Occultist Melee Build Concept


Rules Discussion


Please feel free to give me feedback. I've got an occultist build I think is pretty fantastic and could outperform a same level fighter.
My build is based on a human using the dual talent racial trait, so he loses the bonus feat and extra skill point in exchange for a +2 to two abilities.

Str: 20 +5
Dex: 11 +0
Con: 10 +0
Int: 18 +4
Wis: 7 -2
Cha: 7 -2

I'll be using his two traits to help his will save an initiative.
His implement areas will be abjuration and transmutation.
Implements: legacy weapon (greatsword given a +1 enhancement)
guarding talisman (cloak gives +1 deflection bonus)

Therefore, AC is 17 (10+6 from four-mirror armor+1 from deflection cloak) and his melee damage is 2d6+8 (1.5 str and +1 enhancement) and +6 to hit (str and +1 enhancement).
This will leave 3 points of mental focus which can be used on the psychis weapon power (3 times since it's 1 point per usage) which will give me 1 minute worth of a +2 bonus to the greatsword. Given that your average PFS adventure has 4 encounters, I'm feeling pretty good about this.

I know some people frown on the dump stats, but I don't foresee a situation where a fellow party member couldn't get us through a social scenario, and with the wis dump, the +2 base score and a +1 from the indomitable faith trait yield me a +1 to will saves.

My biggest disappointment with this build was learning that I have to wait until 5th level before I can add a belt of strength and get a +2 more to my str.

Shadow Lodge

um well actually mate you don't get a +1 enhancement bonus you get a +1 ability until 4th then you can get either a +1 ability or a +2 ability and then so on, but only one ability per implement unless you take transmutation again ^^

Dark Archive

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Outperforming a fighter at level 1 is not a difficult thing. I'm assuming you're taking into account the fact that spending points from your transmutation implement will cause you to eventually lose your resonant +1, right?

In any case, this doesn't outperform a same-level barbarian, and I think you might be looking at this class the wrong way. Why not start with a falchion and make it keen with your transmutation resonant power? Nothing has a 15-20 crit range at level 1.

EDIT: Based on the wording of the ability, I don't think you can even give your weapon straight bonuses. You need to pick an ability that is a +1 equivalent.

Actually, a barbarian/occultist with a furious weapon at level 2 sounds nasty...


Raphael Valen wrote:
um well actually mate you don't get a +1 enhancement bonus you get a +1 ability until 4th then you can get either a +1 ability or a +2 ability and then so on, but only one ability per implement unless you take transmutation again ^^

Umm, I think I can unless I'm reading something inaccurately. The legacy weapon gives me a +1 bonus, then I expend 1 mental focus point for the psychic weapon ability which reads as follows:

"Psychic Weapon (Sp): As a swift action, you can expend 1 point of mental focus to imbue one weapon, unarmed strike, or one natural attack with psychic power. This grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. This bonus stacks with any enhancement bonus the weapon might have, as long as it does not increase the total bonus to greater than +5. This effect does not stack with itself. This bonus lasts for 1 minute."
Since it stacks with bonuses already in the weapon, and the weapon has a +1 from being the legacy weapon, that yields a +2 by my reading. Has something contrary been posted somewhere that I missed?


Mergy wrote:

Outperforming a fighter at level 1 is not a difficult thing. I'm assuming you're taking into account the fact that spending points from your transmutation implement will cause you to eventually lose your resonant +1, right?

In any case, this doesn't outperform a same-level barbarian, and I think you might be looking at this class the wrong way. Why not start with a falchion and make it keen with your transmutation resonant power? Nothing has a 15-20 crit range at level 1.

EDIT: Based on the wording of the ability, I don't think you can even give your weapon straight bonuses. You need to pick an ability that is a +1 equivalent.

Actually, a barbarian/occultist with a furious weapon at level 2 sounds nasty...

I actually managed to take out a barbarian in the Crash section of the Silverhex Chronicles. That said, I might not have been able to do such without pulling up my psychic weapon ability and casting shield on myself. I'd say the casting/magic can give the occultist an edge, but the barbarian is ready to go immediately, so the distinction could be more situational.

