Revised Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
And the whole thing about just switching it back to Sneak Attack instead of trying to make Studied Combat work just came across as "I'm so close to done I don't care." Rude, in other words.

It was not being rude. It was being honest. I have a list of options. Right now I am looking at data and finding the best way to get the investigator where he needs to be.

Right now I am absorbing and considering positions and data. My answers will absolutely be "this is how it is" and "this is how I think it should be" until I get all the information that I need to make a definitive choice.

I emphasized a key part of my post. I'm quite sure you didn't intend to be rude. I wasn't trying to either. I was voicing what I feel is a legitimate concern about the approach being taken.

I wasn't clear and I apologize. My problem really lies with the fact that while you have given perfectly acceptable answers, they are offered without explanation. Some might call it a sense of entitlement, but I don't feel like Paizo OWES me anything, I just expect that when someone HAS an answer, they back it up with a reason other than just "because that's what I think." I would expect that of anyone posting feedback.

You posted three options you were looking at for revisions while people commented back and forth over the particulars, but never gave reasoning for why those were the only options.

I am sorry if my opinion on Paizo's design transparency comes across as hostile. I'm not trying to make trouble, it just seems like a very simple thing to do and the degree of backlash here is highly discouraging.

EDIT: And things I put in "" are not intended to be direct quotes; they just reflecting my perceptions.


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Foghammer wrote:


Studied Combat is a fantastic idea. (Is there an echo in here?) Limiting it to once per 24 hours makes absolutely zero sense, for any reason I can think of. First of all, it's not a magical ability, so you can't fluff that away as "the investigator is out of magical studying ability." Studying a target once, damaging it, and then reassessing them after the fact to see what would be the next most preferable target is completely reasonable. Secondly, the bonus damage added by Studied Strike will never amount to anything significant if you can only use it ONCE PER ENEMY. Great, you can probably wipe out mooks faster, if you take the time to study them.

Perfect.

Designer

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Foghammer wrote:
My problem really lies with the fact that while you have given perfectly acceptable answers, they are offered without explanation. Some might call it a sense of entitlement, but I don't feel like Paizo OWES me anything, I just expect that when someone HAS an answer, they back it up with a reason other than just "because that's what I think." I would expect that of anyone posting feedback.

But I have. I clearly explained in that post that the majority of the playtest data showed us that progression of sneak attack was too good. We gained that data from a mix of comments, playtest feedback, and survey results. We knew that we would either have to scale back the rate in which the investigator gains sneak attack, or replace it with an ability that allowed him to do something like sneak attack at the same progression, but with limitations.

Studied combat and studied strike came into being, and we are test driving it now. From the feedback we have received, I can tell you that we now know that the duration is too short, and we are going to fix it.

There have been complaints about the action economy and the fact that you can only use it on the same target once every 24 hours. I freely admitted that, for many reasons, I was more restricted than I have to be, and that one or the other will stay, but letting go both and keeping the die progression where it is does not put the level of his combat boost where we want it. Now I am reading posts, waiting for playtest data, and will look toward survey results to see which one will likely be the the right solution.

I will say, this is all where things stand right now. It is early in this playtest cycle, and I'm not about to make hasty decisions on this.

The Exchange

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I have made a level 1 Investigator which I played in PFS last week and I'm looking forward to playing him again this week. He's a tiefling with claws and a sword cane. I used my 2 infusions for shield. I landed some hits in combat. It was fun and I liked the inspiration mechanic a lot.
There was no combat flavor however, and I feel (still) that the class does not have an intuitive play style. I don't immediately "get it" when I consider how this class is meant to perform in combat.
Studied Combat and Studied Strike help, for sure, but they arrive WAY too late at level 4. In PFS terms, level 4 means I have to get 9 games under my belt before I have enough experience. To break it down further, 9 games means that if I play once a week, I'm looking at just over 2 months(!) before I can use the Investigator's signature combat mechanic. Can you imagine?
So, my feedback for now is this: yes, the class has a lot of flavor and opportunity for fun play but it doesn't start until level 4, which I feel is much too late. I have to add my voice to those saying Studied Strike and Studied Combat need to come at level 1.


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cartmanbeck wrote:
And remember, the developers are developers for a reason... they've been doing their jobs for a long time and are quite good at what they do. Don't assume that you or any of us on the forum knows better than them.

logical fallacy. there is also no reason to assume that no one on the forums knows better than the devs.


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Chris Parker wrote:

The only problems with studied combat is how long it takes to get it and how low the actual bonuses are. You've still got three levels where you're useless in a fight, and you still need 18 INT to get better than a +1 bonus - meaning that as far as the bonuses are concerned there's no difference between INT 5 and INT 17. My only suggestions would be to let you get it at level 1, and let you have your full INT bonus up to a maximum of your Investigator level for those bonuses.

Well, that and more Talents to let you do more things with it, as someone else already suggested.

Well, we just got confirmation that the duration would be changed to Int Mod rather than 1/2 Int Mod. So with an 18 int, you get to study a target to get +1/2 your investigator level as an insight bonus to melee attack rolls. That is pretty great.

So at level 10 with an 18 int and Quick Study, you can study a target as a move action to get a +5 insight bonus on melee attack rolls for 4 rounds? Yeah that is a good ability.

So, here is a great build that will display the coolness of studied combat.

The Perceptive Poker Investigator:

Level 12 Human Investigator (20pt)

Str:22 (+2 belt, +3 levels)
Dex:14 (+2 belt)
Con:14 (+2 belt)
Int:20 (+2 headband, +2 race)
Wis:10
Cha:8

Feats/Talents:
H. Improved Unarmed Strike
1. Power Attack
3. Kirin Style, Intelligence Inspiration
5. Furious Focus, Quick Study
7. Extra Discovery/Talent (Mutagen), Expanded Inspiration
9. Kirin Strike, Combat Inspiration
11. Vital Strike, Underworld Inspiration

Gear:
+2 belt of physical perfection
+2 headband of vast intelligence
Vest of Stable Mutation
+2 Impact Longspear
+3 Mithral Chain Shirt
Boots of Speed
Ring of Protection +2
Amulet of Natural Armor +2
Cloak of Resistance +3
Other fun utility stuff...

