Revised Investigator Discussion


Class Discussion

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Designer

Lemmy wrote:

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...

Then it would just be sneak attack with a different target designation a better bonus to hit, and a small hit to frequency at 8th, and a bigger hit to frequency of after 15th level. At that point you may as well keep it sneak attack, at the once every three levels. But let's just say I did make a slightly different sneak attack, if I made this the solution, the damage would also have to change to once every three levels.


as much as i agree thematically with the idea of a stacking bonus, i have to agree that i'd rather not do that kind of bookkeeping. also, if i HAVE to do it 2nd or 3rd round because the archer just nearly blasted it down, i'd like a decently sized die pool. honestly, i don't see why it even needs to be 1 die less than sneak attack damage considering that at most we can keep up with the rogue if we don't move and he intentionally only sneak attacks once a round. whatever though... 1d6 isn't really a big deal.

i would like to say i like the idea that ubiquitous had of reducing the alchemy aspect a bit and i like the implementation he proposed for debilitating strike.


Firstly, I'd like to say I have no issue with how the Devs are going so far. It's awesome they reply and have a hand in things during the playtest.

I think I'd be happy with Studied stuff, with dropping the 24 hour, the int boost to time (which was more or less already confirmed), the talent that lowers it to move; and with points of inspiration, swift will be pretty needed (whether good or bad, it doesn't bother me too much though limits some choices but it's a pretty nice buff). The damage bonus is pretty low at level four, but since they aren't a main damaging class i'm ok with that. Though adding in the ability to use it at range would be grand (whether thats at sneak attack range or more). I think it makes sense too, you aim for the moment when the target is slightly off balance so they won't be able to dodge as well.

For fighting styles (as I've admitted before I am fond of the one strong hit style) melee I'd probably love some spring attack, or vital strikes. ranged i'd totally love that crossbow skill that adds Int. I'd always be super tempted to dip Monk for kirin style (or spend some feats to get unarmed strike) or buy it once I reach the BAB skill reqs.

Sadly there isn't an easier way to get kirin strike, having a talent that helps you get it would be kinda strong really.

Designer

bartgroks wrote:
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.

Yes, and it has been added to Jason's opening post for this thread.


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Starfox wrote:
Item Lore talent at 7th, and as a talent. I can see making this a talent, because doing so means that in a group with a real wizard, identifying things will be the wizard's job and the investigator won't ever take this. But having a lvl 7 talent to replace about 1/4 of the functionality of a cantrip (detect magic does a whole lot more than identify items) is underwhelming. Also, Spellcraft is not a class skill - making the identification with knowledge arcana would make this at least marginally useful.

Came up with this too late to make it an edit, but the obvious skill for an investigator to use in identifying magic items would be Use Magic Device. I could also see something that makes this an Int-based skill for the investigator.

Scarab Sages

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
bartgroks wrote:
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.
Yes, and it has been added to Jason's opening post for this thread.

Thank you sir. You rock!


Zwordsman wrote:
Sadly there isn't an easier way to get kirin strike, having a talent that helps you get it would be kinda strong really.

would it be overpowering to let them have IUS? they still wouldn't have the damage progression of a monk, or flurry, or any of the other stuff; also, i don't think it would be at all uncharacteristic for an investigator's curiosity about anatomy to lead him to be a martial artist.


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I am finally getting studied strike. It is not a reliable combat tactic, it is a once/fight finisher for a class who's reliable combat option is to go for the mcguffin. As a player who likes to go for the mcguffin, I find this to be pretty good. It might present some problems in combat intensive dungeon campaigns, but then perhaps that is not the ideal home of the investigator.


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Stephen, would you be so kind as to confirm whether a ranged Studied Combat option will be available or not? I'm looking at a bunch of potential builds, but right now I'm basically defaulting to a Strength-based combatant at first level that picks up feasts in preparation for later-levels.

So far, here's what I've found:

1) For melee builds, races that can net you extra weapon proficiencies are going to be very tempting. Picking up a Great Sword and combining Mutagents, Extracts and Studied Combat winds up being very powerful.

2) Kirin Style is going to a recommended feat chain for this class, there's just not getting around that. Personally, I'm perfectly fine with this idea.

3) This class is over-flowing with Skill points and skill bonuses. It could honestly work just fine with only 4 skills/level considering that every player will boost up Intelligence.

4) Charisma is a no-brainer as a dump stat. I can even justify dumping the stat for RP purposes by going with a character concept like N from Death Note.


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Starfox wrote:
I am finally getting studied strike. It is not a reliable combat tactic, it is a once/fight finisher for a class who's reliable combat option is to go for the mcguffin. As a player who likes to go for the mcguffin, I find this to be pretty good. It might present some problems in combat intensive dungeon campaigns, but then perhaps that is not the ideal home of the investigator.

