Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
... I don't see why ... the inspiration is always a variable number. Additionally, the amazing inspiration doesn't come off as all that amazing because you only increase the number of some rolls by one, on average. Higher potential, but you actually have a chance not to have done any better at all. Just a little weird isn't it? Not a lot of static numbers to depend on, but I've never been too familiar with the alchemist spell list so I might be missing something.

One idea is to have a fixed bonus for inspiration. But that is kind of boring.

Another idea is to let the d6 roll grant another roll if it is a 6. Sp if you roll a 6 it is a break-through.

Another idea is for a 1 to be a "dud". It grants no bonus, but it did not cost an Inspiration point, either. You just make no use of it that action. You grasped for inspiration and came up empty.

Maybe the Poison Use stuff can be an Inspiration Talent instead of being standard.


I played an investigator in a PFS play test, and there are four things I have to say about it.

1)Inspiration is awesome. Awesome awesome awesome.

2) I hope that there is an archetype that allows the investigator to add the inspiration free to skills like sense motive, bluff, and diplomacy as long as they have ranks, instead of the trained knowledges, spellcraft, and linguistics.

3) Overall I felt as if the alchemist features were sort of tacked-on, especially the poison-use. The use of potions is awesome for a rogue, but the lack of cantrips annoys me (for both the alchemist and the investigator), especially the lack of detect magic. Although I sort-of get why the alchemist doesn't have it, I feel like an investigator should at least have it as a first-level extract, even if everywhere else it is an orison/cantrip. For example: "I am looking for an object. I am in a room with 6 exact copies of that object. There are no casters in my party. The only difference is that the object I'm looking for is magical. But all these could be magical. But....I can't detect magic, so I guess I just take all of them and look like an idiot when I'm supposed to be a super-awesome genius? Ummmmmm...."

Point being, I think that at least detect magic should be available to the investigator, even if it's just as an investigator talent.

4) After playing the class, I don't feel like it's a class on its own yet. I feel like--aside from inspiration--it is like playing a multi-classed rogue/alchemist. It is missing a lot of the little powers that are part of the other hybrid classes that make them unique.

(Did I mention that inspiration is awesome?)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred that dips a level in investigator to get a sneak attack die.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
moon glum wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred...

I don't agree with your assessment on dips. Anyone that would dip a rogue level (and quite a few would), would end up picking investigator instead because they would get Sneak Attack AND Inspiration AND Extracts AND Trapfinding. There's a lot of gold in them thar hills.

Delaying sneak attack to 2 mitigates some of those issues.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anthroposassin wrote:
2) I hope that there is an archetype that allows the investigator to add the inspiration free to skills like sense motive, bluff, and diplomacy as long as they have ranks, instead of the trained knowledges, spellcraft, and linguistics.

There's an Investigator Talent that allows some of that, in addition to the default skills. And another Talent that adds a separate batch, though still not Bluff. And a third that adds just Use Magic Device, and thus seems...not good, by comparison.

ACG Playtest wrote:

Expanded Inspiration (Ex): An investigator can use his inspiration on Diplomacy, Perception, Profession, and Sense Motive checks without expending uses of inspiration, provided he’s trained in the skill.

Underworld Inspiration (Ex): An investigator can use his inspiration on Disable Device, Disguise, Intimidate, or Sleight of Hand checks without expending uses of inspiration, provided he’s trained in the skill.

Device Talent (Ex): The investigator can use the Use Magic Device skill even if not trained in that skill. If the investigator is trained in Use Magic Device, he can use inspiration with that skill without expending uses of inspiration.

Anthroposassin wrote:

3) Overall I felt as if the alchemist features were sort of tacked-on, especially the poison-use. The use of potions is awesome for a rogue, but the lack of cantrips annoys me (for both the alchemist and the investigator), especially the lack of detect magic. Although I sort-of get why the alchemist doesn't have it, I feel like an investigator should at least have it as a first-level extract, even if everywhere else it is an orison/cantrip. For example: "I am looking for an object. I am in a room with 6 exact copies of that object. There are no casters in my party. The only difference is that the object I'm looking for is magical. But all these could be magical. But....I can't detect magic, so I guess I just take all of them and look like an idiot when I'm supposed to be a super-awesome genius? Ummmmmm...."

Point being, I think that at least detect magic should be available to the investigator, even if it's just as an investigator talent.

