Occult Wizard?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Anyone think that Wizards should have an option in the class whether to be an Arcane Caster or an Occult Caster?

Should be pretty easily modded: Occult Casters would get Occult instead of Arcana as a class skill. We can leave the strange mutations to the Sorcerer class.


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wizard is the epitome of the character that went for arcane studies and wants to learn the secrets of magic in the 'classical' way

I think it is pretty good as it is - for only exchanging the class skill and the spell list the wizard would actually loose out in most matters


I get why you'd want Wizards to choose, and flavourfully it makes sense ("I study weird magic," rather than "I study traditional magic"), but I think that it would dilute the essence of the Wizard. Maybe they've become too typecast into book-smart nerds, but arcane magic is the "logical" kind of magic, IMHO the only one that can be studied, and basically bruteforced. Yeah, you can study occult magic, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can replicate it. For some reason, arcane magic has some structure to it that allows others to copy it, and occult magic is simply too chaotic for that. Considering the types of creatures that use occult magic, you might simply lack the number or kinds of limbs necessary to perform it.

Plus, that would also open the door for "why can't I have a nature-loving Wizard that isn't a Druid?" While I understand the desire for more options, I think Wizards are fine where they are. Witches can choose their spell lists, and they're already kinda stepping on the Sorcerer's toes. While the different schools can make the Wizard a little more distinct, too much overlap makes the classes one big homogeneous mass.


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Seisho wrote:

wizard is the epitome of the character that went for arcane studies and wants to learn the secrets of magic in the 'classical' way

I think it is pretty good as it is - for only exchanging the class skill and the spell list the wizard would actually loose out in most matters

I'm considering on how many times you see in movies and books where the magic being learned is "occult" brand of magic. Yes, the Occult magic is "learned" through study and books, and not an innate magic. Ghoulies from 1984, Cthulhu mythos and etc. An occult wizard makes a lot of sense in that scenario, both as protagonists and antagonists.

Seriously, there needs to be both a Wizard and/or Cleric versions that use Occult, so you get the full Ancient God Magic.

Liberty's Edge

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Occult Witch.


The Raven Black wrote:
Occult Witch.

Yea, witches use familiars. I'm still talking "book" learning and memorization.

Marketing & Media Manager

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Personally, I think we've established that all the traditions are interchangeable in terms of power balance. That's not the way wizards work in Lost Omens, but make your game and your setting what you like.


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The Occultist filled the wizardly role of using using scholarly investigation to uncover the secrets of wyrd magicks in PF1. I'd rather see that come back (probably under the moniker Antiquarian for the same reason Wizard isn't called Arcanist).


Well it's always possible for a future class archetype to happen that change the list to occult or a special mental list.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
The Occultist filled the wizardly role of using using scholarly investigation to uncover the secrets of wyrd magicks in PF1. I'd rather see that come back (probably under the moniker Antiquarian for the same reason Wizard isn't called Arcanist).

For some reason, I feel like the Antiquarian should have special abilities around making use of magical items - like a feat where if you had a magic item that was capable of casting a spell, you could recharge it during refocus by sacrificing a prepared spell of your own of appropriate level, or perhaps your lvl 20 haste feat would be for actions that activate magic items and so forth. Possibly a feat that would let them attune more items. I feel like the Antiquarian should have some sort of built-in incentives for walking around with pockets full of weird magical tchotchkes.


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Shain Edge wrote:
Seriously, there needs to be both a Wizard and/or Cleric versions that use Occult, so you get the full Ancient God Magic.

Apart from domains, what would mechanically differentiate a base Cleric from a base Wizard if they both had access to the same spell list? I specify "base," as the feats are obviously geared towards different playstyles.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The witch kind of covers this space. They exist in a lot of the same conceptual space as the Wizard, being an int-based, studious caster that stores magic in a spellbook... their spellbooks are just kind of weird.

Which kind of runs counter to a lot of the claims here imo that it wouldn't make sense.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:


Plus, that would also open the door for "why can't I have a nature-loving Wizard that isn't a Druid?"

TBH, some kind of Int based "naturalist" that approaches primal magic and other druidic arts more like a biologist sounds cool.


Squiggit wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:


Plus, that would also open the door for "why can't I have a nature-loving Wizard that isn't a Druid?"
TBH, some kind of Int based "naturalist" that approaches primal magic and other druidic arts more like a biologist sounds cool.