Dungeons and Dragons without Dungeons and Dragons sounds more than a little bit awkward. Its also not a really big finisher, and classes need a reliable combat bonus to function, especially the 3/4 BAB ones.


cuatroespada wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
Sadly there isn't an easier way to get kirin strike, having a talent that helps you get it would be kinda strong really.
would it be overpowering to let them have IUS? they still wouldn't have the damage progression of a monk, or flurry, or any of the other stuff; also, i don't think it would be at all uncharacteristic for an investigator's curiosity about anatomy to lead him to be a martial artist.

Sounds like a good archetype concept.


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Also, I will be basing my Investigator entirely around Basil of Baker Street.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Then it would just be sneak attack with a different target designation a better bonus to hit, and a small hit to frequency at 8th, and a bigger hit to frequency of after 15th level. At that point you may as well keep it sneak attack, at the once every three levels. But let's just say I did make a slightly different sneak attack, if I made this the solution, the damage would also have to change to once every three levels.

I originally thought of the bonus just applying to attack rolls, actually. But even if it adds to damage rolls as well, it'd be more reliable but much less spiky than SA. My idea was about giving the Investigator better accuracy instead of higher damage output.

1 +1/5 Investigator level bonus to attack rolls and maybe a bonus equal to Investigator level to the 1st successful attack made after SS.


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I am totally making Michael Weston from Burn Notice


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
Dungeons and Dragons without Dungeons and Dragons sounds more than a little bit awkward.

This isn't Dungeons and Dragons. THIS IS PATHFINDER! *kicks nonbeliever into infinite Portable Hole.*


Zwordsman wrote:
I am totally making Michael Weston from Burn Notice

With a girlfriend who's a bomb-tossing alchemist?

And if we're going to suggest themes for archetypes, I would really love an archetype that either nets the Investigator some minor spell-casting or gives a spell-caster some of the Investigator abilities. Bringing in Dresden would be amazing.


Zwordsman wrote:
I am totally making Michael Weston from Burn Notice

Oooh. Nice! I hadn't even thought of this, but it makes perfect sense. I even wonder if Michael's narration is where they got the idea for the Sherlock Holmes fight scenes since Burn Notice came out a couple of years previous to it I believe.


What do you all think of making Studied Combat a move action to activate, but requiring a knowledge check?

-Swift with talent/inspiration point
-move without check with talent/inspiration point
-swift with no check with both


Talcrion wrote:
cuatroespada wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
Sadly there isn't an easier way to get kirin strike, having a talent that helps you get it would be kinda strong really.
would it be overpowering to let them have IUS? they still wouldn't have the damage progression of a monk, or flurry, or any of the other stuff; also, i don't think it would be at all uncharacteristic for an investigator's curiosity about anatomy to lead him to be a martial artist.
Sounds like a good archetype concept.

not really worth an entire archetype was my point. nothing changed. he just didn't NOT include hand to hand combat in his study of combat. the weapons given aren't particularly investigator-y. they're just the standard finesse weapons and for some reason only monks and a fighter archetype would ever have thought that unarmed combat could be useful. to be honest, though, i really am not terribly upset to have to eat the feat. i just don't think it's necessary to limit non-monk unarmed combatants as much as we do, but i can live with the level/feat tax.


Dynosoarz wrote:

What do you all think of making Studied Combat a move action to activate, but requiring a knowledge check?

-Swift with talent/inspiration point
-move without check with talent/inspiration point
-swift with no check with both

I'd rather spend a Standard action for a guaranteed setup over a move action with a chance to fail, speaking personally.


Lemmy wrote:


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...

I do like the idea of them being able to favor one specific target.


RJGrady wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

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...

I do like the idea of them being able to favor one specific target.

I like them being able to access the whole battlefield instead of one target myself. I think its a lot more heroic that way. Might make a cool archetype or ability, with the ability to focus one target when needed or vice versa.


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i wouldn't even mind if he had to keep spending move actions (with or without having to take the talent) to add new focused targets up to a max that rose with level to say 4 or 5. could still swift action it with inspiration. of course this only matters if studied combat comes with an ac bonus (which i guess you could use the talent for, but it really seems like something that should at least stack with the hit bonus rather than replacing it) or there's something to do to the targets between activation and sudden strike other than damage.


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I love the Investigator class. While I am new to Pathfinder in general, everything about the investigator is exactly what I love.

However, what I really want, after playtesting him in a module, is to use Pistols, or to have studied strike have a ranged option.

I would really love to play a Pistol Wielding P.I. Please make it happen! : )


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.

1.) I like this idea quite a bit.

