Gestalt build: best pair for a wizard?


Advice

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Hi All,

I’d like to have your recommendations for a gestalt build.

Main class is a Diviner Wizard, and my first thought was to pair it with a base unchained rogue.

Do you have any other suggestion for a better second class?

Thank you.

Qw3rty


On a full caster, stuff like fighter or a similar "I hit it with my sword" class works pretty well. You have casting and durability. Simple but effective.


KENSAI MAGUS? Gets that INT working for you.

Take the BROAD STUDY arcana at 6th level. This will basically just make you Kensai with 9th levels spells to play with (and Initiative, and I'd take a bonded weapon from the wizard side).


An alchemist // wizard (or investigator // wizard) can buff their Int with a mutagen, a chronicler of worlds bard // wizard adds buffs, a puppetmaster magus // wizard buffs save DCs and adds some melee ability, a kensai magus // wizard gets to add Int to AC among other things and adds a lot of melee ability. A rogue doesn't add that much to the gestalt, just sneak attack damage and skills; not as much to the latter as the investigator or bard, and if you can use normal multiclassing as well then the arcane trickster PrC can give you sneak attack, or there are other ways of adding more reliable damage.

What level range are you looking at, and what sort of things do you want to do as a character role?


Gestalt is absolutely ridiculous, and I realize that even more every time I see recommendations for class combos.

Grand Lodge

Investigator is a good mix. Adding inspiration to your rolls is always nice and with studied target you can honestly hold your own in combat pretty well


Yeah, ridiculous by design. A fighter // wizard is for when you don't want to be ridiculous, there's little synergy. Use only if the others in the party are aiming for the same sort of thing (and if they're good at aiming; it'd be possible to make that look bad by comparison just by accident.)

Silver Crusade

Personally, I enjoy the fighter/wizard, for the thematic aspect. You can use your spells for utility, buffs, debuffs, and control. (Summons, web, black tentacles, create pit) when needed, but can still swing a sword decently well. For synergy though... unrogue is actually not bad. A lot of your utility spells can be made even more effective through the plethora of skills you would have.

Another one that works well is arcanist. This is because you basically double your spells per day, but ALSO can increase your CL or DC for either spell list. Also, exploits are great, and if you gonl occultist you will likely never run out of summons.

It honestly depends on your goal.

Wizard(sin magic/rune specialist)/arcanist gestalt will be a magic powerhouse, but will also be highly specialized, and rather squishy. Of course, that specialization is very powerful.

Wizard/barbarian(urban barbarian) can be a good way to get better survivability. While still having the power of a wizard.

Magus opens up some options, but you still won't be able to use spell combat with wizard spells, but it lets you focus your wizard spells more on utility/etc.

Silver Crusade

TheGreatWot wrote:
Gestalt is absolutely ridiculous, and I realize that even more every time I see recommendations for class combos.

Unmonk(scaled fist)/sorcerer/dragon disciple is one of my favorites.

Unmonk/druid works as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
avr wrote:
Yeah, ridiculous by design. A fighter // wizard is for when you don't want to be ridiculous, there's little synergy.

Fighter//Wizard is ridiculous in its own right. Where it lacks in synergy, it makes up for with raw power. The Fighter gets extremely impressive numbers for attack and damage, and access to Wizard spellcasting basically fixes all its problems. I still think Magus//Wizard is better, but Fighter//Wizard will be quite comparable if built well.


Wizard is incredibly powerful, and the main constraint is action economy because you want to cram more spells. As such, it doesn't play nice with most other classes in gestalt (the armor restrictions also does not help).

As such, my best suggestion is to seek classes that can help you passively. Constant benefits that does not require action, and it is best if this involves defensive boosts so that you don't have to spend spells on that aspect.

As such, I am going to suggest kineticist, with a focus on either aether, earth, or water. The class overall doesn't take you too far from stats you wanted anyway- constitution and dexterity are secondary defense stats. Ride the blast provides some great movement ability.

Aether gives some temp MP that is good against elemental attacks, and it has some decent support abilities like constant invisibility and flight (also, in terms of flavor, aether's abilities are fairly neutral and can work well as a generic 'magical' moveset). Earth has some serious DR, as well as earthglide for emergencies. Water boosts AC, and has some decent defense and mobility powers.


