Introduction

A divine spellcaster with little or no interaction with actual divine beings, the Oracle draws their power from a mystery of some kind, and in exchange they get divine spellcasting but also a curse which is some degree of terrible.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

Oracle Class Features

Key Ability: Charisma.

Hit Points: 8+ hit points is great for casting-focused oracles, giving you more hit points than classes like the Sorcerer and the Wizard, but if you’re looking at the Battle Mystery and want to wade into melee you’ll want to invest in additional hit points.

Initial Proficiencies: The Oracle’s proficiencies are poor, which is typical for a full spellcaster.

  • Perception: Among the worst Perception progressions in the game, and without a dependency on Wisdom you’ll always be bad at Perception.
  • Saving Throws: The Oracle gets the best Will save progression in the game, but is tied for the worst Fortitude progression and has the worst Reflex progression.
  • Skills: A total of 5+Int skills, which is slightly above the average of 4+Int. Unfortunately you may need to dump Intelligence to compensate for other deficiencies.
  • Attacks: Only simple weapons (unless you select the Battle Mystery), and you’ll never be good with them. You’re better than the Wizard, but that’s a low bar.
  • Defenses: Only light armor (unless you select the Battle Mystery), and your proficiency never advances past Expert. Spending feats to get better armor is a good idea for most oracles unless you’re comfortable fighting from the back lines.
  • Spellcasting DC: Standard for spellcasters.

Divine Spellcasting:

  • Heightened Spells: Heightening spells is an important mechanic in Pathfinder 2e. Many spells scale with spell level, remaining effective long past their base spell level. Since oracles use a Spell Repertoire, you need to learn spells at multiple levels to heighten them in most cases, though Signature Spells are an exception.
  • Cantrips: Fantastic every time, on any character, in any amount. Oracles learn 5 cantrips at level 1 and never get more, but you can replace them by retraining or when you gain a level so you’re not locked into whatever you pick at first level.

Divine Font: Effectively free spell slots at your highest spell level. For clerics who get Heal, this reduces the need to commit spell slots to Heal just because you’re the person in your party who can cast Heal. For clerics who get Harm, you get a low-cost damage option and you can even heal your allies if everyone builds characters with inverted healing. However, this also adds a reliance on Charisma which is otherwise not an important ability for the Cleric.

Spell Repertoire: Spell Repertoires are less versatile than spellcasting like the Cleric’s or the Druid’s. You know a fixed number of spells which grows as you gain levels, and while you don’t need to prepare your spells ahead of time you also lose the flexibility of changing your spells every day. You also need to learn the same spells at multiple levels if you plan to heighten them, which is a difficult cost to pay. Fortunately, the Oracle’s Signature Spells feature (see below) allows you to heighten some of your spells without learning them multiple times.

Mysteries: See my Oracle Mysteries Breakdown.

Revelation Spells: You start with a Focus Pool of 2 points for free, which is very generous. The wording of the feature is a little vague, but you do still follow the usual rules for Refocusing, so you can only recover one point until you cast another Focus Spell, so you only recharge the full pool when you rest (until you get a feat that lets you Refocus to get more points back). You also get two Focus Spells, so you have more options for your Focus Points than most characters do at first level.

Oracular Curse: The drawback for your Revelation Spells, Oracular curse is a sort of “death spiral” mechanic where things get worse for you the further you go down the track. At first level, your curse can be in its “Basic” state, its “Minor” state, its “Moderate” state, or you can be overwhelmed. Each time you cast a Revelation Spell, your curse increases one step. You can reduce your curse to Minor by Refocusing, but you can only get back to Basic if you rest for 8 hours. You add the “Major” state at level 11 and the “Extreme” state at level 17, each of which adds another step before you become Overwhelmed.

Becoming Overwhelmed sucks. Don’t do it unless you’re absolutely desperate. Once you’re Overwhelmed, you can’t cast or sustain your Revelation Spells until you get a full rest. That means that if you cast a Revelation Spell that made your Overwhelmed, you can’t Sustain that spell. You can still Refocus to reduce your curse and use your Focus Points for other Focus Spells, but your Revelation Spells are gone for the day. Once you hit level 17 and get Extreme Curse, you’re also Doomed 2 until you rest. Again: becoming Overwhelmed sucks. Don’t do it.

