Investigator Combat Options


Investigator Playtest

Scarab Sages

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I was building an investigator to replace my dead character in Age of Ashes for book 3, but when I finished the build, I noticed something that I think is worth discussing; combat options.

What I mean by this is, the investigator has some really cool class feats, but almost nothing interesting to do in combat. Their turn is going to almost always be some combination of striding, studying, and striking with nothing really interesting happening. Sure they get to Clue In as a reaction sometimes, but I think they need a little more spice to their combat options for a turn.

Things I'm thinking of are something like the following:

Sickening Offensive:
When you succeed at a check to Study a Suspect, instead of the usual benefit, you can choose to gain the following benefit.

Success: On your next attack against the target this turn, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your attack roll and can choose to make the target sickened with a value equal to the number of die of Studied Strike you have. Unlike the normal sickened condition, the duration is only until the start of your next turn.

This might only be for Forensic Medicine based around pressure points. It might also allow a save vs investigator class DC to make use of their intelligence.

Unsettling Deduction:
Reaction/Free Action Not really sure which to use for balance.
Trigger You critically succeed at a check to Study a Suspect

You accurately predict and describe an opponents next action to them, unnerving them. You attempt to demoralize the target of your Study a Suspect, adding your circumstance bonus from Study a Suspect. As normal, this demoralize has the auditory trait and the target must be able to understand you even if you have abilities that say otherwise.

Next you'll say, "This ability sounds really cool and I want to use it on my investigator." GASP.

Studied Snag:
Requirements You have one hand free, and your target is within reach of that hand. You succeeded at a Study Suspect check against the target this turn or they are the subject of your Case.

You refuse to let your suspect escape. You combine an attack with quick grappling moves to throw an enemy off balance as long as it stays in your reach. Make a Strike while keeping one hand free. If this Strike hits, the target is flat-footed until the start of your next turn or until it’s no longer within the reach of your hand, whichever comes first. Alternatively, it can't move away from your reach, but that sounds a little too strong. Might want to consider the checks from Tangled Forest Stance to do something like that.

Predictive Reversal:
Requirements You are flanked by at least two enemies. At least one of them is the subject of your Case or you succeeded at a Study Suspect against one of them this turn.

You turn your foes’ flanking against them with a quick reverse. Make a melee Strike against one of the flanking enemies that meets the requirements and attempt a Shove. This Shove has the same multiple attack penalty of the initial attack and doesn’t count toward your multiple attack penalty. If you succeed at the Shove, instead of pushing the enemy back, you swap places with them.

Confounding Avoidance:
Reaction
Trigger You are being flanked and targeted by an attack. One of them is the subject of your Case or you succeeded at a check to Study a Suspect against one of them this round.

You cleverly play your opponents positioning against them, attempt a reflex save against their attack roll. If you succeed, you avoid the attack and they compare their attack roll against the AC of the other creature flanking you, dealing damage as normal if they hit.

Basically, I think Investigator has a lot of really cool "skill" class feats, but not a lot of combat ones that let you do interesting or exciting things. I think looking at fighter feats, but adding in some study restrictions allows the investigator to do some neat martial tricks without becoming the "better fighter" or anything.

On a side note, I think the Ongoing Investigation feat should add the line to the effect of:
When you would roll initiative while investigating, you may make an applicable knowledge or lore check for initiative and can compare the result to the Recall Knowledge DC of one creature you can see to immediately learn something about it as combat begins.


These sound really cool, and make a lot of sense for the investigator, as someone who uses great tactical insight in the melee. I think it would be really cool to see something like this added.


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Sickening 3 is insane. Not even as a 20th level ability that thing should exist as, basically, at will. A 10th level feat inflicting sicken 1 instead of precision damage is about the power level I would expect.

Apart from that, a lot of those things you described can be done via multiclass. (like snagging strike)

I'm not sure if having a class that's mostly ooc stuff is bad.

One or two more combat options would be OK I guess, but there is a very fine line before you make the investigator "a better rogue".

For actual "currently in" combat options, early on I like the Known weakness is pretty cool I think, free action recall knowledge + potentially giving +1 to all allies for 1 attack (Lore is nice here, since using Lore to identify creatures is Easy DC, thus much easier to critical with it)

The alchemist path also is by far the most suited for combat, with various options from there, from concealment to mutagens and etc.

