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Occultist




Occultists are undisputed masters among pact magic users. While others flounder, struggling to house a single spirit within their souls, occultists excel at containing the energies of otherworldly beings and harnessing them for their own ends. Viewed as heretics and damned souls by the general public, occultists are both scholars and pioneers to those who seek to discern the secrets of the spirit realm. Other magic users may view pact-making as simplistic, but occultists prove otherwise. While simple at the start, the art takes a lifetime to truly understand. Occultists seek an apex: to bind multiple spirits at once and augment those pacts with sly bargains and insights into supernatural constellations.

Role: Occultists excel at meeting challenges head-on and confronting them with a wide array of supernatural abilities and powers. An occultist’s talents are beyond those of the material world, and as such, the fruits of the trade are particularly difficult to counter. Those who happen upon an occultist are often baffled by the raw display of power that the occultist commands. Despite the diversity of abilities available, occultists are drastically limited in the number of abilities they call upon each day. As a result, many occultists spend their time plotting and calculating every possible outcome to a situation to ensure they are never caught unprepared.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The occultist’s class skills (and the key ability for each) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Occultist
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Max. Spirit Level
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Bind spirits, constellation aspects 1st
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 1st pact augmentation 1st
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3
2nd
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Bonus feat 2nd
5th +3 +4 +1 +4
3rd
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 2nd pact augmentation, bind additional spirit 3rd
7th +5 +5 +2 +5
4th
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Bonus feat 4th
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6
5th
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 3rd pact augmentation, bind additional spirit 5th
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7
6th
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Bonus feat 6th
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8
7th
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 4th pact augmentation, bind additional spirit 7th
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9
8th
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Bonus feat 8th
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10
9th
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 5th pact augmentation, constellation mastery 9th
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Spirit mastery 9th
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Bonus feat, true augmentation 9th

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the occultist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

An occultist is proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.

Bind Spirits

An occultist may seal pacts with spirits. Each day, the occultist may bind one spirit of his or her choice whose level is equal to or less than the maximum spirit level indicated on Table: The Occultist. An occultist’s binder level equals his or her occultist class level and an occultist’s binding check is equal to 1d20 + the binder level + his or her Charisma modifier. The DC to resist the supernatural power of an occultist’s granted abilities equals 10 + ½ the binder level + the Charisma modifier.

See Binding Spirits for more details.

Constellation Aspects

In addition to regular spirits, occultist may draw power from the constellations with which spirits align themselves. While performing a spirit’s ceremony, an occultist may choose to increase the spirit’s binding DC by 5 in order to add a constellation aspect to the list of minor granted abilities the spirit grants. The spirit bestows this power to the occultist even if the binding check fails. After the ritual is complete, the occultist selects a constellation aspect from the list of aspects that are associated with that bound spirit’s constellation.

For example, occultists who bind with Aza’zati, the Green Wyrmling, can select a constellation aspect associated with the dragon constellation (which is Aza’zati’s constellation) if they increase the spirit’s binding DC by 5 during the ceremony.

The decision to add a constellation aspect must be made before the binder rolls the binding check to determine if the pact is a good pact or a poor pact. An occultist may only have one constellation aspect per bound spirit at a time, with a maximum of four constellation aspects at 14th level.

Constellation Aspects

Below is the list of constellation aspects available to occultists. An occultist cannot possess aspects from opposing constellations. For example, although an occultist may bind to a dragon spirit and a hero spirit at once, he or she cannot have both a dragon aspect and a hero aspect at the same time. Constellation aspects act like spirits in all regards. Treat the aspects as granted abilities for all purposes. All abilities granted through constellation aspects are supernatural abilities, even if they act like spells, spell-like abilities, or extraordinary abilities. A constellation aspect that acts like a spell uses the occultist’s binder level as the caster level for the effect. A constellation aspect ends when the pact that allowed the binder to call upon it ends (such as when a binder uses the Expel Spirit feat). A character cannot select the same constellation aspect more than once, even if the aspect might apply to a different skill, statistic or so forth.

