Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
Oh, and another ability that I really wanted was Urban Tracking. I think that might really work well as a talent.

There is Perceptive Tracking, and Survival in PF doesn't really make quite the same distinction between tracking in urban environments vs. wilderness environments that 3.5 did (that I can see).

As to the "add 1d6" talents, I too was a bit confused about the wording there at first. As I read it, if you take those talents, you can automatically add 1d6 to the rolls for the skills called out by the talent, as opposed to spending an inspiration point for it. Wording might need some clarification, though.


My biggest problem honestly is the "Automatically get a 20 on knowledge check" aspect. That seems a bit much to me. Of course, I think knowledge skills are a bit too powerful to begin with.


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I've not had a chance to play this class, but thought I'd make some observations:

1. Poison. Like others, thematically it seems incongruous with the Sherlock Holmes image. Mechanically, I'm guessing it's there to compensate for lack of damage. I can imagine the authors are thinking of someone using ability damage darts as more as a debuffing of bad guys as opposed to an administering of lethal injections.

2. Rogue overshadow. As others have stated, I think the class puts its foot on the Rogue's throat and applies a lot of pressure. What does the Rogue have that this class doesn't? A little bit more sneak attack? As someone stated, if Sneak Attack were the primary motivation to play a rogue, most people would go Ninja.

3. Overpowering skill class. I think the real issue I have with the Investigator is that it's too dominate when it comes to skills. As was observed, when you combine the synergy of being an INT dependent class, you're looking at at class that's getting a minimum of 8-12 sp per level. Then you're adding 1d6 benefit for free onto Linguistics, K, and Spellcraft? Really?

Skills are a big part of a lot of classes. But you're empowering one class to effectively blow them away. At higher level's, that dominance becomes even exaggerated as everyone else's benefits progress linearly.

Let's contrasts this with combat. Is there another class which can dominate combat so overwhelming compared to other classes? One character cannot fight every monster in a room. And many monsters contain immunities or are resistant to normal methods of attack e.g. Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, can't be tripped or grappled, immunity ability damage, etc.

But skills are not resistant to certain type of checks. So while the greatsword wielding Barbarian may find himself helpless against a wraith and unable to attack the five other combatants at the same time, the Investigator can always attempt the skill for anything she's put a rank in and more to the point, she can attempt every skill check for the party.

4. Class dipping. Probably the second biggest problem is class dipping. At some point, I suspect Paizo will allow multiclassing and any player who fancies himself as having a skill focus will be penalized for not taking at least 1 level of Investigator.

In summation, it's too much. I get you wanted to make the skill monkeys dream class, but it's over the top given other classes. Bards, Rogues, Rangers, high INT Wizards, heck even Barbarians and Druids, should not have their modest skills made totally superfluous every time an Investigator shows up.

Reduce the 1d6 to 1d3. Reduce the 1d8 to 1d4. Bump it up at 13th level to 1d6. The availability of inspirations should be reduced. And while I know this isn't a typical mechanic, Inspirations should not be available to multi-classed characters.

Right now, there is no class which can hold a candle to the investigator as a Skill Monkey. Is there any Martial class which can dominate the other classes in combat the way the Investigator can dominate them in skills?


N N 959 wrote:
2. Rogue overshadow. As others have stated, I think the class puts its foot on the Rogue's throat and applies a lot of pressure. What does the Rogue have that this class doesn't? A little bit more sneak attack? As someone stated, if Sneak Attack were the primary motivation to play a rogue, most people would go Ninja.

What's your point? A lot of classes do that. Bard does it in core. People are still going to play rogue even with investigator just like people will still play a monk with brawler.

Its also still not as good as a bard at skills is it?


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I'm more of a fluff guy, so forgive me while I strangle the mechanics, but two ideas came to mind reading the Investigator.

Sneak Attack should be replaced with Called Shots

The Bob Downey Sherlock Holmes fight scenes made me think of this. Wouldn't it be on theme if the Investigator got some kind of "called shot" ability? I mean, like the ability to observe their opponent for a round or two, and then make a called shot that could stagger them, or otherwise disable the opponent, such as breaking their arms.

The mechanics people are going to have to help me out with this one - would it be balanced to simply offer a CMB after the observation period? Said bonus could even increase at the same speed that sneak attack already increases for the class.

Poison Use should be replaced with Alchemic Deduction

I too am on the side of the fence about poison being kinda out of place here. Instead, might I recommend something akin to investigative alchemy? There are a few scenes in the Bob Downey Sherlock Holmes films that call out to "chemical deduction", as well as the scenes in Johnny Depp's Sleepy Hollow where he uses medical science and chemistry to follow clues. Maybe you could brew chemicals that allow you to follow blood trails, footprints, fingerprints, etc.

