Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
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 like this progression, for all the reasons stated.


pH unbalanced wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
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 like this progression, for all the reasons stated.

Why not go once at first and once at every 3rd level after? Ahead as is, starts out stronger, and still becomes weaker at about the same pace.


MrSin wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
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 like this progression, for all the reasons stated.
Why not go once at first and once at every 3rd level after? Ahead as is, starts out stronger, and still becomes weaker at about the same pace.

I did think of that, but then dippability for 1 level is too tempting, I think.

Scarab Sages

My review:

Investigator: A-: They lose three levels of sneak attack compared with a rogue, and don't get the bombs or mutagens of the alchemist, but gain the ability to be the ultimate skill monkey. Depending how you spend your talents, you can gain a permanent +1d8 to knowledge checks, UMD, charisma skills, Sense Motive, etc.

Being able to take 10 on any knowledge check (or take 20 for one inspiration point) and add a +1d8 bonus to it (for no inspiration points) is pretty damn good, especially when this can convert into +4 for the entire party to hit a creature for a round.

Being able to retroactively add to a saving throw when you really need it is a very powerful ability, and they get it for free. Sure, it costs 2 inspiration points (or 1 with the appropriate talent), but when you just failed a Finger of Death save by 1 point, it's worth the two inspiration points.

Since they don't get half sneak attack, but just 3 levels delayed sneak attack, their power level in combat ramps up pretty nicely over time.

While both sides of the class have their combat abilities clipped, being able to draw on both alchemist discoveries, rogue talents, and all the new options makes this a pretty interesting class. I wish the Hunter was more like this.

Grand Lodge

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I like the class as it is, I wouldn't nerf it, it's probably my favourite class in the book!
The only thing I would change (as others said) is poison use but I could live with it.


I don't think that a routine check should be inspired - if you can Take 10 and add 1d6 each time, just because you can, then it's essentially Take 13 or thereabouts. If only routine inspiration was a thing in normal life!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pros:
Trapfinding, skill-intensive alchemimst with sneak attack.
Well-rounded.
Extracts can make up for weaknesses inherent in rogue class.
Cons:
No bombs.
MAD
DPR issues as traditional rogue.
Early levels class falls behind.

Grand Lodge

I like the poison use but I find the resistance and immunity a little to specialized. I like being able to disable magic traps but the extra skill bonus is a bit much and starts to overshadow the rogue. These abilities allow them to do a little extra but i think the skill boost should come from inspiration.


I think this class could be one of the best additions to the game.

I'm not a huge fan of the weaker sneak attack aspect of the class. I'd rather just not have it at all and receive something similar, but different, like how the Hunter gets his Favored Target, which is sort of like sneak attack, sort of like favored enemy. Perhaps some sort of knowledge based bonus?

I don't know. Ultimately I wouldn't be upset if they kept the lesser sneak attack. I'd still play the crap out of it and enjoy myself all the while.


Some additional thoughts on toning this down a bit continued from earlier post:

6. No Inspirations at 1st level. 1d2 at 2nd, 1d3 at 3rd, 1d4 at 7th. The main reason for doing this is to deter dipping. Not just because of skills, but because of saving throws and attacks. Every single class is going to benefit from being able to add a 1d6 on to both their attack and their saving throw AFTER the roll. I mean come on, this ability is just ridiculous. Whether you're a Paladin or a Sorcerer, the cost for dipping into this class pales in comparison to the benefit.

Alternatively, don't add Attack and Saving throw bonuses for free, make it a Talent or adding it as you level up. But, I like the mechanic of Inspiration for this class. Conceptually it makes sense to add the benefit after seeing the roll. I like adding it to Attacks so long as it's a minor benefit. The character would have just missed (by 1 or 2) but in a moment of inspiration they adjust their attack and hit. But missing a saving throw or attack by 6 and then getting it hit? That's too much.

The mechanic of Inspirations isn't really a part of the investigator literature. It shouldn't be what makes the class. It should be something that flavors the class, not defines it.

The Investigator still gets Alchemy and Trapfinding at 1st level

7. Get rid of the poison resistance. Sherlock wasn't any more resistant to poisons than the average guy. Chemist don't gain any natural immunity to toxic chemicals. You're already given them a bonus to a Fort save with Inps, which bumps up at 7th level.

The loss of Poison Use and Poison Resistance is offset by the addition of Inspirations at 2nd level (if we use my chart). Players will find that 2nd level can't come quickly enough.

