For all you role players out there interested in the stranger side of things, I present the Occultist class for 5th edition! This class is inspired by esoteric archetypes like psychic mediums, witches, and fortune tellers.
Occultists are masters of esoteric lore and practitioners of heretical magic. They defy the scholars of traditional schools by using their spiritual knowledge of a deeper reality called the Gnosis to combine different techniques in seemingly blasphemous or impossible ways. Reality, as normal people know it, is a veil of delusion behind which real truths await. Beyond the veil, spiritual wars wage, ancient threats reform, and interplanar conspiracies threaten the very foundations of reality. Such events, big or small, almost always remain unknown to regular folk, and certainly never make it into history books. Occultists risk their reputations, their sanity and their souls to get a glimpse of these metaphysical truths.
In terms of gameplay, the Occultist was designed to have a weaker-than-average base, but more powerful-than-average class paths. To balance this it uses a modified Spell Point system rather than the standard spell slot system. The amount spell points the Occultist gains per level is far less than the standard amount. This tries to balance the fact that each of the Occultist’s paths are more powerful than the paths from the standard classes of the Player’s Handbook.
The Occultist class is also, in many respects, three classes in one. The base class is sparse, while each of its path choices present an extensive amount of features. Once completed, it will feature three different paths: Path of the Medium, Path of the Psychic, and Path of the Ritualist.
Path of the Medium
For this initial release, the PDF includes only the first of these three paths: the Medium. It is designed to be a squishy spirit-summoning spellcaster, specializing in occult divination and psychic/fear attacks. Path of the Medium gives the Occultist all the features a spiritual medium should have, including spirit channeling, sensing the dead, ghost summoning, and incorporeal communication. To balance the Medium’s spirit summoning feature, the class also includes a set of custom monster stat blocks. The Medium’s ability to automatically detect and communicate with the spirits of the dead, then summon them to terrorize their enemies, adds a great atmospheric element to both role playing and combat situations.
You can download the PDF here and let us know what you think! This is still a work in progress, so any helpful suggestions are welcome.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing the Path of the Psychic and Path of the Ritualist. Until then, have fun haunting your enemies with the Medium.
I would like to give special thanks to my friends on the Dragon Soup for the Soul podcast for helping with playtesting, as well as to all the artists featured in the PDF!
*Featured Illustration by LeoNeal