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Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (Mystic)

Since we’ve spent this week introducing the Multiclass ThemeType concepts, providing examples for envoy, mechanic (with drone), mechanic(with exocortex), operative, and technomancer, and name-dropping the Really Wild West, we’re actually pretty close to handling all the core rulebook classes at this point. Since we’ve presented a way to use Multiclass ThemeTypes with spellcasting classes, let’s present the mystic!

Mystic ThemeType

You draw power of a supernatural connection to… something. It may be your faith in a divine force or philosophy is strong enough to grant you power, despite the majority of your training being elsewhere. Or you may have some innate connection, to psychic powers, the fundamental forces of the universe, or an ancient  secret once discovered by an alien race now dead for millions of years. Whatever the source, it channels real power through you.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain two of the following skills of your choice as class skills: Mysticism, Sense Motive, or Survival. For each selected skill, if you have the skill as a class skill from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to that skill. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

Minor Mysticism (Sp, Archetype, 2nd Level): Select one 1st level mystic spell. You can cast this spell once per day. Select two 0-level mystic spells. You can cast these spells at will. Your caster level for all mystic spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType is equal to your character level, and you use your key ability score for all calculations that normally draw on the mystic’s key ability score.

Basic Mysticism (Sp, Archetype, 4th Level): Select two 1st level mystic spells. You have two 1st-level mystic spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 1st-level mystic spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 1st level spell you gained from minor mysticism. Also select a third 0-level mystic spells. You can cast this spell at will.

Minor Connection (Theme, 6th Level): You gain either the healing touch or mind link mystic class feature. Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed You treat your character level as your mystic level for all class features gained from this Multiclass ThemeType.

Intermediate Mysticism (Sp, Archetype, 6th Level): Select one 2nd level mystic spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Advanced Mysticism (Sp, Archetype, 9th Level): Select two 2nd level mystic spells. You have two 2nd-level mystic spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 2nd-level mystic spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 2nd level spell you gained from intermediate mystic.

Basic Connection (Theme, 12th Level): You gain the connection mystic class feature, for one connection of your choice, though you only have access to its 1st level connection ability. Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. You do not gain the connection skill ability, but do add the 1st level connection spell to the spells you can use your 1st level mystic Mutliclass ThemeType spell slots to cast.

Greater Mysticism (Sp, Archetype, 12th Level): Select one 3rd level mystic spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Greater Connection (Theme, 18th Level): You gain the 3rd level connection power of your connection, and add the 2nd and 3rd level connection spells to the list of spells you can use your mystic Mutliclass ThemeType spell slots to cast.

Full Mysticism (Sp, Archetype 18th): You replace all your mystic spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType with 4 0-level spells known, 4 1st-level spells known, 3 2nd-level spells known, 2 3rd-level spells known, and one 4th-level spell known. You can cast the 0-level spells at will, and have three 1st-level spell slots, two 2nd-level spell slots, two the connection 3rd-level spell slots, and one 4th-level spell slot.

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Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (Operative)

Since we’ve spent this week introducing the Multiclass ThemeType concepts, providing examples for envoy, mechanic (with drone), mechanic(with exocortex), and technomancer, and name-dropping the Really Wild West, it seems a good idea to keep that momentum with another class that has abilities that are difficult to scale—the operative!

Operative ThemeType

You have extensive training in the arts of spying, stealth, subterfuge, or a combination of all of those. It’s not your primary area of expertise, but then, isn’t actually being good at something else entirely the best possible way to maintain your cover?

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain either Bluff or Stealth as a class skill. If you have both of these as class skills from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to one of the two skills. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

If you select Bluff, you may use your Bluff skill bonus as your Stealth skill bonus, and are considered trained in Stealth. If you select Stealth, you may use your Stealth skill bonus as your Bluff skill bonus, and are considered trained in Bluff.

Minor Trick Attack (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain the operative’s trick attack ability, subject to all of that class feature’s requirements. Your trick attack does not deal any additional damage, but on a successful skill check it does cause your target to be flat-footed against your attack.

Exploit (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): You gain one operative exploit, selected from the list of 2nd level operative exploits. You treat your character level as your operative level for all operative exploits gained from this Multiclass ThemeType.