2.) Based on what has been said by several people in the thread, the idea of leaving the 24-hr reset is growing on me. Especially if you later get to do it two, maybe three times per day on an opponent. Two might not be enough, more than three wouldn't really do much, as by the time you get to that level, your INT would likely be high enough for two or three uses per opponent to be sufficient.

3.) Please allow class abilities to work with ranged combat, especially when Hand Crossbow is an option.

Liberty's Edge

So, I really hope I can manage to squeeze in some playtesting before the deadline, but I wanted to say that I would really like to see Cognotagen added to the list of available Alchemist discoveries that investigators can take as talents. Unless of course Mutagen in that list actually means, Mutagen and all Mutagen-like discoveries, that would be even better.

But I really really want to be able to select Cognotagen, so that for short periods my Investigator can be extra smart. OOH OOH and Persistent Mutagen as an available talent that works like the Alchemist class feature. That would also be very cool.


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A few ideas for this class, borrowed from The Investigator class:

Crime Scene Analysis (Ex): The investigator can
get a feel for what sort of intelligence committed
a crime (or other specific act that leaves behind
evidence, such as who set up an abandoned camp,
or sewed together a flesh golem, or created a
specific forgery, or performed a blood ritual) by
careful examination of the scene of the action and
interviews with witnesses and locals. This allows
the investigator to make a Sense Motive roll (the
GM should make the check in private) to learn
things about whoever committed the deed being
investigated.

The investigator must study the site of a deed
for 1d6 x 10 minutes before a check can be made.
The DC of the Sense Motive check is 10 + the CR of
the perpetrator (or of the highest-level perpetrator
for deeds committed by a group). A successful check
allows the investigator to determine the number of
perpetrators, and the creature type of the highest-
CR member.

Like a Knowledge skill used to gain information
about a creature, for every 5 points by which this
check’s result exceeds the DC, the investigator
learns another piece of useful information about
the perpetrators. Potential information the GM
may choose to hand out includes the total
number of perpetrators (if there are more than
one), gender, specific race, whether or not the
perpetrator is a spellcaster, Strength modifier,
Dexterity modifier, specific class, broad motive
(greed, personal vengeance, contract killing,
etc.), and likely future targets.

An investigator may only make a single Sense
Motive check at a given scene, and may not
take 10 or take 20. However, if an investigator
analyzes additional scenes committed by the
same perpetrator, a successful Sense Motive
check for analysis reveals this, and additional
information gained for every 5 points by
which this check’s result exceeds the DC is new
information about the perpetrator. As a result,
each new crime scene grants the investigator a
new opportunity to learn about the perpetrator.

In Your Head (Ex): When the investigator
is tracking down a perpetrator, he comes to
understand his foe’s actions and motivations so
well that he gains bonuses when opposing the
perpetrator. Once a great detective has made a
successful Sense Motive check to use the Crime
Scene Analysis talent against a perpetrator, he
treats that perpetrator as if it was a favored
enemy (as the ranger class), using the great
detective’s class level as his ranger level. The
investigator can only be in the head of a single
creature at a time. If he successfully uses Crime
Scene Analysis against a second perpetrator,
he must decide whether to retain his previous
foe as a favored enemy, or switch to the new
perpetrator.

Contemplative Trance (Ex): The investigator can, once per day, spend a 1d6 x 10
minutes in uninterrupted meditation to allow
her mind to sort through the clues and facts
she has gathered and look for patterns and
connections not visible to the conscious mind.
The contemplative trance acts as a divination
with 90% effectiveness. As an extraordinary
ability, the contemplative trance is limited
to information a mortal could conceivably know or deduce (though it is not limited to
knowledge a mortal could reasonably acquire --
only information it is impossible for any mortal
anywhere to know is beyond the reach of the
ultimate deduction), and is not subject to spells
or effects that block divination magic.

Lethal Blow (Ex): The investigator’s
experience with mortal wounds and knowledge
of anatomy give her a keen understanding of where best to land blows in combat. The investigator gains a 1d6 sneak attack (as the rogue
class ability), and a +2 bonus to attack rolls
made to confirm critical hits. These bonuses
increase to +2d6 sneak attack and +4 to confirm
critical hits at 8th level, and +3d6 sneak attack
and +6 to confirm critical hits at 16th level.

Studied Attacks (Ex): An investigator may use
her vast knowledge of creatures, as well as her
understanding of her own capabilities, to plan
attacks to be most effective against specific foes.
As a standard action, the investigator may make
an appropriate Knowledge check against a creature
with a DC of 15 + the creature’s CR. If she succeeds,
she may grant herself a circumstance bonus of
+1/4 levels to hp damage she deals to the creature
with any attack she makes that normally deals hp
damage. If facing multiple creatures of the same
type who have identical defenses, this bonus applies
against all of them. The bonus lasts for 1 round/
investigator level. The investigator cannot benefit
from this ability against more than one foe (or
set of identical foes) at a time.