8. Inspirations do not rise with level The inspirations should be 3 + WIS mod, just like Channels. Go with Wisdom because one can say it's the character's intuition which triggers the inspiration, not their intellect. Going with Wisdom also imposes some MAD which is a good thing for the game. Besides the most brilliant minds are a combination of both Intelligence and Wisdom.

EDIT: Oh wait...I can see one reason why you don't want 3+MOD because this actually benefits dippers. Hmmm....I'll keep thinking about this.

9. Swap out Sneak Attack for Combat Maneuver bonuses Allow them to use a combat Maneuver without incurring an AoO. First, this creates more design space for the Rogue. Second, the class should be more about disabling her suspects, not stabbing them in the back. CM allows the class to defend itself. As stated, you can't make this class the king of skills and then put it on par with a Rogue or any other class in terms of melee damage. There has to be a 1 to 1 trade off. Besides, you're already allowing the use if Insp for attacking. Hitting at the right time or with the right weapon/alchemical weapon can be far more beneficial and satisfying than just hitting for more damage.

Obviously a more nefarious archetype could go with Sneak Attack

10. Add a choice of Catch-off Guard, or Throw Anything To help offset Sneak Attack damage loss. This also fits better with the Sherlock Holmes theme and his intellectual ability to make use of whatever is at hand.

I'm sure I 'll have more suggestions the more I think about it.

Grand Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
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.

Hi Stephen. Thanks for popping in!

When adding investigator talents and/or replacing poison use, could you add some abilities/talents that expand what investigators can do with their skills? Specifically new/expanded uses of Perception, Sense Motive, etc.

Adding straight mathematical bonuses to a skill is nice, but a bit boring IMHO. I'd rather see an investigator who can use Perception to get additional information from a successful check than an investigator who gets a bunch of bonuses to a die roll.

Instead of just using Survival (or Perception, with the right talent) to follow tracks it would be cool (and fitting) for an investigator to be able to reconstruct crime scenes and learn personal details about the creature in question.

Likewise, it would be fitting for an investigator to gain additional information when they successfully get a "hunch" via Sense Motive. Not just the vague sense that someone is being dishonest or trustworthy, but more specific information. Like being able to determine some or all of a person's alignment with an opposed skill check. Or learning specific details about the person's past. Or even (at higher levels) getting insight about their future plans.

There are a lot of other investigator-like areas too. Like maybe learning who forged the document on a successful linguistics check. Or being able to use the heal skill to perform autopsies. Or being able to use Diplomacy or Bluff to trick someone into accidentally answering a specific question.

Not only would this make the class seem a little more investigator-like, I think it would be more interesting than just "who has the highest skill check".

They could also be time dependent. So an investigator may not be necessarily better than any other class when it comes to succeeding at skill checks in high pressure situations, but if they take additional time to make the skill check and "investigate" then they'll end up with information that another class wouldn't get.


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Keep the poison resistance and immunity.

Loose the poison use ability.

I don't have any issues with this class except maybe less they should only get 5d6 sneak attack max and some bonus feats. Maybe select group of bonus feat like dodge, alertness, skill focus, improved unarm strike, nimble movies, etc.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:

8. Inspirations do not rise with level The inspirations should be 3 + WIS mod, just like Channels. Go with Wisdom because one can say it's the character's intuition which triggers the inspiration, not their intellect. Going with Wisdom also imposes some MAD which is a good thing for the game. Besides the most brilliant minds are a combination of both Intelligence and Wisdom.

EDIT: Oh wait...I can see one reason why you don't want 3+MOD because this actually benefits dippers. Hmmm....I'll keep thinking about this.

How about making it level dependent? Investigators gain an initial Inspiration pool equal to their Int modifier (as it is now), and supplement their pool +1 starting at 5th level and every 5 levels after. (5, 10, 15, and 20) This would potentially double the pool of an Investigator with an Int of 18, but would require playing to the capstone.

Disregard. I just reread the ability, and it's Int mod + 1/2 class level, so it scales all on it's own. Having said that, if the issue is that they are receiving too many Inspiration points in their pools, then my option might be a decent "fix" to consider.

Quote:

6. ===FLUFF===

The mechanic of Inspirations isn't really a part of the investigator literature. It shouldn't be what makes the class. It should be something that flavors the class, not defines it.

Actually, I believe it is. When I first read through the class, the entire Inspiration mechanics just screamed out to me that this was the defining feature of Investigators. While I do believe that 1d6 may be to high a bonus, since you'll average 4.5, where as a 1d4 (2.5) might be a closer connection to what was originally conceived of. (The brilliant flash of thought that takes them over the top with addressing an issue.)