Edge (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You gain a +1 insight bonus to all skill checks, and to initiative checks.

Basic Trick Attack (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): Your trick attack now deals 1d8 additional damage for every three full character levels you have.

Exploit (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain one additional operative exploit, selected from the list of 2nd level operative exploits.

Improved Edge (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): Your insight bonus to all skill checks and initiative checks increases to +2.

Exploit (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): You gain one additional operative exploit, selected from the list of 2nd level or 6th level operative exploits.

Greater Edge (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): Your insight bonus to all skill checks and initiative checks increases to +3.

Exploit (Ex, Archetype, 18th Level): You gain one additional operative exploit, selected from the list of 2nd, 6th, or 10th-level operative exploits.

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Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (Technomancer)

So we’ve presented the Multiclass ThemeType (which uses your theme and an archetype to present an alternate method of multiclassing), and provided examples for the envoy, drone-using mechanic, and exocortex-using mechanic. We’ve even name-dropped the Really Wild West setting hack, for people who are most excited about weird west options.

So, let’s talk multiclass spellcasting.

The Starfinder Roleplaying Game has a number of ways to get just a little magic power, including your race, theme, and archetype, and even combines your caster level among all your spellcasting classes is you happen to multiclass into more than one spellcasting class. But it’s still difficult to have spellcasting be a secondary, but major and ongoing, part of your overall character build. A character that adds just a few levels of solider gets abilities that retain their usefulness throughout a campaign. A character that takes a few levels of technomancer quickly find those options fall way the curve. At the same time, you obviously can’t have a few class levels give you access to the highest-level spells in the game, or the power boost involved is more than a few levels should grant.

The technomancer Multiclass ThemeType tries to get just the right balance, making sure your sacrifices of core class abilities from your archetype’s alternate class features reward you enough to be worthwhile, without making you overpowered.

Technomancer ThemeType

While you haven’t had the opportunity to master the ways theosophy and technology can be blended, you haven dabbled in the area. You understand the basics of how hybrid items function, and how to cast some small number of technomagical spells.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain two of the following skills of your choice as class skills: Computers, Engineering or Mysticism. For each selected skill, if you have the skill as a class skill from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to that skill. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

Minor Technomagic (Sp, Archetype, 2nd Level): Select one 1st level technomancer spell. You can cast this spell once per day. Select two 0-level technomancer spells. You can cast these spells at will. Your caster level for all technomancer spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType is equal to your character level, and you use your key ability score for all calculations that normally draw on the technomancer’s key ability score.

Basic Technomagic (Sp, Archetype, 4th Level): Select two 1st level technomancer spells. You have two 1st-level technomancer spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 1st-level technomancer spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 1st level spell you gained from minor technomagic. Also select a third 0-level technomancer spells. You can cast this spell at will.

Magic Hack (Theme, 6th Level): You gain one magic hack, selected from the list of 2nd level technomancer magic hacks. You treat your character level as your technomancer level for all magic hacks gained from this Multiclass ThemeType.

Intermediate Technomagic (Sp, Archetype, 6th Level): Select one 2nd level technomancer spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Advanced Technomagic (Sp, Archetype, 9th Level): Select two 2nd level technomancer spells. You have two 2nd-level technomancer spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 2nd-level technomancer spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 2nd level spell you gained from intermediate technomagic.

Improved Magic Hack (Theme, 12th Level): You gain one magic hack, selected from the list of 2nd level or 5th level technomancer magic hacks.

Greater Technomagic (Sp, Archetype, 12th Level): Select one 3rd level technomancer spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Greater Magic Hack (Theme, 18th Level): You gain one magic hack, selected from the list of 2nd, 5th, or 8th-level technomancer magic hacks.

Full Technomancy (Sp, Archetype 18th): You replace all your technomancer spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType with 4 0-level spells known, 4 1st-level spells known, 3 2nd-level spells known, 2 3rd-level spells known, and one 4th-level spell known. You can cast the 0-level spells at will, and have three 1st-level spell slots, two 2nd-level spell slots, two 3rd-level spell slots, and one 4th-level spell slot.

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Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (exocortex Mechanic)

We covered the basic idea behind Multiclass ThemeTypes in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, talked about why they are especially good for Really Wild West campaigns, and presented two example of how it works—the Envoy and the drone Mechanic. That, of course, immediately suggests there should be an exocortex mechanic Multiclass ThemeType.

