Channeling the Cosmos a Guide to the Oracle

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Channeling the Cosmos

A Guide to the Oracle

Sean FitzSimon

Part 1: Oracle Class Features

[Part 2: Oracle Spells] [Part 3: Multiclass Options]

Last Updated: October 7, 2014

Contents:

I. Know Thyself: Character roles and expectations

II. Tactics and Techniques: Ways to be successful

III. Children of the Blessing: Races

IV. Measuring Up: Ability arrays

V. Mundane Tools for Divine Entities: Skills and Feats

VI. The Burden: Oracle Curses

VII. Aspects of the Divine: Mysteries

VIII. Deviations of the Divine: Archetypes

Sources:

This guide attempts to remain as close to the “loose core” as possible, and thus only contains options from the main line of Pathfinder books. I use PFSRD as my primary source because they’re so fantastically wonderful at keeping their material in line with current erratas. This guide draws on the following books:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook Advanced Player’s Guide

Ultimate Combat Ultimate Magic Advanced Race Guide

Special Thanks:

While the meat of this guide is from yours truly, there are several posters from the Paizo forums who have contributed a great deal to my assessment of the guide as well as picked out the numerous times I was a giant dolt and misread or misinterpreted something. Special thanks go to:

45ur4, Benly, Bigtuna, Cheapy, cp, Dennis Baker, Dingleberry, FallingIcicle, Galnörag, GâtFromKI, Hmm, Kazejin, KrispyXIV, nategar05, Rory, Samurai, ShadowcatX, sunbeam, TarkXT

Other Guides to Peruse:

Lots of people have written very insightful guides on different aspects of the Pathfinder RPG system. Here are a few that might be worth looking at if you’re interested in playing an Oracle. These guides are listed alphabetically.

Ashiel’s Guide to Adventure: A fun guide that explores adventuring in the micro as well as the macro. Highly recommended to those new to the system.

Brewer’s Guide to the Jargonaut: Brewer wrote a guide about taking advantage of the exceptionally weak Words of Power alternate rule set. Early in the guide he acknowledges the weakness of the system and then explores how to make the most of it with a very specific build. Definitely worth a read if you’re interested in Words of Power or other unique builds.

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Tips and Traits: A Guide to Pathfinder Traits: Dragonamedrake’s guide to traits is fantastic. I’ve referenced it dozens of times for different reasons and I’ve always found it both thorough and useful.

The Viking Irishman’s Guide to Weaponry: A quick guide to the mechanical differences between weapons.

Walter’s Guide to Deific Obediences: This is a guide about getting the most bang for your buck from the Inner Sea Gods campaign book. The book is outside of the scope of this guide, but it contains some truly powerful and unique options. Definitely worth a read.

Know Thyself:

The oracle is a varied and complex class, which is readily apparent when you start looking through the many different options available in just their introductory book. The class offers a rich variety of different playstyles and a unique take on the divine caster role. Mechanically speaking the class is the equivalent of a sorcerous cleric.

Before we actually get into the specifics of what an oracle is, let’s go ahead and dispel a particularly common myth about the oracle/sorcerer: the oracle does not have more spells per day than a cleric. At any given level with equivalent casting stats, the oracle and cleric are casting roughly the same amount of spells per day. The oracle slowly passes the cleric in the mid to late teens, but at this point in a character’s career the amount of spells per day is largely inconsequential. The largest mechanical different between the two is the advantages and disadvantages of a spontaneous vs. prepared spell list.

When comparing the two, the cleric is a generalist and the oracle is a specialist. Even the most highly specialized cleric is still a generalist; this is because of the spellcasting mechanic that clerics follow. The oracle, on the other hand, tends to be highly specialized. An oracle who specializes for a particular goal will always be better at that goal than a cleric aiming towards the same, and that’s a great strength of the class. The downside is that you’ll need to rely on magic items (like scrolls, wands, & staves) to fulfill the generalist responsibilities of your group. Because oracles excel at being specialists, it’s important that you play to that strength. You’ve got a lot of options in and out of combat, but only so many actions per round. Pick a group role for your character and try to build towards that with most of your choices. It’s okay to pick up a minor or two, but don’t diversify too much or you’ll start to suffer.

The combat roles for an oracle are as follows:

Warrior:This character has placed a large emphasis on the use of weapons in combat, using her melee presence to shape the flow of battle. The warrior favors a strong strength score as well as a decent charisma score.

On Ranged Combat: Ranged combat is a very powerful option in Pathfinder, which of course should lead to the assumption that it can be a powerful option for an oracle. Unfortunately it doesn't. It requires more feats and stronger stats to be considered viable which is a mark against it. The most prolific issue with ranged combat is that it doesn’t do anything beyond damage. Melee combat provides a variety of options for shutting down enemies and preventing them from doing their big and nasty attacks. Trying to emulate a martial class is a quick way to fail, which makes ranged combat a poorer choice than melee.

Controller: This character uses her spells, combat maneuvers, and/or skills to shape the flow of combat around her. This can be done through applying penalties to her enemies, changing the landscape of the battlefield, or summoning allies. The controller tends to favor a high charisma score for spell DCs.

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Enabler: This character puts a strong emphasis on making sure her allies are as powerful as they can be. She’ll spend her time in combat applying buffs and boons appropriate to the situation, negating enemy attacks with abjurations, and summoning allies to assist her companions. The enabler can function successfully even with a poor charisma score, and makes a good option for characters with lower point buys.

Blaster: This character lives for the thrill of damage. She focuses on spells and abilities that slather on as much hurt as possible. This role is generally considered inferior to other roles as damage struggles to scale with the HP of enemy monsters, but several mysteries appear to be designed to fill this concept. As such, it will be discussed here, though in the tone that it is an inferior choice. If you’re interested in pursuing this role it’d be a good idea to treat my ratings of blast spells/abilities as 1-2 stars greater. Flame Oracle currently has the most to offer a character interested in blasting. A blaster favors a high charisma score for spell DCs.

The out of combat roles for an oracle are as follows:

Socialite: Your goal is to navigate social situations, be it through trickery, guile, charm, or intimidation. Your naturally high charisma and access to skills and magic make you a good choice for this role.

Medic: Combat brings about its fair share of scrapes and bruises, and you’re here to mend the pieces. Healing is generally best done outside of combat, and may include repairing hitpoint damage, curing poisons and diseases, and removing ability damage. Every oracle who chooses the “cure wounds” option will fill this role to some degree, but this particular listing is for characters who truly choose to pursue this. Invest in the heal skill- it’ll save you a lot of grief early on.

Textbook: It’s your job to know things. Be that through knowledge skills, divinations, scouting, or gathering information around town. Many oracle mysteries can help you fulfill this role.

It’s important to choose a single combat role, but the vast majority of oracles are likely to jump between the out of combat roles; and that’s okay. Don’t shy away from a challenge!

Before we go any further in this guide I’d like to lay out the rating system we’ll be using. Treantmonk has become the gold standard for building easy-to-read guides, so I’ll be following his example. The ratings are as follows:

RED (*): A very poor option. Should be avoided in nearly all cases.

ORANGE (**): A mediocre, or uncommonly useful option. Generally not worth it.

GREEN (***): A good option. Can also refer to great abilities that aren’t consistently useful. BLUE (****): An excellent option. Should be considered in nearly all cases.

The most important thing to take away from this guide is that this is just a series of opinions. My opinions, to be precise. Most every opinion here is formed based on math, statistical probability, and core assumptions of the Pathfinder system. Even still, only you can know your particular game, and it’s up to you to judge and assess the information here according to your situation. I only hope to offer one viewpoint of the class.

