Revised Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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I like the new Studied Combat/Strike proposal.

Though I really would like, at least, a Talent to remove the "Once per 24 hours" restriction. I understand why it might be baked in once the Swift action activation comes into play (since it's basically always on at that point), but spending two Talents (or a Talent and a Feat, since I assume Extra Investigator Talent will be a thing) to remove that seems like a fair trade IMO.


The thing from the RDJ Holmes already exists, it's called "Snake Style" and while it's got the unarmed thing as a drawback, it's the kind of thing that'd fit in nicely to the idea and already comes from the rules.

Other thoughts is that you can dip into Sleepless detective for the detect magic ability, but otherwise it's kind of a waste, you can put a couple levels in Kensai to pick up weapon focus, cantrips and such (and an arcane pool for your weapon etc.)

You could also add in something like:

Predictive Riposte (Ex)

At 8th level, a Sleepless detective's insight into human nature allows her to predict and counter her opponents' attacks. As a standard action, she can designate an opponent within 30 feet as the target of her predictive riposte, gaining a +4 insight bonus to AC against that opponent's attacks. Once per round, after a melee attack from the designated target misses her, the detective can spend an immediate action to make a single melee attack against that opponent as long as it is within her threatened area. This counts as her attack of opportunity for this round. If the detective's attack hits, she may add her sneak attack bonus on her damage roll. The bonuses from this ability last until the end of combat, or until the detective designates a new target of her predictive riposte.


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I'm not sure how Empathy is supposed to work. Do you get to roll the extra d20 and extra inspiration die every time you roll sense motive?


Looks pretty clear cut to me.

Every time you roll Sense Motive, you roll two d20 and take the highest.

Whenever you add Inspiration to it, you roll the die twice and take the highest.

Pretty damn good in conjunction with Expanded Inspiration.


I really like the way this class evolves but there are still two minor issues that bother me:

1) Cognatogens: if I remember correctly, Sherlock Holmes needed a lot of opium to solve some of his cases but at the moment the investigator cannot even get cognatogens. I would like to see at least the possibility to choose the cognatogen alchemist discovery for my investigator. Or maybe even allow to get cognatogens without getting mutagens first?

2) The capstone ability of the investigator makes four investigator talents obsolete. I must admit that I never brought a character all the way up to level 20 but still this is kind of dissappointing and it's also rather unusual for capstone abilities. I thought about adding a new class feature, added every 2-3 Levels allowing to choose another skill which can be used untrained or trained with adding the inspiration dice without any cost.

Inspired Skill:
Inspired Skill (Ex): At 4th level and all three levels (7, 10, 13, 16, 19) after, the investigator choses one skill from the following list of skills*: diplomacy, disable device, disguise, intimidate, linguistics, perception, profession (any one), sense motive, sleight of hands, spellcraft, use magic device. Hcan use inspiration for all skill checks without expending uses of inspiration, provided he’s trained in the skill.
*The list of skills is taken from the investigator talents providing the same bonus. In my opinion it could be extended to all social skills (bluff and intimidate) and some other skills (e.g., appraise and heal).

About the combat abilities of the investigator I had another idea:

How about studying a target and then freely distribute half your level on attack, damage, ac and saves against the studied target? This will make the investigator way more versatile in combat but without exceeding the current bounds.

As a Swift Action (by spending one point of inspiration maybe?) the bonus can be rearranged.

With Stephens post about thinking of adding half the level to attack and damage it might even be possible to get the whole level as a bonus but not allow more than halve of the bonus being spend to any single option (att, dam, ac, saves).
I'm not sure if this is too much micromanagement during the fight.


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Bran Unden wrote:

I really like the way this class evolves but there are still two minor issues that bother me:

1) Cognatogens: if I remember correctly, Sherlock Holmes needed a lot of opium to solve some of his cases but at the moment the investigator cannot even get cognatogens. I would like to see at least the possibility to choose the cognatogen alchemist discovery for my investigator. Or maybe even allow to get cognatogens without getting mutagens first?

Well, no, I think. At least not in the original stories: he used cocaine in between cases to stave off incredible boredom. He smoked tobacco (a 3 pipe problem) during cases.


Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Bran Unden wrote:

I really like the way this class evolves but there are still two minor issues that bother me:

1) Cognatogens: if I remember correctly, Sherlock Holmes needed a lot of opium to solve some of his cases but at the moment the investigator cannot even get cognatogens. I would like to see at least the possibility to choose the cognatogen alchemist discovery for my investigator. Or maybe even allow to get cognatogens without getting mutagens first?