Ah, but the super-awesome genius investigator actually says "Rather than look like an idiot and merely detect whether these items are magic, I will use this handy extract I have prepared to precisely identify them instead!"

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

moon glum wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred...

Nah, I take it back. It would be better just to give them the 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 sneak attack progression, and forget the inspiration based damage bonus, at least as a talent available at 1st level.

Designer

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Stephen. Please validate my existence on this forum by considering my idea...

Not what I do. But, I do read and consider all the feedback and suggestions on this and other playtest boards, not to validate anyone's existence on the forum, but because that is what playtesting is all about.

Existence is validated by the act of...well...existing. :)

That said, thank you for your feedback.I appreciate it.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Stephen. Please validate my existence on this forum by considering my idea...

Not what I do. But, I do read and consider all the feedback and suggestions on this and other playtest boards, not to validate anyone's existence on the forum, but because that is what playtesting is all about.

Existence is validated by the act of...well...existing. :)

That said, thank you for your feedback.I appreciate it.

GAH! We cannot a priori have an understanding of the concept of being nor the Seinsfrage which would lead to its understanding because that which is ontically closest to us is necessarily ontilogically furthest, therefore the question of being as a within-itself a for-itself or even as an emergent. Also, being is not an act or a thing, being does not have being... being is being just as nicht nichtens (nothing nothings) being is!

huff huff...

sorry...

Welcome back... I hope that we can get a few pointers on any suggestions or possibilities that seem antithetical to the design teams goals for the class so we can drop them and move on to new things.

Designer

Lord_Malkov wrote:

Also, being is not an act or a thing, being does not have being... being is being just as nicht nichtens (nothing nothings) being is!

huff huff...

sorry...

Welcome back... I hope that we can get a few pointers on any suggestions or possibilities that seem antithetical to the design teams goals for the class so we can drop them and move on to new things.

Well if a thing can not have itself, I don't know what it can have. But let's not dwell too long on tautologies.

I'm not really going to engage in too much theorycraft or try to tell you want you should or should not think or post. I find that letting you all talk about what you like and don't like about the classes tends to serve us best.

We are after all doing this to get your feedback. Especially playtest feedback. I tend to lurk. Comment where I must (or where I must have a little fun) and write a bunch of notes and create ideas that will guide and focus the team toward its end results.


Fair enough... I don't want to cloud the thread.

Anyway, I know that there was a post in the Hunter thread (from Sean I think?) that said definitively that Hunter was NOT going to be a shapeshifting class. Give the ambiguity inherent to any discussion of "class feature solutions" it is nice to see that sort of firm decree where applicable.

At the very least, when such a decision is firmly made, it would be good to let us know so we can stop blabbing about it and focus on things that you guys might actually find helpful.


Aberrant Templar wrote:


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.

Then you'd want to look at: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=6422

Grand Lodge

It defiantly would be nice if I could get Cognatogen. I have also been having fun with Kirin style which acts as a wonderful replacement for the bomb damage that I was very used to as an Alchemist. Not that it is a must have, but a high INT is very rewarding to have as an Investigator from my playtesting experience on a level 8 build.


moon glum wrote:
moon glum wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
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.

The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.

I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be

...

Why do you think they need the boost at level 1? Also: that slower sneak attack progression is really going to give the Investigator dearth of melee combat options at higher levels. I mean: the investigators will have buffs by then but action economy become the big problem.

I think both my proposed progression and the existing progression would be preferable to that. The investigator is really going to feel that 11.5 damage per hit difference (from the rogue and by extension other damage dealers) by then. It would be a class that gets worse and worse in melee relative to other classes. Maybe that is fine, but I don't want to build for one combat play style at low levels that becomes outmoded at higher levels. See what I am saying?

I'd prefer it to be nice and smooth.


I think the sneak attack progression is fine as it stands.

I would really like a non-sneak attack option, for the more scrupulous Investigator that doesn't like back-stabbing.

As a matter of course, though, having both options exist makes the investigator a very cool sort of Criminal Mastermind as well as a heroic detective. The crooked side of the detective could also grab sneak attack instead... they aren't all honorable, and many will fight dirty just like their scoundrel counterparts.

I think that since this is an alchemist/rogue, its pretty easy to just have the option for either (A) Sneak attack, condtional but unlimited or (B) Bomb damage added to a weapon attack, not subject to a condition but limited to level+int uses per day.

