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The Investigator's Grand Turnabout: N. Jolly's guide-addendum to the Pathfinder Investigator


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Silver Crusade

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OBJECTION!

This is the start of a guide I promised a year ago, but due to the style of it, I won't consider it a 'true' guide. It's more a supplement to the 'Investigator expansion pack', as I'm considering it. Both Investigator and Alchemist are very similar, and as such, there'd be a lot of repeated words. So rather than simply repeating constantly, these guides will be linked in the sense that some Investigator info will be links to the Alchemist guide.

It won't be an entire retreading, as there is a lot of things that make the Investigator special, and while some full sections (extracts, for instance) will be completely linked, I will take those sections to include tips and tricks from uses and integrate them into the guide, giving credit to the creators of those particular tricks.

As of now, this is still a work in progress, as I just started it again today. I'll be working on it on and off as time goes on, and I'd love feedback on this as well as what you'd like to see included, since these are as much your guides as they are mine.

Have fun with this, and if I keep staying in this spirit, I might actually update some of my other guides (maybe someday, synthesis summoner...someday...)

Silver Crusade

Starting feats now, I might be making this into a full guide later, but for the life of me, I can't validate re-reviewing Extracts. I might do traits again later though.

Liberty's Edge

You note under Studied Combat the inability to target the same person twice in a day. That's not strictly true, it just costs Inspiration to do so.

Which still isn't ideal, but can definitely save your ass in an emergency.

Also, you list Quick Study as available at 3rd. It isn't available until 5th.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

You note under Studied Combat the inability to target the same person twice in a day. That's not strictly true, it just costs Inspiration to do so.

Which still isn't ideal, but can definitely save your ass in an emergency.

Also, you list Quick Study as available at 3rd. It isn't available until 5th.

Huh, didn't see either of those. Good catches, and they're changed now.

There seems to be a decent amount of people on the guide, a little shocked I'm not getting more feedback. Maybe it's because all my guides are perfect forever? Yeah, that's gotta be it.

Let me know if there's anything anyone wants covered in more detail so I can make sure to give it a good section.


Ima look through it when I have the chance. Though right away the phoenix wright bit amuses me.


Just wanted to say I love your Guides N. Jolly, and I am excited to see what you think of the Investigator as your guide comes together.


Any opinions on using a shortbow? I'm considering a character with a shortbow+ranged study+Inspired weapon property.

Silver Crusade

TarkXT wrote:
Ima look through it when I have the chance. Though right away the phoenix wright bit amuses me.

I saw you wrote one up too, I'll have to give it a look. It looks a lot nicer than mine, I'll give it that. Although since you took Holmes, I had to go for my favorite ACE investigator.

ShroudedInLight wrote:
Just wanted to say I love your Guides N. Jolly, and I am excited to see what you think of the Investigator as your guide comes together.

Glad to hear it, I'm honestly thinking of doing some crowd funding, and if I do and it goes through, I might set up goals to make sure that I put out more guides for you guys, since I do enjoy writing them for the community.

As for Investigator thoughts, I like it less than the Alch, but it's still very much a fun class.

Rowe wrote:
Any opinions on using a shortbow? I'm considering a character with a shortbow+ranged study+Inspired weapon property.

I haven't checked out the 'Inspired' property, I'll have to do that later, but as I've stated before, it's a hard slog of feats to make a ranged investigator works, which is just a damn shame, since it seems like it'd be super cool.

Working on feats now, currently trying to solve an issue, let me know if anyone has an answer: Is there anyway to allow weapon finesse to work for a sawtooth sabre? I'd rather not have to eat a -4 to each swing to use two 1 handed weapons (probably scimitars) for two weapon fighting.

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
Working on feats now, currently trying to solve an issue, let me know if anyone has an answer: Is there anyway to allow weapon finesse to work for a sawtooth sabre? I'd rather not have to eat a -4 to each swing to use two 1 handed weapons (probably scimitars) for two weapon fighting.

A one level dip in Swashbuckler followed by the Slashing Grace Feat does this and gives Dex to damage to boot. It does require both the dip and the Feat, but the dip does also give Opportune Parry and Riposte, which isn't bad at all even with a terrible Panache pool.

And you should definitely check out the Inspired Weapon Property. It's actually really good.

And ranged Inquisitor looks buildable as a human...just really Feat intensive:

1: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot,
3: Rapid Shot
5: Weapon Focus (Shortbow)
7: Ranged Study
9: Manyshot
11: Deadly Aim or Clustered Shots
13: The one not taken at 11

Sovereign Court

@Jolly:

You might find THIS useful, if only as another take on quite a few items that investigators could craft for cheap.


Seething Hatred doesn't work for investigators, since they don't have the studied target class feature. It probably shouldn't be rated blue. :p

Sovereign Court

Aratrok wrote:
Seething Hatred doesn't work for investigators, since they don't have the studied target class feature. It probably shouldn't be rated blue. :p

I just noticed the same thing. Studied Target is for Slayers.

Anyway, what I'd really like to see is a handful of builds; for example a Dex build.

