Gestalt Archaeologist Bard build advice?


Advice


I'm going to be playing in Hell's Rebels soon, and thought a Bard would be alot of fun. I'm going Archaeologist with it because we only have a party of 3, so I won't be doing much buffing since at least one other player will be going pure caster. I'm also going to be ditching the standard spell casting of the class in favor of Spheres of Power, because it matches my play style alot better.

I'm hoping for advice on the stuff I should look into to make the most of him. I'm going Half-Elf for the favoured class bonus of extra performance rounds, and lingering performance is a must. Past that, there doesn't seem to be much there. I tried looking through other posts, but alot of them are 5+ years old, and a substantial amount of material has been published since then.

On the other side of the Gestalt, I'm looking heavily at Investigator to really hammer the Swiss-Army-Knife feel, though I'm open to suggestions if you have any.

Thanks ahead of time,

Lynxnest


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I can't help with the 3rd party content but using a Slayer as your Gestalt combination might give you a good niche to slip into. The ranger fighting style options with Slayer talents will let you specialize quickly in one fighting style, or let you move into a good position as a switch hitter.


The Bard has good reflex and will saves, but needs some help with fortitude saves and BAB. Even the Archeologist luck scales too slow to make up for 3/4 BAB.

Slayer is an excellent choice. Full BAB, good fort saves, ranger combat style feats, sneak attack, slayer talents... all a good match for the flavor of the Archaeologist Bard.


DeathlessOne wrote:
I can't help with the 3rd party content but using a Slayer as your Gestalt combination might give you a good niche to slip into. The ranger fighting style options with Slayer talents will let you specialize quickly in one fighting style, or let you move into a good position as a switch hitter.

I'll have to look into that a bit. I was considering the Investigator because of Inspiration, but the Slayer would do a much better job of shoring up his shortcomings.


VoodistMonk wrote:

The Bard has good reflex and will saves, but needs some help with fortitude saves and BAB. Even the Archeologist luck scales too slow to make up for 3/4 BAB.

Slayer is an excellent choice. Full BAB, good fort saves, ranger combat style feats, sneak attack, slayer talents... all a good match for the flavor of the Archaeologist Bard.

A double vote for Slayer def means I need to give it some careful consideration. I'll do some digging into it and see what I can do.


Some more advice:

Good choice with half-elf and lingering performance/extra performance rounds. Remember that you can have two favored classes as a half elf. I am not sure how your group deals with that in a gestalt setting, but getting +1/6 extra Slayer talent is pretty good too.

Point buy is 15 for typical adventure paths, but I assume that will be higher for your group. If not, I'd recommend: Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 13. Pump (in order) Dex, Cha, Int, Dex, Dex (or whatever, it's your character).

Either take lingering performance at 1st level (and use ranged weapons) and get "finesse Rogue" as your 2nd Level Slayer Talent. Or, take weapon finesse at 1st and save lingering performance till 3rd Level. Pick up Fate's Favored as a trait to boost your luck bonus. Maybe trade away your adaptability racial (skill focus) for Dual Minded to boost your will save.

As far as ranger fighting styles, I think the Underhanded is a good choice (From ultimate intrigue). Let's you fake an Int of 13 and of having combat expertise for feats the require it. Absent a flanking buddy, you could use the maneuver to blind someone and get your sneak attacks in.

Also, as a side note. Archaeologist bards get access to the Bomber Rogue Talent (as well as a smattering over other talents/tricks) but normally don't get sneak attack to go along with it (required to deal damage). This combination of gestalt might make really good use of it, but you would need to prioritize intelligence. Hard to do, but might be interesting.


DeathlessOne wrote:

Some more advice:

Good choice with half-elf and lingering performance/extra performance rounds. Remember that you can have two favored classes as a half elf. I am not sure how your group deals with that in a gestalt setting, but getting +1/6 extra Slayer talent is pretty good too.

Point buy is 15 for typical adventure paths, but I assume that will be higher for your group. If not, I'd recommend: Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 13. Pump (in order) Dex, Cha, Int, Dex, Dex (or whatever, it's your character).

