OGC:Occultist (5e Class)
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|This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.
Howling at the high moon and reveling in her bestial form, the werewolf leaps out of the darkness and snatches one of her former pursuers, dragging the screaming man into the shadows and depriving him of his innards with her sharp fangs and claws.
Backing out of the tavern with the merchant lord’s gaze locked onto his, the vampire slips into an alleyway nearby, baring his fangs to better slake his thirst on the blood of the foolish human trundling toward him.
Powered by unnatural chemicals, the once-living flesh of an abomination stands unyielding against the hail of arrows pelting her form and she charges forward unheeded, slamming into and through a barred door to shatter it into pieces.
Occultists are people who have become the dark things that stalk in the night. Empowered by mystical rituals, unnatural science, or otherworldly forces, occultists are thought by most to be monsters, shunned and feared by society. Some seek this power out for themselves, but not all of these individuals are beholden to their base desires and many turn their frightful power into a force of good.
Occultists are the stuff of dark secrecy and fell power, things of legend and forbidden lore. Becoming one of these otherworldly creatures is sometimes the ultimate goal of a cultist, drinking the blood of an existing occultist or engaging in strange rituals to fully realize their power. To others it is a curse bestowed by bloodline or destiny, a burden that strengthens itself through hardship.
Agents of the Beyond
While there is certainly a predilection for occultists to fall towards evil, not all of them give in to unnatural compulsions and darker desires—most are driven there by the angry and misunderstanding societies around them. Many of the fell adventurers that resist their inner natures are raised far from civilization or hidden away from the world in utter secrecy, tainted by otherworldly power inherited from their reclusive parents or bestowed upon them by fate and the workings of cults.
Creating an Occultist
The first thing to decide when making an occultist is the source of your character’s abilities: did you seek out your dark path or was it forced upon you by destiny? You might have discovered a dark object or accidentally happened into a nexus of otherworldly energies, stumbling into a ritual or coming upon the decaying essence of a dying monstrous entity looking for a new soul to tether to itself. Perhaps your character has always sought out power regardless of its source, seeking it out with others in a cult and only to be the one to unlock the secrets of the order. Perhaps your parents were occultists and you realized your unnatural inherited talents in a moment of panic. Did you try to hide from society and remain beneath its notice or choose instead to live far from civilized life, surviving in the wilderness? Who—if anyone—knows your truths or helped aid you keep them secret? Perhaps most importantly, does your character feel scorned by society’s treatment of them for their monstrous nature or driven to prove that they are more than their otherworldly appearance suggests?
As a Occultist you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a dagger or (b) a sickle
- (a) a shortbow with 10 arrows or (b) a sling with 15 bullets
- (a) a hooded robe and leather armor or (b) studded leather armor
- Ceremonial relics
- (a) an explorer’s pack or (b) scholar’s pack
|Dark Strike, Occultist Path feature, Supernatural Save
|Devotee of Darkness
|Ability Score Improvement, Devotee of Darkness, Occultist Path feature
|Occultist Path feature
|Ability Score Improvement, Extra Attack
|Dauntless, Toughened Hide
|Occultist Path feature
|Ability Score Improvement, Darkvision
|Occultist Path feature
|Ability Score Improvement, Otherworldly Shadow
|Supernatural Save, Toughened Hide
|Ability Score Improvement, Supernatural Movement
|Otherworldly Shadow, Occultist Path feature
Beginning at 1st level, your strikes are imbued with a darkness that allows you to deal more damage with every blow. For abominations, this is a reflection of the chemistry or fell power that drives you onward. For vampires or werecreatures, it is emblematic of sharpening fang or claw.
You gain the following benefits:
- You can add your Dexterity or Strength modifier to the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes.
- You can roll 1d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. This die changes as you gain occultist levels, as shown in the Dark Strike column of the Occultist table.
- When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike on your turn, you can spend a bonus action to deal necrotic damage instead of your unarmed strike’s usual damage type. You add your Constitution modifier to attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strike when dealing necrotic damage.