DEFENSE
HP: 105
AC: 23 (10, +7 armor, +2 ring, +2 amulet, +2 dex)
Fort: +10 Ref: +13 Will: +11

OFFENSE
Studied Combat Bonuses are +5 to hit for 6 rounds, we'll assume it is up.
Attack Bonus: +22 (+9 BAB, +2 weapon, +6 str, +5 studied combat, -0 Power Attack+Furious Focus)

So, Vital Strike with Kirin Strike, Power Attack, Furious Focus and Studied Combat:

Longspear: +22, 4d6+30 (44 average)
(+9 power attack, +10 kirin strike, +9 str, +2 weapon)

Not bad for a skill monkey with extracts. Or he can add 5d6 damage to the attack for an average of 61.5 damage. His hit chance is actually pretty darn good here for a 3/4 BAB class. There are a lot of actions needed to get this going, but it is not a bad option. You could also simply use Studied Combat to offset the penalties for TWF in a way that rogues really can't.

I still think that the ability to use this at range would be best, but that is, I am sure, somewhere on the table.


Being Stephen is suffering right about now.

I just want to reiterate I do like the flavor of the ability and the direction it takes the investigator as a thoughtful combatant.

However I think the actual bonuses may need to be messed with a bit.

I'm going to try it out on a 6th level investigator with duration = to rounds and see where it goes.

Honestly the 24 hour duration might not make any difference with that change.

Still I'm going to say I really don't find too many problems finding attack bonuses with this class. It's the damage that feels lacking.

Designer

TarkXT wrote:
Being Stephen is suffering right about now.

LOL. I don't suffer. It's not my style. :)

But thank you for the feedback. That's it. I'm looking for feedback. Playtest feedback, constructive feedback, and later survey feedback. Just give me feedback. I'll read it. We will consider it, and produce a class that that folks will want to play. That's the end goal.


Hold on, how did you get Kirin Style at level 3 when it requires 6 ranks in Knowledge Arcana (and so, minimum level 6)?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Being Stephen is suffering right about now.

LOL. I don't suffer. It's not my style. :)

But thank you for the feedback. That's it. I'm looking for feedback. Playtest feedback, constructive feedback, and later survey feedback. Just give me feedback. I'll read it. We will consider it, and produce a class that that folks will want to play. That's the end goal.

Stephen, when we playtest this, and do the survey, should we assume the longer duration for Studied Combat?

Sczarni

I *really* love the overall design idea behind Studied Combat/Studied Strike. It's much more interesting than plain Sneak Attack. I vote that it be kept and balanced with an increase in power.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris Parker wrote:
Hold on, how did you get Kirin Style at level 3 when it requires 6 ranks in Knowledge Arcana (and so, minimum level 6)?

Monk(Master of Many Styles) allows you to ignore the prerequisites so a multiclass would be needed.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Tels wrote:
I have to wonder why it is that the developers think everyone but themselves are idiots? We aren't 10 year olds that don't realize something is a bad idea until we've already started it. We are intelligent human beings, and we are fully capable of looking at something and saying, "Hey, that isn't a good idea" without having to play it first.

So, first, thank you for your input.

Second. No one has *ever* said this. We do playtest, ask for commentary, and we read this and the other comment boards, and we take it into account. We just give playtest feedback greater weight, for many reasons...but mostly because this is a playtest.

I'll admit, my post was out of line and a knee jerk reaction based on many of the comments the Designers have said through out this playtest (and other places). I've noticed several times that when something is called out as bad by the majority of poster without playtesting, someone from the team pops in and says, "Playtest first, then tell us it's bad".

In my opinion, this is a bad response. When it comes to number crunching, sure, you may want to see playtest result instead, but there are many times one does not need to see playtest results to know something is bad.

To change the situation some, imagine if someone came in and said, "Hey, we'd like you guys to try walking across a high-wire during the middle of a 6.1 earthquake, without any safety equipment. Don't think about whether or not this is dangerous, or if it's a bad idea, we want you to try it first, and tell us about your experience."

In that situation, you are, essentially, being told to climb up, walk across the wire (and fall and injure yourself) before you're 'allowed' to say that it was a bad idea, and that it's dangerous.

As it stands, we don't need to playtest the Investigator to know Studied Strike/Combat is bad, that was obvious from the get go.

I feel like I'm being treated like a child in that I have to stick my hand in the fire place, before being allowed to know that fire is hot.

While the design team has never explicitly used the words I've said, it's been unintentionally implied because, again, we are told we have to try something, before deciding if it's good or not. We're basically being told, "You're not smart enough to realize the pros/cons of this ability, without playtesting it first" when the reality is, many of us have already playtested it, just insider our heads. We've already envisioned how it would work out in real play, we don't actually have to run a playtest session to see how it works.

In fact, it's like the Sherlock Holmes inspiration. We've already calculated the result of the fight, without needing to actually fight and instead of fighting and losing, we're going to bypass that and just jump off the edge.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Well I can tell you for sure that Studied strike will last for Int mod rather than half. Right now I'm sure of that.

Glad to see this changed!

I would still like to see intelligence to damage, instead of scaling sneak attack damage. It differentiates the Investigator enough from the Rogue, without making him feel useless.

Consider the fact that an Investigator, as it currently stands, would add an average of 3.5 damage on his attack, while an Investigator with Int to damage, would add between 3 and 5 damage to an attack. Sure, Int to damage may start off higher, but it scales much slower. One cannot pump intelligence by 6 points every two levels, while the current ability does scale that quickly.

If you allow Intelligence to damage on all attacks during Studied Combat against his Studied opponent, the damage is less than the currently written Studied Strike, and a Rogue who is sneak attacking, but it still feels significant enough that I doubt people will complain too much.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
My problem really lies with the fact that while you have given perfectly acceptable answers, they are offered without explanation. Some might call it a sense of entitlement, but I don't feel like Paizo OWES me anything, I just expect that when someone HAS an answer, they back it up with a reason other than just "because that's what I think." I would expect that of anyone posting feedback.

But I have. I clearly explained in that post that the majority of the playtest data showed us that progression of sneak attack was too good. We gained that data from a mix of comments, playtest feedback, and survey results. We knew that we would either have to scale back the rate in which the investigator gains sneak attack, or replace it with an ability that allowed him to do something like sneak attack at the same progression, but with limitations.

Studied combat and studied strike came into being, and we are test driving it now. From the feedback we have received, I can tell you that we now know that the duration is too short, and we are going to fix it.

