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Occult Adventures Class Preview: The Occultist

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Illustration by Alexandru Sabo

The world hides many secrets, some strange, some wondrous, and others far too terrible for the rational mind to contain. In just over a month, we'll be unveiling some of these secrets with the release of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures. Within the pages of this mysterious 272-page book, we'll uncover the secrets of the occult and detail those who wield its might. In the meantime, we'll be previewing all six of the book's new classes, and investigate a new type of spellcasting power to add to your game—psychic magic!

First up is a class that harnesses the intrinsic power of ancient or psychically charged items, and then channels mental power through these items to cast powerful psychic spells: the occultist.

The occultist is a psychic spellcaster who uses rare and powerful objects called implements to manifest his magic. Each implement belongs to a specific school of magic and, as the occultist grows in power, he gains the use of more and more of these implements, increasing his power and the number of spells he can cast. In addition, he has a reservoir of mental focus to invest into these implements. Doing so not only grants him additional abilities, he can expend that focus to create even more powerful effects.

For those who took part in the Occult Adventures playtest, you'll find a number of things have changed during the development of this class. The biggest change involves the resonant powers of implements. Such powers are gained by putting mental focus into the item and, when more focus is stored within it, the item's power increases. In the final version, these resonant powers are not diminished as the mental focus is spent. As long as there is at least one point of mental focus remaining, the power remains at full strength! To add to the fun, each implement also had a few additional focus powers you can choose from.

The occultist is also very skilled at using magic circles to protect allies and hinder foes. At higher levels the occultist can use these circles to a trap enemies. After the playtest, we added a new ability utilizing magic circles. The occultist can now create a magic circle to call upon a specific outsider—a contact from beyond that the occultist can bribe or intimidate in exchange for aid. The occultist can use this outsider to gather information and, at higher levels, that outsider can deliver messages or small objects for the occultist. As the occultist advances in level, he learns to call additional outsiders, creating a network of otherworldly allies.

Lastly, the occultist can cast psychic spells from the schools associated with his implements. Since these are psychic spells, he does not have to worry about somatic or verbal components, but he does have to have a clear mind and steady emotional state to properly channel this type of magic. These components are unique to psychic spellcasters and we'll be talking more about them in the coming weeks.

Well, those are all the secrets we dare share with you this week. Next week we'll be delving into the history of Rivani, and looking at the powers of the psychic!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Alexandru Sabo Iconics Mavaro Occultists Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The resonant powers looks like a huge buff. Can't wait to see the finished version.

Also, love the planar allies. Hopefully there will be an option for trapping some fae to build the 'Za-lord's Guard.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Okay, I really like the fact that spending mental focus doesn't turn off resonance powers. Now my occultist might actually spend his mental focus!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This seems like just the boost the Occultist needed! Not bein penalized for spending points means they'll actually get used, and those outsider contacts/magic circle stuff let the Occultist have some really unique tricks. I'm now much more interested than I was during the play test!

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

This pleases me.

Sudden idea with Iron Gods spoilers:

Spoiler:
An occultist that uses technology haunted by the crew of the ships that crashed in Numeria.


Gah! so much flavor, implements, summoning specific creatures, actually being able to use mental focus. Good job guys getting excited that this might be my new favorite class.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So much love for this. This book clearly cannot arrive fast enough.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

(*.*)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Pumped. As soon as I finish this PbP Dragon's Demand game, I'm probably dropping all that PFS credit on a new Occultist.


Nice upgrade guys! I'm so excited to get this book.


The differences between magic spells and psychic spells are a great touch, I was really hoping for something like that. The additions to the Occultist make it much more appealing to me as well, it did feel like it was missing something and magic circles are it!


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am actually very excited about having outsider minion messenger/scouts! Quite curious about the details- are these like improved familiar-level minions but with teleport options, or 4+ HD outsiders once you're strong enough?

Grand Lodge

This was my favourite class from the playtest, and all of the changes sound really good. I really, really like the flavour of this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like the extra flavor with the outsiders; now the Occultist sounds like they will be the premier demonologists/diabolists in the game.


Yay!
Implements appear to be easier to use with lesser bookkeeping!
Can't wait to read the final class and the related archetypes, I have an Eberron Artificer to build upon this class :)

Dark Archive

I am excite, as a modern psychic transition is what I was hoping to run in one of my recent campaigns.


The Occultist was one of the classes that couldn't be properly playtested because it lacked what was required for it to function at all; it sounds like some great improvements have been made anyways. Stoked for this and the other classes.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

What BAB, Saves, Hit Die, and skills does it get per level?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DragoDorn wrote:
What BAB, Saves, Hit Die, and skills does it get per level?

They're rocking a d8 and the associated 3/4 BAB, good Fort and Will, with 4+Int skills, so all around, quite good!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting.


OK, now I am liking the class.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of the classes I was quite interested in. Making the class being able to truck with outsiders (as a feature) sounds great to me.


I guess they gave another look to the d20 modern occultist, though it does sound like the outsider contact will be better handled in PF.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
I guess they gave another look to the d20 modern occultist, though it does sound like the outsider contact will be better handled in PF.

Personally, I thought it was inspired by Dresden's faerie contacts that helped him out in minor ways...I kind of hope that fey are an option as well as outsiders, but we'll just have to see.


Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I guess they gave another look to the d20 modern occultist, though it does sound like the outsider contact will be better handled in PF.
Personally, I thought it was inspired by Dresden's faerie contacts that helped him out in minor ways...I kind of hope that fey are an option as well as outsiders, but we'll just have to see.

Maybe, they did admit Dresden is an influence for the class (they'd be fools to not). But the d20 modern occultist is based around using magical implements instead of possessing magic themselves and has "a contact from beyond that the occultist can bribe or intimidate in exchange for aid. The occultist can use this outsider to gather information and, at higher levels, that outsider can deliver messages or small objects for the occultist. As the occultist advances in level, he learns to call additional outsiders, creating a network of otherworldly allies."

Personally, I'm very happy they went this route with the circles, in the playtest they were near useless but now I can see them getting a lot of use.

Grand Lodge

I am loving the Magic Circle focus. I hope that there is an archetype that specializes in the circles, can make them fast and use them offensively!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Looking at the occultist and spiritualist iconics, and I have to one conclusion so far.

The pursuit of psychic studies leads to way too many unnecessary calories. At this rate, you won't be able to put them all in one elevator at Paizocon because they'll trip the weight sensor.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

LazarX wrote:

Looking at the occultist and spiritualist iconics, and I have to one conclusion so far.

The pursuit of psychic studies leads to way too many unnecessary calories. At this rate, you won't be able to put them all in one elevator at Paizocon because they'll trip the weight sensor.

If I could cast prestidigitation all day, not to mention overland flight, I certainly wouldn't be getting much exercise in. Although prestidigitation would come in handy for making broccoli taste like bacon, so maybe it's a wash.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So my takeaway from this article is:

So the psychic is called Rivani?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm loving the flavour of the class... but i cant get past his arm in that art. Is his elbow down at his waist? Does his hand dangle down below his knee when he walks? He seems to have the physique of a silverback.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RainyDayNinja wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Looking at the occultist and spiritualist iconics, and I have to one conclusion so far.

The pursuit of psychic studies leads to way too many unnecessary calories. At this rate, you won't be able to put them all in one elevator at Paizocon because they'll trip the weight sensor.

If I could cast prestidigitation all day, not to mention overland flight, I certainly wouldn't be getting much exercise in. Although prestidigitation would come in handy for making broccoli taste like bacon, so maybe it's a wash.

It wouldn't have the texture of bacon, though, which would be odd...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
LazarX wrote:

Looking at the occultist and spiritualist iconics, and I have to one conclusion so far.

The pursuit of psychic studies leads to way too many unnecessary calories. At this rate, you won't be able to put them all in one elevator at Paizocon because they'll trip the weight sensor.

Yes, the occultist is a little heavy, but he's not Baron Harkonnen heavy. As for the spiritualist, she's a little old lady. I doubt she weighs more than 100 pounds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Plus the kineticist is tiny and weighs very little, I am sure it will all balance out;)

Grand Lodge

YYEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!! I'm so glad the MP issues were fixed. Magic Circles were also a bit lackluster so changing them sounds good and the Outsider Aid is a great surprise. My PFS Occultist will be level five by the time this book rolls out so I'm excited to flip him over to the new version.