I know that there are already talents in the class's talent tree that grant similar abilities, but I feel like they're a big part of the theme and should be further expanded.

With those two changes, you would keep with the themes of the alchemist and rogue without copying from them completely.


MrSin wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
2. Rogue overshadow. As others have stated, I think the class puts its foot on the Rogue's throat and applies a lot of pressure. What does the Rogue have that this class doesn't? A little bit more sneak attack? As someone stated, if Sneak Attack were the primary motivation to play a rogue, most people would go Ninja.

What's your point? A lot of classes do that. Bard does it in core. People are still going to play rogue even with investigator just like people will still play a monk with brawler.

Its also still not as good as a bard at skills is it?

IME and IMO a Bard does not replace a Rogue. Not even close. Bard's don't have near the combat viability nor does the baseline Bard have Disable Device. I've played with bards and played a bard and they are vastly different on both a thematic and mechanical level.

The Monk retains a host of Su abilities that are not available to the Brawler. Immunity to Poison is no trivial benefit. The monk also represents a philosophically different character. Monks must be lawful. While there is some encroachment by the brawler, it's not, imo, even in the same ball park as Inv to Rog.

And my more important point is that the Inv can be built to overshadow every other skill class in a way that no Melee character can achieve with respect to combat. It's too focused and too good at a part of the game that is shared by many other classes.

Dark Archive

Regeaj wrote:


Spy and Secret Agent are both very different from an investigator. Sure, a Spy and a Secret Agent both focus on getting information, like an investigator, but a Spy and Secret Agent tend to have some form of large organization helping them, are assassins, and are secretive. An investigator isn't all that secretive, and they tend not to go around assassinating people. Investigators find out who committed a crime, they don't proceed to kill them.

I think you're focusing too much on the name rather than the general style of the class, you're absolutely correct those are spies rather than investigators. But an archer who defends a small settlement is a fighter... a gladiator who fights for the applause of the crowd is a fighter, a marine who serves on a ship which hunts pirates... is a fighter. The class name is simply a summation of *some* aspects of the class, look beyond that and I think you'll see the investigator can very handily serve as a spy, criminal mastermind, saboteur, etc.


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N N 959 wrote:
And my more important point is that the Inv can be built to overshadow every other skill class in a way that no Melee character can achieve with respect to combat. It's too focused and too good at a part of the game that is shared by many other classes.

Erm... Vivisectionist? Bard? Summoner/Summoned pets/Eidolon? Inquisitor? Those 4 are pretty darn good at doing melee and skills/support type things. Even Magus has a pretty good number of skill points and packs a pretty big punch and spells to boot, though no inherent bonuses. With ACG we'll have the Skald too.

Again, a lot of classes already overshadow him. Compare the investigator to them maybe?

Grand Lodge

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Jeff Erwin wrote:
I'm of the opinion that Spy and Secret Agent should be covered by Investigator archetypes, however. I think the fluff for this class is a bit narrow, since mechanically it's quite successful at fulfilling not just the PI, but also the gadgeteer, scientist, poisoner, and criminal mastermind roles.

I'd like to see "Investigator Talents" renamed "Investigator Discoveries" (or something similar) and linked to Alchemist Discoveries. Representing the self-education and new techniques that investigators develop as they gain levels. Start with one at 1st level and give a new one every other level, and make it a big list. That way no two investigators will be exactly the same, and players can work toward different themes depending on their character concept.

For example, there could be an "Alchemy Bomb" discovery that gives the Investigator the alchemist's bomb ability. The first time you take the discovery, you get level+Int bombs a day that do 1d6 damage. Just like a first level alchemist. The number of bombs would continue to scale, but the damage wouldn't unless you took the discovery multiple times (each time would increase damage by +1d6). Taking this discovery would then allow you to take other alchemist bomb discoveries, most importantly "smoke bombs".

The Investigator's bomb would never be as good as the base alchemist's could be, but it would allow investigators to have a utility belt of smoke bombs if that's the direction they want to go in character-wise. If not, the player could pick different discoveries.

The end result would be a more customizable class that could be used to cover a wider range of investigator type characters.

EDIT: I understand that no two investigators will be quite the same now, since they can pick different talents. I'm talking about making the discoveries more of a central focus of the class. Instead of every investigator getting sneak attack, make it a discovery. Instead of every investigator getting poison use, make it a discovery.

That way individual investigators could dabble in various interests to one degree or another.

Also instead of giving a ton of bonuses to skills, give investigators new and/or improved ways of using skills. I'd take an investigator who can deduce extra information from a successful perception check than other classes can over a bunch of boring mathematical bonuses.


Aberrant Templar wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
I'm of the opinion that Spy and Secret Agent should be covered by Investigator archetypes, however. I think the fluff for this class is a bit narrow, since mechanically it's quite successful at fulfilling not just the PI, but also the gadgeteer, scientist, poisoner, and criminal mastermind roles.

