Investigator getting remastered


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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So, there was panel about remaster.

PaizoCon 2024 Pathfinder Project Remaster panel wrote:
There was some cleanup to kind of make some of the gameplay of it a little more easy to understand for folks. So that's like cleaning up the wording of Pursue a Lead and that sort of thing.

Pursue a Lead was key for free action stratagem, at least in legacy version.

PaizoCon 2024 Pathfinder Project Remaster panel wrote:
So now if you do use devise a stratagem and you don't want to attack, it's going to let you choose an attack stratagem or a skill stratagem. So if you want to not use that die to attack, now you can get a benefit to a skill check later that round.

This means extension of stratagem, better cancelling misfortune by its fortune trait.

PaizoCon 2024 Pathfinder Project Remaster panel wrote:
There's also some new feats, including one for each mythology methodology that's going to come on at 12th level.

However, Panel didn't reveal anything about Empiricist. Why?


PaizoCon 2024 Pathfinder Project Remaster panel wrote:
later that round.

"Round" can end before investigator's next turn comes if there is anyone faster than investigator.

If Empiricist can extend stratagem die until next turn, so stratagem will be useful with "Ready" action more.

Ready wrote:
If the trigger you designated occurs before the start of your next turn, you can use the chosen action as a reaction (provided you still meet the requirements to use it).

Note: "Ready" can be used to stratagem itself.


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Even if we really haven't seen anything yet, do you guys think these changes will be enough for the investigator to not feel...bad?

I feel clearing up the wording on Pursue a Lead is not that useful when the feature itself works kinda wonky. Unless "clearing up the wording" means changing how it works, in which case I like that change.


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"cleaning up" recall knowledge led to a completely different play experience for tables that had previously played it strictly RAW. I imagine "cleaning up" pursue a lead will have similar impact


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
exequiel759 wrote:
Even if we really haven't seen anything yet, do you guys think these changes will be enough for the investigator to not feel...bad?

I'm kind of skeptical. The investigator is just not very good on a whole multitude of levels.

Cleaning up Pursue a lead will help, but only so much, because even in the best case scenario possible (like say allowing Investigators to use the combat benefits of pursue a lead all the time against every enemy) the class is still pretty mediocre.

It's still going to struggle in more open ended campaigns, is still going to struggle to find its footing with GMs who aren't attentive to its specific needs... and even with highly skilled GMs it's going to push against the wind a bit with redundant or mediocre features.

There's always the chance that there's an unexpected gem here and we haven't heard anything, but on its face this news is somewhat worrying. The Investigator needed help more than any other class in the game and it sounds like it's just getting punted on.


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I feel bad. I read the thread title and thought it was about Inventor getting Remastered. Got very excited, thinking Inventors might be...playable now. Saddened.


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Played an investigator completely through Agents of Edgewatch. Only redeeming feature was the Forensic Acumen allowing to be a combat medic god. While making it a free action its a drop in the bucket.The entire class revolves around spending actions and locking you into a target to do the same amount of precision damage a rogue can do just by flanking.

Also It's an absolutely garbage class for the APs as anything important will be stuck to the wall so it can't be missed. (Literally twice in AoE ((What a badly written AP))). In fact as written the only pre-written adventure I can even picture Investigator's class features coming into play is Malevolence.

Btw, if you are ever wanting to torment yourself playing an investigator in a adventure path absolutely take red herring. What might have seen as too meta to you at start will instead preserve your sanity when you can turn to the GM and just ask them if it's a genuine clue or not and they by the class rules have to tell you. I say this because so many things in Agents of Edgewatch appeared to be clues which as written ended up with no resolution or factor so Red Herring was a class mechanic to actually stop wasting time investigating pointless stuff because there was nothing ever to investigate.


If nothing has been done to address the feelsbad of rolling a 3 on Devise a Strategem and having nothing in-class available to do for the rest of the turn, then I don't expect that anyone who was unsatisfied with the class previously is going to be happy with it afterward.

Now, if by 'cleanup' and this 'skill strategem' it means that you can roll Devise and then decide if you are using it for an attack or a skill - and can choose to relegate it to one that you aren't planning on doing anyway when you roll a 3 - then it might be an improvement.


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Finoan wrote:

If nothing has been done to address the feelsbad of rolling a 3 on Devise a Strategem and having nothing in-class available to do for the rest of the turn, then I don't expect that anyone who was unsatisfied with the class previously is going to be happy with it afterward.

Now, if by 'cleanup' and this 'skill strategem' it means that you can roll Devise and then decide if you are using it for an attack or a skill - and can choose to relegate it to one that you aren't planning on doing anyway when you roll a 3 - then it might be an improvement.

I think that's the idea, which is...weird. I feel Paizo has (seemingly) took a very weird approach with the investigator and the swashbuckler in the Remaster since they clearly acknowledge the problems of both classes, though instead of actually fixing those problems they are trying to create patch features to fix those issues. Like, if you clearly know Pursue a Lead and Devise a Stratagem have problems then why instead creating other features or feats like this seemingly "skill stratagem" or in the case of swashbucklers the new bravado actions you rather fix the class features themselves? I would get them doing this in an errata since you can't really remove the content that already exists, but since they are literally re-printing the whole thing they could literally change whatever they want about the class.

The worst thing is that I don't think you really need to change much about either class to make them at least decent if not actually good, but instead of taking the straight road to fixing them they are seemingly taking detours that aren't going to reach destination.


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I think folks maybe have slightly misguided perceptions about what exactly gets fixed. (This is a genuine maybe- I could just as easily be the one who's wrong.)

Stuff seems to get fixed if it doesn't feel like it should.

Barbarian spends their first turn self-buffing, or waits to rage until convenient? That doesn't feel like a Barbarian.

Swashbuckler fails to get panache and can't do cool things? That doesn't feel like a Swashbuckler.

Those both got fixes announced.

The thing that really doesn't feel like Investigator is that when you predict you'll miss an attack, there's no in-class solution for what you should do instead. That's an uncharacteristic lack of planning, so that's getting fixed. If you fail your hypothetical attack, you can get a skill action bonus instead.

Is that going to put Investigator on the same level as other martials? Nah. It's loaded up on skills, skill feats, and skill bonuses, so it's going to be a bit behind. The optimal move being carefully figuring out what you can learn about the creature in the next room isn't out of line with "Investigator".

We'll see about the final version, though.


Check out Pivots and Complications on Infinite if you want some good juicy ways to make Devise a Stratagem an actually fun and interesting ability to use.


I think Investigator's chassis is fine, the real issue is their class feats. Almost all of them are purely for improving their skill checks in some way it feels like, and very few contribute directly to combat. Like, Shared Strategem and Didactic Strike are legitimately good options, and then... what else? There's other feats that apply to combat, but they feel narrow or weak (like, retry a Seek check, or reroll a Feint by... spending another action?)

Compare their list of options to what rogues get and there's a dramatic difference in how much of rogue's list is about new and innovative ways to put a knife in someone's back.


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QuidEst wrote:
Swashbuckler fails to get panache and can't do cool things? That doesn't feel like a Swashbuckler.

The thing is, with this example in particular, is that Paizo clearly acknowledges swashbucklers have a problem when generating panache because they fail those checks (that's why thet are fixing that), so instead of doing the most straightforward change (auto-scaling on Acrobatics or their style's skill, +1 bonus to checks that generate panache when you don't have panache rather than the complete opposite thing we have) or even a more complex change (have panache be similar to a gunslinger's reload, being a one-action activity that both generates panache + does a skill action) they instead came up with bravado that seems to allow swashs to take a downside to gain panache. As if swashs needed more downsides.

To make matters worse, you have people from Paizo on this same forum saying some of the popular changes people suggest for swashs aren't needed, but then they announce bravado which kinda proves those changes were needed, so whats exactly the design logic here? If I didn't new Paizo and that they otherwise have been almost flawless with the overall design of the system I'd say they are aimlessly throwing sticks at a bucket to see what works and what doesn't, but that clearly isn't the case because they DO know what they are doing and it shows, but these announcements (for swashs and investigators) sound like missing the forest for the trees. Do you want to fix Devise Stratagem? Make it work like the tome implement's intesify vulnerability. Don't force people to use a bad roll, or as it seems, move that bad roll to something you aren't going to use at all.

I know I'm talking without knowing the actual changes these classes are going to receive, so I hope I'm wrong, but based on their statement it seems they are aiming towards this direction.


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Dubious Scholar wrote:

I think Investigator's chassis is fine, the real issue is their class feats. Almost all of them are purely for improving their skill checks in some way it feels like, and very few contribute directly to combat. Like, Shared Strategem and Didactic Strike are legitimately good options, and then... what else? There's other feats that apply to combat, but they feel narrow or weak (like, retry a Seek check, or reroll a Feint by... spending another action?)

