Advanced Class Guide Preview: Investigator

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Funny story. While brainstorming the Advanced Class Guide, and determining which classes were to appear in it, the investigator almost didn't make the cut.


Illustration by Igor Grechanyi

The class was my favorite from the start. I love detective stories and have been a fan of Doyle's work since first reading The Hound of the Baskervilles all those years ago. I've also been delighted by the numerous reinterpretations of Sherlock Holmes popping up over the decades. For a long time now, I've wanted to cast the shadow of that brilliant investigator and chemist in the light of Pathfinder by fusing the rogue and the alchemist. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but there were fears that the task might be nearly impossible or the class would not find traction with the players.

To our relief, those fears were unjustified.

From the start, a sizable group of players grokked the class. Pathfinder is a combat game, to be sure, but it's also a game of exploration, where players uncover the secrets of their GM's campaign. While some classes are pretty good at exploring story and secrets, their true potential often doesn't ramp up until higher levels. The investigator, through the inspiration mechanic, gives players a leg up from the start.

While the concept of the investigator was well received, that didn't mean the playtest and further development were a walk in the park. The early iteration of the investigator relied on a later-level progression of the rogue's sneak attack to ramp up its combat effectiveness (he can't uncover secrets all the time). Playtests showed us that wasn't good enough. The investigator's ability to increase his combat potential needed something new to highlight his unique take on adventuring. We went back to the drawing board and created studied combat and studied strike. These new mechanics allows the investigator to study his opponent and gain bonuses in combat, until he has studied his foe enough to unleash a damaging, maybe even debilitating, strike. This mechanic kept the investigator true to his theme in and out of combat. The early versions of those abilities were unleashed during the second round of playtesting, and through the great feedback we were able to refine these mechanics into their final form.

Studied Combat (Ex): With a keen eye and calculating mind, an investigator can assess the mettle of his opponent to take advantage of gaps in talent and training. At 4th level, an investigator can use a move action to study a single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so, he adds 1/2 his investigator level as an insight bonus on melee attack rolls and as a bonus on damage rolls against the creature. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or until he deals damage with a studied strike, whichever comes first. The bonus on damage rolls is precision damage, and is not multiplied on a critical hit.

An investigator can only have one target of studied combat at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an investigator's studied combat, he cannot become the target of the same investigator's studied combat again for 24 hours unless the investigator expends one use of inspiration when taking the move action to use this ability.

Studied Strike (Ex): At 4th level, an investigator can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action, upon successfully hitting his studied target with a melee attack, to deal additional damage. The damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and increases by 1d6 for every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 9d6 at 20th level). The damage of studied strike is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to studied strike. If the investigator's attack used a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), he may choose to have the additional damage from studied strike be nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. If the investigator chose to make an attack with a lethal weapon instead deal nonlethal damage (with the usual –4 penalty), the studied strike damage may also deal nonlethal damage.

The investigator must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An investigator cannot use studied strike against a creature with concealment.

Furthermore, investigator talents allow this class to increase the effectiveness of these two abilities, some of which allow you add debilitating conditions to the studied strike.

Lastly, while the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes were the inspiration for the investigator, there are many types of investigators floating around the creative consciousness. When designing archetypes, we wanted to cover as many of those bases as space allowed. In the book you'll find the mastermind (an investigator that manipulates via a group of minions), the sleuth (a gumshoe who uses luck instead of inspiration), the spiritualist (a detective who gains insight from the world beyond), and much, much more.

In short, if you have a hankering for playing the smartest guy in the group, we think you'll dig the investigator.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

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Tags: Igor Grechanyi Investigator Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Gesult doesnt' really involve much over power in my experience.. just a ton of options. but maybe my GMs have all been really good at balance. It didn't play any different than our normal games (which both involve high level power gaming games, and story driven not remotely power gaming games; and both of these have turned up in gesult games).

If you take gesult player characters and put them in a game with no changes that's set for the same number of players but not gesult then yeah, they'll be more powerful.

I always kinda saw it like RPG's New game + you start with higher power level but everything else raises as well so it's not like your stilted..