And there is! 😊

Mechanic (exocortex) ThemeType

You have an extremely advanced combat brain implant. It may not be the absolute best hardware in existence, but it’s much better than anything you can buy off-the-shelf.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain two of the following skills of your choice as class skills: Computers, Engineering or Physical Science. For each selected skill, if you have the skill as a class skill from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to that skill. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain two of the following skills of your choice as class skills: Computers, Engineering or Physical Science. For each selected skill, if you have the skill as a class skill from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to that skill. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

Basic Combat Training (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain proficiency in either longarms, or heavy armor. If you select proficiency in longarms, this counts as a proficiency granted by your class for purpose of weapon specialization class feature.
If you already have proficiency with both longarms and heavy armor, you instead gain Weapon Focus with longarms as a bonus feat.

Basic Combat Tracking (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): Your exocortex provides you with enhanced combat ability. As a move action during combat, you can designate a foe for your exocortex to track. As long as that target is in sight, the exocortex feeds you telemetry, vulnerabilities, and combat tactics, allowing you to reduce one penalty you take to attacks against that target by 1. Designating another target causes you to immediately lose this bonus against the previous target.

Basic Memory Module (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You can use your exocortex’s memory module to enhance your own knowledge. Once per day, as a reaction while not in combat, you can reroll a failed skill check to recall knowledge.

Improved Combat Tracking (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): Your combat tracking ability can now allow you to treat your base attack bonus from this class as being 1 higher (to a maximum of 1 less than your class level), rather than reducing one penalty to attack rolls against the target by 1 point.
If your base attack bonus from this class is so high that this gives you no benefit, and you are talking no penalties to your attack rolls, instead when using combat training you add half your Intelligence bonus (minimum +1) to damage done with weapon.

Wireless Hack (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain the wireless hack ability of the exocortex version of the mechanic’s artificial intelligence class feature, though your range is only 10 feet.

Exocortex Trick (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): You gain one mechanic trick, selected from the mechanic tricks of 8th level or less that grant an ability to your exocortex (such as neural shunt or overclocking).

Exocortex Mod (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): Your exocortex allows you to apply any one of the following drone mods to yourself as if you were a drone with that mod installed: armor slot, cargo rack, climbing claws, enhanced senses, hydrojets, jump jets, resistance, smuggler’s compartment, speed, or weapon proficiency (gaining proficiency in advanced melee or heavy weapons).

Twin Tracking (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You gain the twin tracking ability of the exocortex version of the mechanic’s artificial intelligence class feature.

Advanced Combat Tracking (Ex, Archetype, 18th Level): When using the combat tracking ability of the exocortex version of the mechanic’s artificial intelligence class feature, you treat your base attack bonus from this class as being 2 higher (to a maximum of 2 less than your class level), or reduce one penalty to your attack roll by 2.
If your base attack bonus from this class is so high that this gives you no benefit, and you are talking no penalties to your attack rolls, instead when using combat training you add your Intelligence bonus (minimum +2) to damage done with weapon.

Patreon

I have a Patreon, which supports this blog. My patrons are how I can take time to make posts like these. They also sometimes get preview material not yet available anywhere else. Today, for example, they get access to a third mechanic Multiclass ThemeType—the technician—which allows a character to access some of the abilities mechanics get besides drones and exocortexes, but doesn’t have any version of the artificial intelligence class feature.

If you join at any level, you can check it out here!

Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (drone Mechanic)

We covered the basic idea behind Multiclass ThemeTypes in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, talked about why they are especially good for Really Wild West campaigns, and presented one example for the Envoy. That, of course, leaves six more classes to cover just to expand the concept to the classes in the core rulebook. Alphabetically, after envoy, that would bring us to the mechanic.

And we immediately run into a problem.

One of the core things someone wishing just a little of the utility of the mechanic might want is a drone. It IS possible to build a ThemeType that gives you access to a drone… but unless that drone very quickly becomes useless, it can’t do much of anything else. So if we build a mechanic ThemeType that handles drones well, it’s not likely to handle exocortexes or generic mechanic hacks well. It could be done by having every choice at every level being one of three options, but then either what you do at 1st level locks you in to just one of those choices at every level, or you’d have the choice of only occasionally selecting a drone upgrade, which very quickly makes the drone too weak to be of any use for the character.