An arcane bloodrager could be fun. You just have to pick up the mad magic feat.


While far from the most optimal build (which would probably be another INT based full caster or a feature rich class) I love a UC rogue/wizard gesalt, particularly for the mindset it creates. Plus you have 8+INT skills.


If you have the stats a ranger could be a good mix. You would get full BAB all good saves and decent HP. If you can swing spare some points to WIS you also get some divine spells including access to some healing. If you don’t have the stats for WIS you could choose an archetype that trades away spells. What you will get is an absurd amount of skill points. Taking the trapper archetype would give you trapfinding so you could fill the role of rogue and wizard.

If the campaign is mostly urban favored enemy human and favored terrain urban would be very useful. The other ranger abilities would complement your divination spells ability to gather information. Take Archery for your combat style to get precise shot, improved precise shot and probably pinpoint targeting or parting shot. All of these can be use with spells. Your favored enemy bonus may also apply to ray spells.

You can also get both a familiar and an animal companion. Boon companion will probably be needed to boost the animal companion to full druid level.

Doubling up on spells really does not add that much to a character. Especially if the spell list has a lot of overlap.

Slayer would also work well. That would open up some rogue talents and give you sneak attack.


For healing, skill points and stat synergy I MIGHT suggest a Living Grimoire Inquisitor. You lose bane and judgment but that might not even matter, and like Ranger you can gain an animal companion or customize your character in other ways using the other domains. Plus you're the ultimate arcane and divine librarian!

Silver Crusade

I disagree, doubling up a spell list can be quite nice,

Arcanist can focus on blast spells or summons what have you, wizard on other.

Or you can just make use of the extra casts. Imagine at level 18, you get access to wish in both wizard and arcanist, being able to throw out that many wishes (while mildy expensive) is exceptionally strong.

But as said before, UC rogue and wizard can be nice.


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25,000 gp per cast.

M I L D L Y E X P E N S I V E


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TheGreatWot wrote:

25,000 gp per cast.

M I L D L Y E X P E N S I V E

"What? I just need to make a quick stop by the neighbor (-ing kingdoms) and ask them for a cup of sugar (and their entire treasures). I just need to ask nicely (while I have some apocalyptic spell running in the background)."

More seriously... if you REALLY need to rely on wish's strength and flexibility when you have two sets of 9 level spell lists, then there might be a problem. Either you are not using your spells well (and fell the need to waste 25,000 multiple times) or you are using them TOO well (in which case the gm has gods on his list of 'random encounters while going down the road' table because anything else is curb stomped).


Am I the only one who thinks Wish is overrated? Sure, I can heal everyone or remove conditions or such, but that's not even my job as the arcane caster (hello, Mass Heal and Greater Restoration) and the whole shabang costs 25,000 gold! Ridiculous.

The spell duplication effects are nice, but not really needed unless you ABSOLUTELY need that one spell RIGHT NOW. I'll take fast study and 15 minutes of down time any day.


Artofregicide wrote:
While far from the most optimal build (which would probably be another INT based full caster or a feature rich class) I love a UC rogue/wizard gesalt, particularly for the mindset it creates. Plus you have 8+INT skills.

Actually Wizard//Arcanist (or something similar) really just ends up being more wizard. While that's strong it's not really adding anything except a longer adventuring day. Since that's not really a problem for wizards past level 5 or so you're basically ignoring the class weaknesses in order to make something redundant-ly strong.

U-Rogue on the other hand makes you the skill-monkey to end all skill-monkeys*, and is a fairly strong choice.

*Investigator = RIP Rogue

Silver Crusade

It was mostly to show how having two full level 9 spell lists can get ridiculous. Arcanist just gives so msny additional tricks for a wizard.

That said, for a level 18 god wizard, 25000, is, for most purposes only mildly expensive.

That said, alchemist would be a great gestalt as well, you can throw bombs in fights that don't require your spells, give out extracts, buff your defenses

And at level 20(hah), philosopher stone makes wish uses a non-issue.

So,

Fighter/wizard- kinda meh, but lets you cast or hit things at your leisure. And you can take care or yourself in regards to melee or wizardry.

Wizard/arcanist- whats better than spells? More spells! And spells at higher DC or CL! Exploits are great too. You likely won't need wish on both lists, due to the sheer amount of spells you can prepare. Defenses are lacking (if caught unaware).