Being gesult doesn't mean you didn't start out as a farmer, scribe, etc. It just means when you started becoming a hero your affinity is wider than the average game.

Heck a single class can beat a gesult class. Though it's certainly harder if they are both highly optimised. The biggest difference is that (baring combos for specific ideas) most end up with 20bab and really good saves. So some difficulty with matching up with that.

nothing wrong with your not liking it though, but I just wanted to mention it. It all comes down to how the GM runs a game I think.
Though this isn't the best thread for this haha.

Investigators have plenty of choices at low level, though I'l llikely be playing more ranged at the lower levels. But I'm going to build a dexer. They don't gain their combat style quite yet, but they'll work like most non casters prior to level 4. the bonuses for Studied Strike might be a bit low at lower levels, but it's hard to judge anything until we see the new debuff aspect. I have a feeling I'll rarely use the damage aspect of it.


Aasimar Investigator with Rough and Ready trait, Profession (card dealer) and Arcane Strike. Run around throwing magical playing cards (as if they were shuriken) at people.


Tels wrote:
Aasimar Investigator with Rough and Ready trait, Profession (card dealer) and Arcane Strike. Run around throwing magical playing cards (as if they were shuriken) at people.

Gambit!


Do they qualify for arcane strike? I was never sure if infusions counted as arcane.
Honestly I always wanted them to. FOR that reason!


Infusions don't.

Aasimar SLA does.


Rynjin wrote:

Infusions don't.

Aasimar SLA does.

Ahh.

Shame my GM doesn't roll with the SLA counts for that stuff, Though I might be able to get him to do arcane infusions since they kinda hate that it isn't arcane or divine but can still take from Wizards.

I really want to get deadly dealer on my improvised weapon investigator now.


Zwordsman wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Infusions don't.

Aasimar SLA does.

Ahh.

Shame my GM doesn't roll with the SLA counts for that stuff, Though I might be able to get him to do arcane infusions since they kinda hate that it isn't arcane or divine but can still take from Wizards.

I really want to get deadly dealer on my improvised weapon investigator now.

I'm content with just using the Rough and Ready trait.


Can the investigator get rogue talents? If yes, you could get minor-magic and that one that lets you throw cards from the harrow handbook (if a talent is worth less for you than the trait I guess).

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber
Tels wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Kayland wrote:
Wow...can't believe people play like that...that's just...kinda gross. I realize some people think gaming is all about winning, but that's beyond taking things too far. At least in my opinion. Thank you both for explaining it to me, however.

Before that debate starts and escalates, let's just say that many many people use gestalt for concept and flavor possibilities and discuss matters involving MAD for plenty of reasons that don't have to do with "winning" but rather ensuring that their characters live up to the image they're imagining.

Gestalt gets used for a variety of reasons and styles of game, some of them very roleplay oriented.

I have yet to see this.
Commoner/Aristocrat gestalt.

I played an expert/warrior that was the party's blacksmith in 3.x.


LoneKnave wrote:
Can the investigator get rogue talents? If yes, you could get minor-magic and that one that lets you throw cards from the harrow handbook (if a talent is worth less for you than the trait I guess).

He has limited access as of the playtest, so it might not be available. However, when it comes time for me to play an Investigator, I plan on getting the Expanded Inspiration and Underground Inspiration talents at 3rd and 6th, then the Combat Inspiration. Basically means I can add inspiration to a ton of skills and only 1 use of inspiration on attacks/saves.

So I wouldn't be able to fit that trait in until 12th level or so.

Liberty's Edge

Tels wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Can the investigator get rogue talents? If yes, you could get minor-magic and that one that lets you throw cards from the harrow handbook (if a talent is worth less for you than the trait I guess).

He has limited access as of the playtest, so it might not be available. However, when it comes time for me to play an Investigator, I plan on getting the Expanded Inspiration and Underground Inspiration talents at 3rd and 6th, then the Combat Inspiration. Basically means I can add inspiration to a ton of skills and only 1 use of inspiration on attacks/saves.

So I wouldn't be able to fit that trait in until 12th level or so.