Angel Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • You gain DR 1/evil as an immediate action. This DR lasts for 1 round or until you take damage.
  • You shed light as a torch as a standard action for 1 minute per binder level you possess.
  • You shed tears on an adjacent dying creature as a standard action, immediately stabilizing it.
  • You anoint 1 weapon or 1 round of ammunition that you touch with blood as a move action, causing the item to be treated as a good-aligned weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction until the end of your next turn or until you make an attack.

Beast Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Dark Beyond Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Dragon Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Fiend Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • You gain DR 1/good as an immediate action. This DR lasts for 1 round or until you take damage.
  • You channel malicious intent as a standard action, causing an adjacent stabilized creature with 0 or fewer hit points to resume dying.
  • You cause a Fine sized object within 30 feet to catch ablaze as a standard action.
  • You burn an enemy with a ray of fire; dealing 1d3 points of fire damage on a range touch attack and 1 point of splash damage to all creatures adjacent to the target on a successful hit. This ability has a range of 30 feet.

Hero Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Mage Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Noble Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • You gain DR 1/chaos as an immediate action. This DR lasts for 1 round or until you take damage.
  • Select 1 creature within 30 feet. As a standard action, your splendor causes the target to take a -1 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, or saving throws for 1 round (your choice) unless it succeeds on a Will save.
  • Select 1 creature within 30 feet. As a standard action, you imbue the target with gracelessness, causing it to become entangled for 1 round unless it succeeds on a Reflex save.
  • You gain a +3 insight bonus on Diplomacy checks or Intimidate checks (your choice).

Seer Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • As an immediate action, you gain a +1 insight bonus to AC. This bonus lasts for 1 round or until you are attacked.
  • You always know which direction is north. You act as if you were under the effects of know direction.
  • Whenever you make an initiative check, you may reroll your result once but with a -2 penalty. Use the new result even if it is worse than the original.
  • When making initiative checks, you can choose to substitute the result of your d20 roll with a result of 10. If you do so, do not add your Dexterity bonus to determine your initiative (but apply other bonuses as usual).

Scholar Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • Select 1 skill. The whispering of spirits allows you to use that skill untrained for the duration of the pact.
  • Select 1 skill. The insight of spirits allows you to add the skill to your list of class skills for the duration of the pact.
  • Select one language. The tongues of spirits grant you the ability to read, write, and understand that language for the duration of the pact.
  • You can retrieve non-magical books, scrolls, and other writings as a move action instead of a full-round action.

Skull Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • Your touch causes fresh foods and clean water to immediately spoil, allowing you to putrefy 1 cubic pound of food or water per binder level you possess as a standard action.
  • You can disrupt undead, as the spell, at will.
  • Your hands become frigid with the chill of death, allowing you to deal 1d3 points of cold damage as a standard action and place a -2 penalty to Strength on the touched creature for 1 round. This penalty does not stack.
  • You can evoke ghastly noise as if using ghost sound.

Thief Aspects

Select from among the following options.

  • You gain DR 1/law as an immediate action. This DR lasts for 1 round or until you take damage.
  • Once per turn as a swift action you can force 1 creature to make a Will save. On a failed save, that creature is treated as your ally and not your enemy’s ally when determining flanking for 1 round.
  • You deal 1 extra point of damage when attacking a flat-footed foe or a foe that you flank.
  • You gain a +4 insight bonus on Bluff checks.

Tree Aspects

Select from among the following options.

Pact Augmentation (Su)

At 2nd level, an occultist may squeeze additional power from spirits. If the occultist makes a good pact with at least one of his or her bound spirits, then select one of the benefits listed below. Additional good pacts made beyond the first one do not allow for additional pact augmentations.

However, at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the binder selects one additional pact augmentation when making a good pact with at least one of his or her bound spirits, to a maximum of 5 pact augmentations at 18th level.

A pact augmentation lasts for 24 hours or until the occultist is no longer bound to any spirits. An occultist may select a single pact augmentation multiple times. Bonuses gained from pact augmentations stack with themselves but not with similar bonuses gained from other sources (such as spirits).

Bonus Feat

At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, an occultist gains a bonus occult feat or a binder secret. The occultist must meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat or a binder secret including the minimum binder level indicated, if any. These bonus feats are in addition to the feats that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The occultist is not limited to occult feats when choosing those feats.

