PFS Investigator questions


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Hi, all.

I've been building a Dwarven Investigator to start running in PFS, this being the Year of the Skill Check, and fun to be had by stepping outside of the 'optimized for combat' box every now and again... I've really enjoyed creating this character, but there are a few nagging details that I could use some clarification or advice regarding:

What, exactly, are the rules concerning Investigators and crafting Alchemical items and Poisons? Searches have led to contradictory or inconclusive answers on the topic and crafting isn't something I've engaged in in the past on any level.

With the above cleared up, how useful/effective are poisons in PFS? I ask because I'm seriously considering the Lamplighter archetype which eschews poison use entirely. I like the flavor of the archetype, and the initiative bonus in particular, but given the fact that the character is already 'combat lite', I'd hate to exclude a potentially potent combat option like poison, if it is indeed a worthwhile pursuit. I've never played alongside a PFS character who uses poison, so I don't really have any personal experience to draw from.

Has it been determined whether or not Inspiration can be used in day job rolls? What if you have a Talent like Expanded Inspiration which removes the limited use of your Inspiration Pool from the equation?

Finally, I would really appreciate it if someone with the knowledge would glance at the character build I've put together and let me know if anything jumps out at you as illegal for PFS play. Figuring out what is and what isn't PFS-legal is often a nightmare for me, even with the Additional Resources download because, like so many others, I use compiled resource sites rather than sourcing individual documents for every character option.

Thanks in advance!

PFS Dwarven Investigator:

Dwarven 1st level Inquisitor (Sanctified Slayer archetype) / 11th level Investigator (Lamplighter archetype)

Attributes:
STR - 14
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 15 (+1 @ 4th, 8th & 12th level)
WIS - 16
CHA - 5

Racial Abilities:
Darkvision 60'
Slow and Steady
Hardy
Stoic Negotiator
Greed
Stability
Weapon Familiarity

Traits:
Glory of Old
Reactionary

Feats & Talents:
1st - Deific Obedience (Irori)
3rd - Steel Soul
4th - Underworld Inspiration
5th - Extra Talent: Quick Study
6th - Expanded Inspiration
7th - Extra Talent: Alchemist Discovery (Mutagen)
8th - Sickening Offensive or Inspirational Expertise
9th - Extra Talent: Infusion
10th - Combat Inspiration
11th - Extra Talent: Inspirational Expertise or Sickening Offensive
12th - Amazing Inspiration

Inquisitor Abilities:
Inquisition: Conversion
Monster Lore
Studied Target
Stern Gaze

Investigator Abilities:
Alchemy
Lamplighter
Alchemical Illumination
Ready for the Revelation
Studied Combat/Studied Strike

Of course, any advice regarding the build or magical gear I should be considering is always welcome, but that wasn't the original intent of the thread.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Aren't PFS characters built on a 20 point buy? This character appears to have spent only 15 points.

Edit: Never mind, assuming that the Int 15 is before rather than after the adjustments for level. If your character is supposed to have Int 18 at level 12, then the point buy works.

Grand Lodge

Poisons in my opinion are not really worth the trouble since the ones that are available are not that good and the one that you get in chronicles are just too few. So i think it's not not worth it

As per build maybe you want to consider the feat "Breadth of Experience" which gives you a +2 on all knowledges and professions, it also opens all professions which can be rolled even untrained

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

Wiggz wrote:
What, exactly, are the rules concerning Investigators and crafting Alchemical items and Poisons?

Investigators are able to craft alchemical items and poisons as if they were alchemists.

Wiggz wrote:
Has it been determined whether or not Inspiration can be used in day job rolls?

If said Inspiration is "always on", and doesn't require an expenditure of points, then it should be usable for your Day Job check. To my knowledge, this hasn't been ruled on by anyone from Campaign Leadership, a blog, or an FAQ, so you may encounter table variation.


Inspector Pendergast wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
What, exactly, are the rules concerning Investigators and crafting Alchemical items and Poisons?
Investigators are able to craft alchemical items and poisons as if they were alchemists.

I caught that announcement... but I'm not entirely clear on the rules. Do alchemical items cost half their price to make like magic items, do I need any other special ingredients or formulae to make individual items, is it just a single craft check made at the table at the beginning of the session for each type of item, for each individual item, can I take 10 or 20 when I do? Can I make them and hand them out to party members and if so, what are the limits to doing that as far as time and cost? I assume they can't pay me for the items, so there is no way for the group to help defray the costs involved, correct?

I really have no experience with crafting, particularly in the PFS environment where its usually forbidden, and alchemical items seem to be a different animal than traditional magic items...

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

You essentially pay 1/3 the price, assuming you make the Craft DC.

You may Take 10, but not 20.

It's one check per item crafted, but since most people succeed when taking 10, it's usually a non-issue. Unless you're low level and not built to maximize that check just yet.

If there are any material components (I'm not aware of any for Alchemical items), then you'd need to factor that into the price you pay.

Other people cannot pay you, but you can hand out crafted items for others to consume during that scenario.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

Wiggz wrote:
Inspector Pendergast wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
What, exactly, are the rules concerning Investigators and crafting Alchemical items and Poisons?
Investigators are able to craft alchemical items and poisons as if they were alchemists.
I caught that announcement... but I'm not entirely clear on the rules. Do alchemical items cost half their price to make like magic items,

They cost a third the price.

Wiggz wrote:
do I need any other special ingredients or formulae to make individual items,

You need an alchemical lab to be able to make the stuff. The special ingredients are part of what you paid gold for. No special formulas required, but as a player you have to have the source material that the alchemical item comes from.

Wiggz wrote:
is it just a single craft check made at the table at the beginning of the session for each type of item, for each individual item, can I take 10 or 20 when I do?

You can (and should) take 10. If you can't do it by taking 10, it requires that a GM witness the roll and note the item manufactured. In other words, more book-keeping. At that point I would have to go back and read the exact rules.

Wiggz wrote:

Can I make them and hand them out to party members and if so, what are the limits to doing that as far as time and cost? I assume they can't pay me for the items, so there is no way for the group to help defray the costs involved, correct?

I really have no experience with crafting, particularly in the PFS environment where its usually forbidden, and alchemical items seem to be a different animal than traditional magic items...

You can hand them out but you can't take any recompense. If they aren't used, they automatically revert back to you.

Hope the above helped!

