Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

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Is it just me, or does Keen Recollection seem to be vestigial?

You're an INT class with 6 skill ranks/level plus an INT modifier of at least +2 (and more likely 3 or higher). All knowledge skills are class skills. How long after level 3 do you think it would take you to put 1 rank into all the knowledge skills anyway?

Dark Archive

Aberrant Templar 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.

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.

You're right about the check.

But surely a modern day chemist would know how to properly and thus improperly handle chemicals though right?

Grand Lodge

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Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:

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.

I totally agree that Heal should be a class skill for the investigator. At least, Heal is the skill that makes the most sense for autopsies and the like.

As for the analogy, there's no physical penalty for a graphic designer not using a brush tool. But there is if you apply poison wrong, which is why it involves special training.

A better analogy may be "a medical examiner knows a lot about human anatomy and cutting up dead bodies, but isn't necessarily a very good surgeon when it comes to cutting up the living."

Or keeping with the design analogy, maybe a graphic designer who works with computers not being skilled with an actual, physical paint brush and canvas.

All of the investigative aspects of poison use can be covered with skill checks. Applying poison to a blade in a stressful situation without spilling it involves not just education, but practice. Likewise, the person applying poison to a blade skillfully doesn't necessarily have to know the chemistry behind how it works or how to make it. They're different skill sets.


Rorenado wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
[list]
  • Poison use felt out of place to me
  • Yeah, it does. Investigators are supposed to solve crimes, not create them.

    While I don't think Investigator NEEDS Poison, not all investigators = Sherlock Holmes. I could definitely see Moriarty as an Investigator, and he would probably use poison.

    I actually think the best way of dealing with this might be just offering some new poisons that can function as sedatives, truth serums, etc.

    Grand Lodge

    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    But surely a modern day chemist would know how to properly and thus improperly handle chemicals though right?

    This is a good analogy to work with.

    A modern day chemist with a PHD has experience handling chemicals in a lab setting without killing themselves (usually).

    Likewise, any character with ranks in the proper skill could reasonably deal with poison in a general setting without accidentally drinking it (usually).

    But if armed men break into the modern day chemist's lab, and the stressed out chemist decides to quickly apply *insert caustic chemical here* to the end of a stick and use it to fend off his attackers ... will his education and lab experience help him as much? Is there a (perhaps small) percentage chance that he'll accidentally expose himself in his haste to defend himself?

    Likewise, anyone can apply poison to a weapon without Poison Use. But properly applying that poison to the right part of the weapon and then handling it in such a way as it won't accidentally get wiped off before it's time to use it leaves a (very small) risk of accidental exposure.

    Characters that have the Poison Use special ability are experienced and trained in that specific activity (applying poison to weapons to be used in combat). The assassin handed a vial of poison and told to stab the King doesn't have to know what the poison is, how it works, or how it's made. He just needs the steady hand and experience and mindfulness to put the right amount in the right spot and hold it in the right way afterward.

    Different skill sets.

    Grand Lodge

    MMCJawa wrote:
    While I don't think Investigator NEEDS Poison, not all investigators = Sherlock Holmes. I could definitely see Moriarty as an Investigator, and he would probably use poison.

    I could definitely see Moriarty as an investigator. Likewise, Dexter was mentioned earlier in the thread as an investigator who uses poison.

    But the pool of literary & cinematic investigator type characters who make use of poisoned weapons is so small, that I think the best way of handing it would be to either create a poison using archetype or (better yet) make it an optional, selected ability via the Talent/Discovery system.

    Shadow Lodge

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    Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

    First of all, I think it speaks very well of the Investigator class as written that the biggest argument about it is whether or not Poison Use fits thematically.

    MMCJawa wrote:
    I actually think the best way of dealing with this might be just offering some new poisons that can function as sedatives, truth serums, etc.

    We actually have these. Blue Whinnis is a sedative. Truth serum = Wisdom damage (ie lowering Will saves). That's what poisons *are* in Pathfinder.

    Poison Use is several things. It is not accidentally poisoning yourself when using a poisoned weapon. It is also not accidentally poisoning yourself when applying that poison -- either to the weapon *or* to its delivery device. So if you are poisoning food, pouring chloroform onto a handkerchief, or setting a poison needle trap, the GM is perfectly within their rights to have you make a skill check where a roll of '1' means that you have poisoned yourself.

    And Poison Use is also, in PFS, the ability to acquire Poison in the first place.

    I maintain that Spies and Secret Agents (and evil Masterminds such as Moriarty) are also fully covered by the flavor of the Investigator, so that Poison Use fits perfectly well thematically. But YMMV.

    Sovereign Court

    pH unbalanced wrote:

    First of all, I think it speaks very well of the Investigator class as written that the biggest argument about it is whether or not Poison Use fits thematically.

    MMCJawa wrote:
    I actually think the best way of dealing with this might be just offering some new poisons that can function as sedatives, truth serums, etc.

    We actually have these. Blue Whinnis is a sedative. Truth serum = Wisdom damage (ie lowering Will saves). That's what poisons *are* in Pathfinder.

    Poison Use is several things. It is not accidentally poisoning yourself when using a poisoned weapon. It is also not accidentally poisoning yourself when applying that poison -- either to the weapon *or* to its delivery device. So if you are poisoning food, pouring chloroform onto a handkerchief, or setting a poison needle trap, the GM is perfectly within their rights to have you make a skill check where a roll of '1' means that you have poisoned yourself.

