Alternate Gestalt Characters (4e Variant Rule)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
- 1 Disclaimer
- 2 Design Goals
- 3 Gestalt Character Rules
- 3.1 Point Buy
- 3.2 Choosing Classes
- 3.3 Considerations for Certain Classes
- 4 DMing With Gestalt Characters
I am aware of the other Gestalt rules on this Wiki, but I do not agree with many of the design decisions made. Rather then trying to transform their rules into something they are not, I decided to post my own.
Before commenting, please realize the rules are in their current state after many sessions of play Testing, with a variety of levels of Optimization.
The Goal is for each character to be roughly 1.5x as powerful as normal - Taking into account the action economy. This would allow groups of 3 players to act as if they were 4.5 characters in the group.
Gestalt Character Rules
Characters made with the Gestalt require a higher point buy amount, to allow them to balance three or more Ability Scores. To this end, all characters are built with 30 points. This results in a Standard Array of 16, 16, 14, 13, 12, 10.
In this variant, it is open ended which classes may be taken, as long as you take two different classes. One class will act as your primary class, And another will act as your secondary class. Make sure you note which is which since it will be important when choosing powers. (Usually, you write your class as Primary//Secondary)
Proficiencies, HP, and Class Defense Bonuses
You gain the armor, weapon, and implement proficiencies of both classes. You may use any Implement or Weapon you have proficiency with to use your powers. If a class feature or requirement needs a certain type of Implement (Such as a Wizard), or Weapon (such as a Rogue), you are still affected by this requirement.
You gain the greater of the two Class's:
- Hit Points at 1st Level
- Hit Points per Level Gained
- Healing Surges per Day
Each of these are individual comparisons - You may take the hit points from one class and Healing surges of the other.
You gain both of the Class defense bonuses, and they stack. (So a Paladin//Avenger would have +2 to all Non-AC Defenses).
You receive the Class Features of both Classes.
If both classes have the Ritual Caster Class Feature, combine the list of rituals they start with and may use for free, and in addition they start with the Alchemist feat (Artificers may take Master Mixer instead of Alchemist).
If both classes have the Channel Divinity Class Feature, label Channel Divinities by class (So Turn Undead would be a (Cleric) channel divinity). You may use one channel divinity for each class. If you gain a Channel divinity from a source other then a class, it may be used by either class's channel divinity use. (So a Cleric/Paladin with Armor of Bahamut could use Armor of Bahamut with its cleric Channel divinity use, or his Paladin channel Divinity use).
When choosing Skills, combine both skill lists. Then you gain any skills that a class auto-trains you in (Such as a Wizard training you in Arcana). If you are automatically trained in a skill twice, that skill gains a +2 synergy bonus. The amount of skills you then choose to have trained is equal to: The Amount the Primary Class Trains + 1/2 The Amount the Secondary Class Trains.
Paragon Paths And Epic Destinies
A Gestalt character gains a Paragon Path for both of their classes. They may take any paragon path they qualify for, but may not have two paragon paths from the same class (A Fighter//Cleric could not, for instance be a Kensai//Pit fighter)
A Gestalt character gains only a single epic Destiny.
Gestalt Characters gain a Bonus feat at level 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. These 7 Feats make it easier for the character to enhance both classes.
Ability Score Upgrades
At level 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, and 28 you increase three attributes instead of two.
Powers follow a General rule:
You receive the powers from both classes, and can use them both, with the exception that you have one-half the powers of the secondary class (Round up for encounters and utilities, round down for dailies). Frequently, your primary class will gain a power when your secondary class will not. In these cases, you may replace a power of the type you have just gained from your secondary class with a higher level one, unless the next level is 4, 8, 14, 18, 24, or 28 - in which case you retrain on the next level. This rule gives a power chart of:
|4||+1 to Three||4||2||2||1||1||1||1*||0||1|
|8||+1 To Three||7||2||3||2||2||1||2||1||1*|
|11||+1 to All||10||2||3+P||3||3||1||2+P||1||2|
|14||+1 to three||12||2||3+P||3||3+P||1||2*+P||1||2+P|
|18||+1 to three||15||2||3+P||3||4+P||1||2*+P||1||2+P|
|21||+1 to All||18||2||3+P||3+P||4+P||1||2+P||1+P||2+P|
|24||+1 to three||20||2||3+P||3+P||5+P||1||2*+P||1+P||3+P|
|28||+1 to Three||23||2||3+P||3+P||5+P+E||1||2*+P||1+P||3+P|
* At these levels you replace a known power with a new power of your new level.