The only other piece of advice I really encourage you to consider is this: nothing is required to play an effective oracle. There is no single feat, skill, race, spell, or revelation that any oracle must have. An oracle is more than the sum of her parts, and there’s a great amount of flexibility in building one that can be successful. Likewise there is no single feat, skill, race, spell, or revelation that will ruin your character (with one exception: Read the Tapestry in the Dark Tapestry mystery). As long as you can meet the mechanical requirements of playing an oracle (have enough charisma, etc.) then you should feel confident in playing however you like. Some feats aren’t

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as strong as others but help build towards a concept- and I say great! Build your concept. The guide is just here to educate you on what strong and weak options exist so that you can look at it all and be as well informed as possible.

Tactics and Techniques:

We’ve identified four different types of oracle who all lend themselves to different playstyles. Before really getting into any of the mechanics of the class it’s important that you get an idea of how each role should ideally be played. Keep in mind that these are only my opinions, but they should help you play to each role’s strengths. Warrior: More than any other role, the warrior relies on her equipment. You’ll want to wear the best armor you can afford, usually splintmail early on and then eventually plate. Weapons are really important to you as well. Warriors can be pretty successful with a weapon/shield combo, especially if they choose to go the buckler route because you can swap between two-handed attacks and the classic sword and shield style. Wielding a buckler and using your weapon with two hands negates the bonus to AC and applies a -1 penalty to attack though, so keep that in mind. Two-handed weapons without the buckler are also something favored by the system, but the loss in AC can hurt. Keep a second weapon on hand at all times (something lightweight and of a different damage type), and consider tucking a sling into your belt as well. I mean, hey, you never know.

When entering combat you’ll tend to spend most of your time mingling among your enemies. Summoning is a great option for Warrior types but the long casting time means it’s easy to disrupt- especially when standing near your potential attacker. If you want an ally then it’s round 1 to do so, otherwise start moving towards the action and cast your favorite combat buff. Prioritize spells that hit multiple allies if you can. Once you’re in melee you need to position yourself into flanking to help whichever ally needs it more. Start working towards securing victory for your team before you really get into hitting your enemies; consider buffs that negate their attacks, spells that add/modify the surrounding terrain, and/or debuff spells that don’t offer a saving throw. Once you feel confident you should start going to town with that weapon of yours, only pulling back if you feel your team is losing the upper hand. Remember, you’re a spellcaster first.

Controller: Perhaps the most tactically minded type of oracle, and certainly one that the spell list favors. You need to focus on keeping your charisma as high as possible, followed closely by your constitution. Expect to wade into battle more than a few times during your career simply because a lot of your offensive spells don’t have a great range.

Round 1 is easily the most important round for the battle- your allies are (probably) still standing together, and your enemies are likely gathered up close. This is when you want to cast your best crowd control spell. Limit the enemy’s ability to reach your allies: walls, fog, persistent area of effect spells, summoned monsters, etc. Round 2 is when you start prioritizing enemies. Focus on the biggest threat first, especially casters and archers. Throw your most powerful spell at this enemy, remembering that if you can disable it you’ll save your team a lot of effort in the long run. If there isn’t an identifiable big bad you need to worry about hindering as many enemies as possible at the same time: multi-target debuffs are key here. Round 3 and beyond is pretty organic. You’ve done your team a great boon thus far, so now you get to have some fun!

Enabler: Everyone loves this character at the table, especially if she’s played well. You don’t have to worry about a strong charisma score since very little of what you’ll be doing requires saving throws. Dispel Magic is a great choice for this sort of character, as is Summon Monster. In fact, I heartily recommend both for you. You’ll also want to invest in knowledge skills so that you can identify enemies and prepare your allies accordingly.

Combat for an enabler is usually really chaotic, since you can’t really rely on the same tactics each time. Start with your strongest combat buff for your allies. Prioritize anything with a range of touch so that you won’t have to enter melee later on, following that with spells that require allies to be near each other. You need to identify your enemies as quickly as possible. If you fail, get one of your allies to help you out. Giving your fighter the ability to pierce alignment based DR, or granting the party resistances to acid are much more useful if they’re cast before they’re required. After you’ve got your party buffed you should switch to summoning minions to the

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fight. You may not need to do this more than once or twice, but those critters can provide a lot of offense for your team. Dispel Magic is also fantastic in battles with an enemy caster. Once your team is buffed up you can ready your standard action to counterspell anything the enemy attempts. It’s unique in that it doesn’t require a successful spellcraft roll to use.

Blaster: Blasters are sort of tricky to play in some gaming groups because spells that hit your enemies but miss your allies aren’t that common. Like the Controller, you need to keep your charisma score as high as possible. You’ll also want a good dexterity score to help with those blasts that require a ranged touch attack to land. A well played blaster needs a few spells that she can cast when blasting simply isn’t an option. Summoning spells are great, especially if you pick creatures immune to your attacks. You’ll want to invest in knowledge skills to help you identify elemental weaknesses/strengths in your enemies to prevent you from accidentally casting something that they’re immune to, or worse, healed by.

When combat begins, don’t go straight for your first blast! Instead, cast a spell that will encourage/force your enemies to remain close to each other. Summoning spells do this pretty well, as do walls and environmental hazards. The longer your enemies are close together the more you can toss out your favorite area of effect spells without having to waste the effort on only one or two targets. If your allies and enemies get too mixed up together you’ll need to take drastic action: buff your allies with resistance/immunity to your spells. Recklessly hurting other player characters is a great way to create bad blood. Just remember: more targets are better than fewer targets, but good damage is never worth passing up a strategic advantage that could easily win your team a battle. Sometimes that means spending a turn to buff your allies so that they can effectively contribute. Other times that means disabling a powerful enemy. Pathfinder is a team-based game that’s much more fun when you play together.

The Children of the Blessing:

While the blessing of divine magic probably isn’t very picky when it comes to striking a mortal, you as a player at least get the option of choosing a favorable race for your new character- and there are a lot of options.

Thoughts on a racial stats: Point buy provides us a very straightforward tool in determining the math of each race. Specifically, how much each stat is truly worth to the oracle. Most oracles will keep their dexterity, constitution, and intelligence scores somewhere between 10 and 12 points, meaning that any penalty to one of these stats is fine so long as you gain a bonus to one of the other stats- it’ll even out when you finally purchase. Most oracles are going to want about an 8 in wisdom to afford their other stats, so a penalty here is similar to the first three stats- as long as you gain a bonus there the point buy will even out. A bonus to wisdom, however, is actually a nice boon. It allows the oracle to take a natural 7 (9 with the racial bonus) in the stat and suffer no less than any other oracle while also gaining 2 points in the point buy. It seems counterintuitive at first, but the math doesn’t lie. This also expands on why strength and charisma are so important to the oracle. A strength penalty for a caster type is a loss of about 3 points, while for a warrior type it’s more likely a loss of 5 points. Similarly a charisma penalty is a 3 to 5 point penalty for all oracles. The bonuses to these stats are also significant. A bonus to strength equates to roughly 3 to 5 bonus points for a caster and 5 for a warrior. A bonus to charisma is roughly 5 points for all oracles. A penalty to charisma is even more difficult because you really need to get your charisma stat to about 15 or 16 for any oracle- almost everything you do is based on this.

