Ongoing Investigations:
A Preview

                This Friday, March 13th, we’ll be releasing our latest book, Ongoing Investigations: Character Options For Investigators. We’re so excited for it that we just can’t wait until Friday, and we’re hoping that you feel more or less the same way, so why don’t we take a quick tour of what this book has to offer?

New Investigator Archetypes

                As a book about investigator character options, it’s more or less a given that there will be some archetypes, but even if everyone saw them coming, we still think that they’ll pack some twists and turns for you. There are 11 rich and detailed archetypes in all, spanning 12 pages in the book. Included below are the names and flavor descriptions for each of them, plus a sneak peak at three in particular, containing roughly half of the class features in the archetype.


Addicted Inspector

                Many inspectors turn to drugs, whether to give them a little bit of solace from their constantly-working intellects, or to help them to cope with the harsh realities of their profession. Some investigators even come to rely on their drugs not only to help them sleep at night, but even to do their job.



                Analysts are investigators who prefer to think things through before acting. They are able to pick apart problems by investing their time working on them, and can solve what others consider unsolvable problems by spending that little bit of extra time to dig for information. By carefully studying problems, they can even recreate most forms of magical phenomena. In addition to being able to easily identify most magical items and figure out their inner workings, even without magical aid, the analyst can determine the workings of magic spells in order to create a potent alchemical version of a studied spell.


Arcane Investigator

                The arcane investigator is an investigator devoted to the discovery of magic and its effects. Not only do arcane investigators study magic, but all arcane investigators are practitioners of arcane arts and are capable of casting spells in a fashion similar to a wizard. Of course, while arcane investigators are not as skilled at magic as true mages, their supplemental spellcasting abilities, combined with their knowledge of magical spells and objects, augments their other abilities to allow them to easily pursue whatever goals they choose.

                Cantrips: An arcane investigator can prepare 4 cantrips, or 0-levels spells, each day. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. An arcane investigator begins play knowing all 0-level spells on the sorcerer/wizard spell list.

                Spells: An arcane investigator casts arcane spells drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. An arcane investigator must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.

                Only sorcerer/wizard spells of 6th level or lower are considered to be part of the arcane investigator’s spell list. An arcane investigator cannot use spell trigger magic items (without making a successful Use Magic Device check) of sorcerer/wizard spells of 7th level or higher.

                To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the arcane investigator must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an arcane investigator’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the arcane investigator’s Intelligence modifier.

                An arcane investigator can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is identical to the number of extracts of each spell level that can be prepared by a normal investigator. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

                An  arcane investigator may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the arcane investigator decides which spells to prepare.

                Spellbooks: An arcane investigator must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all arcane investigators can prepare from memory. An arcane investigator begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level sorcerer/wizard spells plus three 1st-level sorcerer/wizard spells of his choice. The arcane investigator also selects a number of additional 1st-level sorcerer/wizard spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new arcane investigator level, he gains two new sorcerer/wizard spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new arcane investigator level) for his spellbook. At any time, an arcane investigator can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own.

                An arcane investigator can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from an arcane investigator’s spellbook. An alchemist can learn formulae from an arcane investigator’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. An arcane investigator cannot learn spells from an alchemist.

                This ability replaces the alchemy class feature.

                Investigate Magical Effects (Ex): An arcane investigator is keen to investigate into spells and other ongoing magical phenomena. The arcane investigator adds 1/2 his class level as a bonus on all Knowledge (arcana) checks made to determine a spell effect already in place, as well as on Spellcraft checks made to identify spells being cast.

                This ability replaces the trapfinding class feature.