I'd like to see "Investigator Talents" renamed "Investigator Discoveries" (or something similar) and linked to Alchemist Discoveries. Representing the self-education and new techniques that investigators develop as they gain levels. Start with one at 1st level and give a new one every other level, and make it a big list. That way no two investigators will be exactly the same, and players can work toward different themes depending on their character concept.

For example, there could be a "Alchemy Bomb" discovery that gives the Investigator the alchemist's bomb ability. The first time you take the discovery, you get level+Int bombs a day that do 1d6 damage. Just like a first level alchemist. The number of bombs would continue to scale, but the damage wouldn't unless you took the discovery multiple times (each time would increase damage by +1d6). Taking this discovery would then allow you to take other alchemist bomb discoveries, most importantly "smoke bombs".

The Investigator's bomb would never be as good as the base alchemist's could be, but it would allow investigators to have a utility belt of smoke bombs if that's the direction they want to go in character-wise. If not, the player could pick different discoveries.

The end result is a more customizable class that could be used to cover a wider range of investigator type characters.

I will be looking forward to an Investigator archtype that trades sneak attack for bombs... reverse vivisectionist.

Then I will take the discovery to add bomb damage to my gunshots, and I will be Marlowe Phillips, pistol-wielding, sword cane swinging, investigator!! Huzzah!

Grand Lodge

I'd suggest removing poison use and sneak attack and replacing it with something sort of like the slayer's favored target ability. However, it would be cool if it added some kind of stacking, INT-based bonus to attack, damage, CMB, etc. If a trained investigator spends several consecutive actions studying you during a fight, his eventual attack against you should be devastating (mathematically equal to the total damage he could have dealt with all the lesser attacks he skipped).

Now, as a literary purist (re: snob/hipster), I detested the Robert Downy Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, but I agree with the above posts: How they conducted the fight scenes would translate quite well into Pathfinder.


Headfirst wrote:
I'd suggest removing poison use and sneak attack and replacing it with something sort of like the slayer's favored target ability. However, it would be cool if it added some kind of stacking, INT-based bonus to attack, damage, CMB, etc. If a trained investigator spends several consecutive actions studying you during a fight, his eventual attack against you should be devastating (mathematically equal to the total damage he could have dealt with all the lesser attacks he skipped).

Would suck if that person he studied died before he ever got the chance to use it though.


There's the canny defense and precise damage things from the duelist.

I might suggest removing some of the +1d6s with adding a recharge method to inspiration.

Or maybe replacing some of the SA dice with special maneuvers type things.

Liberty's Edge

First, am I the first person to notice that the Investigator does not get access to Advanced Rogue Talents, ever. This point is at least one point where the Rogue will not be overshadowed by this class, however minor you consider that point.

Second, I would agree that poison use seems incongruous with what I envision this class as being. Though I would be fine with it staying, I have like some of the suggestions for replacements. Poison use could be put in as a Talent.

Third, I like Poison resistance, as I can easily see an investigator being targeted with poisons regularly, even if the investigator does not use them.

Fourth, I really think that Cognatagen should be added to the available Alchemist Discoveries in the Talent list. I find it even more appropriate than mutagen which is available.

Overall I like this class at first glance and am really looking forward to testing it out.


N N 959 wrote:

3. Overpowering skill class. I think the real issue I have with the Investigator is that it's too dominate when it comes to skills. As was observed, when you combine the synergy of being an INT dependent class, you're looking at at class that's getting a minimum of 8-12 sp per level. Then you're adding 1d6 benefit for free onto Linguistics, K, and Spellcraft? Really?

Skills are a big part of a lot of classes. But you're empowering one class to effectively blow them away. At higher level's, that dominance becomes even exaggerated as everyone else's benefits progress linearly.

Let's contrasts this with combat. Is there another class which can dominate combat so overwhelming compared to other classes? One character cannot fight every monster in a room. And many monsters contain immunities or are resistant to normal methods of attack e.g. Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, can't be tripped or grappled, immunity ability damage, etc.

But skills are not resistant to certain type of checks. So while the greatsword wielding Barbarian may find himself helpless against a wraith and unable to attack the five other combatants at the same time, the Investigator can always attempt the skill for anything she's put a rank in and more to the point,...

Eh, I disagree with this. Skills are not *that* powerful. Oh yes, they're handy and useful, but they're not that great. Skills don't keep you alive, and while the investigator can be good at a lot of skills, they're going to equal, say, a wizard, in certain knowledge skills, or whatnot.

