Investigators and How to Handle Them


Advice

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graystone wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Ballista is 1+ like bows are. You'd save actions if it was in your hand from the start and you're using a returning thrown weapon as your main I guess. I'd rather just grab quickdraw and blast with a...
The + is meaningless as you can't reload it when worn: as such, it's effectively a 1 handed weapon. The + is only when you take it off to reload it and take out a min to do so. So you only really need the action to deploy it and if you're willing to spend one to draw the jezail [or go out of your way to get quick draw], you can do the same with the backpack. I don't see the jezail as anything but a worse option unless you expect multiple crits but even them each additional crit is STILL extra actions with the jezail [or you're dropping weapons] or you're not getting fatal.

1+ means you need 1 hand to hold it and a free hand in order to wield it. Loading doesn't have anything to do with it. So it's not more convenient in the way you think. Now, a pistol would work similarly since it is one handed and it does comparable damage to the backpack on a crit. That's probably the way to do it.


I could see the backpack being used as a consistent opener regardless of a crit though. D12s are hard to come by with range. Start out with one in hand and have your coffee to open with d12s + d8s from strategem.


Strategic Strike adds d6s, not d8s.

But that is a pretty minor quibble that isn't really going to change your point much.


Aobst considers the new Coffee Consummable.


Yeah. Just cementing that the alchemical science subclass is the best one lol.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So the first round of combat you drink your coffee, and then devise a stratagem. If you roll decently you use it for your 3rd action to attack, what about if your roll a 7?

I am glad they have a consumable to boost strategic strike damage, I think that acknowledges that the basic investigator is behind and needs a boost, but if it only boosts strategic strike damage, it really doubles down on needing to roll high with that devise a stratagem roll or you are about at caster levels of attacking with weapons.


Unicore wrote:

So the first round of combat you drink your coffee, and then devise a stratagem. If you roll decently you use it for your 3rd action to attack, what about if your roll a 7?

I am glad they have a consumable to boost strategic strike damage, I think that acknowledges that the basic investigator is behind and needs a boost, but if it only boosts strategic strike damage, it really doubles down on needing to roll high with that devise a stratagem roll or you are about at caster levels of attacking with weapons.

I don't recall exactly but the coffee lasts pretty long. The higher level ones were at least an hour. It does a few other things too. But the real cost for quick tincture if you're caught in combat is 2 actions so you better hope you have a free DAS.


aobst128 wrote:
Yeah. Just cementing that the alchemical science subclass is the best one lol.

If you go for a Dex-based Investigator. I feel that the Strength-based one is very competitive and can choose whatever other subclasses they want.


SuperBidi wrote:
Aobst considers the new Coffee Consummable.

Must be really new - probably in the new book coming out, yes?

Because all I am finding is the Bloodeye Coffee. Or non-mechanic flavor coffee.


breithauptclan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Aobst considers the new Coffee Consummable.

Must be really new - probably in the new book coming out, yes?

Because all I am finding is the Bloodeye Coffee. Or non-mechanic flavor coffee.

Yeah. From the recent treasure vault sneak peaks.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Aobst considers the new Coffee Consummable.

Must be really new - probably in the new book coming out, yes?

Because all I am finding is the Bloodeye Coffee. Or non-mechanic flavor coffee.

It's in Treasure Vault, yeah.

Insight Coffee:
level 6(12/19) item that turns your strategic strike dice into d8s and gives you a +2(+3/+4) item to an RK based on the flavor of the coffee (i.e. pumpkin spice occultism). Lasts an hour.

One quirk is that higher level versions only improve the RK bonus, not the damage bonus or duration. So even without Alchemical Sciences the bigger strategic strike die eventually become something you can have up pretty regularly, since eventually 40g stops being a significant cost


aobst128 wrote:
1+ means you need 1 hand to hold it and a free hand in order to wield it. Loading doesn't have anything to do with it. So it's not more convenient in the way you think. Now, a pistol would work similarly since it is one handed and it does comparable damage to the backpack on a crit. That's probably the way to do it.

NO, it doesn't as it SPECIFICALLY mentions the reason for the extra hand is loading: "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow." This just never happen with the backpack, hence the sentences that follow, that assume that this is happening, don't apply. Nothing in the description* of the backpack suggests it either. At best, you can claim you need the extra hand while reloading, but that isn't a combat activity.

