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Pathfinder - Oracle Mysteries Breakdown

Disclaimer

I support a limited subset of Pathfinder's rules content. If you would like help with Pathfinder player options not covered here, please email me and I am happy to provide additional assistance.

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.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

Mysteries

The Oracle's choice of Mystery defines the character as much as any archetype, providing new skills, spells, and a list of available revelations. Because there is no overlap in revelations between Mysteries, each Mystery makes the Oracle very unique. Note that Oracles get 6 Revelations normally, but can pick up more with the Extra Revelation feat. Also note that you cannot select a revelation more than once according to The FAQ

Ancestor

The Bonus Spells and Revelations, the two biggest parts of a Mystery, are the worst parts of the Ancestor Mystery.

Class Skills: ALL knowledge skills. Linguistics can be mostly replaced with the Tongues spell, but opening up knowledge skills allows you to serve as your party's Librarian.

Bonus Spells: Very few good options.

  1. unseen servant: Cool utility, but being able to clean your house magically isn't very helpful in most situations.
  2. spiritual weapon: Decent ongoing damage and it stays passable at higher levels as it adds attacks, but it's not going to win you any fights.
  3. heroism: Solid single-target buff with a good duration, and it's not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list for some reason.
  4. spiritual ally: Decent as a stand0-in defender or flanker, but not a spectacular source of damage.
  5. telekinesis: Fantastic utility. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  6. greater heroism: Nice buff, but the duration is fairly short, and it won't stack with all of the other great Cleric/Oracle buffs which provide morale bonuses.
  7. ethereal jaunt: Great for scouting, infiltration, and escape.
  8. vision: How often do you think you are going to need to cast Legend Lore in combat? With the exception of the possible days/weeks casting times for Legend Lore, you really shouldn't need this. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list, but you get it a level late.
  9. astral projection: Good way to "safely" travel the outer planes, but situational.

Revelations: Despite a couple of excellent options, most of the list is poor.

  • Ancestral Weapon (Su): Situational. The weapon won't be able to keep up with a modestly enhanced weapon, so don't use this if you plan to be a combat caster. The Ghost Touch property is situational, and it could be nice when you occasionally encounter incorporeal enemies, but as a spellcaster you have plenty of other options.
  • Blood of Heroes (Su): You have the full Cleric spell list, which includes a ton of options for Morale bonuses.
  • Phantom Touch (Su): Your spells should be miles better than this.
  • Sacred Council (Su): This would be great if you could use it as an immediate action, but using it as a move action can be nice if you need to make an attack roll as part of a spell.
  • Spirit of the Warrior (Su): When you absolutely, positively need to walk over there and fuck someone up. The ability bonuses are fantastic, but getting full BAB and Improved Critical really add a lot to this ability. Combine it with other buff spells, and you can turn yourself into an unstoppable hulk of divine fury.
  • Spirit Shield (Su): Easily the best of the armor revelations. The scaling matches the best of them, and an ongoing 50% miss chance against ranged attacks is absolutely amazing.
  • Spirit Walk (Su): Excellent for escape or infiltration similar to the Ehterealness spell.
  • Storm of Souls (Su): The damage isn't good enough for how few uses per day you get.
  • Voice of the Grave (Su): Situational, but very useful when it comes up. Can easily be replaced by the Speak with Dead spell.
  • Wisdom of the Ancestors (Su): Commune is a great spell despite the 500gp cost. Make sure to talk to your GM to make sure that they are okay giving you this much information on a daily basis.

Final Revelation: Blindsense is fantastic, and 60 ft. of it is amazing. The +4 bonus to cast levels is spectacular. The Charisma bonus to saves is nice, but won't stack with Divine Protection.

Battle

The Battle mystery is a fantastic choice for combat caster Oracles. The skill list is sparse, but the spell list contains several fantastic buffs and some good area control spells, and the Revelations list includes several options which are absolutely fantastic.

Class Skills: Perception is really the only new skill worth having.

  • Intimidate (Cha): Required for a Face, but Battle doesn't give you Bluff, so you probably aren't a Face.
  • Knowledge (engineering) (Int): Perhaps the least useful Knowledge skill.
  • Perception (Wis): The most rolled skill in the game, and it's dependent on your primary ability score.
  • Ride (Dex): Oracles aren't good at Mounted Combat. Not worth more than one rank.

Bonus Spells: Battle starts off with a very solid spell list which starts to lose steam at mid-level. However, the low level options continue to be excellent into high levels, so expect to continue using them for a long time.

  1. enlarge person: Essential and fantastic at any level. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  2. fog cloud: Decent area control. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. magic vestment: A fantastic way to save yourself a ton of money on armor/shield enhancements.
  4. wall of fire: Excellent area control. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  5. righteous might: Extremely powerful buff if you are a combat caster.
  6. mass bull's strength: By this level everyone in the party who needs bull's strength should have a belt which provides at least a +4 bonus.
  7. control weather: Situational.
  8. earthquake: Situational and hard to handle at the table because the effect is so complicated.
  9. storm of vengeance: This is a weird spell. It's hard to time, it's hard to use, and it's hard to not do just as much damage to your party. Already on the cleric spell list.

Revelations: Battle gets a ton of excellent options, including several which provide the value of 2 or 3 feats, which is a fantastic return on your investment.

