Remastered Investigator


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I didn't see a thread on the Remaster Investigator, so I thought I'd make one! I know this wasn't one of the classes mentioned to get a significant overhaul, but I'm curious what everyone else is hoping to see for this class in the remaster.

My hope is to see the narrative scope of the class broadened. Compared to other classes, detective is incredibly narrow flavor to build a class around. I'd love to see the class branch into archetypes (not the mechanic) that have yet to really be covered. I'd love to see the addition of these methodologies: archaeologist and cryptologist. With this broadening, it would be neat to see Devise a Stratagem work in different ways for either method.

Archaeologist could have it behave more like an Indy Ploy that feels more improvisational. Something that is less Sherlock and predicting outcomes, but more like gambling.

During the Thaumaturge playtest, a few people wanted a character that uses intelligence to actually know about weaknesses. I think the cryptologist would be an excellent subclass to see that flavor realized. Their Stratagem could revolve identifying creatures and helping the party to exploit their weaknesses. A Thaumaturge that does spend all day in books but lacks that ability to create weaknesses. A very book accurate Van Helsing.


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Off the top of my head:

-Don't force players to take a bad DaS roll to fight an enemy; DaS is feast or famine in most fights, and in some fights (solo bosses) is completely useless if you have a streak of bad rolls. Even third actions have their limits, between Demoralize, Battle Medicine, etc. And having to take two third actions because you roll bad once isn't compelling or helpful gameplay.

-Intelligence is a bad stat in the game, so forcing them to boost it instead of a stat they use for combat is pretty feelsbad. Also, if the Investigator is meant to be the detective type, having them be Wisdom-based makes more sense IMO because it becomes more of a sense of intuition than book smarts. That isn't to say book smarts is bad, but the best detectives use good intuitions to solve cases, not textbook knowledge.

Might post more later, but I would need to actually sit down and think it out.


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Jedi Maester wrote:

I didn't see a thread on the Remaster Investigator, so I thought I'd make one! I know this wasn't one of the classes mentioned to get a significant overhaul, but I'm curious what everyone else is hoping to see for this class in the remaster.

My hope is to see the narrative scope of the class broadened. Compared to other classes, detective is incredibly narrow flavor to build a class around. I'd love to see the class branch into archetypes (not the mechanic) that have yet to really be covered. I'd love to see the addition of these methodologies: archaeologist and cryptologist. With this broadening, it would be neat to see Devise a Stratagem work in different ways for either method.

Archaeologist could have it behave more like an Indy Ploy that feels more improvisational. Something that is less Sherlock and predicting outcomes, but more like gambling.

During the Thaumaturge playtest, a few people wanted a character that uses intelligence to actually know about weaknesses. I think the cryptologist would be an excellent subclass to see that flavor realized. Their Stratagem could revolve identifying creatures and helping the party to exploit their weaknesses. A Thaumaturge that does spend all day in books but lacks that ability to create weaknesses. A very book accurate Van Helsing.

Strategic strike needs to not be a shoddy sneak attack. If it were doubled it'd probably be fine.

Really it's mostly just extremely poor numbers. And a complete lack of combat feat support, of course.


After having played an Investigator all the way through Agents of Edgewatch I can say that the way to do the remastered Investigator is simple. Replace Mastermind Racket with Investigator and make it a rogue racket.

I appreciated what was attempted with the class compared to 1e. To make it a true investigator. But it is a class that puts way to much on the GM knowing your meta knowledge ability and is very poor at contributing to combat. It's like someone attempted to make a CoC class for Pathfinder which is never going to have a place in the vast majority of Paizo's published adventures as they have to write them to hand the evidence to the players.

Level 19 currently is basically "You are probably tired of this class now right? So now the GM just has to tell you if there is a clue and it's nature now."


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Considering the investigator already has a lot of mechanical overlap with rogue, maybe make the investigator a rogue racket instead of a separate class? Basically, the mastermind racket for committing crimes and the investigator racket to solve crimes.

Although the investigator having Int as the key ability does make it easier to pursue a multiclass archetype in alchemist, inventor, psychic, wizard, or witch.


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The class being narrow in both theme and mechanics is by design, and I personally think it is fine. A single class being for very specific campaigns (or people willing to make it work outside of them) is acceptable, it is really similar to rogue for a reason afterall.

What needs some serious improvements is its combat performance. Strategic Strike damage is too low and Devise a Stratagem should be easier to do as a Free action. Class should also have access to useful and reusable save effects built in so they can do stuff besides striking when they roll low on Devise a Stratagem.

Class is fun as it is now, but in combat if feels more like playing a helpful NPC than anything else.

Dark Archive

Make devise a stratagem a once per round free action always, instead of tying it to Pursue a Lead.

They could also really benefit from a feat line akin to the Ranger's Monster Hunter tree.
Make the int-based martial class get more benefit from their key ability score.


Going off of how every other class has been changed so far, I think all of you are going to be very disappointed. It has been confirmed as a class in PC2, so it will be its own class, and while it will probably get substantial changes, it likely won't be "completely change its key stat" or "double its damage". It might be "DaS is a free action all of the time" or "here are some great feats to use when DaS misses so you don't need archetypes" or you might get some other cool, useful, and powerful but not class redefining abilities like the witches new familiar abilities. The bones of the class work fine, it just needs a tune up.