Ultimately, it seems best to just accept that if you want a drone, that’s pretty much all you are getting from that ThemeType, and break the mechanic into multiple ThemeTypes. This also promotes more spotlight protection for a core mechanic. If a group has a mechanic with an exocortex, a player taking the Mechanic (drone) ThemeType doesn’t overlap at all with the true mechanic. Similarly, if a full mechanic does take a drone, it’ll be obvious among all the players that selecting this ThemeType may step on the mechanic’s toes, hopefully leading to an adult and rational conversation where GM and other players all work out how to proceed to everyone has fun.

A group COULD decide everyone is going to have a drone, for example, and make that a unifying theme of their adventuring party. As long as the mechanic player liked that idea, and everyone else was fine with the fact that the mechanic’s drone is always going to be noteworthily better than theirs.

And now, without further ado, we present the Mechanic (drone) ThemeType.

Mechanic (drone) ThemeType

You may not be the universal miracle-worker or mechanics that some people manage, but you have built a unique drone AI ally that is way beyond what can be bought off the rack. It’s maybe never going to be quite as good as a full mechanic’s drone, but it’s better than what any other non-mechanic can manage.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain two of the following skills of your choice as class skills: Computers, Engineering or Physical Science. For each selected skill, if you have the skill as a class skill from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to that skill. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

Basic Drone (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain the drone version of the mechanic’s artificial intelligence class feature. Your effective mechanic level is equal to your class level –1, to a maximum mechanic level of 3rd. You do not gain any other mechanic class features, but your drone does gain drone special abilities, feat, and drone mods appropriate for your effective mechanic level.

Drone Improvement (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): Though still calculated as your character level –1, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +1.

Drone Improvement (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You gain the repair drone mechanic trick, treating your mechanic level as your character level -1

Drone Improvement (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): Though now calculated as your character level –2, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +2.

Drone Improvement (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): Though still calculated as your character level –2, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +4.

Drone Improvement (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): Though still calculated as your character level –2, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +3.

Drone Improvement (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): Though still calculated as your character level –2, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +3.

Drone Trick (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You gain one mechanic trick, selected from the mechanic tricks of 8th level or less that grant an ability to your drone (such as drone meld or overclocking).

Drone Improvement (Ex, Archetype 18th): Though still calculated as your character level –2, your maximum effective mechanic level for your drone increases by +2.

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Alternate Multiclass Rules for Starfinder (Envoy)

Character concepts don’t always fit neatly into just one character class. Sometimes you want to play a diplomat who is also trained as a spy, or a brilliant engineer who has studied just enough magic to consider it one more tool in her toolbox, or a soldier with psychic powers. Starfinder offers three broad tools for adjusting a character to fit such concepts—themes (to represent background training), archetypes (to represent a different path than a typical member of a class), and multiclassing (to represent training in more than one role). Generally exactly the right balance of those options can make nearly any character concept work.

But it can take a lot of effort.

Maybe, if they were all blended into one definitive all-encompassing option, a broad range of new character concepts could be made easier and faster to write up. A way to indicate that a character has been working to add a second career to their primary training for most of their life, and plans to continue to blend the things represented by multiclassing, theme, and archetype. Something that takes some of the advantages of multiclassing, and places them in the slots of additional abilities normally granted by themes and archetypes. In short, a Multiclass ThemeType.

MultiClass ThemeTypes

A Multiclass ThemeType gives you some abilities of a second character class, but counts as both your theme (preventing you from gaining any other theme, and requiring you to select the ThemeType at 1st level) and as an archetype for the first class you take levels in (requiring you to give up some abilities of your primary class, as normal for an archetype).

Multiclass ThemeType abilities marked with (Theme) occur when you reach the listed character level, regardless of what classes you have taken levels in. Those marked (Archetype) are gained only when you reach the listed level in the first character class you take levels in. However, it is also recommended that characters with a Multiclass ThemeType not be allowed to also use normal multiclassing rules (in which case the character’s character level and class level will always match).

A character cannot take class levels in the class that matches their Multiclass ThemeType.