A Note on Favored Classes: Each race with a unique favored class bonus has this ability rated from red to blue, same as anything else in the guide. As a point of reference I consider the core favored class bonus (one hit point or one skill point) to be a solidly green ability. It’s versatile and strengthens most character concepts. Use this as a guide when determining my thoughts on specific racial options. This also means that favored class options are not judged against other favored class options from different races, but instead are judged solely against the core option. Humans, Aasimar, and Race-Specific Options: Humans have access to a very special feat from the Advanced Player’s Guide called Racial Heritage. It allows a human to be considered another race for pretty much any effect, which may or may not include racial archetypes and

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favored class bonuses (the jury is still out on this one since neither are explicitly mentioned). This is significant because it potentially allows humans to pursue powerful abilities designed for the less inclined races, such as the Elf’s Ancient Lorekeeper archetype or the Wayang’s favored class bonuses. It expressly allows access to the powerful spells of the Catfolk, Half-Elves, and Oread. Whether any of this works or not is almost entirely up to your DM and how s/he interprets the feat, but the fact remains that Racial Heritage cheapens the diversity of the races and encourages the worst kind of min-maxing and cheese in the Pathfinder game. Aasimar are mentioned here because of their alternate racial trait, Scion of Humanity, which allows them to be treated a Humans for any purpose and thus allows them to also take this feat.

Dwarf (*): A penalty to charisma makes this a really terrible choice for any player who isn’t looking to seriously challenge themselves, though it’s got enough going for it to make a passing Warrior oracle. The alternate racial trait Relentless would work well for an oracle who enjoys combat maneuvers. Dwarves who take a mystery that offers flight might consider Sky Sentinel for an easy boost in defenses, while Stone oracles will of course select Stonesinger. Feats allow you to raise your natural armor by 1, boost your knowledges by +2, or gain a series of additional attacks when using Cleave.

Favored Class (**): Every four levels you get proficiency in a single martial or exotic weapon. This is decent for Warrior types who want to pursue one of the classes that doesn’t provide free proficiencies, but it’s still not great. Most dwarves won’t get much out of this, or will only take 4 levels worth for their favorite weapon. Still, it expands your options.

Elf (***): No bonus to charisma? That’s rough. Despite this, it’s still a pretty decent race. Elven Magic is fantastic for Blasters and Controllers, and extra weapon proficiencies help shore up your crappy selection of simple weapons. Weapons only tend to matter early on, so this has middling value for the casting focused oracle. Dreamspeaker has some excellent flavor and gives you a passingly mediocre (though 5th level) spell 1/day, as well as a boost to your divination DCs. Most elves should seriously consider Fleet-Footed for the bonus to initiative. But what makes elves a green race? It’s access to the stupidly good Ancient Lorekeeper archetype. Feats allow an additional attack of opportunity per round (ala Combat Reflexes, but with a low dex), boost your knowledge skills by +2, ignore difficult terrain if it’s natural, or link with a specific terrain and gain a bunch of bonuses while within it.

Favored Class (** to ****): This one is tricky. In a shorter campaign, like Pathfinder Societies, this can be a great way to gain access to some potentially powerful things much earlier (or at all). It’s hard to rate without comparing it to a specific revelation, but ones you can access early that don’t have a hard cap are very strong choices (like armor revelations, Bones’s Raise the Dead, or Life’s Channel). In a full one to twenty campaign most revelations will see this as wasted, though it does provide earlier access may be worth the cost.

Gnome (****): Not the greatest stats, but they’re very solid. Small size is a definite boon for the dedicated caster, though the 20’ land speed may become a hindrance if you choose to pursue heavier armors. The penalty to strength will be an issue for those looking to go the Warrior route, but casters won’t mind too much. Gnome magic is wonderful for Heavens oracle, Pyromaniac is excellent for the Flame oracle, Fell Magic is great for the Bones oracle, and Magical Linguist is decent for the rest of them. Eternal Hope is particularly awesome (reroll a natural 1 once per day?) for any character. Feats allow you to boost your knowledges by +2, speak with burrowing animals at will, and expand your racial hatred with the Ranger’s favored enemy list.

Favored Class (** to ***): Some of the curses are really brutal, and this can be a good way to get over that initial hump. If your campaign runs from one to twenty it’s a wasted ability, but in shorter campaigns it can get you access to curse benefits you otherwise might not see. It’s also great for multiclass oracles.

Half-Elf (****): Charisma gets a bonus, so this is at least a decent race. While they’re generally good at being an oracle, they’re basically just humans with low-light vision and a few skill bonuses instead of bonus skill points. This is because many oracles are going to pursue Eldritch Heritage, and that starts with Skill Focus. Humans get a better deal there with Focused Study, but you get better vision. Arcane Training may appear to be a decent choice, but it requires trading away all your favored class bonuses, which will cost you a large amount of

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flexibility. Half-Elves are currently the only official race that has access to two different oracle favored class bonuses, which they can pick between each level. Socially minded oracles should consider Wary. Feats allow you to gain the Elven Magic trait (which stacks with Spell Penetration) or the human’s bonus skill point per level. All Human and Elf feats are of course available.

Favored Class (****): One bonus spell at your second-highest level is pretty sweet, but not as amazing at it might seem. The cleric list is pretty thin on spectacular spells and most oracles can already get the ones they really want. Use this option to grab those spells that are only occasionally useful at no real penalty to yourself.

Favored Class (** to ****): Boost in one revelation’s effective level. See Elf.

Half-Orc (****): I’ve loved half-orcs for as long as I’ve played D&D, and up until pathfinder they sucked in a big way. Luckily, that’s not the case anymore. In fact, they make spectacular oracles! A boost to charisma is excellent, and darkvision is as useful as ever. Extra weapon proficiencies help out the poor weapon choices of the oracle, and Orc Ferocity should never be discounted- especially for a character who always has the option to heal herself. Chain Fighter is a strong substitute for Warrior types who have access to martial weapon proficiencies. Gate Crasher and Toothy are very solid changes for the Warrior oracle who feels that she won’t get enough use out of Orc Ferocity, while Sacred Tattoo is great if you aren’t very interested in melee combat. Shaman’s Apprentice is a pretty good trade for Intimidating if you don’t have any interest in the skill (and want to pick up Diehard, a prerequisite for many half-orc feats), and Skilled is basically half of what a human gets at the cost of your darkvision. Feats allow the nature oracle to expand her choice in mounts, improve Orc Ferocity to true Ferocity or grant it to your summons, boost your natural armor by 1, gain a bite attack, convert a critical hit against you to partially nonlethal damage, deny additional targets their dexterity bonus when cleaving, rage along with the party barbarian, and even deny death by lingering in your corpse to receive healing.

Favored Class (****): One bonus spell. See Half-Elf.

Halfling (****): Before the Advanced Race Guide arrived Halflings were a green race, lingering behind Gnome as the “tiny caster.” Now they’ve taken solid footing in blue. Halfling Luck is more useful than I think people give it credit for and should be thoroughly considered before trading away. Underfoot is essentially the Dodge feat for the vast majority of enemies. Warslinger is still pretty useless. Fleet of Foot is an absolute must for any halfing and really sets it apart from the Gnome. It costs two lame skill bonuses and puts your speed up with the tall folk. Low Blow might be useful for warrior types if you don’t mind the loss of perception. Adaptable Luck is a decent trade for a bonus to saves, and has a few feats to help it. Halflings have access to the Community Guardian archetype that functions similarly to a bard. Feats allow you to boost Adaptive Luck to a +4/+3 benefit and gain additional uses, boost your AC when fighting defensively, take swings even while using total defense, make saves for your allies, “happen” to have exactly the item you need, and get a power attack substitute/supplement that reduces AC instead of attack.

Favored Class (** to ***): Boost in curse’s effective level. See Gnome.