Wizard/UCrogue- really great for a wizard that wants to get his hands dirty. Rays can potentially SA, greater invisibility makes it easier to do.

Wizard/alchemist- a good range of offensive and defensive abilities, extracts are nice, better hp and saves than wizard/arcanist.


rorek55 wrote:
I disagree, doubling up a spell list can be quite nice ...

How many 18th level Wizards actually run out of spells in the average day. How many Arcanists?

Doubling up like this is solving a problem you didn't have. Even going fighter (which I agree isn't the strongest choice) will give you Full-BAB (adds to CMD), d10 hit-dice and a good Fort-Save progression (and I'm sure at least a few of those feats will be useful). It also means that you can keep adventuring if you DO somehow run out of spells (which is all the Arcanist//Wizard was really getting).

To the OP, the best options I've seen so far have been Kensai Magus (my own, so I'm probably biased) and Alchemist/Investigator. They both support the Wizard side while giving you other options that synergize with the stats you'll want as a Wizard. I'm not really familiar with the Living Grimoir Inquisitor though, so that might be worth a look too.


Oh what do people think of the Occultist?

I've just played one levels 4 - 7, and I'm finding it an amazing utility class (it might be my jew favourite class). I don't have any high level experience though, and I haven't really thought much about how it would work for gestalt.

Good synergy or redundant abilities?

Silver Crusade

MrCharisma wrote:
rorek55 wrote:
I disagree, doubling up a spell list can be quite nice ...

How many 18th level Wizards actually run out of spells in the average day. How many Arcanists?

Doubling up like this is solving a problem you didn't have. Even going fighter (which I agree isn't the strongest choice) will give you Full-BAB (adds to CMD), d10 hit-dice and a good Fort-Save progression (and I'm sure at least a few of those feats will be useful). It also means that you can keep adventuring if you DO somehow run out of spells (which is all the Arcanist//Wizard was really getting).

This can actually vary, most days, it likely just gives you the buffer and doesn't do much (speaking of just the spells/day aspect) however, I've played and ran sessions/multiple sessions where circumstances did not allow rests and or require a large number of fights in a relatively short amount of time. During times like that the extra spells will be quite welcome. And if you want to play a blaster because fireballs are awesome, it really makes blasting more viable due to more spells in a day.

Other things arcanist can give other than more spells (the strongest ability in the game, most would argue anyway) +2 DC or CL to spells (and a lot more spells to consume if you wish to get arcanist points), exploits- quick study, free teleporting, etc. Greater exploits are even better. If you take occulist archetype, you get standard action summoning, at wizard progression.

I'm not saying its the best, but I would say from an optimization standpoint, I'd prefer it over fighter levels.

Silver Crusade

MrCharisma wrote:

Oh what do people think of the Occultist?

I've just played one levels 4 - 7, and I'm finding it an amazing utility class (it might be my jew favourite class). I don't have any high level experience though, and I haven't really thought much about how it would work for gestalt.

Good synergy or redundant abilities?

If you are talking about the occultist class, I've seen it work some in the upper mid levels(7-11)its a decent gish, but doesn't have anything that particularly seemed to stand out. A bunch of neat, if not overly strong, abilities though.


MrCharisma wrote:

Oh what do people think of the Occultist?

I've just played one levels 4 - 7, and I'm finding it an amazing utility class (it might be my new favourite class). I don't have any high level experience though, and I haven't really thought much about how it would work for gestalt.

Good synergy or redundant abilities?

It does impressive standard action buffs (and weaker but nice passive buffs) and less impressive mostly standard action spells. You'd want to pair it with something that can use those buffs and which doesn't use more standard actions to buff itself. A fighter or slayer perhaps? Other options open up if you're starting at a higher level, like a bard once move action bardic performance is available.

Edit: an occultist // adaptive shifter could be interesting.

Grand Lodge

So, sure, wish is expensive but have you considered the snowman wish machine?

if you haven’t heard of it...:
cast Simulacrum (7th level wiz/sorc/arcanist/psychic spell, or chained summoner 5th)

Create an efreet. They’re under your command and can cast wish 3 times.

Make wish #1 for them to cast simulacrum, to make an efreet.

Make wish #2 to relinquish complete control of that efreet to you.

