By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Super Genius Games is 23 pages long, 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 21 1/3 pages of content for the second class in SGG’s Anachronistic Adventurers-line, so let’s check this out!
The Investigator is a new base-class for men of our world stranded in a medieval fantasy setting. It gets 3/4 BAB, d8, 7+Int skills per level and a good fort-save. Apart from these basics, though, the class gets access to so-called investigator talents and an archetype at first level, i.e. a sub-section of the class that offers some abilities and makes sure that the base-class is more like a conglomerate of classes.
The investigators can choose from a vast selection of 31 different investigator talents that range from rather mundane “Get proficiency in weapon-class” and use INT instead of stat X to truly awesome ideas – Essentially granting the investigator the ability to track enemies, analyse crime scenes to deduce clues about the killer etc. – all while keeping the Dm in control and providing simply STELLAR ways for both player and DM to cooperate to keep an adventure from running into a dead-end.
Now, if you want to go full-blown Sherlock Holmes on your foes, the Great Detective archetype (with 6 special talents) is just what you’ve been looking for, as it provides smooth ways for investigative leaps of brilliant deduction. Need a Watson for your Holmes? The medical examiner (with 7 exclusive talents) is the stellar healer or the insane doctor – Even better, the class lends itself in excellent ways to campaigns without divine healing. Awesome! The final archetype gets no exclusive talents, but comes with awesome rules – the inventor can create items that go beyond what would usually be possible in a given time-period. The complex and yet easy to understand rules for inventions balance them with costs etc. and make for an excellent example of SGG’s mastery of rules.
Due to the problems often encountered when running investigations in e.g. PFRPG or CoC (Trail of Cthulhu does it great!), the pdf also covers a LOT of useful advice for running investigations and…provides research rules! GOOD research rules. Essentially, Knowledge checks correspond to a complexity DC and a depth. The complexity check is lower than the knowledge check and for every point by which you surpass the complexity DC, you detract the same amount from the depth. Once the depth-score is gone, you get your results as if you had found the answer via other ways. I really love the way in which these simple, yet concise and versatile rules enable you to create suspenseful scenarios in which the PCs are browsing tomes! We also get sample statblocks for 5 different libraries, rules for advanced forensic kits and a short discussion of different progress levels.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column standard by SGG and the b/w-artworks are neat. The pdf comes with no bookmarks, which is a minor downer. That’s it. All the criticism I can muster of this pdf – basically, the pdf has been made for me, featuring great rules for bringing investigators to your PFRPG-game and adding detective-elements to your story. The class is excellent and surpasses even the enforcer and if you add to that the stellar investigation-rules, you get… my very favourite SGG-class. Yep. I prefer this one over the Time Thief. This class might be my personal benchmark for the ultimate fusion of hard crunch and fluff-based abilities, marrying concise rules with genius ideas and cool research-rules. I’m a Cthulhu-fanboy and have run a lot of CoC and ToC-modules and this pdf makes some of the ideas that make these scenarios more versatile/different from dungeon-crawling work in PFRPG and open thus a whole world of scenarios to scavenge ideas and convert modules from. Class: A+. Additional rules: A+. Customizable Anachronistic Archetypes: A+: Final verdict: 5 stars, Endzeitgeist seal of approval – Both SGG and RiP have opened 2012 with stellar pdfs that have a very good chance of ending up on my top-10-2012-list. If the idea of an investigator even remotely intrigues you, check this out – Owen K.C. Stephens has surpassed his usual excellent quality in this one!
Anachronistic Adventurers: The Investigator is available from: