Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures (OGL)

4.30/5 (based on 21 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures (OGL)
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There is an unseen world all around you. On the streets and in the halls of power, in your dreams and across the bizarre planes of the multiverse, there are those who walk among us like giants among ants, twisting reality to their wills in their search for ancient knowledge. Now pull back the curtain of the mundane world and learn the secrets of these occult masters—if you dare!

Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon over 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures includes:

  • Six new occult base classes—the energy-shaping kineticist, the spirit-calling medium, the deceptive mesmerist, the mind-bending psychic, the uncanny occultist, and the phantom-binding spiritualist.
  • Archetypes for all of the new classes, as well as a broad selection of strange and mysterious archetypes and class options for existing characters.
  • New feats to flesh out your occult character, plus a whole new way to use existing skills to become a master of faith healing, hypnotism, psychometry, and more!
  • More than 100 spells using the all-new psychic magic system, plus rituals that grant even non-spellcasting characters occult power! Explore worlds beyond imagining with dream voyage, or defend yourself from mental threats with tower of iron will!
  • Rules and advice to help you steep your game in the occult, from chakras and deadly mindscapes to possession, psychic duels, and the Esoteric Planes.
  • A wide variety of new magic items, such as the eerie spirit mirror and the peculiar tin cap, plus new cursed items and powerful artifacts.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-762-8

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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A book too small for its own greatness.

5/5

Occult adventures introduces amazing new classes like the Kineticist, the mesmerist and the psychic. The flavor is fantastic allowing several concepts that were in need for a long time. There are new mechanics for rituals, mind battles, unlocking chakras, among others.

The best part: the Kineticist (the jewel of the book), psychic and the whole new spellcasting system, the mesmerist.

The regular part: the medium (overly complicated, and always sub-par, poorly emulating abilities from other classes), the occultist for much the same reason.

The worst part: the spiritualist - an underpowered copy of the summoner re-flavored (could be an archetype), the feats and magic items (too few and lacking impact).

Overall: This is a great book, although not one without flaws. New classes like the Kineticist and the psychic are still in dire need of further development (options, feats, archetyypes, talents...). The theme is coherent and well executed, making this one of the best pathfinder books I have ever read. It's a shame it ends so quickly, because it seem to have the potential for several books.


Too complicated for most DMs...and game rounds.

2/5

THE GOOD:
The 6 classes are very diverse.
There is a lot of stuff for every new class.
The art and chapter stories are cool.

THE BAD:
There is too much information for every class.Where the fighter in the Core Rulebook has only 2 pages, these classes here have all more info than the cleric. It is simply too much. You can´t put one of these in an ongoing campaign without reading dozens of pages - and that is for only one class.
Bad "psychich spells" for example: 5 different versions of "Tower of Iron Will" that differ only in duration rounds and spellresistance amount.

THE UGLY:
No monsters or examplary characters where you can see the rules in action - the monsters have actually been cut out and are presented in next month "Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary" - for an additional $22.99!
Almost nothing for the old character classes.
Very few wondrous items or equipment pieces.
Some classes are a lot more powerful than others.

While there are definetly some cool aspects, the content clashes too much with the established gameplay.
If you plan on starting a completely new campaign with psychic powers
this could be a lot of fun.
But integrating one or two of these classes into a running game is next to impossible.


A Spooky Psychic Sourcebook

4/5

Occult Adventures is a great read. The classes look interesting and, in the case of a few such as the medium or kineticist, do things that I haven't ever seen before in Pathfinder. The fluff is fun and some of the new rules systems, like psychic duels, sound like a blast ... if you can work a way to fit them into a game in an inclusive way. The archetypes for the pre-existing classes were great too. Some of the ones I particularly enjoyed were the Ghost Rider and Sensate for their flavor.