Note: It's actually 3rd and 5th. They get the first one at 3rd level, but then one every two levels thereafter.

And I'd highly recommend Quick Study as the 5th level Investigator Talent for all Investigators ever (and certainly before Combat Inspiration). Swift Action Studied Combat is phenomenally good.

That said...I'm having a hard time justifying not doing the basic progression you suggest plus Quick Study and Amazing Inspiration on every Investigator character ever. Adding +1d8 on all skill rolls ever is pretty awesome.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tels wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Can the investigator get rogue talents? If yes, you could get minor-magic and that one that lets you throw cards from the harrow handbook (if a talent is worth less for you than the trait I guess).

He has limited access as of the playtest, so it might not be available. However, when it comes time for me to play an Investigator, I plan on getting the Expanded Inspiration and Underground Inspiration talents at 3rd and 6th, then the Combat Inspiration. Basically means I can add inspiration to a ton of skills and only 1 use of inspiration on attacks/saves.

So I wouldn't be able to fit that trait in until 12th level or so.

Note: It's actually 3rd and 5th. They get the first one at 3rd level, but then one every two levels thereafter.

And I'd highly recommend Quick Study as the 5th level Investigator Talent for all Investigators ever (and certainly before Combat Inspiration). Swift Action Studied Combat is phenomenally good.

That said...I'm having a hard time justifying not doing the basic progression you suggest plus Quick Study and Amazing Inspiration on every Investigator character ever. Adding +1d8 on all skill rolls ever is pretty awesome.

That's what I get for going from memory. I forgot Quick Study was a talent and not automatically gained. I also thought the talents were gained every 3 levels.

Hmm, so Expanded/Underground (depends on the need) then Quick Study at 5th, followed by the reverse of Expanded/Underground at 7th, and either Combat/Amazing depending on the need. Possibly even picking up Extra Rogue Talent (if it works) to pick up the other if I have an open feat.

If ERT does work for the Investigator, and Mutagen stays as one of the Alchemist discoveries, I'd totally spend a feat to get Mutagen as well.

I'm not sure what I want to do on feats, as I need to wait for the book to come out to find out if/how Investigators get to add Studied Combat/Strike to ranged attacks. If I can (and if it's easy), I might base the entire build around throwing playing cards at people. If it's not, it'd keep the cards as an option, but focus more on another weapon.


Not a huge fan of delaying your core mechanic until level 4.

Also studied strike feels like it's missing something. I can't see a reason to justify using it anywhere other than right at the end of the studied combat unless I know the extra damage will end the fight. It's not scary enough to really feel like your coup de grace, and there's no tradeoffs either way so just tacking it onto the end of your studied combat always feels like the right move.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Oh, and swift study is still an investigator talent...so no worries there either.

Maybe it should be baseline? I can't see a reason not to take it as an investigator.


Honestly, I'd be a lot more in favor of it being the baseline, since I don't see many investigators not taking it, and it would be easier to design further talents and feats and such around it, with the assumption of it being baseline.


This class is looking better and better. I'd make Quick Study a class feature, so it doesn't end up being a feat tax, but other than that, I really like this class.

Liberty's Edge

@swoosh:

Studied Combat isn't the core mechanic of the class (that's Inspiration), and it wouldn't be worth it most of the time pre 4th level anyway (since it'd only be a +1 to hit and damage, for a move action, for only a few rounds).

It's in some ways the core combat mechanic (though even there, Inspiration is also used)...but Investigator actually isn't a primarily combative class. They're primarily a skill and utility class with a bunch of non-combat advantages. They're also pretty good in combat because it's a well-designed class and combat is a big part of the game, but that's not the class's primary focus.

Studied Strike I somewhat agree on, in terms of the baseline version, though if the promised 'debilitating talents' are good enough, they might easily make it worth it (and because it's resource intensive those might easily be really nasty).

@swoosh, Tholomyes & Lemmy:

I think that goes back to the 'not primarily combat oriented' thing...though I must agree that it seems likely to be basically universal, and thus might be better built in.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

@swoosh:

Studied Combat isn't the core mechanic of the class (that's Inspiration), and it wouldn't be worth it most of the time pre 4th level anyway (since it'd only be a +1 to hit and damage, for a move action, for only a few rounds).