And I do agree that adding Inspiration to Saves and Attack rolls might be a bit overpowering (could be addressed by the 1d4 fix above), you are incorrect that it can be used after a roll has failed. While not explicitly carried down, the paragraph above it says, ["after the check is rolled and before the results are revealed"] as part of Inspirations usage.


Overall, I like the class conceptually, but it would not see use in my own campaign as written. Personally, I don't care for the alchemy ability or poison use. Nothing against it, conceptually, if we are basing the class on Sherlock Holmes. I just don't like alchemical items or extracts as they don't fit the style of games that I like to run. Hopefully, we will see archetypes with replacement abilities.

I, personally, would replace Sneak Attack switch combat maneuvers. Given that the class is modeled after Sherlock Holmes, I would base the style off bartitsu which is the basis for Sherlock Holmes' baritsu). The style is an eclectic mix of jujitsu, boxing, savage, judo, swiss wrestling, defensive la Cane(stick (cane)fighing).
As for handling maneuvers, I wrote back in September in the thread "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and the profession of rogue" over at ENWorld that I think the martial rogue variant from WOTC's Unearthed Arcana is a good place to start. It trades Sneak Attack for Fighter Bonus feats and I "would focus on Unarmed Feats and Weapon focus: Cane."


Aberrant Templar wrote:


Adding straight mathematical bonuses to a skill is nice, but a bit boring IMHO. I'd rather see an investigator who can use Perception to get additional information from a successful check than an investigator who gets a bunch of bonuses to a die roll.

Instead of just using Survival (or Perception, with the right talent) to follow tracks it would be cool (and fitting) for an investigator to be able to reconstruct crime scenes and learn personal details about the creature in question.

I really like this approach. It's far better to let somebody do something new than let someone do something that is already being done by another class. Obviously this is much harder to incorporate. Existing scenarios won't contemplate novel uses and the efficacy of such things may be really dependent on the GM. But I still think that fundamentally this is beter than just letting them duplicate and exceed the skill checks of other classes.


Salvatore Shalonost wrote:
Quote:

6. ===FLUFF===

The mechanic of Inspirations isn't really a part of the investigator literature. It shouldn't be what makes the class. It should be something that flavors the class, not defines it.

Actually, I believe it is. When I first read through the class, the entire Inspiration mechanics just screamed out to me that this was the defining feature of Investigators.

Same here. And then I realized that Sherlock does not have such an ability in the literature. In fact, I've never read (but not saying it isn't there) of any investigator in literature having such a defined mechanic. Contrast that with a Wizard. All wizards in literature cast spells. All investigators do not have some mechanic where they suddenly succeed at something when they should have failed. It's not a real trope of the genre, it's a mechanic to make the character feel a certain way. As such, I like it. But you don't need a lot of salt to give something flavor. Your own post seems to acknowledges that 1d6 at 1st level is too much.

So my point is that less is more. It's a wonderful mechanic that can still makes the class unique and capable even at 1d2 because you're adding it after you see the roll.

Quote:
.. you are incorrect that it can be used after a roll has failed.

You get to add the bonus after you see the roll. If you know that it takes a 17 to hit the goblin chief because the guy who rolled a 16 missed and the guy who rolled 17 hit, then you're only going to burn it if you are with in the die range. Same with saves. The guy next to you rolls a 12 and saves, you roll a 10...gee, what's going to happen? And more often than not, GMs often just tell players what they need, so in practice, this can provide a huge benefit.

Nevertheless, I think its an excellent mechanic in the way conceived, so long as total benefit is reduced.


Quote:
All investigators do not have some mechanic

Umm Inspiration isn't as you described. You add the inspiration bonus after rolling, but before the result is revealed.

This is similar to "flashes of enlightenment" similar to how Sherlock Holmes suddenly brings all the dots together.

Grand Lodge

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N N 959 wrote:
I really like these approach. It's far better to let somebody do something new than let someone do something that is already being done by another class. Obviously this is march harder to incorporate. Existing scenarios won't contemplate novel uses and the efficacy of such things may be really dependent on the GM. But I still think that fundamentally this is beter than just letting them duplicate and exceed the skill checks of other classes.

Overall, I feel like the Sherlock-Holmes-Style-Fighting is pretty well covered by the sneak attack, and the chemistry is well covered by the alchemist abilities.

So that leaves the information gathering aspect of the investigator, which I feel needs to be a little better developed to give the class the right feel.

