Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

With regards to the alchemical discovery talent, there are a number of discoveries that would be thematically appropriate, and would allow for some interesting, dramatic scenarios:

* The various simulacrum discoveries, so that the investigator could make a copy of themselves so as to appear to be in two places at once, or so that they can make a fake murder victim as part of a sting.

* Cognatogen, which seems much more thematically appropriate than mutagen. One might consider removing mutagen, useful as it is, and replacing it with the complete series of Cognatogen discoveries (Greater, etc.)

* Nauseating Flesh, because it just seems that a jack of all trades investigator would be able get things set up so that the monster spits
them out. It's kind of like have bat-purple-worm-repelent in one's utility belt. It also follows from their knowledge of poisons.


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RJGrady wrote:
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.

I think you're overlooking a couple of crucial circumstances.

1. The Rogue in not an INT based class.

Because the number of skills are dependent on your INT, on average, the Investigator is going to surpass the Rogue in total number of skill points, before long, if not from the get go. The Investigator really punishes you for not sacrificing everything to pump your INT. So you're looking at a min of 10-12 Skill points per level.

2. The Investigator nearly 50% more class skills than a Rogue. By my count, there are 35 skills. The Investigator doesn't have Fly, Handle Animal, Ride, Survival, Swim. That's 30 class skills. The Rogue has 21. The what could a Rogue do better? Swim and Ride. So on average, the Rogue will probably be better at the DEX based skills.

The Bard has 28 Skill. What can it do that the Investigator can't? Nothing. Nor is the Bard and INT based class so it won't have as many skill points as the Investigator.

3. Max Ranks limits the benefit. Even if a Rogue would end up with more skill points, you can only put so many points in any individual skill. So the only real hope is that the the Rogue is better at smaller subset of skill because the Investigator can't raise every skill every level.

Oddly enough, despite my harping on the skill dominance, the only hope is that people playing the class will spread their skill points, thus diluting the benefit. But Investigator that wants to be the best at some skill or set of skills (non-STR based) will be the best.

End of the world? No. But something that I think should be examined with a magnifying glass (pun intended).


moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

What would you be willing to give up on the skills side for increased combat?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

N N 959 wrote:
moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

What would you be willing to give up on the skills side for increased combat?

I don't think its necessary. The sneak attack dice progression I suggested gives investigators fewer dice than they are currently have, and they already have fewer skill points per level than a rogue (base, not counting Int bonuses-- but note that having a high Int comes at a combat effectiveness cost as you will have a lower Dex, Str, and Con). All the change does is to make the class more fun to play at 1st through 3rd level.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Playtesting the class at level 1 (posted on the playtest forum) I definitely found I like the role of this class a lot. In many ways the only other 'class' that fulfills a similar role is an archaeologist but I like that you focus on Int rather than Cha for this class.

The ability to be both a knowledge monkey (16 Int plus 6 skills plus favored class left a lot of space for skills and 5 knowledges at start, plus more to come) The trapfinding was definitely great for the party and always a useful role.

I had fun designing mine with more of a tank focus so i grabbed a Tiefling with 18 dex, put on a chain shirt and +1 nat armor racial trait and ran around with a 19 ac, with two shield extracts for when I really wanted to tank. Two claws plus weapon finesse made for decent melee though low damage (d4 + 1, eventually better with right gear). So it was all around a fun experience. Got to fight a barbarain halfling and took him down in a couple of rounds and he would have a hard time hitting me if he wasn't focused on the war priest at the time.

I look forward to seeing how well the character does at later levels, don't expect him to do as well combat wise til he has more sneak attack but I don't think many parties will mind having the rogue also be good at knowledge skills, especially when you end up with a group that is all melee and you can just sit back and let them shine while you tell them what not to do.


N N 959 wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
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.

I think you're overlooking a couple of crucial circumstances.

1. The Rogue in not an INT based class.

Because the number of skills are dependent on your INT, on average, the Investigator is going to surpass the Rogue in total number of skill points, before long, if not from the get go. The Investigator really punishes you for not sacrificing everything to pump your INT. So you're looking at a min of 10-12 Skill points per level.

If the Investigator focuses on pumping their INT, they do so at the expense of Dex-based skills and combat readiness.

Quote:


2. The Investigator nearly 50% more class skills than a Rogue. By my count, there are 35 skills. The Investigator doesn't have Fly, Handle Animal, Ride, Survival, Swim. That's 30 class skills. The Rogue has 21. The what could a Rogue do better? Swim and Ride. So on average, the Rogue will probably be better at the DEX based skills.

The Bard has 28 Skill. What can it do that the Investigator can't? Nothing. Nor is the Bard and INT based class so it won't have as many skill points as the Investigator.

At higher levels, the Investigator may have overall more ranks, but will still lag on highest possible bonus for non-Int skills.

Quote:


3. Max Ranks limits the benefit. Even if a Rogue would end up with more skill points, you can only put so many points in any individual skill. So the only real hope is that the the Rogue is better at smaller subset of skill because the Investigator can't raise every skill every level.