Human (****): Ah, masters of all. The boost to charisma makes this a good choice of race, and the alternate racial abilities helps cement that. Oracles will find plenty of use for that human bonus feat, but if you can bear to part with it there are some decent options. Heart of the Fields is awesome for the oracle in medium+ armor; enjoy sleeping in your armor! Heart of the Wilderness is thematically appropriate for several mysteries, but otherwise it’s just so awesome that you’d be goofy to pass it up. The bonus to survival is fun, but the boosts to surviving bleeding out are well worth a single skill point each level. Dual Talent is of particular interest to Warrior types, but be aware that you’re trading away all your race features for a second +2 to an ability score. Humans again gain a unique advantage over other races in pursuing Eldritch Heritage with Focused Study. This equates to two bonus skill focus feats at no actual cost to you. Socialites should consider Silver Tongued. Feats allow you to reroll natural 1s for saving throws or critical hits against you, choose a second favored class, gain both core favored class bonuses instead of choosing just one, gain a +2/+4 bonus on all untrained skills and use any skill you want, gain a +8/+4 to any d20 roll once per day, or even emulate another race to take their feats.

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Favored Class (****): One bonus spell. See Half-Elf.

Advanced Races: With the introduction of the Advanced Races Guide a lot of material was added. Every core race got a boost, which bumped Elves to green and Halflings to Blue. It also fleshed out many of the bestiary races into “proper” player races, including alternate traits and racial feats. Advanced Races are listed separately because they’re just that: advanced. Many DMs disagree about the power of specific races and thus all of these should be considered based on DM approval alone.

Aasimar (****): Aasimar are a very strong race for the oracle with bonuses to both charisma and wisdom for added flexibility in the point buy, as well as assorted boons in all the places you’re likely to explore as an oracle. They don’t even have any penalties. Aasimar are also outsiders (native) which grants them immunity to many different things. The only real issue with Aasimar is that most of their alternate traits trigger are based on alignment and creature type- an issue common with the cleric spell list. Exalted Resistance is probably more useful later on than the Celestial Resistance it replaces. Scion of Humanity trades in most of the bonuses for being an outsider in favor of access to Human feats, and Truespeaker could be a lot of fun if you’re interested in gaining all the languages. Aasimar gain access to a series of surprisingly versatile feats, including Angelic Flesh (golden) for Heavens oracles, Celestial Servant for Nature oracles, and Angel Wings for any oracle that doesn’t gain access to flight (they can even be a weapon!). Aasimar also gain access to the Purifier archetype.

Favored Class (** to ****): Boost in one revelation’s effective level. See Elf.

Catfolk (****): Decent stats with a boost to Charisma- not bad. Cat’s Luck isn’t fantastic, since reflex saves are the least dangerous, but it’s a boon none-the-less. They’ve got access to natural weapons (claws) for the Warrior who wants a good backup, and Clever Cat lets them trade in their skill bonuses for boosts to the Socialite array. Climber is probably worth it to most oracles, too. Scent is a good option for oracles with the Clouded Vision curse. Feats allow easy access to claws, pounce for claws only, and better charges/cleaves.

Favored Class (****): One bonus spell. See Half-Elf.

Changeling (****): Changelings start off well with great stats. They’ve got a natural armor bonus and natural claw attacks, making them an attractive option for Warrior types, especially if they go with the Hulking Changeling option. She can trade this for a 5% boost in concealment when concealment applies. Feats allow for additional natural armor, +1 attack/damage to your claws, and spell resistance.

Favored Class (** to ***): Boost in curse’s effective level. See Gnome.

Dhampir (*** or ****): Solid stats with a boost to charisma, but the Dhampir are a complicated race. Negative Energy Affinity means that right from the start you need to decide if you want to heal your allies or heal yourself, since investing in cure/inflict wounds with your actual spells known is an awful idea. Because of this the Dhampir finds Bones a natural choice, and those oracles should consider this a Blue race. They do boast excellent defenses and some of the best natural vision in the game, so don’t even think about taking the Clouded Vision curse. Dhampir oracles are going to want to invest in Dayborn to rid themselves of that annoying light sensitivity (you can take Detect Undead as a spell if you want it), especially Warrior types. Vampiric Empathy could be fun, but not particularly useful. Feats allow a very selective blooding drinking ability that deals constitution damage and the ability to take 20 on charisma skills when target humanoids are at least friendly to you.

Drow (****): Again we see solid stats and a boost to charisma, drow are a good choice for the oracle. Spell Resistance is a double-edged sword if you’re hanging with other spellcasters that like to offer buffs, and light blindness is occasionally frustrating to deal with- especially for Warrior types. Unfortunately the only way to get rid of the light blindness is to trade away your amazing darkvision. Blasphemous Covenant is a great boost to demons if you’re interested in summoning on the dark side, and Darklands Stalker is totally worth the loss of a few spell-like abilities. Seducer essentially equates to Spell Focus (Enchantment) if you’re interested in that, but don’t expect to get any use out of charm person with your dismal wisdom score. Feats allow you to add spiders to your summon monster/nature’s ally lists, or add a few more spell-like abilities to your list (many require wisdom 13).

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Duergar (*): Ah, the deep Dwarves. Even worse oracles than their hated cousins, too. A -4 penalty to charisma makes them nearly unplayable for all point buys.

Fetchling (***): Good stats with a bump to charisma. Fetchlings have the bonus of being outsiders, and can really make a lot of use of the darkness spells thanks to Shadow Bending. They also gain a series of spell-like abilities as they rise in level, most of which are at least situationally useful. They’ve got great vision, too. Gloom Shimmer is fantastic for Warrior sorts, and Subtle Manipulator is a good choice for Socialites who don’t care about disguise self. They’re not a bad class, but they don’t really offer much for the standard oracle because oracles don’t tend to excel in stealth. Feats allow seeing through magical darkness, improved darkvision, improved combat in darkness, and dimension door as a spell-like ability.

Favored Class (*): Among the most bizarre of favored class options, it’s also not particularly useful. By trading in all of your favored class bonuses you can gain access to your spell-like abilities two or three levels early. The problem here is that none of them are really worth clamoring over.

Gillman (**): Really decent oracle stats, but potential drops pretty quickly. First you’ve got the issue of many of their abilities being useless in a non-aquatic or seafaring campaign. Water Dependant is annoying to be sure, but it’s not a huge issue for an oracle with the Create Water orison. It’s definitely not worth trading for Riverfolk, since that grants a larger issue: vulnerability to fire. You could instead choose to trade away basically all your water-themed abilities with Throwback to lose the Water Dependant issue, but you’re not left with much. Honestly, the stats here are good but everything else is kinda useless. This is flavor only.

Goblin (*): Goblins bring a penalty to your two favorite stats, and a great bonus to one you’re not that interested in. They’ve also got a series of bonuses that don’t really do anything to help or hinder the oracle at all. Goblins are great flavor, but terrible oracles.

Favored Class (*): While this could potentially be useful for a Flames oracle, even then it can’t compare to a bonus skill point or more health.

Grippli (*): These guys are so small! They’re freakin’ adorable. The stats aren’t great, though they’ve got a good speed, and a natural climb speed. Princely (get it?) is a good choice in place of Swamp Strider and proficiency with a net. You can also get a fairly dull poison attack in place of your bonus to stealth and Swamp Strider. Feats allow them to use their tongue to make sleight of hand, steal, and disarm attacks at 10 feet. Unfortunately there’s nothing here for an oracle of any kind.

Hobgoblin (**): Hobgoblin stats put you a little ahead in the point buy, but not as much as boost to charisma or strength would. Sneaky is going to be worthless for most oracles, so it’s better replaced with Battle-Hardened for Warrior types, Fearsome for Socialites, or Unfit for the rest of them. Pit Boss could be useful if you’re interested in whips, and Scarred is an easy boost to your AC if you can live without Darkvision. Feats allow you to extend demoralization from intimidate with each attack, buff an ally with intimidate, and buff allies using the Dazzling Display feat.

