Would a low-level investigator fun in an AP?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Studied combat and studied strike requires more planning to make the most out of it than sneak attack or flat bonuses, but that seems appropriate for the theme. But why does it only come it at 4th level?

By 3rd level, the rogue is dealing up to +2d6 sneak attack, maybe with TWF. The most similar class, the alchemist, is bombing for 2d6, targetting touch, with splash damage.

I might be overlooking something, but everyone except full (9th-level spells) spellcasters get some sort of thematic bonus to their combat ability at 1st level. The investigator fights about as well as an NPC class until 4th-level.

What does an investigator do 1st-3rd in typical adventure (let's consider adventure paths typical adventures for Pathfinder)?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hybrid classes tend to either shine early and fade (good for the first few levels before losing ground to a multiclass PC later), or lose luster early only to become great at later levels.

The Investigator is a great choice for a trapfinding or skillmonkey rogue specialist. If you want a more combat oriented rogue, the Slayer fills that niche.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You're missing that Studied Combat, while cool, isn't the core ability of the class: Inspiration is. And you can add Inspiration to attacks if you like. Or Saves. And that's +3.5 to hit a couple of times a day if you're willing to burn it on that. And then there's Extracts, which can help out quite a bit.

That's not bad at all. Especially since they're only one BAB behind Full Attack Bonus classes, whose bonuses at 1st-3rd level tend to be situational or limited anyway (heck, Fighter doesn't even have one).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
You're missing that Studied Combat, while cool, isn't the core ability of the class: Inspiration is. And you can add Inspiration to attacks if you like. Or Saves. And that's +3.5 to hit a couple of times a day if you're willing to burn it on that.

Right, +3.5 (might be more or might be less, and you're more hurt if it's less than you're helped if it's more) twice or so per day by 3rd level. Seems rather thin compared to the inquisitor's +1 to all attacks in one fight, or the alchemist's 2d6 touch attacks with splash damage 6/day.

Quote:
And then there's Extracts, which can help out quite a bit.

The alchemist is my primary point of comparison here, and they get the exact same extracts.

Quote:
That's not bad at all. Especially since they're only one BAB behind Full Attack Bonus classes, whose bonuses at 1st-3rd level tend to be situational or limited anyway (heck, Fighter doesn't even have one).

That's true, the lag is minor, but it really feels the investigator is lacking a signature trick for those first three levels, compared to the other medium BAB/d8 classes. And no, I don't think inspiration is it: the rogue is sneak attacking, the alchemist is bombing, the bard is buffing the whole party... and the investigator is making like an NPC expert, waiting for that one roll he knows he's missed by 1 or 2 so he can spend inspiration and turn it into a hit for NPC expert damage.

And for a evenly scaling ability like studied combat, 1st-level seems the more obvious choice, so I'm wondering how come they chose to give it out at 4th. Would +1/+1 to attacks/damage overpower the 1st-3rd level investigator?


KestrelZ wrote:
The Investigator is a great choice for a trapfinding or skillmonkey rogue specialist.

That's not really a (primary) niche in D&D, at least not 3E/Pathfinder D&D. Everyone needs to be good at combat, it's just a question how they fight. I like that the investigator's answer is "using cunning and observation", but I don't like that you have to wait for a minor but noticeable part of your career for it to manifest.

Liberty's Edge

jasin wrote:
Right, +3.5 (might be more or might be less, and you're more hurt if it's less than you're helped if it's more) twice or so per day by 3rd level. Seems rather thin compared to the inquisitor's +1 to all attacks in one fight, or the alchemist's 2d6 touch attacks with splash damage 6/day.

Eh, you can use it strategically, which is something of an advantage, and the bonus is bigger than Inquisitor (plus you're better at non-combat stuff). And the Bomb only becomes 2d6 at 3rd level, one level before the Investigator's Studied Combat kicks in (and the same level he geets his first Talent). Before that it's 1d6...and not quite so handy. And given how vastly better the Investigator is out-of-combat than the Alchemist a slight lead in combat prowess on the Alchemist's part seems reasonable.

jasin wrote:
The alchemist is my primary point of comparison here, and they get the exact same extracts.

True. But they don't actually gain a lot else. Bomb 1d6, Mutagen and...nothing else until 3rd level (okay, one Discovery, but nothing as effective in raw combat as Mutagen...though Feral Mutagen is close). When, by the way, an Investigator can grab Mutagen if they want, or something else combative.

jasin wrote:
That's true, the lag is minor, but it really feels the investigator is lacking a signature trick for those first three levels, compared to the other medium BAB/d8 classes. And no, I don't think inspiration is it: the rogue is sneak attacking, the alchemist is bombing, the bard is buffing the whole party... and the investigator is making like an NPC expert, waiting for that one roll he knows he's missed by 1 or 2 so he can spend inspiration and turn it into a hit for NPC expert damage.

Uh..they have better weapons than Experts, for one thing, for another they have Extracts, which drastically improves their ability to do damage, they can get Mutagen or something else impressive at 3rd, and get Poison stuff at 2nd level to boot, if you want to dabble in that.

jasin wrote:
And for a evenly scaling ability like studied combat, 1st-level seems the more obvious choice, so I'm wondering how come they chose to give it out at 4th. Would +1/+1 to attacks/damage overpower the 1st-3rd level investigator?

Probably not, but it might make it too tempting a dip. Or at least I suspect that's the logic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Skillmonkey is definitely a primary niche in 3.X/PF

Many of the encounters that reward experience in AP's can be resolved with skill rolls (like Diplomacy or Intimidate) instead of combat.

So...just as many experience points for zero expenditure of resources means that those encounters are better solved through skill use than brute force. Especially at low level.


Weslocke wrote:


So...just as many experience points for zero expenditure of resources means that those encounters are better solved through skill use than brute force. Especially at low level.

But you don't get the loot, so you are almost always worse off for resolving encounters outside of combat. The benefit is the diminished risk of losing a party member from death. The more encounters you sneak/diplomacy past the further you fall behind WBL and gear is probably overall a more important part of your statblock than class abilities. Especially for classes like the Alchemist and Investigator that are expected to rely on melee combat to some degree.

I like the Investigator and seriously considered making one for my upcoming Iron Gods game, but the only reason to play it is flavor, over an Alchemist which is strictly superior. A Mad Bomber built Alchemist will also likely have more skill points and can pick up an Inspiration pool either through Inspiring Cognatogen or Amateur Investigator.

The Investigator needs to invest too many resources into being good at anything other than skill checks, and when that investment comes online they'd still be behind other (similar) classes (that aren't the rogue).


jasin wrote:
What does an investigator do 1st-3rd in typical adventure (let's consider adventure paths typical adventures for Pathfinder)?

Well you can get mutagen at 3rd with a talent.

