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Whether on the trail of a fugitive, a long-lost treasure trove, or a criminal mastermind, investigators are motivated by an intense curiosity about the world and use knowledge of it as a weapon. Mixing gumption and learnedness into a personal alchemy of daring, investigators are full of surprises. Observing the world around them, they gain valuable knowledge about the situation they're in, process that information using inspiration and deduction, and cut to the quick of the matter in unexpected ways. Investigators are always evaluating situations they encounter, sizing up potential foes, and looking out for secret dangers, all while using their vast knowledge and powers of perception to find solutions to the most perplexing problems.

Role: Investigators live to solve mysteries and find inventive ways to get out of jams. They serve as advisors and support for their adventuring parties, but can take center stage when knowledge and cunning are needed. No slouches in battle, they know how to make surprise attacks and use inspiration to bring those attacks home.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Parent Classes: Alchemist and rogue.

Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The investigator's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Investigator
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Extracts per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Alchemy, inspiration, trapfinding 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Poison lore, poison resistance +2 2
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Investigator talent, keen recollection, trap sense +1 3
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Studied combat, studied strike +1d6, swift alchemy 3 1
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Investigator talent, poison resistance +4 4 2
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Studied strike +2d6, trap sense +2 4 3
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Investigator talent 4 3 1
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Poison resistance +6, studied strike +3d6 4 4 2
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Investigator talent, trap sense +3 5 4 3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Studied strike +4d6 5 4 3 1
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Investigator talent, poison immunity 5 4 4 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Studied strike +5d6, trap sense +4 5 5 4 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Investigator talent 5 5 4 3 1
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Studied strike +6d6 5 5 4 4 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Investigator talent, trap sense +5 5 5 5 4 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Studied strike +7d6 5 5 5 4 3 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Investigator talent 5 5 5 4 4 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Studied strike +8d6, trap sense +6 5 5 5 5 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Investigator talent 5 5 5 5 5 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Studied strike +9d6, true inspiration 5 5 5 5 5 5

Class Features

The following are the class features of the investigator.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Investigators are proficient with simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, short sword, and sword cane. They are proficient in light armors, but not shields.

Alchemy (Su)

Investigators are highly trained in the creation of mundane alchemical substances and magical potion-like extracts.

When using Craft (alchemy) to create an alchemical item, an investigator gains a competence bonus equal to his class level on the skill check. In addition, an investigator can use Craft (alchemy) to identify potions as if using detect magic. He must hold the potion for 1 round to attempt such a check.

Like an alchemist, an investigator prepares his spells by mixing ingredients and a tiny fraction of his own magical power into a number of extracts, and then effectively casts the spell by drinking the extract. These extracts have powerful effects, but they are also bound to their creator. Extracts behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by dispel magic and similar effects, using the investigator's level as the caster level.

An investigator can create only a certain number of extracts of each level per day. His base daily allotment of extracts per day is given on Table: Investigator. In addition, he receives bonus extracts per day if he has a high Intelligence score, in the same way a wizard receives bonus spells per day.

When an investigator mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura. An extract immediately become inert if it leaves the investigator's possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an investigator cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use. An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before losing its magic, so an investigator must reprepare his extracts every day. Mixing an extract takes 1 minute of work.

Creating extracts consumes raw material, but the cost of those materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements; extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement.

An investigator uses the alchemist formulae list to determine the extracts he can know. An investigator can prepare an extract of any formulae he knows. To learn or use an extract, an investigator must have at least an Intelligence score equal to 10 + the extract's level. The saving throw DC for an investigator's extract is equal to 10 + the extract's level + the investigator's Intelligence modifier.

An investigator may know any number of formulae. He stores his formulae in a special tome called a formula book. He must refer to this book whenever he prepares an extract. At 1st level, an investigator starts with two 1st-level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional formulae equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new investigator level, he gains one new formula for any level that he can create. An investigator can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements. A formula book costs as much as a spellbook. An investigator can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An investigator can also learn formulae from another investigator's or an alchemist's formula book (and vice versa). An investigator does not need to decipher arcane writing before copying that formulae.

Inspiration (Ex)

An investigator is beyond knowledgeable and skilled—he also possesses keen powers of observation and deduction that far surpass the abilities of others. An investigator typically uses these powers to aid in their investigations, but can also use these flashes of inspiration in other situations.

An investigator has the ability to augment skill checks and ability checks through his brilliant inspiration. The investigator has an inspiration pool equal to 1/2 his investigator level + his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). An investigator's inspiration pool refreshes each day, typically after he gets a restful night's sleep. As a free action, he can expend one use of inspiration from his pool to add 1d6 to the result of that check, including any on which he takes 10 or 20. This choice is made after the check is rolled and before the results are revealed. An investigator can only use inspiration once per check or roll. The investigator can use inspiration on any Knowledge, Linguistics, or Spellcraft skill checks without expending a use of inspiration, provided he's trained in the skill.

Inspiration can also be used on attack rolls and saving throws, at the cost of expending two uses of inspiration each time from the investigator's pool. In the case of saving throws, using inspiration is an immediate action rather than a free action.


An investigator adds 1/2 his level to Perception skill checks made to locate traps and to Disable Device checks (minimum 1). An investigator can use Disable Device to disarm magical traps.

