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Being Sherlock Holmes (Redux): A Gentleman's Guide to the Investigator


Advice


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This is the revised version

Mainly I redid how I uploaded the main page to make it much easier to edit. It also let's me see how many people are actually viewing it.

Both things are fairly important as I wanted to address some issues of formatting (people complained it was hard to read) and make it easier to add things in (when new content is released). Also, I like to see when people are reading thigns as it lets me know just how popular/useful they are.


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Im only getting the talents review


christos gurd wrote:
Im only getting the talents review

Same here. Fortunately, the old link still works.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's my fault. I put in the wrong link.

This should be the right one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

^Thanks -- haven't checked every link, but seems to work now.

Liberty's Edge

Looks good, though I'll note that a number of builds are somewhat below their stated point-buy (mostly due to not getting enough points back from Cha 7, and thus having 2 point-buy more...Int 15 being a good option in many cases).

You also don't list a Weapon Finesse Investigator, which seems very much like a build worth noting, given how nicely Fencing Grace can make that work.


You state that the investigator has all the skills except for fly and swim. But it seems he is lacking ride and handle animal, too. Not a big thing but it's two skills I like to put a single point into. Ride because you sometimes need it while travelling and handle animal because I've been in a lot of groups where no one has it and it can't be used untrained.

Silver Crusade

Something I'd like to see to make the guide more accessible would be to include links back to the table of contents from each of the branches. I was looking through it, and I didn't think to leave the main page open (I rarely do, maybe it's just me), but it would be helpful to have.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Looks good, though I'll note that a number of builds are somewhat below their stated point-buy (mostly due to not getting enough points back from Cha 7, and thus having 2 point-buy more...Int 15 being a good option in many cases).

You also don't list a Weapon Finesse Investigator, which seems very much like a build worth noting, given how nicely Fencing Grace can make that work.

It would essentially be identical to the brawn build except with a three feat tax attached. (Focus, Finnesse, Grace). You wouldn't be able to get this off the ground for a good while.

I have seen it done effectively with a dip in fighter or swashbuckler. But, I'm of the opinion that if you have to dip to make a build work it's not really a viable build for that class anyway.

Like Domino Strike it seems like a good idea until you look at the details.

If you want a full finessing investigator the brains investigator that uses TWF and studied combat as the primary means of damage is a bit more reasonable.

I think I'll sit down later and crunch some numbers on it to see what works out better. But, as of now I don't see fencing grace as being terribly viable


Umbranus wrote:
You state that the investigator has all the skills except for fly and swim. But it seems he is lacking ride and handle animal, too. Not a big thing but it's two skills I like to put a single point into. Ride because you sometimes need it while travelling and handle animal because I've been in a lot of groups where no one has it and it can't be used untrained.

That'll need to be corrected but I don't think it'll change very much in terms of ratings.


TarkXT wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
You state that the investigator has all the skills except for fly and swim. But it seems he is lacking ride and handle animal, too. Not a big thing but it's two skills I like to put a single point into. Ride because you sometimes need it while travelling and handle animal because I've been in a lot of groups where no one has it and it can't be used untrained.
That'll need to be corrected but I don't think it'll change very much in terms of ratings.

Sure. But when I read that part of your guide I thought I had made a mistake noting my class skills. If a pc needs one of those four skills he can take a trait to make it a class skill.


Hey Tark, thanks for another excellent guide! The halfling support build in particular was a clever idea. I just started a 4th level PbP where the party are all Red Mantis Assassins and here is Mama Bess my halfling investigator / den mother to a gang of fanatical assassins (built on a 20pt buy). I splashed a level of fighter (vengeful hunter) at 1st, which gives me an extra feat and whip proficiency. (I wanted three feats off the bat to be able to have Bodyguard, Combat Reflexes, & Weapon Finesse).

We've just begun our first encounter but the whip seems like an awesome choice for Aid Another since the 15' reach + finesse is more important than the ability to deal damage, and I've already found the ability to disarm with it awesome (fighting a wizard who was casting a powerful Summon Monster spell from a scroll). I expect to be standing right behind the main line much of the time, making them hard to hit as a free action with my AoOs, and spending my Move and Standard helping them hit (or buffing their AC even further).

Depending on how far I want to push the Aid thing, I may get Beneficial armor + Gloves of Arcane Striking. With those at L5 (assuming I take Arcane Strike as my next feat) I should be adding +7 to AC or +4 to hit/+2 to damage.

