From Hybrids to Gestalts

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Hello, everyone. I couldn't find a spot for houserule discussion, so I decided to try my luck in here.

 

I am trying to make a small-group game where each PC is a bit more powerful than the norm. Starting with the Hybrid rules, I've decided to keep some things as they are for Hybrids and change others. I know there will likely be some broken aspects in here, but I don't mind if all the PCs have the chance to expand on their character to find ways to boost their power.

 

Things that will remain the same:

*HP per level comes by adding the two Hybrid totals together (though the .5 carry so that each even level, someone with an X.5 HP/level will gain an extra point of HP).

*Defenses work as Hybrids.

*Skill Training will act as Hybrids.

*PCs will gain the Weapons of both classes, as per Hybrids.

 

What will change:

*There are no "Hybrid" Powers. The PCs will gain all Class Features of both their Classes. Striker damage, Defender marking and so on will not be limited by which Class the Power used comes from (this extends to the Multiclass Feat options).

*There are no limitations on Powers. You can play a Fighter/Wizard who only has the Cantrips, Rituals and other basics from the Wizard and none of their Powers at all.

 

What I am not sure of:

*I don't know if I should keep the Armor restriction in place, or let the PCs have access to the options from both Classes.

 

If anyone spotted an aspect of the build that I forgot to take into account, or have imput on the armor thing, please post here.

 

Also, for my game I'll be using the Flaws and Merits PDF I got on RPGnow way back when, but not Backgrounds or anything from the settings past the Races or Classes.

Cool, i'd totally play a Rogue|Avenger, Ranger|Avenger/Cleric, Ranger(ranged)|Rogue or Ranger(ranged)|Monk in that ruleset. Also you'll get flooded by Bard hybrids.

No, seriously, i hope you don't play under that ruleset with some people aware of how to optimize. If you do, the gap between the PCs's power level at your table will get bigger.

You'd need a lot of exceptions to your rules if you wanted any semblance of balance. People already bring terrible characters to tables all the time. Raising the optimization ceiling without raising the incompetence floor helps no one. At minimum, the defense penalty needs to go to ensure most bad options don't also have 12AC. 

 

Theres lots of cheesy possibilities, and probably unintended things. Letting striker bonuses stack generally just gives strikers another Xd6 or statmod to damage at least once a round. But all leader heals are class feature powers. So a gestalt leader|striker would be a full leader with a striker feature, and a leader|leader would have 4-8 heals/encounter before utilities, depending on level, class, and feats. Defender|Defenders could stack punishments so long as the punishments involved used different actions - immediate, free, or OA. A Fighter|Paladin with the Warpriest PP could stack all three.

 

controllers would be largely unaffected, though adding a striker feature or full leader/defender toolset could be very powerful.

Okay. So it seems to be playing as I'd expected then. Much like a Mystic Theurge, my intent is to give options without giving more actions, so you have to make choices.

 

As I said, it would be a small group which would be playing this, so if they're both unbalanced, then the XP is the balancing factor. As per RAW, you give less XP if there is no challenge.

So, where's the fun/point then?

 

Result would be, that it looks like you want to offer your players a homebrew ruleset, not to please them, but to punish them more certainly, since you will have to punish them, since those rules are easy to abuse. You invented that system so they can be more powerful than before, still you're punishing them for exactly that - being more powerful! Sense where?

By giving less XP you'd punish the poor fellas who can't even optimize under those circumstances even more than the ones that can optimize, since they

1. will be worse than before, compared to their more optimized fellow players, and

2. will level less fast. 

 

Could you please elaborate why you feel the need for changing the rules?

 

They'll have to face encounters that are actually challenging to them, I don't see how that is "punishing" anyone. Just like I don't see how no challenge could be fun if that's the norm. If they have a challenge, then they will level normally.

 

I know 3.5 Gestalts were about 1.5 times stronger than the norm.

 

The main issue I'm seeing people bring up here is stacking the same Role twice. Would the recomendation then be to limit things by stating that the two Classes must be different Roles?

I wouldn't worry about armor, a hybrid that maxed sex or not will likely want light anyway, and one that doesn't for MAD reasons will need the heavy stiff to keep up.