Mechanically speaking, a wizard (to keep with the example) can emulate a lot of the skills with spells, *or* just summon a creature with the appropriate skill to use the skill for him. Heck, Greater Heroism (6th level wizard spell/5th level bard spell) gives +4 to all skills plus a lot of other stuff.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I haven't been keeping up but I do have some observations

-Make Heal a class skill, this might open the door for a coroner/forensic pathologist type of investigator or maybe even an archetype. Think Quincy.

-Poison resist/use- as said above seems to be a tacked on vestigial organ

-In some ways the trapfinding and alchemy use remind me of the Crypy Breaker alchemist.

-Put the investigator talents on the even levels. Currently you have them getting a talent and a feat at odd levels, spread it out a bit.

-Inspiration- An idea for something to add, two uses of the ability to apply the bonus to someone else. Also, inspiration sounds like a bard ability, maybe instead call it Insight.

Merging the rogue with the alchemist was likely a bad idea for this theme. A better mix would be to borrow some abilities and ideas from the inquisitor.

Some inquisitor transplant ideas:

Discern Lies- I didn't see any abilities in the writeup helping with questioning and interrogation, which is the staple of a good detective.

Track- Kinda seems like a no-brainer

Stern Gaze- good talent candidate

Exploit weakness- either something to tack on or replace sneak attack with

Also there is the Detective archetype for Bards

Arcane insight- seems to fit or might be good for an archetype
Careful Teamwork- something to maybe tack onto Inspiration


I love the Investigator! Maybe change the Sneak Attack progression to give 1d6 at first level to improve combat, along with a talent at first level?
Also, can some version of this be a talent:

Lore Warden Fighter Archetype wrote:

Know Thy Enemy (Ex):

At 7th level, a lore warden can take a standard action to study a specific target in sight. He must make a Knowledge check to determine the target’s abilities and weaknesses as part of this standard action. If successful, the lore warden not only notes the appropriate abilities and weaknesses, as detailed under the Knowledge skill, but also gains a +2 competence bonus on all attack rolls and weapon damage rolls made against that enemy. Note that this bonus on attack and damage rolls applies only to that specific creature. This bonus lasts for the duration of an encounter, or until the lore warden attempts a new Knowledge check to use this ability on a different target.
d20PFSRD

Maybe also a talent that lets you use Int to AC and something else, like this:

Lore Oracle Revelations wrote:

Sidestep Secret (Su):

Your innate understanding of the universe has granted you preternatural reflexes and the uncanny ability to step out of danger at the very last second. Add your Charisma modifier (instead of your Dexterity modifier) to your Armor Class and all Reflex saving throws. Your armor's maximum Dexterity bonus applies to your Charisma instead of your Dexterity. Paizo PRD

This might be overpowered, though.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sidestep secret is very overpowered. I know a Paladin who dipped Oracle just to get this ability to boost his AC. Maybe change it to 1 AC/+1 save per level up to the cap similar to the Duelist's Canny Defense ability.


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I would also take this as a sneak attack replacement:

From Martial Artist:
Exploit Weakness (Ex)

At 4th level, as a swift action, a martial artist can observe a creature or object to find its weak point by making a Wisdom check and adding his monk level against a DC of 10 + the object’s hardness or the target’s CR. If the check succeeds, the martial artist gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls until the end of his turn, and any attacks he makes until the end of his turn ignore the creature or object’s DR or hardness. A martial artist may instead use this ability as a swift action to analyze the movements and expressions of one creature within 30 feet, granting a bonus on Sense Motive checks and Reflex saves and a dodge bonus to AC against that opponent equal to 1/2 his monk level until the start of his next turn.

fits REALLY well. But since this is a major class feature, it should also probably scale a bit and add some damage as levels increase. But the ignore DR part will absolutely help in that department.


Haven't gotten a chance to play, but, thematically, I'd like to pop for Know Thy Enemy and/or Exploit Weakness. Let sneak-debuff rogue talents apply to EW instead, maybe?


My view

INVESTIGATOR – My character has 12 levels in the Sherlock Holmes class.

Extracts: Nothing to mention.

Inspiration: The factotum is back and I like it. I'm considering boosting the die from a d4 to a d12, would be much cooler. And maybe something like skills you can choose, which does not require points. Maybe one skill at every odd level.

Investigator Talents: You have a huge collection of things to choose from, that's fine. Skip the talents with the skills and make one with choose three skills for which you doesn't need to pay points.

Thoughts: A bit work on inspiration maybe, but a really good class all in all.


Tirisfal wrote:


Poison Use should be replaced with Alchemic Deduction

I too am on the side of the fence about poison being kinda out of place here. Instead, might I recommend something akin to investigative alchemy? There are a few scenes in the Bob Downey Sherlock Holmes films that call out to "chemical deduction", as well as the scenes in Johnny Depp's Sleepy Hollow where he uses medical science and chemistry to follow clues. Maybe you could brew chemicals that allow you to follow blood trails, footprints, fingerprints, etc.