Grand Lodge

Since the guide have not finish the multiclassing yet, I tried a low-level Investigator with 1 level of Inspired Blade swashbuckler, and turn out to be a great choice: planty of bonus feats in Lv1 (and we have Fencing Grace now); Int can supply on both inspiration and panache; opportune parry saved me twice, and tiny bit of BAB gain.

And BTW,Investigator still not counted as spellcaster like his big brother Alchemist?

Spoiler:
In Fact I just want to build a LICH Pro. Moriarty to scare people :P

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

A one level dip in Swashbuckler followed by the Slashing Grace Feat does this and gives Dex to damage to boot. It does require both the dip and the Feat, but the dip does also give Opportune Parry and Riposte, which isn't bad at all even with a terrible Panache pool.

And you should definitely check out the Inspired Weapon Property. It's actually really good.

Man, dipping swashbuckler to help get a stat to damage, seems kinda familiar...kinda REALLY familiar...looks like Fighter/Swashbuckler will be the preeminent dip for a lot of these classes.

Also yeah, Inspired is pretty hype.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

And ranged Inquisitor looks buildable as a human...just really Feat intensive:

1: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot,
3: Rapid Shot
5: Weapon Focus (Shortbow)
7: Ranged Study
9: Manyshot
11: Deadly Aim or Clustered Shots
13: The one not taken at 11

Oh god, a style that only truly goes online at 7th level, that's totally something to design a character around. I do accept WHY it does, since static damage from Studied Combat makes ranged combat even more powerful, but man is it sad seeing all those feats laid out like that. I'd probably put Rapid Shot to 7, and drop WP (Shortbow) and RS to 3/5, but aside from that, this looks like the only way you can make this work.

Ascalaphus wrote:

@Jolly:

You might find THIS useful, if only as another take on quite a few items that investigators could craft for cheap.

Oh cool, an expanded guide for alchemical items. I had a smaller section for it in my alch guide, but it's nice seeing it in more detail. I'll make sure to check this out.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Seething Hatred doesn't work for investigators, since they don't have the studied target class feature. It probably shouldn't be rated blue. :p

I just noticed the same thing. Studied Target is for Slayers.

Anyway, what I'd really like to see is a handful of builds; for example a Dex build.

Look, it said study, investigators study, I put 2 and 2 together, and it made 5. Took that out now though, no more faulty info.

And while I normally dislike putting up sample builds, for a new class I recognize the value of it, so I'll probably do 2/3, not sure if I'll do progressions or just straight characters, which one would you all prefer more?

Sha-dow wrote:

Since the guide have not finish the multiclassing yet, I tried a low-level Investigator with 1 level of Inspired Blade swashbuckler, and turn out to be a great choice: planty of bonus feats in Lv1 (and we have Fencing Grace now); Int can supply on both inspiration and panache; opportune parry saved me twice, and tiny bit of BAB gain.

And BTW,Investigator still not counted as spellcaster like his big brother Alchemist?

Yeah, it seems like Swashing buckles is going to be an investigator standard. I'm not huge on swash being so vital to a dex investigator, but who am I to argue? And yeah, for some strange reason, investigators, much like alchemist, aren't spellcasters. The world we live in is fraught with disappointment.

Just finished feats, going to do a "best of" for extracts, might split them between dex/str, not sure yet, just looking for sweet PW pictures now, everything else is secondary.

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
Man, dipping swashbuckler to help get a stat to damage, seems kinda familiar...kinda REALLY familiar...looks like Fighter/Swashbuckler will be the preeminent dip for a lot of these classes.

Yeah, definitely the way to go if you're gonna dip. A level of Daring Champion Cavalier also works in theory for this particular use, and helps with Fort Saves, though it loses out on Panache when used as a dip.

Inspired Blade is the best dip for an Investigator of all, but that pretty much necessitates rapier use, and thus not the best choice for TWF.

N. Jolly wrote:
Also yeah, Inspired is pretty hype.

It's very nice. :)

N. Jolly wrote:
Oh god, a style that only truly goes online at 7th level, that's totally something to design a character around. I do accept WHY it does, since static damage from Studied Combat makes ranged combat even more powerful, but man is it sad seeing all those feats laid out like that. I'd probably put Rapid Shot to 7, and drop WP (Shortbow) and RS to 3/5, but aside from that, this looks like the only way you can make this work.

Yep. That's the Feat list needed. It's a really strict build. At least it doesn't actually require a specific talent layout...

N. Jolly wrote:
Yeah, it seems like Swashing buckles is going to be an investigator standard. I'm not huge on swash being so vital to a dex investigator, but who am I to argue?

I'd argue that it isn't really a necessity, as long as you use a rapier. As a Human, you can have Fencing Grace by 3rd level, no dips. Even as a non-human, you can get it by 5th.

Inspired Blade does save you two Feats, but it also delays Extract and Studied Target progression (and all other Investigator specific stuff)...it's debatable which way is better, but Swashbuckler certainly isn't strictly necessary.


Depending on the build daring champion might be the better choice. Doesn't give panache, yes but it gives a teamwork feat (might be good or not depending on group), it gives challenge, medium armor (mithral breastplate anyone?)