Dark Archive

Tark, for the elf/half-elf int-based investigator, what potions are worth using enhance potion on? Barkskin would be good, but it doesn't seem like most other potionable spells gain much from enhance that they couldn't get from extend (which your build also takes)


Ectar wrote:
Tark, for the elf/half-elf int-based investigator, what potions are worth using enhance potion on? Barkskin would be good, but it doesn't seem like most other potionable spells gain much from enhance that they couldn't get from extend (which your build also takes)

Anything with a duration really. Extend is meant to combine with Enhance. It can be used as a roundabout way to get extend on common extracts you might use anyway.

So you can do Heroism as an example, or perhaps invisibility for long scouting trips. Depends on what you want.


I mainly use enhance potion for heroism (if the bard doesn't hand out good hope), ablative armor or cure serious wounds I combine with alchemical allocation.


Lvl 12 character with extend/enhance and 3rd lvl 10mins/lvl potion (heroism, prot from evil 10ft, barksin, etc)

Normally lasts 50mins. 100mins with extend, 120 with enhance.

So, at high levels it even outperforms it straight.
Then you can combine it for 249mins duration and have happy 4h buffs.

Another good spell IMO for enhance is shield of faith, prof from elements, barksin, gmf if naturals, and others lvl Dependant effects.

Shadow Lodge

I took a look at your last build where you firmly stated that

Quote:
By RAW multiple Aid another actions on the same bonus stack this is regardless of the source since the bonus is nameless.

I thought bonuses from the same source don't stack, regardless of whether or not it was nameless.

Quote:
Bonuses without a type always stack, unless they are from the same source.

I guess you are discounting this based on the fact that it shows up in the magic section of the rules?

Quote:
Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

Otherwise, I don't see how this quote let's you ignore the above.


It's from the line you quoted last, it's an exception to the "can't be from same source"

Sovereign Court

If Joe is aiding you, and so is Mark, they're not the same source. If Joe tried to aid you twice, that would be the same source.


Can you use the Talent Domino Effect when your doing a Cleave or Great Cleave? sound like a good use to me if it can.


I'll do a bit of reading on aid another checks and get back to you. It might require an honest to god faq.

As far as Cleave/great cleave and domino effect yes that is a fair use but not a great one. You can achieve the same effect with multiple attacks and a full attack without the feat investment or clever use of attacks of opportunity.

Dark Archive

If one were to go the finesse route, one level of inspired blade gets you to Fencing Grace at level 1. Probably a very worthwhile dip as it can make you decently combat effective from level 1 on.


TarkXT wrote:

I'll do a bit of reading on aid another checks and get back to you. It might require an honest to god faq.

As far as Cleave/great cleave and domino effect yes that is a fair use but not a great one. You can achieve the same effect with multiple attacks and a full attack without the feat investment or clever use of attacks of opportunity.

Tried getting a FAQ when the ACG came out. Unfortunately, It didn't really pick up steam. It is a really good candidate for one though.

I think all of the relevant rules are in the aid another section, so there is not much to go on.

Shadow Lodge

You called Sapping Offensive the core of the Harrier build after Quick Study... then none of your Harrier builds actually included it. So, how relevant is it, really?

Is it worth explaining why having Extend/Enhance/Eternal Potion is especially worth using to make an intelligence based fighter?

(PS, your build document includes the word "alchemist".)

Sovereign Court

I'm kinda looking forwards to getting Sapping Offensive. That looks like a cool discovery.


Serum wrote:

You called Sapping Offensive the core of the Harrier build after Quick Study... then none of your Harrier builds actually included it. So, how relevant is it, really?

Is it worth explaining why having Extend/Enhance/Eternal Potion is especially worth using to make an intelligence based fighter?

(PS, your build document includes the word "alchemist".)

Personal preference in all honesty. You can replace sickening offensive with sapping offensive.

The reason I call it the core is that it allows you more mobility which is what keeps the harrier safe and allows him to do his thing. "Core" might be too strong a word.


First, thank you much for the guide! I've decided to play an Investigator this weekend for our 3rd attempt into the Jade Regent AP, and had zero idea what I was doing having never played a Alchemist or a Rogue. So this was very helpful in guiding me to where I needed to go.

Second, I plan on doing the dex based TWF Brains build, and was wondering why you chose to go extend potion at 3rd level as opposed to mutagen or enhance potion? I understand we need extend eventually for eternal potion, but why not wait until later on to get it? The bonuses from Mutagen seem really helpful, especially early on while extend potion really only seems good for those potions you buy.