First two levels? Eh, those should be so short as to barely matter, you got tons of skill points to not be an NPC (with a starting INT of at least 16, you'll have 9 skill points, 10 as human)

Liberty's Edge

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
But you don't get the loot, so you are almost always worse off for resolving encounters outside of combat. The benefit is the diminished risk of losing a party member from death. The more encounters you sneak/diplomacy past the further you fall behind WBL and gear is probably overall a more important part of your statblock than class abilities. Especially for classes like the Alchemist and Investigator that are expected to rely on melee combat to some degree.

This is, generally speaking, deeply untrue. You can get all sorts of rewards from talking (and especially sneaking) your way through things. Besides, almost all APs assume you'll miss some treasure and include extra stuff above WBL in case you miss some. And Investigators make you much less likely to miss hidden treasure and similar things...

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I like the Investigator and seriously considered making one for my upcoming Iron Gods game, but the only reason to play it is flavor, over an Alchemist which is strictly superior.

Not in melee at level 4 and above, it's not. Studied Combat is gold. And certainly not in skills.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
A Mad Bomber built Alchemist will also likely have more skill points and can pick up an Inspiration pool either through Inspiring Cognatogen or Amateur Investigator.

Inspiration? Maybe, but not the ability to easily use it in combat, an Inspired Weapon, or the ability to use it for free on all skills. An Inspired Alchemist could get that stuff theoretically, but with the Con penalty from Inspired Mutagen, doing so in melee is an awful plan. Heck, even doing so in combat is a bit shaky.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Investigator needs to invest too many resources into being good at anything other than skill checks, and when that investment comes online they'd still be behind other (similar) classes (that aren't the rogue).

What resources? Power Attack, maybe another Feat or two plus some Talents (which you get basically so you can spend them on this)? And a single weapon enhancement if you want it?

That's no more resources than most Classes need to spend.


Weslocke wrote:
Skillmonkey is definitely a primary niche in 3.X/PF

No, it really isn't. Non-combat utility problem solver is a niche, but skillmonkey is to that niche as simple weapon user is to melee combat: better than nothing for stopping the gap if the real tools aren't available.

And the real tools are, yet again, magic.

Looking at the investigator's selection of rogue "for skill X, roll twice Y/day" talents, it might well be the intent that he should be the ultimate skillmonkey, but as long as he remains shackled to the default skill system, even the ultimate skillmonkey is magic's buttmonkey: compare the effects of rolling twice, or adding inspiration's 1d6 for free, or rolling two inspiration dice, to utility effects like spider climb, or water walk, or invisibility, which go beyond what's achievable even at highest skill DCs.


Investigator has extracts, which do allow him to skillmonkey pretty well.

He's not some magic-less pleb

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
jasin wrote:

No, it really isn't. Non-combat utility problem solver is a niche, but skillmonkey is to that niche as simple weapon user is to melee combat: better than nothing for stopping the gap if the real tools aren't available.

And the real tools are, yet again, magic.

Looking at the investigator's selection of rogue "for skill X, roll twice Y/day" talents, it might well be the intent that he should be the ultimate skillmonkey, but as long as he remains shackled to the default skill system, even the ultimate skillmonkey is magic's buttmonkey: compare the effects of rolling twice, or adding inspiration's 1d6 for free, or rolling two inspiration dice, to utility effects like spider climb, or water walk, or invisibility, which go beyond what's achievable even at highest skill DCs.

This would be true if the Investigator didn't have every single magical effect you list on top of excellent skills (okay, they have Touch of the Sea and Fly instead of Water Walk, the point stands).

So...they have basically all the non mind-control magic skill support there is, and awesome skills. And then of course there are all the skills that aren't really duplicatable (Knowledge Skills, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device, social skills to some degree since there are serious problems with mind controlling everyone, Stealth...Invisibility is better than Stealth in many ways, but Invisibility + Stealth is vastly better than even that). And so on and so forth.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
But you don't get the loot, so you are almost always worse off for resolving encounters outside of combat. The benefit is the diminished risk of losing a party member from death. The more encounters you sneak/diplomacy past the further you fall behind WBL and gear is probably overall a more important part of your statblock than class abilities. Especially for classes like the Alchemist and Investigator that are expected to rely on melee combat to some degree.
This is, generally speaking, deeply untrue. You can get all sorts of rewards from talking (and especially sneaking) your way through things. Besides, almost all APs assume you'll miss some treasure and include extra stuff above WBL in case you miss some. And Investigators make you much less likely to miss hidden treasure and similar things...

I've read almost every installment of almost every AP. It is absolutely deeply true (find me 5 examples where the pacifist option rewards you with equivalent loot from the combat encounter you bypassed out of >80 AP installments).

If you don't kill the enemies, you don't get their stuff, and there is no alternative reward for choosing a non-combat route. As far as being over WBL, not really. Paizo makes this claim, but the amount you are over, and when and where you go over is not reliable at all.

This also assumes that every single piece of loot is going to be usable, and isn't going to be hocked for 1/2 price.

Quote:
Not in melee at level 4 and above, it's not.

Yes, in melee an Alchemist built for melee at any level is better than an Investigator built and played by the same player.

Quote:
What resources? Power Attack, maybe another...

You won't be doing any appreciable damage in comparison to another melee character without a custom enchanted weapon and a Talent that isn't available until level 9. The class is feat starved, and MAD without any real way of getting around it.

Quote:
Inspiration? Maybe, but not the ability to easily use it in combat

Use it in combat twice per day at level 4. This is not a good ability. It does not bring you up to parity with a Mr. Hyde, who is superior in melee, in addition to not being far behind in skills, and having the same extracts. A Mad Bomber is even better in the skills department than the Mr. Hyde, still better at damage than the Investigator and he's a ranged, AoE focused combatant.

I don't need the ability to add ~d6 to Knowledge checks an infinite number of times per day because I'm simply not going to be making that many knowledge checks. If I wanted to I could make an Alchemist that gets his Int to Knowledge skills twice, and then buff my Int with a Cognatogen which directly impacts my combat effectiveness with bombs. What the Investigator gets for that Int is a few extra Inspiration per day, which is unimpressive without investing at least two talents, and a custom built magic weapon into it. Like an Alchemist you are still taxed for Infusion. You've got 1 'free' Talent between levels 1-9 just to be an effective party member. That will probably be Mutagen anyway.

Studied Combat and Inspiration does not make up for Mutagen, and Bombs, which the Alchemist gets for free and at 1st level, in addition to getting their first Discovery a level earlier. The proposed, vague Investigator requires special equipment and doesn't come online until level 9. Either Alchemist comes online at level 1. I can pump resources into jacking skill checks and still be effective with what I get for free out of the class. The Investigator will be chasing after the Alchemist in exchange for their "skillmonkey" role, which really also isn't very good unless you grab Talents for that as well since you'll be burning combat resource to make skill checks. But you aren't getting those skillmonkey talents until level 11.

Regardless, this sidesteps the OP which is talking about levels 1-3. You hit level 4 at the end of the first installment of an AP for most of them. Is the Investigator's suite of abilities "fun" at level 1-3? No, because the classes primary combat ability should be available at level 2 at the latest. Inspiration which you can use for 2 rounds per day in combat is really, totally meaningless, and so is infinite small bonuses to Spellcraft checks.


