As I mentioned in a recent post I'm looking to break out of my gaming group's usual Pathfinder comfort zone and do something different--either a little different or a lot different. More specifically I'd like to do things we've never done before. So if we stick with Pathfinder that may be tough because we've played most of the usual classes, archetypes, races, prestige classes etc. I see two good alternatives; well, easy alternatives. One is to use the new hybrid classes--just the hybrid classes. I haven't seen anyone play one of these in our games. However, I'm not super excited about them and, apparently, neither is the rest of my group. The other path is gestalt multi-classing, probably with just the core classes because they seem the best balanced.
Okay, but how about taking that a step farther and doing what I'll call "themed gestalt" play. In themed gestalt all players will share one class (or a choice from a limited group of at most three classes) and add another to that one to individualize. The shared class(es) creates the theme and provides a background tying the group together. I played with this idea earlier as a basis for a fantasy oriental game "Righteous Cloud Temple" where all the characters are monk+something dual classed.
So here is a set of themed gestalt ideas using the core classes as a base.
⦁ Barbarian Based - a dream-quest called you all here to meet your ultimate fate as a hero; the druid and/or ranger could be alternate bases
⦁ Bard Based - Hey, Hey it's the Monkees!/Josie and the Pussycats/This is Spinal Tap; came out here to play to the adventurers--hopefully as the only act in town--and wacky hijinks ensue; the sorcerer (with maestro bloodline) could be an alternative base
⦁ Cleric Based - clerics of one deity or small set of compatible deities; could have the paladin as alternate base if that works for the particular deity
⦁ Druid Based - members of a druidic circle are drawn to commune with and heal the tainted wilderness; could have the ranger as alternate base
⦁ Fighter Based - former military or mercenary comrades-in-arms carve out a kingdom for glory and riches
⦁ Monk Based - members of the same temple or --better--all rival temples, seeking the fabled First Temple where the noble study of the martial arts first began
⦁ Paladin Based - paladins of a Lawful Good deity; the paladin theme class could have the cleric, of the same deity or any compatible deity, as alternate base
⦁ Ranger Based - drawn to explore and investigate the tainted wilderness; the ranger theme class here could have the druid and/or barbarian as alternates
⦁ Rogue Based - a gang of "explorers" or "archaeologists" seek the biggest heist ever
⦁ Sorcerer Based - your inner natures called you together, and now you must find out why
⦁ Wizard Based - find ancient spells and magic to bring back with power and knowledge; the wizard theme class could have the sorceror and/or bard as alternates