While ThemeTypes can be used in any Starfinder campaign, they are particularly appropriate for the mash-up world of the Really Wild West setting hack.

As an example, here is the Envoy ThemeType, which allows any character to gain some of the abilities and roles of an envoy.

Envoy ThemeType

You have carefully mastered some aspects of leadership, negotiation, tactics, and making friends and influencing people. While you are generally measured against your abilities from your primary character class, you are seen as a leader within the ranks of those with your other skill sets.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain either Bluff or Diplomacy as a class skill. If you have both of these as class skills from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to one of the two skills. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

If you select Bluff, you may use your Bluff skill bonus as your Diplomacy skill bonus, and are considered trained in Diplomacy. If you select Diplomacy, you may use your Diplomacy skill bonus as your Bluff skill bonus, and are considered trained in Bluff.

Expertise (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain the envoy’s expertise ability for one of the following skills of your choice: Bluff, Computers, Culture, Diplomacy, Disguise, Engineering, Intimidate, Medicine, or Sense Motive. Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Your expertise die is a d4, rather than a d6.

If you have an insight bonus of +4 or better to all applicable skills, you may choose to instead treat your expertise die as a +1 circumstance bonus.

Basic Improvisation (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): You gain one envoy improvisation, selected from the list of 1st level envoy improvisations. You treat your character level as your envoy level for all envoy improvisations gained from this Multiclass ThemeType.

Expanded Expertise (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You select a second skill from the list of skills in the expertise ThemeType feature to which you apply your expertise die.

Intermediate Improvisation (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): You gain one additional envoy improvisation selected from the list of 1st-level envoy improvisations.

Expertise Talent (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain one expertise talent, selected from the list of envoy expertise talents.

Improved Improvisation (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): You gain one envoy improvisation, selected from the list of 1st level or 4th level envoy improvisations.

Greater Expertise (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): Your expertise die increases to 1d4+1.

Greater Improvisation (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You gain one envoy improvisation, selected from the list of 1st level, 4th level, or 6th level envoy improvisations.

Full Expertise (Ex, Archetype 18th): Your expertise die increases to 1d6+1. You select a third skill from the list of skills in the expertise ThemeType feature to which you apply your expertise die.

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Index of Old School Ideas for Pathfinder

I admit it–I lost track of what Old School gaming ideas I did Pathfinder versions of.

So, time for an index!

Multiclass Hybrid Classes

These are ways to have the feel of 1st and 2nd edition multiclass characters, by creating a new class for Pathfinder. These work a lot like hybrid classes (and there aren’t combinations for things already covered by hybrid classes–who needs a cleric/fighter when you have the warpriest?), and don;t duplicate things that already work fine with pathfinder’s multiclassing rules (a fighter/thief already works well, and if not just take levels of slayer). These new multiclass combo rules give a balanced way to have the same kind of character feel the old multiclass combinations offered.

Cavalier/Paladin

Cleric/Assassin

Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User

Cleric/Fighter/Thief

Cleric/Ranger

Druid/Fighter

Druid/Magic-User

Fighter/Magic-User/Thief

Illusionist/Thief

And over at my Patreon, my patrons can enjoy the Illusionist/Fighter!

Other Concepts

There are some Old School ideas worth porting over beyond multiclass character combinations. here are three!

“Druidic” Bard (the Anruth)

Thief-Acrobat

Randomly Acquired Psionics

Gestalt Prestige Class for Pathfinder

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 reasonable 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.

Table: Gestalt

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

Class Features

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 wither 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.

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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Return of the Druid/Magic-User!

When I get on a “old-school multiclass concepts for Pathfinder” kick I generally do several in a row as ideas rattle around in my head. So far I’ve done the anruth (an old school druidic bard), cavalier-paladincleric/assassin, cleric/fighter/magic-usercleric/fighter/thiefcleric/rangerdruid/fighterfighter/magic-user/thiefillusionist/thiefthief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon.

If we restrict ourselves to “legal” old-school multiclass combinations that means our list of options grows thin… but it DOES leave us the underrated druid/magic-user.

When looking at ways to do a dual spellcasting character in pathfinder official material gives us two broad routes. One is to create a prestige class, such as the mystic theurge, to try to make multiclass spellcasting less terrible and specifically combine arcane and divine classes. This route traditionally gives lots of spells-per-day, at the cost of little to no increase in class features. That works fairly well for a cleric-wizard combination, but not as well for anything wishing to build off the druid, which carries a great deal more of its class identity in class features.