The Investigator is dealing with a limited use ability unless they start burning talents. If you start looking at talents, the Rogue has their own advantages. Inspiration isn't strictly better than skill mastery and Skill Focus.

Quote:


Oddly enough, despite my harping on the skill dominance, the only hope is that people playing the class will spread their skill points, thus diluting the benefit. But Investigator that wants to be the best at some skill or set of skills (non-STR based) will be the best.

End of the world? No. But something that I think should be examined with a magnifying glass...

Being the absolute best at one or three skills is not the rogue's thing. I think it's okay if the Investigator is the class that is best at that. But most Investigators, even ones who max their ranks and select the proper talents, are not going to match the typical rogue in all of Acrobatics, Climb, and Stealth. Could an Investigator purposefully set out to have better Stealth than a (non-buffed) rogue? Sure. But even at 20th level, the inspiration bonus is an average of 7 (or 9) points.

A rogue's very high Dex is also the doorway to a number of powerful feats.

If you compare a rogue that balances a high Dex with a fairly high Int with an investigator with a high Int and a fairly high Dex, I think they come up very close. If you swing toward each character's strength, they are no longer even playing on the same field. The rogue is strictly a better Dex-based character, the Investigator strictly a better all-around skill monkey. And if you compare a Strength-heavy rogue, it looks very different again. A rogue can fairly neglect their Int and still fill their skill monkey role easily.

Grand Lodge

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N N 959 wrote:
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.

I don't know ... gumshoes tend to be raging alcoholics who somehow manage to not die of liver failure....

Poison resistance seems more reasonable than poison use.

Dark Archive

TLDR
Currently this class has no way to get any alchemist discovery right? I loved many of the UM discoveries and have taken extra discovery on multiple PCs more than any other feat.


Raymond Lambert wrote:

TLDR

Currently this class has no way to get any alchemist discovery right? I loved many of the UM discoveries and have taken extra discovery on multiple PCs more than any other feat.

They do, but only certain ones. Infusion is on the list too! None of the body horror discoveries either, so vivisectionist is still an island of his own. Great for a chemist.

Text quote:
Playtest Document wrote:
Alchemist Discovery (Ex): The investigator can select on of the following alchemist discoveries as an investigator talent: combine extracts, concentrate potion, dilution, elixir of life, enhance potion, eternal potion, extend potion, infusion, mutagenUM, poison conversionUC. When taking an alchemist discovery he must be high enough level to qualify for that discovery, using his investigator level to determine if he qualifies. This talent can be selected multiple times; each time, it applies to a new alchemist discovery.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

More bartitsu please!

I'm talking about talents that let you throw your cape to entangle an enemy, lock limbs and trip them (or just grant bonuses to maneuvers) with your cane, discombobulate as in the Sherlock Holmes film, or maybe enter an altered state of intellectual perception where you view combat as happening at a slower pace to plan out and anticipate moves.

I also think throwing rogues a bone in the ACG would be a good idea in the form of allowing them to take investigator talents (Ex only).


I see that this class has Reflex and Will as its good saves.
While the Alchemist class has Fort and Ref.
I was wondering if this is what you wanted?

Thanks!

(Any chance of an Alchemist/Bard combo?)


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New Feat line idea:

Sword Cane Mastery
You are adept at using a Sword cane as both a lethal weapon and a tool for incapacitating foes.
Requirements: Weapon Focus Sword Cane
Benefit: You can wield a a Sword Cane still in its scabbard as a bludgeoning weapon. When attacking in this manner you can choose to deal non-lethal damage without taking the usual -4 penalty. In addition, you can use the handle of the cane to make trip attacks, granting any sword cane you wield the Trip special property.

Improved Sword Cane Mastery
You use the Cane scabbard of your Sword Cane to block incoming attacks or make strikes of your own
Requirements: Weapon Focus Sword Cane, Sword Cane Mastery
Benefit: When you draw your Sword Cane out of its cane scabbard, you can hold the cane in your offhand. When you are holding the cane in your offhand you gain a +1 shield bonus to your armor class. Additionally, you can choose to wield the scabbard as an offhand weapon. When wielded in this way, a the cane deals the same damage as a sword cane of your size, but the damage is bludgeoning. You can use the Sword cane mastery to deal non-lethal damage with the cane without the usual -4 penalty.

Special: The cane scabbard of a Sword Cane must be enchanted separately from the Sword just like enchanting two ends of a double weapon.

Greater Sword Cane Mastery
Your style of attacking with a sword cane is dizzying and deadly
Requirements: Weapon Focus Sword Cane, Sword Cane Mastery, Improved Sword Cane Mastery
Benefit: The shield bonus granted by Improved Sword Cane Mastery is increased by +1. When wielding the Cane of your Sword Cane as an offhand weapon using the Improved Sword Cane Mastery feat, you can treat the Cane scabbard as a light weapon when calculating any penalties for two-weapon fighting. In addition, the first time that you draw the Sword from its Cane in each combat you can Feint one target as a free action.