That's a very good point. I'd love it if the investigator had a bit more actual investigative abilities, besides just skill points. It probably wouldn't hurt to add a couple divination spells to the investigator's extract list.

In the spirit of Tirisfal's idea, something like a 'DNA test' of sorts could work, whether alchemical or magical in nature. Determine the age, race and sex of a person from things like hair, blood, nails and body parts. Check two body parts against each other to determine if they came from the same person...


I'm really enjoying the investigator from what I've seen so far. It's definitely my favourite of the new classes. I agree with others that it's use of poison is odd, and would personally prefer it be replaced with some sort of forensic ability or the Perfect Recall ability of the mindchemist archetype, which would be more fitting with its Sherlocky theme.


I also like this class but find the poison use strange. But I do like the poison resistance/immunity.

I would like to add perception and sense motive to his inspiration skill list.


This class isn't a hybrid of Rogue and Alchemist, it's a Gestalt of them. Virtually no reason to play either of those classes ever again (unless dipping for mutagen/skills/evasion).

Do Better.


I've seen a lot of talk about the need to make the Investigator more combat viable. The idea of adding Intelligence to damage or AC, or in some way boosting his attack/damage, would, in my opinion, make this class a little over the top; and very easily overshadow many other classes.

Every character has their niche to fill, even in combat. The way I see it, the investigator is meant as a support role, not a damage-dealer. One great way in which the investigator can provide support is by using the Aid Another action.

For example, make a halfling investigator with the helpful halfling and Battlefield disciple traits. Right there, with only those two traits, the investigator can now Aid Another to give a companion a +5! Or a +4 to the companion's AC. Down the road, add in a few items (Benevolent, ring of tactician, etc), and this boost can see tremendous growth. Add the Investigator talent Effortless Aid, which allows the Aid Another to be a move or even a swift action, and you can make make two or three aid another actions, providing several companions with a boost to hit. To top it all off, tack on the bodyguard feat (with combat reflexes), and in addition, you can use your AoOs to boost a comrade's AC when they're attacked. So, by level 3, you could, in effect, provide a +5 or +6 attack bonus for up to three companions, and then provide (depending on Dexterity modifier) another +5 to +6 bonus to AC when your companions are attacked. To me, that makes the investigator very combat viable and a great asset to any combat encounter! (This is, of course, baring anything I may have forgotten in the rules due to my early morning stupor of thought).

Liberty's Edge

Coridan's thoughts on Investigator:

Wow! Great flavor and great mechanics. Shame they have nothing to do with each other. The flavor is Sherlock Holmes, but the mechanics are Jack the Ripper. That leaves two options.

1 - Reflavor the class. May I suggest Murder Hobo? It would be great for villainous characters who sneak up on people and slip poisoned daggers between the ribs.

2 - Now, more likely you already ordered iconic art for an Investigator. So what do we do to make him one? Ditch poison use AND sneak attack entirely. Maybe firearm profiency or at least repeating crossbows. Net proficiency too. I would also like this character to use the Inquisitor spell list. They can still be extracts, but Inquisitor gets some really appropriate spells like Interrogation that Alchemist doesn't and so Inv should use that list.

Other good ability additions could be Quarry, or ways of taking an enemy prisoner alive through nonlethal, nets and manacles, etc.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Tharken wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:


Poison Use should be replaced with Alchemic Deduction

I too am on the side of the fence about poison being kinda out of place here. Instead, might I recommend something akin to investigative alchemy? There are a few scenes in the Bob Downey Sherlock Holmes films that call out to "chemical deduction", as well as the scenes in Johnny Depp's Sleepy Hollow where he uses medical science and chemistry to follow clues. Maybe you could brew chemicals that allow you to follow blood trails, footprints, fingerprints, etc.

That's a very good point. I'd love it if the investigator had a bit more actual investigative abilities, besides just skill points. It probably wouldn't hurt to add a couple divination spells to the investigator's extract list.

In the spirit of Tirisfal's idea, something like a 'DNA test' of sorts could work, whether alchemical or magical in nature. Determine the age, race and sex of a person from things like hair, blood, nails and body parts. Check two body parts against each other to determine if they came from the same person...

Actually, the Sleepless Detective PrC gets blood biography as a spell-like ability (in addition to detect magic and residual tracking), which pretty much does exactly that. The Investigator would be a solid choice to go into that PrC if you don't mind losing out on higher-level extracts.


Coridan wrote:


1 - Reflavor the class. May I suggest Murder Hobo?

This was awesome. I would suggest potentially Saboteur, but Murder Hobo may be my next band's name.


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Majuba wrote:

This class isn't a hybrid of Rogue and Alchemist, it's a Gestalt of them. Virtually no reason to play either of those classes ever again (unless dipping for mutagen/skills/evasion).

