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Channeling the Co...

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 19, 2012

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, Kazejin, KrispyXIV, nategar05, Rory, Samurai, ShadowcatX, sunbeam, TarkXT

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.

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 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 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 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, and Half-Elf gets a great one. 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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

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 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.

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 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:

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

Metamagic Feats:

No matter what type of oracle you’ve decided to create, there’s one thing all oracles have in common: they are all full spellcasters. Metamagic feats exist to increase the flexibility of your spells, and as a character with a short list of spells known you should be able to quickly identify the value of this. Spontaneous casters enjoy an almost absurd about of flexibility when it comes to metamagic. Rather than knowing if you’ll need a specific modification to your spell ahead of time (like a wizard or cleric) you can decide at random. It’s difficult to explain how utterly fantastic this concept is until you’ve played with both spellcasting mechanics.

It’s not without a drawback, of course. Applying metamagic to a spell increases the casting time to a full-round action. This isn’t usually a big deal- it just means trading in mobility for a single turn. If the spell’s casting time is longer than a standard action it instead requires an additional full round action to cast. Really, you only want to be using metamagic on standard action spells in combat; few spells are worth two of your turns.

I thoroughly encourage every single oracle to take at least one metamagic feat in her lifetime. Oracles have lots of spell slots and few spells known, so it’s not a huge sacrifice to have the option of changing things up. What I don’t recommend is taking more than a few metamagic feats. Ideally a warrior type will have one or two, and the caster focused types will have two or three. You want just enough to expand your options, but not so many as to fail to get your money’s worth.

A Note on Terminology and Mechanics: Throughout this section I refer to the cost of each metamagic feat in terms of “+X spell level,” where X is how many levels higher the spell slot is in comparison to the spell itself. The mechanics are very clear on this, though. For every metamagic feat you are required to use a higher level spell slot but the spell remains its original level for all mechanical purposes. Heighten Spell is an explicit exception to this. MrPineapples from the Paizo forums pointed out that this could be misinterpreted, but despite several attempts I really can’t come up with a simpler and less awkward way to write this. The whole system is somewhat awkward in its terminology and entirely too verbose when attempting accuracy. So, for sake of brevity (too late, I know), this entire section will use “+X spell level” and it will mean “to use a spell slot X levels higher than the level of the spell.”

Bouncing Spell (***): A +1 boost to the spell level is a good way to ensure that your spell is going to hit somebody.

Burning Spell (*): A +2 to your spell level to do 2-14 extra damage a turn later? This is awful.

Concussive Spell (**): There aren’t a lot of sonic spells on the cleric list (Sound burst is all I can think of), which limits the usefulness of this metamagic. It’s a +2 boost to the spell’s level, and gives a modest debuff which most notably includes a -2 penalty to attacks and saving throws. The real saving grace of this feat is that it applies it’s debuff to anything that takes damage, and sonic spells often damage even on a successful save. This could be more useful if you use a method to add additional sonic spells to your list.

Dazing Spell (** or ****): Dazed is a very powerful debuff, and for the significant price of +3 spell levels you can attempt to daze every victim of your spell. Apply this to your biggest eligible blast to potentially knock a group of enemies out of combat for several rounds- or wail on them while they stare blankly at you. The discrepancy in rating here is that there aren’t a lot of AoE damage spells on the cleric list, particularly at lower levels. You’ll need to rely on access to additional spells through mysteries like Flame (burning hands), Metal (heat metal), or Stone (stone call). Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) is another solid option if you want to pick up some really low level options (magic missile is excellent).

Disruptive Spell (**): It’s not a terrible choice if you face a lot of casters, since this forces enemy casters to make concentration checks in order to cast spells. The problem is that the DC for this check is never going to be higher than the standard “cast defensively” check, and past level 10 it quickly enters into “auto succeed” territory.

Echoing Spell (*): Cast a spell at +3 level and gain the ability to cast that spell again without using a spell slot. The value of this feat increases as you gain access to 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells, but spell slots aren’t the biggest issue you face as a spontaneous caster. The question you should ask yourself is this: is an 8th level spell slot worth two 5th levels? Your highest level spell slots are your most valuable asset, so generally, no, it’s not worth it.

Ectoplasmic Spell (*): Two things wrong with this metamagic feat: first, incorporeal/ethereal creatures aren’t common enough to spend a feat slot on, and second, just cast a different freaking spell or pick up something with the [force] descriptor.

Elemental Spell (**): Pay attention, Blasters: eventually you’re going to come up against something immune to your element of choice. Grab this in whatever element is “usually” opposite yours and keep it on the back burner.

Empower Spell (**): Gain a 50% boost to the random numeric values of a spell. Commonly used on blasts to assist the oracle in “going nova,” this can be a decent option to boost the damage of your favorite spell. For non-blasters you won’t find a lot of spells that can really take advantage of this feat.

Enlarge Spell (*): In your average battle the range of close is usually enough to reach an enemy. If it’s not, just use your move action to make it enough. This feat is essentially providing you nothing.

Extend Spell (****): Double duration for +1 spell level is really worth it. You can do some tricky things with this metamagic feat.

Flaring Spell (*): Dazzled is the biggest joke of a condition when it comes to debuffing your enemies. It’s literally the stuff of orisons.

Focused Spell (***): This is only a good feat if you have a few spells that affect multiple targets, but for one such target it’s essentially two feats. It’s only a +1 to level, so it’s not a huge deal to cast.

Heighten Spell (***): I firmly believe that only spontaneous casters truly get the benefits of this spell. You can already use a higher spell slot to cast a lower level spell, but this will allow you to give it a DC to match.

Intensified Spell (**): A feat for blasters, but a decent one none-the-less. This will let you get more mileage out of lower level spells.

Lingering Spell (***): This is how you turn a blaster into a controller. Ignore the bit about anything entering your lingering spell, because your enemies would need the intelligence of an ooze to fall for that. Rather, the best part here is that anything in your blast (or on the other side of your blast) is now subject to some significant miss chance. If an enemy wants to avoid this they’ll need to spend a move action to reposition themselves, thus limiting their actions further. It’s basically obscuring mist on every area of effect blast you cast.

Maximize Spell (*): Compared to Empower Spell, this is roughly the same when used on spells with a d6 for damage, and worse when used on spells with a d4. It only becomes a significantly stronger option when used on spells with a d10 for damage, and those are far and few between. If you want to boost your ability to do damage you should grab Empower. It’s got a lower cost and usually does about the same.

Merciful Spell (* to ****): For most people the ability to inflict nonlethal damage is worthless or wildly situational at best. For specific campaigns this could be incredibly useful, and it doesn’t apply a penalty beyond increasing your casting time. The value of this feat is going to be very different for any given character.

Persistent Spell (***): If you’re a fan of save-or-suck spells, or are getting frustrated with enemies making their saves, this +2 level metamagic is a solid choice. Having to roll twice against your spell is a good way to help ensure that it’ll stick, particularly against multiple targets.

Piercing Spell (***): Spell penetration is good for when you cast a spell at an enemy and didn’t realize it had spell resistance. If you’re good on your monster knowledge and can see that SR coming then this can let you continue to cast offensively for 2.5 times the bonus of spell penetration. One or the other, but it’s generally not worth having both (though they do stack).

Quicken Spell (***): Many people might rank this higher, but by the time this metamagic becomes relevant you shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting your mitts on a metamagic rod. +4 level is quite high, but swift magic is almost essential in upper levels.

Reach Spell (*): The biggest benefit of this metamagic is changing a touch ranged spell into a close ranged spell. But doing that makes this a full-round affair, and you could have just walked there by then. Plus it’s not as if you’re an unarmored mage. In specific instances this can be really useful, but on the whole it’s a wasted effort.

Rime Spell (*): Entangled is a fun little debuff that is situationally very useful. On the whole it’s usually just a -2 to attack, AC, and reflex saves with the added stipulation that you can’t run or charge. The real problem is that [cold] descriptor spells are about as rare on the cleric list as snowballs are in hell.

Selective Spell (** or ****): The average oracle could probably use the ability to to ignore certain squares during a spell, but the investment of spellcraft ranks (which you probably didn’t want) makes the requirement a bit more than is palpable for most. However, Blasters will see this as pure blue for its freedom to lay down the biggest explosions they have and ignore their allies.

Sickening Spell (***): Sickened is a so-so debuff, but at +2 spell levels it’s not a bad shake. Plus it reduces the enemy’s saving throws. The trouble is that a successful save negates the effect, so try to pair this up with spells that target an enemy’s weak save or it’s going to default to fortitude.

Silent/Still Spell (*** or ****): These spells are pretty lame for the prepared spellcaster, but they’re quite nice for an oracle. I’ve put them together because they’re really not worth having unless you take them both. Silent spell is situationally useful in magical silence, or while stealthing or deafened. Still spell is a lifesaver in a grapple. But the combination of them both means that you can cast spells in a room full of people with nobody the wiser that it came from you. In an urban campaign, or one featuring a lot of social situations this combination is blue.

Thanatopic Spell (* or ***): Unless you have a large reliance on spells that deal in death effects, negative levels, and energy drain you’re going to avoid this feat. If you do rely on those this becomes a great way to overcome the commonplace immunity to those effects at higher levels. You’ll need a few ranks in knowledge (religion) and the feat Spell Focus (necromancy), but those are likely useful to you anyways.

Threnodic Spell (* or ***): Enchanters, Illusionists, and Necromancers will find a lot of value here, but everyone else is free to keep moving. Undead make up for a large portion of the “immune to mind affecting spells” crowd, so being able to circumvent that on the fly could prove useful to certain casters. On the flip side, Necromancers with lots of undead allies are now free to apply all sorts of powerful buffs to their minions.

Thundering Spell (**): Deafened just isn’t a great debuff. It’s a couple minor penalties (for your enemies) and a 1 in 5 shot at messing up a verbal spell. For a player this is awful, but for an enemy caster they’re still going to succeed 80% of the time if you don’t have some form of reroll mechanic to apply to them.