Compare their list of options to what rogues get and there's a dramatic difference in how much of rogue's list is about new and innovative ways to put a knife in someone's back.

Rogue + Investigator Archetype makes a better skill monkey then straight investigator because investigator while having as many skill feats as rogue is more restricted in that half of them are locked to charisma, int, and wisdom based skills.


In hindsight you guys need to remember that Swashbuckler and Investigator are too different chassis setup. Swashbuckler was not ever suppose to be a skill class but Paizo made the mistake and made them one with 10 hit points which is the same as other martials. Investigator is skill set up with 8 hit points with rogue with a single heavy hitting damage ability. If they gave autoscaling to Swashbuckler then that almost nearly throw out what they learnt at this point. Inventor (10 hit point martial class) is a weird mistake which uses crafting because Paizo was not sure how to do a class like it but look to Thaumaturge (A skill based 8 hit point class).

This just proves we need a Player Core 3 to solve these weird problems.

Also for Swashbuckler the Acrobat Archetype solves your skill investment of needing needing to spend points to update Acrobatics.


Throw Stick at Bucket

Your friends say there is a problem but you won’t admit it. So, setting up a bucket you show them what’s what.

Ranged Strike 1 Action

Requirements: Bucket within range; see also Set up Bucket of Aimless Aim feat

Make a Strike against an available Aimless Bucket within range. The Aimless Bucket has an AC of 5 and can be flanked. If you hit, you can use an immediate Reaction to “So there!” all allies within sightlines up to the horizon.


So, giving teases and hints instead of full information leads to pessimistic predictions, thinking the worst and bad feelings. Who would have thought? What a surprise!


I'm cautiously optimistic, though I don't expect the new version to change my previous judgment. I don't think the Investigator will ever be a great class for my group and I, just by its focus alone.

But the changes sounded neat and I can see them having a good chance at significantly smoothing out the experience for people that actually like the class.

Envoy's Alliance

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I say this as someone who loves the idea of an investigator, one of my first characters was an investigator.

One change I would make in remastering it would be to make it Uncommon.

I've come to understand more and more what Uncommon really means in PF2e: may not be appropriate for every campaign. and that is the Investigator all over. If you are not playing a campaign where there is a mystery to work out then your investigator loses so much of their class abilities. And not every GM wants to write a big mystery, and that's okay.

I think making it RAR that you should check with the GM before you play this classes makes sense.


Zoken just beat me to the punch, but I fully agree I think a key expectation failure was having Investogator be seen as a regualr class and not an Uncommon/Rare one that is designed mostly for specific styles of campaigns.

Now, even then I think there’s some issues with the execution (feats like Red Herring and That’s Odd feel simultaneously a bit too strong if you’re in an intrigue campaign and too weak if your in any other type) but their ‘class niche’ to separate them from a regualr rogue just seems too narrow to matter in the majority of the style of adventures Paizo actually makes.


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I never seen it feel like it doesn't work in any game. Investigator with a ranged weapon is fun, it's basically using Parting shot but you know before hand if you'd miss so you could fire against a different targt and still be able to reload your weapon if it is not a bow. It feels like a worst version of Rogue because it is not suppose to be a Rogue it is more so a class about using it's intelligent to hit vital spots and figure out the plot. Feats like That's Odd and Red Herring is a must to make the class feel good while on the same line Thaumaturge has Diverse Lore just objectively a good feat and without those 3 feats both classes feel like they don't do their intended job/role.

If Investigator got a unique Lore called Investigate Lore which did what Diverse Lore/Bardic Lore/Loremaster Lore does for Thaumaturge I am sure majority of it's issue be solved. Knowledge is power until you can't prepare using the knowledge. Investigator can get clues but unlike Thaumaturge with Diverse lore they don't auto scale to figure out those clues.

Rogues are the combat skill monkey, Thauamaturge is the Knowledge Skill Monkey, Investigator is suppose to in my opinion be the Plot Finding Skill Monkey.

Basically

- Rogue - Combat Skill Monkey
- Thaumaturge - Lore/Recall Knowledge Skill Monkey
- Investigator - Plot Finding Skill Monkey

Each is suppose to do a different role archetype of skill monkey but they tend to bump into the other Skill Monkey's niche/role. In the end it's more which flavor of bonus damage do you like the most?


OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:
I feel bad. I read the thread title and thought it was about Inventor getting Remastered. Got very excited, thinking Inventors might be...playable now. Saddened.

Burt pfft-ed due to him being Investigator/Inventor.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If things like the remaster were happening in a magical time where development could have been simultaneous, and the plan was to release the classes in sections based upon "ease of entry for new players," I think Core 1 classes should have been: Bard, Champion (maybe guardian instead, depending upon how the class ends up or maybe both in the core 1), Cleric, Fighter, Monk, Rogue, Sorcerer. If guardian wasn't in Core 1, then maybe move the ranger back up to core 1 instead, or even the Psychic. Core 2 classes should have been: Druid, Gunslinger, Magus, Oracle, Psychic, Ranger, Thaumaturge, Witch, Wizard. And then a Core 3 that had: Alchemist, Animist, Commander, Exemplar, Inventor, Investigator, Swashbuckler, Summoner.

Kineticist would probably fit with the Core 1 classes as far as ease of entry, except they would need their own separate book so that we could get all the planes included together for one book with all the class feats for all of them together and would be about the equivalent of 6+ classes put together into one book.

Thematically, I get syphoning Gunslingers and inventors off into a different area for folks averse to guns and gizmos in fantasy settings, but neither the psychic nor the thaumaturge really need to be separated out for thematic reasons if the investigator isn't. Also, uncommon tags feels like enough to keep firearms in a place where GMs have an easy way to control their availability, and I think they are becoming a little too prevalent in the Golarion world building and adventure writing at this point to keep them out of core game mechanics. The rules for them are so much easier and better balanced and mechanically aligned to the system in PF2 than PF1 that I don't think as much care needs to be given to them as in past editions of fantasy RPGs.

But I do think we have to listen to the developers that selling books with player options interspersed with GM content and Lore is much more viable for business, and thus we have the current, 2 classes per rules book (unless one is a heavy hitter like the kineticist). It is probably best that TTRPGS stay focused on the publication of a physical product that is almost as much of an art object as rules manual, and not adopt other gaming models of business that tends to skew towards "pay to win," when access to more game mechanics becomes the only purpose for purchasing a product. It makes things messier, but twice yearly errata can go a long way to fixing the mess. It is just unfortunate that the errata has to be so bound to book publishing layout that big changes almost inevitably have to result in new books.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ElementalofCuteness wrote:

In hindsight you guys need to remember that Swashbuckler and Investigator are too different chassis setup. Swashbuckler was not ever suppose to be a skill class but Paizo made the mistake and made them one with 10 hit points which is the same as other martials. Investigator is skill set up with 8 hit points with rogue with a single heavy hitting damage ability. If they gave autoscaling to Swashbuckler then that almost nearly throw out what they learnt at this point. Inventor (10 hit point martial class) is a weird mistake which uses crafting because Paizo was not sure how to do a class like it but look to Thaumaturge (A skill based 8 hit point class).

This just proves we need a Player Core 3 to solve these weird problems.

Also for Swashbuckler the Acrobat Archetype solves your skill investment of needing needing to spend points to update Acrobatics.

How are two classes being patched in the unreeqsed player core 2, an uncommon class that is explicitly never going to be core, and a class everyone agrees is already great proof we need player core 3? I don't follow the logic.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:

[...] Feats like That's Odd and Red Herring is a must to make the class feel good while on the same line Thaumaturge has Diverse Lore just objectively a good feat and without those 3 feats both classes feel like they don't do their intended job/role. [...]

The issue is that there is nothing else in pf2e like those Feats, and it's for good reason.

You cannot compare the Thaum's Lore skill to learn about a creature with "When you Pursue a Lead, the GM tells you if the lead you chose is inconsequential."

The mechanics exist in entirely different dimensions of play.

Trying to evaluate clues and figure out things as a group is part of the core gameplay of sitting down and playing a group ttrgp. Searching a room, discussing an old corpse.

When people say that Investigator is flawed in its core concept, this is why. There's a world of difference between a +1 bonus to checks, and those Feats completely deleting a dimension of gameplay.

I had That's Odd for I think a single session before the GM talked to me over the table to ban it, and Red Herring from the game.

Entering a room and, by the Rules as Written, forcing the GM to reveal that there is something suspicious with a painting might as well be telling the players that there is a jewel box behind it. It is the definition of game-breaking. The GM's ability to have interesting hidden things is just completely gone.

The entire point of little secrets is the process of discovery. They are like their own mini combat encounters.

Turning that into an automatic ability literally auto-wins those encounters before they can even happen. This is the only time a player's class reaches down and dictates how the GM runs their game.