I am still newish to this, so there's probably something painfully obvious that I'm missing, but I guess the core of my question is would mutagen instead of extend potion at 3rd level be just as viable?


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KelCJ1 wrote:


Second, I plan on doing the dex based TWF Brains build, and was wondering why you chose to go extend potion at 3rd level as opposed to mutagen or enhance potion? I understand we need extend eventually for eternal potion, but why not wait until later on to get it? The bonuses from Mutagen seem really helpful, especially early on while extend potion really only seems good for those potions you buy.

Mutagen for a brains build is bad until later levels because your emphasis is on intelligence. So taking a mutagen that reduces your intelligence (which translates to inspiration, rounds of studied combat, and a million other little things) is bad. Later on when your intelligence is much higher and a vest of stable mutation is in the budget it works better for you.

Enhance potion is not useful to you until post level 5 due to the nature of potion buying. Potions are always made at the minimum level and don't go past level 3. So the most expensive potions you have will have a CL of 5.

As stated earlier in the thread Extend potion allows you a roundabout way of getting the extend spell feat on your infusions. Combined with Alchemical Allocation it's like having an Extended Heroism spell (a 4th level slot for some) in a 2nd level slot. It will allow you to extend buffs that might normally only last one or two combats for several or even an entire day. That's creating action economy. Which is huge.

The important thing to remember about Brains builds is that they play the long game. They're not going to be strong in the early levels and will do okay in the early mid levels. Once you start looking at 3rd level extracts. By that point some of the scarier combat forms come online and you are starting to stack natural attacks over your twf.


That makes a lot of sense. I hadn't really thought about the caster level limit on potions...I think part of me was just a little disappointed in not being able to use extend potion on extracts, and that was obviously a little short sighted. I think I'm too used to playing fighteresque characters and to see buffs to awesome stats not being used made me think, "Why not?" But now I see why, so thank you for your help in that. I think it'll just take a different mind-set to play this class than usual, which is a good thing, considering thus far it's been,"Hit it with a stick," or "kill it with fire."


Seriously considering a variant of your Intelligence build and wanted to know what you thought of Dual-Wielding Rapiers with an Effortless Lace? I'd probably be doing the Inspired Blade dip just because I'm having a very hard time saying no to it.

That said, Longarm + Enlarge Person on a Longspear build is really, really appealing. Especially with my party comp (Skald, Pally, Blast Sorc, Swashbuckler). It just feels so...wrong somehow to make a lower-Int Investigator, especially with Empiricist looking so delectable.


Shinnyshin wrote:
Seriously considering a variant of your Intelligence build and wanted to know what you thought of Dual-Wielding Rapiers with an Effortless Lace?

Go for it if you think you can get away with it.


Favored Terrain is a useful rogue talent if you take it as every talent and feat as soon as you can and go into Horizon Walker, but otherwise useless.


TarkXT wrote:
Shinnyshin wrote:
Seriously considering a variant of your Intelligence build and wanted to know what you thought of Dual-Wielding Rapiers with an Effortless Lace?
Go for it if you think you can get away with it.

Seems to be working out. Also lets me snag Piranha Strike instead of Power Strike, which frees up those points in Strength. Do you think it'd be worth massively dumping Strength for an Int/Dex Investigator that can get away with light weapons? I didn't see any other feats with a higher Strength requirement.


Shinnyshin wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Shinnyshin wrote:
Seriously considering a variant of your Intelligence build and wanted to know what you thought of Dual-Wielding Rapiers with an Effortless Lace?
Go for it if you think you can get away with it.
Seems to be working out. Also lets me snag Piranha Strike instead of Power Strike, which frees up those points in Strength. Do you think it'd be worth massively dumping Strength for an Int/Dex Investigator that can get away with light weapons? I didn't see any other feats with a higher Strength requirement.

No. For the simple reason that carrying capacity and shadows are a thing.

Dark Archive

TarkXT wrote:
Shinnyshin wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Shinnyshin wrote:
Seriously considering a variant of your Intelligence build and wanted to know what you thought of Dual-Wielding Rapiers with an Effortless Lace?
Go for it if you think you can get away with it.
Seems to be working out. Also lets me snag Piranha Strike instead of Power Strike, which frees up those points in Strength. Do you think it'd be worth massively dumping Strength for an Int/Dex Investigator that can get away with light weapons? I didn't see any other feats with a higher Strength requirement.
No. For the simple reason that carrying capacity and shadows are a thing.