Toppling Spell (*): This metamagic feat is awesome! Well, except that clerics don’t really get access to [force] descriptor spells. This feat could have the spell Chain of Perdition pulling double duty in specific instances, but taking a feat for a single spell isn’t exactly good use of your resources. Ignore this if you don’t gain access to other [force] spells.

Widen Spell (**): Boosting the area of a spell by 100% is awesome! Increasing the spell’s level by 3 is awful. I feel like this feat breaks even somewhere in the “mediocre” range, and isn’t worth taking unless you’ve got some great candidates for the metamagic.

Inheritors of Magic

Ultimate Magic was a good book for all of the casting classes, but it also came bundled with a real gem: Eldritch Heritage. To fully pursue the feat chain (4-5 feats) you’ll need a very strong charisma score, but that’s not a problem for the oracle. This series of feats can really flesh out a character and grant a lot of unique and useful bonuses that might otherwise be missing from particular mysteries.

Before we really delve into the bloodlines, this needs to be stated: in order to be considered a good choice for the oracle, the powers you obtain through the feats need to be strong choices in succession. If it takes you four feats to gain a single worthwhile power it’s not a good choice. Likewise, a poor bloodline skill weighs against the overall strength of the bloodline as this is a wasted feat.

Abyssal (****): Knowledge (Planes)

Abyssal is a solid choice for the Warrior type oracle who wants some natural weapons. They’re not fantastic, but they scale modestly and are available a few rounds a day. The beauty of this bloodline is the 9th level ability that grants an inherent bonus to strength, scaling up to +6 at level 19.

Arcane(****): Knowledge (Any)

This is a great choice for any oracle of any mystery, hands down. It’s so good that you might consider spending the full 5 feats to gain every power available. It starts off with granting arcane bond, then lets you perform metamagic on the fly or add 3 wizard spells to your spells known, and ends with a doubled up Spell Focus. Not bad at all.

Celestial (**): Heal

This one was really close to not being on the list, but I feel it’s worth mentioning anyway. Heal is a crappy skill to spend a feat on, and the first level bloodline power will become useless very quickly. The only saving grace of this bloodline is the 9th level power that grants you flight. Flight is a powerful asset, and is difficult to accomplish on the cleric’s list (air walk is pretty much where it’s at). This is a fair option for oracles who don’t have access to a flight revelation, but spending 3 feats to get it is highly suspect.

Deep Earth (***): Knowledge (Dungeoneering)

The skill is kinda crap in terms of spending a feat, but the very first power is a ranged trip that uses your character level -2 plus your charisma modifier. That’s a very solid ability. The third level ability grants you tremorsense 30, and the 15th level ability is burrow. It may not be worth going past the first level ability for most oracles, but it’s a very solid investment.

Draconic (***): Perception

Draconic is a strong choice for the Warrior type oracle who wants some natural weapons. They’re not fantastic, but they scale modestly and are available a few rounds a day. The 3rd level ability adds some nice defense to your character, and the 15th level ability is unlimited flight. The flight may be too little, too late for some oracles, but if your mystery doesn’t provide the option it can be very difficult to obtain.

Fey (***): Knowledge (Nature)

It’s not a flashy bloodline, but it gives you some good tricks. The first level ability is a no-save debuff that limits your enemy to only move actions for 1 round- that’s no attacks, spells, attacks of opportunity, etc. The 9th level ability is greater invisibility broken up as you see fit. And the 15th level ability is unlimited rerolls on spell penetration checks. Most oracles might not take the 15th level feature, but 1st and 9th are groovy.

Serpentine (****): Diplomacy

An excellent choice for the Warrior type, and a decent choice for any oracle who enjoys melee every so often. Diplomacy is a decent choice for Skill Focus, so no harm there. The first ability you get, and perhaps the only one you’ll take, is a bite attack with a nasty poison that gets much stronger as you level up. Bite attacks are far superior to claws because they’re easy to pair up with your normal weapon attacks. The 3rd and 9th level abilities are a viper familar (character level -4) and some modest defensive boosts, so grab them if you want them.

Verdant (***): Knowledge (Nature)

The first level ability is probably the only one worth grabbing, but it’s a great option. A 15’ ranged combat maneuver to perform trip, disarm, or steal? Yes, please. If you’re interested in pursuing the bloodline there are worse things you could spend feats on. The 3rd level abilty frees up a ring slot, and the 15th level ability is a boost to defense and fast healing 1 when you really need it.

The Burden: 

Taking an aspect of the cosmos into your person is bound to have some unusual side effects. Some function mostly as flavor, while others cripple your character into the bounds of nearly unplayable. Think long and hard before you take some of these curses!

Clouded Vision (*): How about no? Your vision is now 30’, and eventually bumps up to 60’. Congratulations, all of your spells effectively became range: close. Sure, eventually you’ll be able to see anything in that range, but often times that won’t be enough to see the other side of the room you’re in, much less that battle mat you’re engaging in combat on. This curse won’t destroy your character, but in most cases you’re giving up a lot more than you ever get back, and that makes it a very poor option.

TarkXT offers a different opinion:

This is hardly ideal for many but its well within charge range of some battle oracles. Also keep in mind in the cramped environments of dungeons or indoor environments being able to see past thirty feet makes little difference as you can "hear" or "smell" (in the case of scent for half-orcs) just fine. You're not going to be scouting, but there are classes that are superior in that role anyway.

Deaf (***): Free silent spell and immunity to silence are incredible boons, but being deaf has some significant drawbacks. According to the Pathfinder Society FAQ players can take a single rank in linguistics and be able to read lips for any language they know. It’s got a lot of clauses, and it’s not official for anything beyond PFS, but it’s a great starting point. You’ll still need to rely on your allies, wax tablets, or sign language to communicate with strangers but now you can “listen” freely. You’ll eventually overcome the official penalties to being deaf and gain scent and tremorsense, making it a good choice for Warrior types. You’ll take penalties to initiative for at least half of your career, so it’s hard to give this a blue rating- but it’s still a decent choice.

Haunted (****): This is a real drawback for some real benefits, but the benefits are sweet as sugar. Every opponent essentially has greater disarm against you, so this isn’t a good option for Warrior oracles who don’t conjure their own weaponry. Additionally, increasing retrieval of items to a standard action negates the best bonus of a handy haversack and makes using scrolls/wands in combat tricky business. But if you’re okay with those two drawbacks then jump in! Every single spell that this adds to your list is fantastic and absolutely worth having.

Lame (***): This one really depends on how much you rely on your movement speed. For a mounted oracle this should be a no-brainer, and that goes double for Metal oracles who can negate this penalty (there’s a good chance it’ll be errata’d though). Even for melee oriented characters it can still be a good option, because you can just cast a spell while you’re (slowly) wading into combat. The bonuses are subtle but nice. Immunity to fatigue means you can sleep in your armor, and works well with barbarian multiclassing.

Tongues (***): Do you want to play an oracle, but don’t want any of these pesky curses that hinder you in some way? Well, this is your curse. Only being able to understand 1 or 2 languages in combat is easily overcome by forcing your teammates to take a rank in linguistics. It does scratch a few spells off of your list (like command), but it’s not a big sacrifice. Eventually you gain a complete mastery of language, and that’s really cool.

Wasting (***): This is tongues for people who also don’t mind being ugly. The penalty to charisma checks now means you’re not doing so well at using magic devices, and it may also have some unintended consequences with particular revelations (like Lore Keeper). The bonuses are mediocre, but the penalties aren’t bad so it ends up being a dull but solid choice.

Aspects of the Divine:

The oracle is a glorious tool of the cosmos, sharing a sympathetic vibration with an aspect of reality. She embodies her concept, reshaping the world around her to suit her vision of creation. An oracle’s mystery defines her. Interestingly enough, there are no bad mysteries. The wide diversity of the revelations and your ability to choose which ones you want and don’t want means that your character can be equally powerful in any of the available mysteries. That is, as long as you’re willing to play to the mystery’s strengths. I’ve listed which roles the mystery itself builds towards, but this is not a limiting factor as to what you can pursue with each one.

The absolute most important thing to keep in mind while going through these is that half of what an oracle has is flavor. I once played a Battle oracle as a Warrior type, which is a mechanically strong option. I was so utterly bored out of my mind that I kept looking for opportunities to have the character killed. I tried again later on with an Ancestor oracle and had an absolute blast. Don’t just look at the nuts and bolts of each mystery. Look at it overall, and how your character might feel to you. A weaker character can be just as fun, and a strong but dull one can really make you suffer.

A word on Final Revelations: Few campaigns ever make it to 20th level, and even those few that do generally stop shortly thereafter. Because of this I don’t see much point in even reviewing the Final Revelations of each mystery. Some of them suck, some of them rock, but in the end it doesn’t matter; you won’t be using them.

Juju, Outer Rifts, & Spellscar oracles: All three of these mysteries appear in Golarion specific material so I won’t be reviewing them. I’m attempting to keep this guide focused on the main line of books and will be excluding campaign specific rules. If you’re interested in finding these If you’re interested in them you can find the Outer Rifts and Spellscar mysteries in the Inner Sea Guide, and the Juju mystery in AP#39: City of Seven Spears.

Ancestor: Warrior, Textbook

Skills (****): Linguistics is mediocre, but all of the knowledge skills is excellent. Drop a point in each one to gain that wonderful class skill bonus.

Bonus Spells (****): These spells rock! Spiritual weapon suffers because it specifically uses your wisdom score, but the rest of the list is solid and versatile. You even get access to telekinesis, which you lost by not choosing the haunted curse (you didn’t choose the haunted curse, right?).

Ancestral Weapon (****): If you’re going to be a warrior type then you’ll really need a weapon, and what better weapon than one that you simply can’t lose? The scaling bonuses keep this relevant and it’s worded in such a way that you can change the weapon each time you summon it (reach, ranged, two-handed, etc.) making it the most versatile weapon anyone in your party has. If your DM protests, simply claim “I come from a long line of diverse warriors.” It’s not as good as a weapon your character might otherwise have, but it’s also not cutting into your character wealth and you’re granted automatic proficiency with it.