It would be horrendous enough to gamify and systematize that kind of "do you think this old corpse is related to ___?" type of conundrum. Talking that out is the point of it. Instead of forcing some form of point system to let players roll and "win" such things, Investigator outright auto-completes them. It's baaaaaaad.

There is nothing in the pf2e system more harmful to actual table play than the Investigator class, and those 2 Feats specifically.

The Feats never should have been published, and I would be thrilled to learn if Paizo was deleting them.


LandSwordBear wrote:

Throw Stick at Bucket

Your friends say there is a problem but you won’t admit it. So, setting up a bucket you show them what’s what.

Ranged Strike 1 Action

Requirements: Bucket within range; see also Set up Bucket of Aimless Aim feat

Make a Strike against an available Aimless Bucket within range. The Aimless Bucket has an AC of 5 and can be flanked. If you hit, you can use an immediate Reaction to “So there!” all allies within sightlines up to the horizon.

I almost choked on laughter.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

That's way over the top, Trip. Those abilities aren't game breaking because plenty of more modern games use them as a baseline. For example, when you roll the equivalent of a Perception check in Dungeon world, you get to ask between zero and three of these questions based on your roll:

What happened here recently?
What is about to happen?
What should I be on the lookout for?
What here is useful or valuable to me?
Who’s really in control here?
What here is not what it appears to be?

Pathfinder and D&D are pretty stingy with information. It's probably rooted in the old school, Tomb of Horrors, GM vs Player mentality. I won't say it's an invalid approach, but it is an antiquated one. Players have a very limited window into the world around their characters, who should be taking in a lot more information than what the GM can convey in a couple sentences describing a room. Especially when those characters are way, way smarter than most players will ever be.

Consider your painting/safe example. It is entirely plausible that a character would notice something odd about a painting-- it's angle, it's style, finger prints in the dust-- which the GM's description couldn't capture. You can of course tie noticing it to a roll instead of making it automatic, but does that actually improve the game? Pathfinder already has an excessive amount of rolls which result in nothing happening. Do you feel happy when your players miss a cool secret or hidden piece of loot? Because it tends to bum me out. Secrets are only placed in the game so they can be discovered, and the less information players have the more likely they are simply going to brute force every problem.

Now, those feats are certainly unlike almost anything in Pathfinder. I say almost because divinations like Read Omens feel pretty similar. But Pathfinder can totally accommodate those abilities if a campaign is constructed with them in mind, or if the GM is flexible enough to adlib making them useful. An investigator getting a hunch from That's Odd still requires them to investigate to figure out why it is odd, and that investigation can still call for rolls. Feeling like something is off about a desk still calls for a roll to find the hidden drawer. Finding the safe behind the painting still requires you to crack the safe. Even having a hunch about who dunnit (should) still call for the PCs to gather evidence to prove it. That's Odd and Red Herring mostly just save everyone some time.

The problem is that APs are not constructed with those abilities in mind. But the result isn't that the feats break the game. It is usually that the feats never matter. As mentioned up thread, APs have to make the plot super duper obvious to avoid the campaign detailing or dead ending. I'm in strong agreement that Investigator should be an uncommon class, and probably not a core one. Also, the Investigate exploration activity is kind of dookie for APs and that needs to be fixed before a class based on investigation will totally land.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"not suited for every type of campaign" is pretty apt. Ironic in the sense that under that expected definition, Investigator should have the most severe rarity tags on it, because you really need to build around the Investigator to play it RAW.

Instead for some reason the classes with tags on them are all generic martials that could fit in almost any campaign with little effort.

Re: That's Odd and Red Herring ... I feel like these feats are somewhat odd because 'signpost clues' and 'nudge players in the right direction if they're wasting their time doing nothing' are both things that are considered good adventure design and good GM advice in the modern canon. The feats might encourage you to be a bit more obvious as a GM, but in general they're pretty redundant with how a lot of content is run anyways. So if I follow the advice I see online about "being a good GM" I am invalidating these feats almost out of hand by simply designing good encounters.

But I also think people talk about those feats too much. They're just two random feats that are only really noteworthy for the way they engage with the system. But it's not like the story about the Investigator is radically different if you take flexible studies and shared stratagem instead. The core strengths and weaknesses of the Investigator remain more or less the same.

Mostly weaknesses, of course, but still.


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I mean, I have to say it.

Rarity traits are arbritary and serve no purpose.

Liberty's Edge

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exequiel759 wrote:

I mean, I have to say it.

Rarity traits are arbritary and serve no purpose.

Actually they do. Several purposes actually, which kind of muddies the water.


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The big problem (or opportunity) with Investigator is that it literally doesn't have a combat style. You could give it a variety of intellect-based attack feats, like Exacting Strike or Clever Gambit or Instructive Strike.

But that only hints at the problem, which is that Investigator class doesn't interact with any of the combat systems which other classes and archetypes use. No multi-action activities. No action-granting feats before level 10. No activity that does extra damage. No activity that allows multiple Strikes in a single action. No activity that reduces MAP. No common reaction-granting feats before level 10. No Focus-based abilities or other per-encounter mechanics. No spells. No stances. No movement feats. A restricted weapon list and light armor only. No Shield Block.

All of this stuff is easily available via Archetype, which makes Free Archetype rules amazingly transformative for an Investigator and honestly all archetype feats a viable option. Whether that's Rogue or Ranger or Dual-Weapon Warrior or Wrestler or Martial Artist.

And so what you really are given in the base class is a need to use all those skill feats to be really good at the "common" stuff in the game. You want to accumulate relatively mundane bonuses when you need them to take advantage of your one combat mechanic, which is knowing what your roll is in advance-- and thus knowing what options you can take to enhance it. Stack up Demoralize, Feint, Create a Diversion, move into flanking, use a specific consumable, and so on.

This could still be extremely playable... Except you're extremely MAD already, wanting STR for melee/thrown damage, DEX (or feats) for second attacks or second targets and armor, CON to stay alive, WIS for perception, INT for Devise A Stratagem, and CHA to maximize a bunch of those skill actions that you're left with.

And even THAT could be playable, if you could switch your key ability modifier (and DAS modifier roll) to WIS or CHA like some of the subclasses would seem to recommend-- Interrogator has no reason not to be CHA-based, and Empiricist has no reason not to be WIS-based.

Or, have a way to bypass using AC from STR/DEX so you can focus CON/WIS/INT/CHA. Which you actually can already do with an Investigator feat... but unforunately not until level 12 with Foresee Danger, using a reaction to use your Perception DC instead of your AC. Making this available early (or as part of the class) would be huge in making the class less MAD.

With all that said? As-is, the class is still very playable in combat if you take a few feats for combat style (whether that's Fighter/Rogue/Dual-Weapon Warrior/Ranger/Wrestler/Martial Artist/etc for better Strikes, or Psychic/Wizard/Witch/Magus/etc for save-based spells when your DAS misses).

Free Archetype adds so, so much here.

But then you're not playing a pure Investigator anymore.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Consider your painting/safe example. It is entirely plausible that a character would notice something odd about a painting-- it's angle, it's style, finger prints in the dust-- which the GM's description couldn't capture. You can of course tie noticing it to a roll instead of making it automatic, but does that actually improve the game? Pathfinder already has an excessive amount of rolls which result in nothing happening. Do you feel happy when your players miss a cool secret or hidden piece of loot? Because it tends to bum me out. Secrets are only placed in the game so they can be discovered, and the less information players have the more likely they are simply going to brute force every problem.

The issue is that those feats are the only thing in the system that pulls control away from the GM for exploration stuff like that.

Once the effects are written in stone, the lack of ambiguity irrevocably alters the game. If That's Odd doesn't trigger, then players know there's "no reason to care" about what the GMs saying for that room, and if it *does* trigger, the GM might as well not require perception checks, because the players are not leaving that room until they "figure out" whatever the odd thing is.

Or the worse, yet inevitable 3rd option: the GM forgot the player had That's Odd, didn't offer an oddity, and the player(s) missed a key detail. One hour later the frustration happens, and when they cannot progress, or lacked some extra tool/secret to create a better outcome, everyone will be unhappy when they realize that That's Odd was supposed to trigger so they could find that hidden book or whatever.

================================

Quote:
Secrets are only placed in the game so they can be discovered, and the less information players have the more likely they are simply going to brute force every problem.

Absolutely not, no. Just labeling them as "secrets" was a mistake; "secrets" already breaks the notion of ttrpg exploration, players don't know what old corpse holds a key, what corpse holds some ancient-yet-irrelevant mysteries, and what corpse is simply set dressing. That uncertainty is vital.

Even without those Feats, I already caused plenty of friction with my GM by attempting to Pursue a Lead based on knocked over barrels and other map clutter. A lot of stuff is flavor. Putting the GM on the spot to invent any significant backstory is a serious ask. It's super easy to b$!@$%!+, but you often simply can't provide the players with any "mechanically" relevant information without possibly making a big contradiction/mistake with an on-the-spot answer.

