Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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This thread is for discussing the Investigator. It should be used as a central location for feedback on the class as a whole. Discussion on specific topics and rules should receive their own individual thread in this forum.

Keep it civil and polite folks. Remember we are all here to make this book the best it can be.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

**OFFICIAL UPDATES**

The following updates apply to the Investigator.

• Add Heal to the list of investigator class skills.

• The Inspiration points gained from the Inspiration class feature refresh once per day after resting.

• The Intelligent Inspiration investigator talent should be (Ex) not (Su).


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I feel like all of the poison abilities are an ill fit for the investigator class and should be replaced. Also, not sure about the amount of sneak attack...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This class should draw more on the inspiration than is currently written. Honestly this looks like a merged version of the Vivisectionist alchemist archetype. I'm still digesting this class so this is just my initial impression.


After a quick read, I have two questions :
-How often does the Inspiration pool refresh ? I can't find anything about recharging it.
-Is the Intelligence Inspiration talent really supposed to be (Su), or is that a mistake ?

Overall, it looks like a vivisectionist, with slightly less sneak attack and more skill to make up for it. More skill points, more class skills, bonuses you can apply to skills... Seems interesting.


I am enjoying the ideas behind this class quite honestly.

I know this isn't the best to offer, but I think the sneak attack should be different. The thing is I don't know how, but I feel it just being a somewhat weaker sneak attack is a little underwhelming.

Maybe (And this is just me being an oddball) something that allows the Investigator to apply the bonus damage to a weapon and then it sticks around until X-number of swings, or something. So you'd have more daily uses than the bombs (Like sneak attacks, but not as many as you can squeeze in) but no area of effect.

Other than that though, I like the idea behind inspiration and really want to give this class a go.

Designer

Tharken wrote:

After a quick read, I have two questions :

-How often does the Inspiration pool refresh ? I can't find anything about recharging it.
-Is the Intelligence Inspiration talent really supposed to be (Su), or is that a mistake ?

It is suppose to refresh once per day.

It is not supposed to be (Su) it is supposed to be (Ex).

Grand Lodge

It almost feels like the class should have been called the Infiltrator instead, but it seems cool otherwise.


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This class makes me want to run a Pathfinder Call of Cthulhu campaign.

With a group entirely made up of Investigators.

:3

Sczarni

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My initial impression is that this looks like a very fun class. However, it also seems like another blatant trampling on the poor ol' Rogue. I would take this class over Rogue even if it didn't have extracts. With extracts included, it's no contest. And hey, look, we even get a strong Will save, which the Rogue ought to have always had. Overall, I can't imagine playing a Rogue instead of an Investigator, unless I was going for a Sneak Attack-heavy combat build -- in which case I'd go ahead and play a Ninja instead.

So for me, I like the class's design -- it just makes me sad that we can't travel back in time and rebuild the Rogue to use these mechanics. I guess this new class is the only way to "fix" the Rogue. :(

More specific comment: I would think that Underworld Inspiration would also grant free Inspiration for Bluff. Is there a reason why there are currently no Talents that make Bluff a freebie?

EDIT: Also, if the book contains an archetype that removes the Extract ability entirely and substitutes in something else nice, then it will definitely obsolete the Rogue in my book. Though honestly, I would love to see and play that archetype.


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The rogue now feels more combat oriented, to be honest - this guy.. seems like he'd be the guy in the back hiding from combat, while the rogue zig-zags around stabbing things to death.

I have a player strongly interested in running the Invesitagor in my upcoming Shattered Star campaign - If he goes that route, I'll let you guys know how he fares.


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As I wrote elsewhere, I think this class is the last nail in the coffin for the Rogue.

I don't consider this a bad thing.

Especially since, for the most part, it keeps a similar flavor, and I'm pretty sure the Rogue stomping was intentional since it includes some conspicuous suggestions from the forums I've seen floated around in the form of Inspiration ("Give Rogue an ability that benefits from Int! Give Rogue the ability to make better skill checks! Rogue needs something that adds to attack rolls!").

I wasn't hyped for this one when it was announced, but it's my surprise favorite, tied with Bloodrager. It's good, it fills the skill monkey niche without sacrificing combat and other utility, which is something that needed to happen.


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Yeah more focus on Inspiration (maybe more related to 3.5's factotum) seems novel and interesting rather than "Hey guys we made a less ridiculous vivisectionist", which is what it feels like now.