Letting investigators learn extra information would be a great way to feed background info to the players that they may otherwise not be able to learn. A way for the DM to cut back on the number of suspiciously detailed notes left behind by villains, or help the players have a better idea of what the bad guys are capable of:

"Hmm ... the murder happened four hours ago. There are tiny traces of bat guano and a faint hint sulfur here where the killer was leaning against the wall. Our suspect is a wizard. At least 5th level. He still has at least one casting of fireball prepared."

Having an investigator in the party would mean that, assuming there was a bit of time, the party could better prepare themselves for some of the challenges they'd face. Even if it doesn't necessarily provide bonuses (although it may, with some abilities) it is still an advantage all to itself. It also fits with the concept, and may appeal to people who'd be interested in playing such a character.


Salvatore Shalonost wrote:
Quote:

8. Inspirations do not rise with level The inspirations should be 3 + WIS mod, just like Channels. Go with Wisdom because one can say it's the character's intuition which triggers the inspiration, not their intellect. Going with Wisdom also imposes some MAD which is a good thing for the game. Besides the most brilliant minds are a combination of both Intelligence and Wisdom.

EDIT: Oh wait...I can see one reason why you don't want 3+MOD because this actually benefits dippers. Hmmm....I'll keep thinking about this.

How about making it level dependent? Investigators gain an initial Inspiration pool equal to their Int modifier (as it is now), and supplement their pool +1 starting at 5th level and every 5 levels after. (5, 10, 15, and 20) This would potentially double the pool of an Investigator with an Int of 18, but would require playing to the capstone.

Disregard. I just reread the ability, and it's Int mod + 1/2 class level, so it scales all on it's own. Having said that, if the issue is that they are receiving too many Inspiration points in their pools, then my option might be a decent "fix" to consider.

Quote:

6. ===FLUFF===

The mechanic of Inspirations isn't really a part of the investigator literature. It shouldn't be what makes the class. It should be something that flavors the class, not defines it.

Actually, I believe it is. When I first read through the class, the entire Inspiration mechanics just screamed out to me that this was the defining feature of Investigators. While I do believe that 1d6 may be to high a bonus, since you'll average 4.5, where as a 1d4 (2.5) might be a closer connection to what was originally conceived of. (The brilliant flash of thought that takes them over the top with addressing an issue.)

And I do agree that adding Inspiration to Saves and Attack rolls might be a bit overpowering (could be addressed by the 1d4 fix above), you are incorrect that it can be used after a roll has failed. While not explicitly carried down, the...

You could just make them wait until level 3 to get the attack/save options and give them something mildly combat-y at level 1 (e.g. combat expertise or a small damage bonus a couple times a day or allowing inspiration to add a d6 to sneak attack or even damage in general for the cost of one inspiration point).

And the expected value of a d6 is 3.5, not 4.5. (though I bet that was a typo). So it is roughly as good as spontaneously having skill focus a few times a day if we assume a risk premium of .5 (which I will assume happily!). Isn't there a spell that generates a feat somewhere? The ability is roughly similar to the power of that spell then.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
Same here. And then I realized that Sherlock does not have such an ability in the literature. In fact, I've never read (but not saying it isn't there) of any investigator in literature having such a defined mechanic.

Actually, there is a trope for this sort of thing, thought it most usually attributed to Perception (Observation). But since this is attributed to intelligence rather than innate wisdom, I believe it works here.

Sherlock Trope

Quote:
Your own post seems to acknowledges that 1d6 at 1st level is too much.

I will concur that 1d6 may be to powerful since the average failed roll is usually in the 2-3 range. If you fail it by more than that, then you've failed it regardless of Inspiration. 1d2 is far too low, especially since it doesn't naturally scale. You need to commit to some talents to do that.

Quote:

You get to add the bonus after you see the roll. If you know that it takes a 17 to hit the goblin chief because the guy who rolled a 16 missed and the guy who rolled 17 hit, then you're only going to burn it if you are with in the die range. Same with saves. The guy next to you rolls a 12 and saves, you roll a 10...gee, what's going to happen? And more often than not, GMs often just tell players what they need, so in practice, this can provide a huge benefit.

Nevertheless, I think its an excellent mechanic in the way conceived, so long as total benefit is reduced.

This is an example where minor meta-gaming overrides what could have a very useful mechanic. But since you are correct and that this should be policed in the only way possible, limiting it's usefulness, I believe the aforementioned 1d4 (upgraded to 1d6, etc with talents.) would be a good possible start, in addition to limiting the entire pool to Int mod plus a +1 at each of another level. (either 5, 10, 15, 20) or possibly (4, 8, 12, 16, 20) to mesh better with society play.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
("Stand here Watson...you're providing a flank" "A flank, Holmes? Whatever do you mean?").