Blood of Heroes (**): This bonus is enough shore up your medium base attack bonus and isn’t specific to melee or ranged weapon attacks. It won’t stack with heroism or its greater counterpart, but it’s quicker to cast. It may not be worth picking up early on, but after 5th level you should consider it.

Phantom Touch (*): Shaken is a mediocre debuff, and requiring a standard action to apply it to a single opponent drives the usefulness of this ability right down. If you’re in melee range of the enemy just hit it with your weapon.

Sacred Council (**): Requiring a move action means you can’t use this as a reactionary ability for the rolls that might need it most (like saving throws). Still, it works as a modest boost to skill checks, combat maneuver rolls, charisma checks vs. summoned creatures, and caster level checks to overcome SR or dispel attempts. It’s versatile to be sure, but perhaps not useful enough.

Spirit of the Warrior (***): This ability initially seems amazing, but don’t be fooled by the glitz and glitter. It’s a standard action to initiate, meaning you’re going to burn one of your few rounds getting it started. The bonuses are enhancement, meaning they won’t stack with the strength or dexterity belt that you already have. And the rounds are very, very few. It’s probably worth grabbing for most people, but you’ll likely only use it once a day for an entire battle.  But what a glorious battle it will be.

Spirit Shield (*** or ****): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording is ambiguous, but if your DM rules that you can enchant this armor with Magic Vestment it easily becomes blue. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, and the 50% concealment vs. ranged attacks makes it a great choice for an experienced oracle.

Spirit Walk (**): Augh, once per day ruins a potentially great ability! Being able to pass through walls is awesome, but until you get two per day at level 15 you run the risk of being stuck on the other side of that wall or leaving it as an utterly wasted attempt. It’s also good for scouting past noisy doors in a dungeon, but again... only once per day.

Storm of Souls (*): A truly bland untyped blast that is halved by a fortitude save. Fortitude saves, by the way, are usually the strongest save a monster has. I don’t see this as ever being a decent choice, even if you want to blast.

Voice of the Grave (***): Speak with Dead is a fantastic interrogation spell, particularly for the “shoot first, ask questions later” types. It may not always be worth a spell slot, but doling out your rounds to one or two questions per encounter and a scaling boost to the DC means that you’ll get a lot of use from this ability and it’ll be as useful at level 3 as it is at level 20.  Great questions are “what’s behind that door over there,” “where’s your treasure hoard,” and “what traps should I watch out for?”

Wisdom of the Ancestors (**): Once per day, yuck. This ability gives you access to three decent spells that essentially allow you to quiz your DM about whatever you like. It can be very useful for some players/characters, but most will likely find it lacking compared to the other revelations of the Ancestor mystery.

Battle: Warrior, Controller, Socialite

Skills (****): Perception is a blue skill, and intimidate opens up your options for Socialite.

Bonus Spells (***): The spells are sort of all over the place, but at least it starts strong. Enlarge person is a nice low-level buff, and you’ve got some good crowd control spells here as well with wall of fire and fog cloud. Earthquake, control weather, and storm of vengeance are middling at best, and you likely won’t see much use with mass bull’s strength.

Battlecry (**): It’s not useless per se, but you’ll often have something better to do with your standard action. It’s uses are too few to actually be used for the bonus to attack rolls, but gaining a +1-2 to saves can turn the tide of vicious battles.

Battlefield Clarity (***): It’s reactive, sure, but this ability is awesome. The debuffs you get to retry your saves against will ruin your day, so it’s a welcome chance at success. Don’t pick it up first, but when you’ve got a good foundation come back and grab this one.

Combat Healer (**): As a Warrior, spell slots aren’t exactly at a premium for you- your action economy is. Being able to cast a cure spell as a swift action is really great. The downside is that healing in combat is generally a poor choice, and the cure spells are really inefficient for the amount of resources that they’re consuming. Also, you’ll need to be adjacent to the ally with a free hand to even get this spell off, so its usefulness dwindles further. It becomes better with mass cure light wounds, or when you need to heal yourself, but before then... not so much.

Iron Skin (***): Stoneskin is a fantastic buff with an annoying material component. 1-2 castings of this per day without that component is very worthwhile, though it’s strength is less than previous editions. In Pathfinder it’s somewhat easier to get through DR/adamantine, but the spell is still worth it.

Maneuver Master (** to ***): Oh man, I love this ability. Wait until level 7 until you pick this up, otherwise you’ll be provoking a lot of attacks of opportunity. If you’re a fan of combat maneuvers this is a great way to pursue your favorite, with trip is most commonly useful. The only real problem with this ability (and combat maneuvers in general) is that it really starts to come into its own when combat maneuvers become less useful. It’s a solid choice for most campaigns, however. If your DM prefers to use huge creatures and avoids humanoids you’re not going to find a lot of use with this.

Resiliency (*): I just don’t see a lot of worth with this ability. At low levels it’s only going to take effect on a very specific criteria (0 HP). At higher levels, damage is so variable that you’re more likely to be outright killed than knocked into the negatives.

Skill at Arms (****): Congratulations! You’re now officially a battle oracle. Unless you’re an elf focused on archery, every battle oracle is going to grab this.

Surprising Charge (***): It’s only a few times per day, but it’s quite versatile. This can be your makeshift pounce, your caster’s rescue, your quick escape, or a fun way to have an enemy mage suddenly casting on the defensive.

War Sight (****): It’s widely established that initiative is everything in Pathfinder, so abilities that make you even better at going first obviously fall into the category of “worth it.” This ability will help prevent you from being flat-footed during the surprise round and weed out crappy initiative rolls.

Weapon Mastery (**): It’s not bad, but it’s competing with a lot of much better abilities. The +1-2 to attack rolls is good for helping close the gap with full BAB classes, and improved critical is always nice- but you’re also a full spellcaster. I’d bump this up to three stars if you choose a weapon that pairs with Maneuver Mastery.

Bones: Controller, Blaster, Socialite, Textbook

Skills (***): Intimidate is nice if you’re interested in it, and disguise has its uses in trying to pretend that your undead minions aren’t undead at all. Bluff is likely to be more useful for you, since necromancy isn’t exactly welcomed into most areas.

Bonus Spells (**): Necromantic spell lists always tend to suffer, and this one is no different. Cause fear will stop being useful very quickly, though False Life is a good way to bolster your HP at lower levels and lasts a long while. Two spells have nasty material component costs, and a few blasts have snuck onto the list as well.  Fear is hilarious and fun, so all hope is not lost. As a necromancer you’ll get the full value of Animate Dead, but it’s going to be dead weight most days.

Armor of Bones (** or ****): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording clearly states that you “conjure armor made of bones” which should technically qualify as a target for Magic Vestment, though your DM may disagree. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, but weighs nothing and is a great choice for the lower strength of most caster types. DR 5/blugeoning is just a fun added bonus. If your DM rules against enchanting this with Magic Vestment it might still be worth it, but will be outpaced by a Breastplate most of your career.

Bleeding Wounds (*): Most combats last between 3-10 rounds, which means that this ability is adding (at most) 3-10 damage, give or take. This is a poor use of resources no matter how you look at it.

Death’s Touch (**): You might have some use for it early on, and then it’ll be relegated to spot healing your necromantic minions and perhaps yourself. The +2 channel resistance is nice, but I really doubt you’ll waste time in combat with this ability when you could be, I dunno, dealing with whatever is trying to mess with your undead.

Near Death (***): Half of this stuff is situational, but the bonuses against mind-affecting is where it’s at. You’d be surprised at how many abilities this will work against. A nice, modest buff. Immunity would have been better though.

Raise the Dead (****): Let’s be honest here: if you’re playing a Bones oracle, you’re doing it because you want to be a master of undeath. This ability is going to let you accomplish that in a reasonable way. It’s only one or two times a day, but it scales with level and doesn’t eat into your character wealth (the biggest issue with necromancy). For most oracles this is a pretty lame ability, but for you this is awesome.

Resist Life (**): You’ve probably got more than a few negative energy effects bouncing around your character sheet, so this will let you take advantage of them in a thematic way. I’d be wary of potions from here on out, though.

Soul Siphon (*): Negative levels suck these days. And this ability only applies a single negative level. To a single target. Once per day, until 11th level. Awful.

Spirit Walk (**): Augh, once per day ruins a potentially great ability! Being able to pass through walls is awesome, but until you get two per day at level 15 you run the risk of being stuck on the other side of that wall or leaving it as an utterly wasted attempt. It’s also good for scouting past noisy doors in a dungeon, but again... only once per day.

Undead Servitude (***): Who loves their undead minions? It’s you, isn’t it? The cold fact of the matter is that this ability is only going to let you enslave a single worthwhile undead at any given time, and you might struggle to do even that. Still it’s a no-cost way to flesh out that budding army of yours, and that’s your goal, right?

Voice of the Grave (***): Speak with Dead is a fantastic interrogation spell, particularly for the “shoot first, ask questions later” types. It may not always be worth a spell slot, but doling out your rounds to one or two questions per encounter and a scaling boost to the DC means that you’ll get a lot of use from this ability and it’ll be as useful at level 3 as it is at level 20.  Great questions are “what’s behind that door over there,” “where’s your treasure hoard,” and “what traps should I watch out for?”

Dark Tapestry: Warrior, Controller, Blaster, Socialite, Textbook

Skills (****): Knowledge (Arcana) is one of the big four, making it a great addition to your list. Intimidate is nice if you want it.

Bonus Spells (****): A very, very solid spell list. Entropic shield is pretty lame, and tongues might find some overlap with particular curses, but everything else is golden. Dust of Twilight is an AoE fatigue, Black Tentacles is a crowd pleaser in the arcane circles, Feeblemind is the ultimate in anti-caster technology, and Reverse Gravity is as fun as ever.