Now, if they errata 1+ to read that it means something other than "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow", then I'll concede the argument.

*Backpack Ballista: "This complex wooden device, worn on the back, contains a miniature ballista on a retractable arm. As an Interact action, you can pull a lever to deploy or retract the ballista. As long as it remains deployed, you must hold the ballista using that hand or some of the components spill out onto the ground, just like dropping any other weapon. While deployed, the device opens and raises the ballista up over your shoulder. While retracted, the ballista and its mount slide down and are concealed within the device. Although a backpack ballista packs a punch, the device is a challenge to operate. Reloading it takes 1 minute and can't be done while worn. As normal, you can't wear a backpack ballista with another backpack."

Please point out where you "retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow" in that description". With the current 1+ description, he backpack should be hands 2 if it requires 2 to shoot.


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Hands

Hands wrote:
You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow. This means you can do things with your free hand while holding the bow without changing your grip, but the other hand must be free when you shoot. To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free.


graystone wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
1+ means you need 1 hand to hold it and a free hand in order to wield it. Loading doesn't have anything to do with it. So it's not more convenient in the way you think. Now, a pistol would work similarly since it is one handed and it does comparable damage to the backpack on a crit. That's probably the way to do it.

NO, it doesn't as it SPECIFICALLY mentions the reason for the extra hand is loading: "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow." This just never happen with the backpack, hence the sentences that follow, that assume that this is happening, don't apply. Nothing in the description* of the backpack suggests it either. At best, you can claim you need the extra hand while reloading, but that isn't a combat activity.

Now, if they errata 1+ to read that it means something other than "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow", then I'll concede the argument.

*Backpack Ballista: "This complex wooden device, worn on the back, contains a miniature ballista on a retractable arm. As an Interact action, you can pull a lever to deploy or retract the ballista. As long as it remains deployed, you must hold the ballista using that hand or some of the components spill out onto the ground, just like dropping any other weapon. While deployed, the device opens and raises the ballista up over your shoulder. While retracted, the ballista and its mount slide down and are concealed within the device. Although a backpack ballista packs a punch, the device is a challenge to operate. Reloading it takes 1 minute and can't be done while worn. As normal, you can't wear a backpack ballista with another backpack."

Please point out where you "retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow" in that description". With the current 1+ description, he backpack should be hands 2 if it requires 2 to shoot.

I can point out the last relevant sentence in the rules on hands:

"To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free."

The previous text is irrelevant to the practical function of the rule. It's just like that because when it was written, there weren't anything but bows
with 1+ so it was for simple reference.


breithauptclan wrote:

Hands

Hands wrote:
You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow. This means you can do things with your free hand while holding the bow without changing your grip, but the other hand must be free when you shoot. To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free.

Sure, because "it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow":... so, when do you retrieve and nock a backpack ballista again? "Reloading it takes 1 minute and can't be done while worn. As normal, you can't wear a backpack ballista with another backpack." You can't pick and choice which parts of 1+ you use as 1+ "REQUIRES" that ammo is retrieved, it be nocked and you loose an arrow from it... If you do, you can't claim your read [that ignores part of the rules] is better than my read [that ignores part of the rules]. Myself, the context of the part you ignore makes ignoring the 2 hands needed make more sense to me. Secondly, I can't even picture HOW you use it 2 handed as it's over 1 shoulder, meaning one arm would have to be over your face...

aobst128 wrote:

I can point out the last relevant sentence in the rules on hands:

"To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free."

The previous text is irrelevant to the practical function of the rule. It's just like that because when it was written, there weren't anything but bows
with 1+ so it was for simple reference.

Since when can you ignore part of the rules to get to the part you like? You have to ignore part of the text to work, and I don't see how you can claim one cut is better than another.


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It's not worth the insult to the electrons it would take to argue with you on this one. Sorry.


breithauptclan wrote:
It's not worth the insult to the electrons it would take to argue with you on this one. Sorry.

*shrug* No ones asking you to: I was just saying, as presented, 1+ doesn't make sense on it as you have to ignore rules to make it work [however you want to rule it].


graystone wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

Hands

Hands wrote:
You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow. This means you can do things with your free hand while holding the bow without changing your grip, but the other hand must be free when you shoot. To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free.