The fun part here is that it means that a man willing to fight dirty can be equal to Holmes's superior 'technique' and he is also less dependent on Intelligence.

I would also like to see that split reflected with a Poison Use or no Poison Use option.


Without having re reviewed the sheet for this.
I gather the class doesn't get sneak attack at lv 1 and none till lv 4?
THe main problem I might have with that is that I couldn't snag feats related to that class feature for longer than i would like.


More investigator talents:
Favored Target: A taste of this would do everything for this class it does for the Slayer, definitely without stepping on any toes.
Hold It Right There: The investigator can ready an attack action to trigger if an opponent moves, attacks, or performs a standard action. If the opponent triggers the attack, the investigator gains their Intelligence modifier as a bonus to damage.
Hidden weapons: Like an assassin.
Wrestling Techniques: Gains Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple as bonus feats.

Zwordsman wrote:

Without having re reviewed the sheet for this.

I gather the class doesn't get sneak attack at lv 1 and none till lv 4?
THe main problem I might have with that is that I couldn't snag feats related to that class feature for longer than i would like.

I could see some benefit in turning poison use into a talent, starting sneak attack at 2nd level, and slowing progression to +1d6 per three levels. It would require some minor rejiggering of the class table.


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Question to the Devs (Probably Stephan in this thread):

If I make a Grippli Investigator, am I required to name him Murloc Holmes?

I'm so sorry, except I'm not.

Grand Lodge

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I don't agree with your assessment on dips. Anyone that would dip a rogue level (and quite a few would), would end up picking investigator instead because they would get Sneak Attack AND Inspiration AND Extracts AND Trapfinding. There's a lot of gold in them thar hills.

Delaying sneak attack to 2 mitigates some of those issues.

Agreed.


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Are there any thoughts about integrating sneak attack in the investigators inspiration? So she can pay one point to get sneak damage for an attack or maybe a round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lyee wrote:

Question to the Devs (Probably Stephan in this thread):

If I make a Grippli Investigator, am I required to name him Murloc Holmes?

I'm so sorry, except I'm not.

No, that's only required for Sahuagin Investigators.


widuj wrote:
Are there any thoughts about integrating sneak attack in the investigators inspiration? So she can pay one point to get sneak damage for an attack or maybe a round.

My thought on it is that I have been saying that/refining that idea for days. (specifically giving half normal sneak attack progression starting at lv. 4 and half inspiration-only sneak attack progression starting at lv. 2)

I have also been saying that you might need more inspiration that way.

That may really be the reason I love the idea. I like the thought that--in a given day--the investigator has this resource pool that he divides between combat utility and out of combat utility.

Grand Lodge

Play tested this class last night on Fallen Fortress... Not a lot of skill checks involved and I made it a skill monkey. For the standard detecting of traps, we had a second investigator and a rogue so it felt like I was mostly useless. I did end up using my Heal skill a couple times and the fact I can use wands of Cure Light saved a few members of the party. The funniest part was when I made a sense motive check on an NPC and got to tell the GM I got a 31 at level 1. (5 from the skill, Nat 20 on the die and a 6 when I rolled inspiration.) Too bad it was mostly unnecessary to make that check LOL.

That does remind me, just to clarify, if you use Inspiration and roll a 1 on the d20 for UMD it still locks the item no matter the roll on the d6 and any bonuses to UMD correct?


Drake Brimstone wrote:


That does remind me, just to clarify, if you use Inspiration and roll a 1 on the d20 for UMD it still locks the item no matter the roll on the d6 and any bonuses to UMD correct?

No, not necessarily. You only get locked out of an item when making a UMD check if you roll a natural 1 and fail the check.

So, if adding a d6 gets you up to the DC, then you are good.
And if you have a bonus of +19, you cannot fail to use a wand nor can you get locked out of using a wand for 24 hours.


A thought occurred to me this weekend, why not make the investigator more like the old beguiler class from the 3.5 Complete Adventurer? Change out the chemistry/alchemy stuff for a set of spells, add some focus on spells that learn information, less on combat (Like the beguiler focused more on enchantment and infiltration), slow the sneak only a bit (Start at 2nd and then up a die every two instead of starting at first and up every two.), go with a more wizard-like save progression, and give a Skill Focus in alchemy? Might not be perfect, but might fit the idea of someone using their brains more than quick hands.