I like that sword cane home feats..


Snake style is the choice for a trollface investigator as it already mimics the RDJ Holmes. I'd like an archetype for the "unarmed" investigator, or just dip a monk.


Playtest: Bloodcove disguise (or half of it anyway, the other half was spent making the characters). 1st level characters.

Really shined out of combat (which is a good thing in this scenario) lots of skill points, good skills, and the extra D6 is always good.

Looked very "meh" in combat (to both the player and the DM), no real combat abilities gained this early. 4th level is a long while to wait for sneak attack (which isn't that great to start with) . Mostly flanked with the brawler.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Journ-O-LST-3 wrote:
Snake style is the choice for a trollface investigator as it already mimics the RDJ Holmes. I'd like an archetype for the "unarmed" investigator, or just dip a monk.

I dipped unarmed fighter. Too many feats, otherwise, to make the sap master investigator I've been thinking of.

Snake style + empathy talent seems pretty good.

Dark Archive

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I was trying to address some of the issues with the Investigator being a weak class in fights when I realized that I could turn the Investigator into a hand crossbow-wielding, knowledge-having badass with a two level dip in MoMS to pick up Kirin Style and Kirin Path.

A human MoMS Monk 2/Investigator 1 has can have PBS, Precise, Kirin Style/Path, and Focused Shot. This allows him to be able to do approx. 1d4+15 damage at level 3 as a standard+swift action. The move action can be used to move or reload. If you move, then you can reload next round and use an extract or some other standard action maneuver.

Preferred Round Actions would be:
1st Round: Identify Monster(Swift), Focused Shot(Standard), Reload(Move)
2nd Round: Focused Shot(Standard), Reload(Move), Kirin Strike(Swift)
Repeat till dead.

Here is the character build::

George “The Point” Fredrickson
Male human Master of Many Styles Monk 2 / Investigator 6
LN medium humanoid
Init +5; Senses Perception +1
-=DEFENSE=-
AC 19, touch 15, flat 14 (armor +4, dex +5)
HP 51 (8d8 + 8)
Fort 6; Ref 13; Will 9
-=OFFENSE=-
Speed 30ft
Melee Sword Cane +5 (1d6 20/x2) Type: Slashing
Ranged Hand Crossbow +12 (1d4+2 19-20/x2) Type: Piercing
Ranged Focused Shot Hand Crossbow w/ Kirin Strike +12 (1d4+23 19-20/x2) Type: Piercing
-=OTHER=-
Str 10, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 24, Wis 12, Cha 7 (20pt buy, racial bonus on Intelligence)
BAB +5; CMB +5; CMD 20
Feats point blank shot, precise shot, improved unarmed strike, kirin style, kirin strike, focused shot, rapid reload, weapon focus (hand crossbow)
Traits pragmatic activator, student of philosophy
Favored class investigator
Favored bonus 6 skill points
Languages common + 7 languages
Investigator abilities inspiration 10/day; sneak attack(2d6); trapfinding; trap sense +1; keen recollection; poison resistance +4; poison use; investigator talents(rogue talent, underworld investigation); extracts
Skills Skills per level: Investigator: 13 (11 + 1 human + 1 favored class); Monk: 10 (9 + 1 human); Max Knowledge(Nature)/Knowledge(Religion) [Headband of Vast Intelligence]
Trained acrobatics 16(8); bluff 9(8); diplomacy 9(8); disable device 16(8); disguise 5(4); knowledge(arcana/local/nature/planes/religion) 18(8); knowledge(dungeoneering) 14(4); knowledge(engineering/geography/history/nobility) 11(1); sleight of hand 16(8); spellcraft 18(8); stealth 16(8); use magic device 18(8)
Equipment: hand crossbow +2; studded leather +1; headband of vast intelligence +4; belt of incredible dexterity +4

Also, yes, I realize that a shortbow does more damage, removes the need for Rapid Reload and is overall a better option. I just think that a hand crossbow sounds awesome. This would likely be a build that takes an archetype to get a gun as long as you don't give up too much. Also, once you get Rapid Reload, you can use Swift Alchemy to use your move actions to apply poison to your quarrels.

Edit: I support that addition of the cognatogen to the Discovery investigator talent. Some Strength loss for a boost to Intelligence sounds right up the Investigator alley.


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One of the things that I was surprised about was the class not taking concepts from a prestige class, much like the magus did. When I first heard about it, I thought it would be a shoo-in to have hints from the Sleepless Detective, namely the ability Canny Sleuth. I agree with the poison use being out of place and canny sleuth, to me, is a sensible replacement that isn't out of the scope of what is expected by the name of Investigator.

Edit: looks like Journ-O-LST-3 mentioned this idea earlier too.