Well, not every character need to be absolutely devastating in combat: you can always use your investigator as a supporter, either using the "aid another" actions to help the party BFS or using ranged weapons.

Personally, I'm trying some Steelhound Investigator builds to see if it's feasible: even if firearms are far from optimized, using touch attacks to deliver those nice studied strikes later is going to be fun.

At the first level, while waiting for the actual gun and feats, I'll likely use a light crossbow to do second-line support.

Before the build come online, I'll do what I did when I played old AD&D wizards at starting levels... I'll support other PCs during combat, and I'll take my chances to shine out of it.

Btw, for this build I think that the best favored option is the half-elf one. +1/4/lvl bonus to the inspiration dice is going to be huge for your rolls once you start adding them to anything including damage (see also the inspired strike feat).
Mmmh, thinking about it, also the elf one to add 1/3 inspiration use... maybe mix&match a bit? :p

Liberty's Edge

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

I've read almost every installment of almost every AP. It is absolutely deeply true (find me 5 examples where the pacifist option rewards you with equivalent loot from the combat encounter you bypassed out of >80 AP installments).

If you don't kill the enemies, you don't get their stuff, and there is no alternative reward for choosing a non-combat route. As far as being over WBL, not really. Paizo makes this claim, but the amount you are over, and when and where you go over is not reliable at all.

This also assumes that every single piece of loot is going to be usable, and isn't going to be hocked for 1/2 price.

Perhaps you're right, though that doesn't invalidate sneaking in to steal things or kill creatures in their sleep, or those encounters that can't readily be solved with violence, or Knowledge skill checks, or a host of other things.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Yes, in melee an Alchemist built for melee at any level is better than an Investigator built and played by the same player.

Uh...not really, no. A Beastmorph Alchemist gets Pounce, which is quite an advantage, but barring that, not even a little. +1/2 level to hit and damage vastly outstrips any of the bonuses Alchemists get to melee combat, and can be done all day rather than a few rounds like bombing.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Use it in combat twice per day at level 4. This is not a good ability. It does not bring you up to parity with a Mr. Hyde, who is superior in melee, in addition to not being far behind in skills, and having the same extracts. A Mad Bomber is even better in the skills department than the Mr. Hyde, still better at damage than the Investigator and he's a ranged, AoE focused combatant.

Well, sure, it's crap at level 4. With an Inspired weapon or at 9+ it's several times that. And this neglects the point that it's a cherry on top, not the primary draw for melee combatants at level 4+.

And, as noted, I'd casually pit an Investigator built for combat up against a Mr. Hyde Alchemist and expect him to do as well or better at 4th level plus (especially as levels went up), and not too shabbily before that...though I admit, pounce specifically gives me a bit of pause.

The Mad Bomber build is an entirely separate matter, and not really equivalent to Investigator in any direct way, which makes comparisons weird and less than useful.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I don't need the ability to add ~d6 to Knowledge checks an infinite number of times per day because I'm simply not going to be making that many knowledge checks. If I wanted to I could make an Alchemist that gets his Int to Knowledge skills twice, and then buff my Int with a Cognatogen which directly impacts my combat effectiveness with bombs. What the Investigator gets for that Int is a few extra Inspiration per day, which is unimpressive without investing at least two talents, and a custom built magic weapon into it. Like an Alchemist you are still taxed for Infusion. You've got 1 'free' Talent between levels 1-9 just to be an effective party member. That will probably be Mutagen anyway.

Uh...you also get rounds of Studied Combat per usage, which is rather vitally important, and to add it to basically all your skills if you take Empiricist, which makes it a very solid choice to increase. And then there's the extra two skill points per level base, and the Extracts...

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Studied Combat and Inspiration does not make up for Mutagen, and Bombs, which the Alchemist gets for free and at 1st level, in addition to getting their first Discovery a level earlier. The proposed, vague Investigator requires special equipment and doesn't come online until level 9. Either Alchemist comes online at level 1. I can pump resources into jacking skill checks and still be effective with what I get for free out of the class. The Investigator will be chasing after the Alchemist in exchange for their "skillmonkey" role, which really also isn't very good unless you grab Talents for that as well since you'll be burning combat resource to make skill checks. But you aren't getting those skillmonkey talents until level 11.

Investigators can have Mutagen, too. And the proposed Investigator (which I've done full builds for elsewhere) comes online at level 4 as a combat threat on par with a dedicated melee Alchemist...and as a useful party member quite a bit before that. And uses a whole one specialized piece of equipment. If your melee Alchemist build sans an AoMF? Because that's likely even more specialized...

The Investigator isn't quite as good as the alchemist at straight combat from levels 1-2, and probably still not quite on par at level 3 (depending on the Alchemist's Discovery and whether they've gone Vivisectionist), but likely on par at 4 or 5+ and flat-out better in many ways by higher levels.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Regardless, this sidesteps the OP which is talking about levels 1-3. You hit level 4 at the end of the first installment of an AP for most of them. Is the Investigator's suite of abilities "fun" at level 1-3? No, because the classes primary combat ability should be available at level 2 at the latest. Inspiration which you can use for 2 rounds per day in combat is really, totally meaningless, and so is infinite small bonuses to Spellcraft checks.

Being the best class in the game at skills (and adding something like +3 to a wide variety of them) is actually most relevant at levels 1-3. That's before any of the spells people keep mentioning that obviate skills come online. Being the very best at basically all of them you care to palls eventually, but at levels 1-3? It's gold. And you're still solid at combat if built properly, just not outstanding.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Being the best class in the game at skills (and adding something like +3 to a wide variety of them) is actually most relevant at levels 1-3. That's before any of the spells people keep mentioning that obviate skills come online.

Is the investigator even noticeably better at skills, 1st-3rd? The +1d6 from investigation is matched by the bard's higher Cha for social skills, by the ranger's favoured enemy for perception skills (only against the favoured enemy, to be fair), somewhat matched by the rogue's higher Dex for physical skills...

With high Int and +1d6 for free, he will be the best at knowledges, and that's pretty cool, but adventure design is mostly such that lack of knowledges can be worked around anyway, since any given knowledge can't be counted on to be represented in the party.

And eventually, even being best at knowledges is swept up by the bard.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
jasin wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Being the best class in the game at skills (and adding something like +3 to a wide variety of them) is actually most relevant at levels 1-3. That's before any of the spells people keep mentioning that obviate skills come online.

Is the investigator even noticeably better at skills, 1st-3rd? The +1d6 from investigation is matched by the bard's higher Cha for social skills, by the ranger's favoured enemy for perception skills (only against the favoured enemy, to be fair), somewhat matched by the rogue's higher Dex for physical skills...

With high Int and +1d6 for free, he will be the best at knowledges, and that's pretty cool, but adventure design is mostly such that lack of knowledges can be worked around anyway, since any given knowledge can't be counted on to be represented in the party.

And eventually, even being best at knowledges is swept up by the bard.

