Occultist, Silksworn or Trappings of the Warrior? Pros and Cons of each?


So, I'm working on a backup character for a campaign I'm currently in and I'm looking at classes I havent tried before when I found the Occultist and it seems pretty awesome!

I'm thinking of making either a fully caster based Silksworn Occultist with offensive spells, utility spells, and maybe a backup weapon in case things turns bad.

Or a melee focused Trappings of the Warrior Occultist with some backup utility spells for buffs, healing and fun.

But I cant decide what one of the two to make so I'm curious if people could give me some Pros and Cons of each? And maybe some sugestions on each of them?

Thanks in advance!

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It probably depends a lot on what level you start at.

The occultist starts with only a few spells known, but by the end of it's carreer gets more than the sorcerer. The Silksworn doubles down on this and gives you even more, and you get the bonuses right at level 1. On top of that you have a bunch of spell-like abilities (focus powers) to improve your staying power.

On the downside, you don't have nearly as many spells per day, so you won't be able to cast all those spells. This will be especially evident at lower levels. Your focus powers will help offset this (a lot) but what you're really getting is versatility rather than stopping power with your spells.

Another problem (problem? Maybe just "something to think about") the Occultist has is Mental Focus. You will never have enough Mental Focus to max out all your resonant powers. Essentially you'll have to prioritize which implements you want to power up. You can swap them around at the beginning of each day, so you can have a combat loadout ajd a detective loadout etc etc. The Silksworn gives you extra Focus based on your CHA-mod, but then it gives you more Implements, so it really makes this "problem" worse.

Trappings of the Warrior (and other Panolpies) really do help with this, as they don't require you to invest points into the panoply, they simply count the points you've already invested into the related Implements - effectively doubling your efficiency for those Implements (every point invested in Abjuration will count toward Abjuration and Trappingsas far as the resonant powers are concerned).

Personally I prefer the regular occultist to the Silksworn - both in flavour and mechanics (I love the magical objects aspect, and I prefer my characters to mix it up in melee). Losing Martial weapons I could deal with, but losing armour proficiency is rough.

Trappings of the warrior makes you the only full-BAB class with 6th level casting, which is rediculous (I remember when I first read it I actually burst out laughing).

I'm playing a Haunt-Collector Occultist (the other powerful option you might consider) in Carrion Crown. We're 7th level, and with ZERO combat feats I'm a competetive front-line damage dealer - and that's WITHOUT Trappings of the Warrior. My damage comes from Legacy Weapon - adding Bane to my weapon every combat is a HUGE bonus (+2 to hit, ~+9 to damage), but I'm also channelling the Champion spirit with my haunted implement which adds +2 damage to every non-spell damage roll. The disadvanatage is that if we fail our knowledge rolls I'm deligated to a backup character for the combat (no knowledge = no Bane), but luckily the Occultist has enough tricks that I can make that work pretty well.

I've found this ti be an incredibly versatile class that has something to contribute almost every round of every encounter, and in any kind of encounter. It's probably my new favourite class.

(Note: I haven't actually tried the silk-sworn, so I'm going of theory-crafting for that. My guess is that the earlier levels will be a little rougher, but later levels it'l be an absolute powerhouse.)

Thank you for the awesome post MrCharisma! We are currently level 8 so when/if I need this character I will be level 8 or higher. I do love the magical items aspect of the Occultist too, The entire class seems to fun and versatile and customizeable!

I havent looked at the Haunt Collector but I'l take a look at it, Thanks! My biggest problem with the Occultist is, While I love the idea of the class and it seems awesome, I'm unsure what kind of occultist I want to build.. I like having some utility and some damage dealing capabilities, Without falling too far behind the party.

Level 8 you should have plenty of options. Versatility is really the big draw of this class, I've been making the others jealous simply because I can do something useful every round no matter the circumstances.

The Haunt Collector loses the magic circles and imp summoning features, and replaces them with haunt-related abilities. The magic circles weren't super powerful, but I LOOVE the flavour of them. I chose Haunt Collector because I figured for Carrion Crown I should have an undead-themed character.

It turns out Haunt Collector is almost a straight upgrade. You can swap out any unwanted resonant powers for a Spirit ability. The developer said they made this archetype because some resonant powers (conjuration) are totally useless, and they wanted a way to make those implement choices more attractive (essentially this is like the Primalist Bloodrager- you don't have to take a haunted-implement/rage-power, but if you find a resonant-power/Bloodline-ability you don't like you can swap it out).

You absolutely don't HAVE to take Haunt Collector, but it is probably an upgrade (Champion Spirit = Weapon Specialization with every weapon).

I've only played vanilla Evoker and Occult Historian, and enjoyed both.

I heard the Occultist refered to as a "Build-A-Class" class due to the ammount of customizeability it has, It seems like a realy fun and good class. =D

Bump because I love the Occultist and it gets no love on the forums (I assume because most people haven't played one).

I would love to see what others have to say about this.

(And yes, the Occultist is totally a Build-A-Class, and also yes it's super-fun.)

Trappings of the warrior is very powerful which is a pro, the con is that it is so powerful it in my opinion falls into the cheese category. A full bab 6th level caster.

Silksworn on the other hand is one my favorite archetypes.

6th level casters make for bad full casters, there is a reason every one of them has an ability that helps in melee.

Silksworn lets you focus on the casting and tricky aspect by giving you boosts at specific levels to stay competitive. It also makes a great face.

Grand Lodge

Compared to other classes, what I don't like much about the Occultist is that the building difficulty, and later use during session, is high. I want to create a toolbox, a Battle Oracle looks much easier. There's the same problem with some other occult classes.

Outside of that general problem, I would say vanilla Occultist is fine

I love the Occultist quite a bit, but I'll probably never build a second one.

Too much standard action gating for a combat build, kind of want more of everything for a caster build.

Philippe Lam wrote:
Compared to other classes, what I don't like much about the Occultist is that the building difficulty, and later use during session, is high.

I will say that this is probably the most beginner-un-friendly class in the game. There are a lot of mechanics that act differently to every other class.

That's part of what I love about it though, there's always something you can do, and it encourages creativity with your character choices (when building them, during setup at the start of each day, and during your actions in combat.

Secret Wizard wrote:
Too much standard action gating for a combat build ...

That's a valid complaint. I took one look at the list of Focus Powers and thought: "Lucky I read that REACH CLERIC guide!"

Occultists fare better than clerics because they start with martial weapon proficiency (no longspear for you), and if you go Trappings of the Warrior (SHIELD BRACE is your friend) you're going to hit more often as well.

(I lied earlier when I said I had "zero" combat feats on my Occultist - I have Combat Reflexes. The point about doing enough damage to be competetive without combat feats still stands though.)

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