Flint_A
 member, 539 posts
Sun 4 Sep 2016
at 17:35
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
Gestalt rules from the SRD: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/vari...estaltCharacters.htm

Summary: Characters pick two classes each level and get everything from both. For things like HP, saves, attack bonus, etc. pick the higher one. There are a few more guidelines (like don't allow hybrid prestige classes because they get confusing) but that's the gist of it.

With classes, it's rather easy to handle. But what do you do with monster races that have racial HDs and LA?

I think it's best to treat racial HDs like a regular class. They're not too different. It does make them somewhat stronger compared to non-gestalt because you can pick a beefy race and not lose on spellcasting; but gestalt casters can take Fighter or Barbarian on the side or even have two caster classes. I think that's fair.

The other option is to have racial HDs take up an entire level, both sides, but I think that penalizes them too harshly, especially considering the first option isn't a huge change from non-gestalt.

It's a little different with LA though. If LA takes up the whole level, it's a bigger loss compared to non-gestalt because you're losing two classes instead of one. But if LA takes up only one side (so that you take a regular non-gestalt level) then high LA races are much stronger in gestalt compared to non-gestalt.

Has anyone tried something like just applying a lower LA?

I mean, I ran gestalt once and I allowed both to take just one side and it was fine. But that game was overpowered on purpose.
Korentin_Black
 member, 498 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Sun 4 Sep 2016
at 17:38
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 The last time I saw it done, the GM basically allowed the player to work out the 'monster class' using the guidelines from 3.0's Savage Species - generally speaking, in a 'monster class' you generally get the better racial abilities on a level that doesn't provide HD. Then you just level up normally and on any LA level, you're stuck with just the class stuff on the other side.

 The main balancing effect came from the GM providing a measure of oversight into what we were allowed to combine - let's face it, even the highest LA races would have trouble competing with some of the more brutal gestalt class/class combos.
Flint_A
 member, 540 posts
Sun 4 Sep 2016
at 18:13
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
True, true, races don't break things that much. I had a player who was a half-dragon, half-devil, half-ogre. (The last one's a race, not a template, so the unmentioned "half" is human. I allow half-races up to quarters, then you need to pick a more watered down template.) But his only class was Soulknife.

He was outclassed (he he) by the Pixie Druid and the Ghost Wilder by far.

I don't really like the idea of mixing Savage Species' monster classes into gestalt though. That's a lot of accounting, especially for races that don't normally have monster classes.
Korentin_Black
 member, 499 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Sun 4 Sep 2016
at 18:45
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 Mostly it's pretty straightforwards - if you're starting at any kind of level most monster races will be already paid for and there were a lot of races in the book already worked out for you. What sort of species are people looking to app with?
ricosuave
 member, 126 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 01:56
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
gestalt with monster races is pretty straight forward.

say You want to be an ogre mage cleric, and the game is starting at 12th level

the progression would look like this
side 1 of  gestalt/side 2 of gestalt

Ogre Mage Racial Hit die / Cleric
Ogre Mage Racial Hit die / Clerid
Ogre Mage Racial Hit die / Cleric
Ogre Mage Racial Hit die / Cleric
Ogre Mage Racial Hit die / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric
Level Adjustment / Cleric


I am not sure exactly what your confusion is on the matter.
Korentin_Black
 member, 500 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 02:23
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 Mainly that what you're suggesting is a house-rule with no support from the books so he's never heard of it I think. Me, I'd stick with the Savage Species stuff that spreads out LA through the HD as you level up.
ricosuave
 member, 127 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 02:35
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
Savage species literally does the same thing..

it takes a characters total ECL and spreads its abilities over those levels.


and its not a house rule I'm suggesting it how level adjustment and racial hit die work in gestalt. You just cannot see because the SRD does not have ALL the information needed to play the game. You actually need to have the Unearthed Arcana book ( which FYI is just a collection of in house house rules)

you take your racial hit die, in the case of an ogre mage its 5 then you add your level adjustment.. which is a 7 for the same ogre mage. therefore an Ogre Mage's Effective Character Level is 12 (5+7=12)

Gestalt is where you 'level up' 2 classes simultaneously.

One 'side' of the gestalt for a monstrous character with RHD greater than 1 and level adjustment is taken up with said racial hit die and level adjustment, the other 'side' of the gestalt will be where you take an actual class. OF course when you ECL is done, you can class into something else. SO the example ogre mage I gave at 14th level could be Ogre Mage 12/Rogue 2//cleric 14.
Korentin_Black
 member, 501 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 03:23
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
 Uh, yes but that's not what you did in that table.

 You front-loaded all the HD, then slapped LA on the top which isn't how Savage Species proposes handling it at all.