RJGrady wrote:
If you compare a rogue that balances a high Dex with a fairly high Int with an investigator with a high Int and a fairly high Dex, I think they come up very close. If you swing toward each character's strength, they are no longer even playing on the same field. The rogue is strictly a better Dex-based character, the Investigator strictly a better all-around skill monkey. And if you compare a Strength-heavy rogue, it looks very different again. A rogue can fairly neglect their Int and still fill their skill monkey role easily.

Let me repeat something I said earlier. I'm not trying to protect the Rogue.

In Pathfinder, there are only two mechanics used to advance the game:

1. Combat

2. Skills

Every feat/trait/spell/equipment that isn't for fluff, contributes to one of those two things.

Now let's take a poll. Which class is the overall best at combat? Do you think eight or seven or even six people will agree on one class?

Let's take another poll. Which class is the best at skills?

Think about whether it's good or bad for the game to have one class be the best choice for something as broad as skills.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

*shrug*

I still think some ability to boost bluff/perform acting, and perhaps disguise is a much more in theme ability than poison use.

Detectives always go undercover or pretend to be something they are not.

Rarely do I see detectives shoving poisoned needles into people.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:

Let's take another poll. Which class is the best at skills?

Think about whether it's good or bad for the game to have one class be the best choice for something as broad as skills.

Pre play-test, Bards, hands down.

Pump Charisma, Pump Performance skills, use your bardic abilities to make Skill checks using performance skills in place of normal skills.

Circlet of persuasion (cheap), skill focus (that one performance skill that handles 2 of your preferred skills).

Retraining ranks out of skills once you can performance them.

I've got an 11th level bard in my game who has this and when it comes to diplomacy, bluff, intimidate, etc, she can't get below a 25. And each rank counts as 3 ranks since it counts for 3 skills.

I'd be thrilled with a way to be an uber skill monkey without being a bard. A rogue sure isn't. They do get a lot of ranks, but that's nothing compared to single stat pumping bards.


My concern is post play-test. But pre, I would agree with you that by Level 10 and up, a Bard can pull away from everyone. But in the early going, a Rogue can hold its own if it's built for skills.

I only pay PFS games, so after level 12, I'm not really concerned. Plus, I kind of feel that by level 20, it's all a toss up.

I plan to actually play this class in two upcoming scenarios, unfortunately it will be level 1, which I feel isn't going to shed much light an any possible issues at higher levels.

Grand Lodge

The Red Mage wrote:


I also think throwing rogues a bone in the ACG would be a good idea in the form of allowing them to take investigator talents (Ex only).

Agreed


Well since Investigators need people alive to ask questions then maybe the class should have an ability that makes dealing non-lethal damage much easier.


That would be cool.
Though i've used poison for that quite often (Again i vote for the int x strikes alchemist discory being allowed) to help me take people out.

It would be pretty useful, and the game's a bit light on non lethal (sans stuff like sap adept.. which does go well with sneak attack)


I never played an alchemist, and searching the FAQ doesn't answer this question.

Play test document wrote:
"An extract immediately become inert if it leaves the investigator’s possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an investigator cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use."

What if the alchemist / investigator pours the extract/potion down a comrades throat? Is it still good, or did it go inert? My assumption is that it goes inert, but the text could be read both ways. thanks,

-- david


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:

My concern is post play-test. But pre, I would agree with you that by Level 10 and up, a Bard can pull away from everyone. But in the early going, a Rogue can hold its own if it's built for skills.

I only pay PFS games, so after level 12, I'm not really concerned. Plus, I kind of feel that by level 20, it's all a toss up.

I plan to actually play this class in two upcoming scenarios, unfortunately it will be level 1, which I feel isn't going to shed much light an any possible issues at higher levels.

That's sort of the point. Right now, a rogue can kind of keep up with a Bard to mid levels, then he's left behind. A ranger can almost keep up until mid levels, but only if he concentrates on 6 very useful skills (perception, kn(nature), stealth, and 3 others).

An investigator can keep up with a bard or rogue at lower levels, and with a bard at higher levels.

So I think another class that can keep up with a bard at higher levels is a good thing. I certainly would like to break the bard grip on skill monkey.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Papa-DRB wrote:

I never played an alchemist, and searching the FAQ doesn't answer this question.

Play test document wrote:
"An extract immediately become inert if it leaves the investigator’s possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an investigator cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use."

What if the alchemist / investigator pours the extract/potion down a comrades throat? Is it still good, or did it go inert? My assumption is that it goes inert, but the text could be read both ways. thanks,

-- david

The only way an extract works on someone else is if you have the discovery Infusion. Otherwise, it doesn't work, even pouring it down their throat. This is why Chirurgeon get's that for free with curative extracts.


mdt wrote:
Papa-DRB wrote:

I never played an alchemist, and searching the FAQ doesn't answer this question.

Play test document wrote:
"An extract immediately become inert if it leaves the investigator’s possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an investigator cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use."

What if the alchemist / investigator pours the extract/potion down a comrades throat? Is it still good, or did it go inert? My assumption is that it goes inert, but the text could be read both ways. thanks,

-- david

The only way an extract works on someone else is if you have the discovery Infusion. Otherwise, it doesn't work, even pouring it down their throat. This is why Chirurgeon get's that for free with curative extracts.

