When creating a gestalt character, it is tempting to view the dual class progression as an opportunity to achieve greater breadth. However, gestalt is utilized most effectively when each side of the progression provides synergy. As a simple example, adding gestalt monk levels to a melee-focused druid doesn’t really broaden what the character is capable of. Instead, it makes the character that much better at doing his job. Similarly, I often see parties of characters built to their own ends with no sense of party synergy. These are my thoughts on what a well built gestalt party would look like.
First, a look at the character archetypes that compose the party:
- Society Mind // Ardent
- Factotum // Archivist
- Crusader // Sorcerer
- Warblade // Artificer
The idea begins with a society mind blended with ardent. Although mixing two psionics classes doesn’t necessary eek the most potential out of the gestalt rules, it does provide an interesting result. What you end up with is a tuned-up Society Mind, with extra powers and power points. Now you have all of the special abilities of a Society Mind and the power points to put them to good use.
In particular, the 8th level ability mystic echo allows the society mind to duplicate the effect of any buff on a member of his network to the entirety of the network. Since it is a supernatural ability, the amount of power points that can be spent is not limited by manifester level. When supplied with an ample amount of power points, this means that he can turn his whole party into CoDzillas, provided that he has at least one to begin with. And that is the premise of this party.
The remainder of the group has a gishy feel to it. The goal of each additional member is two-fold. First, they are to provide an additional source of magic to be shared with the group. Second, they are to be capable combatants in their own right, preferably filling an essential role.
Action economy becomes the biggest challenge. All day buffs are easy to handle, just buff in the morning and echo all around. It’s the in combat buffs that provide a challenge. Each character is a caster in his own right, so getting all the short duration buffs active should only take a round or two. Using mystic echo to share the wealth, however, could potentially take the remainder of combat.