Liberty's Edge

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I like this, although I agree the poison use seems a bit tacked on.

And only losing 1d6 of sneak attack to gain 6 levels of spells...hate to say it but Rynjin is correct.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

yeah- totally buries the rogue. i find myself wondering if their sneak attack damage is a little to high, but that should come out in the playtest. it might have been nice to have a mechanic that grants static bonus damage based on Int or even Knowledge checks... (maybe 1 point of precision damage per class level, max = to Int mod.?) that would make them less dependent on thoughtful positioning from others (and the constant necessity of repositioning that hosed rogues out of so many iterative attacks), and free the class up to reduce the sneak attack progression a little (leaving something for people who still want to play rogues and ninjas).


ciretose wrote:

I like this, although I agree the poison use seems a bit tacked on.

And only losing 1d6 of sneak attack to gain 6 levels of spells...hate to say it but Rynjin is correct.

You know something is definitely wrong when ciretoce agree that there is an umbalance.

As I said in the first thread about the ACG, just rename this class as the fixed "rogue" and be done with it.


I'm going to chime in with my agreement that the investigator makes the rogue completely irrelevant. Losing one sneak attack die, uncanny dodge, evasion, delaying the first sneak attack die and talent by one level, and losing 2 skill points per level are hardly a reduction large enough to outweigh improved will saves, 2/3 casting, and inspiration.

It sounds like a lot is being given up, but half of that stuff is given up to archetypes by many (most?) rogues anyhow.

Between the extra skill points from the higher Int that's required for casting and the inspiration, we've got yet another class that can out skill monkey the rogue.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I have to agree with the first poster, Poison Use ability doesn't work at all with this class and seems like an attempt to stick some other alchemist ability on top of it. I would rather they gain the mutagen ability instead of relying on the discovery but I would make it more about enhancing senses and enhancing skill checks rather than combat ability modifier. So it might give a +2 bonus to one ability score and a bonus or access to the track feat or scent ability or something.


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This class is perfect and I am pleased with it.

The Rogue was a mistake and I am perfectly fine with a class to replace it, only grognards care that the rogue is being replaced.

Liberty's Edge

Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:

I like this, although I agree the poison use seems a bit tacked on.

And only losing 1d6 of sneak attack to gain 6 levels of spells...hate to say it but Rynjin is correct.

You know something is definitely wrong when ciretoce agree that there is an umbalance.

As I said in the first thread about the ACG, just rename this class as the fixed "rogue" and be done with it.

You'll notice I generally stay out of the rogue threads.

Grand Lodge

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I had my hopes up for this but I am really disappointed by the alchemist focus.

If the Investigator is as cunning as the flavour implies, why haven't they just learnt to cast spells? Why do they need a chemistry set? I want to love the Investigator but the alchemy, poison side of the class seems 'tacked on'. I'd love it if this class could receive a major rewrite.

If I was in your shoes, I'd remove the alchemy side of things and introduce bard 'jack of all trades' spells instead.
I would remove alchemical abilities and instead start using Pathfinder Savant prestige abilities and introduce a focus on UMD. The Investigator is resourceful - they would use all resources identified that comes to hand during a mission.

Please rethink the alchemy angle on this :(


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I feel that alchemy is better than spell. First becuase almsot everything in this game have spells,so few have extracts. second because I t seems to fit the theme of the investigator. The posion use seem odd though.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I really like, not really much to complain about. As for people worry about rogues...frankly rogues are just not as fun as many other classes and archetypes out there.


This is my favorite class so far (only up to Slayer), and I really enjoy the Inspiration pool feature. It helps make it seem less like just a hybrid and more of its own thing.

The only thing I don't like, actually, is the Sneak Attack. This doesn't really seem to fit the concept. I think changing this out for something else, or else making it a slightly different take on Sneak Attack (something that draws on the Inspiration pool, for instance) would work better.


I have found rogues to be much more fun using Paizo's alternate Stealth rules that they did a while back...

But thats just me. I'm.. probably the wierd one here anyways.


i just re worked by rogue in PS PBP gameday so will see how it works for me :)I too dont see the connection of poison use but lets see how it works in game play.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

How does inspiration interact with mythic surge (and confidence path ability)? Can they all be used at the same time?

Also, it feels that if you played a mythic investigator, your main class ability wouldn't feel very special once every PC effectively has it.

