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Occultist

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.

Monstrous Origins

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? Perhaps you discovered a sinister object, stumbled into a nexus of otherworldly energies, or happened upon the decaying essence of a dying monstrous entity looking for a new soul to tether itself to. Perhaps your character has always sought out power regardless of its source, seeking it out with others in a cult ritual, only to unlock forgotten secrets of the order. Perhaps your parents were occultists or monsters 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?

Multiclassing

To qualify for new class levels as an occultist, you must have Charisma or Constitution 13 or better.

You gain proficiency with ceremonial relics only.

Class Features

As an occultist, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per occultist level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per occultist level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Ceremonial relics
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Arcana, Insight, Perception, and Religion

Equipment

You start with with the following equipment, in addition to any gear acquired through 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
The Occultist
LevelProficiency BonusDark StrikeSupernatural MovementFeatures
1st+21d4Dark Strike, Occult Path Feature
2nd+21d4Devotee of Darkness
3rd+21d4Darkvision, Occult Path Feature
4th+21d4Ability Score Improvement
5th+31d6Extra Attack, Devotee of Darkness
6th+31d6Supernatural Save
7th+31d6Occult Path Feature
8th+31d6Ability Score Improvement
9th+41d820 ft.Supernatural Movement
10th+41d820 ft.Dauntless, Toughened Hide
11th+41d820 ft.Occult Path Feature
12th+41d830 ft.Ability Score Improvement
13th+51d1030 ft.Supernatural Movement
14th+51d1030 ft.Toughened Hide
15th+51d1040 ft.Occult Path Feature
16th+51d1040 ft.Ability Score Improvement
17th+61d1240 ft.Otherworldly Shadow
18th+61d1250 ft.Supernatural Save, Toughened Hide
19th+61d1250 ft.Supernatural Movement
20th+61d1250 ft.Otherworldly Shadow, Occult Path Feature

Dark Strike

Beginning at 1st level, your unnatural nature allows you to deliver unnaturally vicious unarmed strikes.

Whether this power comes from vile chemicals in your veins or razor-sharp claws, your body has become a weapon as powerful as the sharpest blade.

You gain the following benefits: You can add your Strength or Dexterity 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 damage increases as you gain occultist levels, as shown in the Dark Strike column of the Occultist table.

As a bonus action, you can empower your natural weapons with unholy force until the end of your turn. While empowered, your attacks deal necrotic damage instead of your unarmed strike’s usual damage type, and you deal additional damage equal to your Constitution modifier.

Occult Path

At 1st level, your supernatural abilities begin to manifest themselves as an abomination, vampire, or werecreature (at the end of the class description).

Your occult path grants you features at 1st level and again at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 20th 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 5th level, you gain advantage in the skill you have not chosen yet.

Darkvision

At 3rd level, you gain darkvision out to 60 feet, or the range of your darkvision increases by 60 feet.

Ability Score Improvement

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.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Supernatural Save

At 6th 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 a ritual with a casting time of 1 hour 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 18th level.

Supernatural Movement

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.

Dauntless

At 10th level, you gain immunity to the frightened and charmed conditions.

Toughened Hide

At 10th level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. Additionally, you gain resistance your choice of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage.

Damage dealt by silvered weapons bypass this resistance. If you are a werecreature, you gain immunity to this type of damage instead.

At 14th level and again at 18th level, you may choose another of these damage types.

Otherworldly Shadow

At 17th 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, werecreature: humanoid flesh) each time you take a long rest. At 20th level, this improves to immunity to necrotic damage.

Occult Paths

Abomination

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 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.

Additionally, your maximum hit points increase by 1 for every occultist level, up to a maximum of 20 extra hit points.

Unnatural Threshold

Beginning at 3rd 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

Beginning at 15th, you gain immunity to the blinded, deafened, and exhaustion conditions.

Unstoppable Abomination

When you reach 20th level, you gain immunity to the paralyzed, petrified, and stunned conditions

Vampire

Infused with unholy energies and driven by a thirst for blood, you are becoming a master of the night.

Bloodsucker

Your type changes to undead and you gain vulnerability to radiant damage. Any resistances or immunities you have are suppressed in natural sunlight. You gain the ability to cast spider climb on yourself at-will without requiring any components.

Additionally, you grow two sharp fangs. You may choose to make a Dark Strike with your fangs; the attack roll has disadvantage, but if the attack hits, you regain hit points equal to half the damage dealt by the attack.

Charm

Starting at 3rd 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. A creature charmed by you interprets your requests or actions in the most favorable way it can, and it is a willing target for your Dark Strike attack (the attack automatically hits; no attack is roll required).

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.

Once you gain this feature, you take 2d6 psychic damage whenever you look upon a holy symbol.

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.

Darkness Form

Beginning at 7th 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 cannot speak and you gain the statistics of a bat. Your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores remain 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.

Werecreature

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 gain two alternate forms.

The first is that of your host beast (bear, boar, tiger, rat or wolf, as selected when you take this occult path), and the second a beast-humanoid hybrid. As an action, you can change into either of these two alternate forms, or back to your natural form, but you cannot take humanoid form while the moon is full. Your statistics, including your size and hit points, remain unchanged regardless of the form you are in, with the following exceptions:

  • When entering beast form, your equipment either merges with your form or falls to the ground at your feet (your choice). Merged equipment has no effect and cannot be used until you enter a different form.
  • You can only use your Dark Strike while in hybrid or beast form.

Keen Senses

Starting at 3rd level, while in hybrid or beast form you gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

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 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 and contracts spreading lycanthropy.

The target awakens early only if the spreading lycanthropy is purged by a remove curse or greater restoration spell. Otherwise, after 24 hours, the target wakes up, having become 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, you can use your Keen Senses and Lycanthropic Hide features while in human form.

Sidebar: New Toolkit

Ceremonial Relics (15 gp): These toolkits frequently include candles, votives, reagents, mystic dust, and all manner of occult ephemera. While none are themselves enchanted with power, by utilizing the correct invocations they can help unlock dark secrets of the otherworldly and supernatural.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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