MSRD:Occultist (Class)

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OCCULTIST

The fastest path into this advanced class is from the Smart hero basic class, though other paths are possible.

Requirements

To qualify to become an Occultist, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Skills: Decipher Script 6 ranks, Knowledge (arcane lore) 6 ranks, Research 6 ranks.

Feats: Educated, Studious.

Class Information

The following information pertains to the Occultist advanced class.

Hit Die: The Occultist gains 1d6 hit points per level. The character’s Constitution modifier applies.

Action Points: The Occultist gains a number of action points equal to 6 + one-half her character level, rounded down, every time she attains a new level in this class.

Class Skills

The Occultist’s class skills are as follows.

Craft (visual arts, writing) (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Drive (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Investigate (Int), Knowledge (arcane lore, history, theology and philosophy) (Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Research (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (none), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 5 + Int modifier.

Table: The Occultist
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Defense Bonus Reputation Bonus
1st +0 +0 +0 +1 Arcane skills, spell resistance +0 +0
2nd +1 +0 +0 +2 Arcane research (scrolls) +1 +0
3rd +1 +1 +1 +2 Bonus feat +1 +1
4th +2 +1 +1 +2 Shadow contact +1 +1
5th +2 +1 +1 +3 Bind Shadow creature +2 +1
6th +3 +2 +2 +3 Bonus feat +2 +2
7th +3 +2 +2 +4 Arcane research (items) +2 +2
8th +4 +2 +2 +4 Bind Shadow creature +3 +2
9th +4 +3 +3 +4 Bonus feat +3 +3
10th +5 +3 +3 +5 Banish +3 +3

Class Features

The following features pertain to the Occultist advanced class.

Arcane Skills

An Occultist has access to the following arcane skills. These skills are considered class skills for the Occultist, and she can use her skill points to buy ranks in them, just like other skills in the game.

Concentration (Con): The normal Concentration skill expands to include arcane applications, as defined below.

Check: You must make a Concentration check whenever you may potentially be distracted while engaged in an activity, including casting a spell or concentrating on an active spell, that requires your full attention.

If the check succeeds, you may continue with the action as normal. If the check fails, the action automatically fails and is wasted. If you were in the process of casting a spell, the spell is lost. If you were concentrating on an active spell, the spell ends.

The table in the Concentration skill description summarizes the various types of distractions. In situations where the distraction occurs while you are casting a spell, you add the level of the spell to the DC.

Try Again?: You can try again, but doing so doesn’t cancel the effects of a previous failure. If you lost a spell, the spell is lost.

Special: By making a check (DC 15 + spell level), you can use Concentration to cast a spell defensively, thus avoiding attacks of opportunity. If the check succeeds, you can attempt the casting without incurring any attacks of opportunity.

Use Magic Device (Cha): Trained only. Use this skill to activate magic devices, including scrolls and wands, that you could not otherwise activate.

Check: You can use this skill to read a spell from a scroll or spellbook or activate a magic item. This skill lets you use a magic item as if you had the spell ability or class features of another class or a different allegiance.

When you’re attempting to activate a magic item using this skill, you do so as an attack action. However, the checks you make to determine whether you are successful at activating the item take no time by themselves and are included in the activate magic item attack action.

You make Use Magic Device checks each time you activate a device such as a scroll or a wand. If you are using the check to emulate some quality in an ongoing manner, you need to make the checks once per hour.

Task DC
Activate blindly 25
Decipher a written spell 25 + spell level
Emulate class feature 20
Emulate ability score See text
Emulate allegiance 30
Use a scroll 20 + caster level
Use a wand 20

Activate Blindly: Some magic items are activated by special words, thoughts, or actions. You can activate such items as if you were using the activation word, thought, or action even if you’re not, and even if you don’t know it. You do have to use something equivalent. You have to speak, wave the item around, or otherwise attempt to get it to activate. You get a +2 bonus on the check if you’ve activated the item at least once in the past.

If you fail the check by 10 or more, you suffer a mishap. A mishap means that magical energy is released, but it doesn’t do what you wanted it to. The GM determines the result of a mishap. The default mishaps are that the item affects the wrong target or that uncontrolled magical energy deals 2d6 points of damage to you. This mishap is in addition to the chance for a mishap normally associated with casting a spell from a scroll when the spell’s caster level is higher than your level in this class.

Decipher a Written Spell: This works like the same use of the Spellcraft skill (see the Mage Advanced Class), except that the DC is 5 points higher. Deciphering a written spell takes 1 minute of concentration.

Emulate Class Feature: Sometimes you need a class feature to activate a magic item. Your effective level in the emulated class equals your check result minus 20.

This skill use doesn’t allow you to use the class feature of another class. It just lets you activate items as if you had the class feature.

If the class whose feature you are emulating has an allegiance requirement, you must meet it. This may require a separate check to emulate allegiance (see below).

Emulate Ability Score: To cast a spell from a scroll, you need a high ability score in the appropriate ability (Intelligence for arcane spells, Wisdom for divine spells). Your effective ability score (appropriate to the class you’re emulating when you try to cast a spell from a scroll) equals your check result minus 15. If you already have a high enough score in the ability, you don’t need to make this check.

Emulate Allegiance: Some magic items have positive or negative effects based on your allegiance. You can use these items as if you were of an allegiance of your choice. You can only emulate one allegiance at a time.