Well, no, I think. At least not in the original stories: he used cocaine in between cases to stave off incredible boredom. He smoked tobacco (a 3 pipe problem) during cases.

Hmm ok. I must admit it has been a while since a read the books the last time. Still I think cognatogens wouldn't hurt the investigator.

Grand Lodge

Bran Unden wrote:
1) Cognatogens: if I remember correctly, Sherlock Holmes needed a lot of opium to solve some of his cases

Holmes never took opium. He used cocaine (the famous 7% solution), but he never used it while on a case. He used it between cases because when he didn't have a case to solve he needed something else to stimulate his brain. In later stories Watson felt the need to feed Holmes more and more cases, because he was afraid that if Holmes didn't have a case to distract him he'd just sit around doing coke all day.

The closest Holmes ever came to using drugs during a case was in The Man with the Twisted Lip, when Watson found him in an opium den ... NOT doing opium. He was there in disguise, gathering information about a case.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Studied combat becomes a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus to melee attack rolls (as it is now) and as precision damage to the target (not multiplied on critical hits). You gain that precision damage even when you make studied strike. In other words there will be some wording that needs to be changed in studied strike to make that clear, because its time does not.

Thoughts?

The extra damage did not make it to the update on the first page. Is this an oversight, a change of mind, or are you still working out the wording of the precision damage?


@Devo: I'm not certain that Stephen absolutely intended that to be the next official change. The duration change was added because he'd decided that it was definitely going to happen and he wanted the data on it from a playtest; I think the above was more a, "I think this is what I'm going to do, but I'm not 100% sure yet," statement.


Incidentally, all those debuffs we were asking for, I just discovered a much easier way for a DM to include them in such a way that everybody gets them - Called Shots from Ultimate Combat. I mean, at early levels you'll be relying on crits for the good stuff, but once your Studied Strike allows you to go over 50 on a regular hit, you're last attack is going to leave people in absolutely no mood to fight.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Here are my current thoughts on how to change the ability.

Studies strike stays the same (sort of, see below).

Studied combat becomes a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus to melee attack rolls (as it is now) and as precision damage to the target (not multiplied on critical hits). You gain that precision damage even when you make studied strike. In other words there will be some wording that needs to be changed in studied strike to make that clear, because its time does not.

Thoughts?

I like this much better. I think you could streamline it more to make it smoother over the levels and in line with the original suggestion.

.

Studied Combat (available at 1st level) is a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus (minimum 1) to melee attack rolls (as it is now). This ability may only be applied to one target at a time. It lasts until the combat is over, the target dies or falls unconscious, or the target of Studied Combat is changed. (note: there is no once per 24 hour limitation per foe, there is a one foe at a time limitation)

Net Effect: Investigators retain their really good to hit against one foe of their choice", but lack the solid punch.

Studied Strike (starts at 4th) allows the Investigator to add +1d6 damage to one attack per round to the target of their Studied Combat during a standard or full round attack action (not on AOOs, etc.). This damage increases by +1d6 for every three levels past 4th.

Net Effect: You can make a more solid hit against a foe. This damage is available to against any foe, without flanking, but isn't as much damage or as limited as sneak attack.

In summary:

Level 1: Studied Combat
Level 4: Studied Strike +1d6
Level 7: Studied Strike +2d6
Level 10: Studied Strike +3d6
etc.

This makes the Investigator have a "combat ability" from the starting gate. It makes it to where they get really good to hit for smaller damage than most anyone else. They can make an exciting one bigger punch per round.


I think that from a suggestions standpoint, we should keep in mind that the playtest data showed that the Investigator was not lagging behind in combat at lower levels.

Looking over the abilities, I'm not certain if this was just a lack of combat ability across the board at low levels or if the playtest data included a lot of spent Inspirations to add the d6s and hit the target, but I don't think we're likely to see Studied Combat pushed to 1st level at this point.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

[...]

You could have something that does a similar thing, have the skill check always determine the degree of success, except for the fact saddling such a thing with a skill check seems weird if you don't even reach the normal DC for a really easy question (DC 10) and stupid flipping insane when you roll a 1.

I guess you could delve into other strange mechanics that you roll a die on top of a supposed take 10, but that is a rabbit hole of "why bother?"