==================================

Without Investigator, the entire point of a GM being able to describe a scene from that half- "You see" and half "There is" perspective is ambiguity and fuzziness. You don't know what is "mechanically important" and what is flavor.

That's Odd breaks that entire ambiguous GM - Player dynamic. It even robs players of the ability and satisfaction of getting in sync with the GM and understanding the clues to follow up to ask a more pointed question once the GM passes the ball.

The GM describes four headless corpses much more fresh than the rest, I ask if one of them is gnome-sized, and he cracks a grin.

If That's Odd were at play, and the GM offered that oddity, all the punch of that interpersonal moment would have been completely gone. It just would have become the starting point of the mystery without any actual accomplishment made.

Again, the ***interaction between*** GM & players is vital for fun, and That's Odd + Red Herring remove that entire element. When the Feats are active, it all becomes scripted rule-following instead of table gameplay.

=================================

Worse still, I haven't harped on the GM pressure/labor that those Feats carry. One specific ban reason mentioned was something to the effect of:
"The only way that Feat helps you is if I change how things would normally happen and I trigger that Feat. It would make me feel obligated to try to do extra work so you don't feel like you wasted that Feat. And if I forget about your Feat, I think we would both feel bad that it was not being used."

Because again, it's not a Feat that obeys the normal game rules. 100% of the effect is GM labor, it's not a +X to investigation rolls made by the player.

================================

I have not played Dungeon world, nor do I know anything about it. Out of context, the players having a way to force such questions seems... really problematic. Like the game is *asking* for the players to completely disengage with their GM and not pay attention, because they can just directly ask if the room has any loot and move on. Yikes.

Liberty's Edge

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Trip.H wrote:
I have not played Dungeon world, nor do I know anything about it. Out of context, the players having a way to force such questions seems... really problematic. Like the game is *asking* for the players to completely disengage with their GM and not pay attention, because they can just directly ask if the room has any loot and move on. Yikes.

I think this gets at the root of the disagreement here - Dungeon World is a game about telling stories similar to those told in classic ttRPGs, but it is a game about telling those stories, not trying to be the same sort of game. You are seeking treasure and coin not because you the player want to buy an item that boosts your character's power, but because you're telling a story about treasure-seeking adventurers. There are some mechanical boosts from items, but it's mostly to give you some slight mechanical reason to adventure when the character is already doing most of the heavy lifting. These sorts of questions come from games where the intent is to focus on characterisation and the story; for example, a Thief might adventure to get wealth because he wants to throw it around to influence people with the Wealth and Taste ability:

Dungeon World wrote:
When you make a show of flashing around your most valuable possession, choose someone present. They will do anything they can to obtain your item or one like it.

The exact amount of money you have obtained isn't particularly important, nor the exact items, but narratively it's fitting for this sort of character to come back from the mission where you sneaked into the dragon's horde and stole a ring to use the stolen ring to pull one over on their rival. The Investigator is similar - That's Odd is a really interesting feat for what it does for characterisation, and it still serves a meaningful mechanical purpose. I don't think there's a particular reason it's fine for PF2 to be inspired by mechanics from some games and not others - different strokes for different folks. I think it would be reasonable to make them Uncommon and/or put a side-bar explaining this sort of thing to the GM, but they're a kind of feat that is really enjoyed at all the tables I'm running. No need to remove them from the game - for players who enjoy their abilities directly engaging with the narrative on this levels, it's really fun, and I've had no issues with it breaking content. It's OK if some content only works for some players, that's why they are options! If they were built into the class, I'd understand the concern more.


Arcaian wrote:
The Investigator is similar - That's Odd is a really interesting feat for what it does for characterisation, and it still serves a meaningful mechanical purpose. I don't think there's a particular reason it's fine for PF2 to be inspired by mechanics from some games and not others - different strokes for different folks. I think it would be reasonable to make them Uncommon and/or put a side-bar explaining this sort of thing to the GM, but they're a kind of feat that is really enjoyed at all the tables I'm running. No need to remove them from the game - for players who enjoy their abilities directly engaging with the narrative on this levels, it's really fun, and I've had no issues with it breaking content. It's OK if some content only works for some players, that's why they are options! If they were built into the class, I'd understand the concern more.

Absolutely a measured take.

I'm harping on this because a player selecting That's Odd and Red Herring is less like the player taking a Feat, and more like the GM taking a Feat.

No other Feats in the system require so much "GM consent" to have a good time, so to say.

Honestly, with how siloed and disconnected Investigator is from the rest of the system mechanics, it kinda looks like an NPC class. It would be perfect for a GM that wants the option to nude players through a more quizzical campaign to have an NPC with access to such tools join the players.

But again, a player being able to put that onus onto the GM is big thing not present anywhere else in pf2e. Red Herring especially just removes the GM's ability to include any intended misdirection, there's virtually 0 room for the GM to wiggle out of the RaW and preserve the intended experience.


Tooosk wrote:
The big problem (or opportunity) with Investigator is that it literally doesn't have a combat style.

I see its combat style as having another option. Devise a Stratagem is it.

But the class doesn't really give you any hints beyond that though, and it has some pitfalls.

Tooosk wrote:

With all that said? As-is, the class is still very playable in combat if you take a few feats for combat style (whether that's Fighter/Rogue/Dual-Weapon Warrior/Ranger/Wrestler/Martial Artist/etc for better Strikes, or Psychic/Wizard/Witch/Magus/etc for save-based spells when your DAS misses).

Free Archetype adds so, so much here.

But then you're not playing a pure Investigator anymore

I see that as a problem for newer players and GMs. Which is a concern.


Tooosk wrote:
No multi-action activities. No action-granting feats before level 10. No activity that does extra damage. No activity that allows multiple Strikes in a single action. No activity that reduces MAP. No common reaction-granting feats before level 10. No Focus-based abilities or other per-encounter mechanics. No spells. No stances. No movement feats. A restricted weapon list and light armor only. No Shield Block.

Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. Probably not your enemies though…


The Raven Black wrote:
exequiel759 wrote:

I mean, I have to say it.

Rarity traits are arbritary and serve no purpose.

Actually they do. Several purposes actually, which kind of muddies the water.

While I absolutely loathe Rarity tags for classes, and find them completely arbitrary for any experienced group, I have to agree with the Raven. Paizo uses them to assist GM’s in both understanding the stakes of allowing certain classes in certain campaigns for narrative/thematic reasons (possibly also complexity?) and providing such guidelines for the players. Gunslingers and Inventnots aren’t applicable to simple “swords and spells for grogs” any more than Exemplars might be for “low magic grimdark”.

I do think, given the concerns raised here about wresting narrative control and impacting investigative tempo that the Investigator should have a tag. Perhaps not a rarity tag, but a ….complexity tag? Impact tag? And so, at the risk of having multi-tasseled classes sporting an array of extraneous tags, let’s just stick with Rarity, and yes, perhaps Uncommon or even Rare might work.


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I'm not asking for them to remove them btw, but I honestly think they aren't really needed. They don't exist as a balance tool, but rather as an easy way for GMs to prohibit something without creating too much fuss about it. I don't like that idea because TTRPGs are a hobby that mainly involves talking, and if a GM wants to remove certain options its as easy as that GM saying "This isn't allowed" instead of trying to justify that with the rarity traits. I also feel they are really arbritary because there's stuff thats uncommon but thats otherwise very average in terms of how it works or even in-setting stuff (because uncommon is kinda used for both things, which I assume is also confusing for new players).

The only more or less consistent rarity is rare (funnily enouh) because rare options are usually above the normal balance of the game, at least a little.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The trouble is sometimes it's hard to determine what Rarity indicates because it simultaneously means "potentially disruptive" (teleport, resurrection), "literally uncommon/rare within the setting" (most uncommon weaponry), or "meta-narratively giving people an out to ignore the class even though there's no real issue" (inventor, gunslinger, exemplar)

Trip.H wrote:

Again, the ***interaction between*** GM & players is vital for fun, and That's Odd + Red Herring remove that entire element. When the Feats are active, it all becomes scripted rule-following instead of table gameplay.

That seems like a really extreme take. That's Odd is you getting a hint that there might be something odd somewhere, nothing more or less. It's barely even a nudge in the right direction.

And, again, it's just a single first level feat, it's far from encapsulating the totality of what the class is.


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Squiggit wrote:
Trip.H wrote:

Again, the ***interaction between*** GM & players is vital for fun, and That's Odd + Red Herring remove that entire element. When the Feats are active, it all becomes scripted rule-following instead of table gameplay.

That seems like a really extreme take. That's Odd is you getting a hint that there might be something odd somewhere, nothing more or less. It's barely even a nudge in the right direction.

And, again, it's just a single first level feat, it's far from encapsulating the totality of what the class is.