Seeing as is gets more skill ranks (due to his high Int) and Class Skills than an average-Int human rogue/ninja (not to mention a 10-12 Int Bard)... yes. Very yes. The only thing that beats him in raw skills at those levels is the wannabe Arcane Trickster.

Especially if he goes Empiricist; using his high Int for Perception, Sense Motive, Gather Info, and UMD (and Disable Device, but your Dex should be pretty good anyway) at level 2.

Then just pick up Student of Philosophy and/or Bruising Intellect, and you're set. No more reliance on Cha - dump it into the ocean.

--

I actually played a low-level Investigator for Mummy's Mask a while back, during the play-test. At level three: I tanked my AC up to a 26 with a Dex Mutagen and Shield Extract, resisted a paralysis poison only thanks to my Resistance Class Ability, tumbled away from Hasted full attacks, used a Cure Light Wounds extract when I did get hurt, and proceeded to win a knife-fight against a hardened - very angry - competing adventurer (over some woman that my character wasn't even interested in). So don't say that Investigators are slouches in battle, either.

Everyone in the group (myself included) was sure that I would have to roll a new character, but I discovered the Investigators real core strength after that duel: he's ready for anything, and he's got a whole formula book full of tricks that he can utilize.


fuzzyillogic wrote:

Well, not every character need to be absolutely devastating in combat: you can always use your investigator as a supporter, either using the "aid another" actions to help the party BFS or using ranged weapons.

Personally, I'm trying some Steelhound Investigator builds to see if it's feasible: even if firearms are far from optimized, using touch attacks to deliver those nice studied strikes later is going to be fun.

If I was the 5th man in a party, rather than the 3rd, Investigator starts looking a lot better (which is also true of the Bard, probably the most directly comparable class.) Likewise with more lenient character generation, like 20-point buy, et cetera.

Firearms are probably a good way to go even if you aren't going Steelhound. Even without the ranged Studied Combat feat you'd still get your damage bonus at range (unless that isn't pending errata and was intentional) and you don't really need the bonus to hit very badly against most enemies.

Bards make decent support+combat as archers when they invest all their feats, and they've got less in-class synergy with that style than Investigators.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
that doesn't invalidate sneaking in to steal things or kill creatures in their sleep, or those encounters that can't readily be solved with violence, or Knowledge skill checks, or a host of other things.

No, it doesn't, although stealthy cdg isn't the sole province of the Investigator. I really don't think they are better enough at it to be noteworthy.

Quote:


Uh...not really, no. A Beastmorph Alchemist gets Pounce, which is quite an advantage, but barring that, not even a little. +1/2 level to hit and damage vastly outstrips any of the bonuses Alchemists get to melee combat, and can be done all day rather than a few rounds like bombing.

The inherent benefit of using natural attacks (no need for Beastmorph, just use the Discovery) is a big deal, and so is basing your damage on bonuses that are multiplied on a crit.

+5 damage at level 10 that isn't impacted by anything else is not as good as triple attacking without attack penalty, and applying full strength modifier as early as level 2. You can still be stealthy and you can even sneak attack if you don't want bombs (which you get more of than you do combat inspirations) while still being a hulking brute with high strength.

Quote:
And, as noted, I'd casually pit an Investigator built for combat up against a Mr. Hyde Alchemist and expect him to do as well or better at 4th level plus (especially as levels went up), and not too shabbily before that...though I admit, pounce specifically gives me a bit of pause.

I think you are quite delusional on this front. A +10 to hit and damage for a 3/4 BAB class that doesn't add much else on the combat front besides this ability is quite far behind even at level 20. The Swashbuckler's own precision damage is +20 and they will have no trouble hitting. They also have decent skill points, an archetype that synergizes Int, and many more combat abilities that the Investigator doesn't get. The Slayer and Ranger are the same story. The Inquisitor is another utility/combat oriented class that is not impressed with Studied Combat (and again doesn't wait until 4th level to get its' primary class ability).

Quote:
Investigators can have Mutagen, too.

They have to buy it. The Alchemist doesn't. If you are going for a Mutagen build you've missed out on not playing an Alchemist. It's cheaper to buy up to Improved Studied Combatant as an Alchemist than it is for an Investigator to buy the Mutagen line of Discoveries. Across the board Discoveries seem to be much more powerful than Talents.

Quote:
If your melee Alchemist build sans an AoMF? Because that's likely even more specialized...

AoMF is much more common loot than Inspired weapons. Regardless by mid level you are going to be wanting to be using a manufactured weapon + bite attack and using Alchemical Allocation with a potion of Greater Magic Fang for your bite. You could go AoMF if you were going for full Dex build to grab the Agile property alone. Not my cup of tea though. A cheap potion isn't that specialized.

Having any one class in a party is an opportunity cost of any other class that could have been. The Investigator doesn't get enough to make it a superior choice, and no it's not a better damage dealer than many other classes that also have decent utility and your builds show that this is in fact the case. The numbers are not impressive.

+5 to hit and damage at level 10 could be a lot of other things. It could be an archer ranger, it could be a cracked out Mutagen focused Alchemist (or Fighter now). It could be a buffed battle Cleric or Oracle (that are also full casters). It could be a Magus whose own bonuses to hit and damage embarrass the Investigator. It could be a Bard that is equally as skilled, almost as good in combat, and has better spellcasting.

The Investigator is at the low end of the power curve. At a level where players will be one-rounding monsters with a CR meant to challenge an entire party with their individual characters, an Investigators main claim to fame will be a piddling damage bonus not multiplied on a crit.


Ignoring every other post, potentially!

Carrion Crown, ehh, it'd be ok. Curse of the Crimson Throne or Council of Thieves it would be awesome.

You'll never be the best in combat though, so if thats your schtick, skip this guy, though he's still hands down better than a rogue.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
...A lot comparing Investigators to Hydes, multiplying damage on crit, etc.

Yes, but where Hydes fail their Will Saves and Skewer the Wizard, Investigators just take another puff on their pipe and ask if anyone else felt that.

The thread asks if Investigators are fun at low levels. Having played one in Mummy's Mask: I say they are. There wasn't a trap I couldn't disarm! (Except for that one with the water... But I rolled poorly and completely forgot about my Inspiration, so... bad memories)

Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Carrion Crown, ehh, it'd be ok. Curse of the Crimson Throne or Council of Thieves it would be awesome.

You'll never be the best in combat though, so if that's your schtick, skip this guy, though he's still hands down better than a rogue.

I agree.


It's strange how much to-hit gets undervalued when discussing stuff like this.

Liberty's Edge

jasin wrote:
Is the investigator even noticeably better at skills, 1st-3rd? The +1d6 from investigation is matched by the bard's higher Cha for social skills, by the ranger's favoured enemy for perception skills (only against the favoured enemy, to be fair), somewhat matched by the rogue's higher Dex for physical skills...

Who says the rogue has higher Dex? I mean, you can go either Dex-build or Str build, and in both cases you're probably going to have a similar score to a Str or Dex Rogue (okay, maybe a couple points lower...not enough to counteract Inspiration). And, as mentioned, with Empiricist + Student of Philosophy, you've probably got a stat on par with the Bard's on social stuff (okay, for everything but Intimidate anyway...though there's Bruising Intellect to go that way instead of the friendlier route).

