The Investigative Team

To Medieval Classes


Crime and Punishment
Author Keith Baker
Series Campaign Style
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
Pages 160
ISBN {$isbn}
OGL Section 15 cap
Content Puller {$content}

Netbook can be found on the following website

The Grand OGL Wiki

An investigative team should include individuals who can fill the following roles:

The Mouthpiece — Detective work involves a great deal of talking. Gather Information is a critical skill, with Sense Motive a close second. Bluff and Diplomacy can help you soothe ruffled feathers or talk your way past suspicious guards. An Investigator is an ideal choice for this task, since her Networking talent enhances her ability to Gather Information, but a Rogue or a Bard can be just as effective.

The Scout — Finding a suspect is one thing; following her is another. An expert in stealth and observation is an invaluable addition to the party. Move Silently, Hide, Spot, Listen, and Search are all critical skills. A Rogue is well-suited to this role, and can add Open Locks and Disable Device to his repertoire; once he’s tailed the villain to her lair, he can break in and scout it out. But Investigators, Rangers, and bounty hunters also have sharp eyes and silent feet — and a ranger or bounty hunter can handle herself in battle if she’s spotted by her quarry. At higher levels, a shadowdancer or illusionist-thief could also fill this role, using his magic to Hide in plain sight.

The Scholar — Someone on your team needs to be able to use Gather Information. But the word on the street is only one piece of the puzzle. Knowledge skills may help you catch clues that would otherwise slip by. divination magics can be priceless when it comes to locating a stolen object or identifying a killer. And Heal and forensic pathology can come in handy when magic won’t do the job. This role is tailor-made for the inquisitor, but the loremaster is a close second choice; if neither one is available, a bard may be able to fill in, provided she has taken a few Knowledge skills to flesh out her training in Bardic Lore.

The Muscle — Raw firepower isn’t as important for an investigating team as it is for a group of dungeon crawlers, but you need to be prepared when things go wrong. Rangers, Monks, and bounty hunters are excellent choices, as their skill with stealth and observation can allow them to act as back-up in other positions when things are peaceful.

Magical Backup — Like martial skill, mystical firepower and healing are not as critical for sleuths as for most parties. However, it’s good to have some sort of healing available, whether it’s a bard or a cleric of Knowledge or Trickery. If the group does not have an inquisitor, then a diviner, enchanter, or illusionist can also prove useful — either for acquiring knowledge through mystical means, or being able to overcome obstacles through charm or deception.

Gather Information

Gather Information is an extremely useful skill. This skill can be used to direct conversation or Track an enemy through an urban area; both of these can be invaluable when you’re trying to follow the activities of a particular group or locate your nemesis. The ability to read a room using Sense Motive can also be useful if you’re dealing with suspicious characters; at least you’ll know who’s keeping an eye on you and when to watch your words. And should you get caught up in a guild war or similar feud, the forensic skills and spells may be invaluable. Perhaps you’re not going to make a living by solving crimes, but the ability to identify the person who killed your friend — using final vision, testimony of the broken window, detect bloodtraces, or by performing an autopsy — can be the critical first step in obtaining a little personal justice.

Be prepared

Your enemies have access to all of the same materials that you do. Testimony of the broken window and detect bloodtraces will allow them to identify you. Urban tracking or follow the bloody trail will let them find you. Seemingly innocent bystanders may be part of an enemy investigator’s Intelligence network. And an enemy with Sense Motive can even read the room to tell when you’re trying to read his thoughts. So be aware — these tricks aren’t just there for you!


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