Premise: The occultist is a student of the hidden and a revealer of secrets. They are skilled experts and capable ritual magic users. They have unlocked the eldritch power of invocations by delving into the formula of spells and their underlying mechanics. Having mastered this basic concept, they have applied it to their unique Glyph magic that lets them create magcal traps or safe zones quickly. Ultimately, a magical hacker.
Hit Dice: 1d6 per Occultist level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per occultist level after 1st.
Weapons: daggers, sickle, rapier, hand crossbow, light crossbows, light hammers
Tools: Calligrapher’s Supplies
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Medicine, Religion and Nature
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
You may select one of the following Traveler’s Kits of your choosing.
a small rowboat with a simple sail
a cart and draft horse or camel
a riding horse and saddle
a wagon and an ox
two donkeys and a cart
A rapier or A light crossbow and 6 bolts
A dagger, a sickle or a light hammer
Coins or gemstones worth
1d4 gp + 1d6 sp + 1d8 cp
book of shadows, journal; a prayerbook, ritualbook or spellbook. Your grimoire is a basic journal of your notes, glyphs, creature’s encountered, recipes or other information your character uses. If you lose your grimoire you may recreate it by performing a 1 hour ritual. You may copy pages to and from any number of actual books, scrolls or other means of written storage; you have access to whatever is recorded in the tome you are holding. Many Occultists have great personal libraries of books, tomes, spellbooks and grimoires. Others may have just a simple journal with a few collected volumes.
Using the formula for creating certain spells you can create Glyphs, small inscriptions that holds magical power. A glyph is a small symbol that depicts certain fundamental forces. They are drawn on a floor or surface that activates when touched or stepped on. Glyphs take 1 full round to create. You may move about the glyph, but you must
remain within 5 feet of the space you are marking. When a glyph is created, the creator must choose what spell formula to inscribe on that tile. Glyphs affect a 5 foot space, about 5 – 10 feet high. A glyph lasts 1 minute.
at 1st level when you learn to create glyphs you may only recreate the effects of one of these simple spells using the formula in your book.
granting the benefit to anyone in the tile.
You may also create a magical trap that casts one of these simple spells on whatever creature enters the space.
acid splash, poison spray,
sacred flame, vicious mockery
at 5th level you learn to create additional glyphs. You may create a temporary magic circle that lasts 1 minute that binds and resticts certain magical creatures. Choose one or more of the following types of creatures:
celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, or undead.
The circle affects a creature of the chosen type in the following ways:
The creature can’t willingly exit the cylinder by nonmagical means.
If the creature tries to use teleportation or interplanar travel to do so, it must first succeed on a Charisma saving throw.
The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets outside of the cylinder.
Targets outside the cylinder can’t be charmed, frightened, or possessed by the creature.
When you cast this spell, you can elect to cause its magic to operate in the reverse direction, preventing a creature of the specified type from entering the cylinder and protecting targets inside of it.
You improve your trap to deal 5d8 damage to whatever enters the Glyph. if they fail a Dexterity saving throw: You may select one of these damage types when you draw the Glyph:
acid cold fire lightning thunder
By using the theory and formula for creating certain spell scrolls and inscriptions for rituals and magic items, you have devised the capacity to create Glyphs, small pieces of larger spells hat hold magical power.
at 9th level you gain the ability to create the hallowed glyphs Your glyphs can now grant the following effect to whoever enters the glyph:
Courage. Affected creatures can’t be frightened while in the area.
Darkness.Darkness fills the area. Normal light, as well as magical light created by spells of a lower level than the slot you used to cast this spell, can’t illuminate the area.
Daylight. Bright light fills the area. Magical darkness created by spells of a lower level than the slot you used to cast this spell can’t extinguish the light.
Energy Protection. Affected creatures in the area have resistance to one damage type of your choice, except for bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing.
Energy Vulnerability. Affected creatures in the area have vulnerability to one damage type of your choice, except for bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing.
Everlasting Rest. Dead bodies interred in the area can’t be turned into undead.
Extradimensional Interference. Affected creatures can’t move or travel using teleportation or by extradimensional or interplanar means.
Fear. Affected creatures are frightened while in the area.