Sovereign Court

Stevens been on here a bunch so I suppose this would be the place for me to beg for archetypes.

This is just me imagining a perfect world but... how bout a private eye archetype? Kind of Noir inspired? Give em limited access to grit and firearm proficiency at the expense of some extracts or investigator talents? Oh, how bout an ability that lets them make a disguise check to blend into any crowded area, so long as they wear a hat and long coat? They should get black market connections as a bonus talent, and could replace studied combat with reflective combat, where they kind of stop and have a moment of reflection beforehand contemplating the nature of the person they're fighting. It could work identically except it should pull off of charisma.

Beat Cop would be a good one too, you have to be Lawful, aaand you have to work for some organization or another as a watchman or guard. It'd be great for city campaigns. You get issued a certain amount of supplies,and get paid a steady income. In order to do some investigating in town you just have to find time in between or else risk getting caught neglecting your duties. If you are fired you have to hand over your badge and any equipment they've supplied you with (should probably scale, as if you get promotions when you level or something).

Lastly I think there should be a grizzled old detective archetype. Not as good in combat, you would lose a bit of your studied combat if not all of it, but instead gain the ability to boost your allies skills and attacks. "Lemme tell ya kid, I been walking these streets a long time." There could be abilities you can use in studied combat that let you demoralize opponents, or buff allies. SA names would be the coolest aspect to me. "Loose cannon," or "your father was a good cop," both seem like obvious choices.


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If you were a real cinematic beat cop, your abilities would only work when you hand in your badge. :)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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RJGrady wrote:
If you were a real cinematic beat cop, your abilities would only work when you hand in your badge. :)

You gotta be careful when using the most powerful - and dangerous - ability: Only Two Days From Retirement.


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ubiquitous wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
If you were a real cinematic beat cop, your abilities would only work when you hand in your badge. :)
You gotta be careful when using the most powerful - and dangerous - ability: Only Two Days From Retirement.

I vote we make it the capstone! When you hit 20 you die within 48 hours.

Sovereign Court

Maybe hand in your badge should be an ability at around 10th level then? After that, you know things bout to be crazy. It'd be so hard not to play as Axel Foley.


Haha. when you use your badge you get a bonus to smashing it into faces XD


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
ubiquitous wrote:

Stephen, it would be great if you could give some kind of context as to where you see the Investigator's combat ability sitting. Should it be just below the rogue? How far down on the totem pole should they be?

For option 2, if you were playing at, say, 16th level and getting +7d6 damage to one attack every second round (and only being able to attack every second round), does that seem like a character you'd want to play?

It matters what you mean by combat ability. Constant ability to deal damage in melee? The ability to support a party and be fun and interesting to play. Given the amount of tricks this guy has in his arsenal (inspiration, alchemy, poison lore) I think I would love playing this class.

I'd rather look at this class as a whole, rather than just damage per round. As far as damage per round goes...yeah, he should not be as good as a rogue. And he wasn't in the first iteration, but he was a little better than he should have been.

First off I really like the feel of this class. If some of the offensive problems get fixed I feel this could be one of my two favorite classes, Bard being the first :)

I think you are going to run into trouble if the Rogue is your benchmark. There are three reasons for this.

  • The rogue isn’t good at dealing damage and isn’t really good at anything except getting a lot of skills. The Bard and a bunch of other classes do what the rogue does and do it better and add a lot of other stuff to the party. The rogue is a weak class. I know some of you Devs, like James, care more for flavor and I salute this, but a lot of players like flavor and balance. There are gameplay experience and DPR threads witch has clearly shown that even if you set up a rogue with flank she will be out damaged by every class, even the monk.
  • Skills are fun. I love playing bards so I obviously like skills. The problem is that most skills become problematic once you pass lover mid levels, say level 6 or 7.

  • You should compare the new class with both parents, right? This class is clearly underpowered compared to the Alchemist.

    I hope you give the class some can trips. This would give it more utility.

    Even though I agree this class got a problem dealing damage in combat, I must say I’m really impressed with this class.

    Keep up the good work!