Sovereign Court 3/5

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Alchemist crafting on the PFS FAQ

5/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Edmonton aka Artoo

Deific Obedience requires three ranks of Knowledge (Religion) which makes it impossible to take it at first level, as your build indicates. I don't think there would be any issue if you just swapped it with Steel Soul in your build, though.

The Exchange 5/5

Inspector Pendergast wrote:

You essentially pay 1/3 the price, assuming you make the Craft DC.

You may Take 10, but not 20.

It's one check per item crafted, but since most people succeed when taking 10, it's usually a non-issue. Unless you're low level and not built to maximize that check just yet.

If there are any material components (I'm not aware of any for Alchemical items), then you'd need to factor that into the price you pay.

Other people cannot pay you, but you can hand out crafted items for others to consume during that scenario.

The bolded statement is not EXACTLY true - though likely it is "good enough" for PFS....

from the Crafting Skill:

To determine how much time and money it takes to make an item, follow these steps.

1. Find the item's price in silver pieces (1 gp = 10 sp).

2. Find the item's DC from Table: Craft Skills.

3. Pay 1/3 of the item's price for the raw material cost.

4. Make an appropriate Craft check representing one week's worth of work. If the check succeeds, multiply your check result by the DC. If the result × the DC equals the price of the item in sp, then you have completed the item. (If the result × the DC equals double or triple the price of the item in silver pieces, then you've completed the task in one-half or one-third of the time. Other multiples of the DC reduce the time in the same manner.) If the result × the DC doesn't equal the price, then it represents the progress you've made this week. Record the result and make a new Craft check for the next week. Each week, you make more progress until your total reaches the price of the item in silver pieces.

If you fail a check by 4 or less, you make no progress this week. If you fail by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.

so it is possible that it might take more than one roll (and more than one week) to craft an item...

(and you really should check with your judge, as it is possible that they will not let you Take 10 on this skill check - in case they "want to control the pacing and tension " )

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

That's not how crafting works in PFS, though.

The Exchange 5/5

Inspector Pendergast wrote:
That's not how crafting works in PFS, though.

???

what rules am I missing?

and I did say "... though likely it is "good enough" for PFS...."


KingOfAnything wrote:
Alchemist crafting on the PFS FAQ

Alchemists can use the Craft (alchemy) skill to produce items with their Alchemy ability. Follow the Craft rules on pages 91–93 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook as well as in the alchemist’s Alchemy ability description. Any item created must be properly noted on that scenario’s Chronicle sheet. Under "Items Bought", note the amount of gold spent and the item created. Alchemists are assumed, for Pathfinder Society Organized Play, to carry the necessary items and tools with them to use available resources to create alchemical items. If they have a base of operations from which to do so, they may use an alchemy lab to gain the +2 bonus on their Craft (alchemy) check. Alchemists may never sell any of their created items nor may they trade them to another PC. However, they may allow other PCs to borrow or use items they’ve created (so long as the alchemist class ability being used allows them to do so).

Thanks for that link, and thanks to everyone else whom has offered their advice. Its exactly what I needed.


Paul Holtom wrote:
Deific Obedience requires three ranks of Knowledge (Religion) which makes it impossible to take it at first level, as your build indicates. I don't think there would be any issue if you just swapped it with Steel Soul in your build, though.

My apologies, those two were supposed to have been swapped out - the time limits on editing left them stuck there, I'm afraid.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

Oh. Wow. Hmm. I shall have to audit my characters. Guess I've been doing it wrong this whole time.

I thought that once you met the DC, you made the item.

Shadow Lodge

Inspector Pendergast wrote:
That's not how crafting works in PFS, though.

It's exactly how crafting works in PFS: the PFS FAQ entry on the subject (that KingOfAnything linked to) explicitly states to use the Craft rules in the CRB, and that's exactly what Spark Monkey quoted. Making alchemical items using Craft (alchemy) will often (but not always) require multiple checks to complete them item, depending on price.

Alchemist's fire, for example, can be completed with a single check: it's a DC 20, so a single successful check results in 400sp of progress, which is twice the price (20gp). Frost ward gel, on the other hand, has a DC of 25, meaning a the minimum successful check will only result in 625sp, far short of the 150gp price, requiring up to three checks to complete.

That said, since even one check represents a week of work, this is something that happens during the "downtime" between sessions, so how long it takes isn't an issue, really; if you can succeed on the check while taking 10, there really isn't a reason to break down how many checks you need.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵

Ah. I think I was getting this mixed up with crafting Gunslinger ammunition, which is a "buy at discounted price rather than craft" mechanic.


I've been playing an empiricist for a while now and it is one of my favorite characters.

1) I personally don't think poison is that big a deal. Most PFS legal poisons simply do not have a big enough effect fast enough to be worth bothering with. Giving up poison use for almost anything else in an archetype is easy.

2) Crafting alchemical items is easy. Find the item's craft DC. Can you make that with a take 10? You pay 1/3rd the items normal cost to "craft" it. Mark it as such on your ITS. If you put a skill point into craft(alchemy) even a few times at low levels you should be fine unless you want to craft some of the really esoteric stuff.

3) I've never seen inspiration asked about day jobs but investigator gets so much use from inspiration and gets free gold from craft(alchemy) already I never wanted to annoy any GM's by trying that.

4) except for things already pointed out your build looks legal. however let me make some suggestions. Underworld inspiration isn't the most useful talent. Unless you're building a dedicated intimidater which isn't obvious from the rest of the build. Expanded inspiration is a much more useful way to get more free uses of inspiration, free inspiration on all perception rolls is huge. I'd also look at shuffling things around so as to get mutagen and infusion as soon as possible. They are 2 of the strongest talents.


Jessex wrote:

I've been playing an empiricist for a while now and it is one of my favorite characters.

4) except for things already pointed out your build looks legal. however let me make some suggestions. Underworld inspiration isn't the most useful talent. Unless you're building a dedicated intimidater which isn't obvious from the rest of the build. Expanded inspiration is a much more useful way to get more free uses of inspiration, free inspiration on all perception rolls is huge. I'd also look at shuffling things around so as to get mutagen and infusion as soon as possible. They are 2 of the strongest talents.

I'm really juggling a lot of that, trying to figure out the best balance in those middle levels...

I wanted to maximize Intimidation in time for me to get Blistering Invective, which comes online for me at 5th level - that feat is dedicated to Quick Study, so I thought to take it at 4th instead... plus I look for this guy to be the group's primary trap disabler more often than not.

