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Gestalt Characters (4e Variant Rule)

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Created By
Sam Kay and OneManHorde
Date Created: 23rd August 2009
Status: Playtesting Required
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!


Gestalt Characters Edit

In a small group, it can be difficult to cover all four roles, and have a party large enough to deal with normal sized encounters without resorting to playing multiple characters or having the DM play DMPCs or using smaller encounters. Neither of these solutions are desirable, as it can be difficult to play and DM at the same time (or play multiple characters), and smaller encounters are just boring.

These rules, based on the third edition gestalt rules from Unearthed Arcana, allow a character to take two classes of different roles, effectively doubling the power of each character.

Gestalt characters are built with 'gestalt templates' that double the character's power, effectively turning them into elite characters. Therefore, when building encounters for gestalt characters, each gestalt character should be treated as two characters.

The gestalt character variant is especially effective if you have three or fewer players in your D&D group, or if your players enjoy multiclassing and want characters with truly prodigious powers. This variant works only if every PC in the campaign uses it, and it results in complicated characters who may overwhelm newer D&D players with an abundance of options.

Building a Gestalt CharacterEdit

To make a 1st level gestalt character, choose two classes. These two classes can be any class you wish, but you cannot select two classes of the same role, and you cannot select the same class twice. Build your character in the following order, rather than the order presented in the Player's Handbook:

1. Choose Race: Decide the race of your character. It is important to consider the fact that you will have two classes rather than one, so you should choose a race with a bonus to at least one of your classes' key abilities.

2. Choose Classes: Select two classes. These classes must be different, and be of different roles. Then you need to apply one of your two classes to your character, as normal. Compare the starting hit points and the number of healing surges of your classes and apply whichever class has the highest number of both. If one class has more hit points but less healing surges, apply that class (but use the higher number of healing surges from both classes).

3. Determine Ability Scores: Generate your ability scores as normal, except that ability scores should be customized using 28 points rather than using 22 points or using the standard array. You should calculate your hit points now.

4. Choose Skills: Choose skills as normal, as if you were just the class you have applied.

5. Apply Class Template: Apply the template of your second class from the class templates section below, adding additional hit points, defense bonuses, trained skills and class features from the template. If you gain a class bonus to a defense or training in a skill that you already have a class bonus to or training in, apply only the highest bonus or the skill training from your first class. Any additional bonuses are lost. In the case of an overlapping bonus to one of your defenses, if the lowest bonus is a +2, you can apply a +1 bonus to your other two defenses (but not AC), but if the lowest bonus is a +1, you can apply a +1 bonus to a single defense of your choice (but not AC), so long as you don't already have a class defense bonus to that defense.

6. Select Feats: Select a single feat of your choice, as normal, except that you are assumed to be of both classes for the purposes of prerequisites and multiclass feats.

7. Choose Powers: Select three 1st level at-will attack powers, two 1st level encounter attack powers and two 1st level daily powers. You must choose at least one power from each class for each category, so a fighter/rogue would have to select one fighter at-will attack power, one rogue at-will attack power, one fighter encounter attack power, one rogue encounter attack power, one fighter daily attack power, one rogue daily attack power and one at-will attack power from either class. This rule does not apply to bonus powers gained from your race.

8. Choose Equipment: Choose your equipment, as normal. You can use an implement from either class for both of your classes' powers, so you only need one implement.

9. Fill in the Numbers: Calculate all remaining numbers to be calculated.

10. Roleplaying Character Details: Flesh out your character with details about your personality, appearence ane beliefs. Remember to include details about why you have training in two classes.

A Note on ImplementsEdit

It can, in some cases, be difficult to wield any implements you need from one class alongside any equipment you need from the other. Therefore, the following rules apply to implements when playing a gestalt character.

  • If both classes can use implements, you can use any implements from either class with implement powers of the other. You therefore only need to carry a single implement.
  • If you have an implement mastery class feature from one or both classes (the songweaver's instrument mastery should be treated as an implement mastery in this case), you can select a single implement from the other class that can be weilded as if it were the implement you have implement mastery with, and vice versa. So a Paladin/Wizard could use a holy symbol as if it were a wand of accuracy, and a Songweaver/Wizard could use a flute as if it was an orb of imposition and an orb as if it was a flute of the healer.
  • If you use a single-handed weapon and a shield, you can use an implement in the same hand as your shield.
  • If you use a two-handed weapon or two single-handed weapons, you can select a single weapon group of your choice. You can use a weapon of that group as an implement. Your weapon adds its enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls and any extra damage granted by a property (if applicable), when used as an implement. You do not gain your weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll when using your weapon as an implement.

