Can Investigators use wands?


Rules Questions


The text says nothing about spell trigger items.


RAW, I think the answer is no. Alchemists can do so because it's specifically called out in the Alchemist's class feature text, the Investigator lacks that text. That said, this is one of those tricky situations where I'm not entirely sure if this limitation was intentional or a slip not caught in the ACG's somewhat less than pristine editing.

For PFS, I'd simply assume the answer is no.

For a home game I'd rule it yes because it's a pain in the ass to keep track of the differences between alchemy-casting and spellcasting as it is - I really don't want even more minutia to stay on top of.

One passing thought: Maybe the Investigator play test has some insight to share? I must admit I was mid-finals during the playtest and didn't have time to follow more than one class.

Grand Lodge

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My local PFS group ('bout 4 regular GMs, with 2 or 3 GMing a table during any joint session), allows investigators to use wands, as their Alchemy description includes "as an alchemist" which in turn includes use of spell-trigger items that are in their formula book.

Quinn, the Iconic Investigator, has a PFS pregen with several wands, only the Scorching Ray wand specifically calls out for a UMD check.

It's fairly settled in my area, but a clarification would be nice if I ever travel and play.


Ms. Pleiades wrote:

My local PFS group ('bout 4 regular GMs, with 2 or 3 GMing a table during any joint session), allows investigators to use wands, as their Alchemy description includes "as an alchemist" which in turn includes use of spell-trigger items that are in their formula book.

Quinn, the Iconic Investigator, has a PFS pregen with several wands, only the Scorching Ray wand specifically calls out for a UMD check.

It's fairly settled in my area, but a clarification would be nice if I ever travel and play.

The only instance in which the term 'like an alchemist' is in this paragraph...

.
.
Like an alchemist, an investigator prepares his spells by mixing ingredients and a tiny fraction of his own magical power into a number of extracts, and then effectively casts the spell by drinking the extract. These extracts have powerful effects, but they are also bound to their creator. Extracts behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by dispel magic and similar effects, using the investigator's level as the caster level

There isn't even a hint in this paragraph of anything to do with using spell trigger items.

Personally I think they made a mistake and the intention was that they could use them but RAW definitely not. I'm amazed that any PFS game would allow it.


If the following paragraphs were meant to be read in conjunction with the one I highlighted it would start with something like 'furthermore' etc.

Stuff like this should be addressed far quicker than they usually are by the devs.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ooze licker wrote:

If the following paragraphs were meant to be read in conjunction with the one I highlighted it would start with something like 'furthermore' etc.

Stuff like this should be addressed far quicker than they usually are by the devs.

To be fair the ACG was a hot mess. My first read through caught one error after another. I was really surprised especially because the PDF was finalized and uploaded in June.

No crap. Check your downloads. It actually tells you when a PDF is uploaded. Which means the final product sat in the uploads for two months before being "unlocked" for everyone and no one in the Paizo offices made changes.

I can only assume they're still scrambling to find a way to redo the book for future printings and it's just taking longer than anyone expected.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

The final book is sent to the printers several months before the release. The final for Pathfinder Unchained is probably gone to the printers by now, if not then pretty soon. Since printer is in China, it can take 6-10 weeks to ship the books back to the states after they've all been printed. The fact the PDF was sitting on the Paizo server for 2 months isn't really a surprise.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Interestingly, unlike an alchemist in several cases it refers to investigator extracts explicitly as spells, for example in the paragraph quotes previously in this thread.

In other places it of course refers to them as extracts. By a strict RAW, I think you have to read this in totality as a investigator extracts counting as both spells and extracts, meaning they can use spell trigger items just fine. Additionally, it would mean than unlike an alchemist, an investigator could use spell completion items.

I expect though that the intent was for investigator alchemy and alchemist alchemy to be exactly the same, and all of the differences are just screw ups.

Grand Lodge

I believe they Investigators can use wands, on the basis that they are a hybrid class partially based on the Alchemist which has a virtually identical class feature. Both the Investigator and the Alchemist have an class feature named 'Alchemy'. They both use the same 'spell' list.

It would make little sense that one could use wands and the other not.

In a thread entitled "Can a Life Oracle with Channeling take channel energy feats?" there is a discussion about game design by Sean K Reynolds. Although he no longer is a Pathfinder developer, he was one of the authors of the ACG.

SKR stated that a "if for some reason two things that seem almost the same (like "channel energy" vs. "channel" vs. "channel positive energy") shouldn't act exactly the same, count on us to tell you how it is different." He summarized his post with "Things should be the same, or they should be different".

Link to post.

Following his logic and example, Investigator Alchemy is the same as Alchemist Alchemy, and Investigators can use wands.

However, it would be nice to get clarification on the issue.

PS Currently our local PFS group is allowing Investigators to use wands.


While I think that design philosophy is commendable, the reality is that Paizo does not always succeed at following it. Pathfinder is a game where precise and specific wording is frequently both intentional and crucial. For example, Vital Strike requires the use of an attack action. Charging is a special full-round action that allows you to move up to twice your speed and attack during the action. Using SKR's logic, Vital Strike should work while charging. In reality the answer is that Vital Strike cannot be used while charging.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I altered Vital Strike in my campaign to grant +2d6 damage for each iteration of the feat taken. You can also use it while charging, spring attacking, not whirlwinding (though I've offered to make that a feat), and it works out just fine. People with big weapons can't abuse it (oversized greatsword wielders I'm looking at you) and folks with daggers can get in on the fun.

As for the situation at hand. If alchemist can use wands then I see no reason to disallow investigators from using them. Logic. Seriously. More people should use this.

Grand Lodge

did this question ever get resolved?

Dark Archive

Yes much to the sadness of investigators everywhere.

Grand Lodge

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so, UMD checks for wands huh?
lame


BRYAN MOORE wrote:

so, UMD checks for wands huh?

lame

I saw that when I made my investigator. I then ended up taking intelligence to UMD and carrying a whole bandolier of wands from all the spell lists. Inspiration the occasional bad UMD rolls and you're fine :)

Liberty's Edge

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There is an FAQ about it.

ACG FAQ wrote:

Investigators and Spell Trigger: Investigators’ alchemy class feature is missing a sentence that appears in the alchemist allowing him to use spell trigger items. Does that mean the investigator can’t use spell trigger items?

Investigators cannot use spell trigger items. The omitted sentence was intentional.

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