Later on, like level 10+ there are more options, (but rogue also gains his debilitations at 9,so that seems fair)

Dark Archive

I agree that the sickening thing is really powerful and I wasn't really trying to balance anything, just giving possible examples.

I think that class feats should have some combat options because playing an investigator in combat right now is extremely boring. You make a skill check for a small bonus, you hit someone, you might hit them again without your bonus (which makes you way weaker) or you move/raise a shield.

I just want to see more options for combats and less focus on "better skill feats" tied to a class. Do I like the out of combat feat options? Yes. Do I think thats all the investigator should get? No.

Scarab Sages

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Comparing study a suspect to hunt prey makes study seem far weaker, which I get ranger is more martial than investigator but hear me out.

Study a suspect takes an action and a successful skill check. Hunt prey only takes an action

Study a suspect lasts for one attack or one turn. Hunt prey lasts for an indefinite period of time.

Can't we make study a little better here? Make it last indefinitely or something so an investigator isn't burning an action every turn, but maybe limit studied strike to once per round? Does study a suspect really need a check? It's based off of a ability score that the class cannot select as their primary and it feels really bad to fail. There are also a lot of times where you encounter a "boss" type enemy in a game that's like 3 levels higher than the party. Succeeding at study a suspect is nearly impossible against these enemies making you nearly ineffective in combat. At least if it lasted indefinitely, you'd only need to get lucky and succeed once.


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Study does really feel like sort of an odd mashup of Ranger and Rogue mechanics, which is kind of boring and doesn't serve to make the Investigator really pop as a unique class.

More combat options would be great and I really want to see them emphasize nonstandard combat options. More damage is useful, of course, but it's kind of boring and something that every other martial class in the game covers pretty well.

I'd like to see the Investigator fleshed out as a master of creating opportunities. Using their wit and tactics to open enemies up for devasting followups. That is to say, debuffs, party buffs, battlefield control, that kind of thing.

Also it bears repeating what the OP said right above me that Study is extraordinarily bad against bosses. Statistically speaking, you will almost never be in a position where you can successfully land a studied strike against a boss, because you're rolling twice and both rolls have a high chance of failure. That sucks when it's pretty much your only unique combat feature.


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zer0darkfire wrote:


Unsettling Deduction:
Reaction/Free Action Not really sure which to use for balance.
Trigger You critically succeed at a check to Study a Suspect

You accurately predict and describe an opponents next action to them, unnerving them. You attempt to demoralize the target of your Study a Suspect, adding your circumstance bonus from Study a Suspect. As normal, this demoralize has the auditory trait and the target must be able to understand you even if you have abilities that say otherwise.

Next you'll say, "This ability sounds really cool and I want to use it on my investigator." GASP.

This ability sounds really cool and I want to use it on my investigator!

GASP.

In all seriousness add this please so I can take it and the "I totally bought this" abilities and make my Joseph Jostar even more Joseph Jostary.


If the check is a must, I'd definitely like to see it more connected to int in some way or another and to have it's effect slide down so that it only does nothing on a crit fail. Failure and success now do the current success and crit success while the crit success now let's allies benefit at least from the bonus and maybe a diminished form of studied strike, like 1 point of damage per die, but not solid on that.

Scarab Sages

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kitmehsu wrote:
If the check is a must, I'd definitely like to see it more connected to int in some way or another and to have it's effect slide down so that it only does nothing on a crit fail. Failure and success now do the current success and crit success while the crit success now let's allies benefit at least from the bonus and maybe a diminished form of studied strike, like 1 point of damage per die, but not solid on that.

The developers said on stream that they really wanted to stay away from X to Ys, and for good reason. However, I think they should give investigators either a base or ability or a feat that works like intimidating prowess, but for perception. It would be like, if your intelligence is at least 16 you get a +1 to perception and if it's 20 or higher, you get a +2.


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zer0darkfire wrote:
The developers said on stream that they really wanted to stay away from X to Ys, and for good reason.

I understand this sentiment and generally agree with it, but I feel letting investigator use int for perception is a worthy exception for this considering a) perception is more vital for this class than any other and b) it's not like perception is the only thing worth investing wis over. Even if it had no skills tied to it at all will saves would still make investing in the stat not only worthwhile but highly advised.