I could flip-flop Expanded at 6th and Underworld at 4th, but it seemed to me that at the earlier levels DC's wouldn't be that high for unopposed checks, which is why I took them at the levels I did.

Mutagen seems like the best way to make me effective in combat at least some of the time, but I couldn't think of what to bump to take it earlier... ditto Infusion. The only thing I could think of was to drop Deific Obedience (Irori), but that synergy fit so well with the character concept and keep's me from having to drop more than 1 rank in any skill, so I'd really rather keep it. Decisions, decisions...

What level is your Empiricist, and do you have any recommendations regarding gear beyond the obvious?


SCPRedMage wrote:
That said, since even one check represents a week of work, this is something that happens during the "downtime" between sessions, so how long it takes isn't an issue, really; if you can succeed on the check while taking 10, there really isn't a reason to break down how many checks you need.

Does this mean that I need to be doing these checks either at the end of a session or before the next one has started, because it seems to me that if I wait until we find out exactly what the mission is (and thus what alchemical options might be most useful) there will rarely be weeks to spend mixing and brewing.

Silver Crusade

If you can show you can make the craft DC with a take 10, you shouldn't need to make rolls at the table. Just show your math to the GM. If your take 10 leaves you a little shy of the DC, you will have to make tolls in front of the GM. Honestly, you should be able to take 10 most DC's after a few levels. Anything with high DC is probably easier to buy or wait a few levels.

Scarab Sages 4/5

You'll want to do you crafting in between sessions. Occasionally you might have a lengthy travel time between the briefing and arriving at the location. But for the most part, you'll want to have the items you need crafted before the scenario begins.

What level are you planning to take as Inquisitor? 1st? I ask, because you have Quick Study as your 5th level feat, but you need to be a 5th level Investigator in order to take it, so the soonest you could do that would be 6th if you're taking a dip early.

I'm unsure about how well Inquisitor and Investigator are meshing here. Conversion imI question is letting you dump CHA in favor of Wis, but it's at the expense of INT, too. So you aren't any less MAD. Wis in general is better because of the bonus to saves. But the sanctified slayer studied target and studied combat have some issues working together. They stack, but you'll have to spend a move and a swift to have them both active. Just going full Investigator, at even levels, you would have the same bonus to hit and damage while only needing to use a single action. Monster Lore and Stern Gaze are decent bonuses, but you'd make up for Monster Lore by having a higher Int, and if you wanted to, you could get Intimidate to be Int-based.

Almost all I see these days are Empiricist builds, so I'm glad to see you looking to make another archetype work. I have a non-archetype Investigator that took me a little bit to figure out (made during the playtest). I ended up taking a dip into Sleepless Detective at 6th, which has worked out well getting Int to Some extra skills. It's in addition to the normal stat, though, so dumping CHA doesn't work as well there. I'll maybe post my build a little later when I can sit down with it.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Thinking about it more, what I was going to suggest is too much of a departure from the character it looks like you're wanting to make. I wish there was better synergy with the action economy of Studied Target and Studied Combat, but if you're wanting to go Dwarf, what you've got works out ok.

Also, ignore what I said about Quick Study. That doesn't have a 5th level requirement. I was thinking of Domino Effect.


Ferious Thune wrote:

Thinking about it more, what I was going to suggest is too much of a departure from the character it looks like you're wanting to make. I wish there was better synergy with the action economy of Studied Target and Studied Combat, but if you're wanting to go Dwarf, what you've got works out ok.

Also, ignore what I said about Quick Study. That doesn't have a 5th level requirement. I was thinking of Domino Effect.

Honestly, it works out okay for me... I probably won't be charging into combat the first round anyway... think something like this:

Round 1:
Swift - Studied Combat
Move - Studied Target
Standard - Blistering Invective

Round 2:
Move into position after martials have drawn alpha strikes and assist them in taking down the bigger threats or buff as needed.

I like the one level dip and the Wisdom/Intelligence spread... keeps me from being too single stat dependent, and honestly, I've found that a couple of 16's or 18's work better than one 22 and one 12 or 14... my spells won't be the kind that require saves and I'm actually getting to the point that I have more skill ranks than I need.

The Inquisitor level is taken at 1st - I get an awful lot out of that dip, including a save bump (my saves are insane), useful spell triggers, heavier armor and the ability to use a shield.

I've been playing around with the Alchemy skill, pre-planning where I'll put skill ranks level by level, and leap-frogging it only when taking 10 gets me to the next iteration of '5' (DC 20 at 3rd, DC 25 at 5th, I think, DC 30 whenever). I'm including the +2 from an Alchemist's Lab in those calculations - that sounds right, doesn't it?


Wiggz wrote:
What level is your Empiricist, and do you have any recommendations regarding gear beyond the obvious?

Almost 9th. I found that at low to mid level it was extremely useful to have a bunch of different alchemical items on hand, get a handy haversack ASAP, it makes up for the investigators weakness in combat at those levels. Crafting will keep the cost down so you can hand out acids, antitoxins etc. to the whole party when they will really make a big difference.

You definitely want quick study as soon as you can take it. The action economy of being able to study as swift is huge. It was where my PC started really becoming effective in combat.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I play an empiricist as well. Quick Study is amazing. The combination of one of the best spell lists for self-buffing with mutagen and quick study means investigators can perform as a primary combat class while also being a full-on skill monkey.

---

Poison is mostly useless for PCs. Because:


  • Most poisons do some ability damage over time, which is annoying if it happens to your PC because you'll be suffering the penalties the rest of the day. NPC enemies tend to only feature during a single encounter, so long-term debuffs aren't that valuable to inflict.
  • Saving throws for poisons don't scale with level. Most enemies you confront in melee will have good Fortitude saves. Investigators are lackluster at ranged combat.

So there are some exceptions of course. Con poisons with high DCs can be impressive, especially if delivered at range against wizards. But that's not something investigators are especially good at. Studied combat doesn't work on ranged attacks by default and you get only so-so ranged weapon proficiencies. It'll cost a lot to get good at it.

The other class of poisons worthy of note are the ones that cause unconsciousness. Again, more likely to work on squishy enemies that are trying to avoid melee.

