While you can technically multiclass with just about any class combination, there are a lot of combinations that just plain don’t work very well. This is especially true with spellcasters, who have to lose out on their spellcasting when they multiclass. Sometimes, though, there are two classes that just seem like they belong together, and it’s a shame that the mechanics don’t work to allow that to happen. Of course, there’s a long history of prestige classes like the mystic theurge, which allow two classes to be blended together. Today’s article presents a somewhat more specific blending: a prestige class that allows one to be both an effective occultist and an effective investigator, all at the same time.
New Prestige Class
Magic, by its nature, allows one to bend the rules of reality, and circumvent the laws of society, defying codification and attempts to control or restrict it. It is no surprise that when it comes to misdeeds committed by magic, many authorities are simply not equipped to be able to provide a satisfactory resolution. There are those, however, who devote themselves to investigating matters of a magical nature, shining the light of truth into the world of the bizarre and alien. Occult detectives blend the science of the investigator with the arcane lore of the occult, and for those who specialize in the discipline, there are very few secrets they cannot uncover.
Role: Occult detectives blend the disciplines of investigators and occultists, giving them a wide range of support abilities and access to numerous utilities that allow them to gain useful information that may otherwise be hard to come by. Their combat abilities are somewhat less than dedicated investigators or occultists, but they can largely fulfill the same types of roles as either of those classes.
Alignment: Any. While some occult detectives are lawful and work as part of larger organizations devoted to investigating misuses of magic, most tend to be neither chaotic nor lawful, operating on their own but still interested in preserving peace and order.
Hit Die: d8
To qualify to become an occult detective, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Skills: Perception or Sense Motive 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Class: 4th-level investigator and 4th-level occultist.
The occult detective prestige class grants no additional class skills.
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are features of the occult detective prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Occult detectives gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Investigative: Whenever a new occult detective level is gained, the character gains new extracts per day as if she had also gained a level in investigator. This increases her caster level for her investigator extracts, and grants her new extracts known, as well. Further, levels in occult detective count as investigator levels for the purposes of determining the number of points in the occult detective’s inspiration pool, as well as determining the bonus to attack and damage rolls granted by her studied combat.
Occult Training: Whenever a new occult detective level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in occultist. This increases her caster level for her occultist spells, and grants her new spells known and new implement schools known at the appropriate levels. Additionally, levels in occult detective count as occultist levels for the purposes of determining the number of points of mental focus she has available each day, as well as determining the DCs of her focus powers.
Arcane Investigation (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, an occult detective is able to detect the subtle ways that magic auras and the auras of spellcasters interact with one another. She can cast greater detect magicUI as a spell-like ability three times per day. She can cast it additional times per day beyond this amount by expending either 1 point of mental focus or 1 point of inspiration for each additional time she casts it.
Studied Strike (Ex): At 2nd, 5th, and 8th levels, an occult detective’s studied strike improves, dealing an additional 1d6 points of damage.
Investigator Talent: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels, an occult detective gains a single investigator talent of her choice for which she qualifies.
Focus Power: At 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, an occult detective gains a new focus power from among those offered by the implements she knows. The occult detective must meet any prerequisites needed for the focus power.
Occult Contacts (Su): At 5th level, an occult detective gains a variety of occult contacts, which live both near and far. The occult detective can call upon these contacts for the following:
Gather Information: The occult detective can inquire with her contacts about rumors and recent events in the occult world. This functions similarly to using Diplomacy to gather information, except that only information about occult topics can be gained in this way (generally, that is information relating to magic, magic items, magical creatures, outsiders, the planes, spellcasters, and so on), it takes twice as long as other uses of Diplomacy, and instead of making a Diplomacy check, the occult detective can choose to roll 1d20 and add her character level + her Charisma modifier, if she prefers.
Occult Lore: The occult detective can call on her contacts for information on obscure and arcane topics. Three times per week, she can reach out to her contacts for information on any topic that can be learned about with a Knowledge check of any kind, or a Spellcraft check, effectively asking them to make the check on her behalf. Treat the result of the check as though it were equal to 25 + the occult detective’s character level. It takes time for word to reach her contacts, and more time for them to look into the matter and respond. Typically, it takes 4d6 hours to get a response, plus an additional 1d6 hours for each category smaller than metropolis of the settlement the occult detective is in when she uses this ability. The occult detective can reduce this time to 1d6 hours by making use of magic that allows her to contact distant individuals, such as dream.
Spellcasting Services: The occult detective can call on her contacts to perform professional spellcasting services. She must still pay for these services, but receives a 20% discount on the cost (the discount does not apply to the cost of any costly material components), and she treats any settlement she is in as being 2 categories larger than it actually is for the purposes of determining the highest level of spellcasting services available.
Sigil Defuser (Su): At 8th level, an occult detective becomes an expert at defusing symbols, sigils, glyphs, and all manner of magical traps. She gains a bonus equal to her class level on Disable Device checks made against magical traps, and on caster level checks made to dispel them with dispel magic and similar effects. Additionally, she can expend two points of inspiration and two points of mental focus to affect any single magical trap within 30 feet as though with the spell dispel magic. Her caster level for this effect is equal to her caster level for either her investigator alchemy or her occultist spellcasting, whichever she prefers.
Focused Inspiration (Ex): At 10th level, an occult detective gains the ability to gain inspiration from her focus, and vice versa. As a swift action, the occult detective can expend 2 points of mental focus to gain 1 point of inspiration, or she can expend 2 points of inspiration to gain 1 point of mental focus. If the occult detective gains mental focus in this way, she can choose to invest it in one of her implements at the time that she uses the ability. If she does not, the mental focus becomes generic focus.