No, a GM describing a room normally is the vague possibility that something might be there.

When it's unscripted, the players will be thinking about "the story up to now" and seeing where the new pieces fit, if they do at all. That's why I caught onto the 4 corpses thing as the one significant detail that I wanted to ask more about. APs have a whole lot of text for the rooms, plenty for the GM to even read raw and still leave the clue obscured.

That kind of writing is super tricky, and the APs do not get enough credit for it. The idea is that the players can learn huuuuge clues if they just follow up a little bit to get a more specific "look" at something, while the initial description will intentionally leave those "ah-ha" details out. No need for rolls, the players just need to pay attention and engage.

===============================

That's Odd only happens when something significant is there. The ability does not fold into normal GMing, it's a thing that is triggered discreetly, the players know when the GM is saying something because of the Feat.

It is completely separate from all flavor, and while what exactly the thing is may be unknown, That's Odd is a spotlight that conforms 100% that something is there to be found. And it's mandatory for the GM to flash that spotlight, meaning that the absence of a That's Odd trigger is 100% de-confirmation, so the party is safe to skip investigating the room.

The only trick the GM can pull is to put multiple, discrete things in the same room. A diary hidden under the cushion *and* a small money pouch in a false drawer. That enables the GM to spotlight either the couch or the desk, hiding one.

that's odd wrote:
When you enter a new location, such as a room or corridor, you immediately notice one thing out of the ordinary. The GM determines what it is, or whether there's nothing reasonable to pick up, skipping obvious clues that can be easily noticed without a check or specifically looking for them. You learn only that an area or object is suspicious, but not why it's suspicious. For example, if you entered a study with a large bloodstain on the ground, the bloodstain is so obviously suspicious it's evident to you already, so the GM might note that there's something suspicious about the desk drawer instead. You would then need to investigate the drawer further to find out what specifically is out of the ordinary. That's Odd doesn't reveal whether creatures are suspicious.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Trip.H wrote:
The issue is that those feats are the only thing in the system that pulls control away from the GM for exploration stuff like that.

I will certainly agree the feats (and kind of the whole concept of the class) doesn't is unique. I disagree that it is actually a problem and think something being unique is generally a good reason for it to exist.

Quote:
Once the effects are written in stone, the lack of ambiguity irrevocably alters the game. If That's Odd doesn't trigger, then players know there's "no reason to care" about what the GMs saying for that room,

Back up. Why is the GM saying something is odd before they even describe the room? That's just the wrong order of operations. A GM should start by describing the room, then highlight the odd bit. If you aren't listening the room description that already happened, you won't know what to do with said Odd bit.

What seems more likely than players tuning out environments (when the feat really encourages you to engage more with them) is that players won't bother rolling Perception checks to search an empty room. And you know what? THIS IS GOOD. This is a big part of why the Search exploration activity exists. Don't force players to constantly roll perception checks when there's nothing to find. Just establish they are looking for traps and roll when it actually matters.

Quote:
and if it *does* trigger, the GM might as well not require perception checks, because the players are not leaving that room until they "figure out" whatever the odd thing is.

Super easy to solve for this. Just tell players that after 10 minutes of searching, nothing turns up, and you just have to assume your hunch was wrong. Then move on. The characters don't know That's Odd is never wrong. People can often be unrealistic about how their character would deal with the monotony and boredom of searching an empty room.

Quote:
Or the worse, yet inevitable 3rd option: the GM forgot the player had That's Odd, didn't offer an oddity, and the player(s) missed a key detail. One hour later the frustration happens, and when they cannot progress, or lacked some extra tool/secret to create a better outcome, everyone will be unhappy when they realize that That's Odd was supposed to trigger so they could find that hidden book or whatever.

This is a complete non-issue in published content where you don't need That's Odd to find stuff.

================================

Quote:

Quote:

Secrets are only placed in the game so they can be discovered, and the less information players have the more likely they are simply going to brute force every problem.
Absolutely not, no. Just labeling them as "secrets" was a mistake; "secrets" already breaks the notion of ttrpg exploration, players don't know what old corpse holds a key, what corpse holds some ancient-yet-irrelevant mysteries, and what corpse is simply set dressing. That uncertainty is vital.

Is it, though? Because it seems to me that players are just going to loot all three corpses anyway because that is what players do. That's why That's Odd doesn't matter: it will barely ever lead players to do something they weren't going to do anyway.

Quote:
Even without those Feats, I already caused plenty of friction with my GM by attempting to Pursue a Lead based on knocked over barrels and other map clutter. A lot of stuff is flavor. Putting the GM on the spot to invent any significant backstory is a serious ask. It's super easy to b~~~%~@+, but you often simply can't provide the players with any "mechanically" relevant information without possibly making a big contradiction/mistake with an on-the-spot answer.

What? Pursue a Lead doesn't require the GM to "invent significant backstory." It gives you a circumstance bonus when you roll dice and a free action DaS if you fight the Lead. That's it. Just because you Pursue a Lead doesn't mean it matters. (And this is also why Red Herring is nice. The GM can say "this doesn't matter" instead of everyone's time being wasted.)

Quote:
Without Investigator, the entire point of a GM being able to describe a scene from that half- "You see" and half "There is" perspective is ambiguity and fuzziness. You don't know what is "mechanically important" and what is flavor.

I think I just flat out disagree with this. I'm not even convinced that ambiguity and fuzziness is a good thing, much less the entire point a GM describing a scene.

Quote:
That's Odd breaks that entire ambiguous GM - Player dynamic. It even robs players of the ability and satisfaction of getting in sync with the GM and understanding the clues to follow up to ask a more pointed question once the GM passes the ball.

Players can still ask pointed questions. That's Odd doesn't hand you answers; it just tells you where to start asking questions or rolling dice. And if a player doesn't want that starting point, they can just... not take the feat. But having the feat is a major boon for players who don't want to try and get in sync with a GM or are incapable of it. Think about players with ADHD missing details, or players with Autism having trouble picking up on social cues, or people who just get overwhelmed with too much detail. Part of what the feats do is enable characters who are smarter (or more observant, or what have you) than the player is. Much like how having a high Diplomacy score should allow uncharismatic players to roleplay charismatic people, or Legendary Athletics characters work for players who are unathletic.

Quote:

The GM describes four headless corpses much more fresh than the rest, I ask if one of them is gnome-sized, and he cracks a grin.

If That's Odd were at play, and the GM offered that oddity, all the punch of that interpersonal moment would have been completely gone. It just would have become the starting point of the mystery without any actual accomplishment made.

Again, the ***interaction between*** GM & players is vital for fun, and That's Odd + Red Herring remove that entire element. When the Feats are active, it all becomes scripted rule-following instead of table gameplay.

This specific example just feels like bad GMing to me. If one of the four corpses is a gnome and the other three are human, that would be immediately obvious to the characters. You don't need a check or feat to notice something so basic, and you really shouldn't have to ask for it. It's like a GM not telling players a room has a door because they didn't ask about one. The GM is the only lens the players have into the world around them and needs to pursue that duty honestly. Omitting such basic information is a major breach of the gaming social contract. I've walked away from tables for less.

Quote:

Worse still, I haven't harped on the GM pressure/labor that those Feats carry. One specific ban reason mentioned was something to the effect of:

"The only way that Feat helps you is if I change how things would normally happen and I trigger that Feat. It would make me feel obligated to try to do extra work so you don't feel like you wasted that Feat. And if I forget about your Feat, I think we would both feel bad that it was not being used."

This I agree with, and in fact noted the principle myself when it comes to published material. But that's why either the class or the feat should be uncommon, IMO. Gunslingers are uncommon because many GMs don't want to accommodate guns in their fantasy settings. That's Odd should be uncommon for similar reasons: Many GM's don't want to plan adventures around it. But personally, when I've GM'ed the feat it gave me fun, creative improv prompts. I liked what it added.

Quote:
I have not played Dungeon world, nor do I know anything about it. Out of context, the players having a way to force such questions seems... really problematic. Like the game is *asking* for the players to completely disengage with their GM and not pay attention, because they can just directly ask if the room has any loot and move on. Yikes.

Not at all. You seem to be falling into a similar pitfall as your assumptions about That's Odd. These questions are a starting point. Also, unlike Pathfinder which lets you roll Recall Knowledge about every detail around you, Dungeon World limits the number of questions you can ask. If you aren't paying attention to the description of the scene and thinking critically about it, you'll ask the wrong question. "Who is really in control here" is a bad question when fighting a dragon, because the answer is almost certainly "the dragon."

It also helps that Dungeon World has a much stronger narrative identity than Pathfinder ever had. D&D hasn't had that strong a narrative identity since they ditched gold as XP. Dungeon World isn't a game about solving murders, it is a game about looting treasure, slaying monsters, and discovering a mystical world where even the GM doesn't know all the answers out the gate.