Thanks. -- david


N N 959 wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
If you compare a rogue that balances a high Dex with a fairly high Int with an investigator with a high Int and a fairly high Dex, I think they come up very close. If you swing toward each character's strength, they are no longer even playing on the same field. The rogue is strictly a better Dex-based character, the Investigator strictly a better all-around skill monkey. And if you compare a Strength-heavy rogue, it looks very different again. A rogue can fairly neglect their Int and still fill their skill monkey role easily.

Let me repeat something I said earlier. I'm not trying to protect the Rogue.

In Pathfinder, there are only two mechanics used to advance the game:

1. Combat

2. Skills

Every feat/trait/spell/equipment that isn't for fluff, contributes to one of those two things.

Now let's take a poll. Which class is the overall best at combat? Do you think eight or seven or even six people will agree on one class?

Let's take another poll. Which class is the best at skills?

Think about whether it's good or bad for the game to have one class be the best choice for something as broad as skills.

The fighter is a full BAB class with proficiency in all martial weapons, and at 1st level, can use their bonus feat for any combat feat. The fighter is the best all-around guy for fighting, if you are completely agnostic as to the type of fighting. That doesn't invalidate other options. There are still other things other full BAB classes do better.

It's okay for the Investigator to be the best "guy who can pump up a wide variety of skill rolls to the highest level, several times a day, or without limit in a chosen area," being agnostic as to what kind of skill. There are still skills other characters will excel at. Further, as they gain levels, Inspiration will be tasked for other things besides skill checks.

I do think the Investigator could use a tweak, but I think the basic design is sound. Here's a thought: why let them start with a free Inspiration category, anyway? Their high Intelligence already makes them naturals at Knowledge and Linguistics checks. If Inspiration is always a limited resource, it makes it harder to claim they are always better at skills.


I dont really think the alchemy and poison use are good fits for how i imagine a investigator that being said the inspiration rules are golden and considering it will recharge in the same fashion as spell points why not just have the class draw more heavily off of that? even possibly allowing them to use inspiration points to cast certain spells of certain levels as sla's much like how the qinggong monk can use ki points to cast certain spells.
with more inspiration point options,a healthy list of investigator exclusive talents (not discoveries) and a few more options it would be a awesome class that feels different and fits the class name.

Also instead of sneak attack what if there was a class feature or talent that allowed the investigator to spend inspiration as a swift action to gain the sneak attack equivalent of a rogue of its level for a round?
And what if poison use and swift poison became investigator talents (swift poison requiring poison use).


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I think poison resistance is a must, but I could see poison use being shunted off to talent-land.


Tharken wrote:
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.

The challenge there is there are no guidelines for how much information one gets from a Perception check, just a rough outline of how hard it is to notice things certain things and what makes it more or less difficult.

Wether or not the player "notices a pickpocket" or "notices a pickpocket that has a red scar on his left cheek" is general handled case to case, wether you tell them automatically, give them the information if they ask what he looks like, or require them to roll higher.

EDIT: I also think it's a bad idea to hide plot-essential details behind Perception checks because if the character rolls a 1, the story grinds to a halt or they're left with no idea what's going to happen, but that's slightly off topic.

Grand Lodge

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Ellis Mirari wrote:

Wether or not the player "notices a pickpocket" or "notices a pickpocket that has a red scar on his left cheek" is general handled case to case, wether you tell them automatically, give them the information if they ask what he looks like, or require them to roll higher.

EDIT: I also think it's a bad idea to hide plot-essential details behind Perception checks because if the character rolls a 1, the story grinds to a halt or they're left with no idea what's going to happen, but that's slightly off topic.

I totally agree that plot-essential details shouldn't require a specific class (or even a specific skill check).

I'm talking about information that isn't necessarily plot-essential, but also isn't a normal part of a skill check.

Not just "the person who tried to pick your pocket had a red scar on his left cheek", which could potentially be a part of a normal skill check that any class could make. I think investigators should have a way to get more specific, accurate information that would give the investigator's player an advantage. Stuff like "the person who just tried to pick your pocket is neutral good, and only doing it because he's poor and desperate" or "the person eating at the table over there is an arcane spellcaster capable of casting 3rd level spells".

The important thing is that information the investigator learns on a successful check should be more than what would normally be possible from a skill check. A different class making a successful perception check could figure out that their enemy is an arcane spellcaster by noticing the spell component pouch, but an investigator should also be able to deduce what spells are prepared, or caster level, or some other bit of information. There doesn't need to be a rational justification as to HOW the investigator could know these bits of information. Literature & cinema are filled with examples of investigator type characters making successful leaps of unsupported logic.

Having an investigator in the party would mean knowing more about what your enemies are capable of, which would allow better preparation (assuming there's time to prepare).


mdt wrote:

That's sort of the point. Right now, a rogue can kind of keep up with a Bard to mid levels, then he's left behind. A ranger can almost keep up until mid levels, but only if he concentrates on 6 very useful skills (perception, kn(nature), stealth, and 3 others).

