Visions of the Oracle

April 23rd, 2012

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

            Hello, and welcome to Divination Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest. Divination is perhaps one of the least understood and most undervalued of all the schools of magic, and so we’ve set aside a week to focus on it and try to give it some of the love it deserves, because once you get to know it, you’ll discover that, although more subtle than some of the other schools, divination is at least as powerful as the rest of them, and in the hands of someone clever, there’s quite a bit you can do with some well-placed divination.

            Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of divination I think of visions, cryptic clues, and mystic information. And when I think of all of those things, it’s usually not long before I’m thinking about oracles. So, for today’s Best in Class, we’ll be looking at a new oracle mystery.


New Oracle Mystery


            While all oracles have a mystic connection to the divine, and receive knowledge of various mysteries and hidden knowledge from this connection, you receive more knowledge in this way than most, and something—a deity, an ancestor, a lost loved one, or perhaps just the cosmic force of the universe—uses this connection as a direct line of communication, providing you with visions of the past, present, and future.

Class Skills: An oracle with the visions mystery adds Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (local), and Perception to her list of class skills.

Bonus Spells: detect secret doors (2nd), see invisibility (4th), clairaudience/clairvoyance (6th), divination (8th), scrying (10th), true seeing (12th), greater arcane sight (14th), discern location (16th), foresight (18th).

An oracle with the visions mystery may choose from any of the following revelations.

Far Visions (Sp): You can call upon the source of your visions to allow you to see far-off places. This functions as the spell scrying, except that instead of targeting a specific individual upon which to scry, you target a specific place. No saving throws are allowed for the creatures in that space; however, you are limited by your familiarity with the place in question, and you must determine if you are able to steer your vision to the right place. Roll on the following table, based on your familiarity with the area (see the spell teleport for more information about the levels of familiarity). In the event of a mishap, your vision fails, and there is a 50% chance that your attempt attracted the attention of a powerful outsider or other force. You can use this ability once per day at 7th level, plus an additional time per day at 11th level and every 4 levels beyond that. You must be at least 7th level to select this mystery.

Table: Far Vision Familiarity


Font of Lore (Su): You can willfully open your mind to a stream of visions about the past, searching through them for a specific piece of lore or other information. This takes 1d6 rounds, as flashes of dozens of different visions pass through your mind. You can guide these visions, trying to find something in specific, but doing so is difficult: you must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom check. If you succeed, you gain a +5 insight bonus on a single Knowledge check. Even if you fail, you still gain a +2 insight bonus on the check. When using this ability, you may make Knowledge checks untrained. You can use this ability once per day plus one additional time for every 4 oracle levels you possess.


Night Sight (Su): Your eyes can pierce through the veil of darkness as easily as they can the veil of ignorance and misinformation. You gain darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision. Because these modes of vision are supernatural in origin, they do not function in an antimagic field, or similar. In a small number of oracles with this revelation (about 1 in 10), this causes the oracle’s eyes to glow faintly in the darkness.


See the Unseen (Sp): You can call upon the source of your visions to show you that which is hidden. You can use detect secret doors as a spell-like ability once per day per two oracle levels you possess. Beginning at 4th level, you can expend two daily uses of this ability to use see invisibility as a spell-like ability, instead. Beginning at 13th level, you can use either of these spell-like abilities at will.


Soul Gaze (Su): When you lock eyes with an individual, you can see into his soul, gaining information about his personality. In order to use this ability, you must lock gazes with a single creature within 30 feet as a standard action. If the target knows to avoid your gaze, he can do so in the same manner as he would a gaze attack (see the Pathfinder Bestiary). Either way, the target may then make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your oracle level + your Charisma modifier). If he succeeds, the soul gaze does not take place. Otherwise, you gain a vision of the target’s true nature.
            This vision is very cryptic and metaphorical in nature, but should always provide at least as much information as a successful Sense Motive check made to gain a hunch. A vision of a goodly king might show him supporting the people of his nation on his shoulders as he strides towards a sunrise, while a vision of a demon-worshipping cultist might show him as bound in barbed chains, with a silent, demonic figure looming over him.
            At the same time that you gain your vision, the target also has a similar vision of your soul. You have no way of knowing what the other person sees, and he has no way of knowing what you see. While it is possible for you to soul gaze with the same person multiple times, there is rarely a reason to do so, as the vision you have will always be the same, unless the target’s personality truly changes, a very rare event. Note that while a given oracle always receives the same vision about a target, another oracle might interpret what she sees differently.


Vision of Quests (Su): You can call upon the source of your mystical visions to show you an opportunity. The exact nature of the opportunity depends on the oracle: evil oracles generally receive visions of situations they can exploit to their advantage, while good oracles tend to see visions of helpless individuals in need of aid. The vision is generally brief, lasting only a few rounds, during which time you are blind and deaf to the world around you. Such visions always contain enough information for you to act: a vision showing a forgotten temple filled with piles of gold might not show an exact location, but could show a strange symbol which, with research, could lead you to the temple’s location. Alternatively, a vision of a woman being accosted in an alley might not show you her attackers, but would show you that the alley is right next to the Red Dragon Inn, and that the attack will take place at sunset. You can invoke these visions once per week as a standard action. Sometimes (at GM discretion), such visions may come to you unbidden, in which case they do not count against your weekly use of this ability. You cannot “store” uses of this ability, nor do you have any control over the nature of the vision you receive.