And then there's getting more skill ranks than almost anybody...

jasin wrote:

With high Int and +1d6 for free, he will be the best at knowledges, and that's pretty cool, but adventure design is mostly such that lack of knowledges can be worked around anyway, since any given knowledge can't be counted on to be represented in the party.

And eventually, even being best at knowledges is swept up by the bard.

Actually...I'm not sure it is. At least not meaningfully. Any Investigator worth his salt will get Int boosting Items, which a Bard won't, and eventually grab Amazing Inspiration, so with Int 16 to start with (and never raising it except via a Headband), that's a +10.5, slightly higher than Bardic Knowledge even at 20th (though at 20th, the Inspiration bonus actually doubles, getting you to +15). Now, that ignores the Bard's Int-mod, but for most Bards, that's what, +2? That gives them +11 at 18th-19th, and a bit higher, but only +10 and still lower as late as 17th. So...Bards are better at 18th-19th levels only. That's...not meaningfully better.

A Bard can be better, if focusing on Int, but that's a rare situation indeed.

And besides, weren't we talking low levels? At higher ones, the Investigator has tricks other than being the very best at skills.


anlashok wrote:
It's strange how much to-hit gets undervalued when discussing stuff like this.

Are you saying that as a point in favour or a point against the investigator? :)

Liberty's Edge

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

If I was the 5th man in a party, rather than the 3rd, Investigator starts looking a lot better (which is also true of the Bard, probably the most directly comparable class.) Likewise with more lenient character generation, like 20-point buy, et cetera.

Firearms are probably a good way to go even if you aren't going Steelhound. Even without the ranged Studied Combat feat you'd still get your damage bonus at range (unless that isn't pending errata and was intentional) and you don't really need the bonus to hit very badly against most enemies.

Bards make decent support+combat as archers when they invest all their feats, and they've got less in-class synergy with that style than Investigators.

I dunno, actually having a skil focused character with some supplementary healing (ie: Investigator or Bard) actually sounds really useful in a 3-person party. You have less people to cover all your bases after all. someone who does a few of them seems handy.

And yeah, Steelhound seems workable.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
No, it doesn't, although stealthy cdg isn't the sole province of the Investigator. I really don't think they are better enough at it to be noteworthy.

Better than who? Alchemists? they get Inspiration and get Stealth as a class skill, that's +6.5 to the roll at level one (+4.5 if the alchemist is using Dex Mutagen, though they get that option themselves later), and I'd say that's noteworthy.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:

The inherent benefit of using natural attacks (no need for Beastmorph, just use the Discovery) is a big deal, and so is basing your damage on bonuses that are multiplied on a crit.

+5 damage at level 10 that isn't impacted by anything else is not as good as triple attacking without attack penalty, and applying full strength modifier as early as level 2. You can still be stealthy and you can even sneak attack if you don't want bombs (which you get more of than you do combat inspirations) while still being a hulking brute with high strength.

It's really the +5 to-hit (which you seem to be ignoring) that sells it. Yes, the Vivisectionist will do more damage when he hits if he happens to have Sneak Attack...but barring that, the Investigator can actually do more damage per hit, and by 8th level have only one less attack, which, due to +4 to hit and +4 damage, plus using Power Attack with a two-handed weapon, do more damage and, most importantly, are all at least as likely to hit (and mostly far more so). And that ignores all the Extracts you can use if you happen to want Natural Attacks. Alter Self can give you three by turning into a troglodyte for example, and is pretty commonly available as levels rise.

But seriously, think about a Dawnflower Dervish Bard. Just about everyone says they're a highly scary and effective character because of their doubled Inspire Courage (applied only to them, but still)...Studied Combat is an equivalent buff (it starts a little slower, but is just as good once it gets going).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
I think you are quite delusional on this front. A +10 to hit and damage for a 3/4 BAB class that doesn't add much else on the combat front besides this ability is quite far behind even at level 20. The Swashbuckler's own precision damage is +20 and they will have no trouble hitting. They also have decent skill points, an archetype that synergizes Int, and many more combat abilities that the Investigator doesn't get. The Slayer and Ranger are the same story.

Uh...first, none of those are 6-level casters, so they've already lost any utility comparisons, by a lot.

Second, let's do some math, shall we? Not counting stuff they get at 20th, so let's call this 18th level, and ignore gear since this is a Class comparison and they can be assumed to have equivalent gear:

An Investigator has, with Mutagen and when Power Attacking with a 2-handed weapon assuming Str 28 (32 w/Mutagen), +29 to hit (+11 Str, +13 BAB, +9 Studied Combat, -4 Power Attack), +37 damage (+16 Str, +12 PA, +9 SC). A Dex-build would instead do +29 to hit with Dex 28, but do only +28 damage. And that ignores Inspiration and an Inspired Weapon entirely.

A Swashbuckler, with Dex 28 added to damage and Power Attack, has +26 to hit (+9 Dex, +4 WT, +18 BAB, -5 PA), +37 damage (+18 level, +9 Dex, +10 PA). He'd probably have higher AC by, oh, +6 due to a buckler...except that the Investigator has Extracts of Shield, Mutagen, and probably heavier armor. He'll probably critical more often than the Str build above, but loses out on a lot of crit damage due to precision, and the Dex-build likely crits as often.

A Slayer, assuming Str 28 and a two-handed weapon, plus Power Attack, manages a +26 to hit as well (+18 BAB, +4 ST, +9 Str, -5 PA), while getting a +32 damage (+13 Str, +15 PA, +4 ST).

A Ranger, again assuming Str 28 and Power Attack, has +22 to hit, +30 if fighting his Favored Enemy or burning a spell on Instant Enemy, and does +28 damage, +36 if Favored Enemy applies. So...one more to hit and one less damage if he's lucky or willing to expend resources.

So...yeah, I'm not seeing where the Investigator isn't doing competitively there. He's got one less attack he can make...but it's the one at -15. And has Extracts, which those examples don't (the Ranger has spells, but not nearly to the same degree). Now, all those get some bonus Feats which they could use to help make up the difference...but that just makes them on par with the Investigator, not notably better.

Let's throw in an Alchemist, since you've been championing them:

With Str 28, Power Attack, Grand Mutagen and Feral Mutagen. he can manage a +21 to hit (+13 BAB, +12 Str, -4 PA) for +20 damage, +51.5 if Sneak Attack applies (which is probably a 50/50 chance or so). That's a lot of damage, and the low attack isn't too bad since he's making four at the full bonus with Haste (while the Investigator is making a+29, +29, +24, +19 Full Attack). But...it's not so much better you'd never do the other, and indeed, is unambiguously worse if you can't get Sneak Attack. Heck, vs. stuff immune to precision damage, the Investigator loses a whole 9 damage...the Vivisectionist loses a lot more.