An investigator can keep up with a bard or rogue at lower levels, and with a bard at higher levels.

So I think another class that can keep up with a bard at higher levels is a good thing. I certainly would like to break the bard grip on skill monkey.

Yes. I absolutely agree that it's good for another class to be able to keep up with a Bard at higher levels. Right now, a 1d6 at first level...for free...blows everyone else away.

I'll also point out that having played and teamed with bards at lower levels, they essentially suck at direct combat. So they pay a hefty price at low levels for having any claim at skill monkey. The Investigator has to pay that same price.

IME, being able to contribute or be effective in combat is very important to every class. So rather than up the damage and further infringe on the Rogue, give the class some unique combat options.

As an aside, I actually think Spellcraft should be removed. The Investigator doesn't cast spells and wouldn't be able to recognize them being cast. I understand it needs to be there for copying spells and is a direct port form the Alchemist, but Linguistics could be used for for that by virtue of a class ability. Leaving it out helps keep a little more separation form Bard and Alchemist.


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moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

Okay. Two things about this:

1: I don't think the investigator needs fewer sneak attack dice over 20 levels. Doing and extra (on average) 3.5-7 points of damage less per hit compared to the rogue is fine. In a full attack, that can be a fairly decent difference in damage.

2: I really like the current structure of investigators not getting sneak attack until level 4. That way people who want 1d6 of sneak attack from a level dip will still have to go to rogue rather than the investigator. Not giving the bonus until 4 seems like a fairly savy design decision to me.


Ace of the Flesh Puppets wrote:

I was trying to address some of the issues with the Investigator being a weak class in fights when I realized that I could turn the Investigator into a hand crossbow-wielding, knowledge-having badass with a two level dip in MoMS to pick up Kirin Style and Kirin Path.

A human MoMS Monk 2/Investigator 1 has can have PBS, Precise, Kirin Style/Path, and Focused Shot. This allows him to be able to do approx. 1d4+15 damage at level 3 as a standard+swift action. The move action can be used to move or reload. If you move, then you can reload next round and use an extract or some other standard action maneuver.

Preferred Round Actions would be:
1st Round: Identify Monster(Swift), Focused Shot(Standard), Reload(Move)
2nd Round: Focused Shot(Standard), Reload(Move), Kirin Strike(Swift)
Repeat till dead.

** spoiler omitted **...

You basically just made The Professor from the Witcher.


Speaking of the Witcher....

More combat themed talents and a combat themed archetype would be ace.


Cheapy wrote:

Speaking of the Witcher....

More combat themed talents and a combat themed archetype would be ace.

I once accidentally made a witchery with the alchemist... Give him some bombs/traps maybe, great weapon choices, and some favored enemy stuffs and you might have it.


You know what? No one gave my earlier suggestion any attention so I want to make a suggestion again and see if people like it even a little. I have made some refinements in my head since I first brought this up.

I love inspiration and would like to get more. What I really want is something along the lines of Int+Investigator level number of inspiration points. For this--however--I think the investigator should give up some of its sneak attack progression (sort of!).

Here is what I suggest:
Starting at second level the investigator will gain a new use for her inspiration points. We can call it ATTACK WEAKPOINTS. The investigator spends a move action to study the enemy (sort of like the slayer power) and spends one inspiration point. For the next 2 minutes or so, the investigator deals 1d6 of sneak attack damage against enemies of that type (humanoids, evil outsiders, whatever). This sneak attack damage increase by 1d6 at 6th and every 4 levels thereafter to a maximum of 5d6 at level 18. At level 10, the investigator can activate this power as a swift action.

At level 4 the investigator gets its normal 1d6 of sneak attack die, and it increases by 1d6 at 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter to a maximum of 5d6 at level 20.

So with no inspiration spent at level 20:
The investigator deals only 5d6 sneak attack damage.

With an inspiration point spent at level 20:
The investigator deals 10d6 sneak attack damage.

This will give the investigator slightly better combat options at level 2, but also avoids giving people a free sneak attack die from a two level dip.

This can be weakened easily by making ATTACK WEAKPOINTS cost 2 inspiration points rather than 1 unless the investigator takes a feat or talent or w/e.

If people think int+level is too many inspiration points, then take away the poison use and poison resistance all these kids are b$#%&ing about (but I honestly sort of like).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It seems odd that the investigator would get Climb but not Swim, considering most classes get both if they have at least one.

Is this a typo?

If they're not supposed to get swim, it seems climb should be taken off too. The alchemist get's neither, and the Rogue get's both. Seems it should be one or the other, not split.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

Okay. Two things about this:

1: I don't think the investigator needs fewer sneak attack dice over 20 levels. Doing and extra (on average) 3.5-7 points of damage less per hit compared to the rogue is fine. In a full attack, that can be a fairly decent difference in damage.