    And Poison Use is also, in PFS, the ability to acquire Poison in the first place.

    I maintain that Spies and Secret Agents (and evil Masterminds such as Moriarty) are also fully covered by the flavor of the Investigator, so that Poison Use fits perfectly well thematically. But YMMV.

    Here Here!

    Dark Archive

    Aberrant Templar wrote:
    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    But surely a modern day chemist would know how to properly and thus improperly handle chemicals though right?

    This is a good analogy to work with.

    A modern day chemist with a PHD has experience handling chemicals in a lab setting without killing themselves (usually).

    Likewise, any character with ranks in the proper skill could reasonably deal with poison in a general setting without accidentally drinking it (usually).

    But if armed men break into the modern day chemist's lab, and the stressed out chemist decides to quickly apply *insert caustic chemical here* to the end of a stick and use it to fend off his attackers ... will his education and lab experience help him as much? Is there a (perhaps small) percentage chance that he'll accidentally expose himself in his haste to defend himself?

    Likewise, anyone can apply poison to a weapon without Poison Use. But properly applying that poison to the right part of the weapon and then handling it in such a way as it won't accidentally get wiped off before it's time to use it leaves a (very small) risk of accidental exposure.

    Characters that have the Poison Use special ability are experienced and trained in that specific activity (applying poison to weapons to be used in combat). The assassin handed a vial of poison and told to stab the King doesn't have to know what the poison is, how it works, or how it's made. He just needs the steady hand and experience and mindfulness to put the right amount in the right spot and hold it in the right way afterward.

    Different skill sets.

    Okay I'll grant you that. But then there is a detective side too. Knowing exactly how criminals think, recreating the scenario exactly as it occurred. I feel that would give the experience necessary to cover the "experience" needed to gain poison use. Is it really that far fetched for the class?

    Dark Archive

    pH unbalanced wrote:

    First of all, I think it speaks very well of the Investigator class as written that the biggest argument about it is whether or not Poison Use fits thematically.

    MMCJawa wrote:
    I actually think the best way of dealing with this might be just offering some new poisons that can function as sedatives, truth serums, etc.

    We actually have these. Blue Whinnis is a sedative. Truth serum = Wisdom damage (ie lowering Will saves). That's what poisons *are* in Pathfinder.

    Poison Use is several things. It is not accidentally poisoning yourself when using a poisoned weapon. It is also not accidentally poisoning yourself when applying that poison -- either to the weapon *or* to its delivery device. So if you are poisoning food, pouring chloroform onto a handkerchief, or setting a poison needle trap, the GM is perfectly within their rights to have you make a skill check where a roll of '1' means that you have poisoned yourself.

    And Poison Use is also, in PFS, the ability to acquire Poison in the first place.

    I maintain that Spies and Secret Agents (and evil Masterminds such as Moriarty) are also fully covered by the flavor of the Investigator, so that Poison Use fits perfectly well thematically. But YMMV.

    I agree completely.


    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    Morality is based on alignment.

    Except in a fantasy game when using Poison can be considered to be a morality violation despite one's alignment. Let me quote the PRD:

    PRD wrote:
    Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth)

    Emphasis added.

    As I beieve I stated, Poison Use might be appropriate for evil Investigators.

    Quote:
    Sherlock Holmes is a character not a class.

    The character is a partial template for the class. So Sherlock's skill sets and motivation are the basis for the class.

    And I and others have said, lack of Poison Use doesn't affect his investigative abilities in that area.

    You asked why people feel Poison Use is not appropriate and I'm giving you one person's take. It isn't a debate, it's an opinion.


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    I agree wholeheartedly that there is a place for Investigators with Poison Use. But I can see just as many without. I think it should be an option, and not hardwired into the class.


    I actually think it would be nice if the Investigator could choose between two paths... the Mastermind Criminal or the Heroic Investigator.

    Then you have your Moriarty/Holmes Dichotomy baked right in.

    So the Criminal side gets sneak attack and poison use

    And the good guy side gets bombs and access to some bomb discoveries (limited)

    Dark Archive

    N N 959 wrote:
    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    Morality is based on alignment.

    Except in a fantasy game when using Poison can be considered to be a morality violation despite one's alignment. Let me quote the PRD:

    PRD wrote:
    Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth)

    Emphasis added.

    As I beieve I stated, Poison Use might be appropriate for evil Investigators.

    Quote:
    Sherlock Holmes is a character not a class.

    The character is a partial template for the class. So Sherlock's skill sets and motivation are the basis for the class.

    And I and others have said, lack of Poison Use doesn't affect his investigative abilities in that area.

    I disagree.

    for example,
    I'm a programmer, I ethically hack my own websites. Yet don't hack any site I have not been commissioned to by the owner to exploit weaknesses. If I was a character in a fantasy game. would my morality with this knowledge be in question?

    I always thought a paladin adheres to a code which is far more strict than simply being lawful, good.


    graywulfe wrote:
    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?

    Yep. He says that based on what he's read of the investigator it would be able to pretty closely reproduce what he's built up to this point. At least not lose so much of the gestalt that he wouldn't miss what he lost. The things he would prefer to keep are built into this class already.

    Grand Lodge

    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    Would my morality with this knowledge be in question?

    If morality in the real world followed the mechanical rules for alignment in the game system, then yes. It probably would.