It's in some ways the core combat mechanic (though even there, Inspiration is also used)...but Investigator actually isn't a primarily combative class. They're primarily a skill and utility class with a bunch of non-combat advantages. They're also pretty good in combat because it's a well-designed class and combat is a big part of the game, but that's not the class's primary focus.

Studied Strike I somewhat agree on, in terms of the baseline version, though if the promised 'debilitating talents' are good enough, they might easily make it worth it (and because it's resource intensive those might easily be really nasty).

@swoosh, Tholomyes & Lemmy:

I think that goes back to the 'not primarily combat oriented' thing...though I must agree that it seems likely to be basically universal, and thus might be better built in.

The problem is that there's really no such thing as a "non-combat class" in Pathfinder. I have yet to see a playtest investigator that didn't look like a complete waste of a table seat below 4th level when it comes to fighting, and the previews we've had since aren't helping. Right now I'm pinning my hopes on the Dex-to-damage feat helping to close the gap, but three levels is a damn long time to be useless in a fight.

Liberty's Edge

Shisumo wrote:
The problem is that there's really no such thing as a "non-combat class" in Pathfinder.

Sure there are. All classes engage with combat and need to be useful at it, but not all have that as the primary focus of their capabilities. Bards leap immediately to mind as a class with a lot of out-of-combat focus. That doesn't make them bad at combat by any means, that's not what I'm saying at all...but it's true nonetheless that combat isn't their primary focus.

Shisumo wrote:
I have yet to see a playtest investigator that didn't look like a complete waste of a table seat below 4th level when it comes to fighting, and the previews we've had since aren't helping.

One of the Investigator builds I'm considering starts with Str 18 (at 20 point-buy), a Greataxe, and Medium Armor Proficiency (he's a Half Orc). This is entirely legal and reasonable as a combat build for an Inquisitor. Heck, he can get Heavy Armor Proficiency later. He'll sure as hell be useful in a fight. His AC's a tad low...but that's what Extracts of Shield are for.

I have two other builds in mind, of course,...one of which also has Str 18 (I really want to play Iron Gods with a Male Lashunta Investigator).

Shisumo wrote:
Right now I'm pinning my hopes on the Dex-to-damage feat helping to close the gap, but three levels is a damn long time to be useless in a fight.

What you're seeing isn't an Investigator problem, it's the standard problem with Finesse characters at low levels, which they almost all suffer from. And I'd love a Dex-to-damage Feat to fix that...but it's an issue with the build, not the class.


Yes, Dex build always suffer in low levels unless they Dervish Dance, but even then, they're holding out until level 3 unless they play a certain Bard or dip it.

A theoretical Dex to damage feat that comes out will probably be more in line with Dervish Dance, maybe even something that lets you choose a specific weapon and then add Dex to damage with it (and no others).

Otherwise, if you're not using Dervish Dance for damage, then you're basically putting off your dex to damage option until ~6th level. Besides, at levels 1 - 4, the party martials are often 1-shotting enemies anyway, or nearly.


Personally, I'd just make it apply to any weapon affected by Weapon Finesse, but say the damage is not increased for wielding an weapon with 2 hands and can't be used while the character is donning any sort of shield (bucklers included).

That would open lots of character possibilities and still be balanced.


Lemmy wrote:

Personally, I'd just make it apply to any weapon affected by Weapon Finesse, but say the damage is not increased for wielding an weapon with 2 hands and can't be used while the character is donning any sort of shield (bucklers included).

That would open lots of character possibilities and still be balanced.

I agree, but I recall one of Stephan's post saying any hypothetical Dex to Damage feat would operate more like Dervish Dance than Mythic Weapon Finesse.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
The problem is that there's really no such thing as a "non-combat class" in Pathfinder.
Sure there are. All classes engage with combat and need to be useful at it, but not all have that as the primary focus of their capabilities.