Using keen and then applying psychic weapon does sound rather nifty. I had actually been considering putting the agile quality on the legacy weapon and taking weapon finesse so I'd get the AC bonus from dexterity.
I'm appreciating the input and views. Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

ahh i thought you were adding a enhancement bonus for legacy weapon lol my bad ^^

Edit: ooh also be careful of using your psychic weapon power to much, cuase at lv1 for instance with the legacy weapon if your mental focus points in the weapon drop to below 3 you'll lose the ability put on the weapon :3


Raphael Valen wrote:

ahh i thought you were adding a enhancement bonus for legacy weapon lol my bad ^^

Edit: ooh also be careful of using your psychic weapon power to much, cuase at lv1 for instance with the legacy weapon if your mental focus points in the weapon drop to below 3 you'll lose the ability put on the weapon :3

Good input. I have 8 total mental focus points, and I start off with 3 to activate the legacy weapon, 2 to activate the deflection cape, and that leaves 3 to spend on psychic weapon at 1 point per usage. As long as I don't exceed those 3 uses, I'll be in good shape.

Dark Archive

I still don't think a flat +1 enhancement bonus is an option for the resonant power.

What focus power are you planning for? The movement speed one?


Mergy wrote:

I still don't think a flat +1 enhancement bonus is an option for the resonant power.

What focus power are you planning for? The movement speed one?

Well, "+1 enhancement equivalent" seems that it would include simply making the weapon +1, but also leaves the door open for magic effects. I suppose a flaming weapon could be cool and I could still get the +1 from the psychic weapon base focus power.

Regarding the focus power choice, I'll have the sudden speed focus power, but I don't know that I'll ever use it. Maybe to extend my charge.

Shadow Lodge

got to look before the enhancement equivalent part, alot of folks seem to be missing that one but it says "select a weapon special ability with an equivalent enhancement bonus"


Raphael Valen wrote:
got to look before the enhancement equivalent part, alot of folks seem to be missing that one but it says "select a weapon special ability with an equivalent enhancement bonus"

Golly, that certainly does sound like I made an error. Thanks for the insight. I guess I should be researching weapon special abilities then...

Shadow Lodge

yeah i had alot of fun reserching the differnt weapon abilites i learned about some awesome abilites :D


Raphael Valen wrote:
yeah i had alot of fun reserching the differnt weapon abilites i learned about some awesome abilites :D

I'm thinking I may go with the corrosive ability. 1d6 acid damage on top of the 2d6+6 damage. That sounds rather glorious.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Agile has been pretty popular, and for a lot of scenarios you could really do well with human bane. Using a falchion instead of a greatsword might justify going for keen.


Shisumo wrote:

Agile has been pretty popular, and for a lot of scenarios you could really do well with human bane. Using a falchion instead of a greatsword might justify going for keen.

Agile is good for a dex build, but I went for str. Not needing to pick up the weapon finesse feat lets me use the feat for toughness. If I'm playing meat shield, I want extra HP.

I considered going falchion and keen, but I really like the regular damage I can do with the greatsword, my strength modifier, and the acid damage. 3d6+5 at first level is pretty tough to beat.
I'm not saying I'm dead set on it, it's just pretty hard to justify most of the other options by comparison.

Grand Lodge

@OP: It seems your average combat performance might be a little better if you used a two handed reach weapon in addition to your greatsword. Start holding the reach weapon. Claim your AoO when possible for a free extra attack. Reach also opens up some smart tactical options, like sometimes waiting for the foe to approach. Reach is especially important when facing foes who have reach, to deny them AoOs. Reach is also very useful to deny the full attack to certain foes (ghouls, trolls, etc.). If pressed into tight quarters you can always switch to the greatsword.

Greatsword 2d6 damage averages 7. Bardiche damage averages 5.5. That's 1.5 HP more per hit from the greatsword. Considering your static damage bonus +8, in your hands the greatsword does about 10% more damage than the bardiche. But the bardiche will get extra attacks. Breakeven point is about when you get 1 AoO for every 5 or 10 normal attacks.