A Note on ActionsEdit

As you are replacing two characters with a single, double power character, the economy of actions will be affected. Therefore, each character can use two standard actions per turn rather than one. You can still only use a single move, minor immediate and opportunity action per round.

When you gain an action point, you gain two instead, but you can still use only a single action point per encounter. This essentially means that you can use one action point every encounter rather than every other encounter as you normally would. This is because you replace two characters with a single character, so double the normal number of action points are required per character to conserve the economy of actions.

Higher Level Gestalt CharactersEdit

Ability ScoresEdit

At 4th, 8th, 14th, 18th, 24th and 28th level you increase three ability scores by 1 rather than the two that a normal character would increase.

PowersEdit

At higher levels, gestalt characters gain the following powers:

2nd Level: At 2nd-level, you gain an additional 2nd-level utility power. You must select at least one utiliy power from each of your classes.

11th Level: At 11th level, you gain a single 7th-level encounter attack power of your choice. This power can be from either of your classes. You also gain a single utility power of 10th level or lower.

13th Level: At 13th level, you can replace both of the 1st-level encounter attack powers you gained at 1st level with encounter attack powers of 13th level or lower.

15th Level: At 15th level, you can replace both of the 1st-level daily attack powers you gained at 1st level with daily attack powers of 15th level or lower.

16th Level: At 16th level, you can replace one of the 2nd-level utility powers you gained at 2nd level with a single utility power of 16th level or lower.

21st Level: At 21st level, you gain a single daily attack power of 19th level or lower and a single utility power of 16th level or lower.

22nd Level: At 22nd Level, you can replace one of the 16th-level utility powers you gained at 16th and 21st level with a single utility power of 22th level or lower.

23rd Level: At 23rd level, you can replace both of your 7th-level encounter attack powers you gained at 7th level and 11th level with encounter attack powers of 17th level or lower.

27th Level: At 27th level, you can replace both of the 13th-level encounter attack powers you gained at 13th level with encounter attack powers of 27th level or lower.

29th Level: At 29th level, you can replace both of the 15th-level daily attack powers you gained at 15th level with daily attack powers of 29th level or lower.

You must have at least one power of each category (at-will attack, encounter attack, daily attack and utility) from each class, though these can be from any level (so at 3rd level you could have two 1st-level encounter attack powers from one class and one 3rd-level encounter attack power from your other class). At 11th level, you must have at least two encounter attack powers and at least two utility powers from each class. At 21st level, you must have at least two daily attack powers and three utility powers from each class. You may otherwise select your powers from either class.

Class Level Encounter Powers Daily Powers Utility Powers
1st 1, 1 1, 1
2nd 1, 1 1, 1 2, 2
3rd 3, 1, 1 1, 1 2, 2
4th 3, 1, 1 1, 1 2, 2
5th 3, 1, 1 5, 1, 1 2, 2
6th 3, 1, 1 5, 1, 1 6, 2, 2
7th 7, 3, 1, 1 5, 1, 1 6, 2, 2
8th 7, 3, 1, 1 5, 1, 1 6, 2, 2
9th 7, 3, 1, 1 9, 5, 1, 1 6, 2, 2
10th 7, 3, 1, 1 9, 5, 1, 1 10, 6, 2, 2
11th P, 7, 7, 3, 1, 1 9, 5, 1, 1 10, 10, 6, 2, 2
12th P, 7, 7, 3, 1, 1 9, 5, 1, 1 P, 10, 10, 6, 2, 2
13th P, 13, 13, 7, 7, 3 9, 5, 1, 1 P, 10, 10, 6, 2, 2
14th P, 13, 13, 7, 7, 3 9, 5, 1, 1 P, 10, 10, 6, 2, 2
15th P, 13, 13, 7, 7, 3 15, 15, 9, 5 P, 10, 10, 6, 2, 2
16th P, 13, 13, 7, 7, 3 15, 15, 9, 5 P, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
17th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 15, 15, 9, 5 P, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
18th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 15, 15, 9, 5 P, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
19th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
20th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
21st P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 19, 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 16, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
22nd P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 19, 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
23rd P, 23, 17, 13, 13 P, 19, 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
24th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 19, 19, 15, 15, 9 P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
25th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 25, 19, 19, 15, 15 P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
26th P, 17, 13, 13, 7, 7 P, 25, 19, 19, 15, 15 E, P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
27th P, 27, 27, 17, 13, 13, P, 25, 19, 19, 15, 15 E, P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
28th P, 27, 27, 17, 13, 13, P, 25, 19, 19, 15, 15 E, P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
29th P, 27, 27, 17, 13, 13, P, 29, 29, 25, 19, 19 E, P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2
30th P, 27, 27, 17, 13, 13, P, 29, 29, 25, 19, 19 E, P, 22, 22, 16, 16, 10, 10, 6, 2