The other option is to create a hybrid class, such as the arcanist or shaman. (Technically the hunter also combines two spellcasting classes, but the ranger’s spellcasting is so minor as to not have a major impact on the hunter’s DNA except to give it very early access to spells the ranger normally doesn’t get until the mid-game.) These methods generally give a more typical spellcasting power level, and can blend in class features, but don’t traditionally allow arcane and divine classes to combine.

However, given I think druid-based classes in particular need access to class features to feel druidic, I believe a hybrid class is the better route.

DRUID/MAGIC-USER

Alignment

Druid/magic-users have one foot in the natural world, and one foot in the arcane world, and both color their worldview. A druid/magic-user must have a neutral element to her alignment, but cannot be true neutral.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.)

Class Skills: The druid/magic-user’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Druid/Magic-User
Level  BAB                Fort     Ref      Will     Special
1st       +0                    +2        +0        +2        Spellcasting
2nd      +1                    +3        +0        +3
3rd       +2                    +3        +1        +3        Eldritch bond
4th       +3                    +4        +1        +4
5th       +3                    +4        +1        +4
6th       +4                    +5        +2        +5        Woodland Stride
7th       +5                    +5        +2        +5
8th       +6/+1              +6        +2        +6
9th       +6/+1              +6        +3        +6        Bonus Feat
10th     +7/+2              +7        +3        +7
11th     +8/+3              +7        +3        +7
12th     +9/+4              +8        +4        +8       Venom Immunity
13th     +9/+4              +8        +4        +8
14th     +10/+5            +9        +4        +9
15th     +11/+6/+1       +9        +5        +9        Timeless body
16th     +12/+7/+2       +10      +5        +10
17th     +12/+7/+2       +10      +5        +10
18th     +13/+8/+3       +11      +6        +11      Bonus Feat
19th     +14/+9/+4       +11      +6        +11
20th     +15/+10/+5     +12      +6        +12    Second Bond

Proficiency: The druid/magic-user is proficient the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, scythe, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. She is also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form she assumes with wild shape (see below).

Druid/magic-users are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. A druid/magic-user may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. Druids/magic-users are not proficient with shields, but if they gain proficiency they must use only wooden ones.

A druid/magic-user who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield is unable to cast spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter. She can cast arcane druid/magic-user spells while wearing nonmetallic armor without suffering a risk of arcane spell failure. If she casts spells from other classes, she suffers normal ASF chances.

Prerequisites: The druid/magic-user treats her class level as her druid level and her wizard level for purposes of prerequisites.

Favored Class Bonus: If druid/magic-user is your favored class, you can take any favored class bonus that you would be allowed to take for the druid, shaman, or wizard classes, as long as it does not modify a class feature the druid/magic-user does not have.

Spells: The druid/magic-user casts spells drawn from the druid and wizard spell lists. When casting a spell from the druid spell list, it acts as a divine spell. When casting a spell from the wizard spell list, it acts as an arcane spell. If it is on both spell lists, the druid/magic-user selects whether it is arcane or divine each time it is cast. A wizard/magic-user’s bonus spells and maximum spell level cast are determined by her Wisdom score, while her spell DCs are determined by her Intelligence bonus. If using a feat or ability from a soruce other than this class that affects spells or spellcasting that has a calculation or check based on Intelligence or Wisdom (including any calculation that is part of a spell she casts, such as the ability check in detect poison), she may use the higher of the two scores.

A druid/magic-user keeps a spell fetish, which records all her spell knowledge. This follows the rules for a wizard’s spellbook, including weight and cost, but may take any of a number of forms. Many druid/magic-users carve their spell knowledge on sticks, or have long cords with informative knotwork, or store the information on fingerbones kept in a bag which can be arranged in many different ways. A druid/magic-user may learn spells from the spell fetish of other druid/magic-users, the spellbooks of wizards, or scrolls. Wizards cannot learn from the spell fetishes of druid/magic-users.

