Occult class PC in Rise of the Runelords.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


First off, please forgive my ignorance in regards to Occult adventures.

A player in my group would potentially like to build an Occult class for their PC in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. My knowledge of Occult Adventures is extremely limited.

Are the classes in Occult Adventures meant to work out of the box with any campaign, or do they require campaign tweaking, such as Mythic Adventures requires Mythic Levels, Mythic Monsters and so on?

If these are just new classes like the Hybrids or Alternate classes, I'm fine with that. But if they require tweaking to the campaign because they are meant to be played in a campaign specifically built for that type of class, I'd rather know up front.

  • Does the "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game x Adventure" books (Occult, Mythic, Horror) require campaign tweaking?
  • Are the classes in these books meant to work in any campaign out of the box?
  • Given my extremely low understanding of Occult Adventures, what main points should I be made aware of?

Thanks for your insight.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Occult classes can work well without much or any tweaking. What class is your player interested in?


The occult classes are like any other class and are designed to work in any game and any campaign. Of course a specific build might 'break' things in that out-of-the-box adventure might not be as challenging as expected, but that is not a problem specific to the occult classes. I'm not expert enough on these classes to give advise as to specific builds to watch for.

I will say that not being familiar with material is a perfectly valid reason to not allow something in your game. Obviously it would be nice if you were able to accommodate your player and gain enough mastery of the material to ensure that you (and the player) understood how all the moving parts work. In the real world though, that isn't always possible.

In general, if I don't have a the time to obtain at least of pretty good working knowledge of an optional portion or subsystem in a game I am running, I don't allow the players to use it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will not rename Sandpoint Gravity Falls.
I will not rename Sandpoint Gravity Falls.
I will not rename Sandpoint Gravity Falls.

Dark Archive

I'm not familiar with occult adventures, but I thought that psychic magic was different from both arcane and divine magic. At the very least you'll have to substitute some of the magic items. Ofcourse that wouldn't make any sense unless you'd also change some encounters accordingly.


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

There's a lot of crossover, it's not too bad.


Mythic Adventures requires Mythic levels being handed out at various milestones, enemies with Mythic CRs, mythic items ...

Seeing the book labeled Occult Adventures, I immediately assumed it would require the same kind of campaign setting and format: Something specific to the Occult, with it's own items, levels, enemies with the abilities from the same book in order to challenge the players. And very quick impression of the classes shows spells without saves, which further drove home the idea that this type of stuff would not fit well in a "generic" Adventure Path.

Horror Adventures isn't out yet, but I would have assumed the same thing with it as well.

Does anyone have any tips for incorporating Occult Classes into their existing campaign setting (Change the setting a bit, hint at some new lore/elements, include some new items and make sure the enemies have them aswell, idk ...), or does it essentially just boil down to customize some encounters so that each PC feels like they have something to contribute and something to be challenged by and you're good to go?


Well, what Occult class is the player interested in?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just be sure that you have had the chance to read through the mechanics of whatever class your player is playing and (if he is not a Kineticist) how psychic spellcasting works. All of the classes have new mechanics that could prove tricky to a player or GM who is not familiar with them.

However, once you and the player both have a good understanding of how the class in question works, you should be able to fit a character with any occult class into a standard party with no adjustments.


Occult is not like Mythic.

I don't know what other games or systems you are familiar with, but it is kind of like adding Psionics into a 3.5 game. The new classes are fairly balanced with the old ones, but they are new, and there is a whole lot of new 'spells' and some new mechanics for how they are used.

For the most part I don't think you need any setting customization. Subbing in some magic items that would be more useful to your PCs would be nice (but that would likely be true in any event.) IF you wanted to trade out a big bad at some point for a similar style big bad that used an occult class instead of a core class so the player might see their own powers used against them it might be nice but hardly necessary.