Paragon Paths and Epic DestiniesEdit

At 11th level, you select only a single paragon path, as normal, though you are treated as being both of your classes for the purposes of prerequisites. At 21st level, you gain only a single epic destiny, as normal, though you are treated as being both of your classes for the purposes of prerequisites.

Magic ItemsEdit

Gestalt characters should be given the normal number of magic items for two characters of their level. When awarding magic items, calculate the amount of magic items that would be suitable for a normal party twice the size of the gestalt party.

When building a gestalt character of higher than 1st level, select two items of your level + 1, two items of your level and two items of your level - 1. In addition, you gain a number of gold pieces equal to two magic items of your level - 1.

Gaining LevelsEdit

When awarding experience for encounters, award the normal amount for the encounter. Gestalt characters need double the normal amount of experience to gain a level (so a 1st level gestalt character needs 2000 xp to go up to level 2). As gestalt characters are fighting twice the number of monsters that the same number of normal characters would fight, they are effectively gaining twice the experience, and will thus level up at the same rate as normal characters would.

Gestalt TemplatesEdit

ArachnomancerEdit

Power Source: Arachane.

Arachnomancer Gestalt Controller
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 4 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Dagger, Quaterstaff
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Arachana plus one other skill from the arachnomancer class list
Class Features Arachnomancer Tactics, Ritual Casting, Lesser Weaves
Implements Holy Symbols Orbs, Rods, Staffs, Wands


AvengerEdit

Power Source: Divine.

Avenger Gestalt Striker
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 7 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Religion plus one other skill from the avenger class list
Class Features Armor of Faith, Avengers Censure, Channel Divinity, Oath of Emnity
Implements Holy Symbol


BarbarianEdit

Power Source: Primal.

Barbarian Gestalt Striker
Defenses +2 Fortitude
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 6 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Two skills from the barbarian class list
Class Features Barbarian Agility, Feral Might, Rage Strike, Rampage


BardEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Bard Gestalt Leader
Defenses +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Longsword, Scimitar, Short Sword, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the bard class list
Class Features Bardic Training, Bardic Virtue, Majestic Word, Multiclass Versitality, Skill Versitality, Song of Rest, Words of Friendship.
Implements Wands


ClericEdit

Power Source: Divine.

Cleric Gestalt Leader
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail
Trained Skills Religion plus one other skill from the cleric class list
Class Features Channel Divinity, Healer's Lore, Healing Word
Implements Holy Symbols


DruidEdit

Power Source: Divine.

Druid Gestalt Controller
Defenses +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide
Trained Skills Nature plus one other skill from the druid class list
Class Features Balance of Nature1, Primal Aspect, Ritual Casting, Wild Shape
Implements Staffs, Totems

1. This simply means that you gain an additional 1st-level at-will attack power, and that you you must have at least one 1st-level druid at-will attack power with the beast keyword, and at least one 1st-level druid at-will attack power without the beast keyword. Balance of Nature applies in this way whether or not you apply the druid class as a template or not.

FighterEdit

Power Source: Martial.

Fighter Gestalt Defender
Defenses +2 Fortitude
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 6 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged, Military Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail, Scale, Light Shield, Heavy Shield
Trained Skills Two skills from the fighter class list
Class Features Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Weapon Talent


InvokerEdit

Power Source: Divine.