There have been complaints about the action economy and the fact that you can only use it on the same target once every 24 hours. I freely admitted that, for many reasons, I was more restricted than I have to be, and that one or the other will stay, but letting go both and keeping the die progression where it is does not put the level of his combat boost where we want it. Now I am reading posts, waiting for playtest data, and will look toward survey results to see which one will likely be the the right solution.

I will say, this is all where things stand right now. It is early in this playtest cycle, and I'm not about to make hasty decisions on this.

Stephen, how about the idea of making Studied Combat like the Favored Target ability of the Slayer, only as precision damage? All the fiddling with limited durations and "once per 24 hours" restrictions seem extraneous to me, if you can achieve decent to-hit and damage numbers much more elegantly, while not approximating the combined damage output the Slayer gets with Favored Target and Sneak Attack together.

I know that Paizo favors limited charge abilities in their own class design, but that still is achieved through extracts and the limited use of Inspiration. The design of Favored Target from the Slayer already is very, very good (IMO) and would be a perfect fit as a renamed Studied Combat, only with precision damage. That two of the new classes share an ability is not something I would see as a negative.

Designer

ChesterCopperpot wrote:


Stephen, when we playtest this, and do the survey, should we assume the longer duration for Studied Combat?

Yes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, come on, Stephen. Don't leave me hanging like this, even if I confused your name at first. :p


xevious573 wrote:
Chris Parker wrote:
Hold on, how did you get Kirin Style at level 3 when it requires 6 ranks in Knowledge Arcana (and so, minimum level 6)?
Monk(Master of Many Styles) allows you to ignore the prerequisites so a multiclass would be needed.

Only he doesn't have that - he's a straight up 12 level Investigator.


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

More ideas:

Remove Studied Strike and revert to Sneak Attack. Reduce the increase of Sneak Attack so that it maxes out at 5 or 6d6 damage at the end cap.

Alter Studied Combat so that on top of the current insight bonus to attacks,it allows you to spend a point of inspiration to deny the target its DEX for that round. Only allow this to be used once per target.

This lets the Investigator take advantage of the normal positional Sneak Attack but grants him a much-needed attack bonus and also gives him a way to get some precision damage at will, albeit limited in scope and usage.

I actually think this is a really good direction to take for Studied Combat. Bring Sneak Attack back instead of Studied Strike, give it at level 1, and have it increase every 3 levels instead of every 2. Make it so that any target that is being studied is considered flat-footed to the Investigator, that way the Investigator can use 1d6 worth of Sneak Attack as normal 1-3 and then at 4th, when they reach 2d6, they have Studied Combat to allow them to use it without flanking/feinting/etc.

You could even make it so that there's no inspiration point cost, just have it make the target flat-footed instead of giving an insight bonus. Not only does it make targets easier to hit (except high armor/low dex characters, which seem like the types that would be a challenge for Sherlock Holmes-style combat anyways) it allows the Investigator to do combat maneuvers like dirty trick against them without fear of AoO (as long as they don't have Combat Reflexes or Uncanny Dodge).

Making the enemy flat-footed also meshes very well with Sap Master, which seems fitting for an Investigator.


well with the definite INT mod round(s) duration the 24 hour restriction is not so bad. i assume the logic goes something like you figured out how to neutralize your opponent most appropriately and tried but failed. unfortunately now the opponent has a much better grasp on how you fight. the same trick won't work twice. i don't necessarily agree that this kind of restriction is necessary, but the duration increase certainly makes this less of an issue.

regarding studied strike, there could instead be a talent for INT mod damage to your studied target, but i'm now convinced it should stay as is as a talent perhaps (but probably just automatically at 4th) and a debilitating strike ability should be added as the default combat style of the investigator.

it would also be great, if some sort of debilitating ability were added, to be able to study more than one opponent eventually. it would be nice to have a non-magic melee class that could essentially control like a wizard in exchange for having to be in melee doing damage very slowly.

ideally, i'd like to see an investigator able to wade into similar melee situations as a CAGM barbarian would, but instead of pre-empting their attacks with immediate AoO to overpower them, he would use debuffs to keep himself alive while winning a battle of attrition that he could cut shorter with studied strike ending the bonuses against that target. i'm not really suggesting the investigator should get the CAGM style of fighting out of the box, but it's a style i would like to see the investigator capable of with the right talents. brain over brawn. it might be slower (at least to gain momentum), but it should ultimately be as effective.

edit: we really need studied combat at level 1... and to be fair that's not even much of a buff considering it's a standard action for +1 hit that i could probably get for longer against multiple targets with an extract. if precision strike is still going to end a once per target per day studied combat, it could probably just have full progression, but if nothing else please start it at 1st or 2nd with a reduced progression. (ignore the last bit if the default debilitating strikes happens of course as a decent, relatively reliable debuff would probably be plenty of combat utility at 1st)


Like most other here I am not on board with the sudden strike mechanic. Unless I am waiting to ambush someone I doubt I am wasting a standard action to set it up. The once per day limit, and the standard action setup are too much.

Designer

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magnuskn wrote:
Stephen, how about the idea of making Studied Combat like the Favored Target ability of the Slayer, only as precision damage?

At least for right now I'm not really in favor of it. It is perfectly fine mechanic, and great with the slayer, but it adds some bonuses to skills that I would have to shave off (let's face it, the investigator doesn't need any help in that area), and while the damage increase may be more consistent, one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.

We like that idea, and it seems very investigator to the design team in a victorian/pulp/and even modern way (because let's face it the Arthurian Romances, Canterbury Tales, and even Umberto Eco don't provide much guidance on an "action" investigator). It seems many folks also like the idea, they just want a better implementation of it. Some suggestions are probably too good, given reasons I've state before.

That said, my inclination right now (and it is still early) is to bring down the action to a move, and keep it to a 24-hour reset at the start. The idea here is that you surprised and got the best of someone the first time, but it will be harder to do it a second time unless you are higher level (adding something that relaxes the situation somewhat as the investigator goes up in level) or you take an investigator talent that allows you to do it more often.

Both have strengths and weaknesses that I'm still chewing on, but it give you an idea of where my current thoughts are on the subject.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
ChesterCopperpot wrote:


Stephen, when we playtest this, and do the survey, should we assume the longer duration for Studied Combat?
Yes.

Does this count as an official clarification for PFS purposes? Will the first post of this thread be edited to reflect the change? Any playtesting I can do before the 17th will likely be in the context of PFS and I know others in my area plan on playing Investigators in the next week as well.

Grand Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.

And I love that part of the machanic.