Ifrit (****): Good stats as well as the benefits of being an outsider. They also boast a weak resistance to fire and a spell-like ability that’s going to be useless after a few levels. Fire Affinity also provides no love for the Flames oracle, though you might convince your DM to rule otherwise. Efreeti Magic is an excellent replacement for burning hands. Fire Affinity can be traded for the lame healing power of Fire in the Blood, or Fire Insight to make your second level summoned elemental last six rounds rounds instead of four. All Ifrit oracles should strongly consider Wildfire Heart, which pushes this race firmly into the blue. Feats allow you to see through cover/concealment from fire and smoke, and add fire damage to held weapons as a swift action.

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Kitsune (**): A penalty to strength hurts, but the bonus to charisma keeps them in the game. Change Shape is nice for disguise, but otherwise useless beyond roleplaying opportunities. Kitsune Magic however is a free Spell Focus (Enchantment) for those interested, and her natural form offers a bite attack that would entice Warrior types if not for the strength penalty. Gregarious is a limited but interesting ability that Socialites might find useful. Feats allow you to spend basically all your feats to gain a series of mostly unimpressive spell-like abilities. The race isn’t particularly disadvantaged for pursuing oracle, but it’s not doing anything to impress me either. It’s focus is a bit too wide for either a caster or a warrior.

Favored Class (**): Weapon Proficiency every four levels. See Dwarf.

Kobold (*): These stats are awful. They’re pretty decent in defenses with several abilities leading to a higher AC, and are quite quick for a small race. Kobolds, simply put, do not make good Warrior types. Gliding Wings is a nice replacement for crafty, though technically a kobold can’t take ranks in Fly without a fly speed (which this does not provide). Warrior types can gain a tail attack with the Tail Terror feat, but they’re still awful Warriors. The race could be workable in a higher point buy with an emphasis on dexterity over strength, but most oracles should steer clear.

Favored Class (** or ***): There aren’t a lot of cleric spells that grant armor, but the Nature oracle is notable for having Barkskin at second level. A Nature oracle could invest heavily in this and push her defenses further than most other oracles are capable. I can’t say if it’s entirely worth it, but it’s a unique goal.

Merfolk (****): Merfolk are awesome, and it’s not difficult to see why. They’ve got the strongest stats of any race and can make a great choice for any type of oracle. They start off with a god awful land speed, but can boost this to 15 feet by taking Strongtail and reducing their swim speed to 30 feet. They’re also immune to tripping, have +2 natural armor, and low-light vision. Oh, and they’re amphibious without any true penalty for being out of the water. Oracles who rely on a lot of language dependant spells should consider Seasinger for an easy +1 DC to those spells at the cost of their vision. Their incredibly slow speed can be an issue for some parties, so it might be worthwhile to stick to light armor or invest in the Fleet feat.

Nagaji (****): Excellent stats for any oracle. They’re also sporting good resistances, natural armor, and decent sight. Abilities may seem a bit thin, but the race is very solid. Feats allow the Nagaji to spit blinding venom a few times per day with a scaling DC. It’s actually pretty decent.

Orc (*): Strong warriors with a penalty to all three mental stats. They share Ferocity, Weapon Familiarity, and Vision with the Half-Orcs and come bundled with a bonus Light Sensititivity. Warrior types can trade in Light sensitivity for a -2 penalty to all ranged attacks. The Orc might be a fair choice for a Warrior in a higher point buy game, but these stats really hurt.

Oread (*): Oread have some rough stats, but could be maneuvered into a fair Warrior. They’ve got the outsider type and all the benefits that entails, but are also slow despite being medium creatures and without the benefits that the dwarf gets in return. They also come bundled with a terrible spell-like ability and another elemental affinity that completely ignores the poor oracle. Oread can replace their lame energy resistance for a +1 natural armor bonus, but nothing else is really worth it. This simply isn’t a good choice.

Ratfolk (*): I find the ratfolk completely adorable, but their ability scores leave something to be desired. Small size is a benefit for caster types, and Darkvision is really nice. None of their alternate traits are particularly worth it for an oracle though. All-in-all, the race has nothing to offer, though they can gain a burrow speed and natural attacks with feats.

Samsaran (****): If you read the early notes on racial scores you’ll realize that this is actually a pretty decent series of ability boosts. It’s not as great as a gain in charisma or strength, though. They get some decent anti-death defenses, two racial skill bonuses of their choice that become class skills, decent vision, and a couple lame spells. Samsaran follow this up a really spectacular alternate racial trait: Mystic Past Life. They swap out their

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variable racial skills for the ability to add 3 + their charisma modifier spells from any other divine class to their spell list. Any level, doesn’t matter, so long as you choose from level one. That’s freakin’ amazing. You’ve got full reign over the druid, paladin, ranger, and inquisitor spells. Samsaran also gain access to the Reincarnated Oracle archetype. The stats here are a little less than I’d like, but Mystic Past Life and a strong favored class bonus pushes this race into the blue.

Favored Class (****): One bonus spell. See Half-Elf.

Strix(**): Bonus to dexterity and a penalty to charisma. Bad start. Strix however have a natural fly speed of 60 feet, which is amazing. They’ve also got bonuses to perception, saves against illusions, excellent vision, and some fun bonuses to beating up humans. Strix can trade their stealth bonus to add perception to the oracle’s class list, and trade their bonus vs. illusions for an additional +1 to fortitude. The real draw of this race is flight from level one, but it comes at the cost of several mediocre abilities and a penalty to your casting stat. I’d say this leaves it as solidly orange for most mysteries, maybe lower.

Suli (****): Suli are an interesting race, and they’ve got fantastic stats. Each starts off with resistance to all four classical elements and a surprisingly nice ability to add 1d6 elemental damage to her melee weapons as a swift action for a good duration- this makes them a very good choice for a Warrior sort. They’ve also got the Outsider type, decent vision, and bonuses for the Socialite. Suli can choose to trade in three of their resistances to focus on a single element, gaining a bonus power that’s perhaps worth it depending on the oracle. Earthfoot’s ability to 5-foot step through rubble seems very useful for a Stone oracle, and Icewalk’s constant Water Walk just seems really neat (though not particularly useful). A feat can allow you to break up your Elemental Assault into a round-by-round basis, thus making it extra damage when you want it and not once per day. This race is easily blue for the Warrior type, and probably closer to green for the rest of them.

Svirfneblin (*): Like the Duergar, deep gnomes make among the worst oracles with a -4 penalty to charisma and a -2 penalty to strength. For some unknown reason they’ve got a racial favored class option (the best one, actually) but I still can’t push them past red. Perhaps when an archetype arrives that changes the oracle’s casting stat. Until then stay far, far away.

Favored Class (****): One bonus spell. See Half-Elf.

Sylph (**): Mediocre stats, the outsider type, and another elemental affinity that ignores the oracle. Feather Fall is useful only occasionally, but Darkvision is always nice. Breeze-Kissed is of particular interest to Warrior types, and Like the Wind is an easy trade for Energy Resistance. Sky Speaker is roughly as useful as Feather Fall, so pick your favorite. Overall it’s an okay race for the oracle with some particular bonuses but nothing great. Sylphs can spend feats to gain a fly speed (in light/no armor only) or the ability to no longer breathe.

Favored Class (** to ****): Boost in one revelation’s effective level. See Elf.

