Gestalt Style Multiclassing (3.5e Variant Rule)
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- 1 Gestalt Style Multiclassing
- 1.1 Mechanics
- 1.2 Supporting Changes
Gestalt Style Multiclassing
For most classes, multiclassing works rather poorly. It damages numeric progressions since the +2 initial jump in saves is often worth a couple of levels advancement while the often +0 bonus to BAB is generally worse than a couple levels of advancement. Fractional numbers have been proposed as a work around for this problem, but they fail to address the larger problem of class feature advancement. Spellcasters give up substantial spell levels to acquire powers that are levels behind those they would gain by not multiclassing, and martial classes are forced to voltron together class features to keep up or get ahead.
This variant progression is intended to remedy these problems, by allowing multiple simultaneous progressions at the cost of higher level abilities from each class.
The first class in which you gain levels is referred to as your primary class. Classes other than your primary class in which you gain levels are called secondary classes. The total number of levels you invest in secondary classes may not exceed the number of levels you have in your primary class or 4, whichever is less. Additionally, you may not invest more than 2 levels in a secondary class, but you won't need to.
Determining Base Attack Bonus
Your base attack bonus is equal to the highest base attack bonus from your primary class or any secondary class in which you have 2 levels for a character of your character level.
You gain no benefit to your base attack bonus from a secondary class in which you have only 1 level.
Determining Saving Throw Bonuses
Your saving throw bonuses are equal to the highest saving throw bonuses from your primary class or any secondary class in which you have 2 levels for a character of your character level. These bonuses may come from different classes.
You gain no benefit to your saving throws from a secondary class in which you have only 1 level.
Determining Caster, Manifester, Initiator, or Similar Level
Your caster, manifester, initiator, or similar levels are equal to the highest levels from your primary class or any secondary class in which you have 2 levels for a character of your character level, or from any secondary class in which you have 1 level for a character of half your primary class level. These levels may come from different classes.
Determining Hit Die
You have a total number of hit dice equal to your character level. Your hit die is the largest die granted by either your primary class or any secondary class in which you have 2 levels. If you would increase your hit die as a result of new secondary levels, you immediately gain 2 hit points + 1 hit point per character level per die size difference, and roll the larger die in the future.
You gain no benefit to your hit die from a secondary class in which you have only 1 level.
Determining Skill Points
You have skill points for a total number of levels equal to your character level. Your skill points per level are the largest number granted by either your primary class or any secondary classes in which you have 2 levels. These skill points are gained retroactively, and you immediately gain additional skill points if you would increase your skill points per level as a result of new secondary levels.
You gain no benefit to your skill points from a secondary class in which you have only 1 level.
Determining Class Skills
Any skill that is a class skill for your primary class or any secondary class is considered a class skill. Your rank limit is equal to your character level +3 for class skills, and half of that for cross-class skills.
- ToP: Your access to skill abilities is delayed as a result of multi-classing. Your skill ranks suffer an effective penalty equal to your number of secondary class levels for the purposes of determining which skill abilities you may use. Your actual check bonus is unaffected.
Determining Class Features
You gain class features from your primary class equal to the total number of levels you have in your primary class, and new features whenever you gain a new level in your primary class.
You gain class features for any secondary class as if you an effective level in them. The effective level of a secondary class in which you have 1 level is equal to half of your primary class level, rounded down. The effective level of a secondary class in which you have 2 levels is equal to your primary class level. As you advance your primary class levels, you also advance your effective level in your secondary classes and gain new features as appropriate.
When you gain a new level, you may advance your primary class into a prestige class for which the primary class would qualify. Alternately, you may advance a secondary class in which you have two levels into a prestige class for which it would qualify, gaining an effective level in the prestige class instead of the secondary class. You may only gain the benefits of one prestige class per level, regardless of how many eligible base classes you posses. For the purposes of determining base attack bonus, saving throw bonuses, skill points, caster or similar level, or hit dice, the prestige class is considered an extension of the class that it replaces. It's values may be used in place of other values for that level, as indicated above.
A number of prestige classes, class abilities, and feats work poorly with this setup. These are detailed below.
Animal Companions, Cohorts, and Leadership
This variant provides for a single character to gain the abilities of a second class at no more than 2 levels behind. Unfortunately, this can also be achieved by gaining an animal companion or leadership cohort through class features or feats, and these come with bonus actions to take advantage of their additional abilities. To make room for this sort of multiclassing, and resolve some other issues with CR-2 cohorts that we don't need to go into, the maximum CR of any cohort or animal companion that a character can have under this variant is the character's CR -4.
Similarly, a character may not have a leadership follower whose level is equal to or greater than their own level -8. If a character's leadership score would grant followers of a level higher than they could possess, the additional followers may be gained at an allowed level. They automatically advance in level when you gain a level, up to their normally indicated level.
You still run into cohort levels of class features when you take more than 4 levels in secondary classes, however, so it's probably not a good idea to do that. Trying to do too many things can leave you not particularly good at any of them.
Multiclass Patch Options
Prestige classes that are designed to allow two different class ability progressions, such as the Arcane Trickster prestige class, are largely unnecessary in this setup if not actively detrimental in some situations. If you are currently advancing both the rogue and wizard abilities on their own, advancing one on it's own and then both through the Arcane Trickster class either leads to wasted options or higher than intended class ability levels. If you choose to allow these prestige classes, you should make it clear to the player that the two progression increases will not stack. In many cases, this means that they will only be trading out one set of minor class abilities for another.
Multiclass patch feats however, like Daring Outlaw, can still be useful for a character who only invests 1 level in a secondary class. If you chose to allow these feats, you should allow a character who selects one to immediately retrain it if they ever invest 2 levels in a secondary class patched with the feat as it is no longer providing them a bonus.
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|Identifier||3.5e Variant Rule +|
|Rated By||Leziad +, RiverOffers +, DanielDraco +, Foxwarrior + and Ghostwheel +|
|Rating||Rated 2.8 / 4 +|
|Summary||A multiclassing variant that advances between 2 and 4 classes simultaneously, removing dips and multiclass patch prestige classes. +|
|Title||Gestalt Style Multiclassing +|