I am so excited to play this class when I playtest it! Also! Now there is a PC class that works really well for my idea of a non-magical adventuring college professor!


PMSchulz wrote:
A thought occurred to me this weekend, why not make the investigator more like the old beguiler class from the 3.5 Complete Adventurer? Change out the chemistry/alchemy stuff for a set of spells, add some focus on spells that learn information, less on combat (Like the beguiler focused more on enchantment and infiltration), slow the sneak only a bit (Start at 2nd and then up a die every two instead of starting at first and up every two.), go with a more wizard-like save progression, and give a Skill Focus in alchemy? Might not be perfect, but might fit the idea of someone using their brains more than quick hands.

Maybe as an archetype but that is far besides the concept of an investigator.

That also sounds like it would need a specialized spell list (which people are avoiding).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Brew Potion, as a bonus feat, should be an investigator talent. They have the option of selecting the alchemical discoveries related to potions after all. And technically, without this, there is not a way for them to brew potions (it is my understanding that, officially, the item creation feats don't work with alchemical elixirs).

Sczarni

Consistently, I'm seeing in any play test report of the Investigator at levels 1-3 they appear to be incredibly limited in their ability to contribute to combat in any significant way. The majority of the Investigator play test praise comes from those playing level 4-6+.

Looking at this from the perspective of playing PFS without the aid of GM credit, I can see this class being quite frustrating to play outside of a heavily social scenario. Given that there are more combat heavy scenarios than social, it would seem that a player interested in portraying an Investigator would have to begin their career as something else for a level or two and eventually switch to Investigator at character level 3+.

For a home game starting at higher levels, it doesn't seem to be a problem , but this is a major concern for PFS players and any campaign starting at first level

The Investigator should be able to directly contribute to combat at level 1 if it's to be considered a full class and not a Prestige Class. Looking at the more squishy Core classes as a comparison, Bards can buff the entire party with Bardic Performance, Druid's get their animal companion, Wizard's get spells (and in PFS can get a wand of Magic Missle after their first scenario with PP) and the rogue gets Sneak Attack.

Inspiration is an awesome mechanic, but assuming the Investigator hasn't completely dumped their stats with a 20pt buy, they're likely rocking a 18 INT. That's only two uses of Inspiration to aid combat actions per day at level 1 and then they're out of their key class feature. The Investigator should have something they can do to benefit the party in combat beyond identifying monsters and Aid actions, especially for PFS play.

It's obvious they excel out of combat early on, but a considerable portion of the game is spent fighting even at low levels.


MrRetsej wrote:

Consistently, I'm seeing in any play test report of the Investigator at levels 1-3 they appear to be incredibly limited in their ability to contribute to combat in any significant way. The majority of the Investigator play test praise comes from those playing level 4-6+.

Looking at this from the perspective of playing PFS without the aid of GM credit, I can see this class being quite frustrating to play outside of a heavily social scenario. Given that there are more combat heavy scenarios than social, it would seem that a player interested in portraying an Investigator would have to begin their career as something else for a level or two and eventually switch to Investigator at character level 3+.

For a home game starting at higher levels, it doesn't seem to be a problem , but this is a major concern for PFS players and any campaign starting at first level

The Investigator should be able to directly contribute to combat at level 1 if it's to be considered a full class and not a Prestige Class. Looking at the more squishy Core classes as a comparison, Bards can buff the entire party with Bardic Performance, Druid's get their animal companion, Wizard's get spells (and in PFS can get a wand of Magic Missle after their first scenario with PP) and the rogue gets Sneak Attack.

Inspiration is an awesome mechanic, but assuming the Investigator hasn't completely dumped their stats with a 20pt buy, they're likely rocking a 18 INT. That's only two uses of Inspiration to aid combat actions per day at level 1 and then they're out of their key class feature. The Investigator should have something they can do to benefit the party in combat beyond identifying monsters and Aid actions, especially for PFS play.

It's obvious they excel out of combat early on, but a considerable portion of the game is spent fighting even at low levels.

Well, there are still extracts and poisons starting at level 2. And I would not be so blase in dismissing inspiration, because you can roll it after you roll an attack so once you have pinned down the opponent's AC, you can allocate the resource so it is in fact an important attack that lands that otherwise wouldn't. Level 1 investigators are really quite wizard-esque, though.

As such, people (like myself) share your concerns.


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Not even wizard-esque. Wizards have cantrips.