Tengu (***): Like the Samsaran, Tengu have deceptively decent stats and a lot of tricks for the Warrior. Swordtrained seems great at first, but it essentially boils down to your favorite bladed weapon and a bunch of proficiencies you won’t use. A bite attack is useful for Warrior types, and Gifted Linguist is a quirky way to get all the languages rather quickly if you want them. Tengu can trade away Gifted Linguist for an incredibly awkward Scent ability, and can trade off Swordtrained for a pair of claw attacks and a phantom Improved Unarmed Strike. If you’re interested in an exotic weapon that isn’t bladed you can exchange Swordtrained for a number of proficiencies equal to 3 plus your intelligence modifier. Glide is available as a makeshift featherfall for those tengu that don’t care for languages. These bird-folk are mostly useful for making some of the non-Warrior mysteries hospitable to the concept. Tengu gain access to the Shigenjo archetype, which changes the oracle into something of a ninja monk. Feats allow you to add bleed damage to beak attacks, a limited alter self once per day, the ability to sprout wings once per day, and the ability to transform into a large raven once per day.

Favored Class (** to ***): Boost in curse’s effective level. See Gnome. Shigenjo oracles may find less use of this with the Ki ability to boost their curse level by 5 temporarily.

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Tiefling (*): Tieflings don’t come equipped with great Oracle stats, but do have a few bonuses that help out. Outsider type is great, and Maw grants access to a bite attack for the Darkness ability. Prehensile Tail gives you another hand to work with for absolutely no cost to oracle, and Scaled Skin trades two thirds of your resistances for a +1 to AC. Feats allow for additional natural armor or spectacular vision. Unfortunately the Tiefling just doesn’t do enough to overcome a penalty to charisma.

Undine (**): Undines suffer in much the same way Sylphs do, except swim is marginally less useful than a glide ability and the Undine has slightly better stats for a Caster. Hydraulic Push is useful occasionally, though trading it for the Ooze’s Breath’s ability to sicken enemies is a good alternate. Nereid Fascination is actually a pretty great ability that’s useful all the way to twenty if you focus on your charisma score. Feats allow spectacular uses of the Hydraulic Push spell-like ability (and spell if you take it), adding the water descriptor to fire spells, or gain the amphibious quality with a boost to swim speed.

Vanara (*): The stats are bad, but could make a fair Warrior if you tried. They come equipped with a racial climb that’s as quick as their land speed, have decent vision, and the fun and useful Prehensile Tail for pulling potions, scrolls, wands, and rods. Tree Stranger is a fantastic ability for a Textbook who isn’t interested in pursuing a know-it-all mystery. Still, the race doesn’t impress and completely falls short where it needs to shine. Vishkanya (****): Pathfinder’s other snake-folk, and they’re surprisingly good for a Warrior. Stats are great. They’ve also got decent vision, a boost to perception, a resistance to poison so high it might as well be freakin’ immunity, Poison Use (if you care), proficiency with a few really lame weapons, and the ability to secrete their own poison. The poison is similar to the Grippli’s but potentially has several more uses. A feat allows you to shift your poison from “meh” damage to a powerful stagger/sleep combo that’s easy to get behind. It won’t do much for the beefy enemies, but there are plenty of enemies that might succumb. And it’s only a swift action.

Wayang (**): Despite being small creatures, Wayang don’t have a penalty to strength. Unfortunately their stats are really mediocre. They’ve got a resistance to the rarely used shadow subschool, +1 DC to their shadow spells, a boost to perception, darkvision, and a few spells I’m not particularly excited about. They’ve also got the unusual ability to swap their response to positive/negative energy as an immediate action. I don’t see it getting a lot of play except for necromantic sorts who decided on the dark side, but that doesn’t really play well with the rest of the racial features. Wayang rate orange and not red only if they take advantage of their favored class option.

Favored Class (****): Similar to what the Elf’s Ancient Lorekeeper allows you to do, this one is restricted to only Illusion spells. Fortunately the Illusion school has a huge variety of spells that are absolutely worth adding to your list, including spells like Blur, Invisibility, the Image series, and especially the Shadow Conjuration/Evocation for your Shadow Magic boost. The best part is that you aren’t forced to use this, though it’s probably worth it after level 3 or so.

Measuring Up:

When looking at stats you’ll quickly find that allocation gets a bit complicated. An oracle needs a strong charisma score to cast spells, and a decent strength score because armor is heavy. You’ll also spend a good amount of time relying on a weapon early on in your career. Wisdom is about the only stat we can reasonably dump. Most oracles will spend their career in a swanky breastplate, but those that choose to enter the fray will likely upgrade to platemail. These are simply suggestions for point allocation, and all before racial bonuses. Human(ish) Warriors should put their floating bonus in strength, while everyone else should put it in charisma. Races with fixed bonus should try to get their scores as close to these as possible while emphasizing strength and/or charisma.

Warrior Oracle:

10 point buy: -not feasible for this

concept-15 point buy: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 7, Cha concept-15 20 point buy: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16 25 point buy: Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16 Caster Oracle:

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10 point buy: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 7, Cha 15 15 point buy: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16 20 point buy: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 17 25 point buy: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 17

If you’re absolutely opposed to the idea of a dump stat I can’t really blame you. Mechanically speaking it makes sense to drop one of your scores to a 7 or 8 to get the points you need, but approaching the game from an RP perspective can make it suck. It’s even more dangerous to end with a Wisdom score below 8 because it’s cutting into your only good save. It’s only really feasible to avoid a dump stat in a 20+ point buy game, and you can do it in one of two ways: Warrior types can lower their charisma by a single point to make up the difference, and Caster types can lower their dexterity. The only thing I can say for certain is that you should never choose an 18 in a point buy game. The cost of an 18 over a 17 is the difference between a 10 and a 14 in one of your tertiary stats. That’s a terrible bargain.

Oracles do have another option here, too, though it’s not one the guide explores. You can instead choose to dump your intelligence score in place of your wisdom score. From a mechanical standpoint it’s a stronger choice for most mysteries (not Lore) and keeps your saves/perception higher at the cost of a few skillpoints. The real issue I’ve encountered with a low intelligence score is that DMs, and sometimes other players, force the “stupid character” persona onto you. Personally, I never dump intelligence because I don’t want to be forced to play Thog. Still, it remains an option. Just be sure to talk to your entire group about what a low intelligence score means to them. I’ve seen bad blood crop up because “that one person isn’t roleplaying her stats correctly.”

Mundane Tools for Divine Entities:

For the Skillfully Inclined

Skills define a large part of what the oracle can do (aside from reshape reality with her mind), so it’s not something that should be neglected. Warrior oracles are likely to put their favored class bonus towards hit points, and intelligence isn’t a stat we particularly value. This means that, on the whole, most oracles are going to be working with 4-6 skill points at each level. There are a lot of really excellent skills for a charismatic character, which makes this even more difficult.

The most important thing to examine when determining the worth of a skill is this: does this skill favor max ranks as I level, or will a few points be enough to succeed more than half the time? You can have a really successful character if you’re willing to spread your points around and still be as good as your allies if you’re smart about it. I’ll try to hit the skills that might seem like good options for an oracle, as well as those that show up in bonus class skills. Keep in mind that with bonus class skills it’s almost always worth putting a single rank into these anyway, just to get the +3.

Acrobatics (** or ****): The best thing this skill has to offer is the ability to move through threatened spaces without provoking attacks of opportunity. In 3.5 we called it tumble, and it was a glorious skill! The downside is that you can’t do this if you’re in medium or heavy armor, and it’s really likely that you are. If you’re one of the few oracles who enjoys a chain shirt or an armor revelation, this is an excellent choice. If you’re not able to take advantage of this skill you should still invest 3 ranks- it’ll boost your dodge bonus from fighting defensively from +2 to +3. It’ll change fighting defensively from “the poor man’s Combat Expertise” to “the thrifty man’s Combat Expertise,” and that’s a good trick to have in your pocket.