Liberty's Edge

Umbranus wrote:
Depending on the build daring champion might be the better choice. Doesn't give panache, yes but it gives a teamwork feat (might be good or not depending on group), it gives challenge, medium armor (mithral breastplate anyone?)

Yup. Daring Champion is solid, though I still think that in general Inspire Blade is the best Investigator dip option for a Dex-build if you're willing to go Rapier.

Sovereign Court

Inspired Swashbuckler dip is hilariously good. Suddenly it's obvious how to do the Dex build.

I suppose pure rapier is actually quite okay; you don't really want two hands full with two weapons anyway, you want one free hand for guzzling extracts or pulling wands.

The nice thing about going Dex-rapier is that a Spring Attack build becomes much less MAD.

Liberty's Edge

Ascalaphus wrote:
Inspired Swashbuckler dip is hilariously good. Suddenly it's obvious how to do the Dex build.

Eh. If going Human, I'd still be inclined to go pure Investigator, to be honest.

It's definitely the best available dip, though.

Ascalaphus wrote:
I suppose pure rapier is actually quite okay; you don't really want two hands full with two weapons anyway, you want one free hand for guzzling extracts or pulling wands.

And you can grab a buckler for a whole bunch of extra AC (or at least saved Extracts of Shield and buff actions). Really it's very solid.

Ascalaphus wrote:
The nice thing about going Dex-rapier is that a Spring Attack build becomes much less MAD.

This is true.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Much like others above in the thread, I've made an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1 / Investigator but decided to take it even further down the near single stat build and go Empiricist. Support that with the Student of Philosophy trait and nearly everything you do is based off of Int. It's just wicked good.

[Fun Fact: Even if you totally dump Charisma as an Inspired Blade, you will still get a minimum of 1 Panache from your Cha in addition to an amount equal to your Int! Free Panache!]

The downside to Inspired Blade is that you can only regain Panache via rapier crit's. Kills don't help so you'll want to make your rapier Keen if possible. You will want the feat Fencing Grace from Advanced Class Origins for Dex to damage and should strongly consider Weapon Versatility from Undead Slayer's Guide to be able to switch the rapier's damage from piercing to slashing or bludgeoning on the fly since it's going to be your primary weapon for a looooong while.

Sovereign Court

I've been eyeing Student of Philosophy as well, but I'm a bit uncertain on an aspect of it.

Student of Philosophy wrote:
You were trained in a nowdefunct philosophical tradition—such as that of the nowdestroyed Galtan universities or Lirgeni astrologers—and learned to use logic and reason to persuade others. You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Diplomacy checks to persuade others and on Bluff checks to convince others that a lie is true. (This trait does not affect Diplomacy checks to gather information or Bluff checks to feint in combat.)

Does this only apply to Diplomacy to make requests, or also to improve attitude?

Liberty's Edge

Ascalaphus wrote:

I've been eyeing Student of Philosophy as well, but I'm a bit uncertain on an aspect of it.

Student of Philosophy wrote:
You were trained in a nowdefunct philosophical tradition—such as that of the nowdestroyed Galtan universities or Lirgeni astrologers—and learned to use logic and reason to persuade others. You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Diplomacy checks to persuade others and on Bluff checks to convince others that a lie is true. (This trait does not affect Diplomacy checks to gather information or Bluff checks to feint in combat.)
Does this only apply to Diplomacy to make requests, or also to improve attitude?

Seems like both, at least to me. The explicit mention of what it doesn't effect seems to make that pretty clear.


i've been playing an inspired blade/empyrisists for a bit of time now:

pros:
it has AMAZING to hit:
-he deals consistent damage
-can parry quite good despite 3/4 bab
-not getting panache out of kills is annoying, and will limit your parry/ripostes, but this is much more apparent in lower levels that 1-2 hits can kill an enemy

i mostly made him a skill monkey:
-almost all of my skills use INT which is my primary stat
-amazing number of skill points
-so far using inspirations on skills instead of attack/damage cause i dont have enough "use inspiration on X for free talents"

dex mutagen at char lvl4 was almost mandatory, delays infusion to 5th lvl instead of 3rd lvl. and quick study to 6th lvl.

almost naturally good physical tank. with just the mutagen you have something like 10+4 (mithril shirt) + 6dex + 1 buckler +2 natural = 23 ac. by that lvl a +1 shirt/+1buckler which is dirt cheap as well as a ring+1 would have you at 26ac at lvl5 with just 4k treasure spend. add in parry and/or avoiding full attacks with dodging panache, and suddenly, you are quite tanky.

cons:
damage is meh
i had to retrain OUT of arcane strike cause i only had a free swift like every 5th round (swift to take a potion out from wrist sheath, immed for ripostes, swift for reach through swordmaster's falir, swift for study targets from 6th lvl+, etc)

fort saving throw is horrendously low for frontliner. Thank god for having craft (alchemy) and antitoxins, anti-nausea/sickness, etc buff pots that you can make for like 10-17gp each. still doesn't cover everything, and if caught unprepared it will spell your doom from a simply poison trap.

has a LOT of things to track down. panache, inspirations, alchemy, alchemical remedies, etc

you are good to go at lvl 1-2 from inspired blade. you are good to go from lvl 5+ with studied combat, lvl 3-4 suck.