  • Battlecry (Ex): Bless is better until level 10, and Bless is a first level spell.
  • Battlefield Clarity (Ex): Rerolls on anything are great, and rerolling a saving throw might save your life. All of the effects listed can take you out of a fight (with the exception of Shaken), so rerolling could save your life. This would be blue without the +4 bonus to the reroll.
  • Combat Healer (Su): Healing as a swift action is a great trick because you can cast other spells or hit things in the same round. Consuming two spell slots is already hard, and the limited uses per day make it difficult to take advantage of this Revelation.
  • Iron Skin (Su): Stoneskin is an excellent buff, but the high material cost makes it difficult to use frequently. Removing the component cost makes this ability a fantastic defensive buff.
  • Maneuver Mastery (Ex): For the price of one Revelation (or one Feat if you take Extra Revelation), you get to use your class level in place of your BAB (worth a feat) and you get two free feats. This is a huge return on your investment. You don't get the feats until fairly high level, but adding a combat maneuver to your list of tricks can really give you a lot of options in combat.
  • Resiliency (Ex): Even if you spend a lot of time nearly dead, actually hitting 0 hit points is pretty rare. Diehard is a trap that gets stupid people killed by convincing them that they can run around at negative hit points and do things.
  • Skill at Arms (Ex): Better than spending a feat on Armor Proficiency, but Martial weapons aren't significantly better the simple weapons.
  • Surprising Charge (Ex): This is a great way to get into reach so that you can make a full attack.
  • War Sight (Su): Rolling twice for initiative is fantastic. Being guaranteed an action in the surprise round is nice because Oracles don't have great Wisdom or Perception. Rolling three times at 11th level is ridiculously good.
  • Weapon Mastery (Ex): 3 feats for the price of a revelation (or a feat if you took Extra Revelation). This works well with Skill at Arms, which allows you to pick a weapon which can take advantage of Improved Critical, such as a falchion, or if you want to use Maneuver Mastery, go for something like a flail or a guisarme.

Final Revelation: Moving and making a Full Attack fixes a lot of problems with combat characters. The other benefits are secondary.

Bones

Bones provides a lot of excellent options. You can serve as the party's Face and do a bit of scouting due to the class list, and at high levels you get access to some very scary save or die spells. Bones' biggest shortcoming is its Revelations, which are decent but not very exciting. Because this Mystery involves creating undead, check with your GM to make sure they are okay with you bringing an army of undead pets.

Class Skills: Bluff and Intimidate give the Oracle all of the skills needed to be the party's Face, and Disguise and Stealth are helpful for Scouts.

  • Bluff (Cha): Required for a Face.
  • Disguise (Cha): Situational.
  • Intimidate (Cha): Required for a Face.
  • Stealth (Dex): Required for a Scout.

Bonus Spells: Bones grants a lot of excellent spells, many of which aren't on the Cleric/Oracle spell list. At high level, you get a couple of excellent save or die spells which will outright end most encounters.

  1. cause fear: This is mediocre even at low level, and it stops working very quickly.
  2. false life: Temporary hit points are a great buff, and duration is fantastic. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. animate dead: Pet undead are always great. Even if you don't take them into combat, a few skeletons make for excellent manual labor. Already on the Cleric spell list. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  4. fear: Excellent area control. Panicked causes things to run away, and if they're cornered, cowering foes are considered helpless, which makes them coup de grace bait. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  5. slay living: Reasonable damage for two or three levels after you get it, but because the damage dice don't scale, it falls off quickly.
  6. circle of death: Area of effect save or die. You get an average of 2.5 hit dice per caster level, so at level 12 you can outright kill 30 hit dice worth of enemies. That will cover basically every enemy of your CR, and could wipe out entire encounters made up of several weaker enemies. As long as your Charisma is high enough to give you a good DC, this can stay lethal and effective for several levels. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  7. control undead: Allows you to control more undead pets, and you can steal mindless undead from other spellcasters.
  8. horrid wilting: Decent single-target damage, but at this level you can use save or die spells with the save DC. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  9. wail of the banshee: The pinnacle of save or die spells. Outright murder whole rooms of foes. Be careful not to murder your own party. They won't like that. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.

Revelations: Several decent options, but none of the options are really fantastic.

  • Armor of Bones (Su): This will take a while to catch up to a breastplate, but at high levels this can save you quite a bit of time and money. I'm not sure if you can enhance the armor with Magic Vestment, but if you can your AC should be excellent. Also note that this armor has no ACP, which is nice if you want to take advantage of Stealth as a class skill.
  • Bleeding Wounds (Su): Bleed effects aren't usually a problem, and the bleed damage is very small.
  • Death's Touch (Su): A nice way to heal your undead minions, but it doesn't provide much healing. I would never use this in combat.
  • Near Death (Su): diseases and poison become very common at high levels, and mind-affecting affects include almost all Will saves.
  • Raise the Dead (Su): Even with high Charisma, you can't expect this to last more than a minute, and you can only use it a maximum of twice per day. Cast Summon Monster if you need a short-term pet.
  • Resist Life (Su): If you are in an evil party, this is excellent. Oracles usually take the place of the party's Cleric, so you can't expect anyone to be channelling energy, but this means that you don't need to learn cure spells. Remember that you get to select all Cure or all Inflict spells for free.
  • Soul Siphon (Su): A negative level with no saving throw, and a bit of healing. It's a pretty nice combination, but the limited uses per day are tragic, and this won't keep pace with your spells.
  • Spirit Walk (Su): A great way to get through walls, but situational.
  • Undead Servitude (Su): If you plan to control undead, this is a must-have.
  • Voice of the Grave (Su): An excellent way to gather information, but knowing Speak With Dead is considerably less cumbersome, and you don't need it very often.

Final Revelation: Several excellent options. Animate Dead without the material cost won't matter a lot at this point, but if you plan to animate hundreds of zombies, it can save you quite a bit of money on Obsidian. Power Word Kill is great too because it doesn't allow a saving throw like Wail of the Banshee.

Dark Tapestry

Dark Tapestry is a solid Mystery. It has a good mix of options, and it can fill a variety of roles depending on your selections.

Class Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) is the only thing that you really need, but Stealth can be nice if you want to be stealthy.

  • Disguise: Very situational.
  • Intimidate:
  • Knowledge (Arcana) (Int): One of the most important Knowledge skills in the game.
  • Stealth: Great for Scouts, but this Mystery doesn't give you many Scouting options. Be sure to pick up Cloak of Darkness.

Bonus Spells: Very few poor options, and several very good ones from the Wizard spell list.