    PS, I leave you with a quote about the Rogue

    Rogues are in kind of a weird place in Pathfinder:

    A Man In Black wrote:

    Anyway. Rogues are in kind of a weird place in Pathfinder, even moreso than in 3.5. They're not supposed to be as good at martial combat as...uh... all the other classes, so they aren't. What they get in return for this is out-of-combat problem-solving utility. Thing is, almost all (and indeed all, using non-core material) of this out-of-combat utility is redundant with other non-magical classes. That isn't even taking into account spellcasters, who by and large get more out-of-combat schticks, while having comparable or better in-combat schticks.
    The rogue's schtick is skills and skills aren't very good. They certainly aren't good enough to explain why a class whose only real combat schtick is "stab a dude" is weaker at stabbing than pretty much everyone else. Skills are not only often nonfunctional (Diplomacy, original-version Stealth), they're also almost always hardcapped at what's "realistic" or "humanly possible" (Stealth again, all of the movement skills).
    In return for this schtick, the rogue is worse at fighting. It's not just that the rogue is less capable and more-situational than a fighter, barbarian, or paladin: she's also weaker when it comes to wrecking some jerk than the ranger and (non-core) monk, who also rely on skill-based schticks (albeit skill-based schticks supplemented with class abilities), not to mention the alchemist, cleric, druid, and oracle. All of these classes have class abilities or spellcasting to do more than what's "humanly possible", and can still fight in addition to solving problems that don't require murder.
    So yeah. I do think the rogue is a weak class. She's worse at fighting to be good at something that often isn't useful, and will often be overshadowed in her own specialty by someone else in the party.
    I wish I knew how to fix it.


  • The more I think about it, the more I feel like the investigators Intelligence should play directly into Studied Combat and studied strike. Part of me also keeps thinking that moving away from additional damage dice and instead towards conditions and effects makes more sense for studied strike.

    Have Studied Combat also add the investigators Int Mod to all damage rolls (have it multiply on crits, but things immune to precision damage are immune to this extra damage).

    Studied strikes then can be used during an attack as a free action, usable once per target of Studied Combat. When studied strikes is used select one of the following options:

    All war is deception: Your attack made you look more vulnerable then you truly were, causing your opponent to act carelessly. The target is flat-footed for this attack and X amount of time.

    Relax, I'm a doctor: You know the human body fairly well, you've seen a dozens of crime scenes, you know what bends, and what breaks, and you've shared your findings. Allies within 30ft gain your Int Mod as an insight bonus to melee and ranged attack damage rolls for X amount of time.

    Discombobulate: Leave your opponent guessing where the next hit will come from and you'll find they're much less of a threat. The target is staggered for X amount of time.

    Heel kick to diaphragm: We are fragile creatures, and a well placed strike can take good advantage of that. The target is sickened for X amount of time.

    At higher levels, you can do it more than once to a target, taking sickened to nauseated, flat-footed to dazed, staggered to stunned, etc.. The investigator would get additional damage they need to be effective from Studied Combat (Int Mod) while not being too ridiculous, and can also contribute to the group by applying conditions/buffs through Studied Strikes. The investigator's fighting style should feel like it's leveraging his brain, and not as much his brawn, hit them where it counts and leave openings for your friends to take advantage of.

    Anywho, that's more my mind has gone on this at least...

    Also, here is the fight scene from the Sherlock Holmes movie, it's kind of fun to read!:

    [in a bare-knuckle boxing match, Holmes sees Irene and tries to forfeit and leave]

    Sherlock Holmes: That's it, big man. You've won, congratulations.

    McMurdo: Oi, we ain't done yet!

    [He spits at the back of Holmes's head. Holmes stops]

    Sherlock Holmes: [voice-over] This mustn't register on an emotional level...

    [in slow motion]

    Sherlock Holmes: First, distract target...

    [Holmes flicks a handerchief in front of his opponent's face]

    Sherlock Holmes: Then block his blind jab, counter with cross to left cheek. Discombobulate.

    [Holmes claps his hands over his opponent's ears]

    Sherlock Holmes: Dazed, will attempt wild haymaker. Employ elbow block, and body shot. Block feral left, weaken right jaw, now fracture.

    [a cross to the jaw fractures the bone]

    Sherlock Holmes: Break cracked ribs, traumatize solar plexus, dislocate jaw entirely.

    [Two more body blows, and a right hook to the jaw hinge]

    Sherlock Holmes: Heel kick to diaphragm...

    [Holmes finishes with a heel kick to his opponent's chest, sending him crashing out of the ring]

    Sherlock Holmes: In summary: ears ringing, jaw fractured, three ribs cracked, four broken, diaphragm haemmorraging. Physical recovery: six weeks. Full psychological recovery: six months. Capacity to spit at back of head: neutralized.

    [Back in real time, Holmes picks up the handkerchief, as though wiping the back of his neck, then does all of the foregoing in about six seconds, and kicks McMurdo out of the ring]


    The fight scene thatwas just described in VastlyApparent's post is known as compounding in martial arts.

    Another example would be to punch or kick a man in his floating ribs to break them, then knee those same ribs to break them off and, hopefully, shove them into his ribs. While this will hurt a man, it may not guarantee death. You must then either punch/knee/elbow to the solar plexus, then elbow/punch to the throat.