                Arcane Investigations (Sp): By 3rd level, an arcane investigator is able to glean a lot more about the casting of spells after the fact than most others are able to. When using detect magic and Spellcraft to identify spell effects and lingering spell auras, the arcane investigator is able to distinguish between spells cast by different individuals: each spellcaster has a special “signature,” which is consistent in all spells they cast, allowing the arcane investigator to easily determine whether two spells were cast by the same person (and, if he has a sample to compare them to, he can use this to determine who cast a specific spell). A spellcaster can attempt to hide this telltale signature when they cast a spell: doing so requires that the caster succeed on a special opposed roll (1d20 + the caster’s Bluff modifier + the caster’s Spellcraft modifier, opposed by 1d20 + the arcane investigator’s Perception modifier + the arcane investigator’s Spellcraft modifier). If the arcane investigator wins, he identifies the signature despite the caster’s efforts. If the caster wins, the arcane investigator is unable to find a signature in the spell.

                Additionally, the arcane investigator is able to detect lingering auras for a much longer period of time than other casters are typically able to. If the amount of time that the spell’s aura would have lingered has expired, the arcane investigator can attempt a Spellcraft check to detect faint traces of the aura, which others would miss. The DC for this check depends on the original strength of the aura, and how much time has passed since the spell was initially cast, as outlined on the table below.


                This ability replaces the investigator talent gained at 3rd level.

…plus several additional class features, not included here.


Corrupt Detective

                Some investigators are less concerned with bringing culprits to justice or finding the exact truth, and instead focus on doing whatever needs to be done in order to keep things running smoothly. These jaded investigators know that the ends justify the means, and aren’t above doing a few unsavory things to get the result that they want.


Dogged Investigator

                Dogged investigators desperately hunt after a single character, hunting their victim obsessively and learning his every secret. For many dogged investigators, the object of their obsession becomes as close to them as kin, though the two likely meet only infrequently. These dedicated investigators are exceptional trackers and combatants, focused on a single target.


Gentleman Detective

                Gentleman detectives live for fame and respect, but also are among the best suited to solving crimes and getting to the bottom of mysteries of all sorts. Equally skilled in schmoozing and witty banter, the gentleman detective prefers to talk to witnesses and those in the know to get their information, rather than digging around musty old crime scenes. Though more of a talker than a fighter, the gentlemen detective is perfectly capable of handling any combatant, provided his opponent is willing to engage in a fair fistfight, and even when his enemies aren’t so cooperative, the gentleman detective’s sense of honor and propriety will be sure to show the honorless curs the might of the right side of the law.

                Skillful Interview (Ex): A gentleman detective is good at getting along with people and using his skills in order to learn what he wants from others. At 2nd level, a gentleman detective’s charms begin to take hold on those he interviews. As a swift action, he can designate a creature as the subject of his interview. Whenever the gentleman detective speaks with the target of his interview, he can use his inspiration ability on Sense Motive checks against the target of his interview without spending uses of inspiration. Additionally, if he uses Diplomacy or Intimidate to raise the subject’s attitude, he raises it one step higher than normal, and the change in attitude lasts for twice as long as it ordinarily would. Finally, a gentleman detective automatically gains a hunch about the target of his skillful interview. The interview effect lasts for up to 10 minutes, and the gentleman detective must wait at least 10 minutes after ending an interview before he can start a new one.

                This ability replaces the poison lore class feature.

                Schmoozing (Ex): A gentleman detective is very good at getting information out of people. At 2nd level, he gains a +2 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks made to gather information, and can gather information in half the normal amount of time. At 5th level, and again at 8th level, this bonus increases by a further +2. At 11th level, the gentleman detective can gather information by spending 10 minutes asking around.

                This ability replaces the poison resistance and poison immunity class features.

                Decipher Clues (Ex): A gentleman detective is able to draw conclusions from things he notices that others would not be able to. At 3rd level, a gentleman detective can use Perception in place of any Knowledge check to learn more about a subject he can currently sense. Additionally, he automatically discovers any tracks in the area if he spends at least one minute looking for them, provided that the tracks could normally be found with a Survival check result of 20 + his class level or lower. Finally, he can use Perception in place of Survival (at the same DCs) to follow tracks, as long as those tracks are no more than one day old.

                This ability replaces the keen recollection class feature.

…plus several additional class features, not included here.