Grand Lodge

I feel like your slashing grace rating is misplaced. None of the base proficiencies work with it (sword cane is piercing). The only weapons that I know of that truly benefit from it without being a swashbuckler are whip and dueling sword due to no other one-handed slashing weapons working with weapon finesse. The only way around this is a dip in swashbuckler as swashbuckler's finesse lets you add dex to hit with all one-handed piercing weapons.


also inspired enchantment can't be put on "slshing grace" weapons.

and you WANT inspired inchantment

Grand Lodge

Use Fencing Grace guys, that is for raiper and cane. (Oh, ask your GM)

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, definitely the way to go if you're gonna dip. A level of Daring Champion Cavalier also works in theory for this particular use, and helps with Fort Saves, though it loses out on Panache when used as a dip.

Inspired Blade is the best dip for an Investigator of all, but that pretty much necessitates rapier use, and thus not the best choice for TWF.

Man, this really is seeming like a vital dip. It's really starting to look like Investigators really need to dip to work.

Ascalaphus wrote:

Inspired Swashbuckler dip is hilariously good. Suddenly it's obvious how to do the Dex build.

I suppose pure rapier is actually quite okay; you don't really want two hands full with two weapons anyway, you want one free hand for guzzling extracts or pulling wands.

The nice thing about going Dex-rapier is that a Spring Attack build becomes much less MAD.

I suppose this makes tails better, as with Quick Draw and Potion Glutton you don't need hands free. I'm starting to think a strength based TWF would be solid, since you really only need 15 dex max to finish off the chain, and by that point you could probably get a dex boost from magic items.

Still not a fan of spring attack, as one attack a round after a certain point is borderline useless. One of the only things the Investigator really lacks is Feral Mutagen, which could be solved with a 2 level Alch dip, since natural attacking is a perfectly viable route...gives me an idea for a sample character...

MrRetsej wrote:

Much like others above in the thread, I've made an Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1 / Investigator but decided to take it even further down the near single stat build and go Empiricist. Support that with the Student of Philosophy trait and nearly everything you do is based off of Int. It's just wicked good.

[Fun Fact: Even if you totally dump Charisma as an Inspired Blade, you will still get a minimum of 1 Panache from your Cha in addition to an amount equal to your Int! Free Panache!]

The downside to Inspired Blade is that you can only regain Panache via rapier crit's. Kills don't help so you'll want to make your rapier Keen if possible. You will want the feat Fencing Grace from Advanced Class Origins for Dex to damage and should strongly consider Weapon Versatility from Undead Slayer's Guide to be able to switch the rapier's damage from piercing to slashing or bludgeoning on the fly since it's going to be your primary weapon for a looooong while.

Empiricist is something that I like a lot, it's going to be getting high marks for making the class a lot more sad.

And yeah, I'll have to include Weapon Versatility, mostly to help for fighting skeletons and such, since damage type DR isn't ever overcome by straight + on weapons.

Some Other Guy wrote:
I feel like your slashing grace rating is misplaced. None of the base proficiencies work with it (sword cane is piercing). The only weapons that I know of that truly benefit from it without being a swashbuckler are whip and dueling sword due to no other one-handed slashing weapons working with weapon finesse. The only way around this is a dip in swashbuckler as swashbuckler's finesse lets you add dex to hit with all one-handed piercing weapons.

Sword cane is piercing...why? It looks like it's going to be a slog to get a good dex based Investigator. Seriously, the restrictions on Inspired weapons are needless, and are making things more annoying.

Gonna try to get some more work done on this guide later, need to put up some other personal information later, just been so exhausted recently. These are good suggestions though, I'll be sure to take them into account.

Sovereign Court

Some questions about Inspired weapons;

1) If you use inspiration on a combat roll that's a critical threat, does it also apply to the confirmation roll?

2) If you use inspiration on a critical confirmation roll, does the Inspired enchantment also trigger for bonus damage (provided you have the talent)?

3) If you use inspiration and the Inspired enchantment, and confirm a critical hit, do you double the Inspired damage?

Especially if you dip Inspired Swashbuckler, you need to weigh getting your rapier Keen or Inspired first.

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
Man, this really is seeming like a vital dip. It's really starting to look like Investigators really need to dip to work.

Eh. It certainly helps Dex builds. But it's not precisely necessary.

Dex-builds can get Fencing Grace even sans dip. The dip makes it quicker to get, but level 3 or 5 isn't as late as all that.

Str builds, meanwhile, are probably just as good, and certainly need no dips of any kind.

N. Jolly wrote:
I suppose this makes tails better, as with Quick Draw and Potion Glutton you don't need hands free. I'm starting to think a strength based TWF would be solid, since you really only need 15 dex max to finish off the chain, and by that point you could probably get a dex boost from magic items.

That's a very real possibility, though I personally feel that a TWF build is inferior to the two-handed weapon build in this case as in most others.

N. Jolly wrote:
Still not a fan of spring attack, as one attack a round after a certain point is borderline useless. One of the only things the Investigator really lacks is Feral Mutagen, which could be solved with a 2 level Alch dip, since natural attacking is a perfectly viable route...gives me an idea for a sample character...