That being said, I like the class overall, and think the inspiration sets it apart from other classes that came before. I agree that this steps too much on the rogue's toes and would fix it by reducing the sneak attack to make the rogue more of a combat class and the investigator more focused on skills, similar to the brawler/monk dichotomy with combat/mystic foci.

As for poison use, I get that it comes from the alchemist side of the family, and while it's something some investigators would use, not all of them would have it fit in character. I'd keep the poison resistance, since investigators probably are poison targets often as they investigate criminals, but move the poison use to an option.


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Cthulhudrew wrote:

This is my favorite class so far (only up to Slayer), and I really enjoy the Inspiration pool feature. It helps make it seem less like just a hybrid and more of its own thing.

The only thing I don't like, actually, is the Sneak Attack. This doesn't really seem to fit the concept. I think changing this out for something else, or else making it a slightly different take on Sneak Attack (something that draws on the Inspiration pool, for instance) would work better.

I agree with your stance on sneak attack. Maybe extra damage based on perception checks, (seeing weak spots, previous injuries, etc.) since it fits with observation/deduction.


Andrew Boucher 88 wrote:

This class is perfect and I am pleased with it.

The Rogue was a mistake and I am perfectly fine with a class to replace it, only grognards care that the rogue is being replaced.

Grognard here that doesn't care about replacing the rogue ;)

At least, I don't care if people choose the Investigator over it. The Rogue is still in the CRB for anyone who really wants to use it.

Liking what I've seen in my first glance over the Investigator. It isn't as pure-combat focused as I was afraid it might be from the initial intro text we saw. Being able to use Inspiration on skill and ability checks is a nice thing that'll make me want to run nothing but Investigators for the forseeable future :)

Also going to echo those asking for a way to remove Alchemy, be it through an archetype or whatever.

Dark Archive

I think it should top out at 7d6 like the Psychic Rogue, but otherwise I really love it (and won't mind if it stays at 9.) This class is the bomb-diggety.


titanius_anglesmith wrote:
I agree with your stance on sneak attack. Maybe extra damage based on perception checks, (seeing weak spots, previous injuries, etc.) since it fits with observation/deduction.

I just had a thought, and maybe it's too good, or just doesn't benefit the Investigator PC enough, but what if the Investigator was able to grant the Sneak Attack to an allied character- ie, giving them the benefits of his observations. I know there's an Inspiration ability (Inspirational Awareness) that does something like that already, but just tossing out some ideas.


Cthulhudrew wrote:
titanius_anglesmith wrote:
I agree with your stance on sneak attack. Maybe extra damage based on perception checks, (seeing weak spots, previous injuries, etc.) since it fits with observation/deduction.
I just had a thought, and maybe it's too good, or just doesn't benefit the Investigator PC enough, but what if the Investigator was able to grant the Sneak Attack to an allied character- ie, giving them the benefits of his observations. I know there's an Inspiration ability (Inspirational Awareness) that does something like that already, but just tossing out some ideas.

I love it! Maybe make it a scalable bonus to damage that the investigator can take advantage of too.


Rynjin wrote:
As I wrote elsewhere, I think this class is the last nail in the coffin for the Rogue.

There are a lot of nails in that coffin already.

Anyways, at a glance, I like it, but I don't see why it has reduced sneak and 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.


So, question. When talking with a friend over what to do for the first few levels, alchemical / thrown splash weapons came up.

It was then pointed out that the Actions table mentions that preparing a thrown splash weapon is a full-round action. So by this alone, it would appear that an alchemist's oil would take 2 rounds to use at a minimum. 1 to use a move action to retrieve and start the full-round action, and then the second to finish the full-round action and then throw it as a standard.

We then found out that it seems like the Oil item is what it's referring to, as it says:

Quote:
Oil: A pint of oil burns for 6 hours in a lantern or lamp. You can also use a flask of oil as a splash weapon. Use the rules for alchemist's fire (see Special Substances and Items on Table: Goods and Services), except that it takes a full-round action to prepare a flask with a fuse. Once it is thrown, there is a 50% chance of the flask igniting successfully.

Is that the case? Does the Full-Round Action to Prepare a Thrown Splash Weapon apply to only Oils or similar items that must be prepared, or is that for any thrown splash weapon, even non-oil ones?

Since this is probably going to be a very popular tactic for the investigator at low levels (due to the dearth of any real combat abilities for 2 levels), I thought this would be a good place for the question.

Plus, if it's 2 rounds, that points to the investigator possibly needing a little something to help in combat starting out, like most other martial classes get.