Squiggit wrote:
Also it bears repeating what the OP said right above me that Study is extraordinarily bad against bosses.

Obviously Paizo knew this when they designed the feature. They had to know it would struggle against +level creatures and any creatures with high Wisdom. The questions is why did they want it to work this way?

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Obviously Paizo knew this when they designed the feature. They had to know it would struggle against +level creatures and any creatures with high Wisdom. The questions is why did they want it to work this way?

The people at Paizo aren't omniscient. They certainly knew this intellectually if they thought about it, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they knew it to be true on a gut level or realized it would be true to the extreme degree it is.

Or, perhaps more relevantly for a playtest, knew people would find it as unpleasant as they do. They certainly didn't know that for sure going in.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hm. Are the complaints about this based on actual play, or gut feel, or something else?


But you still haven't answered the question. You're just telling me that it's worse than Paizo thought it would be...based on a couple of anecdotes. You can't honestly believe Paizo hasn't run all of these playtest classes through a scenario or two and clearly seen how poorly Study Subject fires against +level bosses?

This is not a question of "omniscience" but of having a basic understanding of how their game works.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
But you still haven't answered the question. You're just telling me that it's worse than Paizo thought it would be...based on a couple of anecdotes.

No, I'm saying that it's really bad, and that people at Paizo might not be aware of quite how bad it is, or in particular how bad it feels to a lot of people.

Or they may be aware, in which case discussing it is unnecessary but harmless.

N N 959 wrote:
You can't honestly believe Paizo hasn't run all of these playtest classes through a scenario or two and clearly seen how poorly Study Subject fires against +level bosses?

I'm sure they've run them through scenarios, yes. But it's entirely possible that through luck they looked better than they have outside a closed playtest environment. Is that the case? I have no idea and neither do you.

N N 959 wrote:
This is not a question of "omniscience" but of having a basic understanding of how their game works.

It could also just be as simple as wanting to lowball a new feature and then scale it up rather than risking highballing it and needing to scale it back.

But if nobody calls out perceived problems with the Class, then the playtest is pretty pointless, which makes you seemingly trying to get people to justify doing so kinda weird.


People definitely like feeling like their contribution dialed in the class positively rather than feeling like the class they really enjoyed playtesting just got hit hard by the nerf bat.


It seems a little bizarre to insist that every underpowered mechanic was built that way on purpose. I mean, we literally just had an errata document come out.

Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. Are the complaints about this based on actual play, or gut feel, or something else?

Bit of both. From actual play, Study Suspect just doesn't feel super satisfying or reliable. I failed my checks fairly regularly even against standard opponents and against boss-like enemies I rolled really well once, still failed, then didn't bother for the rest of the combat.

Whether or not it's balance is immaterial to me, because even if it did average out in the long run, having only one real combat mechanic for a character and having it regularly fail just doesn't feel good.


They more I've played and GM'd a playtest Investigator, the more sure I am that study suspect should not require a check at all.

Costing an action is already such a big deal. The skill check is supposed to let you feel highes and lows, and that kind of works for Swashbuckler, but Investigator you are so nebulous in combat situations that one action for +1 to it, +1d6 damage is not overpowered. Just costing an action means you have some awkward decisions some turns. Probably need to slow the progression of it to sneak attacks, but otherwise it's okay IMO. I just feels so, so bad to fail. Or study suspect could give a fraction of Int to damage, and actually make the key ability do something. Then you can build with lower strength and reduce some of the MAD.

Like > study suspect, +1 circumstance bonus to hit, +1/2 (or just full) Int damage to the next attack. No perception check.

When it can scale up at some appropriate pace to account for extra reliability and stat scaling.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Given the current success chance of Study Suspect, the Investigator ends up being a high variance class.

The first thing that is frustrating about that is that a lot of Investigator combat feats become relevant when you can do Studied Strike damage which requires you to succeed at the Study Suspect check. If you fail that as your first action, a player is going to be deflated, the rest of their turn is diminished by that failed roll. That's going to lead to dissatisfaction with the class unless they feel its a high risk/high reward situation, then a player can rationalise it as "win some/lose some"

Lets look at the reward now.
While Studied Strike is often higher damage than Sneak Attack by 1d6, I'm not sure the extra damage is commensurate with the failure chance of Study Suspect. Additionally the triggering condition for Sneak Attack is all over the core game, often the cost is positional but its such a big bonus that any two melee classes are happy to spend an action each to get it. In play Sneak Attack is much more reliable than Studied Strike.
So I suppose the intent of the class has to be looked at; is Investigator a high risk/high reward class or should it have similar reliability to Rogue?