Why bother, when you can give someone an ability that is based on Intelligence, skill, and has some variability (in the amount of damage) and works with certainty. After all, in many ways, the investigator is a class built upon a degree of certainty.

And because of that, I tend to stray away from (and by "stray away from" I mean freaking avoid) the grand variance ball that is the d20 for determining such things such as the bonuses to accuracy and damage you get during combat. It comes into play at just the right spot when you make an attack roll.

While I sympathize with this point, and share your desire to make the game fast and smooth to run, I have an important reservation (had to think about it a while, thus the late comment).

In general, simple is good. But there is a point where simple becomes simplistic, and that is when things are no longer fun. I am not saying this is that point - actually that point varies from person to person. I am just saying that this is something to look out for. This path is the road 4E went down, and it's not been seen since...


Trogdar wrote:

I am just trying to point out that your own premise makes more sense in the context of studied strike, but not studied combat. You can't shore up your fighting style against a complete counter style.

I do think it is relevant to the class because posters were talking about how awesome a debuff combatant would be. I appreciate what Stephen was referencing with talents to create this kind of dynamic, but studied strike would be counter intuitive with the current mechanic because you would be losing your combat edge completely.

A melee debuff class is a great idea, but one that has to choose between hitting or debuffing will find itself not using the debuffs. I just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page in terms of how the mechanics of studied stike plays out currently. It works fine if your going to throw a haymaker later in the fight, but any kind of debuff based mechanic would have to work in reverse to be viable. Thats the only reason I keep mentioning it really, because just swapping out studied strike damage dice for rogue equivalent debuff talents would not work well.

I would also like to note that the debuff specialist would have to throw everything into intelligence to be viable (make saving throws difficult) and that would drastically impact the classes damage output, which would also ensure that rogues would not be trivialized in the damage arena.

It also makes a lot of sense for someone like Holmes, who's combat expertise comes from his incredible intellect.

Alright, said my piece, time to mosey.

i said that it "isn't really relevant to the class as it is currently." that is we're arguing details about something that may not get used and if it is may be used entirely differently than what either of us envision. also, you still seem to misapprehend what i am saying, but that's fine because, again, it doesn't matter.


Xaratherus wrote:

I think that from a suggestions standpoint, we should keep in mind that the playtest data showed that the Investigator was not lagging behind in combat at lower levels.

Looking over the abilities, I'm not certain if this was just a lack of combat ability across the board at low levels or if the playtest data included a lot of spent Inspirations to add the d6s and hit the target, but I don't think we're likely to see Studied Combat pushed to 1st level at this point.

Oh... I'm not saying the investigator is lacking the ability to be decent in combat at low levels.

Afterall, a 17 STR transmutation wizard packs quite a punch at levels 1 thru 3 too, without any spells.

All I did was suggest how to make it smoother in obtaining the abilities in the class. I also included how to retain the one big punch feel without killing the entire ability for doing it (while keeping the less-than-sneak-attack power level mantra).

Is anyone really worried that getting +1 to hit one foe for a combat by spending a move action at levels 1 thru 3 is drastically boosting the combat prowess of the levels 1 thru 3 investigator? I would not think they would, but I've been wrong before... heh


Rynjin wrote:

Looks pretty clear cut to me.

Every time you roll Sense Motive, you roll two d20 and take the highest.

Whenever you add Inspiration to it, you roll the die twice and take the highest.

Pretty damn good in conjunction with Expanded Inspiration.

But it doesn't say whenever you add your Inspiration to it. It says, roll two Inspiration dice. I found it completely confusing, as I posted upthread.


ubiquitous wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Proposed Investigator Talent:

Quote:


Disabling Strikes

Whenever the Investigator hits the target of his studied strike he may spend a point of Inspiration to make a Dirty Trick Combat Maneuver as a free action. This does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Either as a talent, or baked right into the Studied Strike feature THAT would make it feel like the Sherlock Holmes style of combat. In my opinion.

If the designers are unlikely to alter Studied Combat/Strikes too much to include some kind of debuffing ability, this could definitely work as an alternate method.

I like it.

First off, I do love the theme of the class and the different ideas that have been added and tried so far.

I really do. I also love the "fight smarter, not harder" thematic.

As some food for thought...what if you could decide to keep your to-hit, but trade in the damage from your studied combat (or strike, to make this more of a finisher) to inflict a debilitating condition? Ideally, you'd choose from a more powerful list as you leveled up.

Either way, nice work. Thank you for the time and effort you've put into it.