I'm not sure how likely this will be in the Remaster, considering page space, but I'd love to see some feats that lean in to Devise's ability to let you roll beforehand and do stuff with that. Like, I feel that could be an entire class in and of itself; feat support that lets you keep your good roll, and feats that let you use the roll to somehow hamper your enemies. Freely swapping their attack or save with your crap roll is probably outside the realm of doability, but perhaps doing that in certain circumstances, or expending your pre-rolled die to give your enemy some kind of hindrance, or perhaps expending a die in order to give a comrade a benefit, freeing you up to do an attack without worrying about auto-missing.

Such feats would also really play into the investigator's niche of constantly planning and plotting, which I think would feel really good at table. Just stretch out that Sherlock Holmes scene of a fight playing out in his head for every combat an investigator is in.


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I have some experience with the Investigator now. It's not quite as bad as I thought it was, but I do have some ideas on how they could improve it to make it more viable earlier.

It's built in a similar fashion to the Swashbuckler, but less combat oriented and with less of a failure chance.

If I were modifying the Investigator, I would do the following:

1. Make Ongoing Strategy a class feature or a much lower level feat than 10. I would make it a level 2 feat myself. This is a bread and butter feat that most players will not obtain until half their levels are over. That is far too late for such an important feat.

2. Make Suspect of Opportunity a class feature or much lower level feat. I would make Suspect of Opportunity a level 4 or 6 feat. Then provide an upgrade to improve it from once an hour to once per 10 minutes. This ability makes Devise a Stratagem function much more effectively in dynamic combat.

3. Rewrite Ongoing Investigation to ensure DMs know it covers entire groups of creatures like all kobolds from the Dragonlover Tribe or all Guards serving Evil Lord XYZ, so the free action Devise a Strategy comes up more often.

4. They should have a generic Recall Knowledge skill much like the Thaumaturge keyed off intelligence. Not sure what it should be called, but perhaps a unique skill called Breadth of Knowledge they can use to make all types of Recall knowledge checks that automatically advances with feats built around this ability.

The investigator makes a DM's life a lot easier. You can key a lot of information delivery off their abilities. Their combat abilities can be built around. The investigator in my group uses an animal companion to maximize Devise a Stratagem when he feels he has failed the to hit roll.

I would prefer to keep the Investigator in the game. I think it can be a fun class. My player is enjoying it. I'm learning a lot about how its combat abilities work. They aren't quite as bad as I thought. They need some reconfiguring.


For those asking for the investigator to become a rogue racket; it's way too late at this point, Paizo isn't going to remove a class in the game lol.

What investigators need is not to be a poor man's rogue though, and their playstyle should be changed accordingly to achieve this goal. First, Pursue a Lead should become a one-action activity like Hunter's Prey, and second, Devise a Stratagem should always be a free action, without GM fiat. This change would allow investigators to be played more like a skill monkey rather than a martial, unlike rogues which are clearly more geared towards martial combat, having access to their +1 and eventually +2 from Pursue a Lead at all times. I wouldn't bother if it increased to +3 at some point even. Free DoS also makes low rolls feel less bad because you didn't waste an action with that and because it would push investigators towards using as many skill actions as they can on their turn. Let's say you free DS → move → Feint, Battle Medicine, Demoralize, Bon Mot, whatever. This would be fantastic if methodologies allowed you to use certain actions more than once per X like Demoralize or Battle Medicine, and also new feats that added new one-action skill activities for certain skills would be welcomed.

This also would be an errata-level change which is likely what Paizo is going to do with investigators (if at all) since they didn't say anything about wanting to overhaul the whole class like the alchemist or witch. I feel this would be simple, straightforward, and a huge improvement over what we already have.


The thing I want is investigator feat that able to bypass incorporeal without use of item.


Increasing Strategic Strike damage a bit is definitely inside the scope of PC2, based on what they did to Cleric. Doubling it is of course too much and would need a complete redesign of the class, but at least making the class feature scale like current finishers do is definitely something I can imagine Paizo doing.

With that and an easier free action Devise a Stratagem most of the work would be already done, class is really fun to play already, it just needs better numbers (and not needing to archetype to get decent ways of using your actions when you roll really low).


exequiel759 wrote:

For those asking for the investigator to become a rogue racket; it's way too late at this point, Paizo isn't going to remove a class in the game lol.

What investigators need is not to be a poor man's rogue though, and their playstyle should be changed accordingly to achieve this goal. First, Pursue a Lead should become a one-action activity like Hunter's Prey, and second, Devise a Stratagem should always be a free action, without GM fiat. This change would allow investigators to be played more like a skill monkey rather than a martial, unlike rogues which are clearly more geared towards martial combat, having access to their +1 and eventually +2 from Pursue a Lead at all times. I wouldn't bother if it increased to +3 at some point even. Free DoS also makes low rolls feel less bad because you didn't waste an action with that and because it would push investigators towards using as many skill actions as they can on their turn. Let's say you free DS → move → Feint, Battle Medicine, Demoralize, Bon Mot, whatever. This would be fantastic if methodologies allowed you to use certain actions more than once per X like Demoralize or Battle Medicine, and also new feats that added new one-action skill activities for certain skills would be welcomed.