If your campaign is one where it's not too hard to catch AoOs then the bardiche might be more effective for you than the greatsword. This depends very much on your GM's style. It costs you nothing to experiment and find out, and might help.

Dark Archive

Think you are too overloaded on offense early on.

I believe transmutation is helpful for offense but better saved for later on. I am instead choosing abjuration early levels because I want the added survival aspect of the shield spell, especially with a 2 handed weapon. It also has cheap AC boosting resonance for even more AC. People who believe AC is no good later on can redistribute MF to other schools at higher levels.

At level 1, 18 str on a great sword is overkill already. It is very respectable for a considerable among of time. Lowering your expensive str point buy really helps pay for multiple small bonuses elsewhere. I rely think 14 con is important. Especially for 2 handed weapons using no shield.

Also endorse switch hitting between reach to begin and later 2d6 for better bell curve damage. I want a great sword cause I like the 19-20/x2(20x3 is often wasted overkill). Slashing weapons also allow you to cut ropes and clothe. Thought Lucerne hammer on reach to than have all 3 b/p/s damages types available, it is also d12 where most reach are d10. The brace works nice in conjunction with making them come to you through an attack of opportunity. Though the readied action required for brace means you would have to depend on allies with ranged attacks to motivate the enemy to close the gap. Or you could just chuck a javelin and get non race damage when they provoke normally.


Rodinia wrote:

@OP: It seems your average combat performance might be a little better if you used a two handed reach weapon in addition to your greatsword. Start holding the reach weapon. Claim your AoO when possible for a free extra attack. Reach also opens up some smart tactical options, like sometimes waiting for the foe to approach. Reach is especially important when facing foes who have reach, to deny them AoOs. Reach is also very useful to deny the full attack to certain foes (ghouls, trolls, etc.). If pressed into tight quarters you can always switch to the greatsword.

Greatsword 2d6 damage averages 7. Bardiche damage averages 5.5. That's 1.5 HP more per hit from the greatsword. Considering your static damage bonus +8, in your hands the greatsword does about 10% more damage than the bardiche. But the bardiche will get extra attacks. Breakeven point is about when you get 1 AoO for every 5 or 10 normal attacks.

If your campaign is one where it's not too hard to catch AoOs then the bardiche might be more effective for you than the greatsword. This depends very much on your GM's style. It costs you nothing to experiment and find out, and might help.

Hmm, might have to consider reach weapons a bit more. It's just not something I've really played much before.

Thanks for the idea.


Raymond Lambert wrote:

Think you are too overloaded on offense early on.

I believe transmutation is helpful for offense but better saved for later on. I am instead choosing abjuration early levels because I want the added survival aspect of the shield spell, especially with a 2 handed weapon. It also has cheap AC boosting resonance for even more AC. People who believe AC is no good later on can redistribute MF to other schools at higher levels.

At level 1, 18 str on a great sword is overkill already. It is very respectable for a considerable among of time. Lowering your expensive str point buy really helps pay for multiple small bonuses elsewhere. I rely think 14 con is important. Especially for 2 handed weapons using no shield.

Also endorse switch hitting between reach to begin and later 2d6 for better bell curve damage. I want a great sword cause I like the 19-20/x2(20x3 is often wasted overkill). Slashing weapons also allow you to cut ropes and clothe. Thought Lucerne hammer on reach to than have all 3 b/p/s damages types available, it is also d12 where most reach are d10. The brace works nice in conjunction with making them come to you through an attack of opportunity. Though the readied action required for brace means you would have to depend on allies with ranged attacks to motivate the enemy to close the gap. Or you could just chuck a javelin and get non race damage when they provoke normally.

I actually do have abjuration in addition to the transmutation, so I have the shield spell (therefore giving me a 21 AC when it's active).

I'm rather liking the greatsword with the corrosive ability as it's giving me 3d6 damage +7, but it might be worth checking out the Lucerne hammer. Thanks for the idea.

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