Occult magic

From PathfinderWiki
This article covers the magical tradition associated with bards and certain aberrations. For ritualistic occult magic, see occult rituals. For the mundane philosophy of occult study, see occultism.
Bards draw upon occult magic from esoteric knowledge.

Occult magic is one of four traditions of magic, along with divine, arcane and primal magic, that manifests in the form of spells and spell-like effects.1 Occult magic is rooted in esoteric and alien knowledge of the multiverse's mysteries.2 The practitioners of occult traditions seek to understand the unexplainable, categorize the bizarre, and otherwise access the ephemeral in a systematic way.3

On Golarion

Occult magic is the most misunderstood of the four types of magic. Because of its association with the eldritch, the aberrant, and the unknown, it is seen as creepy and rarely discussed openly, leading to even more disinformation among the general population of Golarion. While most misconceptions of occult magic are harmful to its practitioners, some are quite amusing. For example, even educated individuals often believe that bards use some sort of arcane magic, as the scary and mysterious occult magic could not possibly be wielded by someone who plays cheery music and has such an energetic attitude.4

Occult magic is a component of some Mualijae, Ilverani, and Vourinoi magic, often in the forms of thought-reading and telepathy.5

Cheliax, Druma, and Ustalav are nexuses of occult activity in the Inner Sea region, which also makes them hotbeds of occult magic.6 The Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye specializes in occult studies,7 and Kelesh incorporates occult calculations into its imperial rule.8

The Pathfinder Society's quest for knowledge is often compatible with occult studies, including occult magic.9

The final blades of Galt are inherently infused with occult magic.10


Bards, some sorcerers,1112 some witches,13 some summoners,14 and psychics15 all cast occult spells.

Occult magic often attracts diviners, hermits, and scholars.16 Fell gnomes are also drawn to occult magic.17


  1. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Combat” in Core Rulebook, 206. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. Logan Bonner, et al. “Glossary and Index” in Core Rulebook, 634. Paizo Inc., 2019
  3. Logan Bonner, et al. “7: Spells” in Core Rulebook, 299. Paizo Inc., 2019
  4. Rigby Bendele, et al. “Magic” in Travel Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2022
  5. Paizo Inc., et al. Elves” in Character Guide, 26. Paizo Inc., 2019
  6. Paizo Inc., et al. Gnomes” in Character Guide, 30. Paizo Inc., 2019
  7. Erik Mona, et al. Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 45. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. Erik Mona, et al. Golden Road” in World Guide, 57. Paizo Inc., 2019
  9. Paizo Inc., et al. Pathfinder Society” in Character Guide, 127. Paizo Inc., 2019
  10. Erik Mona, et al. Shining Kingdoms” in World Guide, 126. Paizo Inc., 2019
  11. Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 95. Paizo Inc., 2019
  12. Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 191. Paizo Inc., 2019
  13. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 95. Paizo Inc., 2020
  14. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Secrets of Magic, 51. Paizo Inc., 2020
  15. James Case, et al. “The Archivist's Training Manual” in Dark Archive, 9. Paizo Inc., 2022
  16. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 62–64. Paizo Inc., 2009
  17. Paizo Inc., et al. Gnomes” in Character Guide, 29–30. Paizo Inc., 2019