Ok so jumping on the "I wanna put in my two-cents about Studied Combat and Studied Strike" bandwagon and also some of my other thoughts. I like the flavor of both of these I'm just comment on the execution.

Put in Studied Combat at level 1. As a move action to activate against one target that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Must be within 30 ft to activate. For half your level in rounds (min 1) you gain plus your IntMod on attacks and plus half your level (min 1) on damage. This damage is precision damage and does not effect any target with concealment or other miss chance effect. Due to the mental strain on the Investigator this ability can only be used x times per day where x equals Investigator's IntMod.

Put in Studied Strike at level 3. When Studied Combat is active as a swift action can choose to make their attacks even deadlier for one round. At third level they may add 1d6 to the damage against their studied combat target. This damage is precision damage and does not effect any target with concealment or other miss chance effect. This dice increases at sixth level and every three levels afterward.

Move trapfinding to level 2

Move keen recollection to level 2

Move poison resistance to level 3 with increase at 6 (+4), 9(+6), 12(+8) and max at 15(+10){or maybe 7,11,15,19} {Immunity removed to make class more mundane and because the option for a Investigator to be a drug addict is just fun and I see poison resistance to be involved in drug use.}

The Investigator's extracts per day should cap at 4 for extracts levels 1-5 with 6 capping at 3

Change Swift Alchemy to (Stand in name not really sure what to call it) Chemical Savant- add half investigator level to Craft Alchemy. {Same idea except removed move action poisoning because yes an Investigator should be able to handle and use poisons but they should not be especially good at it.}

Not sure what else can be put in effectively but I am just trying to make the Investigator more of a mundane Intelligent combatant who yes is just that good.


Rynjin wrote:

I like the new Studied Combat/Strike proposal.

Though I really would like, at least, a Talent to remove the "Once per 24 hours" restriction. I understand why it might be baked in once the Swift action activation comes into play (since it's basically always on at that point), but spending two Talents (or a Talent and a Feat, since I assume Extra Investigator Talent will be a thing) to remove that seems like a fair trade IMO.

I think this is pretty reasonable.

When I first read the studied strike ability, I pretty much melted with blind fury, but I guess it is really not too too bad when you can activate it as a move action. I mean: it is still bad, but not too too bad. It is very hard for the investigator to contribute to damage.

Letting the investigator target an enemy multiple times would help.

Or maybe give them a talent that allows them to not have studied strike end the studied combat duration. Or maybe have it not end the studied combat duration int+(1/4 level) times a day.


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i may have already expressed my support for the above sentiments adequately, but, to reiterate... yes, what Ruggs just said. i would happily trade the extra damage for some utility that didn't make me feel like just a less effective rogue in combat.

speaking of feeling like a less effective version of another class, this is my problem with getting alchemy at 1st rather than studied combat. i'd much rather have a unique class ability starting at first level than an ability that just makes me feel like a pre-existing class. the things that make the investigator an investigator (rather than a rogue or alchemist) should come in at 1st and/or second level. someone suggested before pushing the alchemy back to a paladin/ranger type progression and it seems like a good one. it's actually probably a hit to combat efficacy early on, but it would at least feel like i'm playing a new class rather than an alchemist waiting to multiclass.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Okay,

So studied combat and studied strike have been weigh on my mind a lot lately. People like the flavor and there seems a general condenses that it does not do enough damage, or at least consistent damage.

Here are my current thoughts on how to change the ability.

Studies strike stays the same (sort of, see below).

Studied combat becomes a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus to melee attack rolls (as it is now) and as precision damage to the target (not multiplied on critical hits). You gain that precision damage even when you make studied strike. In other words there will be some wording that needs to be changed in studied strike to make that clear, because its time does not.

Thoughts?

Ha. Wait a second. Missed this post.

I am happier now. I am much happier.


cuatroespada wrote:

i may have already expressed my support for the above sentiments adequately, but, to reiterate... yes, what Ruggs just said. i would happily trade the extra damage for some utility that didn't make me feel like just a less effective rogue in combat.

speaking of feeling like a less effective version of another class, this is my problem with getting alchemy at 1st rather than studied combat. i'd much rather have a unique class ability starting at first level than an ability that just makes me feel like a pre-existing class. the things that make the investigator an investigator (rather than a rogue or alchemist) should come in at 1st and/or second level. someone suggested before pushing the alchemy back to a paladin/ranger type progression and it seems like a good one. it's actually probably a hit to combat efficacy early on, but it would at least feel like i'm playing a new class rather than an alchemist waiting to multiclass.