Also helps that you can't just retry checks. Usually your allies can't even try the same check once you've done it. And even if they could, there are always stakes for touching the dice which can trigger something bad on a failure, unlike a regular failure in Pathfinder which is generally "nothing happens."

Quote:
Red Herring especially just removes the GM's ability to include any intended misdirection, there's virtually 0 room for the GM to wiggle out of the RaW and preserve the intended experience.

Honestly? Good. Misdirecting players often seems like a good idea to new GMs, and 90% of the time it is bad. Again, this comes back to the idea that GMs are the only lens players see the world through. In the worst case scenario, it shatters the trust between player and GM. Even without that extreme, it can just noticeably worsen the game. Consider how hard it can be to keep all players on the same page when you factor in varying attention spans, preconceived notions, and time between sessions. It's easy for details to get muddled together, and when you start to introduce false information into that quagmire it gets exponentially worse. (This is a big part of why I have fallen out of love with false info on crit fail Recall Knowledge or Identify Magic.)

For an illustration of how fraught misdirection can be, check out this thread. Some people found the scenario interesting, and many others had absolutely visceral reactions against it. Many of us called it pretty much the worst thing a GM can do. Misdirection is also just an unreliable strategy for a narrative when Sense Motive checks can nat 20 and Lie checks can Nat 1.

Also... Red Herring doesn't actually remove misdirection anyway? It limits the misdirection of actual red herrings, but the example says you 're told "if there was no greater mystery related to it." Red Herring doesn't say it has to be the same mystery the PCs are trying to solve. If something is substantive enough to meaningfully distract from the plot, there's probably something fun to uncover there. Check out the BBC show Broadchurch. As the detectives investigate the murder, they are constantly uncovering shameful secrets about everyone in town, not just the murderer.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Trip.H wrote:
It is completely separate from all flavor, and while what exactly the thing is may be unknown, That's Odd is a spotlight that conforms 100% that something is there to be found. And it's mandatory for the GM to flash that spotlight, meaning that the absence of a That's Odd trigger is 100% de-confirmation, so the party is safe to skip investigating the room.

No, That's Odd is the GM telling someone that there's something suspicious about something that superficially might not appear suspicious. That's it.

The absolute worst thing it can do is nudge a character toward investigating something that the GM would want them to investigate in the first place. Which like... idk I can't think of a reason to be upset about that. Especially not on such an intense level.

It's walking into a room and making a perception check, except it explicitly cannot actually identify anything, only give you a hint, so not quite that good.

It also explicitly only interacts with subtle oddities, so not activating doesn't deconfirm anything anyways.

All in all it's a pretty mediocre feat that's largely redundant with simply being a good GM, and far from enough to save the Investigator.


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Errenor wrote:
So, giving teases and hints instead of full information leads to pessimistic predictions, thinking the worst and bad feelings. Who would have thought? What a surprise!

I mean, this is basically the exact thing that happened with the Wizard/Witch when PC1 was getting ready for the presses. And I am not really impressed with either class' final product, despite everyone else rushing to their defense to say 'it's fine,' even though it was already 'fine' before, even by my standards.

At best, the Investigator will be the same weak class it always has been, and it probably won't get much better, feat options be damned, since its core chassis is pretty terrible and its "unique" options don't save it from being a bad class as it is.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a few issues with investigator but I do think a lot of them are my dumb opinion and not really anything that should colour anyone else's perceptions.

The class having little else to fall back on when devise a stratagem fails (and it's even worse if you're not fighting the lead your pursuing). You get a bad roll, that's most of your combat features done for the round. You have the one trick against one enemy. Uh I guess I'll recall knowledge or if I'm lucky enough to have another enemy in range, attack it with a lower hit chance and damage. It just feels poopy. And yeah I know there are archetypes out there that can help but they don't help enough.

Investigator feels like the only class that's just worse at combat and that's okay. I don't really understand. A rogue has a huge amount of skills and is amazing in combat. Wizard has enormous versatility. Why is everyone okay with it not being a good combatant? I dunno I guess if I had an investigator in a party it feels like it would be dead weight. Let's face it; the story is going to happen whether we have someone solve the mystery or not, we're going to get where the GM wants us to go.

Most of those complaints are me being too dumb to play the class or realize what others have. Maybe the class isn't really terrible in combat. But I've tried to build a good one a few times, have done a one shot with one, and it's just frustrating. Which is sad because the flavor is just wonderful.


exequiel759 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Swashbuckler fails to get panache and can't do cool things? That doesn't feel like a Swashbuckler.
The thing is, with this example in particular, is that Paizo clearly acknowledges swashbucklers have a problem when generating panache because they fail those checks (that's why thet are fixing that), so instead of doing the most straightforward change (auto-scaling on Acrobatics or their style's skill, +1 bonus to checks that generate panache when you don't have panache rather than the complete opposite thing we have) or even a more complex change (have panache be similar to a gunslinger's reload, being a one-action activity that both generates panache + does a skill action) they instead came up with bravado that seems to allow swashs to take a downside to gain panache. As if swashs needed more downsides.

Not for nothing, but where did the designers say that taking an action with the Bravado trait would incur a downside? 'Cause listening to the stream, all they said is that Swashbucklers now have access to actions with the Bravado trait, that Bravado will be added to a lot of their abilities, and that trait means that when you use the action, it will give you Panache. No skill check, no anything. Just a guaranteed way to get Panache.

Yeah, they didn't detail much else aside from that, but they certainly didn't say what you think they said.


Ezekieru wrote:
exequiel759 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Swashbuckler fails to get panache and can't do cool things? That doesn't feel like a Swashbuckler.
The thing is, with this example in particular, is that Paizo clearly acknowledges swashbucklers have a problem when generating panache because they fail those checks (that's why thet are fixing that), so instead of doing the most straightforward change (auto-scaling on Acrobatics or their style's skill, +1 bonus to checks that generate panache when you don't have panache rather than the complete opposite thing we have) or even a more complex change (have panache be similar to a gunslinger's reload, being a one-action activity that both generates panache + does a skill action) they instead came up with bravado that seems to allow swashs to take a downside to gain panache. As if swashs needed more downsides.

Not for nothing, but where did the designers say that taking an action with the Bravado trait would incur a downside? 'Cause listening to the stream, all they said is that Swashbucklers now have access to actions with the Bravado trait, that Bravado will be added to a lot of their abilities, and that trait means that when you use the action, it will give you Panache. No skill check, no anything. Just a guaranteed way to get Panache.

Yeah, they didn't detail much else aside from that, but they certainly didn't say what you think they said.

Now that you mention it, I can't seem to find anythint that suggest bravado has downsides. I know I must have heard or read something along those lines to assume it was like that. Anyways, if bravado ends up being like the gunslinger's reload I mentioned earlier I think that's a decent patch though I still think auto-scaling in one skill is at least needed.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Errenor wrote:
So, giving teases and hints instead of full information leads to pessimistic predictions, thinking the worst and bad feelings. Who would have thought? What a surprise!

I mean, this is basically the exact thing that happened with the Wizard/Witch when PC1 was getting ready for the presses. And I am not really impressed with either class' final product, despite everyone else rushing to their defense to say 'it's fine,' even though it was already 'fine' before, even by my standards.

At best, the Investigator will be the same weak class it always has been, and it probably won't get much better, feat options be damned, since its core chassis is pretty terrible and its "unique" options don't save it from being a bad class as it is.

Probably. But let's at least wait for the full release. They all should be at least a little bit better, even if possibly not enough. So maybe it's not total doom and gloom.

And yes, I'm not really impressed with witch and wizard either. They should be playable for the most part I suppose. But also for example I won't take school wizard ever again: I didn't like old versions, and they are even worse after the change. Generalists only for me now, it seems.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think a lot of problems people are describing aren't that the Investigator can't be good, but how to do so isn't obvious and doesn't always rely on your class features.

Gaulin wrote:

I have a few issues with investigator but I do think a lot of them are my dumb opinion and not really anything that should colour anyone else's perceptions.

The class having little else to fall back on when devise a stratagem fails (and it's even worse if you're not fighting the lead your pursuing). You get a bad roll, that's most of your combat features done for the round.

This is not a dumb opinion, this is a ubiquitous evaluation of the class. It is also something Paizo already said they're addressing in PC2. How effective it will be remains to be seen, but this is a problem they are trying to fix.

Quote:
Uh I guess I'll recall knowledge

You CAN currently build in other options besides DaS, but they aren't obvious and few will deal as much damage. Aid, battle medicine, cantrips, disturbing knowledge, athletics maneuvers, create a diversion, commanding an animal companion... Very little of this is native to the class or uses your key ability score, but there are options.

Quote:
if I'm lucky enough to have another enemy in range, attack it with a lower hit chance and damage. It just feels poopy.