Or, if doing as you suggest and using a manufacture weapon two-handed, you keep that +21 to hit, but drip to +16 on the bite, and go even lower on the other attacks. Your damage on the bite drops to +10 (though it does go to +41.5 with Sneak Attack), and your weapon attacks jump to +30 (+61.5 with Sneak Attack)...but you're at least -8 to hit under the Investigator.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Inquisitor is another utility/combat oriented class that is not impressed with Studied Combat (and again doesn't wait until 4th level to get its' primary class ability).

Uh...the Inquisitor sure is impressed with Studied Combat at higher levels. All his bonuses amount to a bit more (+7 to hit, +23 damage), but he can only use them a limited number of times...the Investigator lacks that limit, and still gets better to-hit.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
They have to buy it. The Alchemist doesn't. If you are going for a Mutagen build you've missed out on not playing an Alchemist. It's cheaper to buy up to Improved Studied Combatant as an Alchemist than it is for an Investigator to buy the Mutagen line of Discoveries. Across the board Discoveries seem to be much more powerful than Talents.

Uh...an Investigator can only ever get the first Mutagen, so no it isn't that expensive. And yes, a non-Investigator could grab Improved Studied Combatant, which would help them out...but that only works a few times a day, and it's not like an Investigator can't do a variety of things with the three Feats they don't have to spend on that.

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
AoMF is much more common loot than Inspired weapons. Regardless by mid level you are going to be wanting to be using a manufactured weapon + bite attack and using Alchemical Allocation with a potion of Greater Magic Fang for your bite. You could go AoMF if you were going for full Dex build to grab the Agile property alone. Not my cup of tea though. A cheap potion isn't that specialized.

Okay, noted into my calculations above. Which also don't count an Inspired weapon (though I still think that commissioning one item over the course of an AP is pretty reasonable).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Having any one class in a party is an opportunity cost of any other class that could have been. The Investigator doesn't get enough to make it a superior choice, and no it's not a better damage dealer than many other classes that also have decent utility and your builds show that this is in fact the case. The numbers are not impressive.

I hadn't posted any numbers until now. Check 'em out. :)

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
+5 to hit and damage at level 10 could be a lot of other things. It could be an archer ranger, it could be a cracked out Mutagen focused Alchemist (or Fighter now). It could be a buffed battle Cleric or Oracle (that are also full casters). It could be a Magus whose own bonuses to hit and damage embarrass the Investigator. It could be a Bard that is equally as skilled, almost as good in combat, and has better spellcasting.

The archer Ranger doesn't actually do notably better at combat. And we already knew that full casters were better because, frankly, full casters are the best things in the game. And the Bard is certainly also a solid choice, but not notably better, just a few tradeoffs. And Magus bonuses all have costs, they're better in bursts than almost anyone, but not as good round-in round-out. And they seriously lack skills as compared to the Investigator.

My argument is not that Investigators are the best class in the game, it's that they're solidly middle-of-the-road, along with most of the other 6-level casters, and the very best in the game at certain things (Skills, among other things).

Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
The Investigator is at the low end of the power curve. At a level where players will be one-rounding monsters with a CR meant to challenge an entire party with their individual characters, an Investigators main claim to fame will be a piddling damage bonus not multiplied on a crit.

No, it'll be doing the same.

Liberty's Edge

jasin wrote:
anlashok wrote:
It's strange how much to-hit gets undervalued when discussing stuff like this.
Are you saying that as a point in favour or a point against the investigator? :)

I'd assume a point in their favor. Dear lord do Investigators get bonuses to hit at higher levels. Doesn't help from level 1-2 (and maybe 3), I admit, but it does help later on.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
jasin wrote:
Is the investigator even noticeably better at skills, 1st-3rd? The +1d6 from investigation is matched by the bard's higher Cha for social skills, by the ranger's favoured enemy for perception skills (only against the favoured enemy, to be fair), somewhat matched by the rogue's higher Dex for physical skills...
Who says the rogue has higher Dex?

Presumably, it's his best stat, and the investigator's is Int.

Quote:
And, as mentioned, with Empiricist + Student of Philosophy, you've probably got a stat on par with the Bard's on social stuff (okay, for everything but Intimidate anyway...though there's Bruising Intellect to go that way instead of the friendlier route).

That's a fair point, I forgot about the Int-leveraging traits.

Quote:
Actually...I'm not sure it is. At least not meaningfully. Any Investigator worth his salt will get Int boosting Items, which a Bard won't, and eventually grab Amazing Inspiration,

That's true.

Quote:
And besides, weren't we talking low levels? At higher ones, the Investigator has tricks other than being the very best at skills.

Well, at low levels, being the best at knowledges isn't all that glamourous unless the DM goes out of their way, as the answer to the most pressing knowledge question is usually "no special powers, no vulnerabilities", and even when it's not, there's little room to leverage the information.

In my experience, the knowledges shine at high level, when you're fighting monsters with weird abilities, and you have enough tricks in your own bag that you can counteract though weird abilities if you know about them on time.

To sum up my impression: the investigator's skill mastery scales up better than I initially thought, but at low levels he still seems to me like an NPC sage who's adventuring with the PCs for some reason instead giving consultations from the safety of his home.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd assume a point in their favor. Dear lord do Investigators get bonuses to hit at higher levels. Doesn't help from level 1-2 (and maybe 3), I admit, but it does help later on.

No argument from me there.

Liberty's Edge

jasin wrote:
Presumably, it's his best stat, and the investigator's is Int.

Actually...that's a really bad way to build an Investigator. Unlike Wizards, an Investigator's Int doesn't actually, actively, do anything for him. It's great for skills and gives some passive stuff, but doesn't actually apply on to-hit, damage, or doing things to enemies. He should definitely buy a 16 after racials (enough for 3 rounds of Studied Combat, all the Extracts including a bonus one per level with a Headband, and to have a solid amount of skills and solid bonus on them)...but more than that is actually superfluous. At 20 point-buy and higher, your attack stat (Str or Dex) should be higher than that, and even at 15 point-buy it should be equal.

jasin wrote:
That's a fair point, I forgot about the Int-leveraging traits.

Yeah, they're super-neat. :)

jasin wrote:
That's true.

Indeed. :)

jasin wrote:

Well, at low levels, being the best at knowledges isn't all that glamourous unless the DM goes out of their way, as the answer to the most pressing knowledge question is usually "no special powers, no vulnerabilities", and even when it's not, there's little room to leverage the information.

In my experience, the knowledges shine at high level, when you're fighting monsters with weird abilities, and you have enough tricks in your own bag that you can counteract though weird abilities if you know about them on time.

I dunno, I just started a 1st level game, and so far everything we've run into (gremlins and vermin) has had a highly relevant fact or two that helped us out quite a bit (as an all-Bard party, we made all the checks).

jasin wrote:
To sum up my impression: the investigator's skill mastery scales up better than I initially thought, but at low levels he still seems to me like an NPC sage who's adventuring with the PCs for some reason instead giving consultations from the safety of his home.