 

And the point about raising the ceiling but not the floor was a good one, you won't so much be boosting PC power as increasing any system mastery gaps among them.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

One of the first campaigns I ran used a 4e version of Gestalt classes. I adapted that ruleset from the original ones in Unearthed Arcana as best I could.

 

The reason for this was that we were still very new to 4e and we weren't sure if a party of 3 players could handle themselves fine given the game usually expect 4. (Turns out you can just fine)

 

Anyways, we did this, also keep in mind that we were very new to 4e at the time so no one was really optimizing that much.

 

(Note this can only be done on paper, forget about using the Character Builder)

-Pick two classes

-Gain the best HP of the two per level

-Gain any auto-training in Skills from both

-Gain the better number of extra-training in Skills

-Gain the class features of both

-Each time the player would choose a power, a power from each class is picked and added

----(That means the character will have double the powers)

 

We ended up with very strong charcters who almost never ran out of powers to use and had answers to any situation.

 

On restriction is that features only work for the powers from their same class.

 

Today, I find that doing straight up Gestalt is unnecessary unless you want to have a crazy high-powered game. But it was sure fun at the time.

--------------------

 

All that said, if you want to increase player power without getting into complications, you can do the following (which we also do from time to time)

-Players create characters as normal

-On DM discretion, the character obtains a new, extra power which may or may not be entirely custom made.

 

See how that works for you.

 

CelineSSauve wrote:

They'll have to face encounters that are actually challenging to them, I don't see how that is "punishing" anyone. Just like I don't see how no challenge could be fun if that's the norm. If they have a challenge, then they will level normally.

 

If this is your reason for creating these rules, you are coming up with the wrong solution. If you want to know how to design fun and challenging encounters for any optimization level, hit up the What's a DM to do? forum and ask around. You'll get plenty of tips there. 

 

If, on the other hand, you like to offer optimizers a new, overpowered game, this is a very reasonable way to do so. But that's not quite your goal, so I don't recommend going through with this idea.

Thanks. It's helpful to hear from someone who ran a game with a similar idea before. I won't be giving them douple the Powers and would allow the class features to carry over, though. I wonder which group would be more powerful between the two! :D

 

I won't be attempting to run this until after I've taken a group through Scales of War, though, so this thread has certainly given me something to think about. Thanks for the feedback, folks.

CelineSSauve wrote:

I won't be giving them douple the Powers and would allow the class features to carry over, though. I wonder which group would be more powerful between the two! :D

As long as you keep Class Features on their own side of the fence, it shouldn't really break anything.

You won't allow the Avenger|Rogue to use his Oath of Enminty with a Rouge power and such. Basically just like the current Hybrid rules.

 

Personally, I don't mind the players getting overpowered as long as they all get overpowered together. When that's the case, I can easily bump up the challenges they face and have some really epic encounters.

(A party of 4 against 3 Elite Volcanic Dragons, it was amazing and intense =P)

PrimeSonic wrote:

Personally, I don't mind the players getting overpowered as long as they all get overpowered together. When that's the case, I can easily bump up the challenges they face and have some really epic encounters.

(A party of 4 against 3 Elite Volcanic Dragons, it was amazing and intense =P)

See, I'm of this mind. So why not allow a Rogue/Avenger to stack? Sure, they'll do a lot of damage, but they don't control the field, they don't Mark foes and they can't heal up themselves or their allies. Doesn't it balance out?

 

I was of the impression that was the reason Roles were created in 4e.

If you can optimize Strikers even more, the other roles get less important, since *dead* is the best status effect.

pinkisthenewred wrote:

If you can optimize Strikers even more, the other roles get less important, since *dead* is the best status effect.

 

A Striker that can attack for 3 times a Standard monster's HP in a single hit is still overwhelmed by a hoard of minions.

 

A Striker that can bring down an Elite monster all alone can still be helpless against traps and hazards.

 

A Striker that can hit for more damage with an At-Will attack than the rest of the party with Encounter attacks is a lovely Dominate target.

 

...and so on...

 

There's no reason the DM can't up the intensity and bring in other apropriate challenges to the mix.

Maxing out DPR is not the be-all-end-all on the battlefield.

 

If you want, you could also send them a Solo boss with a couple of Elite Brute guards. They'll have plenty of HP to soak up all that extra damage while dishing out some nice punishment of their own.

That'll give everyone else something to work for in the task of staying alive on the battlefield.

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