This statement implies you're building melee investigators, which tend to be worse than ranged investigators. The action cost of DaS, the need to occasionally cycle targets, and the high concentration of ranged fatal or deadly weapons all push them in that direction. The only credible melee build I've seen is SuperBidi's strength based greatsword build with a finesse bite for Strategic Strike.

Quote:
Investigator feels like the only class that's just worse at combat and that's okay. I don't really understand. A rogue has a huge amount of skills and is amazing in melee combat.

Added an important qualifier. Rogues struggle with ranged combat much like Investigators struggle with melee. Triggering consistent sneak attack at range requires building in specific options or relying on teammates to provide flatfooted.

And to an extent, this is OK. Not every class needs to support every weapon style equally. People don't complain about barbarians being bad archers or swashbucklers being bad with great axes. The problem is rogue and investigator don't set this expectation as clearly. Their damage enhancers apply to both melee and ranged, implying both option work equally well, and they just don't.

Also, part of rogues being amazing is just Thief being kind of overpowered compared to how every other class in the game interacts with dex to damage.

Quote:
Wizard has enormous versatility.

Casters vs martials is apples vs oranges. Wizards have spells, which is huge, but Investigators have better at will damage and are more than twice as good at skills. They can also Quick Tincture up any alchemical elixir or tool on the fly.

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Why is everyone okay with it not being a good combatant?

First off, people aren't OK with it, as evidenced by the huge number of complaints in this thread. Outside of Trip's hang ups about That's Odd and Red Herring, most people are talking about being bad at combat. (Which has some qualifiers as I get into above.)

That aside, something which people tend to gloss over is that Investigators are natively better than Rogues outside of damage. They just are. Intelligence as a KAS (without saddling themselves with a dud subclass like mastermind) is great because so many skills key off INT and you can lower DCs with Additional Lore. Floating circumstance bonuses from Pursue a Lead and Clue-In just give them a mathematical edge. (Albeit, one you can often simulate with Ageless Patience or Aid, but I did say NATIVELY. And those won't always be available. But I kinda wish Clue-In was more of a permanent thing instead of a once per 10 minutes reaction.) Deductive Improvisation lets you attempt hazard disabling even when you aren't fully invested in a skill. Keen Recollection... exists, though with the sheer number of trained skills you have it is hard to imagine it mattering unless you're allowed to roll with a Lore's decreased DCs. Quick Tincture gives you access to any elixir you want on the fly. Forensic Medicine is legitimately great in combat and Forensic Acumen is a solid ribbon ability for out of combat. And of course you have a bevvy of feats which provide skill bonuses, zero action checks, or narrative effects.

Do all these things make it OK for the investigator to fall so far behind a DPR optimized rogue for damage? Probably not, but IMO mostly because campaigns don't reliably lean into those strengths.

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Let's face it; the story is going to happen whether we have someone solve the mystery or not, we're going to get where the GM wants us to go.

Yup, this is a problem (almost) all of us agree on. You can totally make the Investigator matter with clever GM'ing, but it requires dedication, a certain skill set, and not just relying on the pre-written. OTOH if you ran a more sandbox style campaign where the players don't have to succeed at every objective to keep the story on the rails, an investigator could really shine. Which is the case for games like Dungeon World or Blades in the Dark. I've said it before and I'll say it again: what makes the investigator interesting is also what makes it a bad fit for many campaigns. It is a d6-based character in a d20 game.

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I dunno I guess if I had an investigator in a party it feels like it would be dead weight.

Out of combat I covered above. In-combat, I think this is only true if you're constantly being ambushed by non-Leads. I've really done well with a shortbow when encounters had proper opportunity to Pursue. Free action DaS is super nice. Once you have a sense for the target's AC it can really inform how you spend your actions. On a terrible roll, you go into one of those non-native back-ups you built for or shoot someone else. On a great roll that crits without adjustment, you just do it. On a good roll that isn't anywhere near the crit threshhold, you just do it. On a tweener roll that almost hits or crits, you know exactly how much to shift the math to bump the degree of success, and can use your actions to Stride for a clearer shot, Hide for flatfooted, Demoralize, guzzle a quicksilver mutagen, or cast an archetype buff. You can even ready the strike for later in the round if you need your allies to hit your target number.

It's an amazing advantage if your allies like to Aid, too, especially with Fake Out.It's a very cerebral and rewarding play-style, as contrasted by literally any other class which has to pile on buffs/debuffs and then hope their roll lands in that 10% range to actually make those adjustments matter. And if you get a roll you shift the degree of success, you don't waste actions trying to.

The problem is that when you are spending an action on DaS you're left with fewer actions to tilt the math, and this is further exacerbated if you need to Stride into melee. (Though flanking will help the math in that case.) Suspect of Opportunity helps a lot at level 10 though. And of course you need to build into both those ways to tilt the math and to do something else when the dice fail you.

I also think you'll do better with automatic bonus progression because cycling weapons can be advantageous when you can tell a flank makes a difference and switch to melee, or that you are definitely going to crit and can pull out a gun.

Incidentally, all these advantages of actively Pursuing Leads is a big part of why I think Trip's "player's won't engage with the narrative" are off base. If you aren't engaging with the narrative proactively, you don't get those Lead benefits.

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And yeah I know there are archetypes out there that can help but they don't help enough.

You've hit upon something interesting here: The investigator doesn't have an obvious combat style of its own. It has some damage enhancers, like Ongoing Strategy and Scalpel's Point. But the other combat feats basically focus on support, either giving bonuses or more information: Known Weakness, Shared Stratagem, Strategic Assessment, Thorough Research, Clue Them All In, Reason Rapidly, Didactic Strike.

But outside of the incomplete picture DaS and Strategic Strike paints, nothing really tells you what kind of weapons you're meant to use. Guns feel like an iconic choice but DaS costing actions hurts on reloading. Cycling weapons can be useful but you don't get Quick Draw. It would be nice if the class got some native options to lean into a niche. The Investigator can probably use the new Crossbow Ace better than the Ranger, for example.


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That aside, something which people tend to gloss over is that Investigators are natively better than Rogues outside of damage. They just are. Intelligence as a KAS (without saddling themselves with a dud subclass like mastermind) is great because so many skills key off INT and you can lower DCs with Additional Lore. Floating circumstance bonuses from Pursue a Lead and Clue-In just give them a mathematical edge.

I think this framing is something most will disagree with, though it is very informative on how your view of Investigator became what it is.

pursue a lead wrote:
Whenever you attempt a Perception or skill check to investigate a designated subject, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to the check. The exact checks this applies to depend on the actions you use to investigate and are determined by the GM, but checks to investigate are typically Perception checks or skill checks that use Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

The only combat thing that really helps with is Recall Knowledge. If you are lucky, your GM will allow it to work with an odd spell like Organsight.

However, there is no chance that a Bon Mot, Intimidation, Disturbing Knowledge, ect are considered "checks to investigate a designated subject."

You can only have 2 PaL targets at once, and that's presuming you even can get a single target before combat begins.

Outside of combat entirely, yes, that +1/2 to investigate a lead is something that Investigator has that the Rogue lacks. However, I do not think you will find many who think the trade of core features could ever be worth it. Even the simple restriction of the skill feats to a white-list of mental feats is a very real downgrade. Additionally, Investigator outright lacks anything to compare with the Rogue's late activated feature of Debilitating Strikes.

More importantly, once you look at the Feat list for the two classes, any claim of "Investigators are natively better than Rogues outside of damage. They just are." falls outrageously flat. Rogues have an absurdly superior selection. They even have plenty of exclusive weird non-combat options like Plant Evidence, for whatever value can be put into such things.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: what makes the investigator interesting is also what makes it a bad fit for many campaigns. It is a d6-based character in a d20 game.

Interesting does not mean it is appropriate design for pf2e.

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Yup, this is a problem (almost) all of us agree on. You can totally make the Investigator matter with clever GM'ing, but it requires dedication, a certain skill set, and not just relying on the pre-written. OTOH if you ran a more sandbox style campaign where the players don't have to succeed at every objective to keep the story on the rails, an investigator could really shine.

This is the exact damnation that I am trying to communicate. It is not okay for 1 class out of all of them to impose that upon the table. PaL is baked in, and That's Odd is even baked into Empiricist.

Every other class: "I'm doing my thing." GM nods, some numbers get shuffled, and the game moves on. Investigator: "I'm doing my thing. GM?" and the GM has to figure out if some future-relevant creature broke that window, or if it's broken just to communicate the current locale is starting to fall to disrepair. Or which individual in the encampment is the one who lit the cooking fire, ect.

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What? Pursue a Lead doesn't require the GM to "invent significant backstory." It gives you a circumstance bonus when you roll dice and a free action DaS if you fight the Lead. That's it. Just because you Pursue a Lead doesn't mean it matters. (And this is also why Red Herring is nice. The GM can say "this doesn't matter" instead of everyone's time being wasted.)