Bluff (*): If you get off on lying to other people this can be a fun skill, especially with your strong charisma score. Otherwise it’s not bringing a lot to the table for an oracle, and the feint action simply isn’t worth your time. Diplomacy (****): You’ve got an excellent charisma score, and this skill makes people like you. Unless you’ve got some reason to try to talk down hostiles on a regular basis, there’s not much reason to go past a +15 bonus here.

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Fly (****): If you’re a flying kinda oracle, this is obviously an investment you need to make. Flying DCs cap at around 20-25, and most of the disadvantages of flight are completely negated by simply not having wings. You’ll take a penalty to this skill because of your armor, so invest, invest, invest!

Heal (**): This is not a useless skill, but it’s main advantage is being able to stop bleed effects and deal with diseases/poisons. A healer’s kit is enough to overcome your penalty to wisdom, and it’s a class skill, so you’re probably good with around a +10-15 in this skill if you choose to go this route.

Intimidate (***): This is the gruff man’s diplomacy, but also has the ability to be used in combat (it’s not great, but it’s there). Intimidate DCs scale sharply as you level, so you can’t slack off on investing in this skill. There are several feats and spells that interact with intimidate, so it does offer a lot of options.

Knowledge (varies): Every oracle should invest in at least one knowledge skill, and you’ve got a few to choose from. There are six monster skills, while the rest probably aren’t worth investing in more than a few points- if that. You’ll want to keep your monster skill of choice at max ranks. The “big four” referenced here are the four monster skills that most creatures fall into.

Arcana (****): One of the “big four,” but probably only worth pursuing if you can pick it up as a class skill. This one is really common for the arcanists so you might be able to let someone else take ranks.

Dungeoneering (**): Aberrations and oozes aren’t particularly common, which limits the usefulness of this knowledge. Still, they tend to have unusual properties and it’s often that nobody at the table decided to invest in this skill.

Local (**): This only covers humanoids, which isn’t great. As far as identifying a humanoid in combat it’s even less useful because they all tend to have the same weaknesses: vulnerable to weapons and magic. This might be occasionally useful, particularly in social campaigns, but it’s not a strong choice in terms of monster knowledge.

Nature (****): One of the “big four,” but probably only worth pursing if you can pick it up as a class skill. Druids and Rangers tend to be awesome at this, so try not to double up if you’re adventuring with the tree hugging types.

Planes (****): One of the “big four,” and a class skill for the oracle. A solid choice.

Religion (****): Last of the “big four,” and another class skill for the oracle. An good choice.

Perception (****): Even if it’s not a class skill for most oracles, this is still the most useful skill in the game. You’ll want to invest in this to overcome that annoying wisdom penalty you probably have.

Ride (* or ****): Only mounted oracles with Mounted Combat need apply. Other characters likely won’t find use of this skill.

Sense Motive (***): For Socialite oracles this is a great option. Generally your DC is going to be 20, so taking this beyond +10-15 is of limited use. It’s also used as an opposed role with Bluff, but unless that comes up a lot I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s a class skill, so that overcomes your crappy wisdom.

Spellcraft (**): The use of this skill falls into four broad categories: using spellbooks, identifying magic items, counterspelling, and crafting magic items. Spellbooks don’t apply to you, counterspelling is generally a poor option (and Dispel Magic counterspells without a skill check), and crafting magic items is hit or miss depending on the campaign. If identifying magic items falls to you then go ahead and invest here, but most groups will have a wizard or bard who’s more than happy to take up the mantle. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that the oracle only understands her own magic.

Stealth (* or ***): Stealth, on its own, is a really crappy skill for most oracles. If your mystery grants you concealment in some form or another this skill becomes very powerful. Otherwise, ignore it.

Survival (**): Wisdom crops up all over the place, doesn’t it? Survival is useful for surviving in the wilderness, but as an instrument of magic you’ve pretty much got that covered. It’s also good for not getting lost and tracking

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things, so it’s got some marginal use there. It’s probably not worth it if you can’t get this as a class skill, but it emphasises the whole “wild oracle” in a decent way.

Use Magic Device (****): This is the skill for giving the finger to restricted magic items. The problem with UMD is that the DCs are stupidly high and there are real drawbacks to failing a check. You’ll spend the first few levels staring at this skill before you work up the nerve to start using it, but it’ll make your life as a spontaneous caster so much easier.

Feats and Specializations

The standard character will gain around 10 feats in her trek from first level to her last level at twentieth. Your vision of the oracle will likely vary from that of mine or anyone else’s, so I’ve attempted to keep this as neutral as possible. I’ve broken the feats into three sections, with a bonus section about Eldritch Heritage after everything. This should help you sift through your many options. Be aware that I’ll be avoiding feats that only function for a specific mystery with a specific revelation. It’s just going to get too cluttered otherwise.

Feats for Every Oracle

Abundant Revelations (**): Generally the revelations with only 1 or 2 uses per day are really powerful, so this can take the sting off of that. It’s only one additional time per day, so it’s not a great option for a feat.

Augment Summoning (***): Summoning allies is a strong option for casters, and something I wholly recommend you do. If you’re interested in bringing the planes to your enemy’s feet then this is a good choice, though it requires the ever-so-crappy Spell Focus (Conjuration).

Superior Summoning (***): This firmly shifts the role of summoning from “extra planar ally” to “space filling meat puppet.” Throwing down 1d3+1 or 1d4+2 balls of hit points is a strong way to restrict enemy movement and protect your weaker allies.

Craft Wand (* or ****): A wand of Cure Light Wounds is absolutely the most efficient way to keep your party healed. Not in combat of course, but once you’re picking up the pieces. If your campaign doesn’t have a magic item mart with easy access to such wands then grabbing this feat is a solid choice. If it does, laugh mockingly at this feat and go get something fun.

Defensive Combat Training (**): If you’re finding that your DM is using a lot of combat maneuvers against you this can be a good choice. I’d avoid it until after 12th level or so, unless you decided to dip into a class without full BAB.

Destructive Dispel (**): For those who enjoy dispelling magic from their enemies, this adds a powerful bite to your tactic. Dispel magic is just as useful for Warriors and Casters alike.

Divine Interference (** or ***): Burn a spell slot as an immediate action to cause an enemy to reroll it’s attack (with a penalty) against an ally. This has more value for a Warrior type with spell slots to spare, but it’s still a useful trick for Casters.

Dodge (**): Dodge bonuses are great, but I don’t see this as being particularly worthy of a feat. This also has the nasty requirement of Dex 13, so some oracles won’t be able to qualify.

Mobility (***): Most oracles won’t gain the benefits of the acrobatics skill, so this is a good replacement. You’re not invulnerable, but +4 vs. attacks of opportunity is enough to save your hide at least a few times.

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Elemental Focus (**): For Blasters who focus on a single element this can be a decent option to boost your spell DCs. There’s a good chance it’ll also work on spell-like abilities, thus furthering its usefulness. Feel free to pick up the greater version as well.

Expanded Arcana (*): You’re on a fixed list, sure, but a feat for 1-2 bonus spells isn’t worth the cost. I promise.

Extra Revelation (****): Generally speaking, a revelation is as powerful if not more powerful than a feat. I can’t think of a single mystery that wouldn’t benefit from just one more revelation. Do keep in mind that each mystery only has so many revelations you want, so plan ahead or you’ll be stuck taking the lame ones you scoffed at.