You owe me for a chair. I fell out of mine laughing and now it won't sit straight!


Aberrant Templar wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
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.

Hi Stephen. Thanks for popping in!

When adding investigator talents and/or replacing poison use, could you add some abilities/talents that expand what investigators can do with their skills? Specifically new/expanded uses of Perception, Sense Motive, etc.

Adding straight mathematical bonuses to a skill is nice, but a bit boring IMHO. I'd rather see an investigator who can use Perception to get additional information from a successful check than an investigator who gets a bunch of bonuses to a die roll.

Instead of just using Survival (or Perception, with the right talent) to follow tracks it would be cool (and fitting) for an investigator to be able to reconstruct crime scenes and learn personal details about the creature in question.

Likewise, it would be fitting for an investigator to gain additional information when they successfully get a "hunch" via Sense Motive. Not just the vague sense that someone is being dishonest or trustworthy, but more specific information. Like being able to determine some or all of a person's alignment with an opposed skill check. Or learning specific details about the person's past. Or even (at higher levels) getting insight about their future plans.

There are a lot of other investigator-like areas too. Like maybe learning who forged the document on a successful linguistics check. Or being able to use the heal skill to perform autopsies. Or being able to use Diplomacy or Bluff to trick someone into accidentally answering a specific question.

Not only would this make the class seem a little more investigator-like, I think it would be more interesting than just "who has the highest skill check".

They could also be time dependent. So an investigator...

I like this line of thought.

Having an inspiration ability akin to the Snake Style ability that lets you use Sense Motive to avoid an attack.

something that lets the Investigator learn more about an target than normally possible would be interesting too. This one is really the Sherlock Holmes bit. Perhaps adding the following to the list of things he can perceive using knowledge/perception and sense motive in combination:

- Best and weakest ability score
- Best and worst saving throw
- Highest level of spellcasting and power source (arcane/divine)
- Class or classes of the target when applicable
- Hit Dice (whether the target has half or less of the investigator's, or more than 50% more than the investigator)
- Armor Class

OOH! or as an alternative, the Investigator can get an ability where he can ask questions about his target as if using augury or something.
So he can ask the GM, "does this creature have an AC higher than 25?". Is this target immune to critical hits? Can this target cast Freedom of Movement? Is this target Evil? etc.

I would also think about trading poison resistance (though a very good ability, and thematically appropriate for Sherlock.... he survived all that drug use somehow) with an increased resistance to compulsions and illusions.

Designer

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***OFFICIAL UPDATE NOTICE***

Heal has been added to the list of class skills. This is not listed in the first post the first post of this thread.

Grand Lodge

Lord_Malkov wrote:

OOH! or as an alternative, the Investigator can get an ability where he can ask questions about his target as if using augury or something.

So he can ask the GM, "does this creature have an AC higher than 25?". Is this target immune to critical hits? Can this target cast Freedom of Movement? Is this target Evil? etc.

I really like this idea. Abilities that allow the investigator to ask a certain number of yes/no questions of the DM. They could be a specific set of yes/no questions, and you could tie it to Inspiration.

Also, if you end up creating a more "hardboiled" investigator archetype it should definitely swap the good reflex save for a good fort save.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am a little worried with people wanting to drastically reduce or remove sneak attack. As of now I feel that the class strikes a good balance of being great out of combat but still pretty good in combat. If sneak attack is removed or reduced, the investigator needs something to increase his/her ability in combat.

Also, if anything this class needs buffs at least at early levels. I keep comparing it to vivisectionist and investigator seems weaker.


My 2 cents,

This class is long overdue due to PFS rejecting the Vivisectionist.
All I basically want the class to do is full-progression sneak attack and have buffs. THIS is what I'll pay my discretionary income for.

That being said, on with the review.

I dislike the class name. It's too pigeonhole-y. Alchemical Adventurer perhaps? As Vivisectionist vs PFS has shown, name is everything, so please give this some thought and don't saddle it with anything flavor-texty-negative.

I'm assuming Extra Inspiration shall be a feat?
Really, you guys could save a whole lot of ink by replacing Extra Channel, Extra Hex, Extra Inspiration, et al with Extra Schtick.

Poison resistance could be reduced to half strength, or rolled into Trap Sense. This could offset more sneak attack goodness.

Sneak attack must be available at first level and must progress as the Rogue for this class chassis to have value to me.