At 1st level, your supernatural abilities begin to manifest themselves as an abomination, vampire, or werecreature, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your occult path grants you features at 1st level and again at 4th, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 20th level.
At 1st level, you gain proficiency in a saving throw of your choice. You may change which type of saving throw you gain proficiency in by performing an hour long ritual that requires the use of ceremonial relics. At the end of the ritual, make a DC 15 Charisma check. On a success, you may change one type of saving throw proficiency granted by this ability. On a failed check, you cannot change the type of saving throw again for one week.
You gain proficiency with an additional type of saving throw at 6th level and again at 18th level.
Devotee of Darkness
At 2nd level, you gain advantage on your choice of Dexterity (Stealth) checks or Wisdom (Perception) checks made in total darkness. At 4th level you gain advantage in the skill you have not chosen yet.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 8th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Starting at 9th level, your walking speed either increases by 20 feet or you gain a new form of movement (a climb speed, swim speed, or fly speed) equal to the speed increase. This bonus to your movement speed or new movement speed increases when you reach certain occultist levels, as shown in the Occultist table.
At 13th and 19th level, you gain one of the benefits of this ability that you have not already chosen.
At 10th level, your AC increases by 1 and you gain resistance to one of the following types of damage: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. At 14th level and again at 18th level, you gain resistance to another type of weapon damage. Magical attacks and silvered weapons ignore this resistance.
If you are a werecreature, you gain immunity to one of these damage types instead.
At 16th level, you gain resistance to necrotic and psychic damage so long as you consume a specific substance (abomination: a flask of alchemical substances worth 20 gp, vampire: humanoid blood, werewolf: humanoid flesh) each time you take a long rest. At 20th level, this improves to immunity to necrotic damage.
At 17th level, you gain the ability to cast darkness as a bonus action, requiring no components. This effect cannot be dispelled, and maintaining it does not require your concentration. The darkness you create lasts for a number of rounds equal to your proficiency bonus. After using this ability, you must complete a long rest before it can be used again.
You are a creature of occult science or mystery, possibly even a terrifying homunculus of stitched-together bodies, driven to monstrous form by forbidden alchemical secrets.
- Abominable Nature
Starting at 1st level, you gain resistance to poison damage and immunity to the poisoned condition. You do not need to breathe, eat food, or drink water, though you still require periods of rest similar to sleep. You have disadvantage on Charisma ability checks made against humanoids unsettled by your disturbing appearance and rotting stench.
- Unnatural Threshold
Beginning at 4th level, choose from bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. You ignore an amount of damage equal to your proficiency bonus whenever you are hit with an attack that deals this type of damage. If you possess resistance to this damage type, this reduction is applied before that resistance.
- Rampaging Brute
At 7th level, you gain advantage on attack rolls made against objects and deal double damage when using your Strength to damage an object.
- Strange Resistance
Starting at 11th level, choose one type of energy that is not necrotic, poison, or psychic. You gain resistance to this type of energy. Alternatively, you may choose to gain immunity to this type of energy but you also gain vulnerability to a different energy type of the GM’s choice. This vulnerability may not be a damage type you are already resistant, vulnerable, or immune to.
- Unbreakable Senses
- Unstoppable Abomination
Infused with unholy energies and driven by a thirst for blood, you are becoming a master of the night, one of the most powerful types of undead.
Starting at 1st level, you can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check. You gain vulnerability to radiant damage; at the GM’s discretion, you may choose instead to take an amount of damage equal to your proficiency bonus each turn you are in sunlight. You are no longer considered a humanoid, instead gaining the Undead type.
Once you gain this feature, you grow two sharp fangs. You regain 1d4 hit points whenever you use your fangs to deliver a Dark Strike.
- Darkness Form
Beginning at 4th level, if you aren’t in sunlight or running water, you can use an action to polymorph into a Tiny bat or a Medium cloud of mist. Anything you are wearing transforms with you, but nothing you are carrying does. You can stay in bat or mist form for a number of hours equal to half your occultist level (rounded down), after which you revert to your normal form. You also revert if you fall unconscious, die, or spend a bonus action to end your transformation early. You can use this feature twice between short or long rests.