Bind Additional Spirits (Su)

At 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, an occultist gains the ability to bind one additional spirit to his or her soul, to a maximum of 4 spirits at 14th level.

Constellation Mastery (Su)

At 18th level, an occultist no longer suffers an increase to a spirit’s binding DC when adding a constellation aspect to the spirit.

Spirit Mastery (Su)

At 19th level, an occultist may select 4 spirits and he gains a +1 bonus to the saving throw DCs of those spirits’ granted abilities. This benefit stacks with other bonuses to the saving throw DCs of granted abilities. Alternatively, the occultist may forgo this bonus to instead ignore the spirit’s influence when experiencing a poor pact with one of these spirits.

True Augmentation (Su)

At 20th level, an occultist may extract the very essence of the spirit realm from his or her bound spirits, gaining abilities that transcend reality. Firstly, when an occultist makes a good pact with a spirit, that spirit’s granted abilities (but not other supernatural or magical effects) continue to function while in an antimagic zone unless the antimagic spell’s caster level (or the effect’s CR, if it is naturally caused) is equal to or greater than the occultist’s level.

Secondly, once daily for each bound spirit, an occultist may immediately end the exhaustion on that spirit’s major granted ability, as a free action.

Alternative Racial Favored Class Bonuses

The following options are available to characters of the specified race that have the occultist class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

Some favored class options add fractional bonuses to rolls or fractional benefits to characters, such as +1/2, +1/3, +1/4, or +1/6. Each time such a benefit is selected, round down (minimum 0) to determine the benefit. In many cases, the option provides no benefit when selected once. For example, a benefit that grants 1/6 of a binder secret has no effect until selected it is selected 6 times.