If it's high risk/high reward, Studied Strike damage needs to increase, either more dice or increase to d8s or something tangible.

If it's meant to have similar reliability to Rogue you can do several things.

You can add Study Suspects success and critical success effects to Recall Knowledge checks so you can spend additional actions to try and activate Study Suspect, this leads to additional synergies for feats like Known Weakness.
You can remove the once per turn limit on Study Suspect and clarify you only get the free action once per turn.
You can add a Calculate Trajectories class feat that lets you Study Suspect off Reflex DC instead so Investigators can target all three saves.
Both of these solutions only help a bit with high level opposition.

You could also do something radical as follows. Scale down Studied Strike damage to Sneak Attacks progression. Probably remove the free clause from Study Target.

Critical Success On all your attacks against the target until
the end of this turn, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to
your attack roll and increase Studied Strikes precision damage by 1d6.
Success On your next attack this turn against the target, you
gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your attack roll and increase Studied Strikes precision damage by 1d6.
Failure: On your next attack this turn against the target, you are considered to have succeeded on your check to Study Target.

That way you can always trigger Studied Strike.

Scarab Sages

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N N 959 wrote:

But you still haven't answered the question. You're just telling me that it's worse than Paizo thought it would be...based on a couple of anecdotes. You can't honestly believe Paizo hasn't run all of these playtest classes through a scenario or two and clearly seen how poorly Study Subject fires against +level bosses?

This is not a question of "omniscience" but of having a basic understanding of how their game works.

It's almost like they wanted us to give feedback by playtesting their playtest material for some reason! Man, I'm sure glad you told us that we are all wasting our time by playtesting the playtest material because Paizo already knows how their game and classes work, so they will just throw all our feedback in the trash and this was just some PR stunt to make us more likely to just buy all of their perfect content.


Squiggit wrote:

It seems a little bizarre to insist that every underpowered mechanic was built that way on purpose. I mean, we literally just had an errata document come out.

Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. Are the complaints about this based on actual play, or gut feel, or something else?

Bit of both. From actual play, Study Suspect just doesn't feel super satisfying or reliable. I failed my checks fairly regularly even against standard opponents and against boss-like enemies I rolled really well once, still failed, then didn't bother for the rest of the combat.

Whether or not it's balance is immaterial to me, because even if it did average out in the long run, having only one real combat mechanic for a character and having it regularly fail just doesn't feel good.

I wasn't saying they deliberately went too low, I'm suggesting that if I was a developer, and I didn't know how strong an ability was, I would playtest whatever I imagined to be the slightly less powerful version of a feature or abilty to see if people feel like it is working, with a slightly boosted version ready to roll out if playtesters found the ability lacking. Because the reaction upon official release will be be more positive if the fix brings the power level of the option up to player expectations, rather than down from a level that will leave many players feeling like they were robbed of what they had in playtest.

Players don't usually complain that much about power creep, except when efforts are made to take it away.

Scarab Sages

Yep, its definitely better to lowball the new content and buff it later than to highball and nerf it. People still miss the harrowed medium after all. Personally, I think they really lowballed all the playtest classes, they all look either boring or generally weaker than the core classes right now


Deadmanwalking wrote:
No, I'm saying that it's really bad, and that people at Paizo might not be aware of quite how bad it is, or in particular how bad it feels to a lot of people.

Pazo knows exactly how bad it is on paper. Figuring that out would be trivial. Exceedingly trivial. All probabilities on a uniform d20 are straight-line graphs from 95% to 5% (or 100 to 0% if you can still succeed on a 1 and fail on a 20). In fact, Paizo undoubtedly has all the monsters in a a database and can easily plot every level of Wisdom starting attribute modifier vs every creature's Will save by level. In other words, Paizo knows exactly how likely it is for a 5th level Inv with a 10 Wisdom will succeed against every creature in the database.

What Paizo doesn't know is how people will build and play their characters. This speaks to the "feel" of the class, which is what you identify.