  1. entropic shield: The closest thing to Blur that you are likely to get. This is excellent at higher levels as the duration increases.
  2. dust of twilight: The Darkness effect is very situational, and Fatigued is pointless. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. tongues: Very important for talking to the weird races and creatures of the multiverse, even if you're not the party's Face. You get it a level earlier than other Clerics and Oracles.
  4. black tentacles: One of the best area control spells in the game. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  5. feeblemind: Crippling save or suck spell, especially for arcane spellcasters.Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  6. planar binding: Planar Binding spells are very powerful, though they can be very costly. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  7. insanity: Confusion isn't a great status condition because it is unreliable, but it's hard to argue with a permanent debuff.
  8. reverse gravity: Somewhat difficult to use, but excellent for killing things with falling damage. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  9. interplanetary teleport: This depends entirely on your campaign. If there are other planets in your game it can be great. If ther aren't, you have no reason to cast this.

Revelations: A mixed bag. Some of the options are fantastic, but just as many are poor or very situational.

  • Brain Drain (Su): Very situational, and it's likely that your own Knowledge skills will be better. The damage is a nice addition, but you should have plenty of better options.
  • Cloak of Darkness (Su): Unlike other similar Revelations which give you an armor bonus, this also gives you a skill bonus. The bonus scales well enough that it can replace your Breastplate, and you get a nice bonus to stealth, too.
  • Dweller in Darkness (Sp): Once per day save or die effect. Great, but Phantasmal Killer is both a Death, Fear, and Mind-Affecting effect, which can mean a lot of situational resistances come into play.
  • Gift of Madness (Su): Confusion is a very unpredictable status effect. The target has a reasonable chance of acting normally on any round in which they are confused, which means you wasted your turn using this ability. There are much better uses for your turn.
  • Interstellar Void (Su): Decent single-target blast, and being able to stun someone is pretty good, but you only get to use it once or twice per day. The fatigued/exhausted conditions are generally worthless.
  • Many Forms (Su): Polymorphing is something that you need to plan for at character creation. If you want to make use of this Revelation, read my Practical Guide to Polymorph. You get access to enough polymorph spells that you could make good use of them, but don't let it eclipse your role as a spellcaster.
  • Pierce the Veil (Su): Darkvision is fantastic, and it's not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list, so this is a great way for you to get Darkvision.
  • Read the Tapestry (Sp): This is dangerous for an Oracle because you don't have the Wizard's Intelligence to protect you from the Intelligence/Charisma penalty. If it doesn't go badly, this can be a great way to gather information, but Oracles have access to plenty of other good Divination options.
  • Touch of the Void (Su): The damage won't be good past about 3rd level, and the Fatigued condition hardly matters.
  • Wings of Darkness (Su): Flight is crucial at high levels, and activating a new movement type as a swift action gives you a ton of really great tactical options.

Final Revelation: DR 5/-, some excellent immunities, and you can cast the best Polymorph spell in the game without a Material component.

Flame

The lousy skill list is Flame's only drawback, and you might not even consider that a drawback because you can afford to dump Intelligence. The spell list and revelations provide fantastic Blaster spells and effects, and Body of Flame can completely define how you build your character if you let it. Imagine walking around as a Huge Fire Elemental slinging flaming death at your enemies. It's glorious.

Class Skills: Absolutely nothing that you want, so feel free to dump Intelligence.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): You are an Oracle. Put on some armor, stand still, and wave your mace at something.
  • Climb (Str): Too situational.
  • Intimidate (Cha): This Mystery does not make for a good face, but I have to admit that turning into a Huge fire elemental for hours at a time is pretty intimidating.
  • Perform (Cha): Why is this here?

Bonus Spells: Some of the absolute best fire-elemental blast spells in the game from the Cleric, Druid, and Wizard spell lists.

  1. burning hands: Even at low levels, this isn't great. The AOE is nice for such a low level spell, but the damage is pitiful.
  2. resist energy: Essential for any spellcaster.
  3. fireball: The essential, iconic blaster spell.
  4. wall of fire: Excellent area control.
  5. summon monster V (fire elementals only): Oracles can already learn this without the limitation. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  6. fire seeds: The holly berries option is insane. Charge eight berries, then some time in the next hour or two, drop them in the other guy's square, and step back out of the 5 foot blast radius. Trigger all 8 for for 8d8 plus 8 times your caster level. The acorn version is bad. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  7. fire storm: Fireballs bigger, scarier, more shapeable brother. Not only can you choose the shape of the spell, but it adds 4d6 ongoing fire damage. This is absolutely devastating. Of, and you get it a level ahead of other Clerics.
  8. incendiary cloud: Almost an area control spell, but because it moves away from you you can't actually use it to control an area.
  9. fiery body: A fantastic buff, and not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list. I'm not sure how this combines with the Body of Flame Revelation, but I'm sure it's awesome.

Revelations: A lot of really interesting options.

  • Burning Magic (Su): This isn't a ton of damage, but it's a nice way to force Concentration checks or stop regeneration.
  • Cinder Dance (Ex): The equivalent of taking Fleet twice, plus two other feats for the cost of one revelation. Dramatically improves your mobility, and makes difficult terrain largely irrelevant.
  • Fire Breath (Su): Your spells are more powerful. Firestorm is miles better.
  • Firestorm (Su): You only get to use it once, but this is can be used as both a blast effect and an area control effect.
  • Form of Flame (Su): The Elemental Body spells are pretty bad by polymorph standards, but they provide some nice resistances and armor. Plus, walking around as a gigantic fire elemental all day is super awesome. Remember that your equipment is largely absorbed by your new form, so you can't use your weapon or your armor while polymorphed. See my Practical Guide to Polymorph for help preparing yourself for this ability.
  • Gaze of Flames (Su): The ability to see through smoke/fog is really only helpful if you create it. The ability to use Clairvoyance without casting a spell is the biggest draw here. Clairvoyance is fantastic for scouting safely, and because you can stretch the rounds out however you like, you can do lots of short scouts throughout the day.
  • Heat Aura (Su): The damage isn't fantastic, but it's a swift action AOE, which is nice for cleaning up weaker enemies.
  • Molten Skin (Ex): Fire is the most common type of elemental damage, so this is nice to have. You can replace it with Resist Energy or with the Form of Flame Revelation, but immunity at 17th is still great. level
  • Touch of Flame (Su): The touch attack can be mostly replaced by a mace, but adding Flaming to your weapons for free is nice for combat caster Oracles.
  • Wings of Fire (Su): Flight is crucial at high levels, and activating a new movement type as a swift action gives you a ton of really great tactical options.