I am ok with keeping the 24 hour limit as long as through leveling or talents we get more uses.

Also any chance of having it apply to range weapons?

I like the idea of Investigators hitting for piddly damage, then every other round getting a huge spike from studied combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Stephen, how about the idea of making Studied Combat like the Favored Target ability of the Slayer, only as precision damage?

At least for right now I'm not really in favor of it. It is perfectly fine mechanic, and great with the slayer, but it adds some bonuses to skills that I would have to shave off (let's face it, the investigator doesn't need any help in that area), and while the damage increase may be more consistent, one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.

We like that idea, and it seems very investigator to the design team in a victorian/pulp/and even modern way (because let's face it the Arthurian Romances, Canterbury Tales, and even Umberto Eco don't provide much guidance on an "action" investigator). It seems many folks also like the idea, they just want a better implementation of it. Some suggestions are probably too good, given reasons I've state before.

That said, my inclination right now (and it is still early) is to bring down the action to a move, and keep it to a 24-hour reset at the start. The idea here is that you surprised and got the best of someone the first time, but it will be harder to do it a second time unless you are higher level (adding something that relaxes the situation somewhat as the investigator goes up in level) or you take an investigator talent that allows you to do it more often.

Both have strengths and weaknesses that I'm still chewing on, but it give you an idea of where my current thoughts are on the subject.

Alright, I can see where you come from. My personal perspective is that such quickly fluctuating bonuses make the class fiddly to play and something more consistent would work better (hence why I thought Favored Target sounded great), but I'm sure what you come up with in the end will work out very well. The skill bonuses from Favored Target would not have been something very needed for the Investigator, but consistency in ability to hit and damage is something most players try for with their characters.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Stephen, how about the idea of making Studied Combat like the Favored Target ability of the Slayer, only as precision damage?

At least for right now I'm not really in favor of it. It is perfectly fine mechanic, and great with the slayer, but it adds some bonuses to skills that I would have to shave off (let's face it, the investigator doesn't need any help in that area), and while the damage increase may be more consistent, one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.

We like that idea, and it seems very investigator to the design team in a victorian/pulp/and even modern way (because let's face it the Arthurian Romances, Canterbury Tales, and even Umberto Eco don't provide much guidance on an "action" investigator). It seems many folks also like the idea, they just want a better implementation of it. Some suggestions are probably too good, given reasons I've state before.

Let's look at tinkering it from a different direction as another possibility--as it stands, the finale is anticlimactic. What if the finale was cool enough to make it worth the action economy? Watching the clip from the Sherlock movie, it seemed like the investigator is setting up the foe for a big fall through each movement, action, and choice they make. That finale should be awesome. But right now, the finale is weak enough that it doesn't really matter because the real buff is the accuracy boost.

What if the finale attack added precision damage based on how much you could set it up. Say, it added your Studied Strike dice for each successful hit or combat maneuver against that opponent since you initiated, and you can discharge it partway through on any hit as a free action. Now you have a choice to make--if you hit on the second to last round, will you be greedy and keep going for a bigger combo? Or will you discharge now for the certainty of landing a finale (since the enemy might move away next round or you might miss).


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
But I have. I clearly explained in that post that the majority of the playtest data showed us that progression of sneak attack was too good. We gained that data from a mix of comments, playtest feedback, and survey results. We knew that we would either have to scale back the rate in which the investigator gains sneak attack, or replace it with an ability that allowed him to do something like sneak attack at the same progression, but with limitations.

Not to be rude, but did it? Did it REALLY?

Or did it just show that the Investigator was more powerful than the Rogue?

Anywho...there are a bunch of good ideas for Studied Combat that may work and be better thematically than what you have now. First and foremost, it should probably be moved to a Move or a Swift action. Second, it needs to be active from 1st level.

Third, I like what people have been suggesting for it to be a debuff rather than an attack boost. Or perhaps have it be an option. Hmm, lessee here:

Studied Combat (Ex): With a keen eye and a calculating mind, an investigator can measure the mettle and combat skill of his opponent, and take advantage of any gaps in talent or training. Starting at 1st level, an investigator can take a Move action to study single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so he adds half his Investigator level (minimum 1) to attack rolls against that opponent for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier, or until he chooses to make a Studied Strike, whichever comes first.

^Those are the changes that probably NEED to be made to Studied Combat.

However, I would add something else:

Starting at 5th level, an Investigator may instead choose to impart a penalty to AC and Saves to his opponent equal to his Intelligence modifier.

^This lets him work somewhat like a Witch, or a Void Wizard (but much less effective than that one), and help his party rather than just himself.

In keeping with that theme, I'd change Studied Strike to something along these lines:

Studied Strike (Ex): Starting at 1st level an Investigator can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action upon successfully hitting with a melee attack to impose debilitating conditions upon his enemy. The DC to avoid these conditions is equal to 10 + 1/2 the Investigator's level + the Investigator's Intelligence modifier

At 1st level an Investigator may choose from the following conditions: Bleeding, Dazed, Dazzled, or Fatigued

At 7th level the Investigator adds these conditions to his list: Blinded, Confused, Deafened, Staggered, or Stunned

At 13th level the Investigator adds these conditions to his list: Exhausted, Nauseated, and Paralyzed

Durations should not be the same across the board to make more than just Dazed, Stunned, and Paralyzed desirable, but I'm not sure how to separate that out. Might be good to have them chosen like Mercies instead of giving him the buffet of conditions, or taking a bunch off off there (the more debilitating ones like Stunned, Paralyzed, and Nauseated) and then letting him impart more than one a round if he connects, but still ends Studied Combat at the end of his turn.

I dunno, just a basic idea.

Sczarni

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


That said, my inclination right now (and it is still early) is to bring down the action to a move, and keep it to a 24-hour reset at the start. The idea here is that you surprised and got the best of someone the first time, but it will be harder to do it a second time unless you are higher level (adding something that relaxes the situation somewhat as the investigator goes up in level) or you take an investigator talent that allows you to do it more often.

Both have strengths and weaknesses that I'm still chewing on, but it give you an idea of where my current thoughts are on the subject.

This would be a step in the right direction. However, the thought of burning even more Investigator Talents to be moderately effective in a fight doesn't sit well, particularly when you already are behind on earning them when compared to the Alchemist or Rogue and need to use several just to do your job well. It's even worse for the PFS players who will only ever see five talents in their career. Also, why do Investigators earn them starting at 3rd level rather than 2nd?

