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DnD4e: Gestalt X 4e: Does it blend?

   
Gestalt X 4e: Does it blend?

As just a stray thought entered my mind I got to thinking about a certain form of play I found in one of my DnD 3.5 books. If you read the title of this thread before clicking, you probably have guessed its the rules on making gestalt characters.

However, says the little voice in my head, I have no idea on how to run a normal 3.5 game, let alone something more complicated. So then I retorted, well I can run 4.0. Then a second voice started nagging at me about the translations of mechanics and other details that would need to be changed, but I found that one to be annoying so I came here.

Could making gestalt characters work in 4.0? If you don't know what that is I'll save you a google search. It is a method introduced in the 3.5 book Unearthed Arcana that showed how to make stronger characters by allowing players to have their characters choose to advance in two different classes every level while taking the best aspects of each. Since 3.5 dnd and 4.0 dnd are mechanically different when it comes to classes, could a proper translation be done?

And while yes, I understand 4.0 has two forms of taking two classes at once, (hybrid characters and regular multi-classing) neither really can work the same way as a gestalt character. They both have their flaws. Multi-classing requires the purposeful giving up of feats to get some of the features and powers of another class while hybrid classes have you choose between two gimped versions of the available classes, and there is still a feat you can take to get access to a possibly gimped version of a class feature you gave up just to be a hybrid. Not to mention that both forms of taking multiple classes don't allow access to class variants or other special classes. While I have nothing against either hybrid characters or multiclass characters, they do not approach the same concept of a gestalt character, having full access to to all aspects of your classes.

So I must repeat myself, could a translation be done from 3.5 to 4.0 for gestalt characters? How would you handle it? I have ideas of my own, but seeing what other people come up with may point out problems or better solutions I've overlooked.

It could work... but... Do you want to keep track of that much book keeping, and does your players want to do that much book keeping? It would be much more complicated and it would just be easier *gasp* to play a Hybrid character.

I don't really see a massive increase in bookkeeping. Oh sure, you'd have more powers to keep track of whether you'd used or not, but that's not exactly a huge increase. I do see massive balance problems for double strikers in particular. Ranger/Avenger anyone? Crit fishing to the max. Ranger/Barbarian isn't quite as silly, but benefits from using the same prime ability for both classes. Avenger/Rogue is pretty tasty too. Meanwhile, doubling up on most other classes really only increases flexibility, not serious combat potential. Expect most players who know what they're doing to gestalt at least one striker class, most commonly Ranger or Avenger. Non melee characters are a bit left out unless they are arcane, then they can gestalt Sorcerer for a serious damage boost.

There is also the same problem as always.

You have to build up with 2 primary stats instead of 1, usually.

Having played plenty of hybrids or other dual stat builds, it really isn't that difficult. Not to mention that many combos that would be good anyway already use the same prime stat. Avenger and Rogue or Monk. Two weapon Ranger and Barbarian. Fighter and Barbarian. Paladin and Cleric. Warlock and Sorcerer. Invoker and Wizard (OK, that one really is more flavor than strength, but it's not a BAD combo).

The question is whether you're going to have twice as many powers, as well as both classes' class features. If so, then it gives characters much more stamina. If not, then classes with good features and mediocre powers are the way to go. For example, a wizard doesn't gain much over a hybrid in the second case, but the aforementioned Avenger/Ranger combo would be extremely powerful.

I played in a 4E Gestalt game for a brief time(IE, First Combat DM left) but the Applications were pretty amazing.

How that game handled 4E Gestalt was that you had three At-Wills, one of which HAD to be from each class. But then each Encounter and Daily could be whatever you wanted. Other than that, it was free game to do whatever you wanted.

The character I had was a very unoriginal Genasi Blaster Wizard with Cosmic Sorcerer for the sole purpose of getting Sorcerous Vision and double dipping my strength to damage. It wasn't even stellar(haha, punny) damage.

I would strongly warn you of the power increase that will happen.

Also, you have to think if you will allow these characters to Hybrid or Multiclass. Because you will have some more unexpected consequences.

Yoiks! I didn't even consider the potential of Hybrid/Multiclassed Gestalts. I'd suggest banning hybrid at least. And only one multiclass as usual (unless of course, one of your classes is bard).

Oh god... I never even thought about hybrids either. I'd probably throw up if I saw the application for someone who came up with a wx hybrid/yz hybrid for a gestalt game.




 

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