Sure, because "it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow":... so, when do you retrieve and nock a backpack ballista again? "Reloading it takes 1 minute and can't be done while worn. As normal, you can't wear a backpack ballista with another backpack." You can't pick and choice which parts of 1+ you use as 1+ "REQUIRES" that ammo is retrieved, it be nocked and you loose an arrow from it... If you do, you can't claim your read [that ignores part of the rules] is better than my read [that ignores part of the rules]. Myself, the context of the part you ignore makes ignoring the 2 hands needed make more sense to me. Secondly, I can't even picture HOW you use it 2 handed as it's over 1 shoulder, meaning one arm would have to be over your face...

aobst128 wrote:

I can point out the last relevant sentence in the rules on hands:

"To properly wield a 1+ weapon, you must hold it in one hand and also have a hand free."

The previous text is irrelevant to the practical function of the rule. It's just like that because when it was written, there weren't anything but bows
with 1+ so it was for simple reference.

Since when can you ignore part of the rules to get to the part you like? You have to ignore part of the text to work, and I don't see how you can claim one cut is better than another.

The last sentence IS more relevant because obviously, it is not a bow. It is a clear statement of the function of the rule and not an explanation of it so it can be applied to non bow weapons. It's natural language as the last thing that is important in the text. On the topic of what it would look like, I assume it's like an over the shoulder bazooka.


aobst128 wrote:
The last sentence IS more relevant because obviously, it is not a bow.

IMO, that's why something is clearly wrong, not a clear reason to ignore it.

aobst128 wrote:
It is a clear statement of the function of the rule and not an explanation of it so it can be applied to non bow weapons.

It's not clear that it can ever apply to non-bow weapons, which is why I question it: if it's not about reloading the weapon, why not make it a 2 handed weapon then? I don't see the benefit/use of trying to shoehorn it into the bow's 1+. Maybe I'm missing something.

aobst128 wrote:
It's natural language as the last thing that is important in the text.

Natural language, IMO, would mean that the last sentence is informed by the sentences that came before it and form the context for things: natural language leads be to the conclusion that it can't possibly work as presented as the reasons for it being 1+ never happen. Natural language would never lead me to ignore everything but the last sentence of a paragraph.

aobst128 wrote:
On the topic of what it would look like, I assume it's like an over the shoulder bazooka.

The issue with that, is that it's a ballista, which means it has bow arms that extend from the body of it: if it's held like a bazooka, the arm is in your face. If you raise it higher, your arm is in your face. If it was more a slingshot or spring driven, it could work like a bazooka but then it's not a ballista anymore.

PS: we're getting a bit far afield from the investigator talk, so I can just say I disagree and we can debate this if/when a better thread for it comes up.


graystone wrote:
NO, it doesn't as it SPECIFICALLY mentions the reason for the extra hand is loading: "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow."

Uh... you actually quoted right there that it SPECIFICALLY says that you need it for shooting. Aside from "the process of shooting" which is also right there, you know that "loosing" an arrow is shooting it, right?


Super Zero wrote:
graystone wrote:
NO, it doesn't as it SPECIFICALLY mentions the reason for the extra hand is loading: "You can hold a weapon with a 1+ entry in one hand, but the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow."
Uh... you actually quoted right there that it SPECIFICALLY says that you need it for shooting. Aside from "the process of shooting" which is also right there, you know that "loosing" an arrow is shooting it, right?

You VERY CONVENIENTLY didn't quote the whole thing: "the process of shooting it requires using a second to retrieve, nock, and loose an arrow". I'm quite aware of what loose means in this context. Do YOU know what retrieve and nocking an arrow means? It doesn't say shooting the weapon takes 2 hands, but that shooting AND retrieving AND nocking an arrow does. 2 of those don't happen with the weapon in question. Again, if 1+ is meant for other weapons, this text need fixed, FAQ'd or errata'd as it's clearly incorrect and misleading if it's meant for other weapons.


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graystone wrote:
2 of those don't happen with the weapon in question.

Quote the line where it says you don't need an arrow in your hand to shoot the Ballista.

If the Ballista was a one-handed weapon, they would have used the "1" number of hands. If they put the "1+" number of hands I think we can see the intent. And the intent is the same than the bow: You can't shoot it with only one hand.
Now, you can say that because there's one sentence not working with the Ballista you can come up with whatever rule you want, but I don't expect any GM to follow you in this rabbit hole.


Sigh... I had wanted to let this pass...