You get inspiration right away and that is pretty neat.

Perhaps the investigator could get some kind of lame combat ability that does not scale well? Like: 1+Int times per day, the investigator may add +2 to her attack and damage rolls. This bonus does not stack with studied combat.

Or maybe it could scale slowly at higher levels to give the investigator something to do against an enemy when she prematurely ends here studied combat. That is of lower priority to me, though, as the idea of having to decide when to add things tactically is actually something I kind of like.


Well, she already sort of gets that with Inspiration - spend two points, add a d6 to an attack roll. That's a limited pool at low levels but it can be enough to turn a miss into a hit - and turning into a miss into a hit at that level can mean the difference between living and dying.


Xaratherus wrote:
Well, she already sort of gets that with Inspiration - spend two points, add a d6 to an attack roll. That's a limited pool at low levels but it can be enough to turn a miss into a hit - and turning into a miss into a hit at that level can mean the difference between living and dying.

And at level 9 you can reduce the cost to 1 point of Inspiration, which winds up being a pretty effective way of ensuring that your Studied Strikes land. A bonus of 4+1d6 on your chance to hit is really nice!


Rynjin wrote:

Looks pretty clear cut to me.

Every time you roll Sense Motive, you roll two d20 and take the highest.

Whenever you add Inspiration to it, you roll the die twice and take the highest.

Pretty damn good in conjunction with Expanded Inspiration.

wait, so using both would give you two d20 rolls and two d6 on one SM check, choosing the best of both? that's pretty baller for a snake style investigators.


The more i think bout this,the more i realise that we are trying to make up a damaging ability that should be for the base Investigator class only.

There is a lot of room to play with archetypes for this class.

Some examples. This class is partially based on many different fictional characters.

Let's take Dr. Who. Dr. Who used his "Sneak Attack" to mostly do damage to structures and inanimate objects, such as space ships and world-killing devices. He could almost be a cross between a mindchemist and a rogue. He definately picked pockets, disabled devices and had about all knowledge skills.

Let's take Sherlock Holmes. Is he an example of the base class or an archetype? It depends on which one we are talking about. They are both smart, but Elementary's Sherlock uses mostly deduction and trial and error, while Sherlock uses the same ammount of deduction, but most of it is in his head.

RDJ's Sherlock could almost be a vivisectionist version of said character. He seemed to constantly use knowledge of martial arts to break down his opponent till he could disable him/her.

Now, mystery theater's Jeremy Bret, one of the best Sherlock's ever, was a good mix of all the above. He didn't have big budget special effects and such, but was a goo boxer and knew self defense,while experimenting with drugs often. It was there taht i learned SherlockHolmes was a Cocaine and opium user.

Now look at Hercule Poirot. All social skills with no fighting. He has no constitution to speak of and finds his killer by being polite and excercising his "little grey cells".

So, are we trying to determine a base class's functional way of doing damage or are we focusing on too many aspects at once?


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Oh ya forgot about True Inspiration. For the bit that says "In
addition, whenever he spends inspiration on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result." I would change to "a skill checks in which he is able to use inspiration freely (like trained knowledge, linguistics, spellcraft or any other skill which a talent, that the Investigator has, allows you to use inspiration freely) he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result. Skills not included in this list, attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws may use inspiration freely to gain 1d6 and may spend an inspiration point to gain 2d6 on these rolls. (If using the amazing inspiration investigator talent, he rolls 2d8 instead.) That way we are not making the resources some people put into their investigator useless.


A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.


Squire feat covers that partways i think.


Cheapy wrote:
A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.

One thousand times yes.

Every Sherlock needs his Watson.
Every Dr. needs his Companion.

Put a talent tree in for this and I'm sold.

(Maybe an archetype that replaces mutagens?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AndIMustMask wrote:
Squire feat covers partways that i think.

Or Torchbearer. It would be nice to have something with more Investigator flavor, whether it's a feat or a talent.


Trout wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.

One thousand times yes.

Every Sherlock needs his Watson.
Every Dr. needs his Companion.

Put a talent tree in for this and I'm sold.

(Maybe an archetype that replaces mutagens?)