Final Revelation: Free metamagic is fantastic, even if they are only +1 spell level metamagic feats.

Heavens

Though its skill and spell lists are decent, the Heavens Mystery has a poor list of Revelations, and is capped off by a Final Revelation which brings almost nothing useful to the Oracle.

Class Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) and Perception are both really good, and one rank in Fly will pay off very well.

  • Fly (Dex): Flight is essential at high levels, but you can't really justify more than one rank in Fly.
  • Knowledge (arcana) (Int): One of the most important Knowledge skills.
  • Perception (Wis): The mots rolled skill in the game, and it's dependent on your primary ability score.
  • Survival (Wis): Very situational, and Oracles don't have great Wisdom.

Bonus Spells: An interest mix of options. Almost all of the spells are crowd control effects.

  1. color spray: The best save or suck spell at level 1, and it stays useful for several more levels. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  2. hypnotic pattern: Excellent group crowd control. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. daylight: Situational.
  4. rainbow pattern: Like Hypnotic Pattern, but it can affect considerably more creatures.
  5. overland flight: Fly all day long. Fantastic. Not on the Oracle/Cleric spell list.
  6. chain lightning: Decent blast spell. Not on the Oracle/Cleric spell list.
  7. prismatic spray: Some of the effects will outright kill targets, but it's hard to predict how effective this will be. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  8. sunburst: Very hard to interpret.
  9. meteor swarm: Very flashy, but not as powerful as it should be for a 9th-level spell.

Revelations: Most of the options are situational. Some of the Revelations are crappy blast effects, and Dweller in the Darkness is a once per day save or die effect which seems totally out of place.

  • Awesome Display (Su): This can make your hypnotic spells considerably more effective, but you only get a few spells to which this applies.
  • Coat of Many Stars (Su): This will take a while to catch up to a breastplate, but at high levels this can save you quite a bit of time and money. I'm not sure if you can enhance the armor with Magic Vestment, but if you can your AC should be excellent. Also note that this armor has no ACP, which is nice if you want to take advantage of Stealth as a class skill.
  • Dweller in Darkness (Sp): Once per day save or die effect. Great, but Phantasmal Killer is both a Death, Fear, and Mind-Affecting effect, which can mean a lot of situational resistances come into play.
  • Guiding Star (Su): Very situational. Most adventuring tends to happen during the day, and much of it takes place inside.
  • Interstellar Void (Su): Decent single-target blast, and being able to stun someone is pretty good, but you only get to use it once or twice per day. The fatigued/exhausted conditions are generally worthless.
  • Lure of the Heavens (Su): The low level benefits are situational, and when you finally get to fly, you can cast Overland Flight.
  • Mantle of Moonlight (Su): Very situational.
  • Moonlight Bridge (Su): Very situational, and you can replace it with a number of more versatile spells.
  • Spray of Shooting Stars (Su): Decent blast effect, but the damage dice are d4's.
  • Star Chart (Ex): Commune is a great spell despite the 500gp cost. Make sure to talk to your GM to make sure that they are okay giving you this much information on a daily basis.

Final Revelation: The Charisma bonus to saves is nice, but won't stack with Divine Protection. Immunity to fear effects is nice, butsituational. Automatically confirming Critical Hits is cool, but you're not a combat monster. Reincarnating as a Star Child would be really cool if there was something which explained what a Star Child was.

Life

The Life domain is a fantastic option for a heal-bot. Several Revelations add a ton of utility to your healing spells, the bonus spell list gives you all of the essential spells for healing non-hp problems, and the lousy skill list lets you dump an extra ability.

Class Skills: Nothing worth having, so you can dump Intelligence.

  • Handle Animal (Cha): You are not a Druid.
  • Climb (Str): Too situational.
  • Survival (Wis): Very situational, and Oracles don't have great Wisdom.

Bonus Spells: Life includes many of the very best and most essential healing spells. If you choose to get all Cure spells for free, and you learn Raise Dead, you can heal as well as the best Cleric.

  • detect undead: Very situational.
  • lesser restoration: Every party needs this eventually.
  • neutralize poison: Very situational, and you can generally replace it with the Heal skill.
  • restoration: Not quite as important as Lesser Restoration, but still fantastic.
  • breath of life: Everyone who can take this spell should. There are no excuses. It is simply too good to not have available.
  • heal: Fantastic at high levels when things do crazy amounts of damage.
  • greater restoration: Very rarely necessary, but when you need it you'll be glad that you have it.
  • mass heal: Not as important as Heal, but it can turn the tide of a battle.
  • true resurrection: Hopefully you never need to cast this.

Revelations: Several excellent options to improve your healing and support capabilities.

  • Channel (Su): Channel Energy is situational, but it can provide some nice burst healing for your allies. Because Oracles depend on Charisma more than Clerics, you may have more uses per day than most other channellers.
  • Combat Healer (Su): More appropriate for the Life Mystery than for Battle, Combat Healer can really help your healing output when you need it. However, the uses per day are very limited, so don't expect to rely on this Revelation much.
  • Delay Affliction (Su): Or you could just cast Neutralize Poison (which you get for free) or and Remove Disease.
  • Energy Body (Su): Probably not something you want to use in combat, but it's quite a bit of free healing.
  • Enhanced Cures (Su): This extends the usefulness of your lowest level cure spells. There are other healing options which might be more powerful, but it's hard to argue with a big pile of hit points from a first level spell.
  • Healing Hands (Ex): These are all very situational uses. The +4 bonus is nice, but with a little Wisdom, a healer's kit, and just a few ranks in Heal you can easily hit the DC 25 for Treat Serious Wounds.
  • Life Link (Su): This is fantastic. Use this in addition to or in place of Shield Other, and you can soak up the entire party's damage. Be sure that you have enough hit points to survive this, of course.
  • Lifesense (Su): Permanent Blindsight. Blindsight is by far the best sense in the game.
  • Safe Curing (Su): Cute, but casting defensively is fairly easy, and only becomes easier as you level.
  • Spirit Boost (Su): This makes your healing spells considerably more useful. Combined this with Enhanced Cures, and drop a Cure Light Wounds on your fighter before every fight. If he somehow drops, hit him with Heal and he'll pop back up with full health and a pile of temporary hit points.