Poison Lore (Ex)

An investigator has a deep understanding and appreciation for poisons. At 2nd level, he cannot accidentally poison himself when applying poison to a weapon. If the investigator spends 1 minute physically examining the poison, he can attempt a Knowledge (nature) check to identify any natural poison or Knowledge (arcana) check to identify any magical poison (DC = the poison's saving throw DC). Lastly, once a poison is identified, he can spend 1 minute and attempt a Craft (alchemy) check (DC = the poison's saving throw DC) to neutralize 1 dose of the poison. Success renders the dose harmless. The investigator has no chance of accidentally poisoning himself when examining or attempting to neutralize a poison.

Poison Resistance (Ex)

At 2nd level, an investigator gains a +2 bonus on all saving throws against poison. This bonus increases to +4 at 5th level, and to +6 at 8th level. At 11th level, the investigator becomes completely immune to poison.

Investigator Talent (Ex) or (Su)

At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, an investigator gains an investigator talent. Except where otherwise noted, each investigator talent can only be selected once.

Investigator talents marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to an investigator's studied combat or studied strike. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack, but the decision can be made when the damage is dealt..

Keen Recollection

At 3rd level, an investigator can attempt all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Trap Sense (Ex)

At 3rd level, an investigator gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, granting him a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps. At 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by 1 (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level).

Studied Combat (Ex)

With a keen eye and calculating mind, an investigator can assess the mettle of his opponent to take advantage of gaps in talent and training. At 4th level, an investigator can use a move action to study a single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so, he adds 1/2 his investigator level as an insight bonus on melee attack rolls and as a bonus on damage rolls against the creature. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or until he deals damage with a studied strike, whichever comes first. The bonus on damage rolls is precision damage, and is not multiplied on a critical hit.

An investigator can only have one target of studied combat at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an investigator's studied combat, he cannot become the target of the same investigator's studied combat again for 24 hours unless the investigator expends one use of inspiration when taking the move action to use this ability.

Studied Strike (Ex)

At 4th level, an investigator can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action, upon successfully hitting his studied target with a melee attack, to deal additional damage. The damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and increases by 1d6 for every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 9d6 at 20th level). The damage of studied strike is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to studied strike.

If the investigator's attack used a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), he may choose to have the additional damage from studied strike be nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. If the investigator chose to make an attack with a lethal weapon instead deal nonlethal damage (with the usual –4 penalty), the studied strike damage may also deal nonlethal damage.

The investigator must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An investigator cannot use studied strike against a creature with concealment.

Swift Alchemy (Ex)

At 4th level, an investigator can create alchemical items with astounding speed. It takes an investigator half the normal amount of time to create alchemical items. He can also apply poison to a weapon as a move action instead of a standard action.

True Inspiration (Ex)

At 20th level, an investigator can use inspiration on all skill checks—even ones he isn't trained in—and all ability checks without spending inspiration.

In addition, whenever he expends inspiration on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result. Some talents can affect this. If using the amazing inspiration investigator talent, he rolls 2d8 instead. If using this with empathy, tenacious inspiration, underworld inspiration, or a similar talent, he rolls two sets of inspiration dice and uses the higher of the two results.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have investigators as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

Race Bonus Source
Core Races
Dwarf Gain a +¼ bonus on Perception checks when underground and +½ bonus to the investigator’s trap sense ability regarding stone traps. ACG
Elf Increase the total number of points in the investigator’s inspiration pool by ⅓. ACG
Gnome Add one extract formula from the investigator’s formula list to the formula book. This formula must be at least 1 formula level below the highest level the investigator can create. ACG
Half-Elf Gain a +¼ bonus on all inspiration rolls. ACG
Half-Orc Gain a +⅓ bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using studied combat (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects. ACG
Halfling Add one extract formula from the investigator’s formula list to the formula book. This formula must be at least 1 formula level below the highest level the investigator can create. ACG
Human Add one extract formula from the investigator’s formula list to the formula book. This formula must be at least 1 formula level below the highest level the investigator can create. ACG
3rd Party Publishers
Jon Brazer Enterprises
Android Add a +1/2 bonus when using inspiration on any Knowledge or Linguistics check. JBE:BoHR:AFCO

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

Investigators trust in knowledge above all things. Often this is not solely the bookish knowledge and abstract formulae of arcane artists, nor the religious knowledge of clerics, nor even the martial knowledge of the soldier, but rather some small part of all of these. Sometimes this knowledge is esoteric, but often it’s practical in nature. Investigators master knowledge that allows them to ferret out the secrets that lie behind the hidden code of evidence and speak the ironclad language of cause and effect. They use their knowledge to find those things hidden from others, whether by the passage of time, the rituals of occult orders, or guilty creatures seeking to obscure their trails.

While most investigators use a mix of empirical science and alchemy to achieve these goals, there are other types of investigators as well. Some rely on different skills and information—such as the whispers of the dead, intuition, and luck—to uncover that which is hidden. The following is just a small sample of the myriad kinds of investigators.

Table: Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Weapon & Armor Alchemy Inspiration Trapfinding Poison Lore Poison Resistance Poison Immunity Investigator Talent Keen Recollection Trap Sense Studied Combat Studied Strike Swift Alchemy True Inspiration
2 5 8 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
Dread Investigator










Lamplighter C







Psychic Detective C


Relentless Inspector










Steel Hound C


3rd Party Publishers
Flaming Crab Games
Monster Chronicler



War Genius C