Brain Drain (*): This is sort of an odd ability. It’s a lame blasting power with a few uses per day that allows you to make knowledge checks with someone else’s knowledge skills. It targets will saves though, which is very likely a high save on your potential target. As a utility power it requires two turns to use, making it not worth it in combat- especially because they immediately know it was you. As written you may not even get anything out of the enemy, but your DM might rule differently and bump this power up to ** or *** stars. Probably not, though.

Cloak of Darkness (** or ****): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording is ambiguous, but if your DM rules that you can enchant this armor with Magic Vestment it easily becomes blue. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, but the boost to stealth is small and useless for most oracles. If your DM rules against enchanting this with Magic Vestment it might still be worth it, but will be outpaced by a Breastplate most of your career.

Dweller in Darkness (*): Once per day for a spell that offers two saves and only targets a single creature, while also being subject to the limitations of fear and mind affecting magic? Pass. Maybe consider it when it becomes weird at level 17, but at that point why bother?

Gift of Madness (**): Confusion is a really great ability when you can inflict it on multiple people at the same time. This is because a confused enemy will automatically override the spell and attack the last target that attacked it. But for a single creature its far less useful. Confused creatures are pretty mindless though, and the duration is decent after 7th level. They also don’t take attacks of opportunity unless it’s their one and only target, so there’s some use there.

Interstellar Void (*): For a while it’s just a lame single-target blast that offers a fortitude save to halve. Then it applies a mediocre debuff negated by the save. Then much, much later it applies a powerful debuff if they fail their save, which is a fortitude save (and they’re probably gonna make it). Oh, and once per day until 10th level. Awful.

Many Forms (****): Don’t discount this ability, because Alter Self is fantastic. Early on it’s a boost to your land speed, or better vision, or a natural weapon to pair up with your melee attacks. Later it becomes a trade-off between casting and being an animal, though access to the magical beasts is pretty spectacular. Eventually you’re taking the form of giants, trolls, huge elementals, etc. This ability is the bees knees, and on its very own makes a good qualifier for Warrior types. It’s also situational flight when you really need it.

Pierce the Veil (** or ***): A modest boon for some oracles, though Half-Orcs won’t reap the benefits until 11th level. This is much better if you pair it up with the Deeper Darkness spell.

Read the Tapestry (-): You get to reach into the void and ask an elder god a couple questions while making an intelligence check to maintain your sanity for 1-5 weeks? For a 34% shot at a one word honest response? Mind you, intelligence isn’t awesome for you, and failing that check renders your charisma at a dismal 8 for at least a week. No, no, no, and god no. I will physically strike any oracle who tries to tell me with is worth taking. It’s not even one star.

Touch of the Void (*): Mediocre at best when you first get it, and this quickly becomes useless. Fatigue is a middling debuff, but mostly because it prevents a lot of things from reaching you in a single turn. Since you’re slapping this onto them while standing next to them, it’s use plummets.

Wings of Darkness (****): Soar above the battlefield conjuring tentacles and unseen horrors upon your enemies for enough minutes per day to effectively be every combat. You can even trade it in on your non adventuring days to make trips to neighboring cities!

Flame: Controller, Blaster, Socialite

Skills (**): Intimidate is nice for those who want it, but the rest of this is dead weight.

Bonus Spells (**): Littered with blasts, but what did you expect? Resist energy is useful, and wall of fire and incendiary cloud function well as battlefield control spells.

Burning Magic (*): You’re likely to be casting a lot of blasty fire magic as a Flame oracle, but the damage isn’t enough to care about. It may be useful against enemy spellcasters in an attempt to inflict concentration checks vs. ongoing damage, but that’s a hedge case at best.

Cinder Dance (***): The Flame mystery has a strong emphasis on blast abilities, so enhanced mobility becomes a stronger choice than it might be for other casters. This helps you get in and out of sticky situations to lay down your burning love.

Fire Breath (**): Burning hands? Oh, sorry, burning hands if it fully scaled with level? The range is terrible and downright dangerous. Still, you’ve got a lot of options for moving around the battlefield and this ability does have a few uses per day. Only consider this ability once you’ve established a good defense for your character.

Firestorm (**): It’s a blast, but as a Flame oracle you’re likely to be doing a bit of blasting so let’s move past that. It’s shapeable, which is awesome. It’s once per day, which is terrible.

Form of Flame (* or ***): There’s no official ruling as to whether or not an elemental has the ability to cast spells, so it’s up to your DM. If your DM says no, this ability is downright useless. If your DM says yes, it’s a great and groovy boon that offers some decent defenses and style points by the bucket. Mind the cold damage, though.

Gaze of Flames (***): Considering the amount of vision-hampering abilities you can lay out, this is actually pretty useful. It’s short duration makes it less useful, however.

Heat Aura (*): Range, terrible. Damage, terrible. Duration, terrible. The best thing this ability has going for it is a quick activation and 20% concealment. It might be worth it at much higher levels when you get more than two uses from it, but I doubt it even then.

Molten Skin (**): Fire is the most common type of elemental attack, and this ability scales with level. I’m not sure it’s particularly worth it, but it saves it from being terrible.

Touch of Flame (**): Worth considering at very low levels if your stats don’t favor the use of a weapon, but I don’t see this getting much use later on. At level 11 you can transfer the flaming ability to a weapon if you get bored, and that’s always fun.

Wings of Fire (****): Rain fiery death from the skies as you swoop around untouched by your enemies’ melee swings. You’ll be grabbing this at 7th level.

Heavens: Controller, Blaster, Textbook

Skills (****): Fly, Knowledge (Arcana), and Perception are all skills you’d be smart to invest in.

Bonus Spells (***): The spell list starts strong and later devolves into some mediocre blast spells. Regardless, revelations further boost this already decent spell list.

Awesome Display (****): Half of your bonus list is composed of illusion (pattern) spells with HD restrictions, making this a very powerful option.

Coat of Many Stars (**): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording is ambiguous, but if your DM rules that you can enchant this armor with Magic Vestment it easily becomes blue. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, and the DR 5/slashing is a nice addition. If your DM rules against enchanting this with Magic Vestment it might still be worth it, but will be outpaced by a Breastplate most of your career.

Dweller in Darkness (*): Once per day for a spell that offers two saves and only targets a single creature, while also being subject to the limitations of fear and mind affecting magic? Pass. Maybe consider it when it becomes weird at level 17, but at that point why bother?

Guiding Star (**): This is a really specific criteria to meet before you can get the benefits of this ability. Then, you get to add your charisma modifier to all wisdom based checks (let’s face it: it’s probably just going to be perception checks) and modify a spell with one of several metamagic feats. There are a lot of tricky things you could do with this, but the limitations of once per day and outdoors under the night sky really hamper it.

Interstellar Void (*): For a while it’s just a lame single-target blast that offers a fortitude save to halve. Then it applies a mediocre debuff negated by the save. Then much, much later it applies a powerful debuff if they fail their save, which is a fortitude save (and they’re probably gonna make it). Oh, and once per day until 10th level. Awful.

Lure of the Heavens (***): I love the flavor of this ability, but it’s usefulness is hampered slightly by having Overland Flight at exactly the same point as the flight ability kicks in. This is still great for treading along water, avoiding pit traps & pressure plates, and even minor annoyances like caltrops and what-not.

Mantle of Moonlight (***): .All the lycanthropy stuff is going to be largely flavor for most players, with the only real aspect of this ability comes into play at 5th level. Being able to apply Rage to an ally is a modest buff, but applying it to an enemy mage is a hilarious debuff that will render them incapable of casting with no save to resist. The melee range is a real pity, though.

Moonlight Bridge (***): A solid ability that isn’t hampered by a laughably small amount of uses. It doesn’t have the flash and pop of some abilities, but it’s damn useful none-the-less. Circumventing traps, chasms, and DM plot devices never looked so cool.

Spray of Shooting Stars (**): Low damage, tiny radius, and few uses per day make this a lame ability. However, it’s easily targeted and fairly precise for a blast. Being able to loose a few at a time (no overlapping, though) makes it at least mediocre.

Star Chart (**): Once per day, yuck. This ability gives you access to a decent spell that essentially allows you to quiz your DM about whatever you like. It can be very useful for some players/characters, but most will likely find it lacking compared to the other revelations.

Life: Warrior, Enabler, Medic, Textbook

Skills (***): Knowledge (Nature) is a great option for a knowledge skill, but the other two skills are middling at best.

Bonus Spells (** or ***): Well, if you’re interested in playing a Medic, this spell list is entirely what you want. It’s highly situational, with Detect Undead being less than useful, but you’ll likely get some use out of it none-the-less. This is a really decent spell list if you’re the only character pulling the weight of divine magic.

Channel (****): Channel energy isn’t fantastic, so don’t think that’s what I’m saying. Instead, it’s a strong option for healing early on in your campaign life that heals the whole party. It continues to scale, and let’s be honest: you’re always going to need healing. It’s a modest ability that never goes out of style, even if you don’t get excited about it. Your great charisma score will net you many uses of this per day, and it also opens up some interesting feat and prestige class options for you. Just don’t use this in combat.

Combat Healer (***): Being able to cast a cure spell as a swift action is really great. The downside is that healing in combat is generally a poor choice, and the cure spells are really inefficient for the amount of resources that they’re consuming. Also, you’ll need to be adjacent to the ally with a free hand to even get this spell off, so its usefulness dwindles further. It becomes better with mass cure light wounds, but before then... not so much. Regardless of all that, you’re a life oracle and you’ve obviously taken a liking to healing your suicidal allies. Being able to pop a cure spell mid-combat without wasting your turn is a good addition to your arsenal. This ability pairs well with life link.

Delay Affliction (*): Diseases and poisons aren’t common enough to warrant this ability, particularly because it only works on the oracle and doesn’t even negate the affliction.