Keen Recollection, not necessary and steps on the toes of the Bard.

Swift Alchemy (making stuff faster) is for storekeepers, not adventurers.


ZenithTN wrote:
Swift Alchemy is for storekeepers, not adventurers.

Shopkeepers poison their weapons? I'm going to have to seriously start reconsidering flirting with the Innkeeper's daughter...


Dragon78 wrote:
Keep the poison resistance and immunity.

And yet Sherlock Holmes himself, in the first movie was successfully poisoned (drugged) by Irene Adler. So the 20th level Investigator is not immune to poison per the literature.

The class already gets to add a boost to its saves with Insp. It's dependent on exactly ONE attribute, two if they go with Insp per Wis mod. It gets GOOD Ref and Will saves. That leaves plenty of points to boost CON.


It seems to me that compared to the bard, the inquisitor's abilities by level chart is quite generous. I'd suggest dropping either talents or sneak attack down to every three levels instead of every two. ... Probably sneak attack, which seems less thematic.

N N 959 wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Keep the poison resistance and immunity.

And yet Sherlock Holmes himself, in the first movie was successfully poisoned (drugged) by Irene Adler. So the 20th level Investigator is not immune to poison per the literature.

Sherlock is about 7th level, tops.


RJGrady wrote:
Sherlock is about 7th level, tops.

Sure if you say so. Somehow I don't think an Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would ever agree that Sherlock should be immune to all poisons.

Regardless of the level, Poison Immunity is not something that really fits this type of class. It's appropriate for more mystical classes like a Monk, Druid, even Paladin. Not a gumshoe.

Yes, everyone wants it in the class. Name a class which wouldn't?


N N 959 wrote:
Yes, everyone wants it in the class. Name a class which wouldn't?

Swashbuckler, you don't see the famous Dread Pirate Roberts ignoring the effects of poison do you?

Its not uncommon for characters who work with poison to have an immunity in literature, its one of those suggested secondary powers sometimes. In particular you can poison yourself in pathfinder when applying or attack; poison use only allows you to apply it without poisoning yourself.


N N 959 wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
It's appropriate for more mystical classes like a Monk, Druid, even Paladin. Not a gumshoe.

Personally, I don't care for poison immunity for those classes for reasons that Sean had stated in his "Fewer Absolutes" web articles which he had written between working for WOTC and joining Paizo. I'm all for a good bonus that leaves some room for failure, but not immunity.


I don't think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would want Sherlock Holmes to have sneak attack, or use magic, or magical devices, or battle supernatural creatures as well but this isn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's world this is Pathfinder!


MrSin wrote:
Swashbuckler, you don't see the famous Dread Pirate Roberts ignoring the effects of poison do you?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but he was immune to one specific poison. Not all of them.


N N 959 wrote:
I'm not sure what you're trying to say

Shh... You'll spoil it for the kids. Its a joke. Its something your not supposed to expect, not a serious retort.


Dragon78 wrote:

I don't think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would want Sherlock Holmes to have sneak attack, or use magic, or magical devices, or battle supernatural creatures as well but this isn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's world this is Pathfinder!

I don't think Doyle would have any problem with Holmes figuring out how to use magical devices or battling supernatural creatures. But the time and place of the character made those things inappropriate for his novels, but not because Holmes would have been incapable of dealing with them.

Sneak Attack is only incongruous as it is associated with actually stabbing people when they aren't looking. But I think it's added to try and convey Holmes' knowledge of pressure points and weaknesses in his opponents. As others have chimed in, there maybe a better way to bring this aspect to life. I've offered a suggestion myself.

Honestly though, perhaps the real problem with Sneak Attack is the name. As someone may have suggested, call it something different and let it do the same thing and it probably improves the feel.

Sczarni

I know this is probably off the rocker of a suggestion, but what about a custom extract or two for the investigator.

instead of blisttering Invective, "the facts laid bare" similar effect but one target, and if they are shaken already they are automatically panicked and will either attempt to flee or subcumb to capture and give themselves up, or attempt to kill the investigator due to his insight into his nature.


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The Investigator isn't Sherlock Holmes, Holmes was forensic science and reason not fantasy and magic. If anything he's Garrett from The Garrett Files. A film noir gritty detective in fantasy world... dirty fighting, alchemical tricks, and a grab bag or talents (poisonous or otherwise) fits.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Grue wrote:
The Investigator isn't Sherlock Holmes, Holmes was forensic science and reason not fantasy and magic. If anything he's Garrett from The Garrett Files. A film noir gritty detective in fantasy world... dirty fighting, alchemical tricks, and a grab bag or talents (poisonous or otherwise) fits.