2: I really like the current structure of investigators not getting sneak attack until level 4. That way people who want 1d6 of sneak attack from a level dip will still have to go to rogue rather than the investigator. Not giving the bonus until 4 seems like a fairly savy design decision to me.

Making the class more interesting and fun for the first 3 levels is *way* more important than trying to discourage 1 level dips in investigator. I play 4 different pathfinder campaigns, and I have not yet seen any sort of level dipping to be a problem. I think that making a class that is fun to run during each and every game (including the 9-12 one plays at levels 1-3) is more important.

In fact, the real way to discourage level dipping is to create a lot of higher level, cool powers. If you level dip, it will take longer to get the high level cool powers. Also, because of favored classes, level dipping always costs you a hit point or skill point. Not horrible, but still.

Lowering the investigator's sneak attack dice is a way to balance them with rogue. Investigators at high levels have other advantages in combat-- better to hit via inspiration, concentrated poison, enhanced potions, elixers (displacement, improved invisibility, haste, shield, enlarge, liquid body...), a mutagen (+4 dex, +2 AC). They don't really need the rogues attack dice.

Also note with my proposed sneak attack dice progression the investigator will usually have only 1-2 dice fewer than the rogue, which is the same as with the current progression. At very high levels, the investigators dice will start to fall behind by an extra die. By this time, they will have a plethora of other abilities that will make up for that.


moon glum wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
moon glum wrote:

In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).

Okay. Two things about this:

1: I don't think the investigator needs fewer sneak attack dice over 20 levels. Doing and extra (on average) 3.5-7 points of damage less per hit compared to the rogue is fine. In a full attack, that can be a fairly decent difference in damage.

2: I really like the current structure of investigators not getting sneak attack until level 4. That way people who want 1d6 of sneak attack from a level dip will still have to go to rogue rather than the investigator. Not giving the bonus until 4 seems like a fairly savy design decision to me.

Making the class more interesting and fun for the first 3 levels is *way* more important than trying to discourage 1 level dips in investigator. I play 4 different pathfinder campaigns, and I have not yet seen any sort of level dipping to be a problem. I think that making a class that is fun to run during each and every game (including the 9-12 one plays at levels 1-3) is more important.

In fact, the real way to discourage level dipping is to create a lot of higher level, cool powers. If you level dip, it will take longer to get the high level cool powers. Also, because of favored classes, level dipping always costs you a hit point or skill point. Not horrible, but still.

Lowering the investigator's sneak attack dice is a way to balance them with rogue. Investigators at high levels have other advantages in combat-- better to hit via inspiration, concentrated poison, enhanced potions, elixers (displacement, improved invisibility, haste, shield, enlarge, liquid body...), a mutagen (+4 dex, +2...

Shortly after replying to you, I posed an alternate strategy for solving the problems you brought up. I think you will find that it differentiates the investigator from rogue even further than your proposed progression, and makes them effective at levels 1-4 all the while still mitigating the sneak attack level dip problem.


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.

Edit:

Sorry if I read you wrong, but here is how I read you.

A) The investigator is fun, does it job, and is much better than the rogue
B) You don't think the rogue requires a redesign

It would be really sad if you:

C) therefor Think you need to nerf the investigator.

The investigator is fine. If, I say, If there is a problem with investigator vs Rogue, then the problem lies with the rogue and with SA.

BTW, I offer you this (from the Salyer thread):

I promote the idea of a talent or talent tree that let you feint as a swift action.

Liberty's Edge

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I've been less able to playtest the ACG around a table than I'd like. that said, I have been able to try some fairly standard creation rules in my free time just to compare on paper, and I'm the kind of player who often gives more thought to the feel of a character before the mechanical side. Noteworthy, however, is the fact that I've learned to look at many games a little more like a designer of late, and my opinions and experiences are also colored somewhat by what I've played before. Minding all that, read on.

poison use:
Knowing poisons, and developing resistance to them, is a matter of survival; using them is a choice, and commonly decried as an evil act. the class is -NOT- alignment restricted, but poison use forces a very difficult choice of how, and how much, to use a basic class feature before your DM throws the alignment book at you. YMMV, but it doesn't quite feel right as a base feature. I feel like this should definitely be a talent.

sneak attack:
Sneak attack feels awkward in it's current place. A class feature that you don't get for four levels doesn't do a lot to really immerse you in the class or introduce you to playing it, unless you're always starting at that level. Level one features are important in my mind. they set the tone for the rest of your level progression. Maybe make sneak attack a talent/archetype. Alternatively, Table it at level 1, maybe scaling 1d4 at alternating levels. Ends up weaker than rogue SA overall, but doesn't take FOUR levels to show up. fun stuff now that doesn't pigeonhole your combat role, instead of an afterthought that comes much later. The 1d4 also allows you to make a talent to get the 1d6, if one is so inclined to specialize. Choices are good.