Energy Body (*** or ****): There’s a whole lot about the undead here that you can safely ignore. It’s a mediocre healing ability that won’t be worth much later on, though it’s easy to use. The real beauty of this ability is the fact that you can grant yourself the Elemental subtype. That means you’re immune to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, stunning, flanking, critical hits, precision damage, and suffocation. That seems worth a revelation to me, even if it’s only a few rounds a day. The lame self healing effect becomes very relevant when paired with Life Link, boosting this to a blue ability.

Enhanced Cures (**): If you’re anything like me you might have seen this as a super cool ability upon first glance. It’s got a lot of problems, though. This ability doesn’t kick in until 6th level, so that’s strike one. At 10th level you’ll gain access to Mass Cure Light Wounds, the greatest AoE heal until Mass Heal, and it isn’t affected by the ability at all. Strike two. Two levels later you get your best ability, Heal, which isn’t affected by it at all. This might be a decent pick at very high levels to spend those 1st level spell slots, especially if you’ve taken the spell Imbue With Spell Ability. On the whole though, it’s pretty easily skipped.

Healing Hands (*): The Heal skill is already pretty efficient at what it does, and it’s not particularly difficult to use. None of these bonuses appear worthwhile for any but the most dedicated of NPC healers.

Life Link (*** or ****): Think of this as fast healing 5 for everyone in the party, except you’re taking all of the damage it heals. It doesn’t scale as you level up, which means that eventually it might not be worth the trouble when enemies are slamming down 30-40 damage attacks. It does provide the added benefit of automatically stabilizing dying allies and canceling bleed effects, so that’s a bonus. Oracles with Energy Body will get more use out of this ability, and will enjoy the boost in your action economy.

Lifesense (** or ***): Blindsight is a powerful ability, but the things it negates aren’t generally a big threat to caster focused oracles. With the wording it could technically be used with your eyes closed, allowing you to feign sleeping or avoid gaze attacks. It’s much more useful for melee Warrior types.

Safe Curing (**): The early heal spells are melee range only, and that’s probably where the monster is. Concentration checks are harder to perform these days, making this ability much more useful. But healing in combat isn’t something you’re likely to be doing very often, making this less useful.

Spirit Boost (**): A fighter missing six hit points fights just as well as a fighter at max HP. The short duration of this ability means that it’s only ever going to come into play while in combat, and you shouldn’t be worried about topping off an ally at this point. However, once you start casting Mass Cure Light Wounds this ability becomes a bit better- you’re likely to be healing people who may not even be injured.

Lore: Controller, Textbook

Skills (****): The Lore oracle gets spellcraft... again. But she also gets all of the knowledge skills, so it’s still a very solid win.

Bonus Spells (**): This is an odd assortment of divination spells. Identify is occasionally nice if you feel you won’t do well on the spellcraft checks, and tongues is useful when it is. Locate object can be very fun, while legend lore/vision have long casting times and expensive material components. Contact other plane is so stupidly useless I’m actually deducting a point for this spell alone. Mass Owl’s Wisdom isn’t likely to help anyone that might benefit from a boost to wisdom, but Time Stop is phenomenal.

Arcane Archivist (*): Off to a bad start. This ability is once per day, uses a higher level spell slot, requires the spell be scribed into a spellbook, and then has the gall to erase it from the book. No thanks.

Automatic Writing (***): Once per day, yuck. This ability gives you access to three decent spells that essentially allow you to quiz your DM about whatever you like. It’s a very thematically appropriate choice for the Lore oracle, and this is probably the sort of thing you’re looking to do anyways, so it gets a boost in its rating.

Brain Drain (*): This is sort of an odd ability. It’s a lame blasting power with a few uses per day that allows you to make knowledge checks with someone else’s knowledge skills. It targets will saves, though, which are very likely a high save on your target. As a utility power it requires two turns to use, making it not worth it in combat- especially because they immediately know it was you. As written you may not even get anything out of the enemy, but your DM might rule differently and bump this power up to ** or *** stars. Probably not, though.

Focused Trance (***): Obviously this isn’t something you’ll be doing in combat, but when you want to succeed on a knowledge/linguistics/spellcraft check this is going to let you do that. And you’ve got enough uses to go around! This ability may interact poorly with Lore Keeper depending on how your DM rules it.

Lore Keeper (***): You’ve probably got a crap intelligence score and a great charisma score, so this is a solid choice for the Textbook types. Your DM may rule that knowledge checks are no longer intelligence based skills for you, which will interact poorly with Focused Trance. If so, Mental Acuity becomes a much more attractive revelation.

Mental Acuity (**): Intelligence is great! But not really for you. Particularly because you have other features that allow you to replace the attribute almost entirely. If taken at level 7 it’ll start granting bonus skill points by level 10, so that’s something. It’s also worth noting that skill points are retroactive, so there’s some worth to this.

Sidestep Secret (****): An excellent ability that allows you neglect your dexterity in a significant way. You’ll likely drop down to light armor, but your reflex saves have never looked sweeter. Keep in mind that your combat maneuver defense and initiative are still relying on your dexterity score.

Spontaneous Symbology (**): This essentially adds a lot of spells to your spells known, with the potential to grow as expansion books come out. The problem here is that the symbol spells all kind of suck. They have awkward ranges and activation methods, and carry very expensive material component requirements.

Think On It (**): It’s a sad day when an oracle of Lore fails at a knowledge check, and this is a good way to wipe the egg off your face. But it’s only once per day, and it could be avoided entirely with Focused Trance. This ability is useful in combat if you really need to know what a monster is, but I’m not sure that even that is enough to make this worth taking.

Whirlwind Lesson (*): The manuals and tomes are crazy expensive, and it’s likely that you’ll only ever own one. Why would you waste a revelation on something that requires you to expend one of these tomes/manuals to grant a temporary benefit to your allies for a relatively short duration? It’ll be an awesome week, sure, but for the rest of your career you’ll have a wasted gap on your character sheet.

Metal: Warrior, Controller, Socialite, Textbook

Skills (**): Intimidate is an okay addition, but the rest really isn’t.

Bonus Spells (****): Excellent at doing what it is you want to do. Chock full of buffs, control spells, and ways to make your weapon usage even better.

Armor Mastery (**): This ability is really great if you can invest in dexterity, but the fact is that you probably can’t. Otherwise it’s just okay and lets you move your full speed in a breastplate, which isn’t even useful to Lame oracles. In campaigns where you’ll have easy access to mithril armor this ability becomes much more useful, though you’ll still need heavy armor proficiency so grab Skill At Arms.

Dance of Blades (****): If you chose to go with the Lame curse, you’ve effectively overridden the only negative aspect of the curse. In addition, you’ll gain bonuses to hit during any round you move which is at least once every combat session, because you have to get to the enemies. And finally you can transform your weapon into a concealment bonus as a move action during the rounds you choose to cast spells. Very, very solid.

Iron Constitution (**): Fortitude saves are dangerous to fail, so this ability is obviously useful. The problem is that it’s only better than the feat Iron Fortitude after 14th level, and I’d rather have that +2 bonus throughout the lifetime of my oracle. Still, they stack, so that’s something.

Iron Skin (***): Stoneskin is a fantastic buff with an annoying material component. 1-2 castings of this per day without that component is very worthwhile, though it’s strength is less than previous editions. In Pathfinder it’s somewhat easier to get through DR/adamantine, but the spell is still worth it.

Iron Weapon (***): Similar to the Ancestor oracle’s revelation, but ultimately less useful for the Metal oracle who has access to Skill at Arms. The ability to change your weapon on the fly is a nice one, and always having access to a weapon is very useful. It’s a great way to cut down on your character wealth, and has loads of flavor. If you don’t care to grab Skill at Arms, this is a very solid pick. Otherwise, avoid it.

Riddle of Steel (*): You  gain a +5 bonus to a crafting check once per day with metal. You don’t even get the ability to increase your crafting time by a significant amount, or do anything useful. The only riddle here is why an oracle would consider this.

Rusting Grasp (*): With too few uses per day, and only working on nonmagical ferrous iron this isn’t worth the space on your character sheet.

Skill at Arms (****): Unlike the Battle oracle, this ability is competing with Iron Weapon. It’s probably better in most cases, but I wouldn’t recommend taking both (Unless you really love your options). DR issues aren’t a problem once you get Versatile Weapon.

Steel Scarf (*): An initial reading of this ability suggests that you can make attacks with the scarf as a swift action (woo!), but a recent ruling by Sean K. Reynolds informed us that hardening the scarf was a swift action while attacking with it was a standard action, and people named Sean are always correct. I might have rated this orange just for access to a free weapon when you need it, but Iron Weapon is infinitely better. If your DM rules that using this is a swift action you should treat this as green. Otherwise just skip it, regardless of the flavor.

Vision of Iron (***): Scrying is a really useful tool for the character willing to employ it, and this lets you break it up into many rounds per day. Definitely worth having if you can find room in your build.

Nature: Enabler, Textbook

Skills (****): Knowledge (Nature) and Ride are both good investments, but Fly is probably worth ignoring unless you plan on going crazy with Animal Shapes. The rest is worth a point for the class skill bonuses.

Bonus Spells (***): It doesn’t initially appear great, but some of these spells will really earn their keep. Charm animal is straight up awful, and awaken will very likely never be used due to its expensive material component. But past that, the list contains some useful buffs, divinations, and utility spells. It could be much worse. At level 16 you can use Animal Shapes on your bonded mount for a truly ferocious ally.

Bonded Mount (*** or ****): Small oracles are going to appreciate this ability much more, but I recommend every nature oracle grab this. The companion functions at druid level with an intelligence of 6, meaning that right off the bat it can select any feats it wants to. I highly recommend building the companion into a debuff monster using Dazzling Display. It’ll really help your offensive spellcasting, and the mount can still pack quite a wallop.

Erosion Touch (***): Ignore the bit about constructs, because you’ll likely ever face one or two. The beauty of this ability is that it’s an incredibly potent (and easy to achieve) sunder ability. Need a quick escape? Sunder a wall. Need into a chest? Sunder the lock. Enemy cleric giving you trouble? Sunder a holy symbol. It starts slow, but the uses per day scale nicely as you level.