Do Better.

I'd still play an alchemist. Bombs, the rest of the discoveries, scaling mutagen related effects. Even vivisectionist who trades away bombs still has a number of things going for it, and there are a number of other archetypes for them that stack with eachother and give unique class features. Alchemist get a lot of nice things.

Several other people have said they'd still play a rogue.


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N N 959 wrote:
1. Poison. Like others, thematically it seems incongruous with the Sherlock Holmes image. Mechanically, I'm guessing it's there to compensate for lack of damage. I can imagine the authors are thinking of someone using ability damage darts as more as a debuffing of bad guys as opposed to an administering of lethal injections.

Hey, to be fair Sherlock Holmes had to have Poison Use. He was a rampant cocaine addict. So it does fit the image, perfectly...


MrSin wrote:
Rogue overshadow. As others have stated, I think the class puts its foot on the Rogue's throat and applies a lot of pressure. What does the Rogue have that this class doesn't? A little bit more sneak attack? As someone stated, if Sneak Attack were the primary motivation to play a rogue, most people would go Ninja.

THe rogue woudl not feel that pressure cause the rogeu have been an undead for a long time.


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Question, would I be able to take the Mutagen and Infusion investigator trick and then roll into Master Chymist? I will assume no, due to the lack of 'discovery' support in this class. This seems disappointing that an alternate class of the alchemist can't swing into the PrC most readily available to it.

I also second the question of whether an Extra Investigator Trick feat will become available. I would like to, by about level 5, have constant +d6 to all my social and Dex skills.

I also make the request of this class being more Archeologist bard than rogue. Personally, I would rather inspiration afforded an effective training on a skill check, and a luck ability allowing a bonus to a d20 roll (as it does). Though, arguably, this Force Point mechanic is highly appreciated. Largely, this is a stylistic critique, not a substantive one.

Further, I agree that sneak attack seems odd, though not as unusual as poison use/resistance. Perhaps Uncanny Dodge for poison and specialized bombs (only smoke ones, along with other similar ones that would do no damage). At this point, removal of mutagen seems appropriate. Bombs and poison use seem to work together, while uncanny dodge and sneak attack/mutagen seem thematically more sound.

Liberty's Edge

Majuba wrote:

This class isn't a hybrid of Rogue and Alchemist, it's a Gestalt of them. Virtually no reason to play either of those classes ever again (unless dipping for mutagen/skills/evasion).

Do Better.

Okay, where to begin. Rogue gets access to Advanced Talents, Investigator does not. I don't think this class gets Evasion or Uncanny Dodge, much less the improved versions of those.

No Bombs, that is, in my opinion, the prime reason to play an Alchemist.

Very limited list of Alchemical Discoveries as options.

No improvements on Mutagen. Mutagen only if you select it.

Slower Sneak Attack progression.

I am sure I am missing some other large cuts but frankly I think I have made my point that this is in no way a Gestalt.


I like poison use.This class does not have to be Sherlock Holmes I'd like to have the opportunity to build a broader range of characters.

Great Class.


slayer_of_gellcor wrote:
Coridan wrote:


1 - Reflavor the class. May I suggest Murder Hobo?

This was awesome. I would suggest potentially Saboteur, but Murder Hobo may be my next band's name.

There's only one source for all your band-naming needs.

Basic Instructions: "How To Name Your Band."


Treefolk wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
1. Poison. Like others, thematically it seems incongruous with the Sherlock Holmes image. Mechanically, I'm guessing it's there to compensate for lack of damage. I can imagine the authors are thinking of someone using ability damage darts as more as a debuffing of bad guys as opposed to an administering of lethal injections.
Hey, to be fair Sherlock Holmes had to have Poison Use. He was a rampant cocaine addict. So it does fit the image, perfectly...

Fortunately you don't need the feat Poison Use to get hooked on pesh if that's your bag.


zarzak wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
3. Overpowering skill class. ...
Eh, I disagree with this. Skills are not *that* powerful. Oh yes, they're handy and useful, but they're not that great. Skills don't keep you alive, and while the investigator can be good at a lot of skills, they're going to equal, say, a wizard, in certain knowledge skills, or whatnot.

So let me clarify for the devs reading these posts that I'm speaking strictly from a PFS perspective. In PFS, yes, skills do keep you alive. On several occassions, I've either had to fight battles or was able to avoid battles based on skill checks. In fact, one of the more recent PFS scenarios, 5-02 The Wardstone Patrol, skill checks determine the entire path of the adventure. Fail them and your fighting the wrong guy and lots of innocent NPC's die.

In PFS, skill checks are a big deal.

But yes, in a home game, I can imagine many skill checks are often hand-waived, so the needs of PFS may be dramatically different from home games.