Sczarni

Again, looking at this as a Level 1-2 character, 2-3 extracts per day (1-2+1 from high INT) are not particularly impressive when you don't have the Alchemist's Bombs or Mutagen to support them. Furthermore, you are limited to 1st level extracts, only about six of which are directly useful in combat (Shield, Shock Shield, Reduce Person, Enlarge Person, True Strike, Bomber's Eye), a few of which are of minimal practical aid. The rest of the extract list is for utility purposes. Most likely one would prepare Shield and keep a slot open for what's needed on the fly. Worse, none of those extracts can be Infused until level 3 if you're willing to sacrifice your first Investigator Talent to attempt to poorly emulate an Alchemist.

As for poison use, you're still burning through gold even at 1/3 cost when the cheapest poison in PFS is 90gp (30gp for an Alchemist/Investigator) per dose. If you miss with your poisoned arrow, whoops, too bad, there's 30gp down the drain. If you're going melee instead, you still only get one successful hit out of that poison. Poison use is simply more costly, both in GP and action economy than Gunslinger ammo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm looking at this class and, while I really like it, the capstone seems a little off. Am I misreading or does it largely replace many of the talents you could take? If they somehow would still be relevant, like by increasing the inspiration dice if they would already skip expending inspiration, it would seem like these abilities work together instead of stepping on each other's toes.


Well.... yeah at level 1 investigators have it rough in combat, but not drastically more than a wizard.

Grab a crossbow and take a few pot-shots or just swing with a cane sword.

Depends on where your feat goes, and what race you are. Its not like rogues are tearing it up at 1st level either. 3.5 damage on 50-60% of your attacks isn't bridging any gigantic gulfs.

So here would be my investigator from 1 to 3.

Human Investigator (20pt)
Str - 10
Dex - 14
Con - 14
Int - 18 (+2 race)
Wis - 10
Cha - 10

Feats:
1st - Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot

So, at 1st level, I will be using a light crossbow, shooting at targets within 30ft at +3 for 1d8+1

Is this a combat monster? Not even a little... but I am okay with that. Can I hit CR 1 monsters? Sure! And I have an inspiration pool of 5.

At later levels I might grab a Pistol to make things easier to hit. You could do this by level 3, when you can grab the Firearm Training talent and could probably afford a 1000gp pistol.

Pick up Focused shot and deadly aim to make one good sniper shot each round and stay hidden as much as possible. With that glut of skill points and inspiration, you can help make that stealth check work.

OTOH, as a melee build, you can still afford to lose a lot of strength, use the energy touch extract and flank for touch-sneak attacks.

Sczarni

Lord_Malkov wrote:

Is this a combat monster? Not even a little... but I am okay with that. Can I hit CR 1 monsters? Sure! And I have an inspiration pool of 5.

As I read the entry for Inspiration, at level one you would have a pool of 1 if your INT was 10-11 or 4 (technically 4.5) not 5 with a INT of 18. You wouldn't get a pool of 5 until level 2 as it says nothing about rounding up the points earned based off of level. The minimum of 1 point is there to allow you to use inspiration at all if you for whatever reason decided to dump INT or where INT drained in some fashion.

Silver Crusade

This is really the class that I've been looking forward to playing the most, for a lot of reasons. A few general notes first:

-I wish they could use guns, guns are a very iconic weapon for Investigators (at least in my opinion), but I also recognize that PFS likes to keep the amount of guns somewhere around zero. But making an archetype that gave guns, as well as gun training for Sneak Attack would be just amazing. Maybe even instead of gun training, something that gave you your intelligence to damage instead per shot to help drive home the intelligent marksman angle. I don't think this would make them anymore SAD than normal gun training would, and would be a nice way to separate their abilities from the others.

-In sticking with the multiclass theme, if these characters are eventually allowed to multiclass into their parent themes (which I think they should), I believe it would be quite revolutionary if their extract level was able to stack with Alchemist levels. By that I mean that an Investigator 3/Alchemist 1 would have access to 2nd level extracts all at CL 4. Making it such a multiclass friendly class would be a first, and since they both cast/drink in the same way, it wouldn't be an issue of conflicting progressions (unless there was investigator only extracts, which I don't really expect.)

With that out of the way, I'll be doing a playtest with a level 7 Investigator this Saturday, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays. I was playing an Alchemist in the game originally, and because of that this won't be a huge shift (although they were fairly bomb based) in play style.