Friend to the Animals (**): If this were 3.5 this would have been awesome, but alas, Pathfinder has changed the rules on us. Summon Monster is almost always a stronger option than Summon Nature’s Ally, even for the Nature oracle. Adding your charisma bonus to any animals nearby (like your animal companion) is a really nice boon, but probably not worth a revelation.

Life Leach (**): Temporary HP is nice, but this ability has too few uses per day to really wow me, and it’s based on a fortitude save.

Natural Divination (****): A very versatile and powerful ability that puts you a full head and shoulders above the competition when you need it. I’d wait until it has more than one use per day, but it’s completely worth having.

Nature’s Whispers (****): This is amazing. Keep in mind that your initiative and reflex saves still rely on your dexterity.

Speak with Animals (**): If you choose to pursue the summoning route this can be a really good ability. A problem with summoning animals is that it’s difficult to communicate with them without casting additional spells. With this ability you can cherry pick the strongest animals on the Summon Monster list as you level and be able to easily chat them up.  I’d also recommend picking up whatever you’ve chosen as your mount.

Spirit of Nature (*): It’s not that this ability is bad when it’s useful, it’s that this is a situation that shouldn’t come up often enough to warrant spending a revelation on it. If this is the sort of thing that’s useful more than a few times in the length of a campaign you should really reassess your tactical decisions.

Transcendental Bond (**): For the tactically minded this ability can be quite useful, but it’s brief duration struggles to make it worthwhile. At 10th level you gain the ability to cast a touch spell through the bond, boosting its usefulness. But it’s only once per day.

Undo Artifice (* or ***): This is an unusual ability that suffers from some odd wording. If your DM decides that this ability renders any magical item into a nonmagical state, thus destroying its value then ignore this and get Erosion Touch. If your DM instead rules that despite a nonmagical state it retains its value, this is a very useful ability that allows you to take away the toys of your enemy while not cutting into your wealth accumulation. In this case it’s likely a better option than Erosion Touch.

Stone: Warrior, Controller, Blaster, Socialite

Skills (**): Intimidate is a decent addition, but the rest leaves you wanting.

Bonus Spells (***): This list has some pretty good Controller spells, though magic stone is awful and a rough start to a decent list.

Acid Skin (**): Acid isn’t particularly common in terms of elemental damage, but it isn’t worthless either.

Clobbering Strike (*): This is neat, but there aren’t many cleric spells that require an attack roll to succeed. Additionally, most spells will only crit on a natural 20, making this even more of a hedge case.

Crystal Sight (****): This ability is crazy cool, and absolutely useful. Stone and dirt are the most common barriers you’ll run into in a typical campaign, and metal is right behind them. This also lets you see through your Wall of Stone spell. Combine this ability with Earth Glide for fantastic elemental fun.

Earth Glide (****): Being under the battlefield is probably more useful than being over it, because it’s even more difficult to target you now. Combining this with Crystal Sight shores up one of your two weaknesses, and Move Earth isn’t even that common! Consider stuffing your party members into a portable hole to avoid eating up valuable rounds when bypassing obstacles and powerful enemies.

Mighty Pebble (*): A lame blast with too few uses per day to really be awesome early on. Plus it requires a ranged attack roll, and you’re probably not very good at those. It may hit multiple people, but you’re going to miss more often than not and a reflex save outright negates this damage.

Rock Throwing (* or **): This is a fun trick early on with some decent damage, but you’re probably not very good at ranged attacks. A thrown rock is an improvised weapon, however, and inflicts a -4 penalty to attack. If you take Throw Anything this might be worth two stars, but I really doubt it. If your DM interprets the wording of this ability to give you proficiency in rocks it can be a fun ability to keep in your back pocket. You’ll probably need to rely on local rocks, and you won’t be able to get many attacks off, but it’s the equivalent to a falchion with range.

Shard Explosion (***): A low damage blast with a poor range centered on you that deals piercing damage. It has very few uses per day, but benefits from making the surrounding area difficult terrain until your next turn. As a swift action this is some easy damage to apply to adjacent enemies, and it can trap casters near you by revoking their ability to 5’ away without an attack of opportunity.

Steelbreaker Skin (*): This ability requires you to get hit, and that’s bad. But it deals damage to the enemy’s weapon, which may or may not be good. It’s once per day with an unusually long duration. At level 10 you’ll be immune to nonmagical ammunition, but keep in mind that every +1 enhancement bonus adds 2 hardness and 10 hit points. This ability just really fails to hold up while your enemies are wailing on you.

Stone Stability (****): Trip is fantastic, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This ability gives you a firm bonus to resisting some combat maneuvers and allows you to avoid some annoying prerequisites for trip line of feats (combat expertise and intelligence 13). At level 10 you’ll be tripping enemies and hitting them while they’re down. It’s awesome!

Touch of Acid (**): The Stone oracle really lends itself to the Warrior type, and that makes this ability even sweeter. Don’t pick this up until 11th level, because before then you’re much better off just hitting it with your weapon. Adding a +1d6 acid damage to all of your weapon attacks is a nice little boon that will start to add up over time.

Time: Warrior, Controller, Textbook

Skills (****): Fly is an awkward addition since nothing here actually gives you the ability to fly. Still, Perception, Knowledge (Arcana), and Use Magic Device leaves the Time oracle with the strongest class skills of them all.

Spells (**): Wow, this spell list is depressing. Memory Lapse can be a lot of fun out of combat, but gentle repose and sands of time are borderline useless. Permanency and temporal stasis both have expensive material components, and contingency can only be active once at a time. Disintegrate is great for dealing with force magic, threefold aspect offers some mediocre buffs for a Warrior type, and time stop is amazing.

Aging Touch (**): Early on it doesn’t do enough strength damage to be worth much, and has too few uses to matter. Later it’s a great option for sunder, but the uses per day still keep this from being three stars.

Erase from Time (**): This ability is excellent! At first, anyway. Then you see that it’s got a fortitude save to negate (yuck), and you only get 1-2 of them per day. It has a lot of potential, but the drawbacks are severe.

Nategar05 offers some additional insight:

Another possible use of Erase From Time is to remove a potential liability from combat. We've all played escort missions of shooter games. Not having to bodyguard a dumb npc could be a good use. It'd avoid the attack roll and their save (assuming they trust you. At any rate, yay Diplomacy.) and then they come back a few rounds later completely unharmed. Granted, you have to be higher level for them to be gone long enough.

Knowledge of the Ages (***): Rerolling a failed knowledge check is great, and gaining a bonus is even better. You’ve got enough uses of this ability to simply keep rolling until you succeed in most cases.

Momentary Glimpse (*): You can spend a standard action to give yourself a +2 to a roll a couple times per day. Having a friend waste their turn assisting other is a better use of resources than this.

Rewind Time (****): Rerolls are a very powerful thing in Pathfinder, and this one isn’t even specific beyond it needing to be a d20. You’ll gain another one every few levels, meaning that you won’t fail (as often) on the really important rolls.

Speed or Slow Time (**): Haste is a great buff, and slow is a fantastic debuff, so it seems like this ability might be worth something, right? Sorta. If there’s anyone else in your party who has access to these spells then they’re almost entirely better off casting them instead of you. Your slow time ability is at least good because the DC will rise as you level up, making this a decent high level pick when there’s more than 1 casting of it per day.

Temporal Celerity (****): It’s widely established that initiative is everything in Pathfinder, so abilities that make you even better at going first obviously fall into the category of “worth it.” This ability will help prevent you from being flat-footed during the surprise round and weed out crappy initiative rolls.

Time Flicker (***): Flat rate concealment is a good way to avoid being hit, and also allows you to stealth predator style. I’d recommend against the Blink version in combat unless you’re self-buffing, because it’s going to apply a 20% miss chance to all of your attacks and spells. It’s still a great way to force yourself through solid objects, though.

Time Hop (***): You don’t particularly get a lot of movement with this ability, but popping past the front line to the soft and nougaty casters is a trick that will never get old. You can also dive in to rescue your allies without provoking attacks of opportunity, or teleport yourself out of a grapple.

Time Sight (*** or ****): It’s a little late entry for most players, but it’s a strong ability none-the-less. It’ll negate most of the annoying aspects of higher level monsters and eventually starts providing powerful bonuses. A strict RAW interpretation of this ability has each spell replacing the previous one, shifting its power from good, to great, to woefully mediocre. A DM ruling in your favor keeps this in the blue, as does a campaign that ends before foresight kicks in.

Waves: Controller, Textbook

Note: This mystery is examined from the perspective of a non-aquatic campaign.

Skills (***): Knowledge (Nature) is a good addition.

Bonus Spells (**): Roughly a third of the spells require a body of water to be used, driving down their usefulness. The spell list suffers early on, when it's needed most.

Blizzard (**): While it initially appears to be a blast, it’s in fact a powerful controller ability that shuts down vision and allows shapeable placement. But it’s only usable once per day, making it far less valuable.

Fluid Nature (**): A few bonuses to defenses. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s nice to have.

Fluid Travel (*): Without your DM throwing  you a series of bones, I don’t see this ability being useful hardly ever.

Freezing Spells (* or ****): This ability applies slowed, as the slow spell (which is actually staggered with some additional penalties) and is downright amazing for a controller type. The problem is that cold spells don’t start showing up until much later in the game. Unless she invests in the elemental spell metamagic or arcane Eldritch Heritage there aren’t many opportunities to use this ability. Definitely grab Cold Ice Strike as one of your 6th level spells, though- it’s phenomenal with this revelation.

Ice Armor (** or ****): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording clearly states that you “conjure armor of ice” which should technically qualify as a target for Magic Vestment, though your DM may disagree. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, but weighs nothing and is a great choice for the lower strength of most caster types. DR 5/piercing is just a fun added bonus. If your DM rules against enchanting this with Magic Vestment it might still be worth it, but will be outpaced by a Breastplate most of your career. Be aware that the ambiguous natures of “very hot” and “very cold” are likely to cause some issues with interpretation.