Vision of Weakness (Su): You can call upon the source of your mystical visions to find an enemy’s weak spot. This is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, as your eyes roll back into your head and you begin to seize up. You must choose a single creature within 60 feet that you can see. The next time you make an attack roll against that creature, you gain a +10 bonus on the roll. Alternatively, the next time you cast a spell targeting that creature that allows a saving throw, the saving throw DC is increased by +4. If this benefit is not used within 1 minute, it is wasted. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day at 11th level.


Visions of Morality (Sp): You can read the auras of creatures, allowing you to determine their alignment. This functions as the spell detect evil, except that it detects all alignments (chaos, evil, good, and law) separately, showing different alignments as differently-colored auras. These auras blend together at first, and so it still requires three rounds of concentration to gain the full effect, as detect evil. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 your oracle level (minimum 1).


Visions of the Future (Sp): You can call upon the source of your mystical visions to see into the future, hopefully gleaning some of its secrets. At 1st level, this functions as the spell augury, and can be used once per day per three oracle levels you possess (minimum 1). At 8th level, you can choose to trade in two daily uses of this ability to have it function as divination, instead. At 11th level, you can trade in three daily uses of this ability to have it function as commune. Even though these spell-like abilities usually involve asking questions and receiving answers, they manifest to you in the form of visions: you mentally (or sometimes subconsciously) “ask” the questions, and then receive the answer in the form of a brief flash of vision, or, if more appropriate, as a mental “voice in your head.”


Visions of the Past (Sp): You can use your mystical powers to peer into the past, seeing things that once were. This functions as the legend lore spell, with a few slight differences. First, the kinds of things you can learn about depend on the number of oracle levels you possess. Instead of only being able to glean information about legendary things (those associated with characters of 11 or more Hit Dice), you can glean information about things associated with characters whose Hit Dice are equal to or greater than 20 – your oracle level (for example, a 1st-level oracle would treat only things associated with characters of 19 or more Hit Dice as “legendary” for the purposes of this spell, while a 15th-level oracle would treat anything associated with characters of 5 or more Hit Dice as “legendary”). You can attempt to gain information about things that are less than your definition of legendary, but doing so is difficult. For each Hit Dice less than your threshold, the target is treated as being one step further away (“at hand” becomes “detailed information,” which becomes “rumors.” Anything that would reduce the association beyond “rumors” cannot be researched in this way). On the other hand, for every 5 Hit Dice the target is more than your threshold, they are treated as being one step closer. You can use this ability once per week, plus an additional time per week for every 6 oracle levels you possess.


Visions of Truth (Sp): You can use your mystical power to see things as they really are. You can use true seeing, as the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to twice your oracle level. Switching between normal vision and true seeing and back again is a swift action, and the time need not be used all at once, but each use takes up at least one minute (so a character using true seeing for 1 round consumes a full minute of her daily allotment, and one using true seeing for 12 rounds consumes two full minutes, etc.). You must be at least 11th level in order to choose this revelation.


Final Revelation (Su): Upon reaching 20th level, you can receive visions almost instantaneously to guide you in making the right choices. As an immediate action, you may declare a single course of action (such as making an attack against a specific target, casting a certain spell in a specific location, etc). All rolls required for that action are made, and the GM tells you the result. If rolls would be required in later rounds, those are not made yet, as this ability does not allow you to see farther into the future than the end of the round.
            After seeing the result of the action, you can either decide to keep that result (in which case all the die results remain the same, and the visions “comes to pass” exactly as you foresaw it, or you can choose to take a different action (for example, Kharisma the oracle uses this ability to foresee the result of firing a crossbow bolt at a wounded orc. She makes the attack roll, and the GM declares it’s a success. She rolls damage, and tells the GM, who informs her that the orc is dead. She decides to keep the result. The next round, Kharisma uses this ability to foresee the result of casting dominate person on another orc. The GM knows that that orc is actually a polymorphed dragon, and immune to the spell, but he makes a show of rolling the saving throw anyway, declaring it a failure. Kharisma’s player decides not to keep that result, and fires her crossbow instead).
            If you choose to take a different action, you must actually take a different action. You cannot simply use this ability to roll twice. Using the above example, if Kharisma had missed with her crossbow in the first round, she could choose to shoot a different orc, or, if there was an obstacle between her and her target, to move out of the way of the obstacle and then shoot, but she could not simply shoot the same target. Similarly, she could choose to cast dominate person on a different orc, or to cast a different spell on the orc (even dominate monster), but in both cases if she did not choose an action that was fundamentally different in some way, the outcome would automatically be the same.
            You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to ¼ your oracle level. You cannot use this ability more than once in a single round.




          Whew! That was a long one! Anyway, that’s all for this week. I hope you’ll all be looking forward to next week’s Best in Class, and sticking around to see all the other divination-themed articles this week.