You can spin nearly any concept into something cool, but that doesn't mean you should do it. Pathfinder's strength (IMHO) is that all classes feel mechanically unique. Picking and choosing your own spell list runs counter to that, IMHO. Sorcerer getting to choose makes somewhat sense, but the Witch (and now also Summoner) getting to choose blurs that line more and more. Luckily Summmoners have a whole different mechanical identity, but IMHO Witches just feel like an in-between of Sorcerer and Wizard, not their own thing (apart from a Hex cantrip).

The INT-based Biologist could work just as well with a Witch, just refluff your patron, or leave it out altogether.


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Yeah, class archetype to remove the mandatory familiar from Witch would fit the niche of several of these characters.


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Squiggit wrote:

The witch kind of covers this space. They exist in a lot of the same conceptual space as the Wizard, being an int-based, studious caster that stores magic in a spellbook... their spellbooks are just kind of weird.

Which kind of runs counter to a lot of the claims here imo that it wouldn't make sense.

Quentin Coldwater wrote:


Plus, that would also open the door for "why can't I have a nature-loving Wizard that isn't a Druid?"
TBH, some kind of Int based "naturalist" that approaches primal magic and other druidic arts more like a biologist sounds cool.

Halcyon Speaker seems like this. Though making an Occult Wizard along the Halcyon Speaker approach might make Speaker feel less special.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

With the elementalist class archetype in Secrets of Magic, wizards (matter/mind) have the option to focus more on primal-type (matter/life) spells. A similar class archetype (medium?) to focus on "spooky" occult-type (mind/spirit) spells could something that Paizo can develop.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Also, a bard with Esoteric Polymath can (sort of) be considered somewhat similar to an occult version of a wizard.

Alternately, instead of a Mask Familiar or a poppet you can always allow a witch to have a "Tome Familiar."


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I've mentioned here that the real world definition of the word arcane is what occult magic is described as, and in that basis alone I think a connection between the two uniquely exists, and while I haven't gotten my SoM book yet it appears to some degree paizo agrees since not only are they adjacent but both seem to be the most potent and varied with the largest numbers of spells. I think something should also be said how magic was viewed in the ancient world and that the study of magic is inherently esoteric and occult, especially Christian and Jewish magic(yes these are real things). Wizards themselves, frankly, appear to be inspired more from the stories of people mastering Kabbalah than from pagan ideas of magic. In the real world the four traditions in pathfinder would blend together and where one ends and begins would be hard to say. I have rewrote this several times trying not to get off track and reign my sleep deprivation and ADHD in and not talk about how I think the witch and wizard should be one class, maybe someday I'll get into that, but I do want to say that I think not only should occult be an option for wizards, but that wizards should be "scientists" in the traditional sense and that they should get the option to pluck spells from any tradition to add to their spell list and treat as arcane. A base in arcane I think is still the right move because it's:
-got the most spells
-got most of the best spells

Wizards should be *the* premier spellcaster who's thing is magic and knowing everything about magic. Paizo made it so it's a wizard talking about the four traditions and to me this just shows more and more how wizards would be the ones to cross the boundaries. The arcane skill feat for using arcane for religion, occult, nature as well as arcane also backs this up IMO

I hope I make sense and this is legible/understandable


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Wizards deal in cut-and-dried magic. They write magical formulae down in books. Those magical formulae are letting them perform magic.

Occult magic doesn't work off of magical formulae; it works off of the collective hopes and fears and dreams and stories of people.

When an occult caster uses a mystical formula to do magic, it isn't the formula doing something, unlike arcane magic. The caster is tapping into the iconography and symbolism of mystical formulae. It might look like arcane magic to the untrained eye, but that's because "looking like arcane magic" is one of the ways to do occult magic.

Wizards doing occult magic is like casting a real scientist to play a scientist in your movie. Some of them can probably do it, but it'll be frustrating, and what you really want is an actor.

At least, that's my interpretation.


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Pretty much. What I gather from the essays in secrets of magic is that yes there's a connection between occult and arcane, moreso than the other traditions. But it's that occult is the art to arcane's science. So I don't think a wizard should have an occult option either, just like I don't think bards should have arcane as an option.

Not in the main classes anyway. I could see adding some archetypes that switch spell lists.

Horizon Hunters

Dragonchess Player wrote:

Also, a bard with Esoteric Polymath can (sort of) be considered somewhat similar to an occult version of a wizard.