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Mechanically speaking, a wizard (to keep with the example) can emulate a lot of the skills with spells, *or* just summon a creature with the appropriate skill to use the skill for him.

A wizard has to prepare her spells in advance. So unless your GM is giving out this information OOC, the wizard is not going to know every skill they've got to cover. More importantly, preparing those spells comes at a opportunity cost or direct cost if you're buying scrolls. Summoned animals last Rounds/Caster level. Certainly won't be having them Take 20.


Unknown Ediology wrote:
I've seen a lot of talk about the need to make the Investigator more combat viable. The idea of adding Intelligence to damage or AC, or in some way boosting his attack/damage, would, in my opinion, make this class a little over the top; and very easily overshadow many other classes.

I have to agree with this in principle. You can't let a class dominate a Rogue when it comes to skills, and then equal it when comes to damage. Classes have to have gaps in what they can do so that other classes can feel useful.

Dark Archive

So why exactly do most of you feel poisons are out of place? To me it makes complete sense. When I think of a investigator I think of someone sent out to gather information on crimes or missions. This person would likely be a expert at identifying and using poisons. Dealing with murder weapons, and making assumptions on the spot of what exactly transpired.

That being said, I don't think it adds much to the class mechanically. If you ask me that should be expanded.


MrSin wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
And my more important point is that the Inv can be built to overshadow every other skill class in a way that no Melee character can achieve with respect to combat. It's too focused and too good at a part of the game that is shared by many other classes.

Erm... Vivisectionist? Bard? Summoner/Summoned pets/Eidolon? Inquisitor? Those 4 are pretty darn good at doing melee and skills/support type things. Even Magus has a pretty good number of skill points and packs a pretty big punch and spells to boot, though no inherent bonuses. With ACG we'll have the Skald too.

Again, a lot of classes already overshadow him. Compare the investigator to them maybe?

Forgot to clarify that I'm speaking as someone who plays PFS almost exclusively, so there is no Vivisectionist.

To address your point, yes, they may be good at melee, but they don't dominate combat in a way that makes other martial characters largely irrelevant. One Investigator is going to be able to make every skill check in the book. And I'll disagree about Inquisitors. I've teamed with them a ton and I've not seen them dominate combat in the slightest. Nor do they own the skill department.

PFS also got rid of the Synthesist because it was too good at combat. The Investigator is going to do to skill checks what the Synthesist did to combat and the Synthesist wasn't even that bad, imo.

In a home game, this isn't nearly the problem. If one player takes an Investigator, the next guy isn't taking a Rogue and probably not taking an Alchemist either. In PFS, you don't have that luxury.

I'd recommend Paizo play some mid-to high level Investigators built for skill and team with with a Bard and Rogue built for skills and see how fun that is for the Rogue and Bard.

Let's do a poll on which class is the best for spells or combat and see what we get? Now let's do that poll on skills. If an overwhelming majority of people point to the Investigator, then designers have failed.

There should never be a clear cut choice for the best skill monkey class.


Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
So why exactly do most of you feel poisons are out of place?

Since 1st Edition, poison use has always been considering morally suspect if not evil. Sherlock Homes may have been a drug addict and an expert chemist, but he did not use poisons to gain an advantage over his adversaries. I don't recall his (but maybe he did) using chloroform to drug guards so he could search a room.

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When I think of a investigator I think of someone sent out to gather information on crimes or missions. This person would likely be a expert at identifying and using poisons.

I disagree that a forensic scientist would be an expert in using/administering poisons. Identifying? Yes, and I should think that that would be covered by a Knowledge Nature or Craft Alchemy skill.

I think the other problem is that "Poison Use" is associated with using poisons in combat. Again, poison use is generally viewed as evil and dishonorable. It's not in the theme of literary investigators. It would be appropriate for evil investigators. Call them Interrogators.

So when we look at why it's there, it seems like a mechanical add-on to compensate for lack of raw damage.


Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:

So why exactly do most of you feel poisons are out of place? To me it makes complete sense. When I think of a investigator I think of someone sent out to gather information on crimes or missions. This person would likely be a expert at identifying and using poisons. Dealing with murder weapons, and making assumptions on the spot of what exactly transpired.

That being said, I don't think it adds much to the class mechanically. If you ask me that should be expanded.

Because you don't need Poison Use to do any of those things. You just need it to safely apply poison to your weapons. Otherwise, you will be making Heal checks to determine if someone was poisoned and whatnot.

Its a question of flavor, and I don't feel that the investigator stabbing enemies with poisoned weapons is really all the in line. It works for an Assassin, and it works for a Rogue (who doesn't actually get the dang ability)

I have this same issue with sneak attack, and would prefer something like Exploit Weakness, even though that is technically a much weaker ability (maybe it could scale to add +int to damage at level 10 or something)

Dark Archive

N N 959 wrote:


Since 1st Edition, poison use has always been considering morally suspect if not evil. Sherlock Homes may have been a drug addict and an expert chemist, but he did not use poisons to gain an advantage over his adversaries. I don't recall his (but maybe he did) using chloroform to drug guards so he could search a room.