On the other hand, some areas of the book felt somewhat flat. The items, while interesting, didn't feel like they strayed too far from the very definite themes the book was going for, i.e, ghosts, ectoplasm, and the mind. There were also no major artifacts, which I was somewhat let down by.
Some of the sections in the "Making an Occult Game" section were a little lacking as well, in particular the section on the esoteric planes. From the description on the site I was understanding that we'd be learning about new planes, but instead we mostly get rehashed explanations of several old ones with one new addition.

All in all though, this is definitely worth picking up if you can. It has lots of things you can use to run a more horror-focused campaign as well as make all kinds of new characters. If I could I'd give this 4.5 stars, but sadly, half stars isn't a thing.


The playtest is significantly better

2/5

The fluff is well written. The theme and ideas of the book show through very well and are very nicely occult and thought provoking.

The mechanics have no excuse. Use the playtest whenever the two documents disagree.


The Best Thing Paizo Has Done In Years

5/5

The loving attention to detail and well-researched occult elements makes this book a dream come true.

This book will blend seamlessly into the already-vibrant world of Pathfinder and Golarion, but it has an added attraction: You could make an entire campaign, or even an entire campaign world, using just this book. Something that versatile comes along rarely.

The Good:

*Several new occult-themed classes. The Occultist is like nothing I've seen before. Fabulous! The Spiritualist has some of the best parts of the Summoner without being nearly as problematic. The Medium offers a taste of Mythic without the worrying potential of Mythic taking the game into unexpected power levels.

*The section of equipment was clearly a labor of love by people who knew what they were doing. Bravo!

*The new rules chapter was very well executed, with good options and specific elements that can be cherry-picked for greatest enjoyment.

*Even several pre-existing classes got some love in the form of new Archetypes, Bloodlines, Discoveries, etc.

*The magic section has a lot of strong offerings for existing classes as well as the new ones, as well as introducing thought and emotion components.

The Meh:

*The Psychic, while enjoyable, feels a lot like an Int-based Sorcerer. Nothing wrong with that. But as the only class in the book with full spellcasting progression, I would have liked a little more individuality.

*The Kineticist is overpowered, and some of its archetypes are even more so. This will be an optimizer's go-to class. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it isn't something I enjoy seeing.

*The Psychic Duels and Mindscape rules. These rules aren't bad- far from it! I think they're wonderful. But unless the entire party is designed with psychic dueling in mind, you're going to end up with the dreaded 'split the party' issue. Basically, most of the players will be sitting around the table doing nothing while the GM guides 1 or 2 players through a dynamic landscape found only inside their own psyches. "Sorry, all you other players, this is going to take awhile. Why not go get a pizza? We'll still be here when you get back." Anyone who has played Shadowrun with a Decker at the table will know what I mean. Interesting, but not conducive to smooth table play.

(Not bad, just meh)

Overall, if I could give this 4.5 stars I would, but these issues don't drop it down to a 4 star for me.


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zergtitan wrote:
I am so excited for this that I have been trying occult rituals to bring this release closer. so far nothing has occurred. But I have begun to hear scratching in the walls of my room, is that a bad thing?

No, but if the walls start breathing and you see demonic faces in the wallpaper mouthing indescribable eldritch blasphemies, it's probably time to call in the pros.


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Proton Backs would be nice but maybe we will get those in the Technology Guide Book 2;)


There's this bit labeled "Medium" I'm chomping for... Must wait on.

Scarab Sages

I'm looking forward to the Occultist and Psychic most, myself.

The Psychic Disciplines presented in the playtest document are pretty good - but I don't suppose the finished product will have more?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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While I can't speak for the design team, I believe there will be more psychic disciplines. This hefty book will have quite a few fantastic options in it for all of the new psychic classes (and older classes to give them a psychic flavor.)


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, while I'm excited about the new classes, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing all the rest of it, too. We've only seen the new classes, but the archetypes for classes new and old, new spells, new feats, and the promise of going over some esoteric topics like ki, chakras, and other such things makes me quite interested too. Maybe some expansion of qinggong monk will be here, or a version of it for the unchained monk if monk archetypes don't work with it? Some concepts to deepen the concept of a haunted oracle, maybe even some feats to expand on it? Ectoplasmic bloodline for sorcerers and bloodragers? Who knows...but I look forward to finding out what is in the book.