Alternately, instead of a Mask Familiar or a poppet you can always allow a witch to have a "Tome Familiar."

Honestly I would probably allow a player to reskin a poppet as a Tome!


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
Shain Edge wrote:
Seriously, there needs to be both a Wizard and/or Cleric versions that use Occult, so you get the full Ancient God Magic.
Apart from domains, what would mechanically differentiate a base Cleric from a base Wizard if they both had access to the same spell list? I specify "base," as the feats are obviously geared towards different playstyles.

I can imagine using the Wizard class for EACH of the 4 traditions, just as sorcerers do. A White Wizard, who isn't religious, but focuses on divine magic. An occultist wizard who focuses on the mysteries of the void. The offshoot of an Elementalist wizard, Naturalist who studies Nature/Primal. And traditionalist Wizard who uses Arcane.

The flavor of being a wizard is in how the wizards abilities and feats interact with the spells. Clerics are a very different flavor, even if a wizard type can use White Magic/Divine. Druids are even more diverse in their feeling even if a wizard is a Naturalist/Primal. Bards and Occult Sorcerers are also completely different from Wizards with an Occult bent.

I really don't see how giving a "Wizard" a choice up front on what magical art they use in any way steps on other casting classes, which have very different rules.


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It'd be a good space for a class Archetype, and same with the other two traditions.

Granted that runs into other issues with Class Archetypes (having the typical dedication clause seems unnecessary when they're sidegrades and already eat your 2nd-level feat).


Golurkcanfly wrote:

It'd be a good space for a class Archetype, and same with the other two traditions.

Granted that runs into other issues with Class Archetypes (having the typical dedication clause seems unnecessary when they're sidegrades and already eat your 2nd-level feat).

I'm actually looking as the Wizard Tradition/Architype choice as the same as the Bloodline of a Sorcerer. No need to use up your 2nd level feat. The only alteration to the class, based on your Tradition, would be what skill you get for the class, Arcane/Nature/Occult/Religion.

Grand Archive

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Seisho wrote:

wizard is the epitome of the character that went for arcane studies and wants to learn the secrets of magic in the 'classical' way

I think it is pretty good as it is - for only exchanging the class skill and the spell list the wizard would actually loose out in most matters

It’s called a witch.


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Malfinn Eurilios wrote:
Seisho wrote:

wizard is the epitome of the character that went for arcane studies and wants to learn the secrets of magic in the 'classical' way

I think it is pretty good as it is - for only exchanging the class skill and the spell list the wizard would actually loose out in most matters

It’s called a witch.

Not only are the flavors entirely different, but the mechanics as well. The mechanics of the witch do not support a "Scholarly Occult Caster" terribly well.


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Shain Edge wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:

It'd be a good space for a class Archetype, and same with the other two traditions.

Granted that runs into other issues with Class Archetypes (having the typical dedication clause seems unnecessary when they're sidegrades and already eat your 2nd-level feat).

I'm actually looking as the Wizard Tradition/Architype choice as the same as the Bloodline of a Sorcerer. No need to use up your 2nd level feat. The only alteration to the class, based on your Tradition, would be what skill you get for the class, Arcane/Nature/Occult/Religion.

While I would like to see changes to Class Archetypes so they don't take the second feat or have the dedication clause (sidegrades shouldn't come with additional costs and restrictions), there just isn't a mechanism to do that sort of thing without Class Archetypes. Right now you just kinda have to ask your GM if you can swap spell lists.

Grand Archive

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Golurkcanfly wrote:
Malfinn Eurilios wrote:
Seisho wrote:

wizard is the epitome of the character that went for arcane studies and wants to learn the secrets of magic in the 'classical' way

I think it is pretty good as it is - for only exchanging the class skill and the spell list the wizard would actually loose out in most matters

It’s called a witch.
Not only are the flavors entirely different, but the mechanics as well. The mechanics of the witch do not support a "Scholarly Occult Caster" terribly well.

They are an INT based casting class what’s not scholarly about that? I’m not sure why you’d want to nerf a wizard by going occult anyways when the bard is already the master of occult.

You could always take a occult archetype with your wizard, I have a wizard/witch (occult).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Golurkcanfly wrote:
The mechanics of the witch do not support a "Scholarly Occult Caster" terribly well.

Occult Witch is literally a scholarly occult caster though. Like, that's their thing. Int based, studying and learning spells instead of acquiring them automatically or spontaneously.