Cheapy wrote:

So, question. When talking with a friend over what to do for the first few levels, alchemical / thrown splash weapons came up.

It was then pointed out that the Actions table mentions that preparing a thrown splash weapon is a full-round action. So by this alone, it would appear that an alchemist's oil would take 2 rounds to use at a minimum. 1 to use a move action to retrieve and start the full-round action, and then the second to finish the full-round action and then throw it as a standard.

We then found out that it seems like the Oil item is what it's referring to, as it says:

Quote:
Oil: A pint of oil burns for 6 hours in a lantern or lamp. You can also use a flask of oil as a splash weapon. Use the rules for alchemist's fire (see Special Substances and Items on Table: Goods and Services), except that it takes a full-round action to prepare a flask with a fuse. Once it is thrown, there is a 50% chance of the flask igniting successfully.

Is that the case? Does the Full-Round Action to Prepare a Thrown Splash Weapon apply to only Oils or similar items that must be prepared, or is that for any thrown splash weapon, even non-oil ones?

Since this is probably going to be a very popular tactic for the investigator at low levels (due to the dearth of any real combat abilities for 2 levels), I thought this would be a good place for the question.

Plus, if it's 2 rounds, that points to the investigator possibly needing a little something to help in combat starting out, like most other martial classes get.

I should point out for those curious that I wasn't the one who found the table entry. I'm going from a direct quote from Sean at Paizocon (others had learned this from Sean and I was incredulous, so they called him over and he explained it to us all).

But yeah, investigators have it rough in combat at level 1 and 2. They look so fun that I just had to playtest one first, and after having done so through a partial run of First Steps Part 1, I can confirm that they have all the skilly stuff you'd want from a rogue and are super fun to play out of combat, but they're going to be dicey on in-combat actions, particularly if you pick human instead of a race that gives more weapon choices. I can't come up with anything better than maybe a 1d8+4 two-handed morningstar attack at +3 or +4 to hit (with one extract each of enlarge and shield) for a human investigator at level 1 who didn't dump a bunch of stats. I hope I don't drag us to a loss at the end of First Steps Part 1, and I'll get back to everyone on that when it happens (probably after Thanksgiving). It seems clear that after you get your first discovery, if you pick mutagen you should be set, as sneak attack starts rolling in and you just get more and more awesome. But 1 and 2 look very lonely.

Sovereign Court Contributor

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Personally, I like the variability of inspiration since intuition in the RW is so flighty and uncertain. It's not breadth of study - it reflects "eureka" moments instead.


I agree, I like this class. To be honest, it has the potential to become the new base class for the helpful halfling build I've wanted to create. With the talent that allows the use of Aid Another actions as move actions, or swift with the use of inspiration, means you could attempt multiple aid anothers in a single round? Sounds pretty nice in my book!


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I just need to say that I LOVE this class. This is so cool, and so useful, and so full of flavor. Kudos and a high five to whoever wrote this up. The inspiration abilities are simply awesome.

This is absolutely my favorite so far.
I want to play one RIGHT NOW

Scarab Sages

I ran Crypt of the Everflame this evening with 4 playtest characters, two of them were Investigators.

Inspiration was fantastic to see in play. That's a wonderful game mechanic and I do not want to see it change. If anything, it would be neat if there were ways to change it (make it a d8 if you get a feat, etc.) or even use it to help another (maybe an archetype The Instructor, who can use it to toss on others' rolls.


Duiker wrote:

I ran Crypt of the Everflame this evening with 4 playtest characters, two of them were Investigators.

Inspiration was fantastic to see in play. That's a wonderful game mechanic and I do not want to see it change. If anything, it would be neat if there were ways to change it (make it a d8 if you get a feat, etc.) or even use it to help another (maybe an archetype The Instructor, who can use it to toss on others' rolls.

Theres a talent to make it d8s. Requires level 9 I think.

Shadow Lodge

I'm kinda confused on Empathy, it says as follows:

Empathy (Ex, Su): When making a Sense Motive check, the investigator makes two d20 rolls and takes the highest. In investigator also rolls two inspiration dice and take the highest. Once per day as a full-round action, the investigator can expend one use of inspiration to gain the some of the effects of detect thoughts targeting a single creature that he can see and hear within 30 feet.