Icy Skin (**): Cold is a common type of elemental attack, and this ability scales with level. I’m not sure it’s particularly worth it, but it saves it from being terrible.

Punitive Transformation (****): Baleful polymorph is a wickedly powerful debuff for a normal caster. Slapping it into the hands of an oracle with a scaling DC and more uses than the average druid (and two levels sooner, too) gives the Waves oracle a keen tool to disable the toughest opponent in combat while you pick off its allies. The only problem you’re likely to face is that this ability targets fortitude.

Water Form (* or ***): There’s no official ruling as to whether or not an elemental has the ability to cast spells, so it’s up to your DM. If your DM says no, this ability is downright useless. If your DM says yes, it’s a great and groovy boon that offers some decent defenses and style points by the bucket.

Water Sight (***): If you’re interested in playing the Controller role, this ability lets you use Obscuring Mist without remorse. Later on it becomes a scrying spell with no material component. Very useful. Arcane Eldritch Heritage oracles should consider picking up Fog Cloud or Solid Fog as well.

Wintry Touch (**): Worth considering at very low levels if your stats don’t favor the use of a weapon, but I don’t see this getting much use later on. At level 11 you can transfer the frost ability to a weapon if you get bored, and that’s always fun.

Wind: Controller, Blaster, Textbook

Skills (****): You’ll need to invest in Fly more than other oracles because of your wings, but stealth is a positive addition to this list when paired with Invisibility.

Bonus Spells (***): The spell list is really heavy on control spells and perhaps a bit too situational for its own good, but it’s still a strong list.

Air Barrier (***): Early on it’s equivalent to a chain shirt, so don’t bother. At level 13 this ability really becomes a solid choice, offering 50% concealment vs. everything ranged for essentially the entire adventuring day. It’s also rocking a +8 armor bonus at this point, so you may consider ditching your breastplate if those armor check penalties are getting in the way.

Gaseous Form (**): Gaseous form is a decent way to get to high places, or through small cracks, or avoid getting your butt handed back to you. But in terms of combat it’s a poor choice because you really can’t do anything while nebulous and without limbs. It’s best aspect, flight, is surpassed by the 7th level entry, Wings of Air.

Invisibility (***): Everyone can agree that invisibility is a good thing to have, right? It’s minute per level duration and ability to be used across several sessions intensifies the greatness of this ability. Later on it becomes Greater Invisibility with a markedly shorter duration, and requires a standard action to activate. It’s still good, but not quite great.

Lightning Breath (**): A few times per day you get a 30’ cone of lame damage? Yawn.

Spark Skin (**): Electricity damage isn’t particularly unheard of, and the resistance scales, so it’s got some use.

Thunderburst (**): It’s got a decent range, mediocre damage, and might apply the deafened debuff. Deaf is fair against casters with verbal components, but they still have an 80% chance to muck up your weekend. It’s uses are too few to really make this a recommendation.

Touch of Electricity (**): Useful early on, but that’s about it. You might break this out after it starts applying its damage to weapons, but maybe not.

Vortex Spells (*): This is neat, but there aren’t many cleric spells that require an attack roll to succeed. Additionally, most spells will only crit on a natural 20, making this even more of a hedge case.

Wind Sight (****): You could really cause some trouble with this one. Grab this ability after 7th level and use it to quickly scout dungeons while standing in the corridor.

Wings of Air (****): Of course the Wind oracle is superior when it comes to flight. Grab this immediately and never look back. Perfect flight grants a +8 to fly checks, meaning that you’ll need to invest fewer points in the fly skill to hover.

Wood: Warrior, Controller, Textbook

Skills (***): Knowledge (Nature) is a good skill, but the rest feel a bit like dead weight.

Bonus Spells (****): This is a very solid list. Shillelagh is a solid buff early on, and Barkskin is worth casting all the way to 20. You gain the druid’s teleport, Tree Stride, and a pair of options to conjure wooden servants. Minor creation is awesome even with its limitations if you’re the clever sort. The only real problem area is Ironwood, which won’t be used often enough to be worth its space, and Transmute Metal to Wood, which may be of limited use. Still, those two spells interact very well with each other (magical ironwood equipment, anyone?) as well as some of the revelations.

Bend the Grain (**): You gain the use of a couple spells that, quite frankly, aren’t very good. Warp wood is ambiguously worded but could be worth it on enemy equipment, and wood shape is just the poor man’s stone shape. Repel wood interacts well with Transmute Metal to Wood, but requires some very specific battlefield setups to be worth the effort to use. After all that the uses are too few to get excited about, but certain players could find some value here.

Lignification (**): This is the perfect example of a great revelation marred by a low number of uses per day. This ability will take an enemy out of the fight for a minimum of 5 rounds when you get it, but you only get one use until 15th level. Oh, and it targets fortitude, so you’re best off aiming this at an arcanist.

Speak with Wood (****): It may not look like it, but this is a really useful ability. Wood is everywhere, and you can divide your uses up to really strike up a conversation with just about anything. Ask a weapon who it’s owners were. Ask a holy symbol what the caster was doing with it. Ask a floorboard if a particular person came through here recently. Ask a door to describe the person staying in that room. Once you get Transmute Metal to Wood you’ve got a whole new set of things that are suddenly really chatty.

Thorn Burst (***): It’s got a poor range and poor damage, as well as a nearly useless caltrop effect. The only thing this blast has going for it is the fact that it’s activated as a swift action, which bumps it to green (but only just barely). If you’re looking for bonus damage think about picking this up after 10th level when you get more than 2 uses per day.

Tree Form (*): Tree shape is really dumb. I can see why you might be interested in it from a thematic standpoint, but in practice it’s at best a camping spell. Then you get the ability to take the shape of plant creatures, which should be cool right? Not so much. Plant Shape is among the worst in the line of polymorph spells based on the simple fact that the worthwhile aspects of plant creatures are almost never transferred with the spells. At least a druid still has spellcasting going for her when she decides to go all Treant on her enemies. You don’t even get that.

Wood Armor (** or ****): Early on it’s duration is far too short to consider as anything other than a backup, but after level 7 it starts to become a decent choice. The wording clearly states that you “conjure wooden armor” which should technically qualify as a target for Magic Vestment, though your DM may disagree. This armor paces level-appropriate plate if enchanted with Magic Vestment, but weighs nothing and is a great choice for the lower strength of most caster types. DR 5/slashing is just a fun added bonus. If your DM rules against enchanting this with Magic Vestment it might still be worth it, but will be outpaced by a Breastplate most of your career.

Wood Bond (****): Subtle but very effective. This singular ability shores up the gap between you and a full BAB class, minus the last attack. But who cares about a -15 attack, anyways?

Wood Sight (**): This ability is nice, but it would be much stronger on a druid who has the ability to conjure up great masses of wood. On you it’s just a passingly good ability and probably worth learning, but only if you get a few tricks to pair up with it.

Wood Weapon (****): This ability is excellent! For the first six levels its eligible to be buffed with Shillelagh, and then later on gains the keen property which really puts these simple weapons on par with your standard martial weapon. You already want to stick with wooden weapons because of Wood Bond, and this ability lets you conjure up your very own whenever you need it. Spectacular.

Woodland Stride (**): A thematically appropriate but ultimately mediocre ability. In campaigns that favor a lot of outdoor travel this could be of more use, but it’s quite specific in its application.

Deviations of the Divine: 

No two oracles are created the same, and that’s more true than ever with the addition of archetypes. The archetypes make a lot of choices for you, apply additional penalties to your character, and offer new and unique options beyond traditional mysteries. Some are also “mystery lite,” allowing you to conceptually combine two mysteries like Lore or Heavens with your personal favorite.

Ancient Lorekeeper (Elf):  Warrior, Controller, Enabler, Blaster, Socialite, Medic, Textbook

Skills (****): Two knowledge skills, one of which is one of the “big four” so this is a solidly good. Plus you get a free bonus on any kind of knowledge check if it somehow relates to elves. Considering how prolific the elves are, I don’t see this being an issue to use.

Elven Arcana (****): Oh my god, this is amazing. The biggest issue with bonus spells is that even though some lists are great, they’re still predefined. The best lists offer good spells from other class lists to round out your abilities. So what you’re looking at here is quite possibly the greatest oracle archetype available. You trade away all of your mystery’s spells for ones of your choice. They’re treated as one level higher but that’s a very small price to pay to be the only oracle who’s cherry-picking her favorite wizard spells and casting them as divine. This here is everything the Mystic Theurge should have been and more. The only true downside is that you’re stuck with a cantrip in your 1st level bonus spell slot.

Community Guardian (Halfling):  Enabler, Medic, Textbook

Skills (****): Perception is great, and Knowledge (local) is worth a few points as well.

Bonus Spells (*): Wow, this list is awful. Just a series of marginally useful corner cases. Heroes’ Feast might be of some use, but good luck with the rest.

Spirit of Community (**): Sort of like a lesser Inspire Competence that requires everyone to give up their bonus to help a single ally out. And you’re forced to take this as your first revelation.

Renewing Radiance (*): This doesn’t have a listed action, which means that it defaults to a standard action, which further means that it’s not as great as it might have been. The healing this provides will be very significant at 3rd level when you’re forced to take this, but it quickly becomes useless. Even the tiny boost to AC won’t matter when a full caster is giving up her standard action to heal about a dozen hitpoints or offset a flanking bonus. Oh, and it’s once per day, so you’re really going to struggle with this oracle at lower levels.

Dual Cursed Oracle:  Controller

Oracle’s Curse (*): You have to take two curses, but one of them never improves. That’s really, really rough.

Bonus Spells (***): Ill omen is a no-save debuff that requires the target roll twice and take the lower roll 1-5 times, but they can negate it by spending a move action. It’s never particularly amazing unless you’re only fighting a single enemy, but the fact that it’s no save and has a scaling effect means you’ll be enjoying this curse for your entire career. Oracle’s Burden generally isn’t worth the time it takes to cast, though it has the potential to be more worth it for you. For instance, if you took both the clouded vision and deaf curses. In which case, why do you hate fun?? Bestow Curse is fun for creative types and lenient DMs, but the prepackaged curses are just as good.