Not with Str 18 in medium armor they're not. Or several other valid builds. Investigators come across as NPC sages if you build them like one, build them like a standard melee character who just happens to have high Int and they work a lot better.

jasin wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd assume a point in their favor. Dear lord do Investigators get bonuses to hit at higher levels. Doesn't help from level 1-2 (and maybe 3), I admit, but it does help later on.
No argument from me there.

Glad to find things we agree on. :)


Generalist Human investigator starting stats 20 point buy:

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

At max with items and +1 inherent bonus to int

Str 20, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 28, Wis 16, Cha 16

Stats after extrat buffs and mutagen for melee (Large)

Str 30, Dex 18, Con 24, Int 28*, Wis 16, Cha 16
*Stable mutagen vest

To hit with buffs: +20 BAB(transformation) + 10 str + 5 enh + 10 studied combat - 6 PA - 1 large = +38

Damage: +15 str + 2d6 spear + 5 enh + 18 PA + 10 SC = 55

So: +38/33/28/23 for 2d6+48
Without transformation
+33/28/23 for 2d6+42

With transformation + heroism + haste
+41/41/36/31/26 for 2d6+50

Conclusion: Investigators are awesome.


Despite my complaints, I won't dispute that investigators are awesome, but I will dispute that a bunch of big numbers with little context at 20th-level show awesomeness.


For more context: how are you getting from Str 20 to Str 30 with transformation, mutagen, heroism, and haste? Transformation is enhancement, which doesn't stack with items, and mutagen is +4. Are there more buffs that aren't mentioned?

Liberty's Edge

Yeah...there's a reason my numbers above are pure class features and assume the same (relatively reasonable baseline) stats.


Trying some build, and it does seem that the Investigator does benefit greatly from taking the first level as an Inspired blade, with the spoilered fencing grace feat.

Even if Inspiration and Studied combat come online 1 level later, and you miss the capstone, the boost at the first levels seems to be sufficient to keep you relevant, at least on paper.

The best race for the moment seems to be the half-elf: adding a static bonus to inspiration with its favored class bonus seems to be quite helpful.

It's a pity that the Inspired weapon property can't be applied to firearms, the Steelhound would have been much more attractive.
The Steelhound also have some starting-levels problem due to the fact that the class is proficient only with a single firearm, but at the second level (why not first, sigh...) can only choose as "free-weapons" a pistol, a musket or a blunderbuss.
So, either you optimize to start shooting relatively early by choosing one of those weapons as proficiencies, or you choose a firearm more suited to you but have to actually wait to be able to afford it, and in the meantime you do not shoot at all.
Or invest a feat in exotic weapon (firearms), obviously, and we go back to the half-elf being a nice choice...
I've tried some combos and obtaining a decent rate of fire is going to be tricky, you've to invest a lot on it and it only start working well quite late in the game.


fuzzyillogic wrote:
Trying some build, and it does seem that the Investigator does benefit greatly from taking the first level as an Inspired blade, with the spoilered fencing grace feat.

Huh, pretty much anyone ever planning on taking Weapon Finesse benefits from that!

A single level for Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and 2/day +1d6 to a mobility skill, an out-of-turn 5 ft. movement, or a parry.

Liberty's Edge

jasin wrote:
fuzzyillogic wrote:
Trying some build, and it does seem that the Investigator does benefit greatly from taking the first level as an Inspired blade, with the spoilered fencing grace feat.

Huh, pretty much anyone ever planning on taking Weapon Finesse benefits from that!

A single level for Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and 2/day +1d6 to a mobility skill, an out-of-turn 5 ft. movement, or a parry.

Yeah, Inspired Blade is pretty shiny if you want to use a rapier. My favorite Investigator builds are Strength based, though. :)


jasin wrote:
For more context: how are you getting from Str 20 to Str 30 with transformation, mutagen, heroism, and haste? Transformation is enhancement, which doesn't stack with items, and mutagen is +4. Are there more buffs that aren't mentioned?

Buffs:

Transformation + giant form I + mutagen

Other buffs:
Heroism + Haste

All are buffs that can be grabbed via extracts.

EDIT: With just giant form I, mutagen, and heroism - +35/30/25 for 2d6+44


I think you'll get as much out of the class as you want to get out of it. It's basically tailor-made for a "traps-n'-intrigue!" campaign where you have a lot of skill challenges and social interaction. Eberron's sort of gumshoe subtheme instantly comes to mind, so if that's what your campaign is doing and you actually want to be that character, then yeah. You'll have fun. But if being the skills-guy and accepting that you aren't going to necessarily be insane in combat like a dedicated class would is difficult, be another class. When you're busy solving every out of combat puzzle and trap and diplomacy check and finding hidden clues and jumping over chasms the best, while the fighter struggles, that's what you're up to. Just depends on what you're into.

So it depends on the AP. Wrath of the Righteous you'll probably want to pick something else. Curse of the Crimson Throne or Council of Thieves, even Serpent's Skull or Shattered Star have good opportunities for the DM to let the skill guy shine as much as the fighter guy.

Liberty's Edge

@Puna'chong:

I think we've actually just done a thorough job of proving with math that 4th level Investigators and higher are actually around on par with the Fighter in combat most times. Certainly by 8th level or so.

That doesn't help in combat for levels 1-2 (and 3 if you don't want Mutagen), but it's pretty clearly true.


Idk, but to me the numbers are so low at those levels that it really doesn't matter what your numbers are.

Max damage is 2d6+13 raging barbarian at +8 to hit and min is 1d2-2 at -2 to-hit. A more reasonable fighter is 2d6+6 damage at +5 to-hit and a 14 strength investigator is looking at 1d8+3 damage at +2 to-hit.

Average HP of CR 1 mobs is 15 and AC is 12.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


That doesn't help in combat for levels 1-2 (and 3 if you don't want Mutagen), but it's pretty clearly true.

Honestly at those first couple of levels you are still pretty well off. Standard action enlarge person, mage armor, shield, true strike. Inspiration helps make those hits during these levels where the dice often matter more than the bonuses.

If I can get by on a cleric with 14 str and a longspear without any trouble an investigator is fine.

Liberty's Edge

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Idk, but to me the numbers are so low at those levels that it really doesn't matter what your numbers are.

Max damage is 2d6+13 raging barbarian at +8 to hit and min is 1d2-2 at -2 to-hit. A more reasonable fighter is 2d6+6 damage at +5 to-hit and a 14 strength investigator is looking at 1d8+3 damage at +2 to-hit.

Average HP of CR 1 mobs is 15 and AC is 12.

Comparing a Str 14 Investigator to a Str 18 Fighter or Barbarian is silly. Personally, I'd go with a Str 18 Investigator at 1st level. That's very workable, and can make for a highly effective character.

TarkXT wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


That doesn't help in combat for levels 1-2 (and 3 if you don't want Mutagen), but it's pretty clearly true.

Honestly at those first couple of levels you are still pretty well off. Standard action enlarge person, mage armor, shield, true strike. Inspiration helps make those hits during these levels where the dice often matter more than the bonuses.