I do like the fact that I'm using a class that's more able to use the Sneak Attack that I'm given, but I honestly hate Sneak Attack as a damage buff both due to its difficulty to set up in regards to anyone else's damage bonuses and randomness to it.

I feel like a lot of my Inspiration is going to be going to combat, and that saddens me due to the 2/1 exchange rate for Inspiration with attack roles. It's the classes only way to boost damage (although unlike the Rogue, it HAS one) unless you take Mutagen, which really isn't a standard feature (I'd also like to see Feral Mutagen on the list of possible discoveries), so I feel like a lot of it will be going there. This to me says that the Discovery to make the Inspiration an even trade for attack/damage should come earlier.

Speaking of Inspiration, I really don't know if it's worth a discovery to be able to add it to more things. It's generally going to be a +3/4 bonus (until made into a d8), and for that little of an increase I don't feel like it has to be limited to knowledge skills and such. But as an aside, I love that it can be decided post role, which makes it a lot better in my opinion so you're not wasting it on 1's and 20's on the role.

Also, is it just me, or are most of you also expecting just about every archetype to trade away Trapfinding just like the Rogue did? I mean I'd rather have something other than it myself, but it seems like even the Devs know that it's a pretty sub par ability.

Poison resistance and Poison Use both seem like relics of the Alchemist, and are both things I think will be traded out in archetypes, Poison use probably not even making it to the finished product. They just lack so much of a punch, and in the case of the Alchemist, were simply used as archetype fodder to trade out for MUCH better abilities. Same goes with trap sense. I almost feel like instead of crippling the base class so much with these filler abilities that are going to be traded out (who DIDN'T trade out Poison Resistance/Trap Sense as an Alchemist/Rogue?), they should just replace them now instead of giving us an archetype that does that ends up basically being the base class (Scout anyone?)

I really feel Investigator Talents should start at second level, as the class doesn't have much going for it until 3rd level, and especially 4th where it gets its first damage boost. It really doesn't inspire me to want to play an early level version of the class. As for the SA progression itself, while I'd like to see it full, I can understand them being gun shy about giving this too much Sneak Attack. I'd rather it start at 1st level and grow every 3 levels.

I'm genuinely liking how Inspiration can expand on what skills can do a bit, as that's the thing I most wanted to see from a class like this. It's flavorful and very telling of good design. I'm really looking forward to seeing more Investigator Talents, as well as possible bomb archetypes.

One thing that I would like to talk about is that this class really has no support for ranged combat aside from proficiency with the Hand Crossbow, which seems to sub in for a gun here, but without the hope of Gun Training. I'll admit if we got some sort of Int to Damage ability for ranged/melee attacks, it would go a long way to make this little medieval "gun" far more of a viable tool, especially since extracts can actually help us get SA at a range, if in limited supply. I'll be looking forward to something that gives us Precise Strike like the Duelist to really let this work.

While I do have more to say, I'll be saving that for my playtest, as I have a lot that I want to mess around with involving this class.

Grand Lodge

I went through a 1st level adventure today, although we were playing up. It is defiantly frustrating to play as all I got to really spend my inspiration on skill checks but it was worthwhile to be acing the skill checks as well when I get like a 27 on a knowledge check to tell the team exactly what the hidden nuggets of information were. However I am willing to bite in that it gets progressively better as you get in higher levels.

Currently my gameplan is to go
01 Investigator
02 Monk
03 Monk
04 Investigator
05 Investigator

Just because getting Focused Shot, Kirin Style, and Kirin Strike on my investigator to make them more relevant in combat which is where I think this hybrid class could use if it wanted to be a bit more combat focused. Its currently a very good skill monkey class, inspiration really helps make the skill checks when your like the only guy at the table with that specific knowledge skill and you could of come up like 1-3 points short.

Its very flavorful and seems like a great one to play a Sherlock Holmes-esque character like the ones from the recent live action movies.

Sczarni

~Alexander~ wrote:

I went through a 1st level adventure today, although we were playing up. It is defiantly frustrating to play as all I got to really spend my inspiration on skill checks but it was worthwhile to be acing the skill checks as well when I get like a 27 on a knowledge check to tell the team exactly what the hidden nuggets of information were. However I am willing to bite in that it gets progressively better as you get in higher levels.

