Archives of Nethys

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Occultist Class Details | Implement Schools / Panoplies | Archetypes


Source Occult Adventures pg. 46 (Amazon)
The occultist focuses on the world around him, grounded in the powers that flow throughout his environment. He studies the magic that infuses everything, from psychic resonances left in everyday items to powerful incantations that fuel the mightiest spells.

The occultist channels his psychic might through implements-items that allow him to focus his power and produce incredible effects. For him, implements are more than simple tools. They are a repository of history and a tie to the events of the past. The occultist uses these implements to inf luence and change the present, adding his legend to theirs. Though some of these implements might be magic items in their own right, most of them are merely of historical or personal significance to the occultist.

Role: Occultists are always eager to travel in the company of adventurers, explorers, and archaeologists, as those three groups of people have a knack for finding items with rich histories and great significance.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 gp (average 140 gp).

Class Skills

The Occultist's class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

 Spells Per Day
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1st+0+2+0+2Focus powers, implements 2, knacks, mental focus1-----
2nd+1+3+0+3Implements 3, magic item skill, object reading2-----
3rd+2+3+1+3Focus power3-----
4th+3+4+1+4Shift focus31----
5th+3+4+1+4Aura sight, focus power42----
6th+4+5+2+5Implements 443----
7th+5+5+2+5Focus power431---
8th+6/+1+6+2+6Magic circles, outside contact 1442---
9th+6/+1+6+3+6Focus power543---
10th+7/+2+7+3+7Implements 55431--
11th+8/+3+7+3+7Focus power5442--
12th+9/+4+8+4+8Binding circles, outside contact 25543--
13th+9/+4+8+4+8Focus power55431-
14th+10/+5+9+4+9Implements 655442-
15th+11/+6/+1+9+5+9Focus power55543-
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Fast circles, outside contact 3555431
17th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Focus power555442
18th+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Implements 7555543
19th+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Focus power555554
20th+15/+10/+5+12+6+12Implement mastery, outside contact 4555555

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An occultist is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Spells: An occultist casts psychic spells drawn from the occultist spell list presented on page 58, limited by the implement groups he knows. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every occultist spell has an implement component (see Implements on page 47). To learn or cast a spell, an occultist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an occultist’s spell equals 10 + the spell level + the occultist’s Intelligence modifier.

An occultist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1–6: Occultist. In addition, he gains bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–3 on page 17 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook).

The occultist’s selection of spells is limited. For each implement school he learns to use, he can add one spell of each level he can cast to his list of spells known, chosen from that school’s spell list. If he selects the same implement school multiple times, he adds one spell of each level from that school’s list for each time he has selected that school. When the occultist learns to cast a new level of spells, he immediately adds one spell of that level to his list of spells known from each implement school he knows (plus any extra spells from schools he has selected multiple times).

At 5th level and every 3 occultist levels thereafter (8th, 11th, and so on), an occultist can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the occultist loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level occultist spell the occultist can cast. The spell learned must come from the same list of spells provided by the implement school of the spell lost. An occultist can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for that level.

An occultist need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

Focus Powers (Su): At 1st level, an occultist learns the base focus power from both of his two implement schools (see Implements below) and can select one more focus power from the list of those available to him through those schools. Whenever the occultist learns a new implement school, he gains the base power of that school. In addition, at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, he learns a new focus power selected from the options granted by all of the implement schools he knows. The occultist can use focus powers only by expending mental focus (see Mental Focus on page 48). Unless otherwise noted, the DC for any saving throw against a focus power equals 10 + 1/2 the occultist’s level + the occultist’s Intelligence modifier. The occultist can’t select a focus power more than once. Some focus powers require him to reach a specific occultist level before he can choose them.