So I think it allows you to roll two Sense Motive dice, and if you happen to be adding Inspiration dice to it you can also roll two Inspiration dice and pick the highest. So you're basically rolling 2 d20's and 2 d6's and taking the best of each set and adding them together. The other ability is separate from that and is the Detect Thoughts. Is that correct? If so I think the blurb above needs some editing to make that clearer, namely somewhere in the first two sentences.


I generally like the class, though I'd really look forward to archetype variations that trade out the alchemist & poison stuff for some alternative 2/3 casting (preferably 4 spont arc/spont div/prep arc/prep div). Each of those has an archetype, and is straightforward to write up.

I get the homage to Sherlock Holmes and his chemistry set. Really - I see it. I'm just far less interested in playing that than I am in playing Shadow Jack, or Dresden, or whats-his-name from Focault's Pendulum.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really like this class a lot! I have to agree with other folks here about the sneak attack. It just doesn't... fit. The flavor seems wrong somehow. Perhaps some other type of precision attack instead of the sneak attack; like maybe something like the precise strike ability the swashbuckler has or maybe some kind of ability to spot and exploit weaknesses?

On the other hand, I have to disagree with what some folks are saying about the poison abilities not fitting in. First, though, I am not a fan of poison abilities; I always replace them with an archetype if I can. However, I think that, in the case of the investigator, it fits right in. I don't know how many shows or stories I have seen where the smart spy or agent has developed an immunity to the poison used by the bad guy. To me, it fits, even though I don't want it to. BTW, I feel the same way about the trapfinding; it fits - I don't like it, but it fits the flavor very well.


Davick wrote:
Theres a talent to make it d8s. Requires level 9 I think.

Amazing Inspiration, requires 7th, even better! Also scales to 2D6 at level 20.

Grand Lodge

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This class seems mis-named. It's been a while, but I don't remember Sherlock Holmes backstabbing people with poisoned weapons, though one could present an argument that conducted his fair share of alchemical experiments. :)

Dark Archive

The Investigator looks great, will have to play it to test, obviously.

It seems to be the single best Knowledge class, with the possible exception of the Lore Shaman and that in itself makes it a interesting and viable class. It has Alchemy sorta spells, sneak attack, some other funny features.

The Bard is traditionally the 5th party member, the Investigator can fit that role very well and with a different style.

I like it a lot.


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I agree with a lot of people here. Investigator seems misnamed and the flavor is a little lacking. When I think of investigator as a hybrid class like this, I immediately think of a bard/rogue. Heck, even alchemist/bard seems to better fit. I definitely think this is better class with the bard's knowledge based abilities blended with the rogue's stealth oriented game play. Alchemist/bard could capture the idea of a forensic investigator, using science to determine causes of death and such.

Alchemist/rogue for me just does not scream investigator to me.

As well as this, the investigator does not, in my opinion, does not do enough to create a fully unique experience or even a truly unique class. Unlike the other classes, it feels simply like a gestalt alchemist/rogue. The inspiration talents are interesting, but they are, again in my opinion, thinly veiled rogue talents. I would also decrease the amount of die for sneak attack, while it is one less than rogue, it still steps on a full rogue's toes.

Silver Crusade

Love love LOVE this class on a first read. Can't wait to try it out in play.

Feedback (for now just echoing thoughts I've seen here that seem on-point):

  • Poison use felt out of place to me

  • It would probably be safe to take away another couple sneak attack dice


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


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    Headfirst wrote:
    This class seems mis-named. It's been a while, but I don't remember Sherlock Holmes backstabbing people with poisoned weapons, though one could present an argument that conducted his fair share of alchemical experiments. :)

    Yeah... I have to say that if there was something to dislike, it would be the sneak attack.

    After looking at the Slayer, I think the PDT might be over-valuing sneak attack. Half the time its more of a liability than a bonus, sinking builds into obscurity with heavy feat taxes. Which is to say... it is a dependant bonus, that has very specific conditions that if left unmet, make the ability useless.

    Sneak attack is one of those things that, if you invest heavily into it, can be decent. If you don't, its barely a class feature at all. The question for me is, does this fit the flavor of the class?

    I think that vivisectionist shows that sneak attack can indeed reflect a certain anatomical knowledge, but it doesn't really play out like that. Favored enemy seems like a more appropriate way to apply this sort of thing, or the find weakness ability of a martial artist.

    What I would propose is using the alchemist's bomb damage progression (xd6 + int) and let the investigator apply that damage to an attack X number of times per day based on level and int. Call it Anatomical Precision or something.

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