So while poison can work, it'll take a lot of effort. Compared to other tactics, they're not good. It's a clear case of asymmetry where an option that's annoying against PCs is less impressive in their own hands.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Mark Seifter answered the OP's question about using inspiration for day job rolls in a thread from 2013. I've been doing it with my Swash-igator using free inspiration on Knowledge(Local) by way of the Information Broker vanity from the Pathfinder Society Primer. I've had 2 GMs (including a VC) question it, but they've been satisfied with my reference to the thread below, and an explanation that it's an unlimited, always-on ability.

Investigators using Inspiration for Day Jobs

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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Nomadical wrote:

Mark Seifter answered the OP's question about using inspiration for day job rolls in a thread from 2013. I've been doing it with my Swash-igator using free inspiration on Knowledge(Local) by way of the Information Broker vanity from the Pathfinder Society Primer. I've had 2 GMs (including a VC) question it, but they've been satisfied with my reference to the thread below, and an explanation that it's an unlimited, always-on ability.

Investigators using Inspiration for Day Jobs

It is important to note two things:

1. Mark uses the Rogue Eidolon alias for posts that are not official Paizo posts.

And more importantly:
2. Mark was not a Paizo employee when he wrote that post. It was written as his analysis without consultation with Paizo designers. His earlier posts don't automatically gain the weight of officialdom just because he is now an employee. He was often working with incomplete information as he did not have access to privileged information.

Having said that, I completely agree with him. If an ability has no time limit but rather is used "as part of a check" then you can use it with a day job. It doesn't matter how long it takes to make that one roll.

Scarab Sages 4/5

And also

3. Day Jobs and the rules surrounding them are something decided by the PFS Campaign leadership. This is one instance where a Designer commenting should not be viewed as evidence that this is how it actually works.

Personally I don't use Inspiration on my Day Job. I'm still using Craft: Alchemy for my Investigator anyway, so I don't get free Inspiration on it to begin with. I also don't use the Investigator Craft: Alchemy bonus. It's just not enough gold to worry about. With Crafter's Fortune and my normal bonus it's high enough.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Wiggz- The reason I see the action economy as such a big deal is that you'll be changing your target a lot during a combat. Spending the entire first round prepping and not moving up, there's a good chance that whatever you studied won't be alive by the time you get to it. Then you're spending another round studying, and unless something is within a 5 foot step, you have to move up to it. So if you want to move and attack a new target, you'll have to skip doing Studied Target and just go with Studied Combat.

That's a bigger deal once you get to iteratives, but that's something you won't have to worry about until 9th level because of the dip, so not as big of a concern.

Studied Combat is also limited in duration by your Int bonus, so with only a 16 Int at 4th, you're only getting 3 rounds per opponent. Other than on a boss, that should be sufficient.

Range is a potential issue on Blistering Invective. Also, it's both Mind-affecting and Language Dependent, so it isn't something you'll always be able to make work. But Inquisitor gets Divine Favor, which is a good alternative use of an action, as that's a bonus no matter who you are attacking. And with a 20-foot speed, you'll often need to move up to even be in range of a move and attack on the second round. In fact, I'd recommend something more like this for your rounds:

Round 1) Spring-loaded Wrist Sheath draw Wand of Divine Favor (swift), Divine Favor from Wand (standard), Drop Wand (free), Move up (move), Draw Weapon (free as part of move)
Round 2) Studied Combat (swift), Studied Target (move), 5-foot step, Attack (standard)
Or, if the target is more than a 5-foot step away
Round 2) Studied Combat (swift), Move to Target (move), Attack (standard)

That way you spend your first round (when you can't Blistering Invective) getting an all around buff that's equal to your Studied Target bonus (for the important things in combat) and that doesn't go away if that target dies or another engages. On your second round, even if your initial target is dead, you're in position to at least get one attack off against someone.

The real power in Quick Study is in being able to make use of Studied Strike. When you're only getting one attack per round, you want it to count. So if you hit, expend your Studied Strike for the extra dice of damage. If that enemy is still standing, then study them again on your next turn by spending a point of Inspiration. Hit them again, Studied Strike again. Repeat until they are dead. Having a lower Int means fewer Inspiration points. It also means fewer Extracts.

Int is not vital to an Investigator, but it helps a lot. I'd go as far as suggesting you lower your Dex to raise your Int. not for the DCs, but for all of the other benefits it gives you. You want this to be a skills character first, and a +1 Int is a bonus to a lot of skills. Also, that level 12 stat boost is not something you'll benefit from the majority of you PFS career. The AC from Dex can easily be made up elsewhere. And, finally, keep in mind that your Mutagen, since you're a STR based combatant, will lower your Int while it is active. So that means 1 less Inspiration, one less round of Studied Combat, and -1 to all Int based skills. Not an issue for the skill checks before you set out, but potentially one for checks during a dungeon crawl, and season 7 introduced a lot of those.

As an Investigator, you can dominate skills. But that means being spread thin on ranks sometimes. There are never enough skill points, and finding ways to maximize bonuses with fewer ranks in a skill help greatly.

Dwarves can qualify for Breadth of Experience. I'd consider that at some point, like instead of one of the studied strike affects. I've taken it on my Gnome Investigator. A +2 to all knowledge skills is very nice, not to mention being able to roll any Peofession skill. With your Wisdom, you could actually get some decent use of of that part. I think I've only got more than 1 rank in a few of the knowledge skills. The rest only have 1, but between a 22 INT (at 10th level), Class Skill bonus, and Breadth of Experience, I'm at +12+Inspiration with very little investment in terms of skill points. Add in Heightened Awareness, Heroism, and Investigative Mind that I generally have running during a dungeon crawl and it's +16 roll twice and take the best d20 on any important knowledge roll.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting pushing Int to 20 to start or anything like that. But starting at 16 instead of 15 means getting to 18 at 8th before stat boosting item, which means getting to 20 or 22 with a stat boosting item. 20 means an extra 1st level extract. 22 means an extra 2nd level extract. An extra 2nd level extract means being able to have false life running, or investigative mind, or just another casting of alchemical allocation for the day. It means having that extra point of Inspiration when you really need to hit or when something survives your Studied Strike unexpectedly. Small bonuses like that add up.

EDIT: So with the Deific Obedience, an 18 Int by 8th, Breadth of Experience, Heroism, and Heightened Awareness, you'd be looking at a +18 in any knowledge skill you put 1 rank into, +21 to identify monsters. The lower Int and no Breadth of Experience puts you at +15 or +18 to identify. Both are good totals.