Revelations (****): You gain two additional revelations over the course of your oracle levels with no restrictions. This is pure, shiny gold. You even get a few new options!

Misfortune (****): Oh my god, this is amazing. As an immediate action you cause any creature, friend or foe, to reroll a single d20. Sure, it’s only once per day for each creature, but it only costs a swift action, doesn’t allow a save, and has unlimited uses. Wag your finger at your DM every time he says “Crit!” or an ally fumbles an important roll.

Fortune (****): Rerolls are a very powerful thing in Pathfinder, and this one isn’t even specific beyond it needing to be a d20. You’ll gain another one every few levels, meaning that you won’t fail (as often) on the really important rolls.

Enlightened Philosopher:  Enabler, Textbook

Alignment Restriction (**): Ok, it won’t destroy most character concepts, but alignment restrictions are never something to get excited about. It’s just one way to chip away at your freedoms. Fight the man! Most oracles won’t mind this restriction, but the chaotically inclined (like myself) are going to be frustrated.

Skills (****): Linguistics is thematic but ultimately useless. All of the knowledge skills are amazing.

Bonus Spells (**): You only keep your 2nd level spell, and replace the rest with this truly bland list. Owl’s Wisdom, Water Walk, and Discern Lies aren’t likely to see much play in the average campaign. In fact, the spell list doesn’t even start getting good until the halfway mark. True Seeing and Astral Projection both have material component costs, and Wind Walk is almost certainly better on a scroll (it’s a cleric spell anyways). Ethereal Jaunt and Moment of Prescience are both solid spells worth their space.

Mental Acuity (**): Intelligence is great! But not really for you. It can slowly help your knowledge skills, and it’ll start granting bonus skill points by level 10 if you’ve got an even int score, so that’s something.

Planar Oracle:  Enabler, Socialite, Textbook

Bonus Spells (**): Wow, this just straight up replaces your entire spell list, but not in a good way. In a game with an eye towards planar travel this could be very very good, but for your average player half the list may not ever see use. You’ll get Planar adaptation before it’s useful, and Plane Shift before you can protect your allies. Elemental Speech gives you the ability to talk to things that potentially don’t have language, so that’s fun. At least the list ends strong with Shadow Walk, Etherealness, and Gate.

Planar Resistance (**): Nothing says mediocrity like being forced to take energy resistance that doesn’t even have the decency to properly scale like all of the other energy resistance revelations.

Possessed Oracle:  Warrior, Controller, Enabler, Socialite

Oracle’s Curse (***): You have to choose between Haunted and Tongues, but those are both really good options and you should have been considering them anyways. Telekinesis is already on your spell list here, so that lessens the beauty of Haunted (but reverse gravity is still awesome!).

Bonus Spells (***): Sort of a mixed bag here. Ventriloquism is as useless as ever, but Spider Climb is the spelunker’s Fly. Screech is fantastic for Warrior sorts. You’re going to struggle to get any use out of Sleepwalk, but Animate Objects is fun of beauty and the beast proportions. Divine Vessel is a really solid buff, just so long as you aren’t true neutral.

Two Minds (**): It’s pretty lame until 7th level, but since it’s your starting revelation that’s a strike against it. On the whole this is probably a green ability, particularly with the usefulness of retrying a failed will save. But until level 7 it sucks pretty good, and it hurts the strength of your character the whole time.

Purifier (Aasimar):  Warrior, Controller, Enabler, Socialite, Medic

Spells (*): These are a lot of spells that aren’t on your spell list, but unfortunately they’re so specifically narrow in their focus that most days you won’t find a use for these. Seriously, you might not ever use a few of these at all. Confess might get some use in a social campaign, and Denounce could be fun for starting riots in town, but nothing else shines here.

Diminished Spellcasting (*): Losing the cure or inflict spells isn’t awful, though it sucks. The real issue here is that you’re losing a spell per level, which puts you firmly behind those snooty clerics.

See Sin (*): It’s a bonus to sensing enchantments which aren’t particularly common and really aren’t that hard to make. They cap at 25, which means that if you’re investing ranks here you’ll overcome the DC before your teens. You also gain the same bonus on spellcraft checks for a very select subset of the enchantment school. Awful.

Celestial Armor (****): It’s not flashy, but it’s a very nice bonus. This will keep you both mobile and protected throughout your career.

Sin Eater (*): Curses/enchantments/emotion spells are so rare that being able to use this multiple times per day just isn’t exciting. The worst part of this whole ability is that dispel magic gets rid of half of the abilities, greater dispel magic gets rid of the other half (available 1 level later at 12th), and neither leave the oracle sickened or require a melee touch.

Sacred Scourge (**): Specifically only hurts outsiders, but it does a good job of laying down the hurt. Too bad it’s only effective against outsiders.

Holy Terror (**): You’re really great against evil outsiders. This is useless against everything else.

Celestial Master (***): Something about this ability strikes me as kinda evil, but fluff aside, this is amazing. Pair this with the Planar Ally series and you’ll only have to worry about the initial payment  (500-2500gp) because you can enslave the minion when it arrives. I mean persuade. With magical shackles of goodness. Or something. The only thing keeping this from blue is that you’ll still need to spend a lot of cash to really make this ability worth it. On its own you’re unlikely to find celestials just wandering around, and if you’re decent with diplomacy it’s even less like that they wouldn’t want to help you.

Reincarnated Oracle (Samsaran):  Controller, Textbook

Oracle’s Curse (****): Limiting your options sucks, but these are both good curses to choose.

Bonus Spells (***): An odd mix of spells. See alignment probably won’t be much use, and Contact Other Plane is so awful you’d be a fool to ever use it- and probably more of a fool afterwards with your severe penalties to intelligence and charisma. Detect Thoughts works as a fantastic mental radar. Moment of Prescience means you’ll never fail another check you really want to make (barring natural 1s, of course), and Overwhelming Presence is great for any oracle so obviously it’s good for you.

Location Memories (***): Scent and low-light vision on demand for the low cost of a swift action. You can use it a lot, too.  Even better is that you can put this off until 3rd level so that you’ll start with something useful.

Spirit Memories (***): This is a really poorly written mystery. It’s listed as both once per day and a number of times per day equal to 3+your charisma modifier. Maybe it’s both? I dunno. Perhaps once per day you can activate this ability and then make a number of attacks equal to 3+cha. Either way, it’s pretty decent for an attack. Gaze attacks use the attack action when used against a single creature, so you’ll gain more uses per round as your BAB rises. Staggered is a pretty great debuff, and is better when mixed with sickened.

Seer: Textbook

Bonus Spells (***): If you enjoy divination types, this is a really great list. If you’re a little less subtle in your playstyle this list is likely to frustrate you. But this is a seer, so we’ll assume the former. Legend Lore is wasted space with its stupidly long casting time, and Foresight never quite feels worth a 9th level spell. Still, if knowing things is what you like to do, this will let you do it.

Natural Divination (****): A very versatile and powerful ability that puts you a full head and shoulders above the competition when you need it. Taking it at first level isn’t awesome because of its limited uses per day, but it’s still a really great revelation.

Gift of Prophesy (***): Once per day, yuck. This ability gives you access to three decent spells that essentially allow you to quiz your DM about whatever you like. It’s a very thematically appropriate choice for the Seer, and this is probably the sort of thing you’re looking to do anyways, so it gets a boost in its rating.

Shigenjo (Tengu):  Warrior, Blaster, Textbook

Alignment (***): It’s limiting, but no worse than the druids have. You’ll find something you like.         

Skills (****): Hawkward- the Shigenjo adds both religion and planes to her class list, except that she’s already got them from the base oracle package. Still, knowledge (nature) is a great addition and survival is nice enough.

Bonus Spells (***): True strike is the sort of spell you take Quicken Spell for later in your career, and the others are nice as well. Alter Self is great for disguises and easy bonuses. It’s not hard to find natural weapons, a swim speed, or any sort of vision you’re looking for. Divine Power shows up at exactly the time you should be picking up Blessing of Fervor, which puts you in an awkward position. Magic Jar has potential but requires a lot of setup to really be worth its space. Ki shout is awesome if you can get the stun to take. Moment of prescience is again amazing.

Ki Pool (****): Despite having a slower rate of growth than other ki classes, the oracle will never struggle to have a large pool. You’ll probably spend most of your points boosting your DCs. All tengu will benefit from the Ki strike ability with their beak attack, and some might even choose to pursue a natural attack routine with the claws available as an alternate racial trait.

Quivering Palm (**): It kinda sucks for the monk, and it kinda sucks for you. Luckily you don’t have to take this ability, and I really recommend you don’t.

Stargazer: Controller, Blaster, Textbook

Skills (****): Perception and Knowledge (Nature) make this an amazing choice. Survival is here if you want it.

Bonus Spells (**): This list suffers from repetition, but at least two of the spells are good. Faerie Fire is useful when it is, which is to say not often enough. Glitterdust is an AoE blind that also does everything Faerie Fire does for a shorter time. Guiding Star just doesn’t seem worth it with how little it’s providing you. Wandering Star Motes is a fantastic debuff that jumps around each time an enemy shrugs it off. And we finish up with a bland blast that deals fire damage at 9th level.

Guiding Star (**): This is a really specific criteria to meet before you can get the benefits of this ability. Then, you get to add your charisma modifier to all wisdom based checks (let’s face it: it’s probably just going to be perception checks) and modify a spell with one of several metamagic feats. There are a lot of tricky things you could do with this, but the limitations of once per day and outdoors under the night sky really hamper it.

Star Chart (**): Once per day, yuck. This ability gives you access to a decent spell that essentially allows you to quiz your DM about whatever you like. It can be very useful for some players/characters, but most will likely find it lacking compared to the other revelations.