    For the record, I don't think "poison is evil" is a good reason for investigators to not have it as a base ability. I think the alignment system has some wonky bits, and I don't think there's a good justification for all poison use to be "evil" even within that system.

    My main reason for believing that poison use should be shuffled into an archetype or turned into an optional choice via the trait/discovery system is that there are so few cinematic or literary examples of investigator/detective type characters using poisonous weapons, and most of the ones that do exist are either villains or heroic subversions or inversions of the trope. It seems like a big stretch to make this a base ability, but a reasonable inclusion to make it an optional one.


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    This might be a moot point, but I wanted to see if this made sense to anyone else. The talent "Eidetic Recollection" talks about allowing an Investigator to "Take 20" on a knowledge check even if in immediate danger or distracted, if they spend an inspiration.

    The question is, what about the time issue with "Take 20"? When you take 20, you take 20 times the normal to make the check. Thus the average standard action takes 2 minutes.

    I get the impression that the talent is intended to allow a take 20 in combat, as a standard action but it doesn't say so explicitly. Any thoughts?

    FYI, the talent is on page 20 of the Advanced Class pdf, and you can read up about Take-20 here

    http://paizo.com/prd/usingSkills.html

    Grand Lodge

    Out of curiosity, is there a specific developer, or team of developers, responsible for the Investigator class?

    Maybe a little more information about what sort of "investigator" type character they are going for with this class, or why certain abilities were chosen would be helpful?


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    Aberrant Templar wrote:

    Out of curiosity, is there a specific developer, or team of developers, responsible for the Investigator class?

    Maybe a little more information about what sort of "investigator" type character they are going for with this class, or why certain abilities were chosen would be helpful?

    I actually think that every class could use a little nit of a mission statement where it lists the design goals... its easier to see what fits then.

    Dark Archive

    Aberrant Templar wrote:
    Tignous "Tig" Nio wrote:
    Would my morality with this knowledge be in question?

    If morality in the real world followed the mechanical rules for alignment in the game system, then yes. It probably would.

    For the record, I don't think "poison is evil" is a good reason for investigators to not have it as a base ability. I think the alignment system has some wonky bits, and I don't think there's a good justification for all poison use to be "evil" even within that system.

    My main reason for believing that poison use should be shuffled into an archetype or turned into an optional choice via the trait/discovery system is that there are so few cinematic or literary examples of investigator/detective type characters using poisonous weapons, and most of the ones that do exist are either villains or heroic subversions or inversions of the trope. It seems like a big stretch to make this a base ability, but a reasonable inclusion to make it an optional one.

    Great points,

    Yeah I could definitely see that working out akin to a combat style for rangers.


    Okay, we're about to have this discussion devolve into the alignment/morality argument that's been around for too long. We are all making an assumption that there won't be archetypes for some of these playtest classes. I doubt that will be the case. We may want to keep some notes on what we think might help make solid archetype decisions for later in the playtest, while trying to iron out other wrinkles in the base design.

    That being said, I think the real "Jack the Ripper" problem people get from the Investigator right now comes from the higher level Sneak Attack dice. Having 9 SA dice tricks the player's/GM's mind into thinking that massive damage is a large focus in the class. I'd be perfectly fine with only 4 of those dice, if we even need them. A friend who also got the PDF pointed out that the 9 dice could still be used in a Sherlock sense when we use a sap or generally go for non-lethal damage. Even then, I'd still be more inclined to reduce the dice a bit.


    I agree as well it should have the heal skill.

    Shouldn't he get improved unarmed strike as a bonus feat, I mean have you seen a detective movie were the detective doesn't use his fists as well as his wits.

    I could go ether way with the sneak attack though, to have or not to have.

    Designer

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    Aberrant Templar wrote:

    Out of curiosity, is there a specific developer, or team of developers, responsible for the Investigator class?

    Maybe a little more information about what sort of "investigator" type character they are going for with this class, or why certain abilities were chosen would be helpful?

    I'm the lead on the investigator. I can tell you that my main influence was, of course, Sherlock Holmes. As a consulting investigator, a chemist, and with a capable but often unorthodox approach to melee combat, the mix of rogue and alchemist was a perfect fit.

    Of course, there are other great investigators, and many of those niches will be filled by archetypes and the expansion of investigator talents. For the base class my other influence were (believe it or not) Doctor Who, Will Graham (from the books and the Hannibal TV show) and John Luther (from the BBC show), among others.

    Jack the Ripper was definitely not an influence, and given that the Ripper likely worked alone, and there is no evidence that he used injury poisons (to use the Pathfinder parlance), I find the suggestion that this class is more based on him than Sherlock Holmes to be more than a little...well...overstated.

    That said, using raw poison use (and it's implications) may not be the best fit, and we are talking about and brainstorming possible replacement. We also reconsidering sneak attack for something that might fit the theme better, but I think sneak attack works pretty well ("Stand here Watson...you're providing a flank" "A flank, Holmes? Whatever do you mean?"). Adding Bluff and Use Magic Device to inspiration is on the list, as is coming up with more investigator talents.

    Designer

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    Dragon78 wrote:
    I agree as well it should have the heal skill.

    Yes, and this is going on the skill list.


