I recently saw a post on Reddit describing some home-brew rules for gestalt characters in 5e. It seemed interesting so I looked up the original 3.5e gestalt character rules (which can be found here for anyone that's interested: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/gestaltCharacters.htm)

There are several rule variants in the 5e DMG that can allow for more powerful characters already; shorter rest variants, high-magic campaigns, etc. so I think new 5e rules for gestalt characters is certainly one that is possible, especially when you consider that the action economy will still provide a limit on what these characters can do (in combat at least).

As the current rules don't include gestalt characters, house-rules would need to be used for this to work, so my question is:

How close can you get to creating a 5e gestalt character using the old 3.5e rules and is there anything that would need to be done differently in 5e?

Some things (i.e. spell casting) could easily be handled like they would with a multi-classed character but other things don't seem to quite fit. Would each classes' ability score increases or first level proficiencies need to be handled differently, for example, to prevent game-breaking imbalances?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ rules for gestalt characters in 5e were alluded to have been in the DMG, but they didn't end up making the cut. We might eventually see them as an article on their site though. Obviously that's not helpful, but it does indicate that some thought has gone into porting the concept to 5e. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Jan 29, 2015 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


The first thing when trying to do gestalt for 5th ed would be to realize that the following level dependent features would NOT change, regardless so what classes you gestalt into:

Proficiency bonus
Spell slots per day
Attribute bonus (or feat) every 4 levels

Also, several features can not be combined via multiclassing, thus can't be combined via gestalt:

Extra attack (though you could pick which class's extra attack to use)
AC effects (such as monk Dex + Wiz can't be combined with Barb Con + Dex. Pick one)

Also, some items don't stack very effectively. Rogues only add sneak attack once per round. So getting 4-5 attacks as a fighter isn't amazing (being able to trip as one your attacks is, however!). I'd also rule that you could add half your spells per day (round down) of one of your classes to the spells per day by caster level, as there is very little incentive to go double caster otherwise.

This method WOULD let you get some very strong builds (barbarian auto-advantage on attacks + Rogue sneak attack, warlock cha to damage + fighter extra attacks, ect). As such, balancing for encounters would be slightly difficult.

Bottom line here is that you are in lawless territory here. All allowances are made by the DM for this, and he can feel free to change things as he sees fit. Hope you got a strong sheriff :P


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