Int is so vital to investigators that I would argue that every investigator should start as an empiricist by default and only switch to some other archetype if there is some other very good reason to do so. Getting things like perception as an int skill is incredible.


Jessex wrote:
Int is so vital to investigators that I would argue that every investigator should start as an empiricist by default and only switch to some other archetype if there is some other very good reason to do so. Getting things like perception as an int skill is incredible.

Empiricist is awesome. I'm also a fan of Psychic Detective.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Wiggz- The reason I see the action economy as such a big deal is that you'll be changing your target a lot during a combat. Spending the entire first round prepping and not moving up, there's a good chance that whatever you studied won't be alive by the time you get to it. Then you're spending another round studying, and unless something is within a 5 foot step, you have to move up to it. So if you want to move and attack a new target, you'll have to skip doing Studied Target and just go with Studied Combat.

Another way to look at it is that Studied Target is just lagniappe, above and beyond what I'd already be getting with Studied Combat. It gives me a legit option I wouldn't have during those first four levels before Quick Study comes online and is something I can toss in whenever I have a Move action to spare.

I took your advice and dropped DEX to 12 and boosted INT to 16 to start. I must say, I'm really happy with the results such a minor change makes.

I know Empiricist has generally been the optimizer's 'go-to' choice, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how much the one level of Inquisitor adds to my early and mid-game, and while Empiricist helps you out with some skills, I find the layered options that Wisdom/Inquisitor and Intelligence/Investigator gives a better broad base of options... my saves are better than a straight-up Empiricist would have been, especially since I'm able to take the Dwarf, and I'd argue that my overall skill progression is at least as good if not better. I get other little perks, like access to shields and heavier armor, a wealth of spell-trigger options and so on.

Here is what my skill spread looks like at 3rd level (Inquisitor 1/Investigator 2), counting only skills that I've invested ranks in and only non-magical equipment.:

Craft: Alchemy (+7)
Taking 10 with Crafter's Fortune, an Alchemist Lab and the Investigator class bonus allows me to automatically make DC 25 alchemical items.

Bluff (+10)
Diplomacy (+10)
Disable Device (+10 w/MW Thieve's Tools)
Intimidate (+10)
Perception (+9, +10 when searching for traps)
Sense Motive (+10)
Spellcraft (+7)
Survival (+7)

Knowledge: Arcana (+14)+1d6
Knowledge: Dungeoneering (+14)+1d6
Knowledge: Engineering (+11)+1d6
Knowledge: History (+11)+1d6
Knowledge: Local (+14)+1d6
Knowledge: Nature (+14)+1d6
Knowledge: Planes (+14)+1d6
Knowledge: Religion (+16)+1d6

None of that counts the benefits of Studied Target which works just as well in social situations as it does in combat nor the benefit of Guidance, another nice little bonus the Inquisitor dip gives me. At 4th level my Initiative bonus will be +5+1d6 due to the benefits of the Lamplighter archetype.

My AC is 20 and my saves are Fortitude +4, Reflex +4, Will +8 with an additional +3 vs. Poison and +5 vs. Spells & SLA's before any spells or buffs. All in all I'd say that's pretty solid. Offense will come in time, but I have several very potent combat-oriented characters already. This guy is intended to cover the other side of the game, particularly this season, in the 'Year of the Skill Check'...

Scarab Sages 4/5

Yeah, the more I looked at alternatives to your build, the more I understood it, and the more it made sense. It's interesting and different, while still achieving excellent skill bonuses. The Deific Obedience makes a big difference.

I like non-standard builds. I ended up with one by virtue of making the character during the playtest, before Empiricist was available. It gave me an excuse to take a level of Sleepless Detective, which I'd been trying to work into a character for a while. The result turned out very effective. I've only got a 12 WIS, but a +29+1d6 perception before buffs, thanks to adding Int to it and Alertness that I needed to qualify for Sleepless Detective. Having a 40-45 take-10 on perception is nice.

I'm glad the INT boost worked out for you.

Since Investigators, unlike Alchemists, don't get to activate spell trigger items automatically, even if the spell is on their formulae list, I'll suggest swapping Reactionary for Pragmatic Activator and including UMD on your skills to invest in. You'll eventually have the Lamplighter boost to initiative anyway, and adding UMD gives you a lot more options to help out in combat. Inquisitor gets you CLW, so you don't need UMD for that, but I use it for things like scrolls (especially ones at higher caster level off chronicle sheets) or a wand of Heightened Awareness, which will effectively net you a +4 on Initiative in a situation where you're expecting trouble, plus the skill bonus. So that right there makes UMD more valuable than Reationary to me. If you weren't dumping CHA so low, it wouldn't be as important to take the trait, but I think with your build it's worth considering.


Ferious Thune wrote:

Yeah, the more I looked at alternatives to your build, the more I understood it, and the more it made sense. It's interesting and different, while still achieving excellent skill bonuses. The Deific Obedience makes a big difference.

I like non-standard builds. I ended up with one by virtue of making the character during the playtest, before Empiricist was available. It gave me an excuse to take a level of Sleepless Detective, which I'd been trying to work into a character for a while. The result turned out very effective. I've only got a 12 WIS, but a +29+1d6 perception before buffs, thanks to adding Int to it and Alertness that I needed to qualify for Sleepless Detective. Having a 40-45 take-10 on perception is nice.

I'm glad the INT boost worked out for you.

Since Investigators, unlike Alchemists, don't get to activate spell trigger items automatically, even if the spell is on their formulae list, I'll suggest swapping Reactionary for Pragmatic Activator and including UMD on your skills to invest in. You'll eventually have the Lamplighter boost to initiative anyway, and adding UMD gives you a lot more options to help out in combat. Inquisitor gets you CLW, so you don't need UMD for that, but I use it for things like scrolls (especially ones at higher caster level off chronicle sheets) or a wand of Heightened Awareness, which will effectively net you a +4 on Initiative in a situation where you're expecting trouble, plus the skill bonus. So that right there makes UMD more valuable than Reationary to me. If you weren't dumping CHA so low, it wouldn't be as important to take the trait, but I think with your build it's worth considering.

More excellent advice - I'll certainly consider that. I'll admit that it bothered me that UMD seemed an option I wasn't able to take advantage of...