This also would be an errata-level change which is likely what Paizo is going to do with investigators (if at all) since they didn't say anything about wanting to overhaul the whole class like the alchemist or witch. I feel this would be simple, straightforward, and a huge improvement over what we already have.

All I am going to say is when Rogue dedicated multiclass Investigator functions and performs better then Investigator the class itself is irrelevant. Also Rogues still are better at skills. Just as many proficiency increases and not locked to charisma, wisdom, intelligence ones like the extra Investigator ones are (Also one of the reasons Rogue - Investigator Dedication is superior.)


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Orikkro wrote:
exequiel759 wrote:

For those asking for the investigator to become a rogue racket; it's way too late at this point, Paizo isn't going to remove a class in the game lol.

What investigators need is not to be a poor man's rogue though, and their playstyle should be changed accordingly to achieve this goal. First, Pursue a Lead should become a one-action activity like Hunter's Prey, and second, Devise a Stratagem should always be a free action, without GM fiat. This change would allow investigators to be played more like a skill monkey rather than a martial, unlike rogues which are clearly more geared towards martial combat, having access to their +1 and eventually +2 from Pursue a Lead at all times. I wouldn't bother if it increased to +3 at some point even. Free DoS also makes low rolls feel less bad because you didn't waste an action with that and because it would push investigators towards using as many skill actions as they can on their turn. Let's say you free DS → move → Feint, Battle Medicine, Demoralize, Bon Mot, whatever. This would be fantastic if methodologies allowed you to use certain actions more than once per X like Demoralize or Battle Medicine, and also new feats that added new one-action skill activities for certain skills would be welcomed.

This also would be an errata-level change which is likely what Paizo is going to do with investigators (if at all) since they didn't say anything about wanting to overhaul the whole class like the alchemist or witch. I feel this would be simple, straightforward, and a huge improvement over what we already have.

All I am going to say is when Rogue dedicated multiclass Investigator functions and performs better then Investigator the class itself is irrelevant. Also Rogues still are better at skills. Just as many proficiency increases and not locked to charisma, wisdom, intelligence ones like the extra Investigator ones are (Also one of the reasons Rogue - Investigator Dedication is superior.)

So make the base class better, so that a rouge can't do a better job. There is a middle ground between "do nothing" and "delete the class"


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As I recall, the designer comments on this suggested that Investigators would be getting a bit of a tune-up rather than a major overhaul. (Of course, that might have changed as the remaster has progressed.) My personal guess would be some changes to Devise a Stratagem/Strategic Strike that makes those mechanics more competitive with the Sneak Attack mechanics.


8d6 is necessary

but a little higher damage are not enough for swashbuckler or investigator to compete with rogue

they also need some debuff ability that can compete with debilitation


I mean, if would be able to access that juicy +1 (eventually +2) from Pursue a Lead at all times the restriction to Int, Wis, and Cha skill feats would be compensated by the fact that you would succced / crit succeed way more often than a rogue. In a sense, this was also how rogues and investigators differentiated from each other in PF1e as well, since rogues didn't add any bonuses to skills while investigators had inspiration, even though in practice PF1e investigators did everything Pf1e rogues and better. I guess they switched places in PF2e lol.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I truly do miss inspiration. I played a sleuth that added either that or luck to almost everything, it was great. I totally get how the mechanic is not within PF2s paradigm, so I'm not actually asking or hoping for it to return, but I still miss it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Considering the investigator already has a lot of mechanical overlap with rogue, maybe make the investigator a rogue racket instead of a separate class?
Orikkro wrote:
Replace Mastermind Racket with Investigator and make it a rogue racket.

Do people really think "remove a class from the game" is either feasible or something Paizo is likely to do?

Gisher wrote:
As I recall, the designer comments on this suggested that Investigators would be getting a bit of a tune-up rather than a major overhaul.

Wild that they'd come out and say the worst class in the game doesn't need any major changes if that's true.


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I think saying the investigator is the worst class in the game is exaggerating a little, more so when we have alchemist and oracle in the game, but out of the "functional" classes in the game I'd say both swash and investigator would be in the lowest tier for sure.


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I mean oracle is better power level wise, they are at worst a bad divine sorcerer with better defenses. Its gimmick is not worth engaging with a lot of the time but if I had to make a character as oracle or investigator the oracle is probably coming out as stronger.


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Certain oracle builds are fairly strong.


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Cosmos Oracle mainly. That one is quite strong.


The main problem with the oracle is that it feels bad to play because its mechanics feel like shooting yourself in the foot everytime. The investigator is probably worse but its problem is being a worse rogue, not being a bad class IMO. IMO the swashbuckler is an in-between for oracle and investigator because there's certain subclasses that play like a worse / weird rogue (fencer, wit) or that feel really bad to play because their skill actions have coldowns (battledancer, braggart, gymanst).


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exequiel759 wrote:
The main problem with the oracle is that it feels bad to play because its mechanics feel like shooting yourself in the foot everytime. The investigator is probably worse but its problem is being a worse rogue, not being a bad class IMO. IMO the swashbuckler is an in-between for oracle and investigator because there's certain subclasses that play like a worse / weird rogue (fencer, wit) or that feel really bad to play because their skill actions have coldowns (battledancer, braggart, gymanst).