Make wish #3 whatever you want.

Repeat these steps as often as you’d like with the subsequent efreeti. The ability gives you infinite wishes starting at level 13 for the cost of 5000gp, has been around since bestiary 1 and it’s never been errata’d away.

I’ve been thinking about the problems a wizard (a high leveled one) wouldn’t be able to solve (there aren’t many) and honestly the one thing I am thinking of that doesn’t require wish exploitation is the ability to cast cleric spells. Seriously, a well built high level non-gestalt wizard will be able to do pretty much anything any other gestalt character can, one way or another, with the exception of casting high level cleric spells that aren’t on the wizard list.

Sure the ability scores are totally MAD (18 minimum int and wis at level 1) but hey, a wizard/cleric would quickly rise to godhood in my opinion.


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High level wizards can cast cleric spells indirectly through solar gating. They cast as 20th level clerics.

Wizard always wins.

As for infinite wishes, that "wish #2" doesn't really fall under the wish guidelines. That means it's subject to DM fiat, and in this situation, DM fiat means a big red "NOPE".


MrCharisma wrote:
Oh what do people think of the Occultist?
rorek55 wrote:
... doesn't have anything that particularly seemed to stand out. A bunch of neat, if not overly strong, abilities though.
avr wrote:
It does impressive standard action buffs (and weaker but nice passive buffs) and less impressive mostly standard action spells. You'd want to pair it with something that can use those buffs and which doesn't use more standard actions to buff itself.

Yeah I think you're right. I was thinking INT synergy, but there's no action economy synergy, and the buffs often double up.


Syries wrote:
I’ve been thinking about the problems a wizard (a high leveled one) wouldn’t be able to solve (there aren’t many) ...

I think this is a good point, a high level 9th level caster can deal with almost any situation.

For Gestalt you don't really need more 9th level spells. Abilities that improve your action economy (passive-buffs/swift-actions/spell-combat/etc) or your defences (HP/saves/BAB/etc) will do more for you than just more high level spells.

You could go cleric for different abilities, but they're just different ways to do what you're alresdy doing.

Syries wrote:
<Cleric//Wizard> ... ability scores are totally MAD (18 minimum int and wis at level 1)

Why would you need 18/18? You only need massive stats for offensive abilities, so just relegate one of them to buffs and it only needs to get to 19 by level 17.


I’d do a Monk/Wizard. Let them think your a standard Wizard AND BAM GET THESE HANDS!

Think of the buffs you can cast on your self and field maneuverability

Grand Lodge

TheGreatWot wrote:

High level wizards can cast cleric spells indirectly through solar gating. They cast as 20th level clerics.

Wizard always wins.

As for infinite wishes, that "wish #2" doesn't really fall under the wish guidelines. That means it's subject to DM fiat, and in this situation, DM fiat means a big red "NOPE".

wish #2 isn’t actually even necessary since the simulacrum you create is already under your complete control, now that I think about it. Just tell it to relinquish complete control over its own simulacrum to you and it has to do so.

Obviously this is an exploit and getting away with it is possible only if the GM doesn’t intervene.


If you are looking to make your character a tough wizard, I think Wizard/ucMonk works very well. All your saves are on the best progression. You have d8 hp. You get wis to dodge. You probably won't start with an impressive wis mod, but you can add items plus an eventual inherent bonus to wis. You also get a ton of special abilities that include extra base movement, immunity to poison/disease, and special movement modes that you don't have to cast/can use grappled and silenced.

If you wanted to make yourself the ultimate caster, either druid or cleric for your 2nd class. Cleric is a bit stronger when you consider Miracles are Wishes without the 25,000gp material component. But druid is a very strong choice when you consider wildshape and the animal companion. Also your ability to hit with ranged attack gets slightly better with 3/4 BAB. Not that anything else you'd pick up wouldn't be 3/4 BAB

And if you wanted to cheese hard and you mostly cared about improving your saves...be a full Wizard with 20 level 1 classes. While the abilities from your 2nd class will be trash, the 1st level saves add up and progress way faster than they would if you just followed the best progression. You could be a wizard whose worse save is wis. Make sure you choose a full BAB class every time wizard doesn't advance its BAB.


