Gestalt Prestige Class for Pathfinder
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
Gestalt Prestige Class
Multiclassing doesn’t always work well in d20 games. Many class combinations work fine, but others end up giving the character that takes the wrong selection of classes too many weak abilities and not enough class features appropriate for their total character level.
There are two popular fixes to this issue. The first is prestige classes that are designed to allow two specific types of class to work together, such as eldritch knight and mystic theurge. These have shown to work reasonably well with narrow combinations of classes, but don’t work well for a broad range of otherwise-reasonable class combinations. The second option is to allow gestalt classes, where at every level the characters gets the best numeric option of the two classes (the best saving throw bonus, the best hit die, and so on), and all the spellcasting and special features of both classes. This obviously works well with any combination of classes, but is significantly overpowered compare to any non-gestalt character.
There should, of course, be a way to blend these two concepts, to create a prestige class that allows any two classes to be combined into an effective character, without being massively overpowered. This is an attempt at such a prestige class (with 14 levels, so your character can progress through a full 20-level campaign).
Gestalt Prestige Class
You have learned to blend two sets of training into one.
Prerequisites: You must have at least 3 levels in two different character classes.
Skill Ranks per Level: See the “custom skill progression” class feature.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Customized attack bonus, favored class bonuses
hit dice, saving throws, skills; focus character classes
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 +1 focus character class level
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 +1 focus character class level
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 focus character class level
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 focus character class level
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 +1 focus character class level
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 +1 focus character class level
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 +1 focus character class level
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 +1 focus character class level
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 +1 focus character class level
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 +1 focus character class level
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 +1 focus character class level
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 +1 focus character class level
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 +1 focus character class level
The following are the class features of the gestalt prestige class.
Customized Attack Bonus: If both your focus character classes (see below) have the same base attack bonus progressions as one another, and it is different from the base attack bonus progression of the gestalt prestige class, this prestige class’s base attack bonus progression changes to match that of your focus character classes.
If both classes have base attack progressions that are different from each other and both different from (and better than) this class, this prestige class’s base attack bonus progression changes to match the slower of the base attack progressions from your focus character classes.
Customized Favored Class Bonuses: If either of your focus character classes (see below) is your favored class, the gestalt prestige class counts as a favored class for you. In this case whenever you gain a level in the gestalt prestige class and get a favored class bonus, you may take a favored class bonus from either of your focus character classes.
Customized Hit Dice: Add the maximum result of the hit die from each of your focus character classes, and divide by 2. This is the hit die size of your gestalt prestige class. (Note that odd-sized dice, such as d7s, can be found, such as from Impact! Miniatures).
Customized Saving Throws: Although the gestalt prestige class shows you have good Fortitude and Will saves and poor Reflex saves, at 1st level you may choose to instead have good Reflex saves and make either your Fortitude or Will saves poor. If you make this choice, switch the bonus to your Reflex and one other saving throw category that you gain from this prestige class. Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed.
Customized Skill Progression: Add the skill points per level you gain from your focus character classes (see below), not including your Intelligence modifier, and divide by 2. You get that many skill points per level of gestalt prestige class, plus your Intelligence modifier, at each level. You do not gain any additional class skills.
Focus Character Class (Ex): Select two classes you have levels in which you can use to meet the prestige class’s prerequisites. These are now your focus character classes. Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. To select two classes as focus character classes, it must be possible to qualify to advance in both classes simultaneously (for example, a character cannot qualify to advance in both barbarian and paladin, as they have incompatible alignment restrictions).
Using a proficiency, spellcasting option, or class feature from one of your focus character classes normally doesn’t invalidate or remove the ability to use a proficiency, spellcasting option, or class feature from your other focus character class. You can cast arcane spells from a focus character class in any armor you gain as a proficiency from another focus character class without worrying about arcane spell failure. You can follow a code or edict from one focus character class without being penalized for violating a code or edict from your other focus character class. You can use metal weapons and armor from proficiencies in one focus character class without losing the abilities of a class that forbids the use of metal weapons or armor.
Focus Character Class level (Ex): At second level you add +1 to your effective class for each focus character class when determining your spell level, spells known, spells per day, and class features (anything mentioned under the “Special” column of your focus class’s class table). You add another +1 at 3rd level, and every gestalt prestige class level thereafter.
Speaking of Gestalt
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About Owen K.C. StephensOwen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens
Posted on November 10, 2017, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged Hybrid Classes, PC Options, QuickBaseClass. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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