Carrying Capacity - Muleback Cords//Ant Haul

Shadows - Ghost Touch on armor

Not fullproof but not impossible.


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And muscle of the society trait.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I am planning a Dex-Based Elf Build with Dervish Dance and Piranha Strike
15 pts: 10 17 10 18 10 7 (the 4th level point will go to dex then all to int).
Talents:
1. Weapon Finesse
3. Dervish Dance
5. Piranha Strike
7. Arcane Strike
9. Extra Inspiration
[still have to think about it further]
Inv. Talents
3. Mutagen (+4dex -2wis)
5. Quick Study
7. Amazing Inspiration
9. Combat Inspiration
11. Timed Strike (or sapping offensive)
[...]

With Envoy ELf and picking up the 1/3 extra inspiration.
What do you think about it?


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Your wisdom and especially your constitution scores make me nervous. You'll want wisdom to help with your will save (especially with the -1 from mutagen) and constitution to help your poor fortitude save and low amount of HP. Conversely I think your INT is too high, you can easily get by with 14-16.

Piranha Strike won't work with a scimitar unless you pick up an Effortless Lace, since the scimitar is not a light weapon.

Alchemists don't qualify for Arcane Strike, since SLAs no longer lets you qualify for spellcasting feats. :(

I'd strongly advice looking into the Infusion discovery, which lets you hand out some truly amazing extracts to other party members.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I thought that since the extracts are magic they qualify for "able to cast spells".

Sovereign Court

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actually funny enough...alchemist extracts are not considered magical, you can check the FAQs about it. But well you can treat them as whatever in your homegame of course.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

That's a shame! If i get around the scimitar problem, what do you think about this build?


I hadn't realized how bad the *Strike talents were until just now.

15th level for Deafness? 19th for Confusion? 17th for Blinding? Fortitude saves for all?

Those are just not good. I don't know why I hadn't considered them before. By the time you can do them (or others are doing them with the crit feats) all of these conditions are trivial, commonly invalid, or extremely easily removed.

I honestly hadn't paid much attention to Investigator at all since the playtest. I was in the camp that liked Sneak Attack (its a fun mechanic and I like positioning. I want a less-ooky Vivisectionist ok?) and after the first pass of the non-sneak attack version lost a lot of interest.

As it stood, I felt I gained a lot more utility out of bombs than anything the Investigator had and I don't recall ever having too many issues with skills on Alchemist.

You've convinced me to give the class a closer look though. Not sure when I'll get around to playing one, but I'll definitely check it out.

How do you feel about Mutagen? I don't think it is a great fit, but can't help but feel the class is sort of balanced around having it. Thoughts?


Unmitigated wrote:


Carrying Capacity - Muleback Cords//Ant Haul
Shadows - Ghost Touch on armor

Not fullproof but not impossible.

Frankly you're better off just having a 13 strength.

At least than you can survive the early levels much more easily.

Spending gold/extracts just so you can walk around leaves a serious distaste in my mouth.

And there are so many things that love to deal strength damage. Shadows are an early one. Early enough, in fact that you won't have ghost touch armor.

ChainsawSam wrote:
How do you feel about Mutagen? I don't think it is a great fit, but can't help but feel the class is sort of balanced around having it. Thoughts?

Largely depends on build.

On a strength based investigator absolutely take it. On an Int or Dex based one than it needs to wait until you get a vest of stable mutation.

Overall it's not super necessary. Alchemists are built around it. Investigators just happen to have it.


TarkXT wrote:


ChainsawSam wrote:
How do you feel about Mutagen? I don't think it is a great fit, but can't help but feel the class is sort of balanced around having it. Thoughts?

Largely depends on build.

On a strength based investigator absolutely take it. On an Int or Dex based one than it needs to wait until you get a vest of stable mutation.

Overall it's not super necessary. Alchemists are built around it. Investigators just happen to have it.

Why wait on a DEX or INT based Investigator? For DEX it applies a penalty to WIS and that doesn't seem that bad.


TarkXT wrote:
Unmitigated wrote:


Carrying Capacity - Muleback Cords//Ant Haul
Shadows - Ghost Touch on armor

Not fullproof but not impossible.

Frankly you're better off just having a 13 strength.

At least than you can survive the early levels much more easily.

Spending gold/extracts just so you can walk around leaves a serious distaste in my mouth.