SuperBidi wrote:
Quote the line where it says you don't need an arrow in your hand to shoot the Ballista.

"Reloading it takes 1 minute and can't be done while worn. As normal, you can't wear a backpack ballista with another backpack." As such, there is no way to nock an arrow. At best, you can claim you are forced to have an empty hand for no particular reason because of the plus as it never says what you'd need that extra hand for that actually still applies.

SuperBidi wrote:
If the Ballista was a one-handed weapon, they would have used the "1" number of hands. If they put the "1+" number of hands I think we can see the intent. And the intent is the same than the bow: You can't shoot it with only one hand.

I disagree, as 1+ makes no sense, IMO, with this weapon and can't be the same as the bow [you aren't reloading it and Striking in the same action with a reload 0 weapon]. There isn't a nexus between 1+ and what you actually need the extra hand for and the only explanation is under 1+ and that can't apply.

SuperBidi wrote:
Now, you can say that because there's one sentence not working with the Ballista you can come up with whatever rule you want, but I don't expect any GM to follow you in this rabbit hole.

Actually, none of the sentences actually work without that sentence [it's about the strike]. That's kind of my point. Without it, you just have a free hand needed but you never use for anything [it's not to deal with the ammo and not for striking].

As to DMs, I actually HAVE talked it over with a few and so far haven't had an issue treating it as a 1 handed weapon. The logistics of a backpack crossbow just don't make sense when you think about it IMO. It's the reason I suggested firing the backpack ballista while holding a bow in the other hand because that's what that character did.


So after sleeping on this, I am going to try and explain better.

graystone wrote:
Since when can you ignore part of the rules to get to the part you like? You have to ignore part of the text to work, and I don't see how you can claim one cut is better than another.

This is insulting. I am not ignoring any part of the rule. That first sentence is very much valid and applicable. But nothing in that sentence overrides, supersedes, invalidates, or contradicts the rest of the rule.

For a 1+ hand weapon you have to have your second hand free in order to do any and all of the following:
Retrieve an arrow
knock an arrow
loose an arrow
wield the weapon properly
shoot the weapon

None of that is being ignored.

But in a previous discussion with you earlier, you mentioned something - having these long circular arguments with you is not benefiting anyone. So congratulations on convincing me of that.

So I have stated my thoughts on the matter. I do not find your argument convincing and I stand by my previous post.


From earlier comments in this thread, I get the sense the Investigator is only decent even when the player can use Devise a Stratagem as a free action. If that's true, would it be unbalanced to make the non-multiclass version of Devise a free action against all targets?

My gut reaction is yes, because that could turn the Investigator into a Rogue who no longer requires set up and has two shots at a MAP-free attack. But:
1. Getting flat-footed is trivial for Rogues if they invest feats into making it easier or have a cooperative party.
2. Most characters try to get flat-footed even without Sneak Attack because it increases the chance of getting a hit or a critical hit.
3. Sneak Attack, unlike Strategic Strike, can trigger two or three times a round.
4. At higher levels, Sneak Attack also delivers debuffs.

Of course, Devise offers several benefits that Sneak Attack doesn't. For example, it makes Investigators much better at using consumables, such as Potency Crystals and Fear Gems, as well as weapons that are much stronger on a crit, such as guns and Tanglefoot Bags. It also conserves actions; a melee investigator who rolls low doesn't need to engage a target.

Making Devise free would also remove most of the incentive for Investigators to identify leads before combat. For me, that would be a plus. I love the idea of playing a character who survives through wits and skill but am worried that the Investigator's out-of-combat mechanics would amount to hogging the spotlight and require more GM prodding than I'm comfortable with. When I tried an Investigator, I never got leads and rarely felt useful in combat despite using the Wizard dedication and Aid to compensate for low Devise a Stratagem rolls.

Anyway, what do folks who are better at getting leads think of making Devise free? Would it turn the class into an overpowered skill monkey or take too much fun out of its out-of-combat mechanics?


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This whole discussion about number of hands needed would be much more appropriate as a separate thread in the Rules Forum than in the middle of a discussion of a class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the idea that investigators are “good with high crit weapons” is a misleading idea. Devise doesn’t really give extra chances to crit, it can eliminate the odds of crit failure, and it can prevent wasted ammunition and consumables, but the classes low accuracy and focus on ranged combat/being pretty squishy, make it harder to land crits that most other martials. In fact, if you tend to have about one combat encounter an hour or so, and get a hero point about as often, I think fighters are unquestionably better at getting crits, and most other martials will use a hero point in those critical rounds of combat, making it pretty close to a wash on avoiding using costly ammo or anything like that.