I hope that there is a bloodline or archetype for sorcerers that make it so they cast spells like psychic magic, as in instead of somatic and verbal they use thought and emotion.


Dragon78 wrote:
I hope that there is a bloodline or archetype for sorcerers that make it so they cast spells like psychic magic, as in instead of somatic and verbal they use thought and emotion.

Maybe Both?


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"the reality-warping kineticist"

HUH?!?

The Kineticist simply can manifest elemental matter in various ways... where's so reality-warping about that???

"Elemental-attuned" would be more accurate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would have used "element-bender" :)


Will occult be like mythic?,using a different system and rules?


Nick O'Connell wrote:
Will occult be like mythic?,using a different system and rules?

No. More like the Advanced Class Guide only the theme is Psychics instead of hybrid classes. Although there were rumors a while ago of 'Occult for everybody' subsystems but for the most part its new classes and new options.


Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.

Designer

Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.

The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.
The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.

Thanks for clearing that up.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.
The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.

huh...this is the first time Adventurers has been referred to as a line. Might that suggest future volumes (cough Steampunk Adventures cough)


MMCJawa wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.
The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.
huh...this is the first time Adventurers has been referred to as a line. Might that suggest future volumes (cough Steampunk Adventures cough)

I have to +1 this.

Dark Archive

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Isn't steampunk really overplayed? <_<

Plus would that really need new classes?


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CorvusMask wrote:

Isn't steampunk really overplayed? <_<

Plus would that really need new classes?

Maybe more in the Alternate/Hybrid types (new ones wouldn't hurt either), would/could help with low/no/wild magic settings/adventures (like in Mana Wastes / Alkenstar), and it breaks less versimilitude than High/Futuristic Technologies.


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I could think of a couple of new classes that would fit into such a book, most obviously an artificer.


I would be for some steampunk.


MMCJawa wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.
The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.
huh...this is the first time Adventurers has been referred to as a line. Might that suggest future volumes (cough Steampunk Adventures cough)

Yeah that was the biggest thing I took from the post. Makes sense. Not too many other places to go without becoming a bloated mess so why not have hardcovers that have new classes divided neatly by the genre of the immediate setting. I can see Steam punk Adventures, Primitive Adventures, Space Adventures, ext.


I would also like those primitive and space adventure books.


CorvusMask wrote:

Isn't steampunk really overplayed? <_<

Plus would that really need new classes?

In Pathfinder, not really. Despite the Victorian/renaissance feel of a lot of some Inner Sea fashion we don't have that much steam or reall any other fantastical technology but magic. Aside from guns we're in medieval stasis until we get to the space age with the technology guide. In third party and in D&D as a whole we're kind of played out, I have two third party things for steampunk in Pathfinder.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When will the cover art be updated?


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Will there be an "Occult Origins"? Much like there was Advanced Origins.


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An "Occult Origins" book would be awesome, I hope there will be one.


I thought I remember someone mentioning that we would get a CS and Player book supplementing the hardcover, in addition to the Bestiary.


I would enjoy reading were and how these new classes fit into the world of Golarion.

Paizo Employee Developer

Other support books linking this to Golarion would make good sense, wouldn't it?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm thinking like six support books. In the Adventure Path line.

Plus whatever more is a bonus. But the above is what I'm REALLY hoping for...


Well Samy if Occult Bestiary is one and Occult Origins could be another what would be the other four you had in mind?


Dragon78 wrote:
Well Samy if Occult Bestiary is one and Occult Origins could be another what would be the other four you had in mind?

I'm fairly certain that Samy is saying he'd like an adventure path to go along with Occult Adventures.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Trouble With Thugs
The Vetala Imperative
Retreat of the Rakshasa Court
Last Will of the Maharaja Queen
The Secret Chakra
Nirvana Burning

Samy wrote:
I'm thinking like six support books. In the Adventure Path line.

