Welcome back to the latest installment of the Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) Character Concepts series. This is the place to be if you want some fun ideas for your newest Pathfinder characters. We are whipping them up fresh!
Last week, we continued the series by covering the Swashbuckler from Paizo’s Advanced Player’s Guide. For this article, we are going to be looking into the future to create ideas for the Oracle class! If you were an Oracle, you would have known that would be the topic this week!
Open your third eye – it’s Oracle time!
Pathfinder 2nd Edition Oracle Class
Oracles are really interesting characters, often associated with divination and fortune-telling. You see them all over the place in popular culture. Usually, they’re the ones that are spurring the heroes on their quest, or whispering dark omens about things yet to come. They go hand-in-hand with cryptic riddles, rhymes, and just a general beat-around-the-bush attitude. But that’s because usually their visions are just a piece of the puzzle, so they only have so much source material.
The following references are good examples of Oracle characters:
- Pythia, aka the Oracle of Delphi from Ancient Greek history and the movie 300
- The Oracle from the Matrix franchise, who advises the humans how to fight the Matrix itself
- I’d even consider Rafiki from Lion King to be something of an Oracle, in the sense that he helps Simba make heads and tails of his destiny
In Pathfinder, the foresight of an Oracle comes with a price. Oracles experience a Curse that will linger and get worse if you continue to cast revelation spells. If you aren’t careful, it can completely overwhelm you, as the otherwordly powers overcome your physical body and mind. Even still, it’s arguably a small price to pay for all that power.
The source of an Oracle’s power is called their divine Mystery. It could be anything from an ancestral gift, to the power of fire, to the fury of weather itself. Tapping into the mysterious collections of energy in the world isn’t for the faint of heart, so tread cautiously.
Consulting the night sky and poring over star charts takes practice, but the rewards are greater than most people realize. Constellations, planets, moons – they are all constantly moving but staying the same. Even so, they tell a story about the history of the universe, and lay clues about what’s yet to come. Time is a flat circle, as they say.
You’re able to use the stars as key indicators for your stories. Are all of them bound to come true? Probably not. But there’s definitely some truth in them, no matter how small it might seem. You are calculating and thoughtful, immersing yourself in the realities and intangibles of the unknown.
How did you become interested in the cosmos? What stories do you see outlined in the stars? Have you made any significant astrological discoveries? Are there any other ‘supernatural’ means by which you glean your information, like tarot decks? In what ways do you make a living for yourself?
Are there any dark omens that you see coming in the future? Can you easily tell a person’s astrological sign just by how they act and behave? What’s your sign? Any secrets for the up-and-coming astrologers of the world? How did you know that your gift was legitimate? Did something happen that made you realize it? Do you believe in parallel universes?
- Oracle Mystery: Cosmos
- Ability Scores: Wisdom, Intelligence
- Skills: Astrology Lore, Nature, Occultism
- Sample Feats: Debilitating Dichotomy (Oracle), Greater Revelation (Oracle), Different Worlds
First to rise and last to bed, a farmer’s life isn’t all that glamorous. You endure harsh elements and Mother Nature doesn’t give you any days off. Crops and livestock need tending, and that’s exactly what you intend to do. You hardly get a time to breathe and relax, even after harvesting a season’s crop. All that means is that the next season has already begun, and you have work to do.
When you’re a skilled farmer – and I mean a REALLY skilled farmer – it’s almost as if the land does some of the work for you. As long as you can understand what the land and plants are trying to say, you can help accommodate its needs. That connection between you and the living world is what gives you power. Life always finds a way to survive.
What kind of farming do you typically do? Are you a crop farmer or livestock orientated? What about the size of your farm? Is it a large-scale operation or much smaller? What sets you apart from other farmers? Do you add a personal touch that people can’t get anywhere else? What’s your favorite dish?
How do you transport your produce or animals? Has farming been a part of your family for generations, or is this a new path for you? Do you personally own the land that you till? What does the living world say when it speaks to you?
- Oracle Mystery: Life
- Ability Scores: Wisdom, Strength
- Skills: Farming Lore, Nature, Survival
- Sample Feats: Oracular Warning (Oracle), Spiritual Sense (Oracle), Survey Wildlife
Remember when your grandparents would talk about the ‘good old days’, telling you exciting stories about things that happened in the past? Well, you have a keen memory for keeping all of the little details straight, and you’ve even taken to writing them down. You want to know all about the past; who was in it, what they did, and how it all led to you being here right now.
