The occult takes many forms, and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures did a pretty thorough job of exploring them. The occultist class is heavily flavored around the psychic energies stored in items. But what if they focused instead on the aspect of the occult that was originally set aside for the spiritualist? Today’s Best in Class is an occultist archetype that allows occultists to call upon the spirits of the dead, learn about a creature from its corpse, and even predict a creature’s manner of death!
New Occultist Archetype
Just as most occultists focus on the hidden psychic energy in objects, necrognostics focus on the way that the spirits and souls of intelligent creatures imprint on objects. They can learn a great deal about a creature from its corpse, can learn the nature of a creature’s death and ward them against it, and can even conjure spirits using people or items with a connection to them.
Necromancy Adept: At 1st level, a necrognostic must select necromancy as one of his implement schools. He may select his other 1st-level implement, and all implements thereafter, normally.
Read Corpse (Su): At 2nd level, a necrognostic learns how to read information from a corpse he examines. Examining a corpse in this way requires him to spend 1 minute closely scrutinizing it (including touching it). If he does, he learns the race, age, alignment, and gender of the creature the corpse was, as though he had successfully used the phrenology occult skill unlock on that creature. If the necrognostic’s class level is at least 2 higher than the number of Hit Dice the corpse possessed in life, he also learns the creature’s class, as well as its name. If his class level is at least 5 higher than the number of Hit Dice the corpse possessed in life, he also learns the level or Hit Dice the corpse possessed, as well as gaining a brief vision (up to 1 minute in length) of how the creature died, viewed from the creature’s perspective.
This ability replaces the object reading class feature.
Ward Against Death (Su): At 8th level, a necrognostic learns how to peer into a creature’s future and predict the greatest threats to its life, as well as safeguard against them. By concentrating on an adjacent creature for 1 minute, the necrognostic can learn which of the following is most likely to serve as the greatest threat to the creature over the course of the next day: death by affliction, death by misadventure, or death by violence (this information is determined and revealed by the GM). The information provided in this way is simply a prediction based on what is most likely at the time the ability is used, and, if circumstances change, may prove inaccurate (for example, if the party had previously determined to enter a room with a deadly trap, this ability might return a result of misadventure. If the group then decided not to go into that room, however, they might wind up facing a deadly poison, instead).
The necrognostic also grants the creature a magical protection, warding them from the type of harm that he determined was the greatest danger to that creature today. The benefits are outlined below.
Affliction: The creature gains a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist curses, diseases, and poisons.
Misadventure: The creature gains a +2 bonus on Acrobatics checks and Reflex saves, as well as a +1 luck bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.
Violence: The creature gains a +1 luck bonus to AC.
The benefit granted by this ability lasts for 24 hours. The necrognostic can use this ability any number of times per day, but only once on any given creature per day.
This ability replaces the magic circles class feature.
Séance (Sp): Beginning at 8th level, the necrognostic gains the ability to conjure the spirits of the deceased. He can cast call spirit as a spell-like ability once per day. If the target would gain a bonus on its Will save to resist the spell based on the necrognostic’s knowledge of and connection to it, that bonus is reduced by an amount equal to 1/2 the necrognostic’s occultist level (to a minimum of +0). Additionally, if the spirit would suffer a penalty to its saving throw because the necrognostic has a connection to the spirit, that penalty is increased by 1 per four class levels the necrognostic possesses (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level). This does not apply if the necrognostic does not have a connection to the spirit. At 12th level, and every four levels thereafter, the necrognostic can use this ability one additional time per day (to a maximum of four times per day at 20th level).
This ability replaces the outside contact class feature.
Channel Connection (Su): Beginning at 12th level, whenever the necrognostic uses his séance class feature, he can invite one other creature to join in on the séance. If he does, he uses that creature’s knowledge of the spirit to determine the bonus to the spirit’s Will save modifier, rather than his own knowledge of the spirit. Additionally, if the necrognostic and the additional creature invited into the séance have different alignments, the necrognostic can use either his own alignment or the other creature’s to determine the bonus the spirit receives to its Will save modifier.
This ability replaces the binding circles class feature.
Fast Séance (Su): Beginning at 16th level, whenever the necrognostic uses his séance class feature, he can do so as a full-round action, rather than taking 10 minutes. If he does, the spirit gains a +10 bonus on its Will save to resist the spell, in addition to any other bonuses it would receive (this bonus is still subject to the reduction described in the séance class feature).
This ability replaces the fast circles class feature.