Use a Scroll: Normally, to cast a spell from a scroll, you must belong to a class that has access to the arcane or divine spell inscribed therein. This use of the skill allows you to use a scroll as if you were of the appropriate spellcasting class. The DC equals 20 + the caster level of the spell you are trying to cast from the scroll. To cast a spell from a scroll, you must first decipher it.

In addition, casting a spell from a scroll requires a minimum score of 10 + the spell’s level in the appropriate ability. If you don’t have a sufficiently high score, you must emulate the ability score with a separate check (see above).

Use a Wand: Normally, to use a wand you must belong to a class that has access to the arcane or divine spell ensorcelled therein. This use of the skill allows you to use a wand as if you were of the appropriate spellcasting class.

Try Again?: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail the check, then you can’t try to activate that item again for 24 hours.

Special: You can’t take 10 or take 20 with this skill. Magic is too unpredictable to make the use of this skill reliable.

Spell Resistance

An Occultist has spell resistance equal to 5 + her Occultist level. It never interferes with her own spells, and she can voluntarily lower her spell resistance at any time.

Arcane Research (Scrolls)

Starting at 2nd level, an Occultist can research spells and scribe scrolls. Indeed, the only way for an Occultist to cast an arcane spell is by using a scroll. The method and process is unique to the Occultist, and it differs from the Mage’s scribe scroll ability. There is no purchase DC or XP cost for the scrolls the Occultist gains with each new level attained in this class.

When the Occultist attains 2nd level, and upon attaining each new level thereafter, she uncovers spell scrolls through arcane research and study. The GM randomly selects the spells contained on the scrolls, though the Occultist can make a Research check to select a certain number of her own spells. The table below shows how many scrolls of each spell level the Occultist receives upon gaining a new level, and how many of these can be researched at each level. A failed Research check indicates that the Occultist instead discovers all random spells.

Level 1 2 3 4 Research
2nd 3 1 (DC 20)
3rd 4 2 (DC 23)
4th 5 2 3 (DC 25)
5th 5 3 4 (DC 28)
6th 5 4 5 (DC 30)
7th 6 5 2 6 (DC 33)
8th 6 5 3 7 (DC 35)
9th 6 5 4 8 (DC 38)
10th 7 6 5 2 9 (DC 40)

So, at 2nd level, the Occultist gains three 1st-level arcane spell scrolls. One of these spells can be selected by the Occultist if she makes a successful Research check (DC 20); the other two spells are selected randomly. These are all the spell scrolls the Occultist has until she attains 3rd level. Once a spell is used, it disappears from the scroll that contained it. The Occultist may find other scrolls in the course of her adventures.

The Occultist uses the Use Magic Device arcane skill to cast a spell from a scroll (see above).

Bonus Feats

At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the Occultist gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Occultist must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it.

Alertness, Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Attentive, Confident, Defensive Martial Arts, Focused, Frightful Presence, Iron Will, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Point Blank Shot.

Shadow Contact

At 4th level, an Occultist gains a denizen of Shadow as a contact. The Shadow creature can have HD equal to one-half the Occultist’s class level or less. This Shadow creature may or may not be overtly hostile toward humans, but it tolerates the Occultist. The Shadow creature will provide information or other minor assistance as though its attitude toward the Occultist were friendly. It might still omit important details, depending on its relationship with the Occultist. The Shadow creature doesn’t accompany the Occultist on adventures, and it may not always be available when the Occultist wants it. In most cases, the Shadow contact can be called upon once per week, and the creature requires some form of compensation for each favor. Compensation can be a favor in return or something appropriate to the creature in question.

If the Shadow creature dies, a new creature replaces it when the Occultist attains her next level in this class.

Bind Shadow Creature

At 5th level, an Occultist can select a type of Shadow creature (any creature type other than animal or vermin) and bind one such creature into service. A Shadow creature of the appropriate type and Hit Dice (GM’s choice) appears at the Occultist’s side in 1d6+1 days. Thereafter, it serves the Occultist, with an outward attitude of helpful (though it might inwardly hate the Occultist who has trapped it into service). It obeys the Occultist, providing protection, fighting at her side, and performing other services. It always seeks to obey the letter of the Occultist’s command, and can sometimes use this behavior to harm the Occultist or otherwise hinder as much as it helps.

At 5th level, the Occultist can bind a Shadow creature with 2 HD or less.

At 8th level, the Occultist can bind a Shadow creature with 4 HD or less.

Arcane Research (Items)

Starting at 7th level, an Occultist can perform research to find magic items. The method and process is unique to the Occultist. There is no purchase DC or XP cost for the magic items the Occultist gains with each new level attained in this class.

When the Occultist attains 7th level, and upon attaining each new level thereafter, she uncovers one magic item through arcane research and study. The GM randomly selects the item, though the Occultist can make a Research check (DC 25) to specify the type of item gained.

The item must be a wondrous item, a wand, a magic weapon, or a set of magic armor.

The Occultist uses the Use Magic Device arcane skill to use a magic item (see above).

Banish

At 10th level, an Occultist comes into her full power. By spending 1 action point and an attack action, the Occultist can utter a word of power that forces a denizen of Shadow to return to the Shadow dimension. The Shadow creature gets a Will save (DC 10 + Occultist’s level + Occultist’s Cha modifier), adding a bonus equal to its HD to the save. If the save succeeds, the Shadow creature doesn’t disappear but is instead stunned for 1d4+1 rounds.




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