    The above will leave a man with a lung filling with blood, unable to draw air in through his mouth as his airway will be swollen shut and drawing in as much blood through that opening in his lung.
    To finish, if death is truly desired, simply step behind and break neck. Now no help can be called for, nor movement to go get help.

    That is what the movie fight scene simulates, but it's a bit less fatal.

    This type of thing can be done in many ways within a game system, but it's a bit late to go into that now. Will post again tomorrow.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    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.

    But... we are going to play this class in an RPG. Your RPG, the Pathfinder RPG.

    And I think it should be built with this fact in mind, that it has to conform to the rules of the Pathfinder RPG and fit into the context of a game with other very desirable classes.


    I'm not sure whether this would be entirely on point for what you consider powerful Stephen, but I thought I would just suggest it without making any specific statements about studied strikes viability.

    Formatting, hopefully, in a way that makes it seem interesting.

    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. At 1st level, an investigator can take
    a standard action to study single enemy that he can see.
    Upon doing so, he adds his intelligence modifier as an
    insight bonus to melee attack rolls against the creature
    for a number of rounds equal to his his Intelligence
    modifier (minimum 1 round).

    Studied Strike (Ex): At 4th 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 hinder his foe in combat. On a successful hit, the investigator subtracts half his intelligence modifier to attack and armor class for the remainder of the duration of studied combat unless
    the creature succeeds a Fort saving throw (DC = 10 + 1/2
    the investigator’s level + his Intelligence modifier). On a successful save, the studied strike is negated, and the target is immune to further studied strike attacks for 24 hours.

    I think that the specific debuff might be different, or target different things based on whether the investigator invests in some talents that alter the type of debuff and the saave that it targets.

    What do you think?


    Caedwyr wrote:

    A few ideas for this class, borrowed from The Investigator class:

    Crime Scene Analysis (Ex): The investigator can
    get a feel for what sort of intelligence committed
    a crime (or other specific act that leaves behind
    evidence, such as who set up an abandoned camp,
    or sewed together a flesh golem, or created a
    specific forgery, or performed a blood ritual) by
    careful examination of the scene of the action and
    interviews with witnesses and locals. This allows
    the investigator to make a Sense Motive roll (the
    GM should make the check in private) to learn
    things about whoever committed the deed being
    investigated.

    The investigator must study the site of a deed
    for 1d6 x 10 minutes before a check can be made.
    The DC of the Sense Motive check is 10 + the CR of
    the perpetrator (or of the highest-level perpetrator
    for deeds committed by a group). A successful check
    allows the investigator to determine the number of
    perpetrators, and the creature type of the highest-
    CR member.

    Like a Knowledge skill used to gain information
    about a creature, for every 5 points by which this
    check’s result exceeds the DC, the investigator
    learns another piece of useful information about
    the perpetrators. Potential information the GM
    may choose to hand out includes the total
    number of perpetrators (if there are more than
    one), gender, specific race, whether or not the
    perpetrator is a spellcaster, Strength modifier,
    Dexterity modifier, specific class, broad motive
    (greed, personal vengeance, contract killing,
    etc.), and likely future targets.

    An investigator may only make a single Sense
    Motive check at a given scene, and may not
    take 10 or take 20. However, if an investigator
    analyzes additional scenes committed by the
    same perpetrator, a successful Sense Motive
    check for analysis reveals this, and additional
    information gained for every 5 points by
    which this check’s result exceeds the DC is new
    information about the perpetrator. As a result,
    each new crime scene grants the...

    These are great ideas. I would just add the status inflicting.


    I feel like the class should have improved unarmed strike no special progression but be proficent in unarmed attacks or boxing in some form but the class does seem very front loaded.

    I like inspirational expertise the ability to actualy get a bonus from a knowledge check instead of just learning something I already learned from system mastery. That and I get to yell "He is a human the heart is a vital organ aim for the heart"

    Personaly I love finding little munchkinish tricks so might as well see what can get quashed or clarified in this playtest before its needed in an errata.

    Inspirational Expertise seems like a fun ability make knowldge check for everyone to get +4 then pull out your monsters encyclopedia to change your bonus as you do some research and pop an inspiration to get a even higher check and hope you get a high enough dc to find out something new. If the monster transforms or polymorphs it could be another check to boost the party. I would like to see more party buffs of this style to be a commander style investigator moving my chess pieces I mean leading my allies to victory. Having diffrent styled investigators as options for talents would be nice.

    Studied Strike (Ex): At 4th 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 deal additional damage.

    From the wording it seems to make the studied strike a free action attack on its own instead of a boost to an attack damage. Does this mean DR would apply to both the attack that triggers studied strike and studied strike too? How about other damage modifers like bard song? It could get silly stacked with sneak attack. dagger with 2d6 sneak attack and +3 bard song would be: +1d4+str+2d6+3 Then free action Studided strike 2d6+2d6+3.