Final Revelation: An excellent list of immunities, and you can't drop below 1 in an ability score. I can't think of anywhere else that I have seen that.

Lore

I really wish that this was better, but there are too many bad options and not enough good ones. Instead of using this Mystery, consider taking the Enlightened Philosopher archetype, and pick a Mystery with a better Revelation list.

Class Skills: Appraise is pointless, but access to all knowledge skills is fantastic. Be sure to invest in a bit of Intelligence so that you have enough skill ranks to serve as the party's Librarian.

Bonus Spells: Some excellent divination and utility options, but most of the divinations are situational and make each other redundant so your lower-leve spells become obsolete and you can't replace them.

  1. identify: This spell is very situational, and barely exceeds the capabilities of Detect Magic for identifying magic items.
  2. tongues: Very important for talking to the weird races and creatures of the multiverse, even if you're not the party's Face.
  3. locate object: I wish I had this for my keys. You need to be reasonably close to the target to find it, so you can't just cast Locate Object and locate the Lich's phylactery, but this can be very good for finding items lost among debris and such.
  4. legend lore: Cast this spell, turn to the GM, and say "so tell me about your backstory". This spell is situational, but when you're missing huge portions of the plot, it's amazingly powerful.
  5. contact other plane: This is dangerous for an Oracle because you don't have the Wizard's Intelligence to protect you from the Intelligence/Charisma penalty. If it doesn't go badly, this can be a great way to gather information, but Oracles have access to plenty of other good Divination options.
  6. mass owl's wisdom: The only thing that this really gets you is bonuses to your party's Will saves.
  7. vision: How often do you think you are going to need to cast Legend Lore in combat? With the exception of the possible days/weeks casting times for Legend Lore, you really shouldn't need this.
  8. moment of prescience: Fantastic and very versatile.
  9. time stop: One of the most powerful spells in the game, and it's not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.

Revelations: Several great options to improve your abilities as a Librarian, but a whole bunch of garbage.

  • Arcane Archivist (Su): This has so much potential to be awesome, but it removes the spell from the spellbook, so you need to have an arcane spellcaster handy to refill the spellbook. On top of that, you can only do this once per day.
  • Automatic Writing (Su): Divination spells are great, but they can be become very expensive. This gives you early access to several of the best divination spells, and cuts down on their cost quite a bit.
  • Brain Drain (Su): Very situational, and it's likely that your own Knowledge skills will be better. The damage is a nice addition, but you should have plenty of better options.
  • Focused Trance (Ex): Situational, but this is a nice way to compensate for the Oracle's poor Intelligence when making Knowledge checks.
  • Lore Keeper (Ex): This can amount to a huge bonus to your Knowledge checks.
  • Mental Acuity (Ex): A permanent bonus to Intelligence. Because this is an inherent bonus it won't stack with Wish, but by the time you could get wish you will already have a +4 bonus. Take this as your 7th-level Revelation without exception. The Intelligence bonus provides skill ranks retroactively, which should let you fill out your Knowledge skills a bit more.
  • Sidestep Secret (Su): This allows you to dump Dexterity in favor of Charisma, which is a weird but fantastic thing to do. Note that this doesn't affect CMD or ranged attacks, so you're still going to suck at those.
  • Spontaneous Symbology: The "Symbol" spells tend to be expensive to cast and difficult to use. The best way to use them is with Permanency, which isn't on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  • Think On It (Ex): Situational, but a reroll is great and a +10 bonus on the reroll is even better.
  • Whirlwind Lesson (Ex): This generally happens off screen, and doesn't happen frequently enough to justify this Revelation even in campaigns where time is a concern.

Final Revelation: Taking 20 on knowledge checks is fantastic, but a limited version of Wish is even better.

Metal

Metal has a few good options, but nothing really appealing.

Class Skills: I'm very confused by this skill list. It adds all of the remaining skills which you need to be your party's Face, as well as Disable Device, which allows allows you to open locks and handle traps. If you want to use this Mystery, you might consider a level of Rogue for Trapfinding. I'm not certain what any of this has to do with Metal.

  • Appraise (Int): Worthless in most campaigns.
  • Bluff (Cha): Essential if you plan to be the party's Face.
  • Disable Device (Dex): If you don't have a Rogue, this is crucial. You can't find and disarm magic trap without Trapfinding, but you can do everything else.
  • Intimidate (Cha): Essential if you plan to be the party's Face.

Bonus Spells: The high level options are good, but not great. As a whole, the spell list is okay, but not great.

  1. lead blades: This really only matter if you plan to create weapons with the Impact property.
  2. heat metal: Amusing, but terrible.
  3. keen edge: This is only important if you have someone in the party build for critical hits, and they should have a Keen weapon or Improved Critical.
  4. versatile weapon: Very versatile, and it helps overcome the DR of a wide variety of enemies.
  5. major creation (metal items only): While certainly better than being limited to wood items, any material limitation on creation spells is hugely limiting.
  6. wall of iron: Though not as versatile as Wall of Ice, Wall of Iron is still very useful as a utility spell.
  7. statue (metal statue instead of iron): Because the subject can return to their statue form as a free action, this is a great way to defend yourself between turns. The duration is hours per level, so you can use this all day long.
  8. repel metal or stone: Walls will generally be too thick to be affected, but you can repel enemies wearing metal armor or carrying metal weapons.
  9. iron body: You get this a level late, but it's considerably better for an Oracle than it is for a Wizard.