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    So,

    Improved Unarmed Strike
    Knockout Artist
    Sap Adept
    Combat Expertise
    Improved Feint

    As a human Investigator, you can have all of these by level 7, or earlier if you grab some rogue talents

    At level 8, your attack is then
    Feint
    Punch for 1d3+3d6+9 non-lethal before adding strength, enhancement or brawling.

    Not a bad way to go for knockouts.

    You could also grab Weapon Focus, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, and Enforcer to intimidate targets with you fists. And sap master. Drop expertise and feint.

    You could pull this off by level 11

    human: Enforcer
    1 Improved Unarmed Strike
    3 Weapon Focus IUS
    5 Dazzling Display
    7 Sap Adept
    9 Sap Master, Combat Trick(Shatter Defenses)
    11 Knockout Artist

    (You can do this earlier by taking the Weapon Training Rogue talent)

    So, you hit someone for piddly non-lethal damage OR you spend a round using dazzling display (add in inspiring intimidator if you like)

    Shatter defenses, and make the knockout punch.
    Lets say that you have a 16 strength only, some brawling armor and a +2 brass knuckle.
    With KO artist, sap adept, sap master and sneak attack you will be dealing: 1d3+8d6+31 non-lethal (62 average)

    Knock 'em out and drag them to JUSTICE!!!!


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Please add Heal, as it would fit the investigator. As stated above SR-M, I think poison use could have it's use (Moriarty), but as a talent or archetype (mastermind).

    I do like the idea of Bluff and UMD (Bluff is mandatory for an investigator).

    If I might suggest a new Talent :

    Undercover Operative : The Investigator adds 1/2 his class level as a bonus to all Bluff and Perform(Acting) checks, as his training has included operating as an undercover operative. Additionally, the Investigator can spend one hour cramming for an undercover role, gaining the ability to make a Profession or Knowledge check as if he had his level in Ranks in that skill provided it is directly related to his undercover role. The investigator requires access to books or professionals of that type to learn what he needs. He cannot have more than one undercover skill at a time, and loses his skill if he breaks cover.

    The above screams Sherlock Holmes/Bruce Wayne. Investigators are always in fiction going undercover as criminals. Another good example would be the Pretender TV show. Granted, this is rough, but it should be a good idea. And honestly, I think that could even replace Poison Use.


    Why limit the additional feature of Empathy to once a day? There is already a limiting factor (spend an inspiration point).


    i defiantly agree that poison use should be a talent or achetype base rather than a core skill, poison resistance on the other hand i feel should stay.


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    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Dragon78 wrote:
    I agree as well it should have the heal skill.
    Yes, and this is going on the skill list.

    While I agree that the template closely approximates Sherlock Holmes in PF, is there any acknowledgment that you're overdoing the skill supremacy of the class? You mention Jack the Ripper as a soloist, but Sherlock homes had Watson as a literary device and was not dependent on him. Even in the recent movies, Watson was the superior surgeon, but now you're going to let Holmes subsume that ability as well? Sherlock was never required to share the spotlight with a group of other skilled adventurers as is the case in PFS. So yeah, this screams Sherlock Holmes to me in the depth of its abilities, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

    I've seen development cycles with classes before and I've noted one of the most difficult things for the developers to do is make the class feel average. Developers want players to love their creations and they primarily achieve that by giving the class cool things and pace setting abilities. But that's bad for the game on whole. Every time someone says this is the new skill monkey and nobody can offer a valid argument for another choice, that should be a red flag.

    You can always improve the class once it's out. But it's much harder tone it down without public uproar. I would hope you guys will err on the conservative side here.


    I do like the idea of starting investigator talents and sneak attack a level earlier, as well as having a growing/evolving talent of poison use/resistance.

    Designer

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    N N 959 wrote:
    Even in the recent movies, Watson was the superior surgeon, but now you're going to let Holmes subsume that ability as well? Sherlock was never required to share the spotlight with a group of other skilled adventurers as is the case in PFS. So yeah, this screams Sherlock Holmes to me in the depth of its abilities, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Actually Watson is an excellent surgeon in the original stories as well. A veteran of his era's war in Afghanistan he was also good with a pistol and--while the narrator of the story, and in awe of his friend--is a much better character and companion than is commonly assumed. There were also other side characters in the Holmes tales, so he wasn't always on his own.

    Investigators have fewer skill ranks than the rogue, often can't use inspiration if they are not trained in a skill, and will undoubtably lack the punch of rogues in combat. That said, in the initial design process, I frequently told the team that this guy is better than the rogue in some key things, but we decided to playtest that and see what the reaction is. Hence, the version you have and are playtesting.

    As for my motivation, these aren't my toys, they are the players. I'm just the designer. I want players to have a good experience with the class, without invalidating other people's experience. The investigator is difficult in this regard. Common messageboard consensus is that the rogue is lower than low. Common messageboard consensus right now is that the investigator is fun, does it job, and is much better than the rogue. If I were entirely basing this on the current consensus, I'm caught in a trap.

    But again, that is why we are doing a playtest.


    I think that the investigator should get 10 dice of sneak attack, thus gaining Sneak Attack at 2nd level instead of 4th.

    If sneak attack sounds out of place for it, decrease the amount, like 1d6 per 3 levels, but make it still a VERY early ability.