Silence. No sound can emanate from within the area, and no sound can reach into it.
Tongues. Affected creatures can communicate with any other creature in the area, even if they don’t share a common language.
at 13th,. you may inscribe these powerful symbols in your glyphs
Death. Each target must make a Constitution saving throw, taking 10d10 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful save.
Discord. Each target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a target bickers and argues with other creatures for 1 minute. During this time, it is incapable of meaningful communication and has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
Fear. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw and becomes frightened for 1 minute on a failed save. While frightened, the target drops whatever it is holding and must move at least 30 feet away from the glyph on each of its turns, if able.
Hopelessness. Each target must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the target is overwhelmed with despair for 1 minute. During this time, it can’t attack or target any creature with harmful abilities, spells, or other magical effects.
Insanity. Each target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target is driven insane for 1 minute. An insane creature can’t take actions, can’t understand what other creatures say, can’t read, and speaks only in gibberish. The GM controls its movement, which is erratic.
Pain. Each target must make a Constitution saving throw and becomes incapacitated with excruciating pain for 1 minute on a failed save.
Sleep. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw and falls unconscious for 10 minutes on a failed save. A creature awakens if it takes damage or if someone uses an action to shake or slap it awake.
Stunning. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw and becomes stunned for 1 minute on a failed save.
additionally at 13th level you may create a special seal in a 10-foot-diameter circle on the ground inscribed with sigils that link your location to a permanent teleportation circle of your choice whose sigil sequence you know and that is on the same plane of existence as you. A shimmering portal opens within the
circle you drew and remains open until the end of your next turn. Any creature that enters the portal instantly appears within 5 feet of the destination circle or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.
Some places have permanent teleportation circles inscribed somewhere within them. Each such circle includes a unique sigil sequence—a string of magical runes arranged in a particular pattern. You might learn a sigil sequences during your adventures. You can commit a new sigil sequence to your ritualbook after studying it for 1 minute.
at 15th, you may inscribe Divine Words to your glyphs. You are able to imbue them with someof the earliest and most primal forces of creation. Whenever a creature enters a glyph created by you and fails a Charisma saving throw is affected as follows:
50 hit points or fewer: deafened for 1 minute
40 hit points or fewer: deafened and blinded for 10 minutes
30 hit points or fewer: blinded, deafened, and stunned for 1 hour
20 hit points or fewer: killed instantly
Regardless of its current hit points, a celestial, an elemental, a fey, or a fiend
that fails its save is forced back to its plane of origin (if it isn’t there already)
and can’t return to your current plane for 24 hours by any means short of a
at 17th you gain the ability to write a powerful word of stunning into your traps. This power can leave a creature devastated, If the target has 150 hit points or fewer, it is stunned. Otherwise, the glyph has no effect and does not trigger. The stunned target must make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, this stunning effect ends.
at 19th you can inscribe powererfu; word to kill in your glyphs. On entry a if creature has 100 hit points or fewer, it dies. Otherwise, the glyph has no effect and does not trigger. This power is absolute, there is no saving throw.
Further Symbols and Words
There may be additional runes, symbols, words or sigils available in your travels you can incorporate into your magical seals and traps. Many occult specialists further refine, alter or create other seals and glyphs or new ways to use them. These glyphs also form the basis of Occult Marks and Words.
Make a Research Check based on your intelligence. Add your proficiency if you are proficient in the these skills:
Dragon: Arcana History
Fey: Nature Religion
Fiend: Arcana Religion
Giant: Arcana History
Humanoid: Arcana History
Monstrosity: Arcana Nature
Plant: Arcana Nature
Undead: Religion History
Arcana: elemental, ooze, aberration, construct, dragon
History: undead, fey, humanoid, giant
Nature: beasts, plants, dragon, monstrosity?
Religion: celestials, fiends, fey, undead
if you have both skills listed, you have advantage on the roll.