And somehow (read: via magic), your interest in your ancestry has brought you an entire swathe of abilities. Maybe they were a part of your family this entire time, or maybe it was your appreciation of the past that brought it to light. Now, your ancestors guide you and assist you in your journeys, wherever they might lead.
Do you keep a written record of your genealogical research? Is it even your own ancestors that you document, or somebody else’s? How did you come to discover your own powers? Is there a physical manifestation of your ancestors that guides you? What is their disposition like?
Or maybe you aren’t on good terms with your ancestors at all! Maybe you’re being tormented by the past for a sleight or wrong that you did in the past. If that’s the case, what did you do to upset your lineage so much? Why are they giving you powers despite that? Is there any way that you can make amends? And, if you do, are you going to lose your abilities? What would you do in that scenario?
- Oracle Mystery: Ancestors
- Ability Scores: Intelligence, Charisma
- Skills: Heraldry Lore, Deception, Diplomacy
- Sample Feats: Forestall Curse (Oracle), Vision of Weakness (Oracle), Glad-Hand
People tend to fear death. Even those who are around it every day can sometimes get uneasy around it. Your job is to quell that uncertainty, and assure others that death is merely a journey to Pharasma’s Boneyard. What’s so bad about that?
Maybe you’re associated directly with the church, or maybe this is something of a hobby of yours. You know how to calm emotions and make sure others are comfortable with the life that’s yet to come. Most likely, you’re dealing with death on a day-to-day basis in one form or another. On the plus side, you can extract the latent energy from the bones of those who pass on. Bones aren’t completely useless, you know! And that, my friends, is how your power reservoir stays full.
How do you gain your oracular powers through bones? What is the reasoning behind your profession of choice? Can others find solace in your words? What’s your bedside manner like? Are you trustworthy? Have you ever stolen bones that didn’t belong to you? Do you carry bones around?
What kinds of bones grant you powers? Are they human bones, animal bones, or something else entirely? Does undeath frighten you? Were you ever ordained in an official Pharasman capacity, or is this freelance? Do you adventure because you know that your stockpile of bones will never grow thin? Do others find you off-putting?
- Oracle Mystery: Bones
- Ability Scores: Charisma, Constitution
- Skills: Pharasma Lore, Arcana, Medicine
- Sample Feats: Domain Acumen (Oracle), Domain Fluency (Oracle), Numb to Death
Some Oracles get their powers from bone, and the stars, and the world around them. You? You gather it from FIRE. You harness the unwieldy power of flame itself to bend others to your will. Fire was a turning point in civilization; it is the crux upon which all things turn. Some people will argue religion or the wheel, but it’s hard to deny the importance of flames throughout history.
You work with fire every day, using it to help you craft your creations. Every blade and every suit of armor that you produce has the sacred benefits of fire molded within it. No matter what the source of your power is, be it the Elemental Plane of Fire, or a specific deity, you appreciate the unrelenting nature of fire. It’s hard to control and predict, except for the three things that all fires need: heat, fuel, and oxygen.
How do you incorporate your Oracle powers with your profession as a blacksmith? What ulterior motives do you have in that regard? Where do your powers originate? Have you always had them, or did you make some sort of deal? Has the fire ever fought back on you, unable to be tamed? Do others know about your abilities? Is any of your weaponry special or sacred thanks to the lick of your flames?
Do you work with others, or is your shop just run by you. What about apprentices? Are your abilities able to be passed on to others? What physical manifestations of your Mystery have harmed you? Are you open about your powers or do you only use them in secret? What do you want from life? Do you have any cool catch phrases like ‘Heating up!’?
- Oracle Mystery: Flames
- Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
- Skills: Guild Lore, Crafting, Athletics
- Sample Feats: Divine Aegis (Oracle), Blaze of Revelation (Oracle), Environmental Grace
Pathfinder 2E Oracle Class – See Beyond!
Oracles create some really interesting roleplay possibilities with their divine insights, and they are also a great battlefield controller as well. They’re a nice alternative to a caster, instead of breaking out the wizards or sorcerers. Try an Oracle instead!
Be sure to check out the master post for all of the character concepts for Pathfinder Second Edition! I’m keeping it up-to-date as I post new concepts articles, so you can find that perfect character for your next campaign.
Until next time, enjoy your time in Golarion!