Of Wands, Cups, and Blades: A guide to the Pathfinder Occultist

With the release of the new Occult Adventures I thought I would try my hand at a Treantmonk style guide to the Occultist, my personal favorite class out of the book. The Occultist is a psychic caster with a focus on implements, and the mechanics are “pleasantly byzantine.” There are a lot of moving parts, and a fair number of pitfalls, but the class has a lot of potential, and I find that it scratches the itch I’ve had to play a character with a focus on magic items, like the old 3.5 artificer.

First the standard explanation of the color coding system that is used to review the class mechanically. Introduced in Treantmonk’s Wizard Guide, this color system is pretty straight forward.

  • Red – This mechanic has significant problems, either because it is significantly under-powered, or because it is unlikely to get used.
  • Orange – This is a fair option, often chosen for roleplaying reasons. It has a minor positive impact on the characters effectiveness.
  • Green – This is a good mechanic that will see frequent use and provides a respectable option to the character.
  • Blue – This is a class defining ability, and in some cases a requirement for the class to function in its role properly. It is critical that a player understand how blue mechanics function so that they can make informed decisions about their character.

One final note on style. I am going to attempt to provide information without forming an opinion on what the “Best Occultist” is, as there are just too many table variation factors for each campaign for this to really be useful. In addition, the goal of Pathfinder is to have fun, and sometimes selecting a sub-optimal choice is the best thing you can do towards that goal. Only you know what you like, I’m simply going to be giving context for each ability, so that you can be informed while building your character.

Part 1: Overview, Attributes,  Races, & Class Abilities
Part 2: Implement Schools
Part 3: Feats, Traits, and Equipment
Part 4: Archetypes & Builds

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