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Pathfinder - Oracle Handbook

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Introduction

The Oracle is to the Cleric what the Sorcerer is to the Wizard. Oracles are Charisma-based spontaneous spellcasters that share a spell list (and several other aspects) with the Cleric. Because their abilities are so similar, the Oracle can fill any role that the Cleric can, and because they are Charisma-based, the Oracle makes for a much better Face than a Cleric.

Oracle Class Features

Hit Points: d8 hit points can be hard if you're on the front lines, especially with only medium armor and no real need for Dexterity. If you prefer to stay in the back you're probably fine, but if you're in the front be sure to boost your AC and Constitution.

Base Attack Bonus: 2/3 BAB and you can buff yourself to make up the difference.

Saves: The Oracle's only good save is Will, and with no other need for Wisdom even the Oracle's best save likely won't be spectacular.

Proficiencies: Simple weapons are plenty, and medium armor and shield provide good AC. If you need more AC, take Heavy Armor Proficiency or cast some buff spells.

Skills: 4+ skill ranks is great for a straight caster, and your choice of mystery allows for some interesting class skills.

Spells: The Oracle uses the Cleric spell list, which is excellent. You have a limited number of spells known which greatly limits your versatility, but you still have access to all of the Cleric's best spells. Don't forget that you get to select all Cure or all Inflict spells as spells known for free. The text is buried in the "Spells" section for Oracles, and it's easy to miss.

Mystery: Your choice of mystery is much like the Cleric's choice of domain, but more like a Sorceror's Bloodline. It greatly determines the feel and flavor of your character, and greatly influences your play style. See my Oracle Mystery Breakdown for help selecting a mystery.

Oracle's Curse: The Oracle's Curse is a handicap. Each option provides some other benefit which grows as you level, but for the most part the curses are a burden. If you plan to multiclass, remember that half of your other class levels count toward your level for the effects of Oracle's Curse, which can make for some very clever multiclassing options.

Revelation: The Oracle's pseudo-feat, Revelations are a great way to customize your Oracle, and provide a lot of fantastic abilities.

Final Revelation: Varies by mystery.

Abilities

The Oracle, like the Cleric, can be either a strict spellcaster or a front-line combat spellcaster. Your choice of abilities depends on what role you plan to fill in your party.

Str: If you plan to be a combat caster, you need Strength for attack and damage. If you're a straight caster, dump Strength.

Dex: Boosts AC and Reflex saves. If AC is a problem or if you plan to be a combat caster, pick up Heavy Armor Proficiency so that a 12 is an acceptable score. For straight casters, pick up a little more dexterity to improve your AC and your ranged attacks.

Con: Everyone needs hit points and Fortitude saves.

Int: With 4+ skill ranks and not a lot of important skills, you can afford to dump Intelligence if you really need to. However, many Oracle Mysteries grant access to all knowledge skills, which can make you an excellent Librarian with a little bit of Intelligence.

Wis: Only required for Will saves, and Will is the Oracle's good save.

Cha: Your spellcasting ability.

Combat Caster
25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy 15 Point Buy Elite Array
  • Str: 14
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 8
  • Wis: 12
  • Cha: 17
  • Str: 14
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 8
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 16
  • Str: 14
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 12
  • Int: 8
  • Wis: 11
  • Cha: 15
  • Str: 14
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 13
  • Int: 8
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 15
Straight Caster
25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy 15 Point Buy Elite Array
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 12
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 18
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 12
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 13
  • Cha: 18
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 12
  • Con: 12
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 12
  • Cha: 17
  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 13
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 12
  • Cha: 15

Races

Bonuses to Charisma are key, but bonuses to other abilities are nice for combat caster builds.

Dwarf: The penalty to Charisma is too much of a problem to overcome for a primary spellcaster.

Elf: Bonuses to two of the Oracle's least important abilities, and a penalty to constitution.

Gnome: A bonus to Constitution and Charisma is a great combination for a straight caster build. If you want to play a small straight caster Oracle, the Gnome is your best bet. The favored class bonus lets you get the higher level abilities of your Oracle's curse sooner, but remember that the abilities have an upper limit, and once you get all of the abilities your investment will be wasted.

Half-Elf: The Flexible bonus goes into Charisma, but that's all that we really get from the Half-Elf unless you take some alternate racial traits. The favored class bonus grants extra spells known, which will really help improve the Oracle's versatility.

Half-Orc: The Flexible bonus goes into Charisma, and Darkvision is nice, but that's really all that we get. The favored class bonus grants extra spells known, which will really help improve the Oracle's versatility.

Halfling: Similar to the Gnome, Halflings get a bonus to the Charisma, and make a great straight caster option. Their favored class bonus is the same as the Gnome's.

Human: The ability bonus goes into Charisma, the skill ranks can help offset dumping Intelligence if you choose to do so, and a bonus feat is always fantastic. The favored class bonus grants extra spells known, which will really help improve the Oracle's versatility.

Traits

Your choice of traits depends largely on your character concept. Because Mysteries and spell lists make Oracles so diverse, it's largely impossible to determine what traits would be good for all Oracles.

Skills

Feats

Your choice of feats depends largely on your character concept, but some feats work well for any Oracle.

Weapons

Armor

Armor is presented in the order in which you should acquire it, rather than alphabetical order.

Spells

The Oracle's spells are largely the same as the Cleric's. However, Oracles get a handful of exclusive spells. Also keep in mind that, since you can't trade your spells on a daily basis, you'll want to stick to spells you need on a consistent basis.

I'll address Oracle-exclusive spells here, but for additional analysis of cleric/oracle spells, see my Cleric Handbook.

2nd-Level Spells

3rd-Level Spells

4th-Level Spells