So yes. :)


Yeah I am surprised the AP of the fall isn't playing towards Occult Adventures material, but that may be because of the problems that were had with designing Mythic and writing a Mythic adventure path at the same time?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Could just be sensible precaution, in case OA slips on the schedule, and they have to start the fall AP in August, so if it required OA, that could be a problem. Much more safe to start the Feb AP with using OA material.

Plus, they could still be placating the classic fanbase with a second classic-style AP after the shock that Iron Gods must have been. "Look, look, we're not abandoning you, really!"


Well, to be fair, at the moment Hell's Rebels doesn't sound too classical, as it's shaping up to be mostly urban investigation, something the average, casual murder-hobo won't be too good at. :P

I would squee at an OA adventure, once they iron out the kinks in the system, something that, as MMCJawa noted, they couldn't quite do with Mythic.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ashram wrote:
Well, to be fair, at the moment Hell's Rebels doesn't sound too classical, as it's shaping up to be mostly urban investigation, something the average, casual murder-hobo won't be too good at. :P

Well, I meant classical more in the sense of the basic Western medieval style setting; no Egypt, no planets, no robots. Acknowledged, though, that the style doesn't sound too much like a classical dungeon crawl.


Well both APs last year were experiments but both of the ones this year sound like standard far. I hope that one of the APs next year will use the OA book in both theme and mechanics.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There has been at least one hinted comment that the AP after Hell's Rebels will be OA oriented. I believe it was by James Jacobs no less, but I can't recall where I saw that. There were no firm commitments or promises made with that remark, but it seems to have been the intent.

:)


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Although the way OA is set up with its inspirations, I could see a ton of countries plot lines being able to make use of this book (perhaps more so than psionic). Ustalav, Jalmeray, Darklands, Razmiran, etc could all be places that I would see occult classes and such being associated with them.


This book would be good for APs for Castrovel, Vudra, Darklands, Akiton, Dominion of the Black, Aucturn, Leng, Ustalav, Dimension of Dreams, Osirion, Jalmeray, Varisia, and maybe Sarusan.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'll take that Castrovel with a ginormous helping of HELL YES.


I hope for a Castrovel AP one day but it will be a long time till we see an AP(or AP volume) that takes place on another planet again.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope for a Castrovel AP one day but it will be a long time till we see an AP(or AP volume) that takes place on another planet again.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Feb 2016 AP is Distant Worlds, given how unpopular Giantslayer turns out to be.


@Gorbacz - has GS been unpopular? Granted I don't see anywhere near the... excitement IRON GODS evoked. :)


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I, for one, cannot wait. Despite some bumps in the road the playtest classes were very promising and most filled in roles and concepts previously unfilled, and didn't seem to steal thunder from Psionics. More than the classes the book promises flavor.

If Hell's Rebels is Occult Adventures oriented I'd be surprised that the first OA adventure path isn't set in Ustalav or Vudra. They seem like the more obvious candidates for it, but Cheliax is kind of a place with a lot of underground mysticism so it's not too far off. Although I think They may want to slow-roll out adventure path support just so people could afford to get all the books by not getting a bunch of new-fangled things at once. Maybe start it out in the modules line.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Other support books linking this to Golarion would make good sense, wouldn't it?

Such. A. Tease!

Grand Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope for a Castrovel AP one day but it will be a long time till we see an AP(or AP volume) that takes place on another planet again.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Feb 2016 AP is Distant Worlds, given how unpopular Giantslayer turns out to be.

The shipping delay is giving me a little more time to think if the pathfinder advantage is worth it, I am really not that much into giantslayer too.


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I am sure the AP after Hell's Rebels will have at least some occult related stuff but I doubt it will be a Distant Worlds AP. I think it will be at least 2017 before we see anything like that. Though I wouldn't complain if I am wrong and it is sooner.

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