                Reactionists are investigators of the alchemical process, less interested in understanding people and more in how one can use alchemy in conjunction with other elements in order to produce interesting effects. Some feel these reclusive forensic warriors are mad and unstable more than anything else, but are forced to admit that their chemical skills are unmatched.


Stealth Sleuth

                Stealth sleuths are investigators who rely on stealth and guile, rather than charm or social grace. Preferring to stay in the shadows, most stealth sleuths use their abilities to observe subjects of interest from the shadows, either watching events unfold or taking their time to study subjects undisturbed. Eminent stalkers, stealth sleuths almost always remain unobserved, showing themselves only in critical moments or when it is necessary to strike decisively and with precision few can match.

                Stealth Stalker (Ex): A stealth sleuth is a very sneaky individual, capable of evading most detection. A stealth sleuth adds 1/2 his class level (minimum +1) on all Stealth checks, and can use inspiration on Stealth checks without needing to spend uses of inspiration.

                This ability replaces the trapfinding class feature.

                Stealth Dash (Ex): A stealth sleuth learns to move at high speeds while remaining unseen. At 2nd level, the stealth sleuth can move at full speed while using the Stealth skill with no penalty. At 11th level, the stealth sleuth can run while using the Stealth skill with no penalty.

                This ability replaces the poison lore class feature.

                Unseen Observer (Ex): A stealth sleuth is exceptional at observing things when he remains unseen. At 2nd level, as long as the stealth sleuth is unobserved, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks. At 5th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by an additional +1.

                This ability replaces the poison resistance and poison immunity class features.

…plus several additional class features, not included here.


Truth Seeker

                As their name implies, truth seekers are investigators who will go to any length to find the facts. Masters in the art of discerning fact from fiction, truth seekers possess all the tools required to get to the bottom of any situation. Using both exemplary deductive skills and potent alchemical formulae, truth seekers are exceptionally difficult to deceive and are near-perfect interrogators. While many truth seekers serve the law in this capacity, some choose instead to seek out the truth for darker reasons, perhaps serving as spies, informants for criminals, or as the master torturers of dangerous villains.


New Investigator Talents

                Another automatic-include for the book is new investigator talents. We’ve got 15 of these, giving your investigator plenty of new options to choose from. The names of these investigator talents are included below. What do they do? You’ll have to wait for the book to find out.

Advantageous Strike

Arcane Inference

Athletic Inspiration

Disabling Strike

Disarming Strike

Dungeon Expert

Engineering Secrets

Get the Point Across

History’s Lessons

Inspired Turnabout

Practiced Perception

Prayer Knowledge

Studied Redirection

Style Expert

Wilderness Specialist


New Feats

                We’ve packed in 16 feats, and while all of them are exciting new tools in the investigator’s arsenal, they’re also useful for characters of virtually any class, letting anyone who wants to be an effective amateur detective get the upper hand when it comes to solving mysteries. Here are a few examples:

Footprint Savant
You are studied in the art of footprints, and can provide detailed information about an individual from a set of footprints.
Benefit: You can use the appropriate Knowledge skill to identify a monster’s abilities and weaknesses from its footprints, as though the monster itself were present. In addition, with a successful Perception check (DC 20), you can learn a variety of things about the creature that made the footprints, including: the creature’s approximate height and weight, the creature’s gender, whether the creature was running or walking when the prints were left, and at approximately what speed, and, if the creature is wearing shoes, roughly what type of shoes were being worn (old and worn vs. new, the relative style of the shoe, etc.).

                If the tracked party was successfully able to hide their trail, or the footprints are otherwise destroyed or altered, some or all of this information may not be available. Further, a creature that expects such scrutiny may arrange things to provide confusing or misleading information (such as wearing someone else’s shoes, in order to leave prints with that shoe’s mark, instead of their own).


