Gestalt Characters

Building A Gestalt Character

To make a 1st-level gestalt character, choose two standard classes. (You can also choose any of the variant classes, though you can’t combine two versions of the same class.) Build your character according to the following guidelines.

Hit Dice
Choose the larger Hit Die. A monk/sorcerer would use d8 as her Hit Die and have 8 hit points (plus Constitution modifier) at 1st level, for example.

Base Attack Bonus
Choose the better progression from the two classes.

Base Saving Throw Bonuses
For each save bonus, choose the better progression from the two classes. For example, a 1st-level gestalt fighter/wizard would have base saving throw bonuses of Fortitude +2, Reflex +0, Will +2—taking the good Fortitude save from the fighter class and the good Will save from the wizard class.

Class Skills
Take the number of skill points gained per level from whichever class grants more skill points, and consider any skill on either class list as a class skill for the gestalt character. For example, a gestalt barbarian/bard would gain skill points per level equal to 6 + Int modifier (and have four times this amount at 1st level), arid can purchase skills from both the barbarian and bard lists as class skills.

Class Features
A gestalt character gains the class features of both classes. A 1st-level gestalt rogue/cleric, for example, gets sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding, 1st-level cleric spells, and the ability to turn or rebuke undead. Class- and ability-based restrictions (such as arcane spell failure chance and a druid’s prohibition on wearing metal armor) apply normally to a gestalt character, no matter what the other class is.

A gestalt character follows a similar procedure when he attains 2nd and subsequent levels. Each time he gains a new level, he chooses two classes, takes the best aspects of each, and applies them to his characteristics. A few caveats apply, however.

  • Class features that two classes share (such as uncanny dodge) accrue at the rate of the faster class.
  • Gestalt characters with more than one spellcasting class keep track of their spells per day separately.
  • A gestalt character can’t combine two prestige classes at any level, although it’s 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 you’re using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of what’s already a high-powered variant. Because it’s 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 it’s available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters.

Prestige Classes
The high-powered nature of the gestalt character variant gives you more room to create unique prestige classes. First, you can create narrowly specialized prestige classes, and they’ll still be compelling choices for PCs because the characters can simultaneously advance in a regular class while taking levels in the prestige class. Players won’t feel shoehorned into a very specific prestige class if they have another class they’re also advancing in. Second, you can create truly outrageous prestige classes-but add the additional cost that such classes take up both class choices for gestalt characters. For example, a prestige class that offered a d12 Hit Die, +1/level base attack bonus, two good saves, full spellcasting, and a host of class features would be completely unbalanced in a standard game. But if it takes up both “class slots” for a gestalt characters, it’s no more powerful than taking a level in the barbarian/wizard gestalt.

Gestalt Characters

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