  • Aasimar: While bound to an angel spirit, the occultist adds 1/3 to the number of daily uses of a racial spell-like ability for the pact’s duration.
  • Catfolk: While bound to a beast spirit, the occultist gains a +1 foot enhancement bonus to their speed. This bonus provides an occultist with no benefits until it has been selected five times.
  • Changeling: While bound to a beast spirit, the occultist gains 1/6 of an additional monstrous aspect. An occultist without the monstrous aspect class feature can receive this benefit.
  • Dhampir: While bound to a skull spirit, the occultist gains a +1/4 enhancement bonus to the bonuses provided by the undead resistance racial trait.
  • Duergar: Select 1 racial spell-like ability the occultist possesses. While bound to a spirit, add 1/3 to the number of times per day the occultist may use the selected spell-like ability. An occultist may not gain more than 3 additional uses per spell-like ability from this bonus.
  • Drow: While bound to a spirit, add +1/4 to the DC of any poisons you apply to your weapons.
  • Dwarf: Add a +1/2 bonus on binding checks made with spirits whose favored enemies include creatures that the occultist receives combat bonuses against from racial traits such as hatred, giant hunter, or wyrmscourged.
  • Elf: Select 1/6 of a constellation. While bound to a spirit of the chosen constellation, the occultist reduces the number of rounds that the spirit’s major granted ability is expended by 1. This stacks with Rapid Recovery. Each time this benefit is selected, select a different constellation to apply it to.
  • Fetchling: While bound to a dark beyond spirit, the occultist gains 1/6 of an additional dark beyond constellation aspect. An occultist without the constellation aspect class feature can receive this benefit.
  • Gillman: Reduce the DC requirement to obtain a spirit’s capstone empowerment by 1/4 (minimum equals the spirit’s binding DC).
  • Goblin: Add a +½ bonus on binding checks made with spirits who include dogs and horses as favored enemies.
  • Gnome: Select 1 constellation. Reduce the DC increase for applying constellation aspects to spirits belonging to the selected constellation by 1, to a minimum penalty of 0.
  • Grippli: Select 1 spirit that provides a totem bonus for having its seal drawn in a specific location. The occultist adds +1/3 on binding checks with the selected spirit. If you qualify for no other totems, you receive a +2 totem bonus on binding checks with the selected spirit if its seal is drawn in a swamp.
  • Half-Elf: Select 1 spirit. Add a +½ bonus on binding checks with the selected spirit. The occultist cannot select a spirit for whom he or she is a favored enemy.
  • Half-orc: Add ½ to the hit point damage you deal with granted abilities.
  • Halfling: While bound to a spirit, add 1/4 to the number of times per day the occultist can use the adaptable luck ability.
  • Hobgoblin: Select 1 combat maneuver. While bound to a hero spirit, the occultist adds a +1/2 insight to CMB when performing the selected combat maneuver. This bonus cannot exceed more than +2 per combat maneuver.
  • Human: Select 1/6 of a binder secret for which the occultist qualifies. While bound to a spirit, the occultist gains the selected binder secret.
  • Ifrit: While bound to a spirit, the occultist increases its racial fire resistance by +1/2.
  • Kitsune: Add +1/2 to the number of times each day that the occultist may use minor granted abilities that are polymorph effects. This bonus does not apply to spells affected by a soul weaver’s reweave spellcasting.
  • Kobold: Add a +1/3 enhancement bonus to any armor or natural armor bonus to AC that the occultist receives from a granted ability.
  • Orc: Select 1 spirit that includes orcs as a favored ally or that provides a totem bonus to an orc binder. The occultist adds a +½ insight bonus to damage rolls made with granted abilities as well as a +½ insight bonus on Intimidate checks while bound to the spirit.
  • Oread: While bound to a spirit, the occultist increases its racial acid resistance by +1/2.
  • Merfolk: While bound to a spirit, the occultist can breathe air and increases its swim speed and land speed by +1. This bonus provides an occultist with no benefits until it has been selected five times.
  • Nagaji: Add +1/2 to all binding checks made with noble spirits.
  • Ratfolk: Select 1 spirit that includes ratfolk or rodents as a favored ally. Add +1/3 on Will saves the occultist makes against the selected spirit’s influence. This bonus cannot exceed +5 for any one spirit.
  • Samsaran: While bound to a spirit, increase the number of negative hit points the occultist may accrue before dying by 1.
  • Strix: Add +1/2 on binding checks made with spirits who include humans as a favored enemy.
  • Suli: While bound to a mage spirit, add 1/3 to the number of times each day the occultist may use the elemental assault or energy strike racial traits.
  • Svirfneblin: Select 1 racial spell-like ability the occultist possesses. While bound to a spirit, add 1/3 to the number of times per day the occultist may use the selected spell-like ability. An occultist may not gain more than 3 additional uses per spell-like ability from this bonus.
  • Sylph: While bound to a spirit, the occultist increases its racial electricity resistance by +1/2.
  • Tengu: Select 1 spirit with a totem that requires the ability to speak one or more languages. The occultist is treated as the spirit’s favored ally if this totem is met, even if the character normally wouldn’t be. Each time this bonus is selected, choose a different spirit.
  • Tiefling: While bound to a fiend spirit, add +1/4 to the saving throw DC of all granted abilities that the occultist receives from fiend spirits.
  • Undine: While bound to a spirit, the occultist increases its racial cold resistance by +1/2.
  • Vanara: While bound to a seer spirit, the occultist may reroll +1/4 Reflex saves each day. The occultist must utilize this ability before the result of the saving throw is revealed.
  • Vishkanya: Select 1 spirit. While bound to the selected spirit, the vishanya’s vishkanya venom racial ability calculates its saving throw DC as if it were a spirit’s granted ability.
  • Wayang: While bound to a dark beyond spirit, the occultist may use either the shadow magic or light and dark racial abilities +1/3 times per day.

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

There are many tricks to barter with spirits, and none are as privy to these secrets as an occultist. However, as occultists dive forever deeper into the secrets of forgotten lore and ancient tomes, they risk losing bits of themselves to the spirit realm and its spectral inhabitants. The greatest tragedy of all results in apotheosis to something terrifying and unreal.

Table: Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Weapon & Armor










2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Radiance House
Occult Scholar





















Seal-Etched Occultist





















Unbound Occultist





















X=replaced, (X)=optionally replaced, C=changed, 1=archetype package 1, 2=archetype package 2
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1. Copyright, 2012, Radiance House. Author(s): Alexander Augunas, Dario Nardi

Subpages (2): Archetypes Binder Secrets