Know Spirit
You are always on the lookout for possessing influences.
Prerequisite: Sense Motive 5 ranks, or ability to cast detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, or detect law.
Benefit: You can spend 3 rounds observing a creature (a standard action each round) in order to learn whether or not that creature is possessed. If the creature is possessed, you also gain information about the possessing creature, including its alignment, its creature type (including any subtypes), and whether it is able to possess others via a spell, spell-like ability, supernatural ability, or magic item.


Object Study
You can learn a lot about a man from the objects he has handled.
Prerequisite: Perception 1 rank
Benefit: You can study an object in order to make insightful deductions about the object’s current or previous owner. Doing so requires one minute of uninterrupted concentration, during which time you must be able to handle the object, which must have been used regularly by the person in question. At the end of this time, you make a Perception check (DC 20). If you succeed, you make a single deduction about the item’s previous owner. Such deductions could include, but are not limited to: the character’s class, the character’s alignment, the character’s profession, the character’s gender, whether or not the character is particularly good at a particular skill (modifier +5 or higher), whether or not the target has an alcohol or drug habit, the fact that the character regularly frequents a certain neighborhood, and so on.

                The GM determines what piece of information is gained, based on what sorts of deductions are likely to be plausible from the object in question. For every 5 points by which the result of the Perception check exceeds the DC, an additional piece of information is gained. However, for each piece of information gained by this ability, there is only a chance (70% + 1% per investigator level) that the information is correct. The GM should roll this chance in secret, and roll separately for each piece of information. If the information is incorrect, the GM should make up a similar piece of information which is not correct, and you gain that information instead. You cannot use this ability on a given object more than once.


Rumor Monger
You know how to get the information you want from the local rumor mill.
Prerequisite: Knowledge (local) 1 rank.
Benefit: You can use Knowledge (local) in place of Diplomacy to gather information. In addition, you can use Knowledge (local) to track a creature in urban environments, in place of Survival.


                Here are the names of the rest of the feats, but, like the investigator talents, you’ll have to wait for the book to find out what they do.

Black Market Contacts

Detective Agency

Detective’s Eye

Follow Up

Get On In Nature

Gut Instinct

Gut Reaction


Identify Trap

Lay of the Land

See Right Through It

Underworld Contacts


New Spells

                The new crunch content in the book wraps up with a collection of 16 spells. Like the feats, these spells are aimed at providing options to characters of all classes, and focuses on providing useful tools for those who are looking to solve mysteries. As with the talents, the names of the spells are below, but in order to find out exactly what they do, you’ll need to wait until this Friday when the book becomes available.

Convert Poison

Deciphering Eye

Foe Focus

Foe Sight

Forced Confession

Inspired Escape

Instant Intuition

Instant Recollection

Instant Recollection, Greater

Investigative Insight

Investigator’s Searchlight

Know Poison

Psychic Footprint

Reproduce Poison

Rogue’s Reflexes

Tunnel Vision


But Wait, There’s More!

                It should be fairly apparent by now that while we wanted this book to provide lots of options for investigators in games of every sort, we also wanted it to provide options for characters of every class who wanted to do some investigating. Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle standing in the way of players who want to do some investigating isn’t the lack of character options, but the lack of a GM who is willing and able to run a game where investigation features prominently.

                There’s only so much we can do about willingness, but when it comes to ability, we’ve added a section on the end of the book that provides GMs with helpful hints, tips, and tricks for how to construct mystery scenarios and how to run a mystery game. We can’t reproduce it here, since it’s intended for GMs only, but we can give you the names of the sections:

What is a Mystery Game?

What Type of Mystery Are You?


                How Did He Do It

                Why Was It Done

                False Mysteries

Constructing the Puzzle

The Ten Commandments of Mystery

Other Tips for Running Mystery Games

                Clue Redundancy

                Should We Split Up?

                Mixing It Up

                Beware the Genre Savvy

                It’s a Magical World


And the Culprit Is…

                So, now that you’ve had a chance to look over Ongoing Investigations: Character Options for Investigators, be sure to check in at www.paizo.com, www.drivethrurpg.com, and www.d20pfsrd.com this Friday to pick up your copy, and find the answers to all these lingering questions.