I know that it's a dirty word at many tables, but granting Leadership to said archetype could be interesting as well. After all, Holmes not only had his Watson, but also his Baker Street Irregulars.


also, I'm throwing together an investigator build to get a better feel for the new changes with SC/SS, and I note a few things:

moms monk or unarmed fighter dips are quite tasty for picking up starters for snake or kirin style (both of which are quite nice-looking, but might bear some more looking into as to if that holds true), and maneuver master might be good for those dirty trickers out there.

inquisitor for stern glare and monster lore, or bard/skald for bardic lore (mainly the make knowledge checks untrained) might also be appealing (not at the same time, mind you).

just some musing.

EDIT: also i had no idea there was a 'Fast Finger' rogue talent.


@AndIMustMask: Investigator already gains the ability to make all Knowledge checks untrained at 3rd (see Keen Recollection in the playtest doc).


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Heladriell wrote:

Debilitation (Ex): Upon reaching the 4th level, the Investigator can chose to inflict a status effect when performing a Studied Strike. He selects a Debilitation at 4th level and can chose another for every three investigator levels thereafter. Unless noted otherwise the duration of the effects is equal to the investigator’s INT bonus in rounds. The save to avoid the effect is (Fort. 10+1/2 the investigator lvl. + INT mod.). Effects:

At 4th level, the Investigator can select from the following initial Debilitations:.
• Fatigued: The target is fatigued.
• Shaken: The target is shaken.
• Sickened: The target is sickened.

At 7th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Dazed: The target is dazed.
• Staggered: The target is staggered,

At 10th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Exhausted: The target is exhausted.
• Frightened: The target is frightened.
• Nauseated: The target is nauseated.

At 13th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Blinded: The target is blinded.
• Deafened: The target is deafened.
• Paralyzed: The target is paralyzed.
• Stunned: The target is stunned.

Pros:
- The damage provided is not too high, being lighter than the rogue or the spell based attacks. Getting a one hit (if it hits) mid-to-high damage follows the concept.
- This mechanic allows the class to be viable in a fight from the 1st level.
- The debilitations add flavour causing status that are already available at the required level (and not breaking the balance).
- The rogue (or vivisectionist or alchemist) will still deal more damage in most situations.

I was thinking of this post specifically as a concept. I love the creative, "I'm-an-intelligent-guy" concept that the investigator represents. Would it be desirable to include some intelligent tricks as part of his or her capability?

Say, during studied combat the investigator could choose to trade in their full studied combat damage bonus for a chance to inflict a deblitating condition. Or, roll something like this into their strike ability as a finishing move. Mechanics-wise, this would need tweaking by the fine folks at Paizo. I'm only presenting concept, and it's out of love, love, love for what they've done here.

I love the format Heladriell is using. It shows a progressive list of increasingly powerful choices that's balanced by level. It is simple and easy to understand and offers options without needing much in the way of explanatory text. I could present this to a new player, and they'd go: oh, ok! I can pick from this list at these levels.

It would need playtested and balanced--right now this is just a concept only. I think combined with the mechanics we have for studied combat could make for some strong, and effective, flavor. However, it should be a trade of choice with each hit: did you study the opponent in a way that lets you make a precision strike, or did you study their movement and exploit an opening in their defenses in a more...creative way?

Either way, thank you for the work you guys have done, and thank you for taking the feedback.


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Ruggs wrote:
Heladriell wrote:

Debilitation (Ex): Upon reaching the 4th level, the Investigator can chose to inflict a status effect when performing a Studied Strike. He selects a Debilitation at 4th level and can chose another for every three investigator levels thereafter. Unless noted otherwise the duration of the effects is equal to the investigator’s INT bonus in rounds. The save to avoid the effect is (Fort. 10+1/2 the investigator lvl. + INT mod.). Effects:

At 4th level, the Investigator can select from the following initial Debilitations:.
• Fatigued: The target is fatigued.
• Shaken: The target is shaken.
• Sickened: The target is sickened.

At 7th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Dazed: The target is dazed.
• Staggered: The target is staggered,

At 10th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Exhausted: The target is exhausted.
• Frightened: The target is frightened.
• Nauseated: The target is nauseated.

At 13th level, an Investigator adds the following Debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
• Blinded: The target is blinded.
• Deafened: The target is deafened.
• Paralyzed: The target is paralyzed.
• Stunned: The target is stunned.

Pros:
- The damage provided is not too high, being lighter than the rogue or the spell based attacks. Getting a one hit (if it hits) mid-to-high damage follows the concept.
- This mechanic allows the class to be viable in a fight from the 1st level.
- The debilitations add flavour causing status that are already available at the required level (and not breaking the balance).
- The rogue (or vivisectionist or alchemist) will still deal more damage in most situations.

