Asian Flavored Gestalt


Hi all, I'm going to be in an Eastern Flavor gestalt (no multiclassing or PrC) game and I wanted to check and see if anyone has recommendations.

Existing builds are

gestalt Samurai (warrior poet archerype with Order of the Songbird) / Sorcerer (maestro archetype) - Flavor: Artistic Noble daughter

Gestalt unchained monk / druid - Flavor: Brother of the Perfect Garden Spiritual Advisor

And the last one is what I'm asking for advise on. Here is what I have considered so for

A: Gestalt Samurai (sword saint archetype) / Arcanist (blade adept archetype) - Flavor: Kensai/blademaster

Problem: Blade Adept archetype is messy with confusing abilities about arcane pool and so on.

B: Gestalt Magus (Kensai archetype) / full BAB or Full caster class - Flavor:Kensai/Blademaster

Problem: if I go full caster then BAB will fall behind the Noble daughter (who he would be responsible for protecting) and if full BAB class why bother with the high int no armor approach of the Kensai, which is a problem because I want the PC to have high int to compliment the raw charisma of the Noble daughter and Wisdom of the Monk.

C. Gestalt Ninja / wizard - flavor: Spymaster

There aren't really any problems with this build. It's a sick combination except a bit squishy and can't do the Kensai thing.

D. Gestalt Ninja / fighter - flavor: Kensai

Problem: no spell casting, but since other two members get full casting don't really need it. But here again, run into the Intelligence compliment problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd remember you can make an 'asian' themed character without just limiting yourself to the classes and archetypes that were inspired by those cultures and named accordingly.

A Brawler/Cleric (evangelist maybe?) would make a pretty good Kongōrikishi for example.

Yeah, you can make almost any build asian themed, as most of the same tropes exist in both the east and west. About the only thing I can think of that would be hard to fit is the paladin, but maybe someone can think of an example of even that.

The kineticist was partly asian inspired, from Avatar. I'm not sure what I'd combine it with though. An avenger vigilante would have a lot to offer the kineticist, but you wouldn't have standard spellcasting. Also, you don't really have to do the secret identity thing, if you don't want to. You can just stay in vigilante or civilian mode all the time, sometimes called Iron-Man-ing. The kineticist/avenger can also make a pretty strong unarmed attack build, if that feels more asian to you. Just don't bother with the kineticist monk-like archetype, as you lose to much with it.

Yeah to have an 'Asian' themed character would not require any sort of class.

You could have a perfectly fine character from any combination of classes and have them be within theme.

If you can change the associated weapon of an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler to the more setting-appropriate Wakizashi (basically the same stats as a Rapier), that'd be a good full BAB class with an INT benefit to pair with Kensai. The deeds lend a lot of good swordplay flavor. I'd also argue that Kensai Magus gives plenty of incentive for for high INT and that going full BAB actually allows you to focus more on INT, since the extra BAB mitigates the drawback of not making your damage stat your primary.

Alternately, a good INT focused option could be an Empiricist Investigator/Full BAB. Alchemy easily reskins as herbalism to fit into eastern tropes. Inspired Blade would again be a good fit here. You could be traveling as the Noble Daughter's attending nurse if you're supposed to be responsible for protecting her.

In general, I would heavily consider a skilled class, since your group seems to be lacking one. Slayer is pretty much always a solid choice for Gestalt because of d10 HD, 6+INT skills, good Fort/Ref, bonus feats, and a class ability with a flexible action economy (Studied Target starts as a move and is a Swift or a move at 7). I would keep it in mind as an addition to most 2+INT casting classes. Note that Studied Target increases your DCs, and should benefit spell saves.

Thanks for the great advice! For sure slayer is sweet, there is another game I'm using same gestalt rules and am running a Cleric/Slayer in that. Unfortunately, bonus to save DC only applies to Slayer abilities from my read.

I will for sure check out the other options. I know you don't need an Eastern class to have eastern flavor, but since we are running Gestalt it seems like I ought to be able to fit it in somewhere.

Sintog wrote:
Unfortunately, bonus to save DC only applies to Slayer abilities from my read.

I've always considered it to apply to all class abilities, since that's how it works with the Sanctified Slayer archetype. The only time I've done Gestalt was for an explicitly high power game, though, so we always took the most favorable read of borderline things like that. Even without, it's pretty good but of course you already know that.

I like Empericist investigator a lot, though it kind of falls into the same middle ground as Kensai Magus. Maybe if I did both... I'll have to think on that.

Inspired Blade swashbuckler is pretty tough though - GM's position is I give you gestalt and other generousities. Pathfinder is a big system. Make it work within existing rules. There is a feat that let's you treat a one handed melee weapon as a piercing weapon and adds dex to damage instead of strength, so a katana (or wakizashi) could be used with the Swashbuckler but inspired Blade is rapier specific.

Maybe I will do Empericist Investigator / Full Int caster. I feel like the Investigator would make for a perfect Spymaster. And while Ninja / Wizard is nice, I hate the name Ninja Wizard and lots of Ninja abilities work off Cha. The Empericist Investigator fixes that, and it's easier for me to imagine one with an Eastern Flavor then say... A slayer.

Personally I think Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest combined with Eldritch Archer Magus could make for a very versatile and very interesting character.

The warpriest chassis provides feats and a lot of self buffing, and doesn't need very much wisdom. Just enough to cast buff spells, you wont use them for offense. You can focus more on int and dex. You can mostly ignore strength as it only adds a minor amount of bonus damage.

It's not necessarily optimal, but having access to both arcane and divine spell lists could be really fun.

Though you will run into issues with swift actions.

But you'll also be able to buff yourself into immense power. Becoming increasingly dangerous as combat goes on.

FWIW, Kensai could have DEX-to-damage at level 3 with a Wakizashi via Slashing Grace if that's something you're interested in. Weapon Finesse at 1st, Weapon Focus and proficiency from Kensai, and Slashing Grace at 3rd. Or you could have it from the get-go as a Human.

You could go Ninja and Teisatsu Vigilante to double dip Ninja Talents. It would make for a scout type character.

Instead of Inspired Blade, you could go Okayo Corsair (Monk version of Swashbuckler) with Arcanist, Magus or Bard. Okayo Corsair let's you use 1-h Monk weapons with finesse and swashbuckler abilities, while also getting to bypass Wis pre-req of feats. It would then combine well with Arcanist whk likes having medium/high Cha for exploits.

You could keep the Inspired Blade as is and just reflavour the rapier into a similar asian style weapon. Say a Taichi sword or some other chinese straight blade.

Alternatively it could be one of the larger styles of keris (or kris).

Asia doesn't mean just japan; and golarion already mixes different cultures for it's not-asia. Throwing in some south east asian or indian weapons should be fine.

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