Animal Handling – beasts, dragon, monstrosity
Medicine – humanoid, giant
Survival – plants, beasts
Herbalism kit – plants
Alchemists – oozes
Smiths or Tinkers – Constructs
Subtract the creature’s CR from the roll to determine your success level:
>0 learn any 'legendary actions' about a creature first, stuff people tell stories about
>2 the cobalt monk stuff, the basic conditions and damage type resistances
>5 Traits and Senses, Movements, specifically traits, those monster stat block items like Relentless, Reactive, Web Sense and Trampling Charge, blindsense or truesight,
>8 Actions, like poison sting, or Steam Breath. This would also include any remedy
>13 Lair Actions
You may record in your grimoire, journal or other book any ritual spell you find. You start with two (2) level one rituals from any list, so long as it has the Ritual tag. You also know the Identify spell as a ritual. In your travels if you find spellbooks, scrolls, spell or magic item formula that contain ritual spells you may record them in your book. You may only cast these as ritual spells unless you gain spell slots to cast them normally. You may perform a ritual as long as its level is less than or equal to half your Occultist level rounded down.
At level 7, 11 and 15 you may select a spell level 2-5 less than half your level rounded down from the wizard or cleric spell lists..
It must not have the ritual tag, and it must have a casting time of 1 minute or greater,
It must require material components.
This spell becomes a ritual spell for you.
Although you do not normally gain spell slots, when you create an item such as a scroll or talisman, use a Mark (a permanent glyph) or brew a potion, as an occultist you understand the formula and magical theory well enough you count as being able to cast the spell needed to create that item and you do not need to expend spell slots. You must still provide any material components the spell or formula requires. You may create Common spell scrolls with cantrips on them you could cast using Glyphs. You may also create Common spell scrolls for any ritual spells you know.
Armor of Shadows
Eyes of the Rune Keeper
Gaze of Two Minds
Mask of Many Faces
One with Shadows
Whispers of the Grave
Master of Myriad Forms
Visions of Distant Realms
You may select a standard ritual spell you know, it becomes an invocation for you; it may not be a spell gained from Ritual Mastery. It lasts for 24 hours or until you dismiss the effects. You may not create more than one effect of a spell at the same time, such as unseen servant, though you can cast it normally as a ritual in addition to the invocative effects. Other spells with more direct effects may be used at will, such as illusory script or magic mouth.
If you know these rituals, they may become an invocation for you. When you cast the spell, it does not take a spell slot but has its normal casting time. They are always centered on you or affect you personally. Included is a note on how these invocations are implemented, at will rituals have their normal casting time.
Alarm, affects you 24h
Detect Poison and Disease, at will
Floating Disk, at will, only one
Identify, at will
Illusory Scriptat will
Purify Food and Drink, at will
Unseen Servantat will, only one
Animal Messenger, at will, only one
Augury, at will
Gentle Reposeaffects you 24h
Locate Animals or Plants, at will
Magic Mouthat will
Meld into Stone, at will, 24 houe
Phantom Steed, at will, only one
Tiny Hutat will, only one
Water Walkat will
At 10th level, you gain a subclass feature from a different occultist subclass. These are usually the 3rd or 6th level features. Additionally you gain proficiency with the toolkit associated with that subclass as follows:
Alchemistpotions, alchemy supplies
Tinkerweapon marks, Tinker’s tools
Scribescrolls, jewelers tools
Hunterclothes, leatherworkers tools
Witchmedicine, herbalism kit
Investigatorclues, disguise kit
Archetype: The Investigator:
You are an investigator, a researcher, a detective, sleuth or snoop. You get your nose dirty, both on the streets and in the pages of old books. You are a seeker of truth, a revealer of secrets and nothing stands between you asnd solving a case.
Archetype: the Invoker
You are an invoker, your power rests in altering the flow of magic around you, to attune with your resonant inner power. You have mastered invocations and can alter your own as fluidly as a wizard memorizes spells.
Invocations for you, are like making a magic item, out of yourself.
Notes, Justification, Discussion
So I really dont like the warlock, or the artificer, and I find the wizard chassis rather confining. This started out as something like a warlock without a patron, and grew from there. Slowly, the identity of the class has grown with some unique features and collection of ‘Occult’ powers. Each one builds on the existing systems and uses them in new ways, creating what has been called ‘a magical hacker’.
I rarely use artwork that is not my own, however several people wanted imagery and inspiration. I selected a few items I thought captured some of what I was after.
Artwork is from Paizo publishing, Mutants and Masterminds and Square-Enix games.