Torbyne wrote:
I'm loving the flavour of the class... but i cant get past his arm in that art. Is his elbow down at his waist? Does his hand dangle down below his knee when he walks? He seems to have the physique of a silverback.

I think there is a little forced perspective going on, the front arm is a bit more forward then the rest of him, a little off but not that bad. I think he has baggy sleeves, plus if you look at the breast plate and compare it to the iconic art, his waist is actually lower, around where the knife handle and the sheath meet. all combine to throw things off a bit.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With the circles and outsider business, I think we'll also be getting much better archetypes that the playtest version could have gotten- there are some solid secondary options that can be traded rather than just swapping out implements (which cuts into casting). Any fun speculation on archetypes? One that eats charges from wands and consumes scrolls seems likely. Something with a dash of Rogue would be great- or even better, a Rogue with a dash of Occultist.

I am also really looking forward to finding out what knacks (psychic cantrips) there are.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ChrisLKimball wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
I'm loving the flavour of the class... but i cant get past his arm in that art. Is his elbow down at his waist? Does his hand dangle down below his knee when he walks? He seems to have the physique of a silverback.
I think there is a little forced perspective going on, the front arm is a bit more forward then the rest of him, a little off but not that bad. I think he has baggy sleeves, plus if you look at the breast plate and compare it to the iconic art, his waist is actually lower, around where the knife handle and the sheath meet. all combine to throw things off a bit.

Yeah, if you follow the line of his wrist straight back, it looks like his elbow is roughly where the bottom of his ribs would be, which seems pretty normal to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well hopefully there will be new knacks, and new cantrips, and new orisons.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:

Any fun speculation on archetypes? One that eats charges from wands and consumes scrolls seems likely. Something with a dash of Rogue would be great- or even better, a Rogue with a dash of Occultist.

I like to see one that adds in some kinetic elemental blasting for some pryofuego action. A Fae binder to replace the outsider messengers with fae. A potion brewer that makes psychic extracts would be cool.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I guess they gave another look to the d20 modern occultist, though it does sound like the outsider contact will be better handled in PF.
Personally, I thought it was inspired by Dresden's faerie contacts that helped him out in minor ways...I kind of hope that fey are an option as well as outsiders, but we'll just have to see.

I think of this more as the Constantine influence -- this is as much the Constantine class as it is the Dresden class.

Dark Archive

Personally I hope they make VMC's for all the new classes, then my unchained monk VMC Aerokineticist idea who is not Aang will be complete.


Helcack wrote:
Personally I hope they make VMC's for all the new classes, then my unchained monk VMC Aerokineticist idea who is not Aang will be complete.

Won't be necessary, at least not for your concept. A Monk/Kineticist hybrid archetype is already confirmed to be in the book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Occultist was easily my favorite class from the playtest and filled a need that I never knew I had. All the changes and revisions sound awesome and are just taking the stuff I liked about the class and making it cooler. I especially love the outsider contacts part. That sounds perfect for a specific concept I had for a Keleshite occultist who deals with alien, otherworldly forces man was not meant to comprehend (what can I say, I'm a Lovecraft fan).


would be nice to know the names of archetypes, please: ...


PhD. Okkam wrote:
would be nice to know the names of archetypes, please: ...

Well, Battlehost and Tome Eater are two Occultist archetypes.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden Eat your heart out.


I think what I like most about this class, besides the resonant powers and easy connections to Constantine and Dresden, is that the use of items for their abilities lends itself so well to inspiring backgrounds.

I could easily see a thief that breaks into museums looking for any item with an interesting history that might have resonant powers. Another could be an old story teller who spins such tales about baubles and old items that it imbues them with magical power. Or go the constantine-esque route, having just the right magic relic for the right situation.

Glad to hear about the magical circles as well. Hopefully they're useful enough. If not, hopefully there's an archetype to allow switching it out. Could also see an archetype that focuses more on it.

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