Morality is based on alignment. Sherlock Holmes is a character not a class.

The class doesn't have any alignment restriction. I'm no Sherlock home expert. Holmes did perform a lot of experiments on the dog in the movie. Which would suggest poison use and administration.

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I disagree that a forensic scientist would be an expert in using/administering poisons. Identifying? Yes, and I should think that that would be covered by a Knowledge Nature or Craft Alchemy skill.

I think the other problem is that "Poison Use" is associated with using poisons in combat. Again, poison use is generally viewed as evil and dishonorable. It's not in the theme of literary investigators. It would be appropriate for evil investigators. Call them Interrogators.

So when we look at why it's there, it seems like a mechanical add-on to compensate for lack of raw damage.

I disagree see above.


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Our current party has had a gestalt alchemist/rogue in it so we were pleased to take a look at this class. He says it's nearly identical to what he's been built for up to this point with the only clear difference between this and what he's been running being 'no bombs..."

Our gm hates his bombs so losing those would be both 'not really a big deal' and probably our gms favorite change to what he's been up to so far. He's the only guy left at our table still running a gestalt since it simply hasn't possible to duplicate this inside of a single class.

He seems enthusiastic about switching to this for the remainder of our adventure path.

Good show on this one.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I agree that the flavor of a detective/investigator doesn't really fit with poison use.

What I'd like to see change in this class: Drop the Poison Use, and cut the sneak attack to +1d6 at every 4 levels. Then compensate by giving more uses for Inspiration in combat, such as...

-Spend a point of Inspiration to treat one opponent as flat-footed for one round.

-Spend a point of Inspiration as an immediate action to increase your critical threat range or multiplier.

-Spend a point of Inspiration to ignore cover/firing into melee/range penalties for a round.

-Spend a point of Inspiration to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity during your turn.

etc...

Dark Archive

Lord_Malkov wrote:
Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:

So why exactly do most of you feel poisons are out of place? To me it makes complete sense. When I think of a investigator I think of someone sent out to gather information on crimes or missions. This person would likely be a expert at identifying and using poisons. Dealing with murder weapons, and making assumptions on the spot of what exactly transpired.

That being said, I don't think it adds much to the class mechanically. If you ask me that should be expanded.

Because you don't need Poison Use to do any of those things. You just need it to safely apply poison to your weapons. Otherwise, you will be making Heal checks to determine if someone was poisoned and whatnot.

Its a question of flavor, and I don't feel that the investigator stabbing enemies with poisoned weapons is really all the in line. It works for an Assassin, and it works for a Rogue (who doesn't actually get the dang ability)

I have this same issue with sneak attack, and would prefer something like Exploit Weakness, even though that is technically a much weaker ability (maybe it could scale to add +int to damage at level 10 or something)

Fair point,

It is odd heal isn't a class skill for investigator.

However, I feel that if a character knows enough to create extracts that would manipulate the anatomy of a character. Not knowing how to handle poisons properly seems a bit silly to me. Like a graphic designer not knowing how to use the brush tool in a art program.

Liberty's Edge

Vincent Takeda wrote:

Our current party has had a gestalt alchemist/rogue in it so we were pleased to take a look at this class. He says it's nearly identical to what he's been built for up to this point with the only clear difference between this and what he's been running being 'no bombs..."

Our gm hates his bombs so losing those would be both 'not really a big deal' and probably our gms favorite change to what he's been up to so far. He's the only guy left at our table still running a gestalt since it simply hasn't possible to duplicate this inside of a single class.

He seems enthusiastic about switching to this for the remainder of our adventure path.

Good show on this one.

Is he actually a gestalt character, gaining all of the benefits of both classes?

Grand Lodge

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Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
So why exactly do most of you feel poisons are out of place? To me it makes complete sense. When I think of a investigator I think of someone sent out to gather information on crimes or missions. This person would likely be a expert at identifying and using poisons. Dealing with murder weapons, and making assumptions on the spot of what exactly transpired.

The Poison Use class ability covers using poisoned melee weapons in combat. Full stop.

The Poison Use class ability does not help you identify poisons. It does not help you drop poison into someone's drink, inject it via syringe, mix it into food, or fill a room with poisonous gas. It does not help you handle a murder weapon. It does not help you with forensic investigation. It does not help you create a poison, or manipulate a poison, or refine a poison.

It only covers poison applied to a weapon to be used in combat. Which is the sort of thing investigators investigate, not the sort of thing they do themselves.

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