This is a dispute of semantics here, because that's precisely what I was getting at when I said there are no non-combat classes. Every class has to able to function in/contribute to combat, regardless of what else it can do.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I have yet to see a playtest investigator that didn't look like a complete waste of a table seat below 4th level when it comes to fighting, and the previews we've had since aren't helping.

One of the Investigator builds I'm considering starts with Str 18 (at 20 point-buy), a Greataxe, and Medium Armor Proficiency (he's a Half Orc). This is entirely legal and reasonable as a combat build for an Inquisitor. Heck, he can get Heavy Armor Proficiency later. He'll sure as hell be useful in a fight. His AC's a tad low...but that's what Extracts of Shield are for.

I have two other builds in mind, of course,...one of which also has Str 18 (I really want to play Iron Gods with a Male Lashunta Investigator).

I'd be interested in seeing those builds. So far, whenever I try to build a Strength-focused investigator I wind up not being able to decide what I should dump to make it work. Investigators are very, very close to truly having no dump stats.


Shisumo wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
The problem is that there's really no such thing as a "non-combat class" in Pathfinder.
Sure there are. All classes engage with combat and need to be useful at it, but not all have that as the primary focus of their capabilities.

This is a dispute of semantics here, because that's precisely what I was getting at when I said there are no non-combat classes. Every class has to able to function in/contribute to combat, regardless of what else it can do.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I have yet to see a playtest investigator that didn't look like a complete waste of a table seat below 4th level when it comes to fighting, and the previews we've had since aren't helping.

One of the Investigator builds I'm considering starts with Str 18 (at 20 point-buy), a Greataxe, and Medium Armor Proficiency (he's a Half Orc). This is entirely legal and reasonable as a combat build for an Inquisitor. Heck, he can get Heavy Armor Proficiency later. He'll sure as hell be useful in a fight. His AC's a tad low...but that's what Extracts of Shield are for.

I have two other builds in mind, of course,...one of which also has Str 18 (I really want to play Iron Gods with a Male Lashunta Investigator).

I'd be interested in seeing those builds. So far, whenever I try to build a Strength-focused investigator I wind up not being able to decide what I should dump to make it work. Investigators are very, very close to truly having no dump stats.

For the Investigator, they can get away with leaving Wisdom at 10 because they have good Will saves and can spend Inspiration to add to their saves.

They can also dump Charisma some as they can take talents so using Inspiration on Diplomacay/Bluff/Intimidate don't cost uses of Inspiration.

Otherwise, you would Str/Int > Con/Dex > Wis > Cha

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tels wrote:

For the Investigator, they can get away with leaving Wisdom at 10 because they have good Will saves and can spend Inspiration to add to their saves.

They can also dump Charisma some as they can take talents so using Inspiration on Diplomacay/Bluff/Intimidate don't cost uses of Inspiration.

Otherwise, you would Str/Int > Con/Dex > Wis > Cha

Wisdom and Charisma both power some key skills for the class, and even with inspiration I'm not sure I could get a Perception, Sense Motive, Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate modifier high enough to say, "I can stop now," with that class. And even having to keep everything at just 10+ means affording good Int and good Str is really, really tricky.


Tels wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Personally, I'd just make it apply to any weapon affected by Weapon Finesse, but say the damage is not increased for wielding an weapon with 2 hands and can't be used while the character is donning any sort of shield (bucklers included).

That would open lots of character possibilities and still be balanced.

I agree, but I recall one of Stephan's post saying any hypothetical Dex to Damage feat would operate more like Dervish Dance than Mythic Weapon Finesse.

Too bad, but I suppose that's better than nothing... At least dueling (and TWF, hopefully) will finally become effective combat styles.

Liberty's Edge

Shisumo wrote:
This is a dispute of semantics here, because that's precisely what I was getting at when I said there are no non-combat classes. Every class has to able to function in/contribute to combat, regardless of what else it can do.

Oh, agreed. So...yeah, semantic argument there.

Shisumo wrote:
I'd be interested in seeing those builds. So far, whenever I try to build a Strength-focused investigator I wind up not being able to decide what I should dump to make it work. Investigators are very, very close to truly having no dump stats.