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    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    N N 959 wrote:
    Even in the recent movies, Watson was the superior surgeon, but now you're going to let Holmes subsume that ability as well? Sherlock was never required to share the spotlight with a group of other skilled adventurers as is the case in PFS. So yeah, this screams Sherlock Holmes to me in the depth of its abilities, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Actually Watson is an excellent surgeon in the original stories as well. A veteran of his era's war in Afghanistan he was also good with a pistol and--while the narrator of the story, and in awe of his friend--is a much better character and companion than is commonly assumed. There were also other side characters in the Holmes tales, so he wasn't always on his own.

    Investigators have fewer skill ranks than the rogue, often can't use inspiration if they are not trained in a skill, and will undoubtably lack the punch of rogues in combat. That said, in the initial design process, I frequently told the team that this guy is better than the rogue in some key things, but we decided to playtest that and see what the reaction is. Hence, the version you have and are playtesting.

    As for my motivation, these aren't my toys, they are the players. I'm just the designer. I want players to have a good experience with the class, without invalidating other people's experience. The investigator is difficult in this regard. Common messageboard consensus is that the rogue is lower than low. Common messageboard consensus right now is that the investigator is fun, does it job, and is much better than the rogue. If I were entirely basing this on the current consensus, I'm caught in a trap.

    But again, that is why we are doing a playtest.

    It is a conundrum indeed.

    The rogue is seen as quite underpowered in a lot of circles. You can see the same sort of discussion happening on the Brawler Thread regarding the Core Monk.

    I do not think that the Investigator should be compared only to the rogue though, it is also part alchemist... it is also a skill master like the bard.

    Currently, I think that a Bard's increased skill points and versatile performance (along with inspire competence and their MUCH more potent spell list) makes them a better utility class overall.

    The investigator is making up for that gap by hoping to be a bit of a better combatant with his sneak attack.

    However, I still don't think that sneak attack 'fits' as well as it should. As I have said in this, and other threads. Sneak attack requires a lot of planning, system mastery, feats, and character resources to turn into a good class feature.

    The wonderful thing about an alchemists bombs (which mimic the sneak attack damage progression) is that you just have them. They are effective without any special character investment or focus, and with focus and investment they become better.

    When I first read this class, I immediately thought about taking a single pistol and dressing up like Phillip Marlowe in an armored coat and a dashing fedora. However, if I do that, I really have no way of using sneak attack, and I waste a major class feature.

    This is the Sneak Attack paradox. If you build around it, it can be very good. If you don't build around it, it is very weak. That makes balancing it as a class-feature nearly impossible.

    For the investigator and the slayer, I think there is a good opportunity to flip the script on Sneak Attack, and make it a class feature that does not (A) require other characters for it to function or (B) require immense feat/talent investment.

    The damage output of a more consistent sneak attack ability would have to be lower, and it would be reasonable to limit the number of uses as well. This does TWO things. Firstly, it lets the Slayer and Investigator uses the ability differently and in ways that better fit their flavor. Secondly, it assures that the Rogue has the highest sneak attack potential and is the ONLY class that can make an unlimited number of sneak attacks.

    To wit, I would suggest using the Alchemist uses per day of Bombs, but rather than bombs, an Investigator can make a precision attack, getting sneak attack damage with no condition (or a simple condition like successfully identifying the creature via knowledge).

    So the investigator can sneak attack a target without having to flank or deny dex up to a number of times per day equal to his level + intelligence bonus. Functionally this is worse than bombs which target touch ac and benefit from discoveries AND sneak attack, which is can be used an unlimited number of times per day and applies sneak attack talent effects.

    But it would better fit the investigators style of being a class built around daily pools of extracts and inspirations. And it is a true hybridization of the Bomb and Sneak attack abilities.


    for non PFS (i can't speak to it as I don't have any games going on that I know of up in the cold) There is a lack of a poisony kind of person. Alchemist comes pretty close but it would be really neat to have this kind of character too. They have severally different feels with their skill subsets. ALchemist I feel "Bomb and melee!"(boom I'm not subtle!) Investigator it feels like he calls out good moves (the aid another) and strikes in along with their ally (the weaker guy who sees the possibilities). For an anime reference... the kind of combat Kirino and Asuna do in sword art online (obviously with different weapons, and less power because they're totally full bab classes, etc) the calling out moves to help and making the strikes potent because they are more thinkers than doers.

    If it comes down to an archetype or talents, I would still take them to use poison but I would hope you might add the ability to get the Int times hits from the alchemist, or ability to apply as a swift action (the int hits is more preferred though gives it a bit more lasting power).
    I don't think poison is auto bad side either,

    Outside of that, for infusions some divination might be good, drug induced mental clarity to think is a neat way to say how it works.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


    Investigators have fewer skill ranks than the rogue

    True but on the other hand a lot of skills can be boosted/circumvented entirly with the extracts

    Liberty's Edge

    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

    Jack the Ripper was definitely not an influence, and given that the Ripper likely worked alone, and there is no evidence that he used injury poisons (to use the Pathfinder parlance), I find the suggestion that this class is more based on him than Sherlock Holmes to be more than a little...well...overstated.

    History is less certain ;)

    What do you think of the Inquisitor spell list over Alchemist? I like that he uses extracts, but the actual list from Inquisitor has more detectivey stuff on it.