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Jessex wrote:
Int is so vital to investigators that I would argue that every investigator should start as an empiricist by default and only switch to some other archetype if there is some other very good reason to do so. Getting things like perception as an int skill is incredible.

I'd like to nuance this. Yes, intelligence is important, but depending on your focus a 16 (with level 4 ability bump) is enough to work with. Especially if you focus more on combat like I did, having high strength and/or dex is the priority.

With Int 16 you still get enough (inspiration) bonuses and skill points to be a fully qualified skill monkey by PFS benchmarks. You won't be in the top 1% but you'll be in the top 10%. Meanwhile you can also be in the top 15% of combat builds. Anyone who tries to tell you investigators are nothing special in combat doesn't know what he's talking about. I can keep up with hardline barbarians of the same level.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber
Spark Monkey wrote:
(and you really should check with your judge, as it is possible that they will not let you Take 10 on this skill check - in case they "want to control the pacing and tension " )

...and if you get a GM who claims that you can't take 10 on crafting rolls between scenarios, stand up and walk away from that table. Put that GM on the list of GMs never ever to play with again. And, once again, curse the developers for that disaster of a non-FAQ that took a bad situation with GMs who didn't get Take 10 and only made it worse.

Silver Crusade

rknop wrote:
Spark Monkey wrote:
(and you really should check with your judge, as it is possible that they will not let you Take 10 on this skill check - in case they "want to control the pacing and tension " )

...and if you get a GM who claims that you can't take 10 on crafting rolls between scenarios, stand up and walk away from that table. Put that GM on the list of GMs never ever to play with again. And, once again, curse the developers for that disaster of a non-FAQ that took a bad situation with GMs who didn't get Take 10 and only made it worse.

Which won't be an issue here. I'm the GM and you can take 10 on crafting alchemical items between scenarios.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Oh, hey, Wiggz, I didn't even realize we're in the same area. I won't be there today, but if you're playing the character, I hope it works out for you. It's a build I'd be happy to end up at a table with.


Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Jessex wrote:
Int is so vital to investigators that I would argue that every investigator should start as an empiricist by default and only switch to some other archetype if there is some other very good reason to do so. Getting things like perception as an int skill is incredible.

I'd like to nuance this. Yes, intelligence is important, but depending on your focus a 16 (with level 4 ability bump) is enough to work with. Especially if you focus more on combat like I did, having high strength and/or dex is the priority.

With Int 16 you still get enough (inspiration) bonuses and skill points to be a fully qualified skill monkey by PFS benchmarks. You won't be in the top 1% but you'll be in the top 10%. Meanwhile you can also be in the top 15% of combat builds. Anyone who tries to tell you investigators are nothing special in combat doesn't know what he's talking about. I can keep up with hardline barbarians of the same level.

I'd be interested on hearing any ideas on improving this character's combat ability. My initial thought was that with good AC and good saves, I'd serve as a secondary combatant, flanking buddy, speed bump for the ranged guys and so on... having never played an Investigator, I'm curious about what some of the options out there are...


Ferious Thune wrote:
Oh, hey, Wiggz, I didn't even realize we're in the same area. I won't be there today, but if you're playing the character, I hope it works out for you. It's a build I'd be happy to end up at a table with.

What do you think about Steel Soul as my 1st level feat? Its to early to grab anything associated with Investigators, but with Glory of Old granting +3 to saves vs. Poison & Spells/SLA's, I'm wondering if the extra save bump is worth it. I'm wracking my brain trying to think of something that would be better in that spot...

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Wiggz wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Jessex wrote:
Int is so vital to investigators that I would argue that every investigator should start as an empiricist by default and only switch to some other archetype if there is some other very good reason to do so. Getting things like perception as an int skill is incredible.

I'd like to nuance this. Yes, intelligence is important, but depending on your focus a 16 (with level 4 ability bump) is enough to work with. Especially if you focus more on combat like I did, having high strength and/or dex is the priority.

With Int 16 you still get enough (inspiration) bonuses and skill points to be a fully qualified skill monkey by PFS benchmarks. You won't be in the top 1% but you'll be in the top 10%. Meanwhile you can also be in the top 15% of combat builds. Anyone who tries to tell you investigators are nothing special in combat doesn't know what he's talking about. I can keep up with hardline barbarians of the same level.

I'd be interested on hearing any ideas on improving this character's combat ability. My initial thought was that with good AC and good saves, I'd serve as a secondary combatant, flanking buddy, speed bump for the ranged guys and so on... having never played an Investigator, I'm curious about what some of the options out there are...

Well you could just completely ditch the entire premise of the class and just cast spells off the psychic list.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Ok, here are my additional thoughts...

Steel Soul is a good feat choice. It's more valuable than something like Iron Will or Great Fortitude or Lightning Reflexes.

Most of the feats you're going to want to take aren't available yet, either because of the Investigator Talent requirement, or a BAB requirement.

Other general options to help with combat would be Toughness or Improved Initiative, but I don't have a good argument for one of the three over the others.

Something that you may not have thought of is taking Additional Traits. That could net you Fate's Favored (making divine favor better) and Pragmatic Activator for Int-based UMD, without having to give up Reactionary.

One big question I have is what weapon are you planning to fight with?

To be effective in combat with your build, I see a couple of different directions you can go.

First, though, a small aside. You'll see lots of people on the Advice board who will say starting with a 14 in your melee stat means that you will never be a good melee combatant. I had a 14 DEX and 12 CON on a Finesse build and was told my stats would make it "hard to become incredibly combat effective." I've seen others told they'll never be an effective combatant with a 14. It's a pet peeve of mine, because it just isn't true. Investigator has enough ways to boost their attack, damage, and their ability scores that a 14 starting strength will be plenty. You'll struggle some at lower levels, so if you want to be more effective from the start, maybe bump it to 16, but once you start getting talents, studied combat, mutagen, and extracts, that starting STR won't matter as much. You're not trying to be the party Barbarian.

Longspear:
You're STR based, so a one-handed or two-handed weapon makes sense. Longspear is a good choice, as it lets you fight from a little farther out in combat. Combined with an extract of longarm, and possibly even enlarge person, you can support the frontliners without needing to be one yourself. Reach will also help out with your lower move speed, and you won't need to move as far to be able to attack.

If you go with longspear, there's some incentive to boost STR over INT. You could start with a 15 in each, boost INT at 4 and STR at 8. But starting with a 14 STR can still be ok, as long as you factor a STR belt into your purchases.