The Student of Philosophy Trait makes Charisma a viable dump stat. A fact my planned builds all use and abuse. All these are 20 point-buy, for example purposes.

The Half Orc build is Str 18 Dex 12 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 10 Cha 7, Student of Philosophy, Fate's Favored, Medium Armor Proficiency, and Skilled, Shaman's Apprentice and Sacred Tattoo for alternate racial traits. It focuses on the intellectual and social skills side of being an Investigator, might well use the Sleuth Archetype for a more Noir feel (this is clearly a 'blue collar' detective), and should be very solid as it levels.

The male Lashunta winds up fairly similar with Str 18 Dex 14 (or 12) Con 12 (or 14) Int 16 Wis 10 Cha 7 Student of Philosophy and Medium Armor Proficiency. The rest is a bit less well thought out than the Half Orc mechanically, but should be vaguely similar, especially since he gets a Trait to play with. thematically, he's more 'Alien Warrior-Scientist' than detective per se, and mch more high-class than the Half Orc.

The third build is Human, and goes with Str 10 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 12 Cha 7, Student of Philosophy, and Weapon Finesse plus Focused Study (because Investigators with Skill Focus sounds loads of fun). Definitely the lowest damage of the three, but can dabble a bit better in the physical skills. An archery version swapping Str and Wis and going with the standard two Feats as Point Blank shot and Precise Shot is potentially viable if there's an Archetype that makes Studied Combat work at range. Probably the most high class build, especially fighting with a rapier.

My general attitude on Investigator stats can be summed up as:

You need Int 16 for a whole host of reasons. You do not need more than Int 16, basically ever, since you don't have spell save DCs, and that gives enough skills and enough of a bonus.

Other stats as necessary to be useful in combat, you'll be great at non-combat stuff on Class alone (assuming you invest a bit of non-stat resources in being so).

Dump Charisma, and grab Student of Philosophy (or Bruising Intellect or Clever Wordplay) if you care about being good at particular social stuff.

That's the philosophy in a nutshell. All that assumes you care about being good at combat, of course, but, well, you really should care about that for reasons mentioned above.


Out of curiousity (it didn't occur to me until i was in the arcanist thread)

Do we, or any of us really know much about the archetypes? The arcanist thread seemed to have like a giant list of archetype names or something, and are guessing due to names. anything like that for this?


Lemmy wrote:

Personally, I'd just make it apply to any weapon affected by Weapon Finesse, but say the damage is not increased for wielding an weapon with 2 hands and can't be used while the character is donning any sort of shield (bucklers included).

That would open lots of character possibilities and still be balanced.

I think IWF will have to work with bucklers because the Swashbuckler does and the primary reason we're getting it is the Swash's existence.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Personally, I'd just make it apply to any weapon affected by Weapon Finesse, but say the damage is not increased for wielding an weapon with 2 hands and can't be used while the character is donning any sort of shield (bucklers included).

That would open lots of character possibilities and still be balanced.

I think IWF will have to work with bucklers because the Swashbuckler does and the primary reason we're getting it is the Swash's existence.

Hmmm... That's true. Problem is that focus on Dex + Buckler means the AC of these character will be really high, so I fear a bunch of PFS GMs will whine and Paizo will CW the hell out of the Dex-to-damage feat.

Liberty's Edge

Lemmy wrote:
Hmmm... That's true. Problem is that focus on Dex + Buckler means the AC of these character will be really high, so I fear a bunch of PFS GMs will whine and Paizo will CW the hell out of the Dex-to-damage feat.

Given that people can literally already do exactly this with Agile weapons...that seems unlikely.

I agree that the Crane Wing nerf was bad, and unnecessary, and based in large part on PFS. But it was also an absolute effect nothing else could duplicate...high AC isn't.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Hmmm... That's true. Problem is that focus on Dex + Buckler means the AC of these character will be really high, so I fear a bunch of PFS GMs will whine and Paizo will CW the hell out of the Dex-to-damage feat.

Given that people can literally already do exactly this with Agile weapons...that seems unlikely.

I agree that the Crane Wing nerf was bad, and unnecessary, and based in large part on PFS. But it was also an absolute effect nothing else could duplicate...high AC isn't.