Fortunately, becoming Overwhelmed by your curse is actually fairly difficult. At first level, you get 2 Focus Points. If you spend both, you’re at Major. If you Refocus, you go to Minor and get 1 Focus Point so you can only get back up to Major. You need another Focus Point from another source (likely from a class feat from an archetype, but there are Ancestry Feats and items which can help, too). If you don’t get Focus Points from other sources, you’ll get a third point at level 11 when you get Major Curse, but you still can’t make yourself Overwhelmed unless you somehow get a Focus Point some way besides refocusing. I think this mechanic is in place specifically to discourage you from going beyond the typical Focus Pool size of 3.

Oracle Feats: See Oracle feats, below.

Skill Feats: Standard for everyone except the Rogue.

General Feats: Standard.

Signature Spells: A powerful and important feature, this allows you to heighten a small set of spells without learning them multiple times. As their name suggests, these spells will be your go-to options in most situations, and choosing good spells will be absoutely crucial.

Skill Increases: Standard for everyone except the Rogue.

Ability Boosts: Standard.

Ancestry Feats: Standard.

Expert Spellcaster: Better spell attacks and spell DCs. Standard for full spellcasters.

Resolve: Master at level 7. Will is your best save by far.

Magical Fortitude: More saves is always great, but this is as high as you ever get.

Alertness: Your only improvement to Perception, and you get it at level 5. At least your Wisdom is good.

Major Curse: An important progression step, this allows you to cast more Revelation spells in succession without becoming Overwhelmed. It also raises your Focus Pool size to 3 and lets you get 2 points back from Refocusing. Most classes need a class feat to do that, so this is a really nice feature.

Weapon Expertise: Too little, too late, and you never get any better than this.

Lightning Reflexes: Your Reflex saves max out at Expert, and even then not until 13th level.

Light Armor Expertise: More AC is always great, but you get this very late.

Weapon Specialization: A miniscule damage boost.

Master Spellcaster: Better spell attacks and spell DCs. Standard for full spellcasters.

Extreme Curse: Aside from being Doomed 2 and whatever you get from your Basic/Minor/Major curses, having the Extreme Curse is pretty nice. A reroll once per 10 minutes with no Action cost is nice insurance when you’re doing something hard. You can also Refocus to get 3 Focus Points back, which is exciting since most classes need to spend a feat to do that.

Greater Resolve: Very powerful. Preventing Critical Failures on Will saves can protect from numerous very harmful effects.

Legendary Spellcaster: Better spell attacks and spell DCs. Standard for full spellcasters.

Oracular Clarity: 10th-level spells are great.

Ability Scores

A

Str: .

Dex: .

Con: .

Int: .

Wis: .

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B

Str: .

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Int: .

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Ancestries

Because the Oracle is a Charisma-based spellcaster, innate spellcasting can be a very effective option. Consider ancestries like the Gnome and the Kobold which offer access to innate spells. Just keep in mind that your proficiency only advances in Divine spells unless you take archetype feats which advance your proficiency with other spellcasting traditions.

CatfolkAPG:

DwarfCRB: .

ElfCRB: .

GnomeCRB: .

GoblinCRB: .

HalflingCRB: .

HumanCRB: .

KoboldAPG:

OrcAPG:

RatfolkAPG:

TenguAPG:

Backgrounds

If you’re having trouble deciding, here are some suggestions:

Skills and Skill Feats

You get Skill Increases at 3rd and 5th level to raise skills to Expert, increases at 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th level to raise skills to Master, and increases at 15th, 17th, and 19th level to raise skills to Legendary. That means that you can maximize at most three skills, and the rest of your skills might not advance beyond Trained.