Revelations: Only a few of the options are worth taking.

  • Armor Mastery (Ex): This is conceptually great, but you probably don't have enough Dexterity to need more than the +3 maximum dexterity allowed by Breastplate.
  • Dance of the Blades (Ex): You probably won't be spending a lot of time running around in rounds where you attack with weapons.
  • Iron Constitution (Su): This won't quite bring you up to a good Fortitude save, but it helps and it's better than Great Fortitude.
  • Iron Skin (Sp): Stoneskin is excellent, but the material component is too expensive to justify using it on a regular basis. This has no material component, so you can use it whenever you want it.
  • Iron Weapon (Su): This will very rarely outpace what you could have as a modestly enhanced permanent weapon.
  • Riddle of Steel (Su): Craft checks are for NPCs.
  • Rusting Grasp (Sp): Situational.
  • Skill at Arms (Ex): Better than spending a feat on Armor Proficiency, but Martial weapons aren't significantly better the simple weapons.
  • Steel Scarf (Su): The attack is weak, but the ability to perform combat maneuvers at 30 foot range is pretty great.
  • Vision in Iron (Sp): Scry is a great way to gather information, but it's a fairly high level spell, and it's costly to prepare for. This allows you to take several quick peeks throughout the day.

Final Revelation: If you are a combat caster Oracle, Weapon Focus, Improved Weapon Focus, and Improved Critical are nice, but you won't get much out of Improve Critical unless you are proficient with something like a scimitar. The bonus to maximum dexterity is huge, but Dexterity isn't a very important ability for Oracles, and if you have high enough Dexterity that it matters, by now you have probably invested in armor to support it. This ability comes too late to make a major difference in your character choices.

Nature

The only good part of the Nature Mystery is the Final Revelation.

Class Skills: More skills than most Mysteries, but they are all situational and generally bad.

  • Climb (Str): Too situational.
  • Fly (Dex): Flight is essential at high levels, but you can't really justify more than one rank in Fly.
  • Knowledge (Nature) (int): One of the more important Knowledge skills.
  • Ride (Dex): Oracles aren't good at Mounted Combat. Not worth more than one rank.
  • Survival (Wis): Very situational, and Oracles don't have great Wisdom.
  • Swim (Str): Too situational.

Bonus Spells: Most of the options are bad or situational.

  1. charm animal: Very situational.
  2. barkskin: Fantastic buff with a great duration. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. speak with plants: Very situational.
  4. grove of respite: A nice option for camping, but not terribly exciting. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  5. awaken: Awaken introduces a lot of complicated subjects to the game. Have a long, detailed discussion with you GM about what you plan to do with it before you start awakening critters.
  6. stone tell: Situational.
  7. creeping doom: Excellent combination of summoning, area control, and crowd control. Your spell DC should be good enough that the swarms will deal quite a bit of damage with their poison.
  8. animal shapes: If your party can make good use of it, this can be a really cool way to turn everyone into something cool.
  9. world wave: Very situational, but not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.

Revelations: Most of the Revelations available to the Nature domain are very situational, but Life Leach and Nature's Whispers are fantastic defensive options.

  • Bonded Mount (Su): The limited options are somewhat disappointing, but an Animal Companion is still fantastic.
  • Erosion Touch (Su): Situational, but very effective. Try using it on walls.
  • Friend to the Animals (Ex): You get Summon Monster already, which is strictly better. Note that the bonus to saving throws applies to all animals, not just the ones you summon. That includes your Bonded Mount or any random animals which wander along and try to eat you.
  • Life Leach (Su): This is a fantastic ability, and with decent Charisma it can easily last all day.
  • Natural Divination (Ex): The skill check and initiative options are great, but I'm not sure if the Charisma bonus to saving throws will stack with Divine Protection.
  • Nature's Whispers (Ex): This allows you to dump Dexterity in favor of Charisma, which is a weird but fantastic thing to do. Note that this doesn't affect Reflex Saves or ranged attacks, so you're still going to suck at those.
  • Speak with Animals (Ex): Very situational.
  • Spirit of Nature (Su): This could very easily save your life, but hopefully it won't come up often enough to justify spending a Revelation on it.
  • Transcendental Bond (Su): Duration is garbage. The ability to deliver touch spells is nice for buffs and healing effects, but still situational.
  • Undo Artifice (Sp): Why would you ever want to destroy potential loot?

Final Revelation: Turn yourself into a plant. Aside from the vulnerability to fire, being a plant is pretty fantastic.

Stone

The only good part of the Stone mystery is the Final Revelation.

Class Skills: Several bad options.

  • Appraise (Int): Worthless in most campaigns.
  • Climb (Str): Too situational.
  • Intimidate (Cha): Good if you want to be the Face, but you don't get Bluff.
  • Survival (Wis): Very situational, and Oracles don't have great Wisdom.

Bonus Spells: Very few good options.

  1. magic stone: Awful.
  2. stone call: Poor damage, poor area control.
  3. meld into stone: Very situational.
  4. wall of stone: Excellent utility.
  5. stoneskin: Great buff, but the material component is too expensive to use this often.
  6. stone tell: Situational.
  7. statue: Because the subject can return to their statue form as a free action, this is a great way to defend yourself between turns. The duration is hours per level, so you can use this all day long.
  8. repel metal or stone: Walls will generally be too thick to be affected, but you can repel enemies wearing metal armor or carrying metal weapons.
  9. clashing rocks: Good damage and crowd control.

Revelations: Nothing particularly good.