None of this addresses my question. Hunt Target, Rage, Sneak Attack, Attack of Opportunity, Retributive Strike, aren't inherently weaker against higher level creatures. Sneak Attack does have some more limited applicability, but that applies to all Precision attacks. But Study Subject is clearly designed so as to be less effective against +level. Why? Is it a trade-off to make it more effective against -level?

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Or they may be aware, in which case discussing it is unnecessary but harmless.

If we know why Paizo wants SS to work this way, then it's easier to suggest modifications that preserve what it is Paizo wants to achieve while improving the experience for the players. So I believe its extremely helpful for Paizo to discuss this.

Quote:
I'm sure they've run them through scenarios, yes. But it's entirely possible that through luck they looked better than they have outside a closed playtest environment. Is that the case? I have no idea and neither do you.

I absolutely know that Paizo has the ability to determine whether an outcome is a result of good or bad die rolls.

Quote:
It could also just be as simple as wanting to lowball a new feature and then scale it up rather than risking highballing it and needing to scale it back.

That would explain the degree of suckitude, but it doesn't explain the paradigm, which is what I am asking about. Even if you based it on INT, it's still going to perform worse against +level in way something like Hunt Target or Rage does not.

Quote:
But if nobody calls out perceived problems with the Class, then the playtest is pretty pointless, which makes you seemingly trying to get people to justify doing so kinda weird.

I haven't asked anyone to "justify" anything. I have explicitly said talking about the classes before playing them is an important part of the process. Please do not misrepresent my position.


zer0darkfire wrote:
It's almost like they wanted us to give feedback by playtesting their playtest material for some reason!

Yes. The operative word is "play."

Quote:
Man, I'm sure glad you told us that we are all wasting our time by playtesting the playtest material because Paizo already knows how their game and classes work, so they will just throw all our feedback in the trash and this was just some PR stunt to make us more likely to just buy all of their perfect content.

Please show me a single quote where I say "playing' the class is a waste time?


N N 959 wrote:
Yes. The operative word is "play."

What's your play experience been then?

Quote:
Please show me a single quote where I say "playing' the class is a waste time?

You haven't said it directly, but you've been dismissing every critique with the insistence that Paizo knows better, which certainly has that as its implication.

Ultimately though, whether or not it's intentional or accidental or secretly lowballed so they can buff it later doesn't matter at all.

Because either way, this is a playtest that ostensibly has the goal of collecting user feedback and making changes. People have looked at and played the class and (at least here) the feedback is "this mechanic sucks and would feel better if it didn't work the way it did."

Now, if you want to defend the mechanic and put forth an argument as to why you think it's good as written, that's cool, but speculating on what Paizo's Grand Plan may or may not be is, frankly, a waste of time.


HidaOWin wrote:
Given the current success chance of Study Suspect, the Investigator ends up being a high variance class.

Yes. This is something I noted when doing some calcs in an earlier post. I think we see this as intended because you're rolling a die and having a Crit Success outcome. So it's intended to have this variability.

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That's going to lead to dissatisfaction with the class unless they feel its a high risk/high reward situation, then a player can rationalise it as "win some/lose some"

If you look at some of the higher level feats, the payoff improves.

Accurate Study lvl 6 - Increase next attack to +2 on crit.
Studied Bypass lvl 14 - Ignore Resistance per INT mod
Didactic Strike lvl 16 - 2d6 precision for allies on crit

This is independent from the Precision dice increase. How good is this? How much fun does it make the class at higher level?

Personally, I feel like blossoming (if that's what actually happens) at higher level is a bad design approach because the majority of players aren't gong to get to lvl 16.

Quote:

Lets look at the reward now.

While Studied Strike is often higher damage than Sneak Attack by 1d6, I'm not sure the extra damage is commensurate with the failure chance of Study Suspect.

I think there are two separate problems that are getting conflated:

1. Inv's propensity for low accuracy.

2. Study Subjects low fire rate.

IMO, the #1 is a bigger than #2. Worse, #1 contributes to exasperating #2. If we look at a Rogue compared to an Inv, the Rogue is going to typically have an 18 DEX. My playtest Inv has a 12 DEX because I'm having to boost INT and WIS. That's a +3 lower on my attack. If each +1 equals 10% expected damage, I'm doing 30% less damage on straight accuracy alone. That's before I even get to Study Subject.