    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    N N 959 wrote:
    Even in the recent movies, Watson was the superior surgeon, but now you're going to let Holmes subsume that ability as well? Sherlock was never required to share the spotlight with a group of other skilled adventurers as is the case in PFS. So yeah, this screams Sherlock Holmes to me in the depth of its abilities, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Actually Watson is an excellent surgeon in the original stories as well. A veteran of his era's war in Afghanistan he was also good with a pistol and--while the narrator of the story, and in awe of his friend--is a much better character and companion than is commonly assumed. There were also other side characters in the Holmes tales, so he wasn't always on his own.

    Investigators have fewer skill ranks than the rogue, often can't use inspiration if they are not trained in a skill, and will undoubtably lack the punch of rogues in combat. That said, in the initial design process, I frequently told the team that this guy is better than the rogue in some key things, but we decided to playtest that and see what the reaction is. Hence, the version you have and are playtesting.

    As for my motivation, these aren't my toys, they are the players. I'm just the designer. I want players to have a good experience with the class, without invalidating other people's experience. The investigator is difficult in this regard. Common messageboard consensus is that the rogue is lower than low. Common messageboard consensus right now is that the investigator is fun, does it job, and is much better than the rogue. If I were entirely basing this on the current consensus, I'm caught in a trap.

    But again, that is why we are doing a playtest.

    Maybe that means the rogue needs a redesign? (No snark intended).

    I mean...I feel like messing with the investigator is dealing with the symptom rather than the cause.

    Designer

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    Coridan wrote:
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

    Jack the Ripper was definitely not an influence, and given that the Ripper likely worked alone, and there is no evidence that he used injury poisons (to use the Pathfinder parlance), I find the suggestion that this class is more based on him than Sherlock Holmes to be more than a little...well...overstated.

    History is less certain ;)

    What do you think of the Inquisitor spell list over Alchemist? I like that he uses extracts, but the actual list from Inquisitor has more detectivey stuff on it.

    Conjecture is less certain, and I did say injury poisons, which is what poison use speaks to. :)

    We considered that, but we knew from the start that we didn't want the investigator to be a divine caster. We already had a divine and religious investigator, that was the inquisitor.

    You will see a number of more investigator-themed formula for extracts in the final book, which will fill aid the class in their primary objective.


    First, thanks for responding. Let me acknowledge that creating new classes is not trivial. I'm sure it's quite challenging as there is no formula you can use to make it perfect and no way to please everyone.

    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Investigators have fewer skill ranks than the rogue...

    Second, my concern with this class isn't in protecting the Rogue. I actually don't play Rogues. I'm just pointing out the obvious encroachment. My concern about the skill is with every other class that derives some satisfaction with being able to contribute a skill check to help the cause.

    Quote:
    As for my motivation, these aren't my toys, they are the players. I'm just the designer.

    That's good to hear.

    Quote:
    I want players to have a good experience with the class, without invalidating other people's experience.

    Exactly what my motivation is here.

    Quote:
    Common messageboard consensus right now is that the investigator is fun, does it job, and is much better than the rogue. If I were entirely basing this on the current consensus, I'm caught in a trap.

    I don't think you are caught in any trap. There's a lot of space to lower the efficacy of the Investigator before people stop enjoying it.

    Quote:
    But again, that is why we are doing a playtest.

    The problem with the playtest is you aren't going to have people posting in this thread or any others complaining the Investigator was too good at skills. What you have is people wanting more damage, more options, more benefits, or thematic changes. The idea that a class should be made more mediocre is a foreign concept to most gamers. The players who play this class are doing it because they like what they are getting and they generally want more. They don't want less. I don't think there is another poster in this thread who has any misgivings about the encroachment on non-rogues.

    One of the problem with this class is the single attribute dependency and synergy of the two classes. Let's compare this class to the Bloodrager. That class is also a hybrd. But you are combing two classes that don't share the same primary attribute. A Bloodrager has to choose between boosting STR, CON, and CHR. Not to mention keeping an eye on DEX for lack of heavy armor at higher levels. In addition to having a smaller Hit Die than a Barbarian, it has far fewer spells than a Sorcerer. Nobody looks at the Bloodranger and says that class is going to be better at being a barbarian or sorcerer than those respective classes.

    With the Investigator, you've allowed the class to leverage everything off of INT. You're giving six skill points to a class with INT as the primary attribute. Neither the Ranger, Bard, nor Rogue have INT as a Primary attribute. And for those classes to put points in that Attribute, they incur an opportunity cost.

    On trained skills, you're adding (1d6) an average of 3 point bump above and beyond all other modifiers. I don't see why the Investigator should be allowed to get the highest possible result over every other class in every Knowledge skill? That's excessive. Why would an investigator be better at Spellcraft than a Wizard right out of the gate?

    As it stands now, the Investigator of equal Int to a Wizard, would know more than any other Wizard. That discrepancy will most likely increases at higher levels. While I agree that Sherlock Holmes could be considered the brightest mind in all of Great Britain, emulating that aspect of Holmes in PF is problematic.

    Let me offer some thoughts:

    1. Incorporate Multiple Attribute Dependency. As suggested above, the Investigator needs to be dependent on more attributes do derive its benefits. Traits that allow one to substitute INT for CHR, WIS, DEX, STR, make this even more problematic. Make Insp flow from CHR or Wis. A Cleric gets its Channels from CHR, not from WIS. That helps average out the efficacy range of Clerics. And I'd probably lean towards Wisdom to keep it from infringing on Bards.