If I can get by on a cleric with 14 str and a longspear without any trouble an investigator is fine.

Oh, agreed. I was just noting that they're worse off than, say, an Inquisitor, Alchemist, or Ranger. They're still very viable in combat for the first three levels, and flat-out awesome in combat thereafter if built with combat in mind.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Idk, but to me the numbers are so low at those levels that it really doesn't matter what your numbers are.

Max damage is 2d6+13 raging barbarian at +8 to hit and min is 1d2-2 at -2 to-hit. A more reasonable fighter is 2d6+6 damage at +5 to-hit and a 14 strength investigator is looking at 1d8+3 damage at +2 to-hit.

Average HP of CR 1 mobs is 15 and AC is 12.

Comparing a Str 14 Investigator to a Str 18 Fighter or Barbarian is silly. Personally, I'd go with Str 18 at 1st level. That's very workable, and can make for a highly effective character.

TarkXT wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


That doesn't help in combat for levels 1-2 (and 3 if you don't want Mutagen), but it's pretty clearly true.

Honestly at those first couple of levels you are still pretty well off. Standard action enlarge person, mage armor, shield, true strike. Inspiration helps make those hits during these levels where the dice often matter more than the bonuses.

If I can get by on a cleric with 14 str and a longspear without any trouble an investigator is fine.

Oh, agreed. I was just noting that they're worse off than, say, an Inquisitor, Alchemist, or Ranger. They're still very viable in combat for the first three levels, and flat-out awesome in combat thereafter if built with combat in mind.

Investigators do not need to main stat either dex or strength to crush opposition in combat.

So no, you don't even need to build with combat in mind, just have decent scores and maybe 2 talents for combat and you'll do amazing.

Liberty's Edge

Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Investigators do not need to main stat either dex or strength to crush opposition in combat.

So no, you don't even need to build with combat in mind, just have decent scores and maybe 2 talents for combat and you'll do amazing.

True to some degree...but why not have it anyway? It's not like an Int above 16 is actually all that useful to you beyond giving more skills and a small bonus on said skills.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Investigators do not need to main stat either dex or strength to crush opposition in combat.

So no, you don't even need to build with combat in mind, just have decent scores and maybe 2 talents for combat and you'll do amazing.

True to some degree...but why not have it anyway? It's not like an Int above 16 is actually all that useful to you beyond giving more skills and a small bonus on said skills.

More inspiration, more skill points, more extracts, higher DCs on extracts, more rounds on studied combat.

That and I get to be flexible. I'm not built for either melee or range. I can grab both deadly aim and power attack and be good at both just by switching up buffs.

I can pull out a comp shortbow and still do pretty good. If I mained stat dex or strength, one would just be better than the other. Maining int gives me more buffs and inspiration to buff both as needed.

EDIT: I also get a lot of joy out of out-skilling both the bard and rogue in every metric. 16 skill points per level plus like 2d8 free inspiration rolls, and OH doing almost as much full attack damage as the fighter while I'm at it (plus other abilities)


For any of the mega dungeons this class looks amazing for the trap finder, and yet still very viable in combat. If tailored to range with mayhaps a decent melee just in case I see from paper this guy being as strong as anyone else till casters get 5 or 6th spells, but thats another issue.

Emerald Spire, Rappen Athuk and a few others will have people seaching for investigators to lead groups, nothing else can be so damn good at skills, and still be very viable in combat.


Generalist Human investigator starting stats 20 point buy:

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

At max with items and +1 inherent bonus to int

Str 20, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 28, Wis 16, Cha 16

Stats after extrat buffs and mutagen(dex) for range (Diminutive) [Undead anatomy III] {Diminutive skeleton}

Str 16, Dex 30, Con 20, Int 28, Wis 16*, Cha 16
*Stable mutagen vest

To hit: +15 BAB + 10 dex + 5 enh + 10 studied combat - 6 DA + 3 size = +37

Damage: +3 str + 1d2 short bow + 5 enh + 18 DA + 10 SC = 37.5

Transformation+UAIII+haste+heroism:
+44/44/39/34/29 for 1d2+38

UAIII+heroism
+39/34/29 for 1d2+38

*assumes only range feat is deadly aim.

EDIT: Just going to point out how this is the *non-combat* optimized build.


Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:

Generalist Human investigator starting stats 20 point buy:

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10

At max with items and +1 inherent bonus to int

Str 20, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 28, Wis 16, Cha 16

Stats after extrat buffs and mutagen(dex) for range (Diminutive) [Undead anatomy III] {Diminutive skeleton}

Str 16, Dex 30, Con 20, Int 28, Wis 16*, Cha 16
*Stable mutagen vest

To hit: +15 BAB + 10 dex + 5 enh + 10 studied combat - 6 DA + 3 size = +37

Damage: +3 str + 1d2 short bow + 5 enh + 18 DA + 10 SC = 37.5

Transformation+UAIII+haste+heroism:
+44/44/39/34/29 for 1d2+38

UAIII+heroism
+39/34/29 for 1d2+38

*assumes only range feat is deadly aim.

EDIT: Just going to point out how this is the *non-combat* optimized build.

OK my math...

To hit: +15 BAB + 10 dex + 5 enh + 10 studied combat - 4 DA + 3 size = +39

Damage: +3 str + 1d2 short bow + 5 enh + 8 DA + 10 SC = 27.5

Transformation+UAIII+haste+heroism:
+45/45/40/35/30 for 1d2+32

UAIII+heroism
+41/36/31 for 1d2+28


This:

Deadmanwalking wrote:

@Puna'chong:

I think we've actually just done a thorough job of proving with math that 4th level Investigators and higher are actually around on par with the Fighter in combat most times. Certainly by 8th level or so.

That doesn't help in combat for levels 1-2 (and 3 if you don't want Mutagen), but it's pretty clearly true.

But as pointed out in previous posts, he will still be good at skills at lower levels and it’s a great utility class.

In my experience skills are far more useful at lower levels than at higher levels. Also, being able to use wands, disabling traps, etc. is really good.

That said I still think they could have given it Studied Combat at level 3.


For the record, in our mummy's mask game, I'm playing a half-orc with 16 str and 18 int. For combat buffs, I'm usually rolling with Mutagen, False Life, and Bark Skin. Pepper with Enlarge Person, Alter Self, Shield, and Bull's Strength for tough fights. I use a +1 Greataxe.

We're currently at lvl 6.

With all buffs running, I have 16 str, +4 for mutagen, +4 for bull's strength, +2 for Alter Self, +2 for Enlarge Person = 28 Str. When combat starts, I use Quick study to get studied combat up ASAP. In this admittedly optimal situation, I have +16 to hit, and deal 5d6+17 on a non-crit. This does admittedly burn through inspiration (because you have to spend it each time you use studied strike to reapply studied combat. This is why I spend every feat on Extra Inspiration.) but not as much as you'd think. Not a lot survives multiple attacks like this at lvl 6.

We also have an alchemist in the group. Neither of us have felt useless.

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Would a low-level investigator fun in an AP? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.