Just something I've been knocking around in my head for a few hours and unable to decide on so I figured I'd get a second+ opinion. First off this isn't for any game so no "I will be facing X enemy types" apply here just on average and thematically if you were to play a gestalt character which combination seems better. Arcanist/Monk for maximising your unarmed and unarmoured defences, arcanist/brawler for a mix of unarmed and armed capabilities or Arcanist/Slayer for a close aproximation of the old fighter/mage/thief character?
My inclination swings between Arcanist/Monk for the mechanical benefits and Arcanist/Slayer for the role play element as I like the versatility. So I'm getting a second opinion on the issue.
I'm not really sure what you are asking.
Well, if you got rid of this silly thing called arcane spell failure, you could add the fighter and other armored classes to your list of options.
Melee combatants and arcane spell casters tend to favor different ability scores. Melee favors a balanced mix of str, dex, and con. Monk adds wis to that list. Arcane spell casters favors maxing out either int or cha. Arcanist can get some benefit if you balance both int and cha. My point is you've picked class combinations that have opposite demands for ability scores.
I have noticed that the class combination you have selected will give you d10 hp, good attack bonus, and all good saves. You're not the only one who has considered these kinds of gestalts.
Arcanist uses both Int and Cha, right? If you go Monk, I suggest the Scaled Fist archetype. That switches all the Wis-based abilities over to Cha.
Inspired Blade Swashbuckler might be a fun choice. You get two free feats at level one that set you up nicely for immediate dex to damage. And the stats used are the same.
Building a decent Arcanist/monk is going to be difficult due to the character being incredibly M.A.D. Monk usually needs good STR, DEX, CON, and WIS. The Arcanist requires a good INT and is going to want a decent DEX, CON and CHA. You can take the scaled fist archetype to have the monk use CHA instead of WIS, but as far as I know there is no way to make the CHA the arcanists casting stat. Going with a DEX based monk can eliminate the need for STR, but it will be difficult to get DEX to damage on unarmed strike and DEX based builds are usually feat intensive.
Brawler is a bit better than monk and would be what to use if you want to go with an unarmed spell caster. It still suffers from needing STR for damage and you will need to decide what to focus on. If you focus on unarmed combat, it will probably be at the expense of your spell. If you focus on spell casting it will probably mean your unarmed combat is more of a backup than anything else. There is some synergy between the classes. You will be getting full BAB and all good saves, but mostly the classes are focused on different things. It will give you a decent amount of versatility, but I don’t see very many class features that actually complement each other.
Arcanist/Slayer has less M.AD. than the other two classes. Since you are not focusing on unarmed combat a DEX based build is more feasible. Slayer also has access to ranger combat styles which allows you to ignore the prerequisites for the feats including the stat requirements. Studied Strike and sneak attack can be used with spells that require an attack roll. Slayer uses INT for talents that have a saving throw. The synergy between slayer/arcanist is incredibly high. The abilities of
one class often boost the other class.
Slayers are also a skill-based class, so INT gives them even more skill points. This combination also gives you almost every skill as a class skill. Other than perform the only skills that are not class skills are not class skills are diplomacy, disable device, escape artist, handle animal and sleight of hand. If you take the slayer talent trap finding not only does disable device become a class skill, but you also get the rogues bonus and can find magical traps. The brawler does not get bluff, diplomacy, disable device, disguise, heal, sleight of hand, stealth, or survival. Some people claim that a wizard (or arcanist) can do anything a rogue can because of spells. The saying goes why bother with a high stealth when you have invisibility. With this combination you have both a high stealth and invisibility.
Once you reach 3rd level pick up Arcane Armor training to reduce the arcane failure. If you use a mithral chain shirt with the feat you have a 0% arcane failure rate. The +4 AC may not seem that good, but it that is without factoring in magic armor. Also, if you go with a DEX based build it has a higher maximum DEX bonus so you will not be that far behind.
My recommendation would be for the DEX based Arcanist/Slayer
Thanks for the replies.
Arcanist/monk just seems so much worse than Sorcerer/monk for no significant benefit.
I vote Arcanist/Slayer, as synergy is solid across the board.
I just like the arcanist class.
Can't edit my last post. I forgot to ask if you were using unchained monk or regular old classic monk.
Either/or, like I said just debating if gestalt were allowed what would be a better choice.
Seems like its fairly solidly arcanist/slayer which suits my role play tastes and makes me happy.