I was thinking of this post specifically as a concept. I love the creative, "I'm-an-intelligent-guy" concept that the investigator represents. Would it be desirable to include some intelligent tricks...

This is shaping up to be my absolute favorite class concept.

Take some of these notions, work in an investigative sidekick option, and Paizo, you've done it again.


Xaratherus wrote:
@AndIMustMask: Investigator already gains the ability to make all Knowledge checks untrained at 3rd (see Keen Recollection in the playtest doc).

welp, i'm dumb. didnt even notice that.


AndIMustMask wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:
@AndIMustMask: Investigator already gains the ability to make all Knowledge checks untrained at 3rd (see Keen Recollection in the playtest doc).
welp, i'm dumb. didnt even notice that.

No worries - I thought maybe I was mistaken because I missed it the first time I went back to check for it. :)


Xaratherus wrote:
Well, she already sort of gets that with Inspiration - spend two points, add a d6 to an attack roll. That's a limited pool at low levels but it can be enough to turn a miss into a hit - and turning into a miss into a hit at that level can mean the difference between living and dying.

Well, that is probably 2 of your 4 or 5 points at most so... Two MAYBE hits a day that would have missed otherwise?

Also: an investigator who has an 18/20 intelligence probably had to drop the relevant combat stats pretty hard. Probably just a 1d8-1 damage if she built dex (and is going to pick up an agile weapon later). If she built strength, it is maybe 1d8+3 or so twice a day (but is made of glass due to low AC). It is not really a great combat ability.


@Excaliburproxy: I agree. However, according to Stephen the playtest data shows that they're 'holding their own' in combat at low levels.

I don't obviously have the details on what exactly that means, but it leads me to believe that we're unlikely to see a buff (even a minor one) for low level at this point. My thought was that if the they were using the Inspirations to offset poor combat ability, then it might make a difference in the decision to buff or not (if you're burning your limited Inspirations for combat, you're not using them for non-combat effects, after all).


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I really like the idea of adding status ailments to your attacks. I was hoping that is what they were going to do instead of sneak attack.


I've been wanting to make Geralt of Rivia ever since I first heard of this class. I hope there are some more combat focused archetypes.


Xaratherus wrote:

@Excaliburproxy: I agree. However, according to Stephen the playtest data shows that they're 'holding their own' in combat at low levels.

I don't obviously have the details on what exactly that means, but it leads me to believe that we're unlikely to see a buff (even a minor one) for low level at this point. My thought was that if the they were using the Inspirations to offset poor combat ability, then it might make a difference in the decision to buff or not (if you're burning your limited Inspirations for combat, you're not using them for non-combat effects, after all).

It doesn't effect my group that much since we never start lower than level 4, so w/e.

Seriously though: I am completely baffled by what "holding their own" means in that context. Let's say that I build int-strength:

Say that means:
1. 18 int and 14 strength.
OR
2. 16 strength and 16 int.

That means I am wielding a sword-cane in two hands [1d6+3 or 1d6+4].

You are going to be 5% behind rogues in accuracy at least (who will take their best combat stat as an 18) and be probably 3 AC behind them (if they built dex) or strictly behind them in damage at all times.

I don't mind their being combat weak at levels 1-3. They get out of combat stuff to make up for that. I just don't want someone to piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.


Cheapy wrote:
I've been wanting to make Geralt of Rivia ever since I first heard of this class. I hope there are some more combat focused archetypes.

Alchemist makes a great witcher imo. My first alchemist was using a 2hand and downing potions mixed with alcohol. Accidentally made a witcher. Also made a guy who was intoxicated with bombs and I probably shouldn't play again because reasons...


Cheapy wrote:
A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.

What about something like the Squire feat from Knights of the Inner Sea?


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.
What about something like the Squire feat from Knights of the Inner Sea?

Maybe this cohort thing should be an archetype? Like: you give up studied combat and studied strike to get a relatively brutish sidekick (relative to you) to protect you.


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
A talent about getting a sidekick would be nifty. Maybe as a Cohort that has a certain number of base skills per level. Maybe just an Expert that you can 'store' Inspiration in and make use of it later, like a ring of grit.
What about something like the Squire feat from Knights of the Inner Sea?

Yep! That's where the basic idea for "Must be 6+ base skill points per level" came from. Well, moreso the torchbearer.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:

@Excaliburproxy: I agree. However, according to Stephen the playtest data shows that they're 'holding their own' in combat at low levels.