Currently my gameplan is to go
01 Investigator
02 Monk
03 Monk
04 Investigator
05 Investigator

Just because getting Focused Shot, Kirin Style, and Kirin Strike on my investigator to make them more relevant in combat which is where I think this hybrid class could use if it wanted to be a bit more combat focused. Its currently a very good skill monkey class, inspiration really helps make the skill checks when your like the only guy at the table with that specific knowledge skill and you could of come up like 1-3 points short.

Its very flavorful and seems like a great one to play a Sherlock Holmes-esque character like the ones from the recent live action movies.

It seems like the two dip MoM Monk dip to get Kirin Style & Strike is going to become a very common Investigator build. It's a pity there isn't a melee equivalent to Focused Shot though.

As an aside, I too feel that the first Investigator Talent should appear at level 2 rather than 3. If sneak attack must be delayed until level 4, then throw the Investigator a bone that puts it more in line with it's base classes, the Alchemist and Rogue.


Thinking more about it, both trap finding and poison seem like prime archetype bait. The two I want to see most are a gun totting sleuth and some kind of two fisted type.

And yeah, they need a little something added for combat.


I've been thinking on this one, especially the repeated playtest results of how poor they are in the first few levels.

And, as an idea for Stephen, how about this:

Investigators in popular fiction generally have their vice. For some, it's coffee. Others, it's opium. Some do coke. Some drink alcohol.

So let's take this trope, and run with it. Every investigator has their vice. Every investigator needs their Uppers (Ex).

Now, just like Paizo doesn't condone violence by having classes that excel at killing enemies, and doesn't condone sexual violence despite having succubi in the game, this wouldn't promote drug use in any way different from the above examples promote their respective amoral behavior.

With that out of the way...

The alchemist has their Mutagen. This is an ability that allows them to do well in combat from first level when the bombs run out, since it gives a nice boost to AC and also a physical score.

But, the mutagen doesn't really fit the theme of the Investigator. At least not the base investigator, so giving them it wouldn't make much sense, despite how nice it'd be. Why not have another ability to help out with this?

We could just abstract away the drug (ab)use, and make an ability where they concoct some small substance that they consume to enhance their capabilities in a way that doesn't overlap with Mutagen (and doesn't work when Mutagen is up).

I'm not really sure what this would be. Maybe bonuses to damage and also AC when avoiding AoOs, due to your hyperfocus? But it's an idea to consider.

I plan to playtest the Investigator soon in a PFS environment, and hope to add some more data to the playtest data set.


Since everyone seems to be hung up on the name of the class...how about...

Trickster, thaumaturge, theurgist, or saboteur?


Cheapy wrote:

I'm not really sure what this would be. Maybe bonuses to damage and also AC when avoiding AoOs, due to your hyperfocus? But it's an idea to consider.

I plan to playtest the Investigator soon in a PFS environment, and hope to add some more data to the playtest data set.

Hmm, you have a good point about detective fiction, but given that mutagen is a possible (and very likely choice) Investigator Talent, I'd rather reflavor the mutagen to be this with my Investigator. But if we're thinking about a whole new feature, one possibility would be a new feature to tie the Investigator's skill-based investigations into their combat ability, to mimic the idea that the Investigator is able to make himself ready for a fight he expects compared to a random encounter out of nowhere. A random stab at this:

Clue Points: When an investigator finds a clue, he is ready to confront the mastermind behind the crime he is investigating. See the following table for a list of actions that earn a clue point toward a particular foe. An investigator can never receive clue points more than once for the same clue and can never have more clue points banked against a particular foe than his Intelligence modifier. An investigator can spend clue points in combat against the appropriate foe in one of two ways. First, he may spend one clue point before attempting an attack against that foe. If the attack hits, the investigator adds 1d6 precision damage to the attack and the attack automatically applies any sneak attack the investigator may have. Second, the investigator may substitute one clue point for one of the two inspiration points (but not both) in order to spend inspiration on an attack roll against that foe or a saving throw against that foe's attack.

Following Table:

1) Successfully track a foe to the location of the confrontation.
2) Identify a non-humanoid foe's creature type through evidence (e.g. feathers, markings, footprints, scent) before encountering the foe
3) Identify a humanoid foe's identity or guilt before encountering the foe
4) Fight against a foe (gain a clue point at the conclusion of the battle from observing the foe's combat style--most useful for recurring enemies)
5) Insert more clue-worthy ideas here

Example for First Steps Part 1:
If you make the Perception and Sense Motive checks, you can pick up clue points against the enemies in the final encounter


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Looking through some different Class abilities: I came across this one that I think fits my impression of the Investigator very well. It's from the Martial Artist Monk variant. I've changed it so that it would suit the Investigator's class.