Invoker Gestalt Controller
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 4 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail
Trained Skills Religion plus one other skill from the cleric class list
Class Features Channel Divinity, Divine Covenant, Ritual Casting
Implements Rods, Staffs


PaladinEdit

Power Source: Divine.

Paladin Gestalt Defender
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 6 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail, Scale, Plate, Light Shield, Heavy Shield
Trained Skills Religion plus one other skill from the paladin class list
Class Features Channel Divinity, Divine Challenge, Lay on Hands
Implements Holy Symbols


RangerEdit

Power Source: Martial.

Ranger Gestalt Striker
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged, Military Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide
Trained Skills Dungeoneering or Nature (your choice) plus one other skill from the Ranger class list
Class Features Fighting Style, Hunter's Quarry, Prime Shot


RogueEdit

Power Source: Martial.

Rogue Gestalt Striker
Defenses +2 Reflex
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Dagger, Hand Crossbow, Shuriken, Sling, Short Sword
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather
Trained Skills Stealth or Thievery (your choice) plus one other skill from the rogue class list
Class Features First Strike, Rogue Tactics, Rogue Weapon Talent, Sneak Attack


ShamanEdit

Power Source: Primal.

Shaman Gestalt Leader
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Longspear
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather
Trained Skills Nature plus one other skill from the shaman class list
Class Features Companion Spirit, Healing Spirit, Speak with Spirits
Implements Totems


SongweaverEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Songweaver Gestalt Leader
Defenses +1 Ref, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the songweaver class list
Class Features Arcane Healer, Arcane Instrument Mastery, Healing Melody, Lesser Spells, Ritual Casting
Implements Bells, Flutes, Harps, Lutes


SorcererEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Sorcerer Gestalt Striker
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the sorcerer class list
Class Features Spell Source
Implements Daggers, Staffs


Spider RiderEdit

Power Source: Arachane.

Spider Rider Gestalt Striker
Defenses +2 Reflex
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Lance, Longsword, Longbow, Shortbow
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Light Shield
Trained Skills Arachane plus one other skill from the spider rider class list
Class Features Fighting Style, Deadly Charge, Spider Empathy, Spider Mount


SwordmageEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Swordmage Gestalt Defender
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 6 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Light Blades, Military Heavy Blades, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the swordmage class list
Class Features Swordbond, Swordmage Aegis, Swordmage Warding
Implements Light and Heavy Blades1

1. Your blade adds its enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls and any extra damage granted by a property (if applicable), when used as an implement. You do not gain your weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll when using your blade as an implement.

WardenEdit

Power Source: Primal.

Warden Gestalt Leader
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Light Shield, Heavy Shield
Trained Skills Nature plus one other skill from the warden class list
Class Features Font of Life, Guardian Might, Nature's Wrath


WarlockEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Warlock Gestalt Striker
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather
Trained Skills Two skills from the cleric class list
Class Features Eldritch Blast1, Eldritch Pact1, Prime Shot, Warlock's Curse
Implements Rods, Wands

1. You gain both eldritch blast and the power granted by your eldritch pact as 1st-level at-will attack powers. These powers count towards the three 1st-level at-will attack powers you select at 1st-level, so you can only select a single 1st-level at-will attack power from your other class.

WarlordEdit

Power Source: Martial.

Warlord Gestalt Leader
Defenses +1 Fortitude, +1 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 5 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Simple Melee, Military Melee, Simple Ranged
Armor Proficiency Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chainmail, Light Shield
Trained Skills Two skills from the warlord class list
Class Features Combat Leader, Commanding Presence, Inspiring Word


WizardEdit

Power Source: Arcane.

Wizard Gestalt Controller
Defenses +2 Will
Saving Throws +2
Action Point +1
Hit Points + 4 per level + Constitution score
Healing Surges +2
Weapon Proficiency Dagger, Quarterstaff
Armor Proficiency Cloth
Trained Skills Arcana plus one other skill from the wizard class list
Class Features Arcane Implement Mastery, Cantrips, Ritual Casting, Spellbook1
Implements Orbs, Staffs, Tomes, Wands

1. Your spellbook class feature only applies to wizard daily and utility powers, not to powers from your other class.



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