A Natural Attack build is definitely viable, though I'm not sure I'd do it with an Alchemist dip, since the Mutagen features won't stack and you'll only get it 20 minutes a day. A Shapeshifter Ranger dip, plus a natural attack of some sort to start with will do it.

N. Jolly wrote:
Empiricist is something that I like a lot, it's going to be getting high marks for making the class a lot more sad.

Dear God I love Empiricist. It makes me so very happy inside.

N. Jolly wrote:
And yeah, I'll have to include Weapon Versatility, mostly to help for fighting skeletons and such, since damage type DR isn't ever overcome by straight + on weapons.

Definitely a must for a rapier-focused build.

N. Jolly wrote:
Sword cane is piercing...why? It looks like it's going to be a slog to get a good dex based Investigator. Seriously, the restrictions on Inspired weapons are needless, and are making things more annoying.

I feel that Rapier Finesse solves the problem all by itself, IMO. And the sword cane is piercing because it's basically a rapier concealed in a cane.

Grand Lodge

N. Jolly wrote:
Still not a fan of spring attack, as one attack a round after a certain point is borderline useless. One of the only things the Investigator really lacks is Feral Mutagen, which could be solved with a 2 level Alch dip, since natural attacking is a perfectly viable route...gives me an idea for a sample character...

For claws, Tiefling/Tengu can gain them from racial traits

And standard "make you bestial" items set: Helm of the mammoth lord (gore) and Ring of rat fangs (bite).

Speak about STR base, how about dip in Mutagenic Mauler brawler?

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's a very real possibility, though I personally feel that a TWF build is inferior to the two-handed weapon build in this case as in most others.

I want to look at the math for this, as one of the best things someone with multiple attacks can get is flat damage. So the issue is if the flat damage from Studied Combat/Mutagen beats the flat damage of 1 1/2 strength. This is all assuming 4th level, 16 strength, and masterwork weapons, which gives us a base bonus of +7 for manufactured weapons. (bab 3 + str 3 + mwk 1), and +2 for Studied Combat.

At 4th level, we have daggers with +7 attack and 1d4+5 damage on the main hand, and +7 attack and 1d4+3 damage for the off hand, so we're looking at 2d4+10 damage for two weapon (12-18 damage). Feats needed are TWF and some dex investment, no need to buff anything else, and you've got a 19/20 crit range.

The same set up for two handed is probably a spear, you've got 1 attack at +9 for 1d8+7 (8-15 damage), but you have reach and no feat/stat requirement.

Power Attack turns this into +6/+6, 1d4+5, 1d4+4 (11-17 damage) and +8, 1d8+13 (14-21 damage). I suppose buffing helps out the TWF more, but they still have to deal with lower average damage. This isn't a large difference, which is somewhat sad. I was hoping the TWF would turn up better from this.

Ascalaphus wrote:

Some questions about Inspired weapons;

1) If you use inspiration on a combat roll that's a critical threat, does it also apply to the confirmation roll?

2) If you use inspiration on a critical confirmation roll, does the Inspired enchantment also trigger for bonus damage (provided you have the talent)?

3) If you use inspiration and the Inspired enchantment, and confirm a critical hit, do you double the Inspired damage?

Especially if you dip Inspired Swashbuckler, you need to weigh getting your rapier Keen or Inspired first.

1. I don't think so, since it's a separate roll, but that's just how I'd rule it. I'd honestly let it work since it's not unbalancing.

2. It does say attack roll, but a confirmation is a kind of attack roll, so I'd say it counts.

3. I would say no, since it's not flat damage, and it's generally only flat damage that's multiplied, and I'm sure the bonus damage would probably be considered precision damage in this situation.

Sha-dow wrote:

For claws, Tiefling/Tengu can gain them from racial traits

And standard "make you bestial" items set: Helm of the mammoth lord (gore) and Ring of rat fangs (bite).

Speak about STR base, how about dip in Mutagenic Mauler brawler?

We can also get a bite attack through Adopted (tusked) or Mother's Maw, although Mother's Maw is less flat damage and with some Lammy love thrown in, which could make people iffy about letting you take Potion Glutton as well. If the GM takes the direct interpretation for how tusked is written, and always gives you a -5 to attack and 1/2 strength, Mother's Maw is the best way to finish off the natural attack set. I think Tengus can get claw/claw/bite.

This is actually pretty interesting to me. Although let's see what happen if we plug in my melee favorite, the lizardfolk, who's got a natural +2 to strength. I'll keep him at 16 strength anyways, but sadly no masterwork weapons.

Normally he's at +8/+8/+8 at 3(1d4+5) which gets us (18-27 damage). With power attack, we're looking at +7/+7/+7 at 3(1d4+7) which gets us (24-33 damage). This is a clear advantage. The 'disadvantage' here is that we need an AMOF to make this better, which is 1 1/2 cost, although it's also 3 weapons, but it doesn't have reach.

