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Anachronistic Adventurers: The Investigator (PFRPG) PDF

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“At length, sick with longing for those glittering sunset streets and cryptical hill lanes among ancient tiled roofs, nor able sleeping or waking to drive them from his mind, Carter resolved to go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before, and dare the icy deserts through the dark to where unknown Kadath, veiled in cloud and crowned with unimagined stars, holds secret and nocturnal the onyx castle of the Great Ones.”
—H.P. Lovecraft, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

The investigator is a searcher for answers, a solver of riddles, and an explorer of the unknown. While many investigators fall into the broad category of “detective,” the class can be used to represent anyone skilled at gathering information, forming theories, and applying knowledge gained in new and innovative ways. Reporters who seek to uncover the truth, scientists who wish to discover the fundamental laws of nature, inventors who want to create new devices, and even physicians who seek to understand diseases and heal the sick are all examples of investigators. Investigators apply knowledge and intelligence the way warriors apply brute force, as their primary tool in overcoming challenges. In so doing, they are often able to solve an extremely broad range of problems.

Of course investigators are often asking questions others would prefer go unanswered. Such inquiries can make enemies, and often have consequences. Occasionally tracking down murderers in the dark alleys of Whitechapel, deciphering Babylonian books bound in human skin, experimenting with alien technology, or asking too many questions about mysterious cults, create such bizarre consequences the investigators end up in fantasy realms where the mysteries are far more deadly, and the resources at their disposal much more primitive.

The “modern” person of great education and intellect being stuck in a more primitive, fantasy-themed world is a common trope in a great deal of adventure fiction, especially the “time travel adventure fiction” more common in the early part of the 20th century than today, but still very popular with a wide range of gamers (and game writers). The investigator is the second in a line of Anachronistic Adventurers products designed to provide rules for running modern (or near-modern) heroes in a typical fantasy roleplaying game setting. While it’s impossible to address every possible issue that might arise for such characters (can the adherent of a modern, real-world religion become a cleric?), each product in the line will look at one area where the modern and fantasy realms are most likely to overlap and give guidance for running heroic anachronisms.

We also discuss some rules useful in dealing with the detective tropes common to fiction in a number of genres, including gathering clues, preventing investigations from taking over a campaign, making sure a bad die roll never brings a mystery adventure to a total standstill, and the advantages of advanced scientific knowledge. Finally we touch on the idea of Progress Levels (PL), a simple way to determine the general technological advancement of a campaign (and outlined in more detail in Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer).

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Great Class

*****

Really gives you a great way to create a super fun and flavorful detective. Great product!!


Hot candidate for my favorite PFRPG-class ever

*****

This pdf is 23 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 21 1/3 pages of content for the second class in SGG's Anachronistic Adventurers-line, so let's check this out!

The Investigator is a new base-class for men of our world stranded in a medieval fantasy setting. It gets 3/4 BAB, d8, 7+Int skills per level and a good fort-save. Apart from these basics, though, the class gets access to so-called investigator talents and an archetype at first level, i.e. a sub-section of the class that offers some abilities and makes sure that the base-class is more like a conglomerate of classes.

The investigators can choose from a vast selection of 31 different investigator talents that range from rather mundane "Get proficiency in weapon-class" and use INT instead of stat X to truly awesome ideas - Essentially granting the investigator the ability to track enemies, analyze crime scenes to deduce clues about the killer etc. - all while keeping the Dm in control and providing simply STELLAR ways for both player and DM to cooperate to keep an adventure from running into a dead-end.

Now, if you want to go full-blown Sherlock Holmes on your foes, the Great Detective archetype (with 6 special talents) is just what you've been looking for, as it provides smooth ways for investigative leaps of brilliant deduction. Need a Watson for your Holmes? The medical examiner (with 7 exclusive talents) is the stellar healer or the insane doctor - Even better, the class lends itself in excellent ways to campaigns without divine healing. Awesome! The final archetype gets no exclusive talents, but comes with awesome rules - the inventor can create items that go beyond what would usually be possible in a given time-period. The complex and yet easy to understand rules for inventions balance them with costs etc. and make for an excellent example of SGG's mastery of rules.

Due to the problems often encountered when running investigations in e.g. PFRPG or CoC (Trail of Cthulhu does it great!), the pdf also covers a LOT of useful advice for running investigations and...provides research rules! GOOD research rules. Essentially, Knowledge checks correspond to a complexity DC and a depth. The complexity check is lower than the knowledge check and for every point by which you surpass the complexity DC, you detract the same amount from the depth. Once the depth-score is gone, you get your results as if you had found the answer via other ways. I really love the way in which these simple, yet concise and versatile rules enable you to create suspenseful scenarios in which the PCs are browsing tomes! We also get sample statblocks for 5 different libraries, rules for advanced forensic kits and a short discussion of different progress levels.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard by SGG and the b/w-artworks are neat. The pdf comes with no bookmarks, which is a minor downer. That's it. All the criticism I can muster of this pdf - basically, the pdf has been made for me, featuring great rules for bringing investigators to your PFRPG-game and adding detective-elements to your story. The class is excellent and surpasses even the enforcer and if you add to that the stellar investigation-rules, you get... my very favorite SGG-class. Yep. I prefer this one over the Time Thief. This class might be my personal benchmark for the ultimate fusion of hard crunch and fluff-based abilities, marrying concise rules with genius ideas and cool research-rules. I'm a Cthulhu-fanboy and have run a lot of CoC and ToC-modules and this pdf makes some of the ideas that make these scenarios more versatile/different from dungeon-crawling work in PFRPG and open thus a whole world of scenarios to scavenge ideas and convert modules from. Class: A+. Additional rules: A+. Customizable Anachronistic Archetypes: A+: Final verdict: 5 stars, Endzeitgeist seal of approval - Both SGG and RiP have opened 2012 with stellar pdfs that have a very good chance of ending up on my top-10-2012-list. If the idea of an investigator even remotely intrigues you, check this out - Owen K.C. Stephens has surpassed his usual excellent quality in this one!

Endzeitgeist out.


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