Implements (Su): At 1st level, an occultist learns to use two implement schools. At 2nd level and every 4 occultist levels thereafter, the occultist learns to use one additional implement school, to a maximum of seven schools at 18th level. Each implement school adds one spell per spell level of that school of magic to the occultist’s spell list. No spells from any other school are considered to be on the occultist’s spell list until he selects the associated implement school. He can’t use spell trigger or spell completion magic items from unknown schools without succeeding at the appropriate Use Magic Device check. An occultist can select an implement school more than once in order to learn additional spells from the associated school.

Each implement school is represented by a small list of objects. Every day, the occultist selects one item from that school’s list to be his implement for the day for each implement school he knows. The occultist needs only one such item to cast spells of the corresponding school, unless he selected that implement school multiple times, in which case he needs one item for each set of spells gained from that school. Implements don’t need to be magic items, and nonmagical implements don’t take up a magic item slot even if they’re worn. Implements that are not magic items are often of some historical value or of personal significance to the occultist, such as the finger bone of a saint, the broken scepter of a long-dead king, the skull of a mentor’s familiar, or the glass eye of an uncanny ancestor.

Whenever an occultist casts a spell, he must have the corresponding implement in his possession and present the implement to the target or toward the area of effect. This act is part of casting the spell and doesn’t require any additional action. If the occultist lacks the corresponding implement, he can attempt to cast the spell, but must succeed at a concentration check (DC = 20 + the spell’s level) to do so. Spells cast by an occultist without the appropriate implement are always treated as if they were cast at the minimum caster level for the spell in question (caster level 1st for a 1st-level spell, caster level 4th for a 2nd-level spell, and so on).

Each implement school also grants a base focus power. This power is added to the list of focus powers possessed by the occultist (see Mental Focus below). In addition, each implement school grants access to a number of other focus powers that the occultist can select from using his mental focus class feature.

See the Implement Schools section starting on page 50 for a complete list of implements associated with each school and their focus powers.

Knacks: An occultist learns one knack, or 0-level psychic spell, each time he selects an implement school (including when he again selects a school that he has already learned to use). These spells are cast like any other spell, but they can be cast any number of times per day. Knacks cast using any other spell slots because of metamagic feats applied to them, for example, consume spell slots as normal.

Mental Focus (Su): An occultist can invest a portion of his mental focus into his chosen implements for the day, allowing him to utilize a variety of abilities depending on the implements and the amount of mental focus invested in them. An occultist has a number of points of mental focus equal to his occultist level + his Intelligence modifier; these points refresh each day. He can divide this mental focus between his implements in any way he desires. If an implement is lost or destroyed, the focus invested in it is lost as well, though the occultist still refreshes those points of focus normally.

Once mental focus is invested inside an implement, the implement gains the resonant power of its implement school (see page 50), and the occultist can expend the mental focus stored in the implement to activate the associated focus powers he knows. If a resonant power grants a bonus that varies based on the amount of mental focus invested in the implement, the bonus is determined when the focus is invested, and is not reduced or altered by expending the mental focus invested in the item. Once all of the mental focus in an implement has been expended, it loses its resonant power until mental focus is once again invested in the implement.

The implement grants its resonant power to whoever possesses it; the occultist can lend the implement to an ally to assist that ally, but if he does so, he has difficulty casting that implement’s spells (see Implements on page 47) and can’t expend that implement’s focus on focus powers until he retrieves the implement or refreshes his focus.

The occultist refreshes his mental focus once each day after receiving at least 8 hours of sleep. After refreshing his mental focus, the occultist must spend 1 hour preparing his implements and investing them with this power. Mental focus that is not used before the next time the occultist refreshes his focus is lost.

The occultist can choose to save generic mental focus inside his own body instead of investing all of it, but expending this focus comes at a higher cost. Any focus power the occultist activates with generic focus costs twice as much mental focus to use (and to maintain, if applicable). The occultist can expend his generic focus through an appropriate implement on any focus power he knows, but an implement he didn’t invest any focus in at the start of the day grants no resonant power.

Magic Item Skill (Ex): At 2nd level, an occultist’s knowledge of magic items grants him a bonus when attempting to use them. He gains a bonus on all Use Magic Device checks equal to 1/2 his occultist level.