It depends on how much damage will do the swashbucler at the same time. Too high AC coupled with Too high dmage + parry could be anoying,


Nicos wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Hmmm... That's true. Problem is that focus on Dex + Buckler means the AC of these character will be really high, so I fear a bunch of PFS GMs will whine and Paizo will CW the hell out of the Dex-to-damage feat.

Given that people can literally already do exactly this with Agile weapons...that seems unlikely.

I agree that the Crane Wing nerf was bad, and unnecessary, and based in large part on PFS. But it was also an absolute effect nothing else could duplicate...high AC isn't.

It depends on how much damage will do the swashbucler at the same time. Too high AC coupled with Too high dmage + parry could be anoying,

Yeah, and considering how popular the class is likely to be, I wouldn't be surprised if Paizo CW'ed one or more of its class features.


CW'ed ?


Zwordsman wrote:
CW'ed ?

Crane Wing'ed

Liberty's Edge

Lemmy wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Hmmm... That's true. Problem is that focus on Dex + Buckler means the AC of these character will be really high, so I fear a bunch of PFS GMs will whine and Paizo will CW the hell out of the Dex-to-damage feat.

Given that people can literally already do exactly this with Agile weapons...that seems unlikely.

I agree that the Crane Wing nerf was bad, and unnecessary, and based in large part on PFS. But it was also an absolute effect nothing else could duplicate...high AC isn't.

It depends on how much damage will do the swashbucler at the same time. Too high AC coupled with Too high dmage + parry could be anoying,
Yeah, and considering how popular the class is likely to be, I wouldn't be surprised if Paizo CW'ed one or more of its class features.

Well...again, a Swashbuckler can literally already do this with an Agile Weapon.

And Paizo have yet to severely nerf any Class's class features after the class was released. That's seriously bad business, and I doubt they'd do it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
And Paizo have yet to severely nerf any Class's class features after the class was released. That's seriously bad business, and I doubt they'd do it.

That's true. SBs are probably safe from direct CW'ing.

IMHO, the best thing SBs will bring to the game is the Dex-to-damage feat, other than that, I don't have any expectation for this class anymore, so whatever comes from it is a bonus, I guess...


I seriously need a canny defense archetype for swashbuckler.
DEX and INT and on the front line baby!


Lemmy wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
And Paizo have yet to severely nerf any Class's class features after the class was released. That's seriously bad business, and I doubt they'd do it.

That's true. SBs are probably safe from direct CW'ing.

IMHO, the best thing SBs will bring to the game is the Dex-to-damage feat, other than that, I don't have any expectation for this class anymore, so whatever comes from it is a bonus, I guess...

Assuming there is such a thing as a Dex-to-damage feat in the book. If there is one I seriously doubt it is available to all classes.


Zark wrote:
Assuming there is such a thing as a Dex-to-damage feat in the book. If there is one I seriously doubt it is available to all classes.

Stephen said it was a real possibility. And why wouldn't it be open to all classes? Dervish Dance is, and it's far from unbalanced.


There has been a number of hints dropped that there will likely be a dex-to-damage feat in the ACG - hopefully one that allows more weapon options. :)

Edit: Ninjaed by Lemmy, that's what I get for dragging up quote links. ;)


Lemmy wrote:
Zark wrote:
Assuming there is such a thing as a Dex-to-damage feat in the book. If there is one I seriously doubt it is available to all classes.
Stephen said it was a real possibility. And why wouldn't it be open to all classes? Dervish Dance is, and it's far from unbalanced.

The blog never said it was a feat.

Why it wouldn't be open to all classes? Paizo has been explicitly against a dex to damage feat. I think it was Jason or SKR that said so, but I might be wrong.

As I understand it has been James Jacobs that has tried to promote such a thing, but it has never caught on by the Devs, at least not in the core book line.


Zark wrote:
The blog never said it was a feat.

No, but when people asked him to add Dex-to-damage as a class feature to SBs, Stephen said it'd more likely come in the form of a feat, explicitly so that other classes could take it.