inspiration:
As it stands, inspiration is a limited resource that you can burn talents on to quickly make nearly unlimited. A planned investigator, with the right talents, will be able to use every point of inspiration for combat, have enough points to augment a dozen rolls a day or so, get bonus rolls to every skill he cares about, and still have talents leftover. for five talents, he can get a roll for almost his entire skill list without spending a point. Seems like inspiration could be it's own resourceless system that simply designates a skill every couple of levels, instead of competing with combat for your pool. Why not change inspiration to be a permanent bonus roll to certain skills, representing an investigator's speciality, selected at alternating levels with talents? As it is, a third of the talents involve removing the need to spend a point on a cluster of skills. With some form of the above idea, you can choose to have a few skills get multiple inspiration rolls, spread them out over all your trained skills, or stack all your inspiration uses on one group of skills; it'd allow focus or generalization. This would remove the need for some of the talents, and allow talents to focus on other effects. Maybe this and the current incarnation add up to six in one hand and a half-dozen in the other, but I felt it worth mentioning after some initial inspection and cursory evaluation. Take it as you will.

alchemy:
I feel like we should optionalize or re-flavor alchemy/mutagens somehow. I know the class is meant to be an advanced combo of rogue/alchemist, but this part really feels...weighty, in regard to bookkeeping versus gameplay. If this class spiritually replaces the rogue, (which seems to be a recurring opinion in my queries and travels,) we need a mundane skill-monkey; I feel like the more "magical' alchemy risks betraying that. Crafting alchemical items and knowing about them: mundane, intellectual, and cool. Taking elements of the alchemist and blending them with elements of the rogue: cool, and kind of the point of the class. However, having a spellbook, even an alchemical one: specifically magical. Seems like a possible chunk of design opportunity passed up. Also makes the investigator much more targetable than he needs to be. Extracts have to be prepared each day: take his formula book, and an investigator is extract-free, and fairly gimped, in 24 hours or less. It might make more sense to have a "spontaneous" preparation for extracts, if you're set on keeping that feature. Less formulae, again representing a specialty, but less luggage, too. We have a sorcerer and oracle for arcane and divine casters; why not a spontaneous variety of alchemy? That alone fills unused design space: a spontaneous chemist!

Trapfinding:
well, I've always felt a certain artificial crutch with the base rules on this, but...since inspiration can apply to perception, this feels...redundant? More so if my above inspiration revision is implemented and used by the player (which it almost certainly will, perception being what it is.)

WARNING: less class-specific, but applicable, rant:
One other thing that comes to mind when reviewing many of the talents: Level requirements for abilities that give a considerable boost. they seem somewhat artificial, in that you can't take them for a very long time, but then you go POOF I'm suddenly AWESOME at this...Seems a litle strained, doesn't it? I would suggest reviewing some talents, and allowing them to be selected much earlier, at the cost of waiting for them to scale up. Take the ranger's combat style, for an example. He doesn't suddenly get two extra iterative attacks and lose the TWF penalty all because he selected a high level talent he couldn't get for fifteen levels. He made a choice of style early and grew with it. Wouldn't this philosophy feel more natural to more classes? Seems to make sense to me, from a mechanical standpoint, a conceptual one, and a player satisfaction perspective. don't tell me you never wanted wild shape for a druid at level one, even toned down. That feature is the reason some people druids at all, but it's gated for several levels. I feel like the same scenario plays out here. Fighters get a bonus feat right out the gate, wizards and clerics get spells at level 1, barbarians rage, monks get wis to AC, etc. etc.

Sorry if the last section doesn't REALLY belong, but it just flowed from the original train of thought, so...it felt applicable. Let Jason and co. follow the cardinal rule as we do: use what you like, change what you need, and discard the rest! Have fun!


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.

Stephen. Please validate my existence on this forum by considering my idea for an alternative to the current inspiration/sneak attack progression.

And you can always "upgrade" the rogue by giving it access to a limited form of inspiration as a talent. Or even give it access to Zark's "swift feint" talent and a limited inspiration talent. The former would compliment charismatic rogue builds (combat-y ones) while the latter would compliment intelligent rogue builds (skill-y ones).

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:
You basically just made The Professor from the Witcher.

I had to look that up, but sure that seems awesome.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.

That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.


moon glum wrote:

Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.

That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.

Well, I still would prefer giving the investigator some sneak attack ability that is not locked behind inspiration costs since that will give them some combat ability when their potions and inspiration have run out.

And I thought the first d6 should be at level 2 to keep them one level behind the rogue even with the inspiration payment (to help throw rogue a bone sort of). It also makes a one level dip in investigator not as good as this alternate version (which is actually sort of like the first version of this idea that I proposed a couple days ago).

I think the level 1 investigator is doing pretty okay combat-wise. They are not as good as the rogue for stabbing guys, but they have potions and inspiration to offset that. Like: they are sort of lvl 1 wizard-esque (or level 1 cleric-esque for that matter). They have some combat ability in the form of their stabby rapier but most of their usefulness will come from other resources.

Keeping them so weak in combat until level 4 is a bit much, though.

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