Correct me if I'm wrong...but didn't people ask for the curse? In the playtests and in PF 1E, people really didn't want the "shoot yourself in the foot" mechanics to go away.

Personally I admit I've never seen the appeal, but still.


Calliope5431 wrote:
exequiel759 wrote:
The main problem with the oracle is that it feels bad to play because its mechanics feel like shooting yourself in the foot everytime. The investigator is probably worse but its problem is being a worse rogue, not being a bad class IMO. IMO the swashbuckler is an in-between for oracle and investigator because there's certain subclasses that play like a worse / weird rogue (fencer, wit) or that feel really bad to play because their skill actions have coldowns (battledancer, braggart, gymanst).

Correct me if I'm wrong...but didn't people ask for the curse? In the playtests and in PF 1E, people really didn't want the "shoot yourself in the foot" mechanics to go away.

Personally I admit I've never seen the appeal, but still.

Yeah in my experience a lot of people who like oracle enjoy having a curse that breaks your legs and takes your lunch money if you mismanage it, which I personally don't see the appeal personally but I know why they like it.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Off the top of my head:

-Don't force players to take a bad DaS roll to fight an enemy; DaS is feast or famine in most fights, and in some fights (solo bosses) is completely useless if you have a streak of bad rolls. Even third actions have their limits, between Demoralize, Battle Medicine, etc. And having to take two third actions because you roll bad once isn't compelling or helpful gameplay.

-Intelligence is a bad stat in the game, so forcing them to boost it instead of a stat they use for combat is pretty feelsbad. Also, if the Investigator is meant to be the detective type, having them be Wisdom-based makes more sense IMO because it becomes more of a sense of intuition than book smarts. That isn't to say book smarts is bad, but the best detectives use good intuitions to solve cases, not textbook knowledge.

Might post more later, but I would need to actually sit down and think it out.

My twisted fantasy for devise a strategem is that you have to use the result of the roll, but you can either use it for your roll or sabotage the enemy by forcing them to take the roll as a reaction. It's still got that "I have to use the thing I came up with" bit, but instead of spending an action to limit your options with a bad roll, you just dump what would otherwise be failure onto the enemy and now they have to deal with it.

You could always take a page out of the rogue's book and let the investigator pick a different key attribute based on their subclass.

If the highest design priority is still to make the investigator great at investigating to the exclusion of combat prowess (ill-advised IMO), letting them choose their key attribute would help put them over the top in that regard. Right now you've got an interrogator who can't be that charismatic, an empiricist who can't be that observant, and what's basically a chirurgeon who can't use intelligence for medicine.

And don't get me started on alchemical sciences, but that's beyond the scope of what I'm talking about.


I mean, I don't have a problem with the oracle having downsides. The problem I (and most people) have is that those downsides are way worse than the benefits you get for them. I won't deny the curses really weren't a downside in PF1e because there were ways to go around them, but in PF2e it's just too much IMO. For example, fire oracle's mystery benefit is scaling Reflex saves, while the the minor curse is a net 25% failure chance to target goes, and it becomes worse. Tell me what you want but those effects don't compensate each other, which IMO should be point of the class.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
exequiel759 wrote:
not being a bad class IMO.

No it's just a bad class. Your damage gimmick is brutally subpar without any other strong combat enhancers, while your out of combat features largely rely on a huge amount of GM fiat playing things specifically to your favor. Even then the outputs aren't anything special and puts you in a narrower window of relevancy than any other class in the game in terms of how you cope with changing campaign tones and styles.

You're designed to sacrifice combat relevancy in a way no one else is really asked to in exchange for out of combat benefits that still rely on your GM essentially building that pillar of the campaign around you. On every possible level, the investigator is a compromised class.

I guess forensic investigators can battle medicine more often, that's kind of cool, but not something you can really build a character around either.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

I have some experience with the Investigator now. It's not quite as bad as I thought it was, but I do have some ideas on how they could improve it to make it more viable earlier.

It's built in a similar fashion to the Swashbuckler, but less combat oriented and with less of a failure chance.

If I were modifying the Investigator, I would do the following:

1. Make Ongoing Strategy a class feature or a much lower level feat than 10. I would make it a level 2 feat myself. This is a bread and butter feat that most players will not obtain until half their levels are over. That is far too late for such an important feat.

2. Make Suspect of Opportunity a class feature or much lower level feat. I would make Suspect of Opportunity a level 4 or 6 feat. Then provide an upgrade to improve it from once an hour to once per 10 minutes. This ability makes Devise a Stratagem function much more effectively in dynamic combat.

3. Rewrite Ongoing Investigation to ensure DMs know it covers entire groups of creatures like all kobolds from the Dragonlover Tribe or all Guards serving Evil Lord XYZ, so the free action Devise a Strategy comes up more often.

4. They should have a generic Recall Knowledge skill much like the Thaumaturge keyed off intelligence. Not sure what it should be called, but perhaps a unique skill called Breadth of Knowledge they can use to make all types of Recall knowledge checks that automatically advances with feats built around this ability.

The investigator makes a DM's life a lot easier. You can key a lot of information delivery off their abilities. Their combat abilities can be built around. The investigator in my group uses an animal companion to maximize Devise a Stratagem when he feels he has failed the to hit roll.

