OGC:Investigator (3.5e Class)
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|This material is published under the OGL|
Making an Investigator
Abilities: An investigator can follow many different paths. Wisdom helps an investigator overhear conversations and draw conclusions about the people he deals with. Charisma is useful for gathering information and fast-talking suspicious guards. Dexterity is critical for an investigator who plans to spend his time shadowing his suspects down dark alleys — and also helps to keep him out of harm’s way when blades are drawn. Finally, Intelligence provides an investigator with access to a wider range of skills.
Alignment: An investigator can have any alignment. A lawful investigator may use his skills to uphold the laws of the land, while a chaotic investigator might use his talents to solve mysteries the law won’t touch. A good investigator will try to help people in trouble, whereas an evil one could use his talents for blackmail and extortion.
Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the investigator.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An investigator is proficient with light armor, shields, the sap, and all simple weapons. In addition, an investigator is proficient with one of the following weapons: battleaxe, hand axe, longsword, rapier, or short sword.
Deduction: This ability allows an investigator to pluck critical facts out of the morass of a mystery. It is two parts skill and three parts luck; sometimes an investigator just happens to recognize a clue that other people would overlook. Deduction is not intended to replace Gather Information, Search, or other forms of active investigation. Instead, it is a bonus to these skills. It gives the investigator access to clues he might have missed, or highlights details that might not have seemed important. Perhaps the party didn’t pay attention to the fact that the pattern of broken glass shows that the window was broken from inside the room. Or that the guardsman was killed with a blunt weapon, but all of the Irontooth orcs use spears out of devotion to their god. Usually, Deduction will not solve a mystery — but it will give the investigator a new lead to look into.
In every game session, an investigator may make one voluntary Deduction check for every five investigator levels that he possesses. This is an Intelligence check, and the investigator can add his class levels to the roll. The amount of information he receives is based on the result:
|Check Result||Information Gained|
|10||Revisit and highlight existing information.|
|20||Reveal a small detail that was missed or ignored.|
|25||Significant insight — a major clue about motive or identity — is gained.|
|30||A Holmesian revelation occurs; many pieces fall into place.|
If there is no useful information to be gained about a particular situation, the GM should highlight the facts that the party already possesses and try to point the investigator in the right direction.
In addition to the investigator’s active use of Deduction, a GM may choose to have the character make an involuntary Deduction check at other times, to see if he notices minor details or facts that have slipped by the other characters. This does not count toward the character’s voluntary Deduction check limit.
While Deduction is mainly useful when an investigator is attempting to solve a crime, it can be helpful in other situations. In general, it can be used any time that the character is faced with a mystery; a good roll should give the investigator a push in the right direction.
Read Character: One of the primary skills of the investigator is the ability to size up the people that he meets — to get a sense of their motivations and capabilities. A talented investigator can determine a character’s class, alignment, and even her level. This requires a Wisdom check against the DC specified below; the investigator may add his class level to this roll, and if he has five or more ranks of Sense Motive he gets an additional +2 synergy bonus.
|Determine Partial alignment||20|
|Determine Complete alignment||30|
Determine Partial Alignment allows the investigator to judge his target’s bias towards either law and chaos or good and evil; determining the complete alignment requires a more difficult check. As each check can only be attempted once, the investigator can’t just use Determine Partial Alignment twice.
An investigator may make one check in each category for each target he deals with; no retry is allowed. Each check requires a full minute of observation or conversation, so an investigator with a limited amount of time will have to decide what information he’s most interested in. A character can make an impulsive judgment and make a check after a single round, but this increases the DC by 10. The GM should make all checks secretly. If the investigator misses the check by five or fewer points, he simply can’t form an opinion; if he misses the roll by more than five points, he should receive incorrect information.
Networking: Over the course of a career, a successful investigator will build up a web of contacts and informants. Most investigators specialize in dealing with certain types of people, and this experience transcends personal contacts; an investigator who is used to dealing with criminals will have an edge when he is looking for information in the underworld, even if he is in a city he doesn’t know that well.
Networking is similar to the favored enemies of a ranger. At level three and every four levels after that, an investigator picks a Networking specialty. The choices are:
|Academic||Scholars, students, philosophers, university staff.|
|Aristocratic||Nobility, the wealthy social elite.|
|Criminal||Anyone who makes a career out of breaking the law.|
|Merchants||Craftsmen and traders.|
|Military||Professional soldiers, both mercenary warriors and career soldiers.|
|Police||People who make a living upholding the law.|
|Political||Anyone who is actively involved in government, from the governor to the tax collector.|
|Poor||Beggars, peasants, and others at the bottom of the social ladder.|
|Religious||Priests, monks, and hermits.|
An investigator gains a bonus to a number of skills when there is a connection to one of his Networking specialties. He gains a bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Read Character when he’s targeting someone covered by the specialty, and a bonus to Gather Information and Knowledge (local) when he’s looking for information relating to the specialty. This bonus starts out at +2; every time the investigator selects a new Networking specialty, the bonuses on each of his old specialties are increased by one. In addition, each time an investigator selects a specialty, he gains one special informant in that specialty. The nature of this character should be determined by the GM; ideally, it should be an NPC the investigator has had dealings with in the past. This informant will go out of her way to provide the investigator with information, and the investigator can ask her to perform simple tasks. Should this informant be killed, she will not be replaced.
Networking specialties are not exclusive. A baron could be covered by both the aristocratic and government specialties, while a crooked bishop could be criminal and religious. In these cases, an investigator should use the highest bonus he possesses; Networking bonuses are not cumulative. If you have an idea for a specialty that is not on this list — you want your investigator to specialize in naval contacts, for example &mdash that’s fine, as long as you can get your GM’s approval.
Bonus Feats: Investigators can follow many different paths. Some learn to fight, specializing in brawling or disarming enemies. Others focus on honing their deductive abilities. At fourth level and every two levels thereafter, an investigator can pick an extra feat from the following list: Alertness, Careful Listener, Dodge, Combat Expertise, Hard to Fool, Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike, Investigator, Persuasive, Skill Focus (Gather Information), Skill Focus (Search), Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Slippery Tongue, Stealthy, Track. The investigator must meet the prerequisites of any bonus feat he wishes to take.
Special Abilities: At 9th level and every four levels thereafter (13th and 17th ), an investigator gets a special ability of his choice from the following:
Dramatic Moment: The investigator has a knack for dramatic confrontation. Once per gaming session he may take a +10 circumstance bonus when using one of the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive.
Informants: The investigator gains two additional informants, as described under Networking. These are NPCs who will act to provide the character with information and minor assistance. The investigator must work together with the GM when selecting these informants; the investigator can make requests, but the GM has the final word. Also note that NPCs with apparent value may not make the best informants. A prince is constantly surrounded by guards and busy with affairs of state, and it may be difficult for him to slip away to talk to an investigator. But no one pays any attention to the Royal Librarian. Typically these informants should be associated with one of the character’s Networking specialties, but the GM has the final say on choice of informants.
Unlike the NPCs associated with Networking, these informants will be replaced with new NPCs if they are killed or alienated. A character can take this ability multiple times.
Skill Mastery: The character selects a number of skills equal to his Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, the investigator may take 10 even if circumstances would normally prevent him from doing so. An investigator may take this ability multiple times.
Slippery Mind: The investigator’s quick wits and dedication to his work can allow him to break free of magical compulsion. If an investigator with this ability is targeted by an enchantment and fails his saving throw, he may make an attempt to save again on the following round. The character only gets one additional save per enchantment. This ability can only be taken once.
Feat: An investigator may take a feat instead of a special ability.