Either take lingering performance at 1st level (and use ranged weapons) and get "finesse Rogue" as your 2nd Level Slayer Talent. Or, take weapon finesse at 1st and save lingering performance till 3rd Level. Pick up Fate's Favored as a trait to boost your luck bonus. Maybe trade away your adaptability racial (skill focus) for Dual Minded to boost your will save.

As far as ranger fighting styles, I think the Underhanded is a good choice (From ultimate intrigue). Let's you fake an Int of 13 and of having combat expertise for feats the require it. Absent a flanking buddy, you could use the maneuver to blind someone and get your sneak attacks in.

Also, as a side note. Archaeologist bards get access to the Bomber Rogue Talent but normally don't get sneak attack to go along with it (required to deal damage). This combination of gestalt might make really good use of it, but you would need to prioritize intelligence. Hard to do, but might be interesting.

Our point buy standard for our games is gratuitously high, since we rarely have more than 3 players ever, so I'm not worried about stats so much. I hadn't seen the Underhanded Ranger style. That is really cool and very helpful. Thanks a bunch!!


Just to give another idea besides slayer: I played a gestalt Archaeologist/ Samurai order of the hammer some time ago and I had a blast.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd definitely be looking at a full bab class rather than another 3/4 bab if I was you.

I'd actually be taking a long look at fighter myself. Maybe not as flashy as other options, but might really mesh well with the bard side.

Most of the normal 'downsides' of a fighter vanish with your Gestalt. You will have good will save (all good saves) and plenty of skills as well as some magic so you have quite a few options, but the fighter levels with give you really strong every day, all day combat abilities.

I might look at fighter archetypes, Eldritch Guardian, Mutation Warrior, Lore Warden and Weapon Master have some possibilities depending on where you want to go.

If you are using SoP I would also take a look at Mage Knight, full BaB and more spheres and talents seems like something that might be worth having.


I built a gestalted archeologist(bard) vangaurd(slayer) duelist as an npc ally for my group. They loved just how adaptable it was. Just be aware that this combination provides you with a multitude of abilities to keep track of.


If you can manage to deal with the alignment and code issues a paladin would be a great second class. The gray paladin would work, but giving up divine grace really hurts. Of the top of my head I don’t know of any other archetypes that relax the alignment and code restrictions. Maybe it is just a matter of finding the right neutral good deity. If you can manage that a paladin/archeologist bard would be incredibly powerful.


Out of curiosity, why does everyone seem so focused on building with a full BAB class? I understand the base idea behind it (I almost always run some kind of Melee combatant), just not the seeming overwhelming focus from everyone.


Lynxden wrote:
Out of curiosity, why does everyone seem so focused on building with a full BAB class? I understand the base idea behind it (I almost always run some kind of Melee combatant), just not the seeming overwhelming focus from everyone.

It's because gestalt rules uses the best BAB of the pair. For a non-caster character, full BAB gives the best odds of hitting. Although I do agree with a full BAB not being necessary for the character to be effective in melee. I've got a Rogue/Hunter gestalt build that would be great in melee.


The whole idea behind a gestalt build is synergy. The idea is to take two classes and combine them into something stronger than the sum of the parts. Many classes that lack full BAB have ways to boost their combat ability to become as effective as a full BAB class. When I combine those abilities with full BAB I get something a lot stronger than either.

In the case of an archeologist bard they have archeologist luck and usually combine it with heroism to get some really big bonuses in combat. Mixing a full BAB class with this not only improves their chance to hit, but allows them to take advantage of feats that scale up with BAB like power attack. The combination of the class features and full BAB make a very powerful combatant.

On the other hand take two full caster classes. Both of have powerful spells and combining the list means that the character has a lot more options. But for the most part you can only cast one spell per turn in combat. This means that each of the abilities while powerful are not any more powerful than a character with access to only one spell list. I may be able to cast more spells and have a larger selection of spells available to me but those spells are on the same power level as a normal character.

Since full casters tend to be some of the most powerful characters in the game the fact they gain less power by gestalt rules is not a bad thing.

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