Object Reading (Su): At 2nd level, an occultist learns how to read information from items he examines. Examining an item in this way requires him to spend 1 minute handling the item. If the item is a magic item, the occultist learns its properties and command word as if he had successfully examined the item using detect magic and succeeded at a Spellcraft check. This ability does not reveal whether the item is cursed unless the occultist’s class level is equal to or greater than the caster level of the item. If the item has any historical significance, the occultist learns one piece of information about its past (as determined by the GM). Finally, if the item was last used no longer than 1 day ago per the occultist’s class level, the occultist learns one piece of information about the last creature to use the item. This information might be a glimpse of the creature’s appearance, a brief vision of what it saw while using the item, or perhaps its emotional state when it last used the item. The GM determines what information is gained in this way. This functions like the psychometry occult skill unlock (see page 196), but doesn’t require a skill check and can be used at will.

Shift Focus (Su): At 4th level, an occultist gains the ability to shift his mental focus from one implement to another, though some of the focus is lost along the way. Shifting mental focus removes a number of points of mental focus from one implement and adds the same number – 1 to another implement; this takes 1 minute of quiet contemplation while touching both implements. The occultist can shift his mental focus only from one implement to another implement; he can’t shift generic focus into an implement. Unlike expending focus normally, this shift can reduce the effect of a resonant power in the implement from which the mental focus was taken. It does not, however, add to the resonant power of the implement to which the focus is added.

Aura Sight (Su): At 5th level, the occultist can read the auras of creatures around him as a standard action. This functions as the aura sightACG spell with a duration of 1 round.

Magic Circles (Su): At 8th level, an occultist learns how to draw magic circles. To draw a circle, he must have chalk, salt, blood, powdered silver, or some other appropriate substance at hand (although he can press a magic circle into a softer surface such as dirt or clay). Drawing a circle takes 1 minute and requires the occultist to expend 1 point of mental focus (either generic focus or focus from any one of his implements). Once completed, this circle functions as a permanent magic circle against any alignment of the occultist’s choosing. The circle can’t be against a component of the occultist’s alignment (if he is lawful good, for example, it can’t be a magic circle against good or law). The circle remains until its form is physically broken (for example, if the lines are smeared or the salt is scattered). Only a living creature can break the circle; environmental effects can’t break it. An occultist can have only one circle created in this way at a time. If he creates a second circle, the first one loses all its magic powers. This type of magic circle can’t normally be focused inward to bind an outsider.

Outside Contact (Su): At 8th level, the occultist learns the true name of one particular outsider. This outsider can have no more than 3 Hit Dice. Whenever the occultist creates a magic circle, he can expend 1 additional point of mental focus to focus the circle inward and lure that outsider to the circle (similar to using lesser planar binding). The outsider is bound for up to 10 minutes. During this time, the occultist can bargain with the outsider for one piece of information. This requires a payment of at least 20 gp (or items of at least that value that are of interest to the outsider). The bargaining requires the occultist to attempt a Diplomacy or Intimidate check opposed by the outsider’s Sense Motive check. Succeeding at the check by 5 or more reduces this cost to 10 gp. Failure increases the price to 30 gp, whereas failure by 5 or more allows the outsider to escape without giving any information (or receiving payment). The information gained can be anything that might be learned through a divination spell. The information is always correct but is frequently cryptic. It typically takes the outsider 1d3 hours to gather the information, at which point it returns of its own accord to deliver the information as promised. The outsider always resents being used in this way, even if the occultist and the outsider share an alignment component. After the occultist bargains with the outsider, the magic circle loses all power and the outsider is sent back to its home plane.

At 12th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the occultist learns to contact one additional outsider of the same type or a different type. Although he can call only one outsider in this way at a time, the occultist can ask such an outsider one additional question per calling for every 4 occultist levels he possesses beyond 8th (to a maximum of four questions at 20th level), all for the same bargaining price. The questions must be in some way related to one another.