When I see/hear about map clutter like the spilled barrel, I know some *one* did it. I ask my GM if I can Pursue a Lead on whoever knocked over the barrel. The GM now has to scramble through all the provided text and context of that room, and then the next room. Looking to see what creatures could have had access, checking what doors were locked, ect.

Even if we were lucky and it was an easy match, like with a bunch of Morelocks hoarding junk, it still completely interrupted the game to adjudicate an ability that I am mechanically incentivized to use every single room.

Footprints on the map? GM scrambles for 30 seconds, then breaks character to go over the table and say: "I have no idea what could have left those footprints, I think it's just visual detail of the map module."

Most of the time, PaL would fail. Even when PaL works, it's burning time and creating hassles that no other class does.

Even the most story-brained GM (and that GM is literally a professional writer) is going to get frustrated. They know how absurdly crippled the Investigator is without a lead in combat, and they want everyone to have a good time. Neither the player nor the GM has any idea what clues are going to be valid until the action/ask is declared. And the APs are certainly not written with PaL in mind.

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Added an important qualifier. Rogues struggle with ranged combat much like Investigators struggle with melee. Triggering consistent sneak attack at range requires building in specific options or relying on teammates to provide flatfooted

No, in no way does "Rogue struggle with ranged like Investigators struggle with melee." Invest struggling with melee does not impart superior ranged performance as some form of cosmic balance. A ranged-weapon Rogue will outperform a ranged Investigator, easily.

The key difference that you seem to really undersell, is that Off Guard is a condition universal to the system. Each Rogue subtype offers additional ways to inflict the condition, and every ally is capable of inflicting it upon foes.

Mastermind awards Off-Guard to a RK check. The idea of one mental action to prep a target for a careful and boosted hit is already in the system, and not a niche to Invest. And because Mastermind uses a RK check, there's literally dozens of ways to interact/improve it.

Pathfinder Agent is one Feat-loaded example, including potent *Skill* Feats, one outright gives a free RK check at combat start. There's even a 1A cantrip to boost RK checks, and all the many +X to RK options matter, because on crit, the creature is Off-Guard to the Rouge for an entire minute.

DaS can't do anything even remotely close to getting their DaS benefit for a minute like that. Even with a Lead, that's ONE target they can freely DaS upon.

Rogue even has options like the L6 Feat Analyze Weakness (requires a prior RK check):

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You carefully study a creature that you’ve identified to scope out particularly weak points in its positioning or physical form. The next time you deal sneak attack damage to the chosen creature with a Strike before the end of your turn, add an additional 2d6 precision damage.

At 11th level, the additional damage becomes 3d6, and at 17th level it becomes 4d6.

Don't like that RK increases the DC with repeats? No worries, here's a 1A way, no fail, to amp the Sneak Attack damage even higher. Mastermind only? Why would we restrict the Feat like that; obviously they'll like it more, but if you want it, take it.

Investigator: "I can give you +1d6 bleed to DaS crit hits. One Invest sub-type only, contextual to DaS-only, damage type restricted, non-scaling, 1d6 bleed. Does not stack with another bleed-on-crit effect. Take it or leave it."

And because DaS is siloed away from the rest of the game, you can't do much of anything to help get those SStrike pops.

With how the math works, most of the time the Investigator is better off using Sure Strike instead of DaS. With a familiar to hand off scrolls, an Investigator is generally better off spamming that R1 spell instead of using it's own core class feature.

Investigator is so crippled at baseline, that they may even want to pump their own RK ability due to Known Weaknesses. While it can provide a great +1 to the team's next attack roll, that's only on a crit RK. Even that lifeline of a Feat to improve DaS can only do so by crowbaring RK into DaS. That one compressed action is considered one of the best Feats for Investigator, and that's damning the class with the fainest of praise. They just have so little they can improve, that one feature can become a big focus. (Occult Witch is a great pairing to try to help Investigator. Item relay familiar, Join Pasts, and access to the Basic Lessons, ect.)

Meanwhile Mastermind at base gets off-guard for 1 min on crit RK.
And for that Mastermind, all the native benefits of RK and Off-Guard ARE STILL THERE. You get to ask questions, *and* benefit from the -2 AC from Off-Guard.

And when Mastermind is paired with Join Pasts, that combo is so absurd, I would expect GMs to impose some house rule to nerf it. And thanks to their L2 cantrip Feat, Rogue has such things "native" if they don't want a spellcasting dedication.

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It seems you and most other understand that any amount of narrative mystery solving is going to be doable to a party that lacks an Investigator. The GM will provide a detailed enough description so that players following the threads can inquire more. Just like an old MUD or text adventure, the key clue/item/ect is there, you just never looked under the table the GM told you about.

It's the same issue as "the Players, not the PCs, are the ones that have to solve the puzzles." Tying rolls to getting room descriptions and knowledge is not advisable at all. Things like recognizing the number 4 of corpses matches a number we saw earlier, and thinking of a something we should be able to see to test the theory (is one gnome-sized?) cannot be interacted with by +x bonuses to a roll.

This already makes the concept of a class that Investigates a super difficult design challenge. And for the most part, the result is going to actively harm a table that enjoys such back-and-forth developments/discoveries. Because the Investigator is mechanically scripted to simply be told key information by the GM, via T Odd & R Herring, it's not rewarding to receive it. If the GM holds back info for an Invest party just to hand out a detail for T Odd, then that is an empty head-pat that gives the Feat 0 value. If the GM gives any info that would otherwise not be given, you're taking opportunities away from the table to uncover things. There is no way for T Odd to improve things VS a party that actually tries to investigate the scenery on their own.

I cannot stress enough how the one area the Investigator is supposed to help & excel, instead of providing interesting interactions with the group, they just auto-win. This reaches it's zenith of absurdity with features like:

'Master Detective" wrote:
As a master detective, you can solve any case and find all the clues available. If you're pursuing the subject of a lead and you enter a new location that includes another clue toward solving the mystery, the GM informs you of the existence of the clue and its type: an object, person, spell effect, or the like. When you find the clue, the GM informs you that you've done so. If there is more than one clue in the location, the GM chooses one to inform you about. When you find any of the clues in that location, the GM informs you that you've done so, even if it wasn't the clue they'd chosen or there are other clues you haven't found. Your proficiency rank for your investigator class DC increases to master.

In a campaign not focused on mysteries, it's worthless.

In a campaign with mysteries, it's lack of gameplay/interactivity actively harms the fun.

In order for this Feature to "work" the GM has to inject worthless mysteries to make the Investigator feel good about auto-solving them (while still being unable to have a campaign include any genuine ones).

Every bit of "investigative hassle" that "It's good!" for the Investigator to skip over, would not be there if the table didn't want it do be!
This is very important to understand. If the table hates the idea of missing loot, diaries, ect, because of bad rolls, then the table would not play like that!

This means that for tables/GMs that are happy to hand-wave combing over a room are now pressured by the presence of an Investigator; because hand-waiving what the Investigator *can* do would otherwise devalue the Investigator even more.

This is what I mean when I say that the Investigator is fundamentally fun-harmful class design. I don't care that it might be appropriate for another system. Frankly, that should never be suggested as an excuse here.

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Unless Paizo sticks an official warning on Investigator or makes serious changes, I will try to reasonably warn against its use when I can.

In a remastered Investigator, those 2 Feat really ought be removed as the necessary bit of medicine to allow space to improve the combat performance. Things like optional use of the DaS die help, and so can band-aids like a baked-in Reaction to spend PaL-ing in combat.

Another alternative to Reaction PaL I've not heard suggested is to have Strat Strike "lock-in" upon a successful DaS hit. For the next min, the Invest can use INT to hit if they want, & they get Strat Strike dmg every hit. And can still DaS if they want the pre-roll insight + Feat riders like Shared Stratagem.

Yes, that would make the Invest more like the Ranger and Thaum. No, that is not a bad thing.

Being target-locked is still a worse bargain V Rogues needing only the condition, but it would let the Invest climb a significant number of rungs out of their combat-performance hell.


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I suscribe to the idea that investigators are better at skills than rogues. Very recently our GM asked us to create some NPCs for a ship crew (we are playing a naval campaign in which we go to explore islands and the such) so I made an investigator fully meant for out-of-combat utility with skills meant to not ever dare to enter the battlefield (which is fine, since these NPCs are lower level than us so they weren't going to fight anyways). The results are a character that does a little of everything but unlike a rogue that also does a little of everything since this one doesn't bother with combat it can cover even niche things such as decipher writtings or being a good secondary caster for rituals (which I didn't even intend).

The problem? This system revolves around combat, so a class thats better built ignoring combat as if these happened to be a rules light system with focus on RP is just bad design. Not to mention that I would be able to build a similar character with a rogue too.

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