 A Centaur for example is a 4HD monster with an ECL of 6. Instead of getting 4HD and then having two levels of nothing, instead you don't get HD at level 3 or 5, while gaining racial abilities the whole while (Savage Species, p161).

 And looking at my copy of Unearthed Arcana - which pretty much replicates the optional rule section of http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm - nope, you're definitely making up the ECL-handling stuff, which it doesn't address.

 Looking only at the book and treating the monster class as a normal class, Ogre Mage (Savage Species, p190) / Cleric would actually go:

 1 Ogre Mage HD / Cleric
 2 Ogre Mage HD / Cleric
 3 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
 4 Ogre Mage HD / Cleric
 5 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
 6 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
 7 Ogre Mage HD / Cleric
 8 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
 9 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
10 Ogre Mage HD / Cleric
11 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
12 Ogre Mage LA / Cleric
Flint_A
 member, 542 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 07:22
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
I'll admit I haven't checked my Unearthed Arcana in a while but yeah, I certainly didn't remember any official(even by UA standards) ruling on the matter.

It's also been a while since I opened my Savage Species but I remember monster classes being a bit more nuanced than that, although the general idea was exactly as KB described.
Korentin_Black
 member, 502 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 17:49
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 There aren't any real rulings in the book,  hence my suggestion of combining these two - I did skip a bunch of nuance though, you're quite right. Main thing seemed to be to get across the point that you can treat a monster like a class and that you don't front load their hit points or abilities but rather space them out over their whole ECL.
Flint_A
 member, 546 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 17:51
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
So you're saying treat both HDs and LAs like one class, one side of the gestalt (which is what I did before) but mix them up instead of grouping them together. I like that.
Korentin_Black
 member, 503 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 19:11
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 Basically, yeah - savage species gives a bunch of suggestions on how to handle it but you'll need to be careful of some combos of course.
meschlum
 member, 168 posts
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 19:59
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
And, incidentally, don't give all the monster powers at level 1. Build up towards them as you gain levels.

The Ogre Mage has a lot of benefits, so let's see what we can do with it...

Level 1: +2 Strength, Darkvision, Darkness 1/day, Disguise Self 3/day. A sorcerer with limited spells.

Level 2: +2 Charisma, 40' move, Charm Person 1/day. Mobility and charm.

Level 3: +2 Constitution, +1 Natural Armor, Sleep 1/day, Levitation (self only) 3/day. Tougher, starting to take off.

Level 4: +4 Strength (total), +2 Intelligence, Spell Resistance 7 + Level, Darkness 3/day, Invisibility 1/day. Sneaky and hard to affect.

Level 5: +2 Wisdom, +2 Natural Armor (total), Fly 3/day (speed 40', self only, replaces Levitate), Alter Self 3/day (Small or Medium humanoid or giant only). A lot of iconic abilities come on line.

Level 6: +4 Charisma (total), Large Size (no further attribute modifiers), Fast heal 1. Not much magic power, but builds on the base.

Level 7: +4 Constitution (total), +3 Natural Armor (total), Gaseous Form 1/day, Darkness at will. Tough and hard to catch.

Level 8: +6 Strength (total), +4 Intelligence (total), Flight speed (replaces Fly), Fast Heal 3, Alter Self can be used for Large sizes, Invisibility 3/day. Power and a little inherent magic.

Level 9: +4 Wisdom (total), +4 Natural Armor (total), Cone of Cold 1/day. Overall improvement.

Level 10: +8 Strength (total), Fast Heal 5, Invisibility at will. Almost completely done.

Level 11: +6 Charisma (total), +5 Natural Armor (total), Change Self (no longer has Alter Self). Polishing off the last bits.

Level 12: +10 Strength (total), + Constitution (total), Regeneration 5 (replaces Fast Heal). And done!


I tried to spread the powers across levels where they're be appropriate, and stagger them so they'd increase over time. Other approaches are possible as well, of course - the last levels are a bit lackluster when compared to what a normal class would be getting (but delaying the early bonuses might not help much).
Korentin_Black
 member, 504 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Mon 5 Sep 2016
at 23:51
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races

 Ogre Mage - which I think we picked purely as an example - is actually a class in Savage Species. I don't think I'm allowed to reproduce the table in its entirety here but they start with a Feat, +1 natural armour, charm person & sleep 1/day at level one and then gain 2 natural armour and 2 con at level 2. Skipping a few, they gain regeneration 1, darkness 3/day and invisibility 3/day at 6 then skipping a few more, just +2 strength & charisma at level 12... As well as the other bonuses along the way.

 It really is a great little book, just a shame it's 3.0.
Flint_A
 member, 549 posts
Tue 6 Sep 2016
at 09:40
D&D 3.5 gestalt and monster races
It's not even that, it's stuck in between editions.