Honestly if anything the Witch and Wizard are too similar. A witch is basically a familiar-thesis wizard that trades arcane bond and their school for a focus cantrip, an extra trained skill and the ability to revive their familiar faster.


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Squiggit wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
The mechanics of the witch do not support a "Scholarly Occult Caster" terribly well.

Occult Witch is literally a scholarly occult caster though. Like, that's their thing. Int based, studying and learning spells instead of acquiring them automatically or spontaneously.

Honestly if anything the Witch and Wizard are too similar. A witch is basically a familiar-thesis wizard that trades arcane bond and their school for a focus cantrip, an extra trained skill and the ability to revive their familiar faster.

Using INT isn't enough to emphasize scholarly nature without other mechanics. The Witch is all about the patron and hexes (as underwhelming as they are), rather than mechanics that lend a studious nature to the Wizard (school specialization, choice of thesis, and some class-specific feats).

Grand Archive

Golurkcanfly wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
The mechanics of the witch do not support a "Scholarly Occult Caster" terribly well.

Occult Witch is literally a scholarly occult caster though. Like, that's their thing. Int based, studying and learning spells instead of acquiring them automatically or spontaneously.

Honestly if anything the Witch and Wizard are too similar. A witch is basically a familiar-thesis wizard that trades arcane bond and their school for a focus cantrip, an extra trained skill and the ability to revive their familiar faster.

Using INT isn't enough to emphasize scholarly nature without other mechanics. The Witch is all about the patron and hexes (as underwhelming as they are), rather than mechanics that lend a studious nature to the Wizard (school specialization, choice of thesis, and some class-specific feats).

Witch is not underwhelming, those hexes are 1 action wonders. The witch in my opinion is all about the sustained spells more than the wizard. And cackle is a diamond in the rough.

https://youtu.be/GFTjr64Zfww


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Hexes that come from Lessons derived from the entity helping you learn and study magic. That uh... sounds pretty damn scholarly.


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Squiggit wrote:
Hexes that come from Lessons derived from the entity helping you learn and study magic. That uh... sounds pretty damn scholarly.

It's about as scholarly as a cleric learning spells, or any other prepared caster for that matter. If things only become similar once you scrap all the Vancian casting features, then they were not all that similar to begin with. I agree the Witch needs more differentiation, but that's more to do with how it lacks significant ways to differentiate it from other casters in general, who tend to get more detailed and impactful class abilities on top of their spellcasting.

It lacks the crunch that supports the scholarly fluff that the Wizard has, and the best way to access that crunch to better support the scholarly nature of such a character would be a Class Archetype.


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Funnily enough, the Bard's mechanics support a Scholarly nature more than a Witch's mechanics, thanks to it's stronger Recall Knowledge options and oration support.

But both come with baggage that just don't quite fit the same concept that an Occult Class Archetype for Wizard would.

Grand Archive

Golurkcanfly wrote:

Funnily enough, the Bard's mechanics support a Scholarly nature more than a Witch's mechanics, thanks to it's stronger Recall Knowledge options and oration support.

But both come with baggage that just don't quite fit the same concept that an Occult Class Archetype for Wizard would.

Try the capivator archetype in the grand bizarre.

Horizon Hunters

I guess we gonna see witches' feats and hexes with more harmony than the poor version that we have right now. I'M LOOKING AT YOU Witch's Bottle!! (>.O) I Also expect more amphasis on the familiar, which is a level up in flavor/roleplay and in actual mechanic!


Squiggit wrote:
Hexes that come from Lessons derived from the entity helping you learn and study magic. That uh... sounds pretty damn scholarly.

When I hear scholarly, I think of college, and Wizards do have their PhDs. I think... Anyway witch comes across more as paganish folk wisdom, to me. Mysterious spirits whispering in their ear for uncertain agendas.

Now maybe some witches graduated from the magic college of mysterious spirits, (actually, I kind of like that idea... ) But it's not how the class's flavor feels to me.


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Romão98 wrote:
I guess we gonna see witches' feats and hexes with more harmony than the poor version that we have right now. I'M LOOKING AT YOU Witch's Bottle!! (>.O) I Also expect more amphasis on the familiar, which is a level up in flavor/roleplay and in actual mechanic!

Why did you resurrect a two year old thread about Wizards to speculate about the remastered witch?

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