I would prefer to keep the Investigator in the game. I think it can be a fun class. My player is enjoying it. I'm learning a lot about how its combat abilities work. They aren't quite as bad as I thought. They need some reconfiguring.

I agree.

But I also would add a change in DaS from "you must use the result of the roll you made to Devise a Stratagem" to "you can use the result of the roll you made to Devise a Stratagem". Allowing to it to be way more useful in encounters with single targets and with melee weapons.

I also include the change of Suspect of Opportunity to be lower level class feature nor a feat too not only the Ongoing Strategy once they are usually must have feats.

About damage improvement remember that we have Insight Coffee. Effectively this makes like you have up to 1 extra precision damage dice so you have to take this into the math.

Another cool thing that could be added to Investigator once that remaster removed the Rogue's Eldritch Trickster racket is to give to Investigator feat/subclass that allows it to use attack spells with DaS.

I made a graph comparison between a rogue and an investigator both using and Elven Blade vs off-guard targets and their damages are pretty close before the rogue get Precise Debilitations.
Note: I used failure or worse "new" normal Strike as a trial to emulate the abandon of bad dice rolls using DaS to Strike another target.
Note 2: The investigator also not need that the target have to be off-guard to get its precision damage. This could be pretty efficient in lower levels for ranged Investigators over ranged rogues


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Quote:
About damage improvement remember that we have Insight Coffee. Effectively this makes like you have up to 1 extra precision damage dice so you have to take this into the math.

That just makes the d6s into d8s, and only for an hour. Useful to prebuff for one fight, will not reliably last long enough for two.

More prudently, band-aid items *must not* be factored into balance talks like this. A consumable item is supposed to be a bonus, not a tax to reach par.

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I hard agree that there is too much variance between a the Free Action DaS for a target, and the 1 Action version if they are not your pre-target.

That kind of discrepancy makes it impossible to balance DaS when it could be either or in a fight.

I do like the idea of getting the Reaction --> now a target idea as a core/early feature. Still has a cost to assign in combat, and thematically has the Invst focus on their specified foe, but enables them to still spend 1-action to use DaS off-target if the situation calls for it.

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If Paizo want the Investigator to be the INT fighter, they need to commit to that. Allow the class to use INT instead of DEX or STR to hit with all Strikes, all the time.

Still does not provide the DEX AC, or the STR +dmg, but would be a way to make the INT commitment viable. For as little as the Alchemist gets from their Class DC, the Investigator gets even less.

Just bizarre that even sub-class Features like Pointed Question can only make a Diplomacy skill check.

Heck, give the "face" Invst, the Interrogation one, the ability to use Class DC in place of any usual CHA skill check.

And while we're at it, give the Frn Med the same WIS-->INT sublimation that Chiurgeon has, (minus the Med-->Crafting substitution).

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Right now, the Feat Ongoing Strategy adds "On any Strike for which you didn't Devise a Stratagem, you still deal precision damage equal to your number of strategic strike damage dice so long as..."

What I find interesting about that Feat is that it has the prerequisite of a class Feature, not a Feat. So anyone taking an Investigator Dedication cannot get it, but all native Invst can.

This is huge as a balancing tool, and it needs to be used way more often all over the game. I keep seeing classes like the Invst that really appear to be kneecapped to avoid abuse from a multiclass scenario.

Heck, Paizo seems so scared of Invst / DaS, that a nerfed version is locked behind a Feat for anyone mutliclassing into Invst. And the Strategic Strike bonus dmg is just outright non-obtainable.


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mandatory math fixer like coffee are pretty bad fix for a entire class

a lot of effort would be required to fix apg class

base on core 1 paizo really doesn't have time do that while change all those old name for the worse


I think a generic RK skill for investigators would make sense though I would prefer for them to double down on Keen Recollection rather than to make yet another Bardic Lore-adjacent feature.

Probably something like give investigators keen recollection at 1st level, then at 7th level make it 2 + level, and at 15th level to 4 + level. I aould add another benefit to this because as is it kinda works like a slower scaling version of all the other X Lore features in the game, but I don't know what would fit or make sense here.

Dark Archive

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Yeah, Insight Coffee being released feels like an admission that the Investigator is too weak, but a 1-hr consumable is a pretty bad way to fix the problem.


Trip.H wrote:
Quote:
About damage improvement remember that we have Insight Coffee. Effectively this makes like you have up to 1 extra precision damage dice so you have to take this into the math.

That just makes the d6s into d8s, and only for an hour. Useful to prebuff for one fight, will not reliably last long enough for two.

More prudently, band-aid items *must not* be factored into balance talks like this. A consumable item is supposed to be a bonus, not a tax to reach par.

Yet items are one of the things that breaks 5e. You cannot ignore that they exists and affects the balance too even if we don't like the idea to use itens to compensate classes weakness they are still there.

Also "just" increase d6 to d8 means that over time you get up to +4 in avg dice damage, this is equivalent to an extra d6 dice, its not irrelevant.

Also "only" 1 hour is not irrelevant. This means that the 1 item will be sufficient from 1 to 6 battles with refocus easily. Alchemical Sciences's Investigator could get a good amount of it for free and the lesser Insight Coffee is pretty cheap in mid-levels and higher allowing you to get enought to use all day long.