Inquisitor of Irori should give you Improved Unarmed Strike, but that's not a great strategy for this build. It will help you threaten the squares around you if you're wielding a reach weapon, though. For a one-handed weapon, probably a morningstar. Rapiers are nice, but you can't get 1 1/2 STR on them. Same with the Sword Cane. That boost to damage from STR will be important once you start factoring in mutagen and size bonuses.

If you go this route, then Power Attack becomes much more valuable as well. Investigators have incredibly good accuracy on attacks, once all of your buffs are accounted for. Taking the penalty to hit from Power Attack is not an issue for them. And adding +3 damage for levels 1-6, and +6 from 7-11 will help a lot to get your damage respectable. You have the issue of not having BAB +1 until 3rd level, and not being able to take Deific Obedience until 3rd level. You could wait on Power Attack until 7, when you'd be getting more benefit out of it. That would push Mutagen to 8th in place of Sickening Offensive, which is regrettable.

Another option to stay on course would be to retrain your level 1 feat at 3rd level to pick up Power Attack once you have the +1 BAB. Or retrain it when you hit 5th, as Studied Combat will make the penalty from Power Attack easier to handle.

You can Studied Strike cycle pretty successfully on this build when you end up facing off against a tougher opponent. If you hit, expend your Studied Strike for extra damage. Next round swift action study them again for 1 Inspiration. Repeat as needed.

Unarmed Strike/Natural Attacks:
As an Inquisitor of Irori, you should get Improved Unarmed Strike in place of proficiency in your Deity's favored weapon. At lower level, you're still probably better off with the longspear, because without flurry or some other mechanic, a single unarmed strike isn't that fantastic. Once you hit 5th level (4th level Investigator) you get Alter Self, and you can turn into a natural attack build. That's what I ultimately did, and it was a huge improvement.

The reason I like a natural attack build is that it maximizes your use of Studied Combat. You don't take any penalties for two-weapon fighting, and you don't take penalties for iterative attacks. It also gets you multiple attacks at 5th level instead of 9th.

Extract slots are a concern with this build, but eventually it's less of an issue. Action economy is a little more of an issue, as you need a standard action at the start of combat unless you're expecting it.

Alter Self lets you turn into a Troglodyte with claw/claw/bite. It's also a nice utility spell, as you can turn into something with a Swim speed, and even get water breathing out of it if you turn into something with the aquatic subtype, like a gillman.

Later, you'll use Monstrous Physique to turn into (most likely) a gargoyle, which will get you 4 natural attack and flight. Unless I need flight, I turn into a Charda, which has 5 natural attacks and a swim speed. It's a Small creature, though, and there's a reason you might want to stay medium. Eventually, you can afford a Monstrification Staff, which will give you 3/day 8 minute duration Monstrous Physique I spells and free up extract slots. You do need UMD for it, though.

And that's not even all of it. Both Alter Self and Monstrous Physique grant a size bonus to an ability score regardless of whether or not you actually change size. So turning into a medium humanoid/monstrous humanoid nets you a +2 STR that stacks with your mutagen and your belt. Turning into a small humanoid/monstrous humanoid nets you a +2 DEX, a +1 size bonus to hit, and a +1 size bonus to AC.

And one more bonus... monstrous physique also grants a +2 natural armor bonus that stacks with barkskin (because barkskin is an enhancement bonus to you natural armor bonus).

Not factoring in Studied Strike cycling, with a +2 STR belt, Studied Combat, and one of either Studied Target or divine favor active, at 5th level you'd be looking at an attack sequence like this with alter self (assume Amulet of Mighty Fists +1):

claw/claw/bite +11/+11/+11 (1d4+8/1d4+8/1d4+8) (Avg if hit with all 3: 31.5)

compared to a longspear +1 assuming enlarge person at:

longspear +10 (2d6+10) (Avg if hit: 17)
w/Power Attack +9 (2d6+13) (Avg if hit: 20)

At 8th, when you have a mutagen, monstrous physique, and likely heroism:

claw/claw/bite/gore +18/+18/+18/+18 (1d6+10/1d6+10/1d4+10/1d4+10) (Avg if 4 hits: 52)

longspear (+2) +19 (2d6+15) (Avg if hit: 22)
w/Power Attack +17 (2d6+21) (Avg if hit: 28)

Potential attacks of opportunity help even out the longspear damage, if you're able to position yourself to generate them.

Those are the two main paths I see for you to get the most out of combat on this character. There are other general things you can do to help, that mainly have to do with extract selection.

Extracts:
You'll have a lot of competition for your level 2 extracts. Try to maximize your 10 min/level and hour/level buffs. I regularly run around with the following running:

1st
Heighten Awareness - I use this out of a wand. It's 10 min/level, so sometimes I waste a charge or spend 5 or 6 through a dungeon crawl. The nice thing about using a wand, though, is that you can expend the spell every time combat starts for the initiative bonus.

Shield - If you have time to cast this, an extra +4 AC is great. Inquisitor does get shield proficiency, so if you are planning to use a shield or buckler, it's less important.

2nd
Alchemical Allocation/Heroism - A potion of Heroism has a 50 minute duration. That's usually plenty for a dungeon crawl. Alchemical Allocation gets you Heroism 3 levels early and for a level lower extract slot.

Barkskin - A very good AC boost, and it frees up the neck slot for an Amulet of Mighty Fists if you go with a natural attack build.

Investigative Mind - This isn't as necessary, but once you get to a point where you have extra 2nd level slots, it's a nice boost to your skills.

False Life - hour/level temp hit points.

See Invisibility - once you have enough extracts to keep this active, it's worth it.

3rd
Resinous Skin - Not a high priority, and not the greatest DR type, but worth it in some situations.

Resist Energy at 2nd and Protection from Energy at 3rd are also good options, if you know an energy type is coming.

And finally, if you want to read the history of how I got to where I did with my build, there's a thread HERE in the Advice forum. I'll PM you a link to my character sheet as well.


Combat is a tricky thing for an investigator.

Once you can study your to hit/damage can be pretty good. You just need some minor buffs. I went dex and built for fencing grace. At 9th I'll take combat inspiration and upgrade my rapier from +1 keen to +1 keen inspired.

There is also a Str build but I never worked out exactly what it would entail.