Is Study Subject + Strike going to catch make up the 30% lower damage to Rogue and SA? I'm guessing no without doing any actual math, certainly not if I go with a 12 DEX. What if I go 16 DEX? I'm still down 10% straight damage, Will SS let me gain ground? I'm guessing it's still lower, but how much lower? Is it acceptable?

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Additionally the triggering condition for Sneak Attack is all over the core game, often the cost is positional but its such a big bonus that any two melee classes are happy to spend an action each to get it. In play Sneak Attack is much more reliable than Studied Strike.

I'm not convinced about this. In my PF2 games so far, actual flanking is still fairly uncommon. Not only that, GMs will have any moderate INT creature actively avoid being flanked. So while it's easy to talk about all the potential flanking, I'd like to see actual game data on how many of a Rogue's attacks actually benefit from flanking. I think there is going to be a huge variance.

For me, this comparison isn't resolved on paper. More to the point, if we're talking about being the "range" of a Rogue, we'd need real data on what that range is.

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So I suppose the intent of the class has to be looked at; is Investigator a high risk/high reward class or should it have similar reliability to Rogue?

Your statement earlier was accurate, imo. The Inv feels like it has a high beta. This is not the same as high risk/high reward. There is no real "risk" for the Inv. If the play style is simply wait until you succeed or crit succeed, before moving into melee, then the Inv can stay mobile and avoid combat until it has success. A Rogue is far more likely to be exposed to risk as Sneak Attack is leveraged by being in melee with Agile weapons and maximizing the number of attacks you make per round.

What SS does require is the use of an Action. Flanking would probably require actions to maintain position. Hard to know or determine if this constitutes a wash.

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If it's high risk/high reward, Studied Strike damage needs to increase, either more dice or increase to d8s or something tangible.

If the "risk" were high, I would agree with upping the damage. But I think the actual risk is low. I think the bigger problem is the psychological impact of it not working enough. Combine that with potentially low accuracy and you have a cascade failure in SS delivering the "fun" factor.

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If it's meant to have similar reliability to Rogue you can do several things.

Well, I'd really like to hear what Paizo's answer to this is. Is it suppose to provide the same experience as Sneak Attack, or is Paizo aiming for something that feels way different. I'm hoping for the later. But if you're applying damage to attacks, then you're being capped by accuracy and as others have pointed out, you might have to pump the damage to unreasonable levels for it to "feel" balanced.


Squiggit wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Yes. The operative word is "play."
What's your play experience been then?

In non-combat, the class is great. I haven't had a chance to do an actual battle, which is why I am curious to hear from people who have.

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You haven't said it directly, but you've been dismissing every critique with the insistence that Paizo knows better, which certainly has that as its implication.

It's amazing your propensity to blatantly lie on these forums. My first post to your critique on combat, I agreed with your assessment that the class looks lacking in combat. In fact, I said much of your opinion was "spot on."

Nor have I once said that Paizo knows better. What you're not comprehending is that Paizo's choices are deliberate and I'm asking if people know why. That is not the same as saying "Paizo knows better" nor is it implying that. It's implying that Paizo has a vision and if you don't know what that vision is, then you're at a decided disadvantage at convincing them to change it.

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Ultimately though, whether or not it's intentional or accidental or secretly lowballed so they can buff it later doesn't matter at all.

It absolutely matters. It substantively effects what type of feedback they are going to be most sensitive to/persuaded by.

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Now, if you want to defend the mechanic and put forth an argument as to why you think it's good as written, that's cool, but speculating on what Paizo's Grand Plan may or may not be is, frankly, a waste of time.

No, understanding what Paizo's goals are is not a waste of time. Nothing could be further form the truth. What is a waste of time is trying to convince Paizo to change something that they clearly are wedded to. Knowing what Paizo is flexible and what they are adamant on is going to be extremely helpful in suggesting solutions.


N N 959 wrote:
It's amazing your propensity to blatantly lie on these forums.

I'm not really sure what the point of this incessantly combative attitude is. Doesn't really matter I guess, whatever works for you.

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No, understanding what Paizo's goals are is not a waste of time.