At 16th level, in lieu of asking questions, the occultist can demand that the outsider deliver a message to any one friendly creature that the occultist knows personally. The occultist can also task the outsider to deliver one object weighing no more than 1 pound. Either of these demands requires an opposed check as described above. Delivery typically takes 1d4 hours, but this period is reduced to 1d6 minutes if the recipient is within 1 mile of the occultist (or even less if the recipient is within sight). The occultist must be able to accurately describe the recipient in both name and appearance. This ability can’t be used to deliver anything to a location, or to enemies or creatures that are unfriendly to the occultist.

Binding Circles (Su): At 12th level, whenever the occultist creates a magic circle he can expend 1 additional point of mental focus to make it a binding circle. A binding circle is invisible and counts as a trap. If a living creature of the corresponding alignment steps inside it, the trap triggers and binds the creature inside the circle. While it can move freely within the circle, it can’t leave the circle, make attacks against targets outside the circle, cast spells that cross the circle’s boundary (the circle blocks line of effect from the inside), or use any ability that would allow it to leave the circle or disturb the circle in any way. When the circle traps a creature in this way, the creature can attempt a Reflex save to dive out of the circle before the magic takes hold (DC = 10 + 1/2 the occultist’s level + the occultist’s Intelligence modifier). A creature that can see the circle gains a +4 bonus on this save. If it fails its save, the creature must remain in the circle, although it can attempt a Will save at the same DC at the end of each hour of imprisonment to escape. A binding circle can be spotted with a successful Perception check (DC = 25 + 1/2 the occultist’s level). It can also be disarmed using Disable Device, with the same DC. Anything crossing the boundary of the circle from the outside, such as a weapon, spell effect, or special ability, immediately breaks the circle and frees the creature trapped inside.

Fast Circles (Su): At 16th level, the occultist learns to draw magic circles very quickly. He can draw a magic circle as a full-round action, but any circle drawn in this way has a duration of 1 minute per occultist level (unless it’s drawn in conjunction with the outside contact class feature, in which case it lasts for 10 minutes as normal). If he draws a binding circle in this way, its duration is 1 round per occultist level.

Implement Mastery (Su): At 20th level, an occultist learns to master one of his implements. He selects one implement school. Whenever he uses a focus power from an implement of that school, the DC to resist any of the effects increases by 4 and he treats his occultist level as 4 higher when determining the effects and duration of that power. In addition, the occultist gains 4 extra points of mental focus, but these points must always be invested in implements of the mastered school. He can’t save these points or expend them for any ability other than the focus powers of those implements. The hardness of each of the occultist’s implements of the mastered school increases by an additional 20 as long as the item has at least 1 point of mental focus stored within.

Favored Class Options

Dwarf (Occult Adventures pg. 84 (Amazon)): Gain a +1/3 bonus on Appraise and Use Magic Device checks involving stone and metal objects.
Elf (Occult Adventures pg. 84 (Amazon)): Increase the occultist’s total number of points of mental focus by 1/2 point.
Gnome (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Increase the duration of the occultist’s minor figment by 1 minute, and increase the total concealment miss chance from the occultist’s distortion resonant power by 2%. This doesn’t increase the maximum miss chance.
Half-Elf (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Gain a +1/2 bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify the properties of magic items and a +1/2 bonus on Use Magic Device checks to emulate a race.
Halfling (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Add 1/2 point of mental focus per day.
Half-Orc (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Deal an additional 1/2 point of damage with focus powers.
Human (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Gain 1/6 of a new focus power.
Human (Horror Adventures pg. 41): Add a +1/3 bonus on any skill check attempted as a part of an occult ritual (Occult Adventures 208).
Ratfolk (Blood of the Beast pg. 20): Gain 1/6 of a new focus power.
Vanara (Blood of the Beast pg. 28): Gain 1/6 of a new focus power.