I'm so glad you made that comparison.

Of course, Garrett generally didn't have any idea what the alchemical goodies he was tossing around would do, but....

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Grue wrote:
The Investigator isn't Sherlock Holmes, Holmes was forensic science and reason not fantasy and magic. If anything he's Garrett from The Garrett Files. A film noir gritty detective in fantasy world... dirty fighting, alchemical tricks, and a grab bag or talents (poisonous or otherwise) fits.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking of Garrett.


I would love to see an archetype that replaces the Sneak Attack (And maybe Poison Use as a token sacrifice) with bombs, and allows the Investigator to take Bomb discoveries.

Other Archetypes I'd be interested in;

One that allows the use of cognatogen and focuses on being more holmes style with deduction (Though I don't know how useful this would actually be)

One that allows guns (Like everybody else wants already)

And maybe one that makes the investigator into an actual caster with spells, and focuses half on solving mysteries and half on crafting magical items to better use your magical powers to save Chicago from vampires, were wolves, they fey - wait....I might have gotten side tracked there.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

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.

I guess he just forgot to mention Garrett.


They do need a few spells reskinned as extracts or "processes" they can sue on evidence/puzzles.

Offhand I'd say blood biography, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance some kind of tracking object spell (you have to slight of hand the object into place first) are the three that come to mind but a few others would be good.

I guess the other question was how much ambiguity do you want for them to run into in a legitimate investigation? How do people commit crimes while managing to duck truth spells, the accusing finger of the contacted dead and divination in general etc?

I mean, I'd want Ken Hite to write a nice little pamphlet for the aspiring criminals and sleuths on how to crime in a place where a lot of things can be objective.

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lantzkev wrote:

I know this is probably off the rocker of a suggestion, but what about a custom extract or two for the investigator.

instead of blisttering Invective, "the facts laid bare" similar effect but one target, and if they are shaken already they are automatically panicked and will either attempt to flee or subcumb to capture and give themselves up, or attempt to kill the investigator due to his insight into his nature.

Fairly sure the devs said upthread that there would be new extracts developed for the ACG with the investigator in mind.


In reviewing the class table, I withdraw my previous criticism that their chart is too full. A great many of the abilities are just iteratives and options. As the investigator ends up about four levels behind on sneak attack and one level behind on talents, I think the rogue's niche is pretty safe. Likewise, taking the sneak attack progression as a replacement for bomb progression, it's hard to argue with getting a full array of alchemist formulae.

Inspiration is stronger than most rogue options at lower levels, but does not keep up. It's limited use, and the rogue still has more skill ranks. The investigator can still "skill alpha" but unless they want to burn lots of talents, will not be able to keep apace. I think it would be nice to shrink the pool, but since it mostly depends on Intelligence, that would be hard to do.

That brings us to saves. Having a strong Will save when neither the alchemist nor rogue does is strange. Especially as they can use inspiration to boost saves. They may be intellectual, but it's not clear to me that there's anything about the concept that screams out for a high Will save. There are a limited set of spells I could see them having some resistance to, notably illusions, charms, and divinations.

So, in summary: I think there is little reason to be alarmed. It is Pathfinder-strong, but does not eclipse the rogue. Inspiration is the main thing they can do better than a rogue, but the only way to get multiple uses at low levels is to boost Intelligence, at the cost of Dexterity and possibly Strength. I would be surprised at an investigator build that surpasses a rogue's damage output. Overall, it is a strong class, very strong, but I don't actually see any glaring problems at the moment.

Concept-wise, it's a rogue-alchemist hybrid. Any suggestion to remove poison use and poison resistance is, frankly, insane. Also, sneak attack fits completely. Sherlock Holmes relied almost exclusively on surprise attacks and grappling. Watson remarked at one point that he had not actually seen Sherlock fire a gun, but that he had a remarkable talent for finding himself behind his opponent at close range, either with a pistol held up as a threat, or striking suddenly with his mastery of "baritsu." If you want to play a non-sneaky attacky detective, an alchemist or an appropriate bard archetype will serve.


N N 959 wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

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.

I guess he just forgot to mention Garrett.

Wouldn't be the first time the inspiration didn't match the results;-). For instance Doctor Frankenstein and the Alchemist... there is no functional way I can find for an full leveled alchemist to snag the Craft Construct feat. There are no archetype patches for that nor backdoors via feats or other basic means I have found

However, in the current incarnation of the Investigator's design I can make a Sherlock Holmes and it fits a fantasy Sam Spade private eye like Garrett to a tee.