Also, Studied Combat should be available at 2nd level at the latest. Poison Resistance and Poison Lore are nice, but frankly I'd be all too happy to see those abilities pushed up to 4th or 5th level so at least Studied Combat is available earlier. As it is, you rarely see Alchemists keep their Poison Resistance/Use in favor of an archetype and who really bothers to make a Poisoner Rogue?


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If the design intention is for Studied Strike to be used as a 'finisher', how would you feel about boosting Studied Strike damage in that circumstance?

As an example, your Studied Combat lasts 4 rounds. Each round that you hold off on delivering Studied Strike adds +2 to the damage. If you could wait and use it until the end of the 4th round then you would add a total +8 to the damage.


I like the 24-hour reset. It's a surprise that catches the opponent off guard, but isn't unlimited in its advantage like sneak attack. Duration to Int mod instead of 1/2 Int mod is great too, and I could see it being a standard action at lower levels, then speeding up to move or even swift at the later ones, whether through talents or a static change.

Grand Lodge

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
What if the finale attack added precision damage based on how much you could set it up. Say, it added your Studied Strike dice for each successful hit or combat maneuver against that opponent since you initiated, and you can discharge it partway through on any hit as a free action. Now you have a choice to make--if you hit on the second to last round, will you be greedy and keep going for a bigger combo? Or will you discharge now for the certainty of landing a finale...

That actually sounds kinda cool.


Turkus Longfist wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
What if the finale attack added precision damage based on how much you could set it up. Say, it added your Studied Strike dice for each successful hit or combat maneuver against that opponent since you initiated, and you can discharge it partway through on any hit as a free action. Now you have a choice to make--if you hit on the second to last round, will you be greedy and keep going for a bigger combo? Or will you discharge now for the certainty of landing a finale...
That actually sounds kinda cool.

Agreed.

Designer

Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Let's look at tinkering it from a different direction as another possibility--as it stands, the finale is anticlimactic. What if the finale was cool enough to make it worth the action economy? Watching the clip from the Sherlock movie, it seemed like the investigator is setting up the foe for a big fall through each movement, action, and choice they make. That finale should be awesome. But right now, the finale is weak enough that it doesn't really matter because the real buff is the accuracy boost.

What if the finale attack added precision damage based on how much you could set it up. Say, it added your Studied Strike dice for each successful hit or combat maneuver against that opponent since you initiated, and you can discharge it partway through on any hit as a free action. Now you have a choice to make--if you hit on the second to last round, will you be greedy and keep going for a bigger combo? Or will you discharge now for the certainty of landing a finale...

I understand what you are saying, but here is my counter to it. While the investigator class is based on Sherlock Holmes and other character that do this sort of thing, the form of storytelling that they inhabit is a bit different than RPGs. The theme is that of a knock-out blow, but it will be smart play and teamwork from the other participants in the drama (i.e. the other PCs) that need a place in pulling it off.

In other words, the effect has to be proportional to the amount of the spotlight you share in the story.

As for the your idea of stacking, to be honest it may be too much bookkeeping, and it doesn't give the investigator the flexibility that it needs. For instance, the party is going up against a big baddy. The investigator uses studied combat against the baddy the first round. Makes some good hits, and then the bloodrager crits it. The baddy wobbles at the blow. The investigator could has the opportunity to use his ability to take it down the rest of the way fast, and the whole table cheers. If he had to spend time ramping it up, he could miss this type of opportunity.

Now of course that opportunity is not certain (the roll could be low), but it is there.

In short, allowing the player to make the choice when she wants to and have it there when she needs it interests me more than having to build up and hope the combat moves in that direction and the feeling of disappointment when it doesn't.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Let's look at tinkering it from a different direction as another possibility--as it stands, the finale is anticlimactic. What if the finale was cool enough to make it worth the action economy? Watching the clip from the Sherlock movie, it seemed like the investigator is setting up the foe for a big fall through each movement, action, and choice they make. That finale should be awesome. But right now, the finale is weak enough that it doesn't really matter because the real buff is the accuracy boost.

What if the finale attack added precision damage based on how much you could set it up. Say, it added your Studied Strike dice for each successful hit or combat maneuver against that opponent since you initiated, and you can discharge it partway through on any hit as a free action. Now you have a choice to make--if you hit on the second to last round, will you be greedy and keep going for a bigger combo? Or will you discharge now for the certainty of landing a finale...

I understand what you are saying, but here is my counter to it. While the investigator class is based on Sherlock Holmes and other character that do this sort of thing, the form of storytelling that they inhabit is a bit different than RPGs. The theme is that of a knock-out blow, but it will be smart play and teamwork from the other participants in the drama (i.e. the other PCs) that need a place in pulling it off.

In other words, the effect has to be proportional to the amount of the spotlight you share in the story.

As for the your idea of stacking, to be honest it may be too much bookkeeping, and it doesn't give the investigator the flexibility that it needs. For instance, the party is going up against a big baddy. The investigator uses studied combat against the baddy the first round. Makes some good hits, and then the bloodrager crits it. The baddy wobbles at the blow. The investigator could has the opportunity to use his ability to take it down the rest of the way fast, and the whole...

Awesome points and cool narrative example. I should clarify--my proposed version strongly supports your narrative example. Since the investigator got in a few good hits before the bloodrager crit, in my idea, he could now totally unleash that final blow and seize that moment, rather than wait to try to ramp it up more. Let's say he has +2d6 damage and he got in two solid blows before the crit. Now he decides that even though he has a couple rounds left, now's the right moment, so on his next successful hit, he spends a free action to discharge. Since this is the third hit, he adds 6d6 extra damage and takes the enemy down!

So with my proposal, it will be all about playing smart and finding that right moment to strike, just like in your example.

You're definitely right that it might lead to increased bookkeeping, but probably no more so than warriors who add other effects to keep track of on their hits, and it seems like not too much bookkeeping for an "advanced" class.


Hmm, the climactic strike does sound enticing, but since we're supposed to be keeping the rogue in mine, couldn't the rogue just...do the same thing?

There are some situations where no, the rogue couldn't, many related to ranged attacks, but the investigator couldn't either.

Hmm, interesting problem, and I wish I had more time for playtests :(


Chris Parker wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
Chris Parker wrote:
Hold on, how did you get Kirin Style at level 3 when it requires 6 ranks in Knowledge Arcana (and so, minimum level 6)?
Monk(Master of Many Styles) allows you to ignore the prerequisites so a multiclass would be needed.
Only he doesn't have that - he's a straight up 12 level Investigator.