    Everyone else already went with the big problems with Studied strike so ill skip that. I would love to see the study abilities to become a stacking buff that improved as combat progressed. Granting larger bonuses as combat vs the target goes on as you study his fighting style better. To make it viable later just add progression to which the speed the buff increases or let the investigator spend inspriation to skip some studying. Just be sure you have to have the target engaged combat with someone to start gaining the bonuses. +1 to hit every round up to your int modifier capped by investigator level could work.

    The other classes have them count as their parent classes to feats. Will studied strike count as sneak attack for feats such as blinding sneak attack?

    Their capstone true inspiration seems to make many of their talents obsolete. The talents to not spend an inspiration to gain a bonus to the skill does nothing when the capstone gives them that ability unless they get the ability to upgrade their inspration to +2d6 for free if they have the talent.


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    Tenro wrote:


    I like the way Rite Publishing's Vicious Opportunist Rogue Archetype works, especially when coupled with the debuff-related sneak attack feats.

    There would definitely be no objection from me for using this :) Probably fits the theme of investigator a bit better too, since it's about studying what ails the foe and capitalizing on it.


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    For a good balance, I think it would be constructive to compare the investigator to the classes most likely to assume the same role. That would be the alchemist and the inquisitor. I will not count Capstones as those rarely interfere with the overall game.

    As for BaB, HD, Saves and Proficiency:
    The classes are mostly balanced (inquisitor going ahead a bit with weapon/armor choices).

    On Skills, Inquisitor and Investigator get 6, while the Alchemist gets 4.

    The 3 classes get 6th level spellcasting, but the Inquisitor wins by far for using actual spells, which are much more flexible and can be cast defensively.

    For job skill bonus and flavor abilities:

    The Inquisitor:
    Monster Lore, Stern Gaze, Domain (or Inquisition), Discern Lies, Track, Detect Alignment.

    The Alchemist:
    Brew Potion, Discoveries, Poison Use, Poison Resistance, Swift Alchemy,Instant Alchemy.

    The Investigator:
    Inspiration, Trapfinding, Talents, Poison Lore, Poison Resistance, Inspiration, Keen recollection, Trap sense, Swift Alchemy.

    The Investigator shines here, but the Inquisitor does not fall far behind. While having fewer abilities, they receive greater bennefits from them.

    For Combat oriented abilities:

    The Inquisitor:
    Judgements, Cunning Initiative, Solo Tactics, Teamwork Feats, Bane, Greater Bane, Exploit Weakness, Slayer.

    The Alchemist:
    Throw Anything (better than the feat), Mutagen, Bomb (or full sneak attack).

    The Investigator:
    Studied Combat, Inspiration, Studied Strike.

    Here we find the lack of balance. While the Inquisitor shines greatly in combat, and the Alchemist con hold his ground with bombs or sneak attack, the Investigator can't even compete. His poorly executed combat attempts at the brightest moment can't compete with the routine attacks of the others.
    He must spend is precious actions to gain a damage bonus inferior to the ones the others get expending no action or swift ones.

    Conclusion:
    The Inquisitor wins by far, making a better investigator than the Investigator. He has great combat abilities, options and flavor. His spellcasting surpasses alchemy, he has better equipment options, great non-combat options, and much better combat abilities. Even the alchemist is ahead, being more able to keep up than the Investigator.
    If the point is balance, we must greatly improve the abilities of the Investigator and give him more options.

    Designer

    magnuskn wrote:
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    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.

    But... we are going to play this class in an RPG. Your RPG, the Pathfinder RPG.

    And I think it should be built with this fact in mind, that it has to conform to the rules of the Pathfinder RPG and fit into the context of a game with other very desirable classes.

    And that is why the next couple sentences in my post say:

    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

    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.


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    I've been thinking a lot about Poison Lore, and am starting to think it is a system limiting ability.

    What I mean by this is... how did one identify poisons before? I can't find any particular rules, except for those associated with detect poison. Looking at old APs I noticed a few skills used to identify the after effects (Craft(Alchemy), Heal, and Knowledge (Nature)), but no events of identifying current poisons. If it had come up though, Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Nature) would likely have been skills I called for (alongside Craft (Alchemy) and Heal).

    However, now that identifying poison is an explicit Investigator ability, it would seem to block any other class from using the skills to do it. Similarly, in the rare circumstance that a poison needed to be neutralized and "pouring it out" wasn't an option, Craft (Alchemy) would have been what I called for before Poison Lore existed.

    So, by creating this ability, one limits something that would likely have just been a skill check. If one still allows the skills to identify poisons then the ability has no value. If one doesn't no party without an Investigator can identify or neutralize poisons without spells, limiting what they would otherwise would make sense to do with their skills.