A druid/magic-user begins play with a spell fetish with all 0-level druid and magic-user spells, plus a number of 1st level spells drawn from the list equal to her Wisdom or Intelligence modifier (whichever is higher). At each new druid/magic-user level, she automatically adds one wizard spell, and a number of druid spells equal to her Wisdom bonus. These may be any spells of her choice of a level she can cast.

A druid/magic-user has spells per day equal to a wizard of her class level, and must prepare her spells in advance. Her spellcasting, spell recovery, and spell preparation otherwise follow the rules for a wizard.

Eldritch Bond: At 3rd level the druid/magic-user forms a special bond with the mystic forces of the universe. This bond takes one of three forms.

At 20th level, the druid/magic user selects a second bond.

Beast Bond: The druid/magic user gains an animal companion, as a druid 2 levels lower than her class level. The animal companion also gains the abilities of a familiar of a wizard 2 levels lower than her class level.

Change Bond: The druid/magic-user gains the transmutation arcane school, as the wizard class feature, treating her wizard level as 2 levels lower than her class level. Additionally, beginning at 6th level, the druid/magic-user can wild shape once per day (as the druid class feature) into a Small or Medium animal. This functions as beast shape I. At 8th level she can assume the form of a Large or Tiny animal, and the ability functions as beast shape II. At 10th level she can wild shape twice per day, and can assume the form of a Huge or Diminutive animal, and the ability functions as beast shape III. At 16th level, she can use this ability three times per day, and it functions as beast shape IV.

Elemental Bond: The druid/magic-user gains an elemental arcane school, as the wizard class feature, treating her wizard level as 2 levels lower than her class level. Additionally, beginning at 8th level, the druid/magic-user can wild shape once per day (as the druid class feature) into a Small elemental. The druid/magic-user can only take the form of an element matching her elemental arcane school. This functions as elemental body I. At 10th level she can assume the form of a Medium elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body II. At 12th level she can wild shape twice per day, and can assume the form of a Large elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body III. At 14th level she can assume the form of a Huge elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body IV. At 18th level, she can use this ability three times per day.

Woodland Stride, Venom Immunity, Timeless Body: These act as the druid class features.

Bonus Feat: At 9th and again at 18th level, the druid/magic-user gains a bonus feat. This must be a metamagic feat, and item creation feat, or a feat or ability a wizard may take in place of their bonus feat.

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Introducing the Spell-Fist

A Pathfinder-compatible multiclass character concept. Definitely NOT a “classic” multiclass combo, but if the number of people I see playing monks with wands is any indication (and yes, I know it isn’t), this is a popular concept. Maybe you are from a post-apocalyptic future and have a martial art style named after a constellation. Maybe a monkey taught you to fight and do magic tricks. Maybe you punched a dragon in the heart while training. Who knows? You’re a spell-fist now.

Begin with Unchained Monk.

Your monk level counts as your sorcerer level for any prerequisites. Any monk class feature (or feat with special rules for monks) that makes calculations using Wisdom, instead use Charisma. Your base attack bonus uses the normal monk chart, rather than the unchained monk chart.

Force of Ki: When unarmed and unencumbered, you may use your Charisma modifier in place of your Dexterity modifier for any calculation that normally uses Dexterity, including your AC, Initiative Bonus, and ranged attack rolls. Additionally, when unarmored and unencumbered, you gain a +1 bonus to your AC, Initiative, and CMB and CMD at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter.

This replaces the normal monk AC bonus.

Spells: You have spells known and spells per day as a bard of the same level, but you draw these spells from the sorcerer spell list. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter and flurry of blows.

Spell-Fist: At 2nd level when you use Stunning Blow, you may replace the stunning effect with a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. This spell must affect an area or one of more targets, and deal damage, require an attack roll, or force targets to make a saving throw. This spell affects only the target of your stunning first. Casting this spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If it is a melee touch spell, if your attack misses you retain the charge and may add it to the next unarmed strike your hit with, as long as you take no action beforehand that would cause you to lose the charge.

You do not gain the ability to add other effects to your stunning fist beginning at 4th level.

This ability modifies Stunning Fist.

Ki Pool: At 3rd level you can spend 1 ki to gain one additional attack when you take a full attack action, even if you are not using flurry of blows. This ability modified ki pool.

Flurry of Blows: At 10th level you gain flurry of blows, but treat your monk level as your spell-fist level -9.

Speaking of Cool Stuff!

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