As for Mutagenic Brawler, you don't need to leave your class to get mutagen, the mutagen will only last 10 mins (which while a good duration, could be better), and doesn't advance your extracts. If you're going to drop out for some benefits, I'd go MOMS monk since I'm a fan of Pummeling style, or moreso Pummeling charge.

Just finished off my list of fave extracts, honestly I think the mundane section is just going to be a lot of discussion over weapon choice, leaving the section about alchemical weapons for the Alchemist section.

Also you're not getting more mythic content out of me, I'm not a fan of it, all it does is increase the divide between martial and casters, and I just...there's a strong chance of me cutting out sections for that.

I need to set up a few more links to help make things better, and I might be doing a fundraiser to decide about doing another guides, so if you enjoy my work, I suggest you check it out.

Sovereign Court

For natural attacks, why not use extracts of Alter Self (troglodyte) and Monstrous Physique (gargoyle or popobala)?

In the case of the popobala, does the bite still do Charisma drain when you take that form with Monstrous Physique?

Grand Lodge

Ascalaphus wrote:

For natural attacks, why not use extracts of Alter Self (troglodyte) and Monstrous Physique (gargoyle or popobala)?

In the case of the popobala, does the bite still do Charisma drain when you take that form with Monstrous Physique?

It shouldn't as it's not listed in the abilities obtained like some of the other abilities are added onto attacks like trip, grab, and poison.

Sovereign Court

Some Other Guy wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:


In the case of the popobala, does the bite still do Charisma drain when you take that form with Monstrous Physique?
It shouldn't as it's not listed in the abilities obtained like some of the other abilities are added onto attacks like trip, grab, and poison.

Of course, it's obvious once you put it like that. Fair enough, it's still a good form. But Charisma drain would've been deranged good.

Grand Lodge

When I check the races, I found that we can consider about half-Jiang Shi Dhampir (Ru Shi, from Blood of Night), +2 Int and Dex but -2 Wis, and also a fair background for Tian Xia investigator too.

Edit: Oh, and pretty Spell-Like ability, but you surely need to think about how to get youself heal

Sovereign Court

I'm currently trying to decide between wayang or aasimar of some sort.

* Wayangs are perfect for empiricist/inspired swashbuckler builds. Size bonus to hit and AC without the traditional STR penalty for being small. You roll a d4 instead of d6 on a rapier but that hardly matters. Perfect ability modifiers.

* Aasimar have the hard to quantify advantage of being presentable; either as obvious "good" outsiders or as scion of humanity. Darkvision is nice to get, and of course ability bonuses without penalties. Sadly, their specific ability bonuses don't precisely align with the needs of the investigator. I find myself torn between Int+Cha, Dex+Cha or Dex+Wis; it's all not quite perfect.

I've got a pre-race-change aasimar with some GM credit, so I'd hate to waste that access to race, but the wayang's numbers are so much better.

Silver Crusade

Sha-dow wrote:

When I check the races, I found that we can consider about half-Jiang Shi Dhampir (Ru Shi, from Blood of Night), +2 Int and Dex but -2 Wis, and also a fair background for Tian Xia investigator too.

Edit: Oh, and pretty Spell-Like ability, but you surely need to think about how to get yourself heal

I keep forgetting about the vamp crew, yeah they'd be worth a mention, as I kinda love Tian Xia and their hopping vamps. I'll be sure to add them later, since the -2 wis doesn't destroy them like it does with an Alchemist. The healing is an issue though, since your extracts aren't exactly undead friendly.

Ascalaphus wrote:

I'm currently trying to decide between wayang or aasimar of some sort.

* Wayangs are perfect for empiricist/inspired swashbuckler builds. Size bonus to hit and AC without the traditional STR penalty for being small. You roll a d4 instead of d6 on a rapier but that hardly matters. Perfect ability modifiers.

* Aasimar have the hard to quantify advantage of being presentable; either as obvious "good" outsiders or as scion of humanity. Darkvision is nice to get, and of course ability bonuses without penalties. Sadly, their specific ability bonuses don't precisely align with the needs of the investigator. I find myself torn between Int+Cha, Dex+Cha or Dex+Wis; it's all not quite perfect.

I've got a pre-race-change aasimar with some GM credit, so I'd hate to waste that access to race, but the wayang's numbers are so much better.

I'm pretty biased here in how much I like Aasimar, so I'm not a fair judge. With that being said, go Dex/Wis Aasamir, as you have no reason not to buy down to a 7 cha, which means the +2 to cha will be worthless. Boosting perception and will save is pretty much great, and darkvision is nice to make sure you're always getting off Studied Strike.

Finished with archetypes and multiclassing, although if anyone has any big suggestions on that, I'm up for listening, as I only put the ones that I really thought mattered.

Sovereign Court

Regarding Extracts: I think Alter Self deserves a mention. It's only there for levels 4-6, after which you'll use Monstrous Physique; but in that time it's a good way to get some natural attacks.

Silver Crusade

Ascalaphus wrote:
Regarding Extracts: I think Alter Self deserves a mention. It's only there for levels 4-6, after which you'll use Monstrous Physique; but in that time it's a good way to get some natural attacks.

Noted and added.

Mundane equipment is listed, weapons was the really important part, I'm probably going to laze out on magical items since there's a million of them and I hate every last one.