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What type of campaign is this going to be besides a Gestalt? One common reason to run Gestalt is lack of players. Gestalt allows a single player to cover multiple roles. Doubling up on an arcane caster does not really do anything for that. What you have at that point is basically a longer lasting single class character. The character is no more durable or versatile than a standard wizard. His actions are still going to be the same and he has the same weaknesses.

By going with a contrasting class you can shore up your weaknesses. Better saves especially fortitude means you have a better chance to survive. Extra HP and full BAB means you are not screwed when you do get into melee combat. Having other class abilities means you can cover what those classes usually do. Getting more class skills means you can better leverage the skills you gain from INT. If the other class gets more skill points then your INT allows you to actually be the skill monkey.

Even the extra spells per day are not that big of a deal. Wizards get scribe scroll and any wizard worth his place in the party will have used it to create utility scrolls. Roke55 is practically drooling over casting multiple wishes. Any wizard high enough to cast wish can already do that by creating a scroll. Sure it is expensive, but not that much more than casting a second wish, which he does not think is that expensive. Add in staves and wands for low level spells and a wizard really should not worry about running out of spells once past mid-level.

If the campaign only has a limited number of players doubling up on the arcane casting is probably not a good idea. If it does have the normal number of players it will not hurt, but does not really add that much that a wizard cannot already do.


As a couple other people have said, the biggest limiter to Gestalt characters is action economy. So, while the stats don't entirely mesh, you can go Summoner//Wizard for some really impressive results. That way, you get two independent sets of actions, and is viable at all levels.

The main problem with mixing a caster and a noncaster is that you can only do so much in a round. At low levels, your caster side will rarely ever show, because it's usually more effective to just hit them with your sword, but you'll never draw your blade after level 10 or so, meaning that no matter what level you are, you're only really benefiting from one set of class features at a time.

However, if you go Summoner//Wizard, you don't have that problem- at low levels, you can focus on supporting your eidolon in battle, using most of your spells to enhance its combat prowess. At mid levels, you can set it up beforehand with a few longer-lasting spells, then devote your midcombat tactics towards being a wizard. At high levels, you can give your eidolon shapechange and let it tear into your enemies as a dragon, while you sit back and do all your normal wizardy tactics. Essentially, it's a bit like being a martial and a caster, but you don't have to split your ability scores, feats, or actions to gain the benefits of wizard-enhanced combat.


Actually the PC is only an elf diviner wizard with ability 7,18,12,20,11,7 but due to the lack of players it could became a gestalt.

Adventure is a dungeon crawling kind of Tomb of Horrors/Rappan Athuk.

The idea was to have a battlefield controller wizard.

Qw3rty


With those stats? Hmmmm......

What levels will it span? At low levels, you may want Arcanist for extra spells, going with the Occultist archetype for additional bodies on the battlefield. You could also take a Living Grimoire Inquisitor for some additional survivability and variety in spell lists.


1st level actually, the plan is to go up to the 20th.

Qw3rty

Silver Crusade

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If no one else takes a class with trap finding, you ought take at least few levels of rogue or investigator. Investigator honestly wouldn't be that bad a class to stay in either. Not the best, not the worst.

If someone does, It opens more up for you, people seem to really love the higher HD in gestalt, which is meh in most games, why? Becuse people run half +1 hp games. You know what the difference is in hp between a d10 and a d6 in that regard? 40hp at level 20. Thats, at BEST a single extra hit. It will do little for you save levels 1-5.

Saves? You are a wizard, you have plenty of ways to protect yourself. Sure, in the end its a +6, but if you are being easily targeted, you probably messed up along the way.

Even if you don't want full arcanist, a 2-3 level dip into it from the gestalt class wouldn't hurt, nets you the ability to increase your spell DCs by 2, and IIRC the ability to change around your prepared spells if nothing else. That's good for a SoS/control wizard.

Summoner can be good, but most normal summoners are banned (rightfully so) and inchained summoners are very much chained. Your eidolon is weaker, and IIRC you cannot use Summon monster spell line if your eidolon is out.

In a similar vein of thinking to summoner a spiritualist may be a good fit for you as well, their spirit can go incorporeal from level 1, make great, if limited, scouts. can provide another body to fight, and a lot of their bonuses are somewhat passive. You can summon with it out as well. You also get good fort saves. The only issue is that its a wis based caster, but only 2/3 casting.