Ectar wrote:
Yeah, Insight Coffee being released feels like an admission that the Investigator is too weak, but a 1-hr consumable is a pretty bad way to fix the problem.

I agree. It's similar to what Shadow Signet tried to do with Attack Spells. Paizo designers sometimes have the tendency to not admit that a mechanic needs to be balanced and sometimes makes workarounds like these to try to compensate the problem (and usually fails).


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Ectar wrote:

Make devise a stratagem a once per round free action always, instead of tying it to Pursue a Lead.

They could also really benefit from a feat line akin to the Ranger's Monster Hunter tree.
Make the int-based martial class get more benefit from their key ability score.

I'd like it to be a bit more complicated than that.

Like... let them pull Devise a Strategem as a free action, but only on enemies that they've successfully run a Recall Knowledge on. Then let them have ways to check for a recall knowledge while pursuing a lead.

Either that, or have it require Recall Knowledge, and still take an action to set up, but also give enough additional payoff to make it worth it.

The real issue here is that the practicalities are in sharp contention with the idea of the class. The *idea* of the class is that you're pursuing leads, your investigating, you're chasing down a case. The mechanics all assume that your'e doing this and reward you for doing it well. The problem is that in order for that to actually work and be a thing, it has to exist in the context of a GM and campaign that specifically supports and allows and rewards that kind of play, and a lot of people don't get to have that. So, ideally, there will be some sort of backup plan so that the people who can still do things "the right way" will still have a reason to try to do so, while those who find themselves banished to The Endless Caves of Random Ambush-Monsters Who Leave No Clues would still be able (possibly by taking an early feat or two) to hammer it into something that mostly worked from a gameplay perspective.


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Insight coffee is only affordable enough (you need dozens of these) at late mid to high levels, sadly, so I'd only consider it a factor for Alchemical Sciences until then.

It is also not enough, sadly. Even at those levels you are ahead of rogue on precision damage, you are looking something like:

Level 9 comparison (with Insight coffee, Investigator has +2 STR, both have a d6 weapon and a damaging property rune)

Investigator: 2d6+4+3d8+1d6 = 28 avg damage
Rogue (thief or ruffian): 2d6+6+2d6+1d6 = 23'5 avg damage

So, on their best level respective to the Rogue and with a stat spread that requires a low save stat, Investigator gets 4'5 points of damage on their first attack (close to 20% more damage) in exchange for a really bad second attack with no damage booster and less precision than usual at some levels and equally bad reaction strikes that you need to archetype for cause none of your feats give you one.

So yeah, free action DaS and starting with 2d6 on Didactic Strike would be a place to start.

Sanityfaerie wrote:

I'd like it to be a bit more complicated than that.

Like... let them pull Devise a Strategem as a free action, but only on enemies that they've successfully run a Recall Knowledge on. Then let them have ways to check for a recall knowledge while pursuing a lead.

No need to reinvent anything, Suspect of Opportunity already exists, its only issue is that it is level 10 and costs a class feat. Make it level 3 top and turn it into a class feature and problem solved.

Pursuing the right lead before combat would still reward you with the ability of not needing to be hurt by your suspect first.


I think that even with Suspect of Opportunity having its level reduced to 3 and turned into class feature I think that we also need more ways to get "leads". Maybe an ability that allows you to temporary Pursue a Lead when you get success into a mental skill check vs a target (RK, Demoralize, Bon Mot...) and/or gives the Pursue a Lead if you critical hit a Strike vs a single target.
The only thing that I don't think that feels right is just turn DaS a free-action by default. This will solve many problems but at same time will be a too boring solution.

About damage effectiveness, a simple solution could be remove the once-per-round restriction to DaS. This would allow Investigators that get DaS as free-action to compete with rogues for damage efficiency. But as I pointed above this also needs to allow the investigator to get DaS as free-action more easily like improving the "Pursue a Lead" to effect a group instead of a single creature a lower level for Suspect of Opportunity and other ways to get temporary "Pursue a Lead" vs a target.

I also like the idea of get Didactic Strike at level 10 as a way to "improve the DPR". I like the idea of investigators instead of directly improve their own damage like happens to rogue's debilitations to instead gives to allies some extra precision damage in your place. Its a fun and interesting way to improve the DPR in a different way.

Dark Archive

YuriP wrote:

I think that even with Suspect of Opportunity having its level reduced to 3 and turned into class feature I think that we also need more ways to get "leads". Maybe an ability that allows you to temporary Pursue a Lead when you get success into a mental skill check vs a target (RK, Demoralize, Bon Mot...) and/or gives the Pursue a Lead if you critical hit a Strike vs a single target.

The only thing that I don't think that feels right is just turn DaS a free-action by default. This will solve many problems but at same time will be a too boring solution.

About damage effectiveness, a simple solution could be remove the once-per-round restriction to DaS. This would allow Investigators that get DaS as free-action to compete with rogues for damage efficiency. But as I pointed above this also needs to allow the investigator to get DaS as free-action more easily like improving the "Pursue a Lead" to effect a group instead of a single creature a lower level for Suspect of Opportunity and other ways to get temporary "Pursue a Lead" vs a target.