  • Acid Skin (Ex): Energy resistance is great, and it turns into immunity.
  • Clobbering Strike (Ex): This is very tempting, but will only pay off if you cast a lot of spells which require attack rolls, and there aren't a lot of those available to Clerics/Oracles unless you like to cast a lot of Inflict spells.
  • Crystal Sight (Ex): Great for looking through the walls of dungeons and castles.
  • Earth Glide (Su): Very useful.
  • Mighty Pebble (Su): The damage is poor, even with the enhancement bonus, and you don't get to use it enough times per day to justify the poor damage.
  • Rock Throwing (Ex): This damage won't matter beyond early levels.
  • Shard Explosion (Su): The damage is poor, and the difficult terrain effect doesn't last long enough to really matter.
  • Steelbreaker Skin (Su): Assuming that you don't want to loot your enemies' weapons, this is like a free sunder. Don't forget that hardness still applies.
  • Stone Stability (Ex): Tripping generally isn't a big part of what you do as an Oracle, but it combines well with Clobbering Strike.
  • Touch of Acid (Su): The damage is worse than a mace.

Final Revelation: Free metamagic is fantastic, even if they are only +1 spell level metamagic feats.

Time

The Time Mystery is fantastic. It has a good skill list, a good spell list, and a whole mess of excellent revelations. The only major shortcoming of the Time Mystery is the first three bonus spells on its spell list. If you want to replace these spells, consider the Dual-Cursed Oracle archetype. It gives you some slightly better spells, two new Revelations, and two extra Revelation choices.

Class Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) and Perception are both essential, and Use Magic Device is excellent with the Oracle's Charisma.

  • Fly (Dex): Flight is essential at high levels, but you can't really justify more than one rank in Fly.
  • Knowledge (Arcana) (Int): One of the most important Knowledge skills in the game.
  • Perception (Wis): The most rolled skill in the game, and it's dependent on your primary ability score.
  • Use Magic Device (Cha): Possibly the most versatile and powerful skill in the game.

Bonus Spells: Despite a slow start, at 4th-level, the Time spell list introduces some amazing options from the Witch and Wizard spell lists.

  1. memory lapse: Very situational. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  2. gentle repose: Very situational.
  3. sands of time: The penalties for aging are very gentle. The only thing that this spell has going for it is the lack of saving throw.
  4. threefold aspect: Oracles don't depend on Intelligence or Wisdom, so this doesn't benefit the Oracle as well as it would benefit a Wizard or Cleric.
  5. permanency: Essential to any good adventuring party. Lots of very important effects can be made permanent. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  6. contingency: A favorite tool of paranoid wizards everywhere, Contingency is one of the most useful spells ever written. You do silly things like cast a contingent Breath of Life on yourself. The possibilities are practically limitless.
  7. disintegrate: Excellent single-target damage, or use it to remove pesky obstacles like buildings.
  8. temporal stasis: This is arguably better than any save or die spell in the game. If you kill someone, they can be resurrected. If you put them in suspended animation, someone has to get past you to free them. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  9. time stop: One of the most powerful spells in the game, and it's not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.

Revelations: Time provides a lot of very interesting options for Revelations. The effects are diverse and interesting, so you have plenty of good options which could work at any level.

  • Aging Touch (Su): Strength damage with no saving throw can be a great way to handicap or disable your enemies. The uses per day are very limited, but as the effect scales and you gain more uses, this becomes exponentially more effective.
  • Erase from Time (Su): Single-target save or suck. You can either leave, or set up an ambush for when the creature returns.
  • Knowledge of the Ages (Su): The reroll is fantastic, but remember that this is a standard action to use, so you probably won't use it in combat.
  • Momentary Glimpse (Su): Using this ability is a standard action, which means it's awful in combat. Because its awful in combat, you can really only use it for skill checks, and a +2 bonus should be usable more times per day than this. Instead, learn the Guidance cantrip.
  • Rewind Time (Su): Universal rerolls are amazing.
  • Speed or Slow Time (Sp): Haste isn't on the Cleric/Oracle spell list, and it's one of the best buffs in the game.
  • Temporal Celerity (Su): Rolling twice for initiative is fantastic. Being guaranteed an action in the surprise round is nice because Oracles don't have great Wisdom or Perception. Rolling three times at 11th level is ridiculously good.
  • Time Flicker (Su): Both Blink and Blur are fantastic defenses, especially at high levels against enemies that can hit your AC without issue.
  • Time Hop (Su): Excellent for getting past enemies or through bars or windows.
  • Time Sight (Su): All of these abilities are excellent, and True Seeing has a relatively expensive material component which makes it difficult to justify using frequently.

Final Revelation: Immortality is cool, and you can cast a 9th-level spell as a spell-like ability once per day. Time Stop isn't on the Cleric/Oracle spell list either, which makes it especially cool.

Waves

Like most water-themed character options, the Waves Mystery isn't very good. Major portions are only useful underwater. If your campaign takes place on dry land, skip this.

Class Skills: Several bad options, so you can afford to dump intelligence.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Not a good option for an Oracle.
  • Escape Artist (Dex): Too situational.
  • Climb (int): Too situational.
  • Swim (Str): Too situational.

Bonus Spells: Most of the spells only work underwater, which hugely limits the spell list's usefulness in most campaigns.

  1. touch of the sea: Situational.
  2. slipstream: Longstrider is better.
  3. water breathing: Situational.
  4. wall of ice: Excellent utility, and a save or suck option is written into the spell.
  5. geyser: Interesting area control with a bit of damage, but the area is small and the damage is poor.
  6. fluid form: Improve your reach by 10 feet and get DR 10/slashing.
  7. vortex: Decent area control, but only works underwater.
  8. seamantle: Very flashy, and the bonuses to AC and Reflex saves are great.
  9. tsunami: A bit of damage, and some excellent area control. Throw it at groups of enemies.

Revelations: For a nominally aquatic-themed option, Waves has some surprisingly good Revelations, and they are more ice-themed than water-themed.