I still like the alchemist idea, you can go mind chemist if you want, you'll never fail another knowledge check in your life (can be very helpful), it boosts the DC of your spells to boot. You only need 2 levels for both of those parts. Discoveries like "vestigial limb" can make for some fun shenanigans later on with wands/rods/etc. And bombs are a good way to contribute to fights that don't need your spells.

Gestalt is not about covering weakness, per say, its about finding classes that mesh well together and can make you more versatile, while making your specialized aspect that much better. This is much easier for martial classes, due to many have passive bonuses that can stack, and a fighter benefits greatly from something like inquisitor, warpriest, magus, or even paladin or a cleric.


Ankou's Shadow Slayer is a good fit in my opinion. It fills out your saves, bumps up your BAB/HP, gives you rogue basics, and gives you multiple free mirror images that you can use as the origin for your actions at 10th level. On the other hand, it's hard to pass up something that gives you a second body on the field like a summoner or a hunter. Wild Child Brawler would probably be the safest way to grab an animal companion while boosting your defenses and grabbing some role flexibility.


rorek55 wrote:
If no one else takes a class with trap finding, you ought take at least few levels of rogue or investigator. Investigator honestly wouldn't be that bad a class to stay in either. Not the best, not the worst.

Trap finding? I call that "Perception". Hardly worth taking levels in rogue, a notoriously sucky class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My thought would be slayer.

All good saves, full BAB. A good chasis for your real power: Wizard Spells.


Can you multiclass for the other half? I’ll put in a vote for Swashbuckler, tho plenty of the above options are effective (Slayer also gets 8 skill points). People tend toward sorcerer over Wizard for gestalt, as the Cha synergies are more obvious.

Silver Crusade

TheGreatWot wrote:
rorek55 wrote:
If no one else takes a class with trap finding, you ought take at least few levels of rogue or investigator. Investigator honestly wouldn't be that bad a class to stay in either. Not the best, not the worst.
Trap finding? I call that "Perception". Hardly worth taking levels in rogue, a notoriously sucky class.

Yeah, have fun disarming them once you hit magical traps. Sure, you can use summons or the like, but why waste it when 1 level in rogue or investigator can do it for nothing but the cost of some skill points?


You could take the Trap Finder trait. Or just dispel it. Or go around/over/under it. Or cast Aram Zey's Focus.

Silver Crusade

TheGreatWot wrote:
You could take the Trap Finder trait. Or just dispel it. Or go around/over/under it. Or cast Aram Zey's Focus.

He said its a rapan athuk like dungeon style game. I doubt you can go around it,

Yes, cast a spell that might work everytime you hit a magical trap, that's a great idea.

Campaign traits may be banned, I know I certainly ban most AP traits, unless I'm running that AP. And always ban trap finder. But I don't use many traps to begin with, unless they are part of an encounter/fight.

If the trait isn't banned, then sure, go for that instead of a level of rogue/investigator.


Wizard/wizard. Because wizard.


More seriously, wizard/witch gives you a lot of control options.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Wizard/wizard. Because wizard.

In all seriousness, something like Wizard/Arcanist or Wizard/Psychic would be a pretty bad gestalt combinations until high levels. You'd be stuck with an atrocious chassis and your class features would have significant redundancy. Gestalt is a game mode where d10 HD with 3 strong saves and spellcasting on the side is a pretty normal character. If you're relying entirely on spells for your defenses you'll be ludicrously fragile.


Dasrak wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Wizard/wizard. Because wizard.
In all seriousness, something like Wizard/Arcanist or Wizard/Psychic would be a pretty bad gestalt combinations until high levels. You'd be stuck with an atrocious chassis and your class features would have significant redundancy. Gestalt is a game mode where d10 HD with 3 strong saves and spellcasting on the side is a pretty normal character. If you're relying entirely on spells for your defenses you'll be ludicrously fragile.

Depends on how badly the DM has it out for you. The diviner is immune to surprise and has a good initiative. Even from a low level, you can avoid a lot of damage just by starting the fight with vanish. And it sounds like in this case the DM isn’t so much upping the difficulty as much as considering giving gestalt to make up for a small party.

I think a wizard/witch would offer a lot of utility and battlefield control. Just make sure that some of your teammates are filling the meat-shield role.

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