Yep, my bad, just swap the Feat for an extra talent/discovery (mutation) at 7th with Kirin Style... everything ends up the same. Kirin Style at 7, Kirin Strike at 9. The real issue with these is that it takes a swift action to study a target with Kirin Style and then another swift action to apply the damage from Kirin Strike... but overall its not a bad set of feats to take. Could be extra fun with Focused Shot, but I avoided that since Studied Combat only works in melee at present.

I also didn't factor in mutation in those combat stats, because I assume it would be a 1-encounter sort of trick, although mutations, unlike most abilities can be "re-brewed" with an hour of work and used again that day.

Either way, Studied Combat is not a bad thing. At level 10 you can be offsetting the penalties for both Power Attack and Two-Weapon Fighting, which is pretty neat. Or you could pick up Combat Expertise and be a maneuver specialist.

For Example, I can rewrite the previous investigator to look like this:

Trip Specialist Investigator:

Level 12 Human Investigator (20pt)

Str:20 (+2 belt, +1 levels)
Dex:16 (+2 belt)
Con:14 (+2 belt)
Int:20 (+2 headband, +2 race)
Wis:10
Cha:8

Feats/Talents:
H. Combat Expertise
1. Improved Trip
3. Weapon Focus Quarterstaff, Intelligence Inspiration
5. Two-Weapon Fighting, Quick Study
7. Quarterstaff Master, Discovery: Mutation
9. Greater Trip, Combat Inspiration
11. Weapon Specialization Quarterstaff, Underworld Inspiration

Gear:
+2 belt of physical perfection
+2 headband of vast intelligence
Vest of Stable Mutation
+3 Quarterstaff
Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver (Trip)
+3 Mithral Chain Shirt
Boots of Speed
Ring of Protection +2
Amulet of Natural Armor +2
Cloak of Resistance +3
Other fun utility stuff...

DEFENSE
HP: 105
AC: 23 (10, +7 armor, +2 ring, +2 amulet, +2 dex)
Fort: +10 Ref: +13 Will: +11

OFFENSE
Studied Combat Bonuses are +6 to hit for 5 rounds, we'll assume it is up.
Attack Bonus: +22 (+9 BAB, +3 weapon, +5 str, +6 studied combat, +1 focus, -2 TWF)

Full Attack Sequence will be to use the offhand strike to Trip first:
Trip CMB +28 (+9 BAB, +5 str, +6 studied combat, +4 feats, +2 gauntlets, +3 weapon, +1 focus, -2 TWF)
If the Trip works, then you get an AoO, +22, 1d6+10
The rest of your full attack is +22/+17, 1d6 + 10 (+5 str, +3 weapon, +2 weapon spec)

The point is not really to be dealing a lot of damage... that isn't the role that you are taking as an investigator... but this is an interesting way to contribute. Even at CR 12, the average CMD is something like 36. Use Combat inspiration against that big baddy and you have an average CMB on trips of +31.5 which gives you pretty good odds. Then you have helped to control the creature, and you are getting the benefit of his -4 AC. You have +17 on your worst attack, but a prone CR 12 target will have an average AC of about 24, so again... good accuracy for a 3/4 BAB class on his worst attack.

DPR is not going to be that much (something like 30 per round if the trip hits) but you are contributing in a meaningful way, and that is all that should matter.


Turkus Longfist wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.
And I love that part of the machanic.

I like the idea, but it doesn't work too hot in 3.5/PF. Things tend to die fast. Setting up against one particular foe for subpar damage just won't work that well. There are a lot of things that get in the way of your awesome climax, including being successful! I know its weird to think that way, but the archer in back may have just laid down a flurry of arrows of doom and killed the guy you were aiming for. That's just one thing too, he can also killify you(Your not packing any perfect defense charms bro!), escape in some manner(dimensional door), your not hitting so tough so any number of things might block(crane wing ftw!), or evade(Mirror Image/Displacement. Gotta love concealment amirite?).

It can work, just that its probably best to do so in the same turn you perform it or as something passive. Wish I watched these Downey films people are talking about to give a great suggestion along those lines. My thought is that studied strike can be a very passive thing about precision and thought out blows and performing debuffs if not damage, or even in movement and defense if neither of those.


That's not a bad combination, actually; if you successfully trip, you get your Studied Strike if your AoO works. Question is whether Studied Combat gives bonuses to your combat manoeuvres. Assuming it does, Studied Strike would be useful when you can use trip to force the provoke. Unfortunately, that's about the only way you can force an attack of opportunity.

Of course, while trips are OK, other debuffs would be more interesting, at least that's how it seems to me.


I kind of like the idea of 'setting up the blow' that has been proposed.

Perhaps steal a little from the Bralwer? Make Studied Strike a 'knock out' blow, but each hit made during Studied Combat adds a cumulative +1 on the Studied Strike save DC.

Or, if you want to go with straight damage, make Studied Strike deal 1d6 damage, with a bonus +1d6 damage for each hit made during Studied Strike.


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The 24h restriction makes no sense. Once you get someone by surprise, it's harder to do it again, only harder, not impossible. Also, it's important to remember that there are battles lasting over a few rounds. The Investigator should remain competitive over the whole encounter.

If the "one punch" mechanic persists (I hope it doesn't), it should have other effects as the Investigator levels up. A good guide would be the paladin mercies. At 3rd level making the target fatigued, shaken or sickened, at 6th level making the target dazed, staggered, and so on... This would make this "one punch" meaningful, witch, right now isn't.

Another this is: this should go to level 1. The first level is the one the defines what the class does, and style of combat should come from there. Even the archetypal 1st level weakling, the wizard, now can deal some decent constant damage with hand of the apprentice.

We should be comparing the Investigator with the Inquisitor, not the Rogue, that's the class that disputes the role the most, and has much more power than the Investigator.


This is totally out of left field, but what about dropping studied strike entirely, and changing studied combat so some kind of building bonus? i.e. +X/+X where X is how many rounds you've been studying for? Maybe scale up the starting bonus or scale down the action required as you level.

I could also see something like basing it off inspire courage, but only against a single target. Leave the standard action (at least at low levels) and the daily limit. You're just kinda standing on the sidelines pointing out weaknesses to everyone.