  • Blizzard (Su): The damage isn't great as a blast effect, but this is a short-duration area control effect with respectable damage. Unfortunately you can only use it once per day.
  • Fluid Nature (Ex): You can take a feat for an extra Revelation, which effectively means that you get Dodge, a bonus against several combat maneuvers, and a bonus against critical hits all for the price of one feat.
  • Fluid Travel (Su): Situational.
  • Freezing Spells (Su): Plan to cast lots of cold damage spells like Cold Ice Strike to keep enemies Slowed.
  • Ice Armor (Su): The armor ability is already great, but you also get DR, and you can increase both bonuses by being somewhere cold.
  • Icy Skin (Ex): Energy resistance is always nice, but you don't get much. Immunity at high levels is great.
  • Punitive Transformation (Su): Fantastic save-or-suck effect.
  • Water Form (Su): Even if you don't use the vortex ability *(only usable underwater), being a Water Elemental makes you very durable. Bonuses to natural armor and Consitution will keep you alive, and Darkvision is always nice.
  • Water Sight (Su): The ability to see through fog and mist is very situational, but free scrying is very useful.
  • Wintry Touch (Su): You will probably do better with a mace.

Final Revelation: Free metamagic is fantastic, even if they are only +1 spell level metamagic feats.

Wind

The Wind Mystery has a fantastic list of Revelations, but has a poor spell list, and provides no flight options beyond Wings of Air, so you will need to find a way to fly when your minute per Oracle level runs out. Consider an archetype which replaces the poor spell list.

Class Skills: Several bad options, so you can afford to dump intelligence.

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Not a good option for an Oracle.
  • Escape Artist (Dex): Too situational.
  • Fly (Dex): Flight is essential at high levels, but you can't really justify more than one rank in Fly.
  • Stealth (Dex): Required for a Scout.

Bonus Spells: Really? You don't get Fly? Most of the spell options are situational, and only a handful are truly good.

  1. alter winds: Situational, but if you're really smart you can use it to your advantage for airborne combat.
  2. gust of wind: Situational.
  3. cloak of winds: The penalty to ranged attacks is nice, but the other benefits are very situational.
  4. river of wind: Weak area control.
  5. control winds: Allows you to prevent enemies from flying.
  6. sirocco: Nice area control effect. A little bit of damage, knock things prone, and make them fatigued.
  7. control weather: Situational.
  8. whirlwind: Excellent crowd control.
  9. winds of vengeance: A very flashy buff with a good fly speed.

Revelations: Plenty of excellent options to keep you busy.

  • Air Barrier (Ex): Even if you have regular armor, the 50% miss chance for ranged attacks is amazing.
  • Gaseous Form (Su): Excellent infiltration or escape mechanism.
  • Invisibility (Su): Invisibility is fantastic, though it's not as important for you as it is for characters with Sneak Attack. The ability to switch to Improved Invisibility is great, too.
  • Lightning Breath (Su): Clerics/Oracles have plenty of spells which do more damage.
  • Spark Skin (Ex): Energy resistance is always nice, and eventually you get immunity.
  • Thunderburst (Ex): Decent range, a nice expanding AOE, 1d6 damage per level, and it deafens. The uses per day scale very slowly, but the ability is pretty good.
  • Touch of Electricity (Su): You will probably do better with a mace.
  • Vortex Spells (Ex): Ludicrously situational.
  • Wind Sight (Ex): The ability to see through wind is really only helpful if you create it. The ability to use Clairvoyance without casting a spell is the biggest draw here. Clairvoyance is fantastic for scouting safely, and because you can stretch the rounds out however you like, you can do lots of short scouts throughout the day.
  • Wings of Air (Su): Flight is crucial at high levels, and activating a new movement type as a swift action gives you a ton of really great tactical options. Unfortunately, this is the only way to Fly provided by the Wings Mystery.

Final Revelation: Free metamagic is fantastic, even if they are only +1 spell level metamagic feats.

Wood

Wood is a bad Mystery. There is almost nothing here worth having.

Class Skills: The only option that you really need is Knowledge (Nature).

  • Climb (Str): Too situational.
  • Knowledge (nature) (int): One of the more important knowledge skills.
  • Stealth (Dex): Required for a Scout.
  • Survival (Wis): Very situational, and Oracles don't have great Wisdom.

Bonus Spells: Very few good options.

  1. shillelagh: Awful. Magic weapon is a much better use of a spell.
  2. barkskin: Fantastic buff with a great duration. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  3. minor creation (wood items only): Creation spells can be very powerful, but limiting it to wood items removes all of the interesting options.
  4. thorn body: Unless you plan on turning into aplant, this won't do you much good. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  5. tree stride: Good long-distance travel spell. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  6. ironwood: You won't need this often, but it's still really cool. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  7. transmute metal to wood: Situational, but it could be fun to cast it on a suit of armor, then cast ironwood on it. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  8. changestaff: Great way to get a pet that lasts all day. Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.
  9. wooden phalanx: Get several pets which last all day long. Cast this the night before, and you can save a spell slot! Not on the Cleric/Oracle spell list.

Revelations: The Wood Mystery provides no truly good Revelations, and almost all of them are only situational;y useful.

  • Bend the Grain (Sp): Situational.
  • Lignification (Su): Single target save or suck. Turn them into wood and set them on fire. The users per day are very limited.
  • Speak with Wood (Sp): Situational.
  • Thorn Burst (Su): The range is short and the damage is poor.
  • Tree Form (Sp): Being able to polymorph for hours at a time is normally great, but the forms available to Plant Shape are among the worst polymorph forms available.
  • Wood Armor (Su): This will take a while to catch up to a breastplate, but at high levels this can save you quite a bit of time and money. I'm not sure if you can enhance the armor with Magic Vestment, but if you can your AC should be excellent. Also note that this armor has no ACP, which is nice if you want to take advantage of Stealth as a class skill.
  • Wood Bond (Ex): A permanent competence bonus. Competence bonuses are reasonably common, but it's hard to find permanent bonuses which scale this well.
  • Wood Sight (Su): Situational.
  • Wooden Weapon (Su): A free magic weapon is nice, but the enhancement bonus isn't very good and the keen property is largely wasted on your choice of weapons because they all have threat ranges of 20.
  • Woodland Stride (Ex): Very situational.

Final Revelation: The Plant creature type provides a lot of nice defensive resistances and immunities.