Combat moves fast on PF2. Waiting 10 rounds to roll a 20 isn’t a realistic game scenario. As a martial, Every turn you make no attacks, you are usually placing the party at greater risk.

Getting leads on what is coming up is very important. Focusing on the end boss of an adventure is a very natural thing to do, but a terrible idea for investigators. You want to make sure you are spending a minute in each dungeon room figuring out what is in the next room, not what is in the last one. You need to make sure your whole party understand that your character doesn’t really work otherwise and will be dead weight for the whole team. I didn’t learn that until it was too late really


I think you might be missing the point. The thing is that investigators have the opportunity to fully capitalize when they crit. Not that they crit more often. Their rolls are diverse and flexible. You use that to your advantage with backup weapons and skills. You plan around your DAS. That's the whole point of it.


Unicore wrote:
I think the idea that investigators are “good with high crit weapons” is a misleading idea. Devise doesn’t really give extra chances to crit, it can eliminate the odds of crit failure, and it can prevent wasted ammunition and consumables, but the classes low accuracy and focus on ranged combat/being pretty squishy, make it harder to land crits that most other martials.

If you have a good Dex (or Strength) and there are multiple enemies, a viable use of a failed Stratagem can be to attack a different enemy. It won't be as good so may not be your best option, but it's not bad. That's essentially re-rolling, which improves crit chance.

Unicore wrote:
Combat moves fast on PF2. Waiting 10 rounds to roll a 20 isn’t a realistic game scenario. As a martial, Every turn you make no attacks, you are usually placing the party at greater risk.

And now to make the opposite of the point I made before.

If an Investigator knows that they'd miss, they're not giving anything up by not making the attack. They're just getting whatever benefit they get out of their alternative plan.
Any other character would have just missed, accomplishing the same thing.


I've only played one investigator, from L1-5, but had a good experience. He is built around the alchemical specialty, and I also picked up a dedication (for a few cantrip options). Primary weapon was a longbow, although he also had a sword and daggers (in case of melee, break glass).

In combat we found him to be very effective as part of a team. Devise, with the free Recall Knowledge, felt very powerful (even without it being a free action) simply because it enables max use of versatility.

Against a mob, devise is as effective as true-strike... maybe more so. Any time you have multiple targets, take the free recall to look for weaknesses, and then either shoot the primary target (good devise roll) or your alternate (bad devise roll)...no MAP. What makes it potentially *better* than true strike is that choice of weapon, position, special ammunition, etc, can be made *after* you know what the roll is. There are a lot of times where, after the roll, you can move, or use 'guidance' from a companion, quaff a potion, whatever, to get the +1 or +2 needed to turn a near-miss into a hit or a hit into a crit.

If the free recall knowledge turned up a weakness, then you have the option of switching strategy to a cantrip or a silver arrow, or whatever. If it's a crit, you can decide to use any special ammo that you have.

Against a single target, like a boss, it is still solid. First, as noted above, after the devise and before the shot, you have one action to improve your shot with positioning, consumables, etc. If it's a terrible roll, then switch to a cantrip or take a second roll and see if you get lucky (will be worse odds without substituting Intelligence, but still). You will almost always be able to do some damage.

Alchemical studies synergizes super well also, since it gives you consumables that let you adapt to the scene... surprise melee? Drakeheart mutagen. Undead mob? Silversheen those arrows. Fey? Cold Iron blanch. Long range fight? Quicksilver mutagen.

Longbow was pretty solid as a weapon BTW, since with Devise you can decide to get out of Volley range *after* you know if the roll is close or not, and the extra damage is nice.

Basically, between Devising Strategems and Hero Points, the Investigator rarely missed entirely and he definitely crit more than average.


I forgot to add... I was eventually able to use Devise as a free action regularly. However it took several levels before I realized that Pursue a lead doesn't really require all that much pre-knowledge.

Is your party is scouting ahead? Then when the scout comes back to brief the team, pursue a lead against whatever bad guy the scout saw, or clue he found. Footprints, the big bad's notepad, etc. "Guys, it's some kind of dining hall, some ugly Ogre-looking boyo at the end and a couple of dunno, cultists maybe? What's the plan." "I pursue a lead against the maybe-Ogre"

Plenty of times we had to retreat from an encounter gone wrong... but when you come back? Guaranteed that the Investigator is Pursuing a lead against the BBEG.

