because they are expendable, and numerous, so some of them will reach reasonably high levels kinda quickly... and then a wizard will go wipe out a couple encounters solo and catch up, but no biggie.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    In general, to determine the tier of a gestalt class, you have to evaluate it on its own, although it'll usually be either the higher of the two or 1 more than that (but I doubt it'll ever be tier 1 or 2 unless one of the top ones were tier 1 or 2).

    That said, while monk/ranger is probably tier 4 (maybe a very weak 3), it is nevertheless extremely powerful if played right. Monk speed plus ranger archery makes a character extremely good at kiting, and ranger stealth (supported by monk speed) makes him very good at getting away to snipe better. And of course when it comes to travel he can't be beat except where serious magic is involved.

    As for how monk/ranger would stack up against a wizard...clever use of stealth will probably give the gestalt the win in direct combat if he plays things well, but he definitely doesn't have the tier 1 capabilities.

    If your only concern is not to surpass optimized wizard, you can gestalt all the tier 3 and lower classes you want and not worry.

    If it's to balance the classes rather than general gestalt, it's probably usually better to just add some features from various classes rather than a straight gestalt. Here are my ideas (for tier 4 and lower classes from the SRD; take them, leave them, or pick and choose as you want):

    -Rogue and paladin may gestalt with any class; this class may be different at different levels, but once chosen for a given class cannot be changed. Tier 4 and below classes are gestalted as normal, but tier 3 classes gestalt the chassis and skills as normal, but grant class features and spells at 3/4 the normal level (so a level 20 rogue who took bard every time would get features and spells as a level 15 bard), and tier 1 and 2 classes grant spells and class features at only 1/2 the normal level.
    -Barbarian gestalts with fighter.
    -Ranger gets fast movement and trap sense as a barbarian, all (Ex) class abilities of the druid, and fast movement as a monk (note that barbarian fast movement and monk fast movement do stack.)
    -Fighter may gestalt with any class, but gets only combat abilities (including spells, but only those whose primary use is in combat.) If he chooses an arcane casting class, he ignores arcane spell failure from light armor (but not medium armor or shields.)
    -Monk gets cleric spellcasting (but not energy channeling), but can only target himself.
    -Soulknife gestalts with monk. (The result is still pretty weak in most cases, but is extremely good at outmaneuvering the enemy to attack vulnerable targets.)
    -NPC classes get no gestalt, but anyone who plays as one gets noted as being brave (or maybe crazy) enough to play an intentionally underpowered class.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    -NPC classes get no gestalt, but anyone who plays as one gets noted as being brave (or maybe crazy) enough to play an intentionally underpowered class.
    You should still beware the chicken-infested commoner who can call Orcus. The class is cited on TVtropes as a Lethal Joke Character.

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    Default Re: Gestalt vs Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    That said, while monk/ranger is probably tier 4 (maybe a very weak 3), it is nevertheless extremely powerful if played right. Monk speed plus ranger archery makes a character extremely good at kiting, and ranger stealth (supported by monk speed) makes him very good at getting away to snipe better. And of course when it comes to travel he can't be beat except where serious magic is involved.

    As for how monk/ranger would stack up against a wizard...clever use of stealth will probably give the gestalt the win in direct combat if he plays things well, but he definitely doesn't have the tier 1 capabilities.
    I don't want them to have tier one capabilities, per se. I'm aiming for tier two or high (easy-to-optimize) tier three.

    I think a Monk-Ranger-Scout ('Hunter'), a Ranger-Paladin-Rogue ('Slayer') and a Paladin-Sorcerer ('Seeker') for the first three is a good starting point. I'm aware that the paladin-sorcerer is the most powerful, but it suits the flavour, and the other classes aren't weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    -NPC classes get no gestalt, but anyone who plays as one gets noted as being brave (or maybe crazy) enough to play an intentionally underpowered class.
    I think the NPC classes will actually be useful for Gestalting, since sometimes all a class needs to put it in a nice spot is a bit of spellcasting ability or a whack of skills.

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