Studied strike cries out to be used with Vital Strike, as you wouldn't want to burn it out on a low bonus attack, and your low bonus attacks aren't likely to amount to much without it. But you won't be able to grab it until 9th level. The way it discharges currently offers no incentive to make full attacks.


You might also want to consider looking at the Investigator class by Owen KC Stephens (Rogue Genius Games) for some inspiration and mechanically sound directions the class can be taken. Maybe give Owen a call and talk things over since, his name is on the playtest document as a contributing author.


A move action to activate Studied Combat at level 4, coupled with the ability lasting for a number of rounds equal to your Int is a significant improvement to the ability. To be honest, my early level play-tests have felt kind of awkward, as I've been trying to manipulate enemies into provoking an AoO on the round after I initially activate Studied Combat.

I just really hope either a talent or an archetype is provided that will allow me to fight at range, as I already have a character with this concept in mind.

I'd like to ask a question, why do talents come online at level 3 instead of 2? This only nets you 1 less Talent than a Rogue would have and getting both a talent and a feat at the same time just kind feels wrong. I'm used to getting to pick something cool every level, instead of two things every other level.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I have to say like many other posters the changes to this class have made me lose interest. Before it lacked combat presence early on, now it is all but gone.

If you want to have a studied strike thats fine but don't put the limitations you did on to make it next to useless, 2 rounds if you have an 18 int on a boss and then nothing.

Studied strike sounds more like the Slayer ability, I could see something like at level 3 they can spend a move to study a target and get a +1 to hit and damage, at 6th they gain 1d6 of precision damage against the target at 9 it becomes +2 to hit and damage, at 12 2d6, at 15 +3, at 18 3d6. That way you have a progression that is useful but not totally limiting like the current incarnation. I mean a standard action for a character with 16 int to add a bonus for one round seems just a bit much to me.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I decided to elaborate on my idea from yesterday, and it seems like a lot of others in this thread have suggested a similar idea. I also totally stole Rogue Eidolon's concept of a stacking attack.

Ubiquitous's Investigator Rambling

LEVEL PROGRESSION:

1 - Deductive striking +1, inspiration, trapfinding
2 - Investigator talent, poison lore, poison resistence +2
3 - Debilitation, Keen recollection, trap sense +1
4 - Alchemy, investigator talent
5 - Deductive striking +2, poison resistance +4
6 - Investigator talent, trap sense +2
7 - Debilitation, swift alchemy
8 - Investigator talent, Poison resistance +6
9 - Deductive prowess, trap sense +3
10 - Deductive striking +3, Investigator talent
11 - Debilitation, poison immunity
12 - Investigator talent, trap sense +4
13 - Split Mind
14 - Investigator talent
15 - Deductive striking +4, Debilitation, trap sense +5
16 - Investigator talent
17 - Fractal Mind
18 - Investigator talent, trap sense +6
19 - Debilitation
20 - Deductive striking +5, True inspiration

Extracts Per Day progression for the investigator is the same as the paladin/ranger Spells Per Day table. The investigator is only able to access extracts of up to 4th level from the alchemist formulae list. Through 3rd level, an investigator has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his investigator level - 3.

ABILITIES:

Deductive Striking (Ex): At 1st level, an investigator can take a move action to analyse the combat patterns of a single enemy that he can see, and discover weaknesses in the foe's defences that he can exploit.

While deductive striking is in effect, the investigator gains a +1 insight bonus to his attack rolls. At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonus to attack rolls increases by +1.

Until the end of his deductive striking, each time he hits and damages his target, the investigator gains a stacking damage bonus of half his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1).

After any successful attack, as a free action, the investigator may end his deductive striking to deal additional bonus damage equal to twice his current damage bonus from deductive striking. This bonus damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attack are also immune to this bonus damage.

Deductive striking lasts for a number of attacks equal to the investigator's Intelligence modifier. He only gains the attack and damage bonuses against the target of his deductive striking. Any attacks made against other targets count as a use of deductive striking, but do not gain the bonus modifiers.

The investigator can only have one target of deductive striking at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an investigator's deductive striking, he cannot become the target of the same investigator's deductive striking for 24 hours, unless the investigator spends a full-round action observing the creature.

Debilitation (Ex): At 3rd level, the investigator learns how to augment his deductive striking with the ability to cripple his foes with carefully calculated attacks. At 3rd level, and every four levels thereafter, the investigator can select one debilitation. Whenever he ends his deductive striking ability, he may forfeit the bonus damage gained from the ability to apply one of the debilitations he knows. The target receives a fortitude save to avoid the debilitation. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the investigator's level + the number of successful strikes the investigator has made with his deductive striking ability on the target before using the debilitation.

At 3rd level, the investigator can select from the following debilitations:
-Deafened: The target is deafened for 1 round per level of the investigator.
-Fatigued: The target is fatigued.
-Sickened: The target is sickened for 1 round per level of the investigator.

At 7th level, an investigator adds the following debilitations to the list of those that can be selected:
-Dazed: The target is dazed for 1 round.
-Staggered: The target is staggered for 1 round per two levels of the investigator.
-Crippled: The target is cursed, as if the investigator had cast bestow curse, using his investigator level as his caster level. This lasts 1 round per two levels of the investigator.

At 11th level, an investigator adds the following debilitations to the list of those that can be selected.
-Exhausted: The target is exhausted. The investigator must have the fatigue debilitation before selecting this debilitation.
-Blinded: The target is blinded for 1 round per level of the investigator.
-Nauseated: The target is nauseated for 1 round per three levels of the investigator. The investigator must have the sickened debilitation before selecting this debilitation.
-Paralyzed: The target is paralyzed for 1 round.

At 15th level, the investigator no longer needs to forfeit his bonus deductive strike damage to apply a debilitation.

Deductive Prowess (Ex): At 9th level, the investigator further increases the power of his deductive reasoning, allowing him to increase the speed with which he incapacitates his foes. As a swift action, he can treat his target of deductive striking as if he had landed a damaging hit on it, increasing the stacking bonus damage on his next attack.

Split Mind (Ex): At 13th level, the investigator may treat two creatures that he can see as a single target of his deductive striking. When deductive striking ends both creatures cannot be targeted with his deductive striking ability in the next 24 hours, unless the investigator spends a full-round action observing the creature.