Also if you all really loved me, you wouldn't make me do sample characters, but I'm going to do them anyways. Would people like Sample Characters more in the way of the Alchemist guide or Sample progression like in the Barb guide? I can do either, but I'm wondering which is more helpful to you all.

Grand Lodge

N. Jolly wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Regarding Extracts: I think Alter Self deserves a mention. It's only there for levels 4-6, after which you'll use Monstrous Physique; but in that time it's a good way to get some natural attacks.

Noted and added.

Mundane equipment is listed, weapons was the really important part, I'm probably going to laze out on magical items since there's a million of them and I hate every last one.

Also if you all really loved me, you wouldn't make me do sample characters, but I'm going to do them anyways. Would people like Sample Characters more in the way of the Alchemist guide or Sample progression like in the Barb guide? I can do either, but I'm wondering which is more helpful to you all.

Wouldn't *most* of the items overlap with the alchemist's? Maybe add a few specific to the investigator and link to the item portion of the alchemist guide?

Sovereign Court

I don't think builds need to be super-detailed. When I read builds I'm looking for the central idea, and the order in which you take feats/discoveries/class options. I want the essentials to clearly stand out; the things you must take to make it work.

Nice-to-have things, and useful traits that aren't essential, tend to obscure the main points.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Empiricist ability Ceaseless Observation comes at 2nd level, not 1st. A little annoying at 1st, but still well worth the rating.

The Diplomacy limit (while less than ideal) does also mesh perfectly with Student of Philosophy, so that's nice.

Dark Archive

Inspired Blade archtype won't work with the sawtooth sabre, unfortunately. It only gives finesse with rapiers, not all one-handed slashing weapons. You'd be better off vanilla swashbuckler with a terrible panache pool.

Liberty's Edge

Ectar wrote:
Inspired Blade archtype won't work with the sawtooth sabre, unfortunately. It only gives finesse with rapiers, not all one-handed slashing weapons. You'd be better off vanilla swashbuckler with a terrible panache pool.

Actually, if going with a TWF Sawtooth build, Daring Champion Cavalier is likely the best dip. No Panache, but the same sort of Finesse, and a bonus to Fort Saves which is a fair bit more useful than Reflex for that build.

Silver Crusade

Sorry, been legally dead during the holidays (had stuff to argue about with family, had my friend let me borrow 999, and got Persona Q, so legit work has been at an all time low), but now I'm back-ish, probably going to laze on the magical items, although at this point, I think everyone's just looking for sample builds. At this point, I'm willing to take suggestions for them, I've got some stuff I want to edit in the Alch guide too, maybe doing some progression too, just make them super hype.

And Ascalaphus, I asked this in the GttG thread, but you mind if I throw your alch item guide into my guides? I figure it'd help get people more info on your stuff, and the biggest reason to do all this jazz is to pass info along.

Grand Lodge

I'm likely going to rebuild my PFS empiricist investigator to have a fighter dip for the good fortitude save, armor and weapon proficiencies and bonus feats.

This way I can focus more on strength rather than dexterity while still having decent armor and damage while gaining feats rather than spending them all on dex-to-damage.

I'll still need to decide if I want to go with a two-handed weapon or a sword & shield combination. They'll still be mostly a skill monkey, so the feats I free up with this route will go into Extra Investigator Talents so I can use inspiration on more rolls without spending a point.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Liberty's Edge

Ms. Pleiades wrote:

I'm likely going to rebuild my PFS empiricist investigator to have a fighter dip for the good fortitude save, armor and weapon proficiencies and bonus feats.

This way I can focus more on strength rather than dexterity while still having decent armor and damage while gaining feats rather than spending them all on dex-to-damage.

I'll still need to decide if I want to go with a two-handed weapon or a sword & shield combination. They'll still be mostly a skill monkey, so the feats I free up with this route will go into Extra Investigator Talents so I can use inspiration on more rolls without spending a point.

I'll let you know how it works out.

I wouldn't bother with the Fighter dip, honestly.

You can spend your 1st level Feat on Medium Armor Proficiency if you want (or on Medium and Heavy, if human), grab Power Attack at some point, use a Longspear, and be very effective as a straight Investigator on a Strength build, with no Feats beyond that (and bear in mind, you can't get Extra Investigator Talent until the 3rd level of Investigator anyway).

Sovereign Court

N. Jolly wrote:
And Ascalaphus, I asked this in the GttG thread, but you mind if I throw your alch item guide into my guides? I figure it'd help get people more info on your stuff, and the biggest reason to do all this jazz is to pass info along.

Yeah, go ahead. More chance that people will see it :)

Dark Archive

Sample Build (No Dump Stats):

Race: Elf
Reasoning: +2 Dex, +2 Int = Awesome, -2 con is painful, but we can live.
Fleet Footed:
Reasoning: + Initiative is always good. Running at 5x speed and keeping Dex to AC is gravy. +4 Acrobatics to Jump with Running Start is the cherry on top.
Envoy: Gives a couple useful cantrips at 1/day in place of +2 to overcome SR.
Reasoning: Detect Magic and Read Magic once/day beats the heck out of the bonuses that are useless to an Alchemist. I don't know that I have EVER cast Detect Poison.
Archetype: Empiricist
Reasoning: Even though you have Cha, your Int is better, Dex is the same, nothing to lose but Poison, which most people will never use.