Improved Familiar (***): Certain uses of Eldritch Heritage can net you a fun little ally, and this feat can turn it into a powerful companion. Keep in mind that it gets half your HP and your BAB, so it’s arguably more powerful than an animal companion if you choose wisely.

Improved Initiative (****): Going first means you get to set the tone of combat. You want to go first. Fleet (**): For the small Lame oracle, this is enough to completely overcome the drawback of the curse.

Great Fortitude (***): Fortitude saves are among the most dangerous to fail, and our fortitude isn’t a favored save.

Iron Will (***): Will saves, like fortitude, are dangerous things. The oracle often dumps her wisdom, so a boost to this is a welcome thing.

Leadership (-): This is a feat entirely DM fiat, and as such won’t be discussed.

Lightning Reflexes (*): A failed reflex save generally results in some lost HP or the entangled condition. It’s not worth worrying about.

Mounted Combat (** or ***): Mounts are a good way to avoid the penalties of the Lame curse, and this feat lets you keep your fragile pony alive if you happen into combat with it. Nature oracles will get a lot more use out of this feat, and should definitely consider it.

Prophetic Visionary (*): This ability is duplicated to much better effect in several mysteries and an archetype, and it wasn’t particularly awesome there either.

Skill Focus (**): It’s not worth it for everything, but for particularly difficult skills like Use Magic Device it can pull its own weight. It’s also the prerequisite for Eldritch Heritage.

Spell Focus (**): If a lot of your spells fall into the same school of magic this can be a decent choice. Only the most specialized should take the greater version.

Spell Penetration (***): Spell resistance can be the difference between a heavy strike for your team and an utterly wasted turn. Enabler and Warrior types can easily get away without this feat, but Controllers and Blasters will regret it. The greater version may or may not be needed, but spell resistance is very common among outsiders and aberrations.

Strong Comeback (**): Rerolls appear all over the place, and gaining a +2 might be worth considering for particular oracles.

Toughness (***): Your hitpoints are the only thing between you and an expensive resurrection spell, so amass as many as you can. This feat is at its most powerful at level 1, but remains a worthwhile investment

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throughout your career. It’s particularly useful for Warrior types who didn’t have enough points to push constitution past 12 or so.

Feats for Warriors

A note on Combat Maneuvers: On the whole I don’t recommend combat maneuver feats for an oracle. The oracle’s medium base attack bonus and dual stat requirement leave your CMB lagging well behind your enemies’ and it’s more often than not a wasted effort. I think combat maneuvers are great though, and oracles are presented with several options to obtain them in ways that are significantly stronger than the base feats! Plus, nearly every combat maneuver feat has an annoying and/or useless feat as a prerequisite.

Antagonize (***): If you’re already investing in intimidate this is a really excellent way to put it to use. It’s got a lot of limitations, but you’re a tougher target than at least one other member on your team.

Armor Proficiency, Heavy (***): If you decided to pursue one of the less traditional mysteries for the Warrior path, heavy armor is going to help you out. It only ends up being a +3 to AC, but that’s still something.

Blind Fight (***): The oracle has a lot of ways to get around concealment, but if you missed them all this is a good option to fall back on.

Bolstered Resilience (**): If you aren’t using your swift actions, have the Lame curse, and managed to acquire some of the DR that’s floating around a few mysteries then this can be a very decent option. It’s a whole lot of “ifs,” but it’s still nice.

Combat Casting (***): Concentration checks aren’t incredibly easy to make anymore, and yours will suffer from a lower charisma score. This can help that considerably.

Combat Reflexes (**): Odds are that you’ve only got a +1 dexterity bonus (if that), but this is effectively doubling the amount of attacks of opportunity you can make each round. If you’ve got a way to make your enemies provoke, this can be a good option.

Stand Still (***): I love this feat. If an enemy provokes from movement you can smack ‘em real good and make them stop. This is top tier in terms of battlefield control. The downside is that they have to actually provoke to use this.

Bodyguard (***): This is a pretty good use of those attacks of opportunity you’re not using. Pass them out as free AC to your nearby allies. Sure, it’s only +2, but that’s still a bargain for what you’re giving up.

In Harm’s Way (**): Generally I don’t recommend taking hits for your allies, because your HP isn’t amazing. Still, it’s useful in dire straights and protecting your sickly friends. Critical Feats (*): As a oracle you’re pulling double duty. You’ll spend half your day slamming your weapon into the skull of an enemy and the other half reshaping the battlefield with your awesome and terrifying magic. The many, many critical feats available to you aren’t particularly useless, but they won’t offer nearly as much benefit to you as they might someone who spends their whole day slamming her weapon into the skull of an enemy.

Enforcer (***): Intimidate can be a really effective tool in combat if you find ways of employing it without using a standard action- like, for instance, by using this feat. You need to deal nonlethal damage (which some enemies are immune to) but it lets you make an intimidate check as a free action and applies Shaken for a number of rounds equal to the damage. Regularly you’d only get it for 1 or 2 rounds, but this is likely to last the entire combat. It also pairs very well with Cleave.

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Bludgeoner (***): You need to use a bludgeoning weapon and that’s kinda “meh.” You’ve also just eliminated the -4 penalty to attack, meaning you can safely go back to power attacking for all those intimidate checks.

Intimidating Prowess (*): Even if you’re really set on pursuing intimidate, this is probably an inferior choice to Skill Focus. They’ll stack, though.

Lunge (*): It’s not a bad feat, but the benefits are lost on you. You’re sturdy enough to stand on the front line most of the time, and if you can’t reach an enemy due to crowding or awkward terrain just break out some of your spells.

Power Attack (****): Oh, you like using weapons? This makes your weapons hurt.

Cleave (***): Cleave was really lame in 3.5 and didn’t scale very well at all. These days the feat is actually a really strong skirmisher feat. Move, and as a standard action attack two adjacent enemies with your full attack bonus. You’ll be moving towards your enemies at least once every combat, and enemies like to stand together. It’s not Pounce, but you’ll be surprised at how often you use this feat. You can safely ignore Great Cleave, though. Cleave pairs very well with other feats and abilities that allow you to debuff enemies you damage.

Cleaving Finish (*): Yep, this is the old 3.5 cleave. Move along, move along.

Dazing Assault (*): This ability is fantastic for fighters, but it’s pretty crap for you. The penalty to hit sucks, it targets fortitude, and your base attack bonus isn’t going to be anything to have your enemies quivering. Just go ahead and avoid this one.

Furious Focus (***): Read over this feat and cackle. I get to ignore the power attack penalty to the first attack I make each round? With no drawback? Do go on.

Step Up (***): Your goal as a Warrior should be to exert the most control over the battlefield as you possibly can, and preventing an enemy from 5’ stepping away from you is great.

Following Step (**): I can see situations where this is useful. You can now do more than a 5’ step, but keep in mind that it’ll provoke attacks of opportunity. It does alleviate the penalties of Step Up, but those weren’t particularly bad.

Step up and Strike (***): And now you get to hit them, too! Hello disruptive casting.

Warrior Priest (***): This is the love child of Combat Casting and Improved Initiative, with its bonuses applying even during a grapple (that thing that ruins a caster’s day). Take this, or take Combat Casting, but it’s probably not worth taking both.

Weapon Focus (**): You could always use a boost to hit, but you’re probably better off choosing a revelation that’ll help you with this or moving into flanking position.

Dazzling Display (**): This is a mediocre use of your time that’s probably better left to the Bards and animal companions.

Gory Finish (**): Much better than Dazzling Display, but you need to make the killing blow to get your free intimidate check. You’re pretty deep into this tree of mediocre feats for this to really be worth it.

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