Fractal Mind (Ex): At 17th level, the investigator now treats all creatures he can see as the target of his deductive striking. Only creatures he uses a debilitation on or damages with his deductive striking bonus damage, gain the 24 hour immunity to the ability, and the investigator may make them targetable once more by spending a move action to observe the creature.

REASONING:

I don't see a lot of people complaining about it, but I think one of the biggest issues with the Investigator is the fact that it's, well, an Alchemist. It has the exact same ability with its extracts as an alchemist. Really, the only difference is -discoveries +inspiration and -bombs +sneak attack/studied combat. To truly make this a hybrid class, and to stop the serious frontloading of utility effects the class suffers from. I think cutting back on the extracts is an important step.

Seriously, dip one level of Investigator and you get Inspiration (for free on all knowledges, linguistics, and spellcraft), a ton of class skills, the ability to disarm magical traps, and 1st level extracts on which there are bunch of handy ones (true strike, comprehend languages, shield), as well as the ability to use wands with everything on your formulae list without needing to UMD. It's amazing. And two good saves.

And, I mean, you're not exactly missing out on anything fundamentally "Investigator" with your 5th and 6th level extracts, from what I've seen. People are welcome to point out how I'm wrong in this regard though.

Secondly, the class really needs something damage-based at first level. Pathfinder is a combat-based game. A class without a niche in combat is a class that you're going to have trouble playing for half of your gaming time.

I personally think the stacking idea is cool. I've just thrown together a concept of how it could work, and tied it in with the idea of the Investigator able to apply debuffs to his opponents through combat. I haven't solidly run the numbers, so feel free to point out how underpowered/overpowered it is, but I figure the concept is in the right place.

Also, I know the devs would rather have playtesting than theorycrafting, but one of those I can do in my head at work, and the other requires actual time spent concentrating on the game. That's more difficult to achieve.

Oh, and I changed Investigator Talents to even levels instead of odd levels. Discovery/Rogue Talent are even levels. Odd levels for talents is strange!

And, of course, all the deductive striking stuff works with ranged combat. I figure you can crossbow bolt someone in the liver to nauseate them just as well as you can punch them there, or stab them with your classy swordcane.


I second what williamoak said like a million pages ago. If the investigator replicated the Student of War/Lorewarden's ability in place of Studied Combat it would instantly be better. Unfortunately, this would kill the idea of scaling d6s that both the Alchemist and Rogue have.

On the other hand, just deleting "and once a creature has become the
target of an investigator’s studied combat, he cannot
become the target of the same investigator’s studied
combat for 24 hours." would make it instantly more effective. It makes sense that the Investigator would have to study its opponent every few rounds because the enemy would be adapting as well.

If the above option is still too strong in balancing, give it some sort of knowledge check in keeping with Keen Recollection. This would be along the same lines as a Ranger's Favored Enemy. Those that you're prepared for, you do well against, while the one's you're not, it's a little harder. Dumped all your skills into knowledge? Awesome! Now you get a small bonus on everything (but you still need to make that check).

I like the second option better, as it still introduces a new mechanic, and that its more swingy rather than a flat bonus. I still want to take the first two Kirin Style feats as well as a single level dip into Student of War, but Studied Combat is insanely weak and inconsistent. It deals less d6s than bombs or sneak attack, comes later, and can't even be used more than once on an enemy. Booooo.


Javaed wrote:
I just really hope either a talent or an archetype is provided that will allow me to fight at range, as I already have a character with this concept in mind.

I think an archetype would be a cool way to do this - call it 'Tactical Sniper' or something.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Stephen, how about the idea of making Studied Combat like the Favored Target ability of the Slayer, only as precision damage?

At least for right now I'm not really in favor of it. It is perfectly fine mechanic, and great with the slayer, but it adds some bonuses to skills that I would have to shave off (let's face it, the investigator doesn't need any help in that area), and while the damage increase may be more consistent, one of the things that studied combat aims for is to grant an increase in accuracy building up to a finale with sudden strike.

We like that idea, and it seems very investigator to the design team in a victorian/pulp/and even modern way (because let's face it the Arthurian Romances, Canterbury Tales, and even Umberto Eco don't provide much guidance on an "action" investigator). It seems many folks also like the idea, they just want a better implementation of it. Some suggestions are probably too good, given reasons I've state before.

That said, my inclination right now (and it is still early) is to bring down the action to a move, and keep it to a 24-hour reset at the start. The idea here is that you surprised and got the best of someone the first time, but it will be harder to do it a second time unless you are higher level (adding something that relaxes the situation somewhat as the investigator goes up in level) or you take an investigator talent that allows you to do it more often.

Both have strengths and weaknesses that I'm still chewing on, but it give you an idea of where my current thoughts are on the subject.

Stephen, what about the idea of SS giving the Investigator a smaller bonus (1 +1/5 Investigator level, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level) but allowing it to be used as a swift action and without the 24h limitation, but only against 1 enemy at a time?

It'd just give the Investigator a pseudo-Full BAB against his chosen target without hurting his action economy. It doesn't really matter if it can be used multiple times because it only affects one creature at a time anyway.


While damage starts off kinda slow, it can ramp up quickly in the mid levels. Look at this level 4 human build:

Str: 18, Dex: 14, Con: 12, Int: 16, Wis: 10, Cha: 7
Traits: Bruising Intellect, Reactionary
1: Improved Unarmed Strike, (Any Feat)
3: Power Attack, Mutatgen

Assuming I have my +1 Rapier, I attack with +8 1d6+5 18-20x2. Power attacking that's +7 1d6+7. If I prep two extracts of Bull's Strength and a Strength Mutagen, that becomes +9 1d6+9 for three combats each day. I can use Studied Combat to boost that attack bonus up to +11 by spending a move action as well. The added 1d6 damage from a Studied Strike is just gravy at this point, and I would be happy with it even being delayed for a level or two.

Ya the first two levels kinda sucked, but that could be fixed easily by moving Studied Combat (but not Studied Strike) to level 3 and bumping the first Talent gained to level 2.

I'm really tempted to play this build with a Half-Elf, letting me pick up a nice 2-Handed weapon to boost those damage bonuses even higher. I'll be lagging behind a Fighter or a Barbarian in damage, but I'll be just as accurate as they are. Picking up Kirin Style & Kirin Strike at the mid levels will also be amazing, as the feats will provide both a significant damage increase that is both mechanically and thematically appropriate for the class.

And if I'm given a ranged option for Studied Strike I can have even more fun with Focused Shot, Kirin Strike and a Composite bow.

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