I also like the idea of get Didactic Strike at level 10 as a way to "improve the DPR". I like the idea of investigators instead of directly improve their own damage like happens to rogue's debilitations to instead gives to allies some extra precision damage in your place. Its a fun and interesting way to improve the DPR in a different way.

I don't disagree; making DaS an always 1/round free action diminishes the value of Pursue a Lead, but I'd like to see Pursue a Lead to be more broadly useful in its own right. So many Paizo APs have sections where you just kinda gotta kill everything in a region and acquire the thing. Pursuing a Case on thing would NEVER help us to do better with DaS. The scenarios where you can use DaS as a free action, currently, are far too limiting.

A small example:
Our investigator (and friends) are trying to track down a missing person. So we Pursue a Case for that person. Some digging around later and the party has heard from an NPC that our missing person was seen entering a seedy establishment with a cloaked figure. Excellent! We go to the location and start asking questions. One of the patrons takes exception to our poking around and attacks us. The investigator spends an action every round devising a strategy and all that good investigator stuff. The patron is subdued and we find on their person a missive, dated the day prior, that the patron were to deliver our missing person to another individual the previous night.
Turns out, this patron WAS our shadowy figure. But because we didn't know that they were, we couldn't DaS as a free action, even though they were the subject was the lead we were pursuing.

I think maybe a more subtle buff to the investigator is to let them DaS any target as a free action, if the combat is taking place in pursuit of a case. It still benefits the investigator to investigate things, but provides a much broader use case of DaS as a free action.
It's also, arguably, more interesting than just DaS as a free action all the time.

Though it seems odd to me to arbitrarily nerf the investigator if they get ambushed by highwaymen or attacked by a territorial animal.
I think, mechanically, the investigator could use the buff that DaS as an always free action would be, but that's just like, my opinion, man.

edited to add: I think the Investigator is a victim of its own story niche. There are comparatively very few restrictions on what other classes have to do to be reasonably successful.
Rogues gotta get sneak attack, but the conditions for doing so are already a beneficial thing to do in combat.
Fight have to attack. And they should probably do so in a style complimented by their own feat choice.
Spellcasters gotta cast spells that help them to reach their goal.
The above are all pretty banal.
Several classes have more specific things they must do to be considered effective. The Investigator needs a good roll on DaS or they're just down an action (unless they currently get it as a free action, which alleviates this somewhat). As a Swashbuckler, you have to gain panache to be effective, which is made worse by the fact that the DC of the check to do so scales with enemy level. The Inventor has to get overdrive, but at least that has a DC that scales with your own level, similar to bard focus spells.

These extra combat requirements need to either be sufficiently rewarding to make the risk-reward worth it, or be lightly rewarding and have the class be nearly sufficiently effective without it to not feel bad to play.


Ectar wrote:
Investigator needs a good roll on DaS or they're just down an action (unless they currently get it as a free action, which alleviates this somewhat).

They aren't down an action, they are effectively down two actions since a bad DaS roll pretty much prevents you from using anything with the attack trait that turn. As an investigator you likely have a ton of skills actions to do instead, though a lot of them likely have their restrictions like demoralize, RK (if you want to use it more than once on the same target or if you initially failed the check), battle medicine, etc.

I agree with something someone already said on this post (I dont' remember who it was) that said that you should be able to inflict a low DaS roll on your enemy somehow, or at least get some benefit from rolling low like rolling twice and take the highest on your next DaS roll or smh like that.

Liberty's Edge

Devise a Stratagem could EASILY become a cool and unique (if a bit boring) mechanic by simply removing all of the crud with rolling it does now and and simply adding your Int Attribute Mod to whatever CHECK (don't even force it to be an Attack) in addition to whatever other bonuses you get otherwise.

It could also be improved by being made into a simpler 1-Action Activity per assigned target.

As for the rest of the Class, little tweaks here and there plus something akin to the Fighters Flexible Class Feats could be pretty cool too and I think it's fitting enough as the Investigator is supposed to be able to improvise and adapt to suit various situations, it may feel like stepping on toes but really, Fighter is so incredibly broad of a concept and they already have ENOUGH freaking S tier functionality that I don't see it as being a blow to their uniqueness at all if they have to share the temporary Class Feat flexibility "niche" with another Class.


exequiel759 wrote:
Ectar wrote:
Investigator needs a good roll on DaS or they're just down an action (unless they currently get it as a free action, which alleviates this somewhat).

They aren't down an action, they are effectively down two actions since a bad DaS roll pretty much prevents you from using anything with the attack trait that turn. As an investigator you likely have a ton of skills actions to do instead, though a lot of them likely have their restrictions like demoralize, RK (if you want to use it more than once on the same target or if you initially failed the check), battle medicine, etc.

I agree with something someone already said on this post (I dont' remember who it was) that said that you should be able to inflict a low DaS roll on your enemy somehow, or at least get some benefit from rolling low like rolling twice and take the highest on your next DaS roll or smh like that.

I will point out that if you roll bad on DaS, you would have missed on the attack any other class would have made for the same action, so unless you have some effect that happens on a miss, you aren't down any more actions than any other class. Now the big problem is that other classes can attack again while you need to attack twice to hope to hit for a small amount of damage. If you use a save based cantrip you now have a way to deal damage if your DaS is low, but you need an archetype for that. You need an archetype for a lot of things investigators need, like "strong attacks you can abuse with a high roll/ crit on a DaS" or "reliable things to do on a miss". DaS is not a bad mechanic, but Investigators have almost no built in tools to utilize it well, which is why I think that the most important thing the investigator needs is just better combat feats.