Holmes was familiar with toxins and in a fantasy world where a not-so-insignificant portion of everything he meets is going to try to kill him rather directly, our Fantasy Holmes must have some means of fighting as well.... at least that's true for 99% of any D&D game I've ever played in.

Of course I could probably build a Holmes out of any Intelligence primary class and just make sure he had a high perception, sense motive, a knowledge or three, maybe a dip into Rogue for trapfinding and slap on a drug addition. The Investigator makes that an easier process (for Holmes or Garrett), though I'm not quite getting the hang-up on Holmes to be honest.... it feels like complaining that Wizards don't mesh up with the inspiration source because they can't easily wield swords without jumping through a race\trait\feat hoop and the fact they can cast more than three spells (unlike Gandalf;_).

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I'm thinking Edmond Dantes is an Investigator. He definitely has Poison Use.


While there isn't a Craft Construct route for alchemist they do have the ability to create body duplicates and things, but I think the intent was less Frankenstein and more Doctor Jekyll.


Ellis Mirari wrote:
While there isn't a Craft Construct route for alchemist they do have the ability to create body duplicates and things.

Best part is, instead of obeying your orders like a good golem should, your cheap Alchemical Frankenstein will probably run off and kill Elizabeth ;)

Aberrant Templar wrote:
Adding straight mathematical bonuses to a skill is nice, but a bit boring IMHO. I'd rather see an investigator who can use Perception to get additional information from a successful check than an investigator who gets a bunch of bonuses to a die roll.

I'm 100% with you on this. Anything that gives the Investigator more Investigation potential would be great, even if it's in optional talents. It'd be great if you could get all that extra info without having to be a divination caster.


Grue wrote:
Wouldn't be the first time the inspiration didn't match the results;-).

Except that a great many of posters have seen the obvious attempt to PFize Sherlock Holmes right from the start.

Quote:
However, in the current incarnation of the Investigator's design I can make a Sherlock Holmes and it fits a fantasy Sam Spade private eye like Garrett to a tee.

Not really. Sam Spade and subsequently Garrett are considered "hardboiled" detectives. Spade, according to Hammett was not modeled after Sherlock Holmes. Neither Spade nor they copycat Garette were meant to be the geniuses that Holmes is. In fact, Garrett relies on the Dead Man to do the heavy intellectual lifting. Garette is better looking than he is smart. Garrett is far more of a womanizer than Holmes. So that fits a Bard archetype far more than an Investigator.

Quote:
Holmes was familiar with toxins and in a fantasy world where a not-so-insignificant portion of everything he meets is going to try to kill him rather directly, our Fantasy Holmes must have some means of fighting as well.... at least that's true for 99% of any D&D game I've ever played in.

Sure he was. Holmes is a fictional character who did not have team up with four other adventures and share the limelight with them. Holmes was not created to work in a team. Which means the more like Holmes the Investigator is, the less suitable it is for a group based RPG.

That being said, I firmly agree that all classes need to have some combat viability just like all classes need to have some skills. But the Investigator should be to combat what the Fighter is to skills, don't you think? Wouldn't that be fair?

Quote:
Of course I could probably build a Holmes out of any Intelligence primary class and just make sure he had a high perception, sense motive, a knowledge or three, maybe a dip into Rogue for trapfinding and slap on a drug addition.

You can't make an Investigator out of INT primary class because none of them exist that are built around skills. The only way you're going to get even remotely close to the skill mastery is to take Rogue and pump INT, an Attribute that does not benefit the Rogue in any way but skills. Fortunately for the Investigator, INT affects:

Extracts
Bonus Extracts
Bonus Extracts known
DC of Extracts
Inspirations
Skills
Mod to INT based Skills
Ability to train skills can benefit from Inspirations, free or otherwise.

In fact, all the class specific variable for the Investigator benefit from one stat: INT. And that's ignoring and feats/traits that will allow one to use INT in place of other Attributes. Not to mention the inevitable INT for Damage option which people are clamoring for.

Quote:
The Investigator makes that an easier process (for Holmes or Garrett), though I'm not quite getting the hang-up on Holmes to be honest....

Because INT was Holmes' real weapon, not Spade's, not Garrett's.

Quote:
it feels like complaining that Wizards don't mesh up with the inspiration source because they can't easily wield swords without jumping through a race\trait\feat hoop...

Not sure I understand the analogy.

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