While in bat form, you can’t speak, your walking speed is 5 feet, and you have a flying speed of 30 feet. Your statistics, other than size and speed, are unchanged.
While in mist form, you can’t take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. You are weightless, have a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, you can do so without squeezing; however, you can’t pass through water at all. You have advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and you are immune to all nonmagical damage. When in sunlight, you take 10 radiant damage at the start of each of your turns.
Once you gain this feature, you take 20 acid damage whenever you enter running water for the first time on your turn or begin your turn immersed or partly immersed in running water.
Starting at 7th level, you can spend an action to target one humanoid you can see within 30 feet. If the target can see you, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma bonus) or be charmed by you. The charmed target regards you as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under your control, it interprets your requests or actions in the most favorable way it can, and it is a willing target for your Dark Strike attack.
Each time you or your companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until you are destroyed, are on a different plane of existence than the target, or take a bonus action to end the effect. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Once you gain this feature, you can’t enter a private residence without an invitation from one of the occupants. You can enter inns, stores, and other public places without an invitation.
- Children of the Night
Beginning at 11th level, you can spend an action to magically call 1d4 swarms of bats or rats, provided that the sun isn’t up. Outdoors, you can call 2d6 wolves instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as your allies and obeying your spoken commands. The beasts remain for 1 hour, until you die, or until you dismiss them as a bonus action. You cannot use this ability again until you complete a long rest.
When you reach 16th level, you can call 2d4 swarms when indoors or 3d6 wolves outdoors.
- Escaping Mist
Starting at 15th level you establish a resting place and imbue a coffin with unholy power. When you drop to 0 hit points outside your resting place, you transform into a cloud of mist (as in the Darkness Forms feature) instead of falling unconscious, provided that you aren’t in sunlight or running water. If you can’t transform, you are destroyed. While you have 0 hit points in mist form, you can’t revert to your normal form, and you must reach your resting place within 2 hours or be destroyed. Once in your resting place, you revert to your normal form. You are then paralyzed until you regain at least 1 hit point. After spending 1 hour in your resting place with 0 hit points, you regain 1 hit point.
- Master of the Night
When you reach 20th level, you regain 20 hit points at the start of your turn if you have at least 1 hit point and aren’t in sunlight or running water. If you take radiant damage or damage from holy water, this feature doesn’t function at the start of your next turn.
You are filled with animalistic fury and cursed with a strange form of lycanthropy that changes you into a beast when the full moon hangs high in the sky.
- Lycanthropic Forms
Beginning at 1st level, you can use an action to polymorph into a beast-humanoid hybrid or into a beast (bear, boar, tiger, rat, or wolf; this is chosen when you take this Occult Path and cannot be changed), or back into your true form. While in hybrid or beast form your AC increases by an amount equal to half your proficiency bonus. Your statistics, other than your AC, are the same in each form. Any equipment you aren’t wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. You revert to your true form if you die. When the moon is full, you cannot assume human form.
You can only use your Dark Strike while in hybrid or beast form. Your Dark Strike takes the form of a bite or a claw attack.
- Keen Senses
- Lycanthropic Hide
Beginning at 7th level, while in hybrid or beast form you gain resistance to any bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons.
- Powerful Leaps
Starting at 11th level, while in hybrid or beast form you quadruple the distance of any jumps you make.
- Corrupting Fangs
Beginning at 15th level, you may force a humanoid damaged by your Dark Strike (if performed as a bite) to make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma bonus) or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target may make a new saving throw at the end of each of their turns. If the target is poisoned in this way for a full minute, it falls unconscious for 24 hours. The target only awakens early if its spreading lycanthropy is purged by a remove curse or greater restoration spell. Otherwise, after 24 hours, the target awakens as a lycanthrope of the same type as you (werebear, wereboar, weretiger, wererat, or werewolf) under the GM’s control.
Once you have used this ability, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
- Master Werecreature
When you reach 20th level, your Strength and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.
Additionally, your Keen Senses and Improved Lycanthropic Hide features can all be used in human form.