If you were a developer looking for community feedback, would you be more interested in seeing feedback on the mechanics you designed and opinions on how they feel to use, or see those same people argue over whether or not some quirk in the game was an error or intentional or what your state of mind was when you wrote something?

The former seems significantly more relevant, but maybe that's just me. That's why I think it's a waste of time, because we're speculating aimlessly about mindset and arguing over intent instead of actually discussing the merits of the ability one way or the other.

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Knowing what Paizo is flexible and what they are adamant on is going to be extremely helpful in suggesting solutions.

But you don't know. You're guessing. That's not bad in and of itself, but it's problematic when you then use those assumptions to try to tell people off.

Sovereign Court

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I think it’s safe to say that, at the very least, Paizo doesn’t want players to consistently feel disappointed by missing studied strike (either the study check or the accuracy check), so it’s absolutely worth our time to communicate that it doesn’t feel very good. However, at this point they do probably get the point considering how many posts and topics have been made about it.


Lukas Stariha wrote:
I think it’s safe to say that, at the very least, Paizo doesn’t want players to consistently feel disappointed by missing studied strike (either the study check or the accuracy check), so it’s absolutely worth our time to communicate that it doesn’t feel very good

Agreed, but I'm expecting Paizo to be more sensitive to actual game playing feedback.

It'd be nice to know where Paizo expects the Investigator to fit in the line-up as far as damage output. Fighter comes in first, what's last, Bard? Where is the Investigator in that line-up? If we knew what Paizo expected, then we'd know how far of the class was from expectations and could give better suggestions on what degree of fixes are needed.

From where I sit, it's going to be really hard to make the class perform like a Rogue without violating some unwritten rule about the game design, especially if people are pumping INT and WIS like you'd be inclined to. And without some non-damage way to impact combat, I'm not sure what Paizo's thinking. How close to the Rogue is the class suppose to be?

This class has some unique challenges, so I'm very interested to see if Paizo already has answers.


After having just played a 4th level investigator (admittedly this was hastily constructed so I may have missed some key decisions/mechanics) my biggest qualm is the reliability of study. I like the notion of some sort of success even in failure if it has to be a roll. I think of starfinder's envoy and how many of their abilities work in some fashion even in failure.

If it has to be a successful roll with no wiggle room for failure, I'd prefer to have to make the study roll just once for the initial effect, and then have an action that refreshes the effect each round for next attack so long as I don't change the target of the study. This would meet in the middle on the rolling aspect while still forcing me to participate in the action economy every round to maintain it. It would also alleviate the frequency piece of the originating ability. I could spend all three actions trying to initiate my Study if that's what it takes. Since this option would make the study reliably maintained, the rate at which the investigator gains studied strike dice would likely have to be slowed down.

From there the ability would give me a minor boost to my damage output per the studied strike, but more importantly would be used as a corner stone to provide my party with several advantages as I shared my deductions and predictions based on what class feats I've taken and how I choose to employ the action economy, similarly to the OP's suggestions.


Matthew Vertz wrote:


If it has to be a successful roll with no wiggle room for failure, I'd prefer to have to make the study roll just once for the initial effect, and then have an action that refreshes the effect each round for next attack so long as I don't change the target of the study. This would meet in the middle on the rolling aspect while still forcing me to participate in the action economy every round to maintain it. It would also alleviate the frequency piece of the originating ability. I could spend all three actions trying to initiate my Study if that's what it takes. Since this option would make the study reliably maintained, the rate at which the investigator gains studied strike dice would likely have to be slowed down.

One of the reasons for rolling every round is that other feats trigger of a crit. Accurate Study and Didactic Strike both need crits to trigger. In addition, Sweeping Study triggers off a failure. So if Paizo removes the rolling or minimizes it, that effects other aspects of the class.

Also, changing the mechanics dramatically changes the combat play style. As written, I'm probably going to avoid combat until I succeed on a Study. If I get Study every round for an action, then I'm not picking my moments, but standing in one spot and trying to slog it out. This is not a complimentary approach. The class is not designed for sustained melee exposure, so a combat mechanic that encourages the player to wait for the right opportunity is much better suited.

It's also not clear what happens with the duration of Subject if you're using an action to maintain it. Right now, a success gets you one attack. If a PC has to use an action, when does that occur? In the same round as Study? The next round? How many attacks get Studied Strike for that one action?

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