Gestalt Knifefighter (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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This was my Gestalt attempt at a fighting rogue. It uses feint combat action to deny an opponent their dex mod, and then punishes them with a crushing amount of sneak attack.


Game Rule Components[edit]


Obviously, your dagger is very important, any mods on it that increase your chance of feinting in combat are even better. Cloak of Cha + as high as you can get it is very helpful as well. When i played Kurai(my knifefighter), I had a PC artificer craft a vest(class improvement affinity)with Golem Strike, and Grave Strike, as continuous effects. Remember, this is not only a combat character, you must also fill the rogue role, this means you must be able to find, and disarm traps. So items that increase your effectiveness at those two things cannot be neglected.


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Human, no adjustments

Ability Scores:the order for stats in this build is Dex, Int, Chr, Str, Con, Wis

  • These are the 32 point buy scores I use. All improvements go into Int.
    • Str:10
    • Dex:16
    • Con:10
    • Int:16
    • wis:10
    • Chr:14

Race (Templates):

Any(favored class rogue is nice, but not required)

Starting Racial Traits:

ECL Class Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Rogue1/Swashbuckler1 +1 +2.5 +2.5 +.33 Weapon Finesse,Point Blank Shot,Weapon Focus(dagger) Trapfinding, Sneak attack +1d6
2nd Rogue2/Fighter1 +2 +3.0 +3.0 +.66 Dodge Evasion
3rd Rogue3/Swashbuckler2 +3 +3.5 +3.5 +1.00 Mobility Sneak attack +2d6, Trap Sense +1,Grace +1
4th Rogue4/Fighter2 +4 +4.0 +4.0 +1.33 Far Shot Uncanny Dodge
5th Rogue5/Swashbuckler3 +5 +4.5 +4.5 +1.66 Sneak attack +3d6, Insightful Strike
6th Rogue6/Invisible Blade1 +6 +4.83 +7.0 +2.00 Leadership Trap Sense +2, Unfettered Defense
7th Rogue7/Invisible Blade2 +7 +5.16 +7.5 +2.33 Sneak attack +4d6, Bleeding Wound
8th Rogue8/Invisible Blade3 +8 +5.50 +8.0 +2.66 Improved Uncanny Dodge, Uncanny Feint(move action)
9th Rogue9/Invisible Blade4 +9 +5.83 +8.5 +3.00 Combat Reflexes Sneak attack +5d6, Trap Sense +3, Feint Mastery
10th Rogue10/Invisible Blade5 +10 +6.16 +9.0 +3.33 Special Ability(Skill Mastery), Uncanny feint(free action)
11th Rogue11/Shadowdancer1 +10.75 +6.5 +11.5 +3.66 Sneak attack +6d6, Hide in Plain Sight
12th Rogue12/Fighter3 +11.75 +6.83 +12.0 +4.00 Combat Expertise Trap Sense +4
13th Rogue13/Fighter4 +12.75 +7.16 +12.5 +4.33 Weapon Specialization(dagger) Sneak attack +7d6, Special Ability(Opportunist)
14th Rogue14/Duelist1 +13.75 +7.5 +15.0 +4.66 Canny Defense
15th Rogue15/Duelist2 +14.75 +7.83 +15.5 +5.00 Surprising Riposte Sneak attack +8d6, Trap Sense +5, Improved reaction +2
16th Rogue16/Duelist3 +15.75 +8.16 +16.0 +5.33 Special Ability(Slippery Mind), Enhanced Mobility
17th Rogue17/Duelist4 +16.75 +8.50 +16.5 +5.66 Sneak attack +9d6, Grace
18th Rogue18/Duelist5 +17.75 +8.83 +17.0 +6.00 Deadly Precision Trap Sense +6, Precise Strike +1d6
19th Rogue19/Duelist6 +18.75 +9.16 +17.5 +6.33 Sneak attack +10d6,Special Ability(Improved Evasion), Acrobatic Charge
20th Rogue20/Duelist7 +19.75 +9.50 +18.0 +6.66 Elaborate parry

Other Components[edit]

If you are confused about how the base attack and saves are written out, they are using the rules for fractional BAB/Saves from Unearthed Arcana


This build works by using the feint in combat action(as a free action, thanks to Invisible Blade)to deny someone their dex mod, and then full attacking them, normally, only the first attack would be treated as a sneak attack, but the Surprising Riposte feat from Drow of the Underdark causes the victim to be flat-footed for the rest of the round. Targets with Uncanny Dodge are not flat-footed for the whole round, but Uncanny Dodge does not save them from the first one.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]


Leadership, have your cohort take exactly the same path as you, and work as a team to flank, bluff, and murder your targets. There is an optional rule in the PHB2 that allows all rogues flanking a target to add those levels together when determining effective rogue level for flanking a target with Improved Uncanny Dodge. On the find/disable traps side, if you take skill mastery in a skill, make sure your cohort picks a different skill to take 10 in twice as many skills, and you almost always get synergy from the cohort helping, with two rogues, the possibilities are ENDLESS.

You've got to be sneaky, savvy?[edit]

If your DM decides to not allow Leadership in Gestalt(rightly so), Savvy Rogue is a great addition to the character. You will, in all likelihood, end up with all the rogue special abilities when you go epic, and Savvy Rogue is a great addition to this character.


Uncanny Dodge is a problem for this build, but not as much as for other builds, also adding your int and dex to AC helps quite a bit. One of the largest problems for this build is the will save, you are at risk for a HOST of hold and death affects. having a cleric handy for Death Ward and Freedom of Movement is invaluable.

DM Counters[edit]

One problem i see with the build is the reflex save, it is way too high. The rule i use in my gestalt games is:If both sides of the progression are base classes, and you only change one, do not add the 2 point bonus to the saves, just add the normal progression.

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