Self buff spells help a lot. Barkskin is vital. Shield if you know combat is coming. Mutagen is also very helpful, I almost always boost dex so it is a fairly large AC boost by itself. As Thune said Look for the 10 min/level buffs.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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The strength build for investigators is actually the simple one. The core idea is that strength gives you both to-hit and damage bonuses with any weapon you use. No need to specialize feats on one dex to damage option that may not always work. You can carry multiple weapons to handle any situation or DR, and shapechange to get lots of natural attacks.

Here's an example:

Str 18 (+2 human)
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 15 (+2 human)
Wis 11
Cha 7

Human dual-talented empiricist investigator

Feats
1 Combat Reflexes
3 Power Attack
5 Phalanx Formation
7 (Potion Glutton or something else if you don't want to go there)
9 Lunge? By this time you can do whatever you like with feats. The core build doesn't need lots of feats.

Talents
3 Mutagen
5 Quick Study
7 Combine Extracts
9 (whatever you like; Sickening Offensive for example)

Traits
- Armor Expert
- Student of Philosophy

Weapons
- Longspear, aiming for adamantine evil-outsider bane
- Mithral cestus/
- Sap
- Spiritbane spie
- We'll be using natural weapons as well

Armor
- Mithral breastplate. Because of Armor Expert we can skip the proficiency.

Important extracts
1 Shield
1 Longarm
1 Enlarge Person
2 Barkskin
2 Alchemical Allocation (for whatever high caster level potions you may be able to find)
2 See Invisibility
2 Resist Energy
2 Invisibility
2 Alter Self (sasquatch for speed and scent, troglodyte for natural weapons)
3 Heroism
3 Monstrous Physique (gargoyle for claw/claw/bite/gore and flight)
3 Combined Extracts (shield and longarm)
3 Displacement
4 Improved Invisibility
4 Monstrous Physique (Vouivre)

How it works: either use the longspear and 2H damage (against DR) or use the gargoyle form for lots of attacks. The cestus protects you against disarming or when you don't have room to maneuver.

You get high AC due to mutagen, barskin, shield and mithral breastplate. Your to-hit is built on high strength, heroism, studied combat, mutagen (strength). Also, profit from 4 primary natural attacks on the gargoyle. You can afford the Power Attack.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Lau's build is essentially the one I adapted to fit into Wiggz' build. Wiggz just doesn't have the feat availability to take all of the things you'd want for a reach build (Combat Reflexes, Phalanx Formation), because of what he wants to do with skills. But otherwise the general idea is the same.

You can get around taking Combine Extracts by purchasing an Admixture Vial. Before I had the Monstrification Staff, I would use it with Alter Self and Shield, then Monstrous Physique and Shield. Either one would get offense and defense going from a single standard action. Now I'll usually use it for Expeditious Retreat and Shield. Displacement and Shield is another good combo. I've been putting my Displacement extract/infusion into my Poisoner's Gloves to hand out as a buff to the bigger melee characters.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I didn't take the admixture vial because I don't understand it. Do you have to keep the admixed extract in the vial or can you transfer it to a disposable bottle? Because you can't afford to keep the vial in your hands afterwards, and it's a glass bottle so you can't just drop it.

Phalanx Formation isn't strictly needed by the way. Combat Reflexes is however. I've gotten soooo many attacks from enemies trying to close in on you at the beginning of combat.

I'm considering getting a Fortuitous enchantment on the spear rather than Inspired - I didn't bother with Inspiration at all. I think it's a greatly overestimated class feature. It's nice but not as nice as Alchemy, Mutagen and (Quick) Studied Combat.

Scarab Sages 4/5

I think a conservative way to approach the Admixture vial is that it's a standard action to combine two extracts, but after that using them is just a standard like normal. So I pick which ones I want to combine at the start of the day, rather than trying to combine two "on the fly" during a combat.

Inspiration is great, if you use it right. I almost never use it for a bonus to hit, unless it's just absolutely vital that I do, and I'm pretty sure that the extra d6 will be the difference in dropping someone.

And I almost never spend Inspiration on skills, because I have free uses of Inspiration to so many things.

I will occasionally use it on an important save, if I think I might have failed it.

But the real power of Inspiration comes from the line in Studied Combat that says you can study the same opponent a second time if you spend a point of Inspiration. Say you're fighting with your longspear against the end boss. You hit. You do decent damage because of Power Attack, Studied Combat, buffs, etc. Go ahead and expend your Studied Strike for another 3 or 4d6 damage. Then, if you haven't used your swift action already, go ahead and study the enemy again. You can essentially trade 1 Inspiration for a use of your Studied Strike dice on an attack that you already know hit. You still have the enemy studied in case an AoO comes up. And, if you happen to hit with that AoO, or with your attack on the next round, expend the Studied Strike again. Next time your turn comes up, you can just study the enemy again if they're still standing by spending another Inspiration point.

The other thing I use it for is that I took Inspired Alchemy. That lets me recover extracts for 1 Inspiration per spell level. So, for a 6 person party, I can prep two False Life infusions and hand them out. Once they've been drunk (no reason to wait with a 9 hour duration), I can spend 20 minutes and 4 Inspiration to recover them. Hand those two out. Spend 20 more minutes and 4 more Inspiration to recover 2 more. Drink one, hand the last one out. Everyone in the party gets a False Life with an 8+ hour duration remaining, and I've still got 2 Inspiration for an emergency.

So spending 2 Inspiration for a +1d6 to hit on a single attack is inefficient, but there are other ways to get use out of your Inspiration.


Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I'm considering getting a Fortuitous enchantment on the spear rather than Inspired - I didn't bother with Inspiration at all. I think it's a greatly overestimated class feature. It's nice but not as nice as Alchemy, Mutagen and (Quick) Studied Combat.

The way I'm looking at inspired is that I'm getting combat inspiration so I can use inspiration on saves for cheap. I might as well get the bonus damage too. When the target is vulnerable to precision damage the burst damage from a studied strike plus a doubled inspiration die and then normal damage can be substantial.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I'm considering getting a Fortuitous enchantment on the spear rather than Inspired - I didn't bother with Inspiration at all. I think it's a greatly overestimated class feature. It's nice but not as nice as Alchemy, Mutagen and (Quick) Studied Combat.

By lv9 you get both. Inspired is so much damage. Now my guy was meant to have good inspiration, so inspired is adding (1d8+3)*2 or anywhere from 8-22 extra damage per hit, and those attacks are getting a big boost to their accuracy.

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