Stats:
10 Str, 16 Dex, 12 Con, 16 Int, 10 Wis, 13 Cha [After racial bonuses are applied.]
Reasoning: No dump Stats. +3+3 is good on Int/Dex, 13 Cha for Familiar, and as much Con as possible given those constraints. Ideally, drop Str AND Wis to increase Dex.

Alt. Favored Class Bonus: +1/3 Inspiration Uses

Feat: Skill Focus (Knowledge [Doesn't Matter]
Trait: Warrior of Old
Reasoning: Sounds cooler than Reactionary. +2 to Initiative is good.
Trait: Lessons of Chaldira
Reasoning: You get to preroll one save per day AFTER you know the result. This is exponentially better than a simple reroll. Absolutely AMAZING!

---------------------------------------------------------------
Level 2: Inspired Swashbuckler:
Reasoning: Inspiration from CHA and INT. Yay more Inspiration Points!
Weapon Focus and Weapon Finesse, although Finesse only counts for meeting Pre-Reqs.
This level saves 2 feats, and costs 1 level of progression.
Skills: 1 point in remaining untrained K. skills, Perception
----------------------------------------------------------------
Level 3: Back to Investigator
Reasoning: This is the class after all.
Feat: Eldrich Heritage (Arcane)
Reasoning: Familiar = Improved Initiative with Bonuses + moderate Action Economy. Later, Improved Familiar is straight up amazing for Action Economy.
Skills: Perception, Linguistics, Diplomacy, max UMD, rest into other skills Ceaseless Observation will make amazing.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Level 4: Investigator
Investigator Talent: Mutagen (Dex)
+1 Dex (Now 17)
Reasoning: +4 Dex, +2 Natural Armor, -2 Wisdom = +4 AC, and soon +2 to damage.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Level 5: Investigator
Studied Combat! Yay! Kinda. Kills a move action. . .
Feat: Fencing Grace.
Reasoning: More damage with the Rapier. As a side note, Agile is only a +1 enchant, and would save 2 feats, but inherent damage is nicer than enchants, IMHO, because you can golf-bag special materials easier when you don't have to add +1 enchants to all the rapiers in the golf-bag.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Level 6: Investigator
QUICK STUDY. Seriously.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Level 7: Investigator
Feat: Improved Familiar. . . prefer something that can USE MAGIC DEVICE. I prefer Faerie Dragon because it is a Sorcerer, and can therefore use most Arcane wands without a UMD check. If you are more into the neutral spectrum, Imp is best. Please refer to the N.Jolly's Alchemist guide - the section on Familiars and Poisoner's Gloves- for some creative ideas.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Level 8: Investigator
EXPANDED INSPIRATION: Yes, again all caps. you can now use Inspiration for free on Perception. Sure you can use it on a plethora of other skills as well, but free Inspiration on Perception is the bee's knees.
+1 Dex, (18 Dex)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Level 9: Investigator
Feat: Combat Reflexes. You can not set up a reasonable (Enlarge Person + Longarm + Agile Longspear) blade barrier to keep others out. If you like, you can do the same with Rapier, but you lose 5' of reach. Either way, it will help up your DPS incredibly.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Level 10 Investigator
Infusion is the trick at this level. In PFS play, you will only be handing out Infusions for 2 levels. C'est la vie.

Time for a Bench Mark test:
Lets pretend you have Poisoner's Gloves and 4 potions pre-loaded into them for your familiar thanks to the Admixture Vial. Let's assume you have nothing else but a rapier.

Familiar is buffing.
Long Arm + Enlarge Person (claw 1)
+4 Int, +4 Dex (Claw 2)
You drink Mutagen (Standard)
Draw Rapier (Move)
and Quick Study the BBEG (Swift)

Dex goes to 24 (18 +4+4-2). You now have 1 (base) +1 (Combat Reflexes) +7 (Dex and Combat Reflexes) = 9 AoO's. Your reach is 0-15 feet. Panache to Ripost or Dodge as needed.

Your to hit is +7/+2 +1 (Swashbuckler level) = +8/+3 BaB. +1 (Weapon Focus) = +9/+4 + 5 (Studied Combat) = +14/+9 v. BBEG, +9/+4 v. minions.

Damage = 1d6 +7 (Dex) +5 (Studied Combat) = 1d6+12 v. bbeg, 1d6+7 v minions.
Not a lot, but you can do this up to 11 TIMES PER ROUND. Again, this assumes you have 4 potions, and 2 very inexpensive magic items. I am sure you have a lot more than that by level 10.
---------------------------------------------------

Liberty's Edge

Given Empiricist's ability to dump Cha entirely and suffer no ill effects, as well as how many Feats you want with Investigator...I really don't feel Eldritch Heritage is a good use of resources at all.

By ditching it, you get 7 build points and 2 Feats. That's, frankly, quite a bit better than a Familiar usually is.

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