Not always possible, but enough to be worth it if you remember to use it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Super Zero wrote:
Any other character would have just missed, accomplishing the same thing.

While true, worth pointing out that the Investigator (often) requires an extra action of setup and their whole combat gimmick revolves around that first check. The odds of a rogue or barbarian hitting a boss with their second attack is low, but an Investigator doesn't even really get that option if their Devise is low, and even if they hit that follow up attack is going to be pretty weak.

Pursuit helps fix their action economy trouble, but doesn't do a lot for their damage woes.

Sovereign Court

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I think investigators aren't really exceptionally good with crits. That's not precisely the thing they're good at.

What they're good with are:

- expensive attacks (like consumables, or daily things), that you'd prefer to use when you know it's a sure thing

- fallback attacks (like splash damage triggering weakness) when you know for sure it's not going to be plan A.

- alternative attacks (like a disarm maneuver, with the feat) that you wouldn't normally try because it usually fails. But if you know you have a nat 20 in the pocket why not switch to plan Z?

I think you have to be angling to make use of this kind of thing. On its own, I think Stategic Strike bonus damage is more like a weird Power Attack variant, that costs actions to boost damage dice. It sort of works, but you're trailing behind other classes a lot on how well it works.

Only if you start getting the tricksier bits out of DaS does it become more even. But that means you have to go beyond just "roll up a character" and start doing research into combos and fallback plans. It definitely puts you into the "advanced class" category.


Squiggit wrote:
Super Zero wrote:
Any other character would have just missed, accomplishing the same thing.

While true, worth pointing out that the Investigator (often) requires an extra action of setup and their whole combat gimmick revolves around that first check. The odds of a rogue or barbarian hitting a boss with their second attack is low, but an Investigator doesn't even really get that option if their Devise is low, and even if they hit that follow up attack is going to be pretty weak.

Pursuit helps fix their action economy trouble, but doesn't do a lot for their damage woes.

It's the worst with Dex melee investigator, which is frustrating to me because that's the playstyle I feel most inclined towards when I think about the class' fantasy. I also think of firearms before I think of bows for them, which is also a rough comparison.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree that the bow works out to be a good weapon for them, and in retrospect, I should have remembered that the shortbow is built to be the default ranged weapon of the whole system, but I thought firearms would be fun in the Outlaws of Alkenstar campaign, and it turned out both that the third book of that campaign is terrible for firearms as a whole, and that investigators are actually not that good with firearms. You need a weapon you don't have to reload because you don't get reload support and you don't have the accuracy to make fatal worth it.

I do think the whole class boils down to just a different way of approaching the game. You need to be pursuing immediate leads and things get better, but much like an unprepared wizard, an unprepared investigator feels very much behind the rest of the party and almost justifies running away from any encounter you don't have pinned down. Cautious careful play can be fun, but it really requires other players buying in, and the GM ok with the party not being very heroic, which are 2 fairly large asks of a table.

And the thing is, it seems like the investigator's shtick has to change over the course of the game. People are saying that cantrips make the class feel a lot better, but certainly not much past level 6. You aren't doing anything special or cool with your cantrips, so as accuracy falls off, it really becomes a flat trick for when your devise roll is bad.

Maybe a spell casting methodology could make that shtick work long term? Or I guess a lot of folks are going Magus to double down on the one mega strike, but what about just being an investigator?

Alchemical methodology might have been more interesting than the empiricist with how much my GM did not like me asking, "Is there anything odd about this room?" or maybe the medicine one to be the best nonmagical healer in the game, so healing folks is what you are doing most of the time anyway, but the investigator has been the most difficult class for me to figure out how to make work in play by a long margin.

Hero points really feel like a waste for attack rolls with the investigator though because you can't use them on the devise roll. Hero pointing a regular attack roll against a secondary foe that gets no special damage boost is just so anti-climatic.


Ascalaphus wrote:
snip

You've reminded me I really want to play an Athletic Strategist at some point.

Probably go Wrestler to grab Disengaging Twist to match the inevitable poor athletics DC.

On topic, they're REALLY good with liberal GMs as Eldritch Archers.

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