I don't obviously have the details on what exactly that means, but it leads me to believe that we're unlikely to see a buff (even a minor one) for low level at this point. My thought was that if the they were using the Inspirations to offset poor combat ability, then it might make a difference in the decision to buff or not (if you're burning your limited Inspirations for combat, you're not using them for non-combat effects, after all).

It doesn't effect my group that much since we never start lower than level 4, so w/e.

Seriously though: I am completely baffled by what "holding their own" means in that context. Let's say that I build int-strength:

Say that means:
1. 18 int and 14 strength.
OR
2. 16 strength and 16 int.

That means I am wielding a sword-cane in two hands [1d6+3 or 1d6+4].

You are going to be 5% behind rogues in accuracy at least (who will take their best combat stat as an 18) and be probably 3 AC behind them (if they built dex) or strictly behind them in damage at all times.

I don't mind their being combat weak at levels 1-3. They get out of combat stuff to make up for that. I just don't want someone to piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

Again, I couldn't tell you what 'holding their own' means. I'm just pointing out that the designer in charge of the class, who has been the one reading over the presented playtest data and survey information, stated he did not see indication of a problem with the class's combat ability in general at those low levels.

Weapon-wise, I'd probably be going with the finesse route rather than the heavier STR-based weapon route. Go human, burn a feat on Weapon Finesse and go DEX\INT and the other on TWF. Use your extract for Reduce Person. Use a rapier and a dagger. You wind up with a high AC, a good hit chance, and an extra attack each round that might hit. Or just ignore the TWF and go with the rapier - decent damage, high crit range, and you'll almost assuredly hit the target every attack at that level (and if not, your d6 Inspiration might push it over).


here's the build thus far--i'm not all that happy with it, since it takes till about halfway through a PFS adventure to come online, which really wouldnt be fun for the player. the end result is respectable if you're in a longer campaign and willing to wait (though this puts it in the MT boat, which nobody should be in).

Spoiler:
human (focused study) Monk (MoMS) 2 / investigator 18 (assuming 20pb)

str 14, dex 14, con 14, int 16 (14 +2 racial), wis 10, cha 10

talents (effective investigator level):
5 (3) - Empathy
7 (5) - Quick Study
9 (7) - Expanded Inspiration
11 (9) - Combat Inspiration
13 (11) - Eidetic Recollection
15 (13) - ???
17 (15) - ???
19 (17) - ???

feats:
1 - Combat Reflexes, Snake Style*, Skill Focus (sense motive)
2 - Snake Fang*
3 - Power Attack
5 - ???
7 - ???
8 - Skill Focus (Perception)
9 - Lunge
11 - ???
13 - ???
15 - ???
16 - Skill Focus (???)
17 - ???
19 - ???

* - you can trade out snake style/fang for kirin style/strike if you want--don’t take both at once, since it’ll create a bottleneck of your swift/immediate actions. if you DO decide to get kirin style instead, replace the empathy talent with intelligence inspiration, and replace expanded inspiration with amazing inspiration?

BAB: 14 (0/1/0/1/1 | 1/0/1/1/1 | 0/1/1/1/0 | 1/1/1/0/1) - atrocious early game (1-5th level), equalizes at 6th and continues rising from there.
Saves: 9/14/14 before stats or gear

attack: +27-31/+22-26/+18-21 depending on strength (see below)
14 (bab) + 2-5 (strength) + 5 (weapon enhancement) + 9 (studied combat) - 3 (power attack)

damage: weapon + ~22-25 (26-30 with 2H) +8d6 (25.5 avg) if you use studied strike.
[weapon] + 5 (weapon enhancement) + 2-5 (strength, 3-7 with 2H) + 9 (studied combat) + 6 (PA, 9 with 2H)

Your opening turn will usually be:
-Activate Style (swift)
-Activate Studied Combat (standard--or move with quick study)
-Move in to close (move)
With proceeding target changes being:
-Activate Studied Combat (standard--swift with quick study (spending an inspiration point))
-Move to close (move)
(-Attack (standard--requires quick study))

I'm considering dumping the MoMS dip altogether and grabbing the snake style line legit (GASP), though honestly if youre not into unarmed strikes you're better off just getting IUS at 1st and snake style at 5th.

grab quick study asap (4th), then get empathy and expanded inspiration at 6th and 8th, respectively.

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