You get Skill Feats at even-numbered levels, giving you a total of 10 Skill Feats (and maybe another from your Background) by 20th level. Generally you want to invest these feats in the same skills which you are choosing to maximize, though in some cases you may want to grab feats from skills which don’t require that you be more than Trained.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Surprisingly important because it’s used for maneuvering while flying.
    • Cat Fall: Being knocked prone while flying is an easy way to counter flying creatures, and enemies can do it just as easily to you as you can do it to them. Cat Fall will reduce the effective distance you’ve fallen, allowing you to take less damage from a fall. However, the effects of Cat Fall scale based on your Proficiency level, so it may not be worth the skill feat unless you plan to increase your proficiency in Acrobatics.
  • Arcana (Int): A helpful knowledge skill, but going past Trained may be hard to justify without the Intelligence to back it up.
    • Arcane Sense: Getting Detect Magic as a regular cantrip will be both easier and more effective. If you’re having trouble fitting Detect Magic into your 5 cantrips, consider getting more as innate spells from your Ancestry or take the Cantrip Expansion class feat.
  • Athletics (Str): You have little use for Athletics. Most problems which you might be forced to solved with Athletics can be solved with spells. Battle clerics might find it more useful since they’re typically stomping around in heavy armor.
  • Crafting (Int): You don’t have the Intelligence to thrive with Crafting, and you won’t depend enough on items that require repair to make Crafting necessary.
  • Deception (Cha): An essential Face skill.
    • Lie to MeCRB: The Oracle’s Perception progression is bad, so Lie to Me will make you much harder to lie to.
  • Deception (Cha): An essential Face skill.
    • Lie to MeCRB: The Sorcerer’s Perception progression is bad, so Lie to Me will make you much harder to lie to.
  • Diplomacy (Cha): The king of Face skills.
  • Intimidation (Cha): An important Face skill, and Demoralize is very appealing in combat.
    • Battlecry: Demoralize for free when combat starts. It might not be a good option if you’re hiding, but otherwise it’s a free debuff at the beginning of every fight.
    • Intimidating GlareCRB: A frustratingly large number of enemies won’t understand Common, so removing the Auditory trait makes Demoralize much easier to use.
    • Terrified Retreat: Counting on a critical success is hard, but if your Charisma is very high it might work.
    • Scare to Death: Spend one Action to pick out the creature in the room the lowest Will save and kill them or send them fleeing. Repeat until the room is cleared. At this point you only need weapons for things that are strong enough to threaten your whole party on their own, and even then this can still replace the Demoralize action almost entirely.
  • Lore (Int): Lore skills are too vague and too numerous, and you likely don’t have enough skills to throw about to justify going beyond Trained.
  • Medicine (Wis): You don’t have the Wisdom to make Medicine appealing, and you don’t have the abundance of skills to make it effective. If you need healing, you’ll need to do it magically. Someone in your party should be good at Medicine, but it likely shouldn’t be you.
  • Nature (Wis): A helpful knowledge skill, but going past Trained may be hard to justify without the Wisdom to back it up.
  • Occultism (Int): A helpful knowledge skill, but going past Trained may be hard to justify without the Intelligence to back it up.
  • Performance (Cha): Too situational.
  • Religion (Wis): A helpful knowledge skill, but going past Trained may be hard to justify without the Wisdom to back it up.
  • Society (Int): A helpful knowledge skill, but going past Trained may be hard to justify without the Intelligence to back it up.
  • Stealth (Dex): The Oracle isn’t built to be a Scout, but using Stealth can keep attention away from you and your small pool of hit points, and with poor Perception you may find that Stealth is a better option for Initiative.
  • Survival (Wis): Too situational.
  • Thievery (Dex): Solve these problems with magic, or leave it to someone who focuses on Dexterity.

General Skill Feats

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Feats

Oracle Feats

1st Level

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2nd Level

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4th Level

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6th Level

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8th Level

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10th Level

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12th Level

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14th Level

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16th Level

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18th Level

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20th Level

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General Feats

  • Armor ProficiencyCRB: The Oracle’s armor proficiencies are terrible. The Battle Mystery gets heavy armor, but every other Oracle is stuck in light armor and you don’t advance your armor proficiency until level 13. One or two feats to improve your armor options will net you +2 AC for each feat (though medium armor will only match light armor once you hit level 13).
  • Shield BlockCRB: A helpful defensive option, but if you’re drawing enough fire that you’re using it consistently you may need to reconsider your tactics.
  • ToughnessCRB: 8+ hit points isn’t a lot, and more will help keep you alive to keep your allies alive.

Weapons

Every Oracle is terrible with weapons, with the possible exception of the Battle Mystery. Cast spells instead.

Armor

  • Studded LeatherCRB: Likely your permanent armor unless you go for Battle Mystery.

Archetypes

  • Sorcerer: Charisma-based and access to nay spell list, the Sorcerer offers an easy way to add additional spellcasting.