I wouldn't bother some 3.5 factotum goodies on the investigator. After all, both the 3.5 factotum and the PF1e investigator were designed by Jason Buhlman AFAIK, and it's pretty much confirmed the investigator effectively was PF's version of the factotum.

Cunning Breach could easily be a high level feat for investigators, and Cunning Brilliance could easily be a 20th level investigator feat. Obviously this doesn't help the early leves that much, but on top of all the problems investigators have the lack of good feats is one of them.


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Investigator just really, really need to be able to pursue a lead in combat, I don't care if it costs 1 action or 3 but it needs to. That automatically makes DaS free a sufficient amount of the time.
Stuff I'd like but aren't necessary are low level feats to increase your number of leads, ways to purge a bad DaS roll (maybe a 1 action Strike with the misfortune trait?) and giving some of the out of combat early feats a small combat rider.


Or maybe Trick Shot-like attack and ready to strike square rather than creature.


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First, in general I really like the theme of the intellectual, versatile person with knowledge as a weapon that analyzes fights and anticipates maneuvrers in their head.

In this regard, the Devise a Stratagem (DaS)-mechanics per se looks and feels right to me. For compatibility I also guess that disrupting changes would be out of scope of remaster. Some tweaks however, seemed appropriate to me.

For instance:

Ryangwy wrote:

Investigator just really, really need to be able to pursue a lead in combat, I don't care if it costs 1 action or 3 but it needs to. That automatically makes DaS free a sufficient amount of the time.

Stuff I'd like but aren't necessary are low level feats to increase your number of leads, ways to purge a bad DaS roll (maybe a 1 action Strike with the misfortune trait?) and giving some of the out of combat early feats a small combat rider.

A) This would make a significant positive difference. It would also mitigate the problem described by Ectar:

Ectar wrote:

[...] I'd like to see Pursue a Lead to be more broadly useful in its own right. So many Paizo APs have sections where you just kinda gotta kill everything in a region and acquire the thing. Pursuing a Case on thing would NEVER help us to do better with DaS. The scenarios where you can use DaS as a free action, currently, are far too limiting.

A small example:
Our investigator (and friends) are trying to track down a missing person. So we Pursue a Case for that person. Some digging around later and the party has heard from an NPC that our missing person was seen entering a seedy establishment with a cloaked figure. Excellent! We go to the location and start asking questions. One of the patrons takes exception to our poking around and attacks us. The investigator spends an action every round devising a strategy and all that good investigator stuff. The patron is subdued and we find on their person a missive, dated the day prior, that the patron were to deliver our missing person to another individual the previous night.
Turns out, this patron WAS our shadowy figure. But because we didn't know that they were, we couldn't DaS as a free action, even though they were the subject was the lead we were pursuing. [...]

I can confirm the awkwardness of the "If you're aware that the creature you choose is the subject of a lead"-clause in DaS. What if the investigator just suspected but it wasn't definite enough to claim "aware the creature was [it]" - particularly with the limited possibilities during encounter mode (during or at the verge of combat).

Wasn't acting upon reasonable suspicion one of the funny aspects of being an investigator?

B) Above being said, an additional or complementary solution was indeed to broaden the scope of what can be a lead, so that it can be more than just "typically a single creature, item, or small location (such as a room or corridor)" without requiring explicit GM call.

If desired, this could also allow some scaling mechanics: More experienced investigators could have it easier to pursue more extended leads (or larger collections of leads). Regarding Ectars example such mechanics could result in extending the lead from just "the described cloaked figure" to something like "all humanoids at the location that could fit the witness description".

Some guards would probably be needed to prevent scope creep and exploitation.

(An example for exploitation: Deliberately defining a too broad scope although investigator knows it had nothing to do with the case. Maybe it was worries about this that lead to Pursue a Lead in its today form.)

I admit, scope manipulation won't be a no-brainer. As of now, I still think an improvement can be designed without introducing exploits around every corner. The least I'd expect was a "GM can always veto"-clause to keep scope extension in check. Some concrete references and handrails while still facilitating a relatively free collaboration process (cp. new Recall Knowledge handling) could do the trick for a (hypothetical) scope extension rule.


I would love it if DaS remained an action but allowed your next dice interaction with an enemy use that die roll. After that give it a few abilities that target saves so he can force an enemy to use a low roll.

(Maybe give him an ability to have combat maneuvers go against his class DC instead of Athletics when using DaS)


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Here's another Devise a Stratagem possible boost or house rule: on any enemy not the subject of Pursue a Lead, Devise a Stratagem still costs an action *but* only the first time. That would represent the investigator's brain switching gears and getting caught up, stuttering a little bit, but then adapting afterward. It keeps Pursue a Lead meaningful, too, because if you don't have it, you're still paying an action tax on the first round of combat (i.e. the most important round).


It seems there is two ways to go about it, making DaS less costly (such as making it a free action more often) or making it more powerful (such as using low rolls on opponents)

I think making it more useful is more interesting, especially if it plays into the "planning actions"

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