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

Although, instead of Exploit Weakness, I might call it Quick Analysis or something like that.


Cheapy wrote:
Not even wizard-esque. Wizards have cantrips.

And investigators have swords with pointy bits at the end.


I'm worried about the 6 skills/lvl. 4 skills/level for the alchemist was the first and only time a class with int casting got more than 2 skills/level (not counting prestige classes). Because of that alchemists are very potent skill monkeys without additional investment. The investigator has to invest even less.

Poison use and to a lesser extent poison resistance feel completly off for most characters that will be build with the investigator class. They could be either moved to an archetype or become investigator talents.

Nine sneak attack dice feel like way to much for a class that wants to stand on it's own. If you compare the investigator and the vivisectionist you can barely tell them apart. Alchemist with sneak attack is covered already. Sneak attack still fits for a character that fights tactically and observes but we don't need almost full progression. Some dice could yield in favor of a cool unique ability or a combat upgrade of inspiration.

What bothers me as well is the messy progression. Why not keep sneak attacks at odd levels and investigator talents at even. It worked for both parent classes and I don't see any reason to change that now.

suggestions:
-Consider changing the skills to 4/level
-Remove poison use/poison resistance the vivisectionist covers this already. If these abilities are that important some archetype could possibly get them.
-Move the investigator talents to even levels starting with level two that keeps it simple.
-Move keen recollection to two. Bards get almost the same ability at level one there shouldn't be a problem.
-Move the sneak attack progression to odd levels starting with three and replace every second sneak attack with a cool ability that helps in combat. The investigator needs more than one unique ability and some new talents.
-Add improved unarmed strike as a bonus feat at level one to offset the loss of poison resistance and poison use. Holmes practiced some obscure martial arts and many investigators have a police background. Mechanically people don't have to dip monk to get combat styles. Inspiration and trapfinding are by no means bad abilites but they pale against the alchemists bombs, mutagen and two bonus feats (one that overcomes the limits of alchemy and one that complements their fighting style). Alchemist is extremly front-loaded this class needs more candy at level one.

edit: sample progression
1 Alchemy, improved unarmed strike, inspiration, trapfinding
2 Investigator talent, keen recollection
3 Sneak attack +1d6, trap sense +1
4 Investigator talent, swift alchemy
5 (new combat related ability)
6 Investigator talent, trap sense +2
7 Sneak attack +2d6
...

edit2. swift alchemy should be reevaluated as well.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Not even wizard-esque. Wizards have cantrips.
And investigators have swords with pointy bits at the end.

Sure. Except that wizards have Ray of Frost, which hits on a touch attack, not to mention specialisation abilities. In combat, investigators have True Strike, Shield and Enlarge Person. That last one at least can make them a little more useful at first level, but it's like casting Enlarge Person on a rogue; pretty pointless.


So, maybe I'm crazy, but would this work as a 1/2 BAB class instead of 3/4?

I'm probably crazy


Lyee wrote:

So, maybe I'm crazy, but would this work as a 1/2 BAB class instead of 3/4?

I'm probably crazy

Probably wouldn't work very well. Even 3/4 BAB on its own has trouble in combat unless you can give it more oomph.


Thought I'd opine. Sorry if it's a re-tread.

I like the changes proposed on the blog - with the exception of taking Poison Use away from Investigators. I appreciate the detective archetype that it's presence supports - Holmes, Poirot, Garrett PI, Adrian Monk, to name a few - and on the mechanical side believe that any class focused on understanding and handling alchemy & poisons would be logistically able to apply them without danger.


I wonder if you slowed down the sneak attack progression, you could squeeze in favored target. Investigator and Slayer could be sourcebook buddies. Tell me you can't see an Investigator focusing their ire on the culprit.


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RJGrady wrote:
I wonder if you slowed down the sneak attack progression, you could squeeze in favored target. Investigator and Slayer could be sourcebook buddies. Tell me you can't see an Investigator focusing their ire on the culprit.

We could make it an archetype. Maybe related to being some sort of city watch. Or maybe a rage type of thing relating to balancing yourself with the beast inside of you...

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