    My recommendation would be making the ability a bonus, rather than a new capability. For example by giving a +1/2 level bonus on the checks and allowing them to identify and neutralize poisons extra quickly. It still fits the idea of Poison Lore, but would not in any way limit every other class in the process.


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    so this is what this feels like... i'm going to study the foe. archer, please do most of the damage so that at the opportune moment, i can hit the opponent really hard and dropping him, steal your glory rather than having my own reason to feel accomplished and helpful.

    i don't want to out-damage the fighter (the rogue is a poor baseline but i don't even need to out-damage him)... i want to have something to do during combat other than try to steal kills to feel effective.

    edit: i'm not trying to suggest that killing blows are everything, obviously, but we would be foolish to pretend that they aren't a significant part of the satisfaction of combat.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    magnuskn wrote:
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
    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.

    But... we are going to play this class in an RPG. Your RPG, the Pathfinder RPG.

    And I think it should be built with this fact in mind, that it has to conform to the rules of the Pathfinder RPG and fit into the context of a game with other very desirable classes.

    And that is why the next couple sentences in my post say:

    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

    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.

    Well, we'll see the end result in a few months. :) But since we probably won't get a mayor revision of Studied Combat/Strike till then, I fear the current Investigator is pretty much unplayable in an AP group. Oh, well, there's still the Inquisitor and the (excellent) Slayer, if my Wizard gets offed. ^^


    cuatroespada wrote:

    so this is what this feels like... i'm going to study the foe. archer, please do most of the damage so that at the opportune moment, i can hit the opponent really hard and dropping him, steal your glory rather than having my own reason to feel accomplished and helpful.

    i don't want to out-damage the fighter (the rogue is a poor baseline but i don't even need to out-damage him)... i want to have something to do during combat other than try to steal kills to feel effective.

    edit: i'm not trying to suggest that killing blows are everything, obviously, but we would be foolish to pretend that they aren't a significant part of the satisfaction of combat.

    and given the time you've spent preparing to actually USE the move, and you're giving up your hit bonus pretty much permanently (because a once/enemy/24-hour limit in a fight means that person should be dead after the fight, barring contingency teleport shenanigans) against that opponent, it'd better be the freaking killing blow.


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    While I'd agree that an Inquisitor is going to be a stronger fighter, I don't think balance should focus solely on combat prowess. I also don't think the Investigator is exactly a slouch in that department either once Studied Combat and Alchemist class features come into play.

    By the way, my play tests have assumed that Studied Combat will last for Int Rounds instead of 1/2 Int Rounds and that the ability is initially a move action. Most of my characters were built with a 15 or 16 Strength.

    My Conclusions so far:
    1) Races that offer up additional weapon choices are extremely tempting, and the class could probably use one or two additional weapon choices. That being said, I had fun with my Half-elf Greatsword User as well as my Tengu with an Agile Elven Curved Blade.

    2) A round of prebuffing is a requirement before you start combat, but winds up being very effective. My normal pattern has been to spend my move-action to start Studied Combat and my standard action to drink an Extract of Bull's Strength or a Strength Mutagen. Basically this feels like a mini-rage mechanic, where I concentrate on one target but am really able to lay into him before moving on to the next one. I'm not sure if that really matches the theme Stephen is going for, but mechanically it is fun and effective.

    3) AC for the class actually feels kind of low and while the offered weapons are good thematic choices, you're somewhat limited in good options. It would be nice if Studied Combat worked with ranged weapons out of the box. I don't think it would be too big of a deal to add Longsword and Buckler proficiency either.

    4) The class doesn't fully come online until level 4, and while the first couple of levels can be a little rough they aren't as bad as what I've experienced with the Swashbuckler. I would suggest starting Investigator Talent at level 2 and adding Weapon Trainingm, Finesse Rogue and Unarmed Combat Training (Ninja Trick) to the list of available Rogue talents.

    5) While I do find the skill-based Rogue Talents appealing, they generally aren't as strong as an available Alchemist Discovery or one of the new Investigator Talents. I have a hard time seeing anybody picking these up until really late in the game.


    Javaed wrote:
    while the offered weapons are good thematic choices, you're somewhat limited in good options.

    how exactly are these thematic choices? the quintessential investigator doesn't have a particular weapon (other than maybe hand-to-hand combat because you always have your body on you)... also, agility and dexterity are two different things (the former is essentially strength since it's gross motor), but both could be used to fight smarter rather than harder. in fact, since you're so smart, you should know you're probably going to be more combat effective by using PA and a two-hander... like a twinkie rogue... like a twinkie rogue... (edit: sorry, sometimes i accidentally channel morgan freeman.)


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


    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.

    Could the extra damage effect be reliant on a successful knowledge check? Perhaps the amount of damage could be based on your degree of success?

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