Basically, I don't think you need to do any more to customize an adventure for a party with occult classes then you do to customize an adventure for a party without occult classes. A Mesmerist doesn't need more special handling than an Oracle, or a Magus. However, if you don't have good familiarity with occult adventures, you would probably need to gain that (at least narrowly for what your PC has access to) before you could customize.


I believe it was Psychic.


You can tweak things if you want, but Psychic spellcasting is not a new subsystem and other than the Kineticist the classes use the same basic framework as every other class. The Spiritualist is more or less the Hunter with a necromantic focus. The Psychic can be treated as more or less a variant on the sorcerer/oracle model. The Mesmerist is another spin on the bard/skald design, albeit without musical theming and a debuff focus.

The other three stand out a bit more and have some unique and sometimes controversial mechanics, but none of them are particularly unbalancing or have issue slotting into a traditional setting.

One big thing to note though is that Psychic casters have different weaknesses. They never suffer ASF like a divine caster, but they don't have verbal or somatic components. Silence and being tied or up or grappled won't stop them. On the flip side, any fear or emotion effect will completely shut down a psychic's spellcasting for their duration. Something to keep in mind.

the David wrote:
I'm not familiar with occult adventures, but I thought that psychic magic was different from both arcane and divine magic. At the very least you'll have to substitute some of the magic items. Ofcourse that wouldn't make any sense unless you'd also change some encounters accordingly.

Psychic magic is different, but only in the same way that arcane is different than divine. Psychic casters don't care about ASF and don't need metamagic to cast if they can't speak or are grappled, but they're vulnerable to fear effects and things that break concentration.


Squiggit wrote:
They never suffer ASF like a divine caster ... Psychic casters don't care about ASF

What is ASF?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
icantfallasleep wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
They never suffer ASF like a divine caster ... Psychic casters don't care about ASF
What is ASF?

Arcane spell failure.


Two out of my four players in the Reign of Winter AP are playing occult classes. No problem what so ever.


The classes in the Occult book are flavorful and awesome. They are not radically different (with the exception of the kineticist) than any existing classes and they will all (including the kineticist) be fine to play in an AP or other published adventures.

With the GM's permission it should be a green light all the way from a gameplay perspective.


Take note that RotRl has a large amount of foes who are immune to mind affecting abilities.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
icantfallasleep wrote:
I believe it was Psychic.

A psychic will play very similarly to a sorcerer, but with Thought and Emotion components for spells instead of Verbal and Somatic. If you familiarize yourself with that difference, you will be well prepared for gaming with a psychic.

As a GM, you'll want to know which monsters are immune to mind-effecting effects. You may want to have large or scary monsters use Intimidate to demoralize the psychic occasionally. Fear can be pretty scary for a psychic spellcaster.

Do you have any questions about the psychic or particular spells?


As for lore and making sure the occult class feels relevent for the player, I deilcidex that the Runelords, fearful of magic they did not understand or that did not adhere to their power structure, began a purge of Pshycic users. As such they kept Pshycic items in fortresses, confizcated from their enemies and researched to give themselves an edge.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Occult classes can definitely work out of the box with any campaign, just like any other classes. They don't have to be in a campaign specifically designed for them. I ran a Council of Thieves campaign with a kineticist and an occultist in it with no problems, and now I'm playing a medium in a Serpent's Skull game. No adventure modifications needed, really.

As above, the main thing you have to know is that psychic spellcasting works slightly differently than arcane/divine, but basically it just has different strengths and weaknesses. (Psychic spells aren't necessarily mind-affecting; they fit into the same school system as other spells. The difference is just in how they're cast.) Otherwise, just look over your player's class to see how it works and that's pretty much all you need to know.

If you want to give your player a fun bonus, you could toss in an item or two from Occult Adventures or Occult Mysteries, but it's not required. I'd probably only do it if you tailor the occasional item for a player like that anyway.

EDIT: Missed that the class in particular was a psychic.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Occult class PC in Rise of the Runelords. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.