For example, a level 1 character has 3 at-wills (one of which is from his secondary class), 2 Encounters (one of which is from his secondary class), and 1 Daily. He may use all these powers, just as a normal Level 1 character can use 2 at-wills, 1 encounter, and 1 daily.
Considerations for Certain Classes
Certain Classes cause the Gestalt rules to behave oddly, or require rulings. The four main classes that do so are addressed below.
- Druids as a Secondary Class - You gain three at-wills, following the restrictions, instead of a single at will.
- Wildshape and Gestalt - Wildshape would normally make only a few Druid powers useable, making the Druid unattractive option. A Wildshaped Druid may use powers with the following keywords, in addition to the powers it may normally use: Beast, Spirit, Polymorph.
Warlocks as a Secondary Class
When Warlocks are a Secondary Class, they receive both at-wills their class features would normally give them, instead of the 1 at-will listed above.
Hybrid Classes work as normal, Treating two Hybrid classes on one side as a Single Class. So you could have a Warden|Barbarian//Fighter|Warlord if you wished.
As Psions (And possibility other Psionic classes) don't have Encounter powers, and in fact, have fewer powers then others, a specialized subset of rules are needed to deal with them, when they are the secondary class (Obviously the primary remains the same)
Primary Class Psions end up with 3 at-wills, 1 Encounter from the Paragon Path, 5+P+E Utilities, and 3+P dailies by RAW.
Since the dailies and the utilities are the same, they follow the default rules when it comes to Daily and Utility powers.
Psions start off with a single at-will, gaining a second one at level 7. At further levels, they may retrain an at-will to one of a higher level.
In addition, the amount of Power Points a Psion has changes, according to the chart below:
|3||Gain 1 (2 Total)|
|7||Gain 1 (3 Total)|
|13||Gain 0 (3 Total)|
|17||Gain 1 (4 Total)|
|21||Gain 1 (5 Total)|
|23||Gain 1 (6 Total)|
|27||Gain 1 (7 Total)|
Paragon Paths that give Power points give the full amount of bonus points to a psion.
|4||+1 to Three||4||1*||0||0||1||2|
|8||+1 To Three||7||2||0||1||1*||3|
|11||+1 to All||10||2||P||1||2||3|
|14||+1 to three||12||2*||P||1||2+P||3|
|18||+1 to three||15||2*||P||1||2+P||4|
|21||+1 to All||18||2||P||1+P||2+P||5|
|24||+1 to three||20||2*||P||1+P||3+P||6|
|28||+1 to Three||23||2*||P||1+P||3+P||7|
DMing With Gestalt Characters
If your DMing a game that uses Gestalt Characters, You can make encounters that are still challenging by thinking of your party as if it has a size of (Party Size) * 1.5. Do not round for this calculation. If you end up with a ".5" simply make sure half the encounters are of Size -0.5, and half are of size +0.5. So for a three character party, half of the encounters are built for four characters, and half are built for five characters.
When handing out XP, Hand it out based on the changed party size, so if an encounter for 3 level 1 characters is 500 xp, each player receives 500/4.5=~111 xp. Alternitivly, just leave a note for how many characters the encounter is built for and divide by that (So if thats built for 5 characters, its 100 xp each in the previous example).
When handing out Treasure, pay careful attention to people who require a weapon and an implement, as most builds will only require one. Give these people high priority for items that function as both.
Back to Main Page → 4e Homebrew → Rules
|Identifier||4e Variant Rule +|
|Title||Alternate Gestalt Characters +|