    2. No free use Inspirations. An "inspiration" should feel like a singular event, not a constant bonus. The Investigator can already use this AFTER the roll is made. This gives other classes a chance to step to the forefront at some point.

    3. No Inspiration on T10/T20.

    4. Reduce the Inspiration die. As mentioned 1d3 to 1d4 at 7th.

    5. No clear skill monkey. I said this before. Right now, whether you like the Rogue or not, the Rogue and the Bard are toss-ups for best skill monkey class. The Investigator should not settle that debate.

    Hope this helps keep this class from infringing on every other skill infused class.

    Designer

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    Cybit wrote:

    Maybe that means the rogue needs a redesign? (No snark intended).

    I mean...I feel like messing with the investigator is dealing with the symptom rather than the cause.

    No snark intuited. :)

    I don't think the rogue requires a redesign, and no matter your feelings on that particular subject it is beyond the scope of this book and it is not something the design team is planning on doing.

    At the end of the day, I want the investigator to be fun, useful, and playable to people who want to play this type of character. That is the goal. I think we are well on our way, unless more playtest feedback says something different.


    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Cybit wrote:

    Maybe that means the rogue needs a redesign? (No snark intended).

    I mean...I feel like messing with the investigator is dealing with the symptom rather than the cause.

    No snark intuited. :)

    I don't think the rogue requires a redesign, and no matter your feelings on that particular subject it is beyond the scope of this book and it is not something the design team is planning on doing.

    At the end of the day, I want the investigator to be fun, useful, and playable to people who want to play this type of character. That is the goal. I think we are well on our way, unless more playtest feedback says something different.

    Heh, it's the internet, tone can be mistaken easily. ;)

    Maybe then while in the development of the investigator, some options that aid the investigator can also be modified to aid the rogue - at least perhaps giving the rogue some buffs.

    I guess while the investigator is being created, I want to make sure that the rogue has its own spot within the class hierarchy, and it does that "thing" the best. Heck, all of the hybrid classes here need to have that philosophy IMO - take 80% (or what not) of each class, but not being better at what their base class does than their base class is. :)

    As an aside: I personally just love ninjas, since I like sneak attack and I like ki as fluff pieces, so I don't really play rogues very much - can't comment too much on whether I feel they're personally underpowered or not, I just know that most players feel the rogue is not to the level of other classes.


    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    At the end of the day, I want the investigator to be fun, useful, and playable to people who want to play this type of character. That is the goal. I think we are well on our way, unless more playtest feedback says something different.

    I think you've hit that pitch out of the park.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Aberrant Templar wrote:

    Out of curiosity, is there a specific developer, or team of developers, responsible for the Investigator class?

    Maybe a little more information about what sort of "investigator" type character they are going for with this class, or why certain abilities were chosen would be helpful?

    I'm the lead on the investigator. I can tell you that my main influence was, of course, Sherlock Holmes. As a consulting investigator, a chemist, and with a capable but often unorthodox approach to melee combat, the mix of rogue and alchemist was a perfect fit.

    Of course, there are other great investigators, and many of those niches will be filled by archetypes and the expansion of investigator talents. For the base class my other influence were (believe it or not) Doctor Who, Will Graham (from the books and the Hannibal TV show) and John Luther (from the BBC show), among others.

    Jack the Ripper was definitely not an influence, and given that the Ripper likely worked alone, and there is no evidence that he used injury poisons (to use the Pathfinder parlance), I find the suggestion that this class is more based on him than Sherlock Holmes to be more than a little...well...overstated.

    That said, using raw poison use (and it's implications) may not be the best fit, and we are talking about and brainstorming possible replacement. We also reconsidering sneak attack for something that might fit the theme better, but I think sneak attack works pretty well ("Stand here Watson...you're providing a flank" "A flank, Holmes? Whatever do you mean?"). Adding Bluff and Use Magic Device to inspiration is on the list, as is coming up with more investigator talents.

    Hi Stephen,

    While I'm all for the class having Sneak attack (it fits the hitting the weak-spot flavour for Sherlock), I do think it just needs to be toned down (perhaps to a maximum of 5 or 6d6). Nobody should be sneak attacking at the rogue or ninja level.

    Also I would also like to posit another point of inspiration (and it's who I based the Investigator Build from in my first playtest): Samuel Vimes of the Ankh Morpork city watch. Sam Vimes is a bit more of a hardboiled detective, and he solves his crimes through a combination of dogged determination and constant working on the problem. He fights dirty when needs be and sneak attack definitely fits.

    Another point of inspiration might be Bigby Wolf from Fables.

    I guess what I'm sayingn is that the Investigator does need to be a bit of a bastard, and the hardboiled detective might need to ramp up SA while the classic detective might need to ramp it down.

    Kind Regards,

    DM_aka_Dudemeister.

    RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

    How about Investigator talents that let you spend Inspiration to cast detective-themed SLAs that aren't on the extract list? Things like Blood Biography, Discern Lies, Zone of Truth, Residual Tracking, etc.


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    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    Aberrant Templar wrote:

    Out of curiosity, is there a specific developer, or team of developers, responsible for the Investigator class?

    Maybe a little more information about what sort of "investigator" type character they are going for with this class, or why certain abilities were chosen would be helpful?

    I'm the lead on the investigator. I can tell you that my main influence was, of course, Sherlock Holmes. As a consulting investigator, a chemist, and with a capable but often unorthodox approach to melee combat, the mix of rogue and alchemist was a perfect fit.