And there are so many things that love to deal strength damage. Shadows are an early one. Early enough, in fact that you won't have ghost touch armor.

ChainsawSam wrote:
How do you feel about Mutagen? I don't think it is a great fit, but can't help but feel the class is sort of balanced around having it. Thoughts?

Largely depends on build.

On a strength based investigator absolutely take it. On an Int or Dex based one than it needs to wait until you get a vest of stable mutation.

Overall it's not super necessary. Alchemists are built around it. Investigators just happen to have it.

i would say that ghost touch can be easily achievable by lvl4-5 with a simple elixir of spirit sight (which for it's price, given alchemical allocation, is a steal either way, solves so many problems...)

as for dex based, i would say that it is nice to have that mutagen option, not only is it a quick +4 to ac, it's also (usually) a free +2att/damage for most dex/int investigators (who usually have dipped a lvl of inspired blade)

and while yeah, it hurts your will a bit (-1), it boosts your reflex by +2. so sure, i see it as invaluable, just be smart when to actually down it (i.e. not when you are fighting something that can sent you running for the hills)

by lvl4, you can have up to 10+4 (+1 darkleaf studded armor) +7 (dex with mutagen) +2 (+1buckler) or 23 ac vs shadows which would mean they would only hit on like a 19-20


ChainsawSam wrote:


Overall it's not super necessary. Alchemists are built around it. Investigators just happen to have it.
Why wait on a DEX or INT based Investigator? For DEX it applies a penalty to WIS and that doesn't seem that bad.

It's a penalty on important skills and on a save that probably won't be super great since Wis is a fairly low priority from the start.

Plus, you can get about the same effect off a Reduce person or alter self extract. This freees up your early level talent for something else.

LAter on when your mutagen can last for hours and your skills and saves are high enough the minor penalty can be ignored it's a bit better.

As for INT investigators the last thing you want is a penalty to INT. That harms so many important things to you it's best just to wait.

shroudb wrote:

i would say that ghost touch can be easily achievable by lvl4-5 with a simple elixir of spirit sight (which for it's price, given alchemical allocation, is a steal either way, solves so many problems...)

as for dex based, i would say that it is nice to have that mutagen option, not only is it a quick +4 to ac, it's also (usually) a free +2att/damage for most dex/int investigators (who usually have dipped a lvl of inspired blade)

and while yeah, it hurts your will a bit (-1), it boosts your reflex by +2. so sure, i see it as invaluable, just be smart when to actually down it (i.e. not when you are fighting something that can sent you running for the hills)

by lvl4, you can have up to 10+4 (+1 darkleaf studded armor) +7 (dex with mutagen) +2 (+1buckler) or 23 ac vs shadows which would mean they would only hit on like a 19-20

This is all assuming of course the GM let's you get all these things, or that it's feasible at all to get them.

And sadly at the level you achieve this Shadows shouldn't be a problem anyway. They're CR3, which puts them at a level you can encounter at 1st.

Than there are the other low CR things that can rip up your strength score. Giant spiders for example.

Overall I prefer to deal in things I know you will get rather than what is possible in a perfect world.

Moral of the story: don't dump strength. The extra +1 or +2 somewhere else is not going to make you that much better and the GM isn't always going to simply have muleback cords fall from the sky.


i'm not talking about going all the way down to 7 str.
but 10str, for a dex character is enough imo, no need to go all the way up to 13.
again, those are opinions.

99% sure that no sane dm will throw shadows at a lvl1 group. for starters, even if for some reason the caster had prepared damaging spells, it would still be not enough to kill it. and then it would be straight up immune to damage cause no magic weapons.

so yeah, at lvl1, even with 30starting strength, you still die to a shadow.

2-3 shadows at lvl 4 (cr5-6 encounter) is reasonable for a dungeon crawl as random encounters, and 2 shadows at lvl3 (so you can actually afford magic weapons) as a boss fight can happen.

but to state that shadows appear from lvl1... maybe as a story hook? cause else 0 chance to survive (even if p.e. a priest had magic weapon prepared, the shadow, being intelligent, just retreats for 1minute underground, and then kills the party)

also, i didn't use any weird things in my example. a 1000gp potion for a class that is practically balanced around reusing elixirs and potions (without cheesing caster levels, or early entry and etc) isn't that weird. if anything, the dm restricting your ability to grab (or craft) those things is far more weirder


Tark, any thoughts on the Psychic Detective archetype?

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