Character Discussions

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Zanaikin
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby Zanaikin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:37 pm

A crazy idea I had...
No this isn't an add-in to rules, at least not yet.
Feel free to go nuts in opposition right now though =P


Gestalt Classing [Optional]
Foreword: Gestalt classing is an optional feature that allows one character to have two class lines by investing experience from their regular progression into a 'second line XP pool'. Because of the experience progression skew on the higher levels, gestalt classing may offer a character a chance to sacrificing some strength (e.g. caster level, BAB) for much adaptability, or the ability to use a prestige class without stopping base class progression (which Pathfinder mechanics greatly discourages). However, excessive use of Gestalt may cause a character to fall behind too much in combat stats. This is a strictly optional feature due to the complexity and statistical madness involved in building such a character, and there should not be any need to feel obliged to use this feature or 'fall behind the curve' as it will rarely be used by NPCs (only major NPCs of CR15 or above will even have an option for doing so).

Start: To begin using Gestalt classing, simply choose to invest experience from your character experience pool into a secondary experience pool. You may not reduce your character experience pool to below the minimum experience required for your character level. The amount of experience in this secondary experience pool determines the number of second level class levels, using experience progression one grade slower (e.g. Moderate instead of Fast).
[Note: this puts full Gestalt characters about 2~3 levels behind single line character, a penalty that only high level characters can really afford.]

Class Levels: You may choose any base class or prestige class, as long as your main class line meets the prerequisites (e.g. Magus 15//Arcane Archer 3). But to prevent level-dipping, you may not choose more than one base class and must invest at least five base class levels at start. Class levels in your second line does not count towards your character level and cannot exceed your character level (determined by your primary line), so you do not gain any feats or ability score bonuses from increases in character level, nor does your maximum skill rank increase, etc etc.

Base Attack Bonus & Base Saves: Calculate the Base Attack Bonus and Base Saving Throws for your second line by itself. If BAB or any one Base Save is higher on your second line than your primary line, you may use it *instead* of your normal. Otherwise, ignore it.

Hit Points: If you class levels on your second line uses higher HD than those on your primary line, you may replace those primary line HDs with your second line ones (e.g. a Rogue 17//Fighter 5 may replace 5 rogue HD with fighter HD when determining hit points).

Skill Points: Each class level on your second line grants skill points equal to [Normal Skillpts/level without Int mod]/2 (e.g. a rogue level, which normally grants 8 + Int skill points, grants only +4 skill points on the second line).

Favored Class: You do not receive any additional favored classes for starting a second line. However, you may receive favored class bonuses if you have more than one favored class (e.g. Half-Elves) and your second line to used to occupy the other class.
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby Laharl » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:20 am

This seems like a modestly sane way to do gestalt, but in general I don't think I want to reintroduce that insanity.
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby Zanaikin » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:54 pm

Yeah, that's a reason I wanted to make sure it's a strictly optional thing, so it can be messed around with for builds without increasing the power curve.
The problem is that to be strictly optional, there has to be a benefit both using and not using it.

I thought I worked enough penalties into it, now I'm not sure because the first reaction everyone else had towards it is--- what levels should I pick up.

Not to mention any level-dipping issues. Always that.
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby TheDude51 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:43 am

On further consideration, the change as is will clearly increase the power curve, perhaps dramatically.

Essentially, this is because the xp cost of the first few levels are so ridiculously cheap compared to the cost of advancing from, say, 13 to 14. Any high level character can pick up 5 or 6 levels of a second class line without falling even a single level behind other, similarly xp-ed characters. This clearly is immensely powerful- for example, a combat-oriented character could pick up 6 fighter levels for four free extra feats.

The easiest solution to this would be to require that the two class lines be within one or two levels of each other in order to advance the higher-level line. This would prevent the sort of low-investment, high-reward dipping that is currently the biggest problem, and ensure that gestalting requires a significant sacrifice for the benefits.
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby Zanaikin » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:14 am

I've thought about that, but there are still major problems:

#1 For example, a combat character of high level, say 16+, could gain a lot more from 12-14 fighter levels than losing 2-3 character levels. Yeah you lost 2-3BAB, 1 point from a save or two and 15% HP, oh and a feat, to gain... holy that is a lot of bonuses.

#2 Even worse, this would defeat the reason for gestalt, especially "optional gestalt" in the first place, as it would FORCE the player to take a certain number of levels, whether or not their character build could use such an experimentation or optimization.


My first thought of a fix was --- lower the experience progression of BOTH lines when gestalt is taken. As this would mean that by selecting even 1 level of gestalt, you are partaking on a hefty penalty. I haven't done any rough number crunching on this though, but I suspect, as a level-15, watching the next-level goal rising from 600k EXP to 890k EXP BEFORE even calculating the experience you have to divert to the other pool, may make one think twice about if they really want to gestalt.
2,400,000EXP is level20 on a single line on fast. On two moderate lines? that'll net you just 100k short of Level-17 on moderate prog, but is that enough reduction to balance the massive influx of new bonuses? How about 150k short of Level-16 on slow progression?

(shrug), current on break, with some slow chewing.
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Re: Character Discussions

Postby Sajuuk » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:31 pm

TheDude51 wrote:The easiest solution to this would be to require that the two class lines be within one or two levels of each other in order to advance the higher-level line. This would prevent the sort of low-investment, high-reward dipping that is currently the biggest problem, and ensure that gestalting requires a significant sacrifice for the benefits.


The problem with that, at our level, is the fact that you'd advance to the next level from that much XP. We're on the fast track, so I need 210,000 to be level 13. I need 295,000 for level 14. Level 11 requires 105,000, 20K more than hitting the next level. I'd say go for 3 levels of each other (level 10 requires 71,000, which is less than it takes to hit the next level on your main track).

Dai's idea for lowering the experience progression on both lines is a good one IMO, since that does penalize you rather heavily. Its also less bookkeeping.
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