Zark wrote:

Why it wouldn't be open to all classes? Paizo has been explicitly against a dex to damage feat. I think it was Jason or SKR that said so, but I might be wrong.

As I understand it has been James Jacobs that has tried to promote such a thing, but it has never caught on by the Devs, at least not in the core book line.

Yeah, but Stephen seemed to have changed his mind after it was repeatedly pointed out that Dex-to-damage is not overpowered at all. Proof of that is that we hardly see anyone taking Dervish Dance other than Magi, and that's just because the class is more or less locked into "dueling" style anyway, so player figure that they might as well take the one feat that makes dueling effective. And even then, Str-based Magus builds are still very popular and have very real advantages over their DD counterparts.

A Dex-to-Damage feat would open countless character possibilities and not break anything, so why not do it?

I mean... Damn! It might be enough to actually make non-archetyped Monks a real combatant.


edit:

I hope you are right, but I’m not that sure you are. I'm not sure Stephen was the problem, but if we do get such a feat it could be the fix that rogue and monk need.


Dunno about Rogues (I think their major combat flaws are their extremely weak defenses and lack of in-combat options, not necessarily low damage, although that's a problem too), but Monks might actually become somewhat viable and much closer to their intended class flavor. New players would even be able to create Dex-based Monks without unknowingly crippling their character's combat effectiveness.


Lemmy wrote:
Dunno about Rogues (I think their major combat flaw is their extremely weak defenses, not necessarily low damage, although that's a problem too), but Monks might actually become somewhat viable and much closer to their intended class flavor. New players would even be able to create Dex-based Monks without unknowingly crippling their character's combat effectiveness.

Agree, rogues have more problems, but a dex to damage feat would help a lot.


Sure would. Rogues are in such need of help that very few things wouldn't improve their effectiveness... Heh.


A dex-to-damage that allows Unarmed Strikes would mean that monks really only need 3 good ability scores, Dexterity, Con and Wisdom - similar to the paladin, magus, inquisitor... It's still a double feat tax, but I know a lot of players who would be all over that.


Yup. I'm strongly holding hope for a dex to damage thing. even if it is restricted to light weapons or something. BUT having it allow for dex damage for thrown items would be EPICALLY useful for a lot of classi designs. Personally don't care if it allows dex for bow/xbow but that would likely be useful (though some people i know think bow's do too muc hdamage already. but I haven't a clue on that topic since I dislike bows. Do enjoy crossbows but they certainly aren't effecxtive persay)
ii totally want to make an investigator with a whip who uses dex. AND I really want a jackie chan style improvised weapon user. He tends to be more dex based than str (he often flips the items so they're spinning when they hit rather than baseball batting it like say, 90's action heros who smash it over people's heads and such.

1/5ths of my feats just to do that? I'm perfectly fine with that, with how much I absolutely freaking want to.

Scarab Sages

Shisumo wrote:


The problem is that there's really no such thing as a "non-combat class" in Pathfinder. I have yet to see a playtest investigator that didn't look like a complete waste of a table seat below 4th level when it comes to fighting, and the previews we've had since aren't helping. Right now I'm pinning my hopes on the Dex-to-damage feat helping to close the gap, but three levels is a damn long time to be useless in a fight.

Well, for what it's worth, being able to identify the opponents' weaknesses, strengths and special abilities with a high knowledge roll can be quite helpful in combat. That's especially true in PFS where everyone is expected to forget anything they've learned about any given monster between every scenario.


Quote:
Well, for what it's worth, being able to identify the opponents' weaknesses, strengths and special abilities with a high knowledge roll can be quite helpful in combat. That's especially true in PFS where everyone is expected to forget anything they've learned about any given monster between every scenario.

Yep - anyone who has played the Deductionist (drivethru) knows this is the case for sure.

The Investigator looks like it shares a lot of the class features of the Deductionist (D20PFSRD), so I'm positive I'd enjoy playing it.

I'm not sure I like the generic mechanic of just giving him bonus damage dice like a rogue, but the random bonus die for checks / to hit / etc. is pretty clever. It allows for a measure of variability in just how far his wits can take him. I'm looking forward to seeing the entire class.

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