    Of course, there are other great investigators, and many of those niches will be filled by archetypes and the expansion of investigator talents. For the base class my other influence were (believe it or not) Doctor Who, Will Graham (from the books and the Hannibal TV show) and John Luther (from the BBC show), among others.

    Jack the Ripper was definitely not an influence, and given that the Ripper likely worked alone, and there is no evidence that he used injury poisons (to use the Pathfinder parlance), I find the suggestion that this class is more based on him than Sherlock Holmes to be more than a little...well...overstated.

    That said, using raw poison use (and it's implications) may not be the best fit, and we are talking about and brainstorming possible replacement. We also reconsidering sneak attack for something that might fit the theme better, but I think sneak attack works pretty well ("Stand here Watson...you're providing a flank" "A flank, Holmes? Whatever do you mean?"). Adding Bluff and Use Magic Device to inspiration is on the list, as is coming up with more investigator talents.

    Hi Stephen,

    While I'm all for the class having Sneak attack (it fits the hitting the weak-spot flavour for Sherlock), I do think it just needs to be toned down (perhaps to a maximum of 5 or 6d6). Nobody should be sneak attacking at the rogue or ninja level.

    Also I would also...

    I wonder if getting sneak attack at 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 20th might be better. That's 2d6 less overall but is actually ahead until level 6. Importantly, while it is eventualyl a nerf, it gets the first one at level 2, when the current investigator has no damage boosts over a commoner.


    I'm down for less sneak attack, and I think that reduction could be paired with a distracting strike class feature.

    something like this:
    1st-- alchemy, inspiration, trapfinding
    2nd-- poison resist +2, sneak attack +1d6, distracting attack (as rogue talent)
    3rd-- investigator talent, keen recollection, trap sense +1
    4th-- swift alchemy
    5th-- investigator talent, poison resist +4
    6th-- sneak attack +2d6, trap sense +2
    7th-- investigator talent
    8th-- poison resist +6, some upgrade to distracting attack (ie target is flat-footed to up to a number allies equal to the number of sneak attack dice, but still not yourself)
    9th-- investigator talent, trap sense +3
    10th-- sneak attack +3d6
    11th-- investigator talent, poison immunity
    12th-- trap sense +4
    13th-- investigator talent
    14th-- sneak attack +4d6 (and +5d6 at 18)

    add a talent (available at 9th) which makes you able to benefit from your own distracting attack with your iterative attacks.

    another talent to be able to spend an inspiration to use distracting strike on a foe without requiring the conditions appropriate for sneak attack.


    I've been trying out the investigator, and it's quite fun; potentially the best skill monkey in the game yet, with decent combat power to boot. I like it. I am afraid this guy might get hacked to pieces, since he seems to be getting more awesome stuff at the same time than I have ever seen in a class.

    I built myself a KO (nonlethal) build and it looks quite nice.

    Edit: I'm not so sure sneak attack should be lessened, if only because they have no other reliable way for damage (unless you mutagen yourself).

    Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

    N N 959 wrote:

    As it stands now, the Investigator of equal Int to a Wizard, would know more than any other Wizard. That discrepancy will most likely increases at higher levels. While I agree that Sherlock Holmes could be considered the brightest mind in all of Great Britain, emulating that aspect of Holmes in PF is problematic.

    Let me offer some thoughts:

    1. Incorporate Multiple Attribute Dependency. As suggested above, the Investigator needs to be dependent on more attributes do derive its benefits. Traits that allow one to substitute INT for CHR, WIS, DEX, STR, make this even more problematic. Make Insp flow from CHR or Wis. A Cleric gets its Channels from CHR, not from WIS. That helps average out the efficacy range of Clerics. And I'd probably lean towards Wisdom to keep it from infringing on Bards.

    Unless your Investigator is only standing around and using his skills, he's already MAD. (My first try at a build that focused on Inspiration, but did something in combat had scores of 14, 14, 14, 17, 12, 7. Not exactly a wizardly array. Granted, I'm not a math-y optimizer.)

    INT for a wizard is his combat and skill stat. If an Investigator starts getting a little too know-it-all-y, the wizard turns him into a kitten, or a greasy spot on the dungeon floor.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Strangely an investigator can afford to drop Wisdom and Charisma down a little, since they can use Inspiration to boost their skill checks or saves.


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    Finally, there is a viable Rogue class in 3rd edition! Ok, I'm sure other people have said this, but it can't hurt to provide more feedback.

    This class is basically like saying, "Psst! Hey, guys! Yeah, we know the Rogue is pointless, but we can't officially say that, so here's this other class to replace it. We kind of have to disavow any knowledge of this tacit arrangement, but you know, enjoy actually playing Rogues again!"

    It's well done--probably the best done class in the book. I don't think I see any issues with it whatsoever. It's great.

    Well, maybe it kind of leaves the Vivisectionist in limbo somewhat, but that's no big deal in the long run.

    But yeah, I always play my characters as "roguey." They're Han Solo or mythic trickster types: not totally scrupulous, but ultimately heroic. However, in the past, I was doing that as a reluctant Oracle of Life, Bard, Sensei Monk, Alchemist, Sorcerer, Witch, Druid, or once, even a Paladin, but I no longer have to. For the first time in 3rd edition, I feel like I can actually play as the party Rogue and enjoy myself. Bravo--total success.

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