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How to Create Great Pathfinder 2nd Edition Characters: Investigator

Once you start a Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) Character Concepts series, you’re in it for the long haul! Good thing that I LOVE tabletop games, otherwise this would feel more like a chore than actual fun.

Last week we covered the Witch from Paizo’s Advanced Player’s Guide. This week, we’re moving onto the ever-perceptive Investigator class! Quinn might be my favorite Pathfinder iconic character, and one of the two that I gravitate towards when playing in a module with pre-built characters.

The other is Oloch, if you MUST know.

Anyways, the iron is in the fire and it’s about time we started talking about the Investigator!

Pathfinder 2nd Edition Investigator Class

Pathfinder Second Edition Iconic Investigator, Quinn
Quinn, the 2E Iconic Investigator

Sherlock Holmes is a great example of an investigator. At their core, Investigators are about uncovering truths and solving mysteries. This doesn’t mean that they always have to be hanging around crime scenes or walk around with a magnifying glass. No, mysteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some are mundane, while others are world-defining. Investigators rely on their intellect to reach rational conclusions and prove reality.

As an Investigator, you are meant to notice things that nobody else does. And to take that a step further, you can also put the pieces together to define the greater picture of a situation. A liar’s tell is just as obvious to you as a bright, glowing weak point on a monster in the wilderness. Investigators Pursue Leads and Clue In others on their findings.

Once you discern some new information, you are able to quickly jump to conclusions that can benefit yourself and your allies. Are people hiding something? Does that overturned wagon belong to a local baron? Will the goblin sentry fall asleep in the next five minutes? These, and many other secrets of the universe, belong to the Investigator.


In a world filled with magic, there are a lot of unknowns. Apparitions. Ghosts. Spirits. Heck, it seems like everything these days is haunted. Enter the paranormal detective, who uses their knowledge of the supernatural to put your mind at ease and spirits to peaceful rest. They know the ins and outs of WHY these unseen forces do what they do, and they’re quite good at their jobs. What they lack in EMF readers, they more than make up for in deductive reasoning.

Pathfinder Second Edition Investigator

Paranormal detectives know that the past is a decent indicator of the future. If one can figure out motives and histories long forgotten, perhaps that will grant them the necessary insight to take meaningful action. They are fearless, having put themselves in countless terrifying situations. After all, they are the experts and showing fear openly would do nothing to quell the fears of the people who hired you.

Are there any specific spirits, ghost, or apparitions that you specialize in dealing with? Does religion play a role in your work? How many different friendly spirits have you come into contact with? What is the best way to get rid of a spirit? Do you have any methods that you’ve developed as signature moves? Can you feel otherworldly presences around you at all times?

How do you generally start an investigation? Do you like performing research? How much of your knowledge comes from books and how much is practical application or learning? Are you more apt to find answers and clues in an urban setting or a natural one? What do you do when you reach a dead end? Are you ever stumped?


  • Methodology: Alchemical Sciences
  • Ability Scores: Dexterity, Wisdom
  • Skills: Portal Lore, Occultism, Arcana
  • Sample Feats: Foresee Danger (Investigator), Alchemical Discoveries (Investigator), Root Magic


When keeping track of large sums of money, it’s very easy to make some of it…disappear. In your line of work as a bursar, it’s exceptionally easy. Between tuition payments, books, extracurricular fees, housing fees, donations, grants, and miscellaneous charges, money is constantly circulating through the vaults of your academic institution. Your job is to ensure that all of the money is being put to its intended use, and that there is no suspicious activity going on in the ledgers. You’re a bursar, not a cook.

Pathfinder Second Edition Investigator

Finance and numbers are your game. You understand that mistakes are made, but it would certainly make your life easier if they weren’t. It’s no matter; your discerning eye for correct decimal points and hesitation in penmanship allow you to uncover even the sneakiest of dealings. Every receipt must be accounted for. Additionally, overpayments deserve to be returned to their rightful owner. Everything must be done by the book, and in the book.

What institution do you work for? Have you always been involved in academia? When did you first discover your penchant for numbers and mathematics? Do your skills translate well to other professions, like law or real estate? How do you handle errors made by others? What about errors made by yourself?

How many copies of ‘the books’ do you keep? Do you enforce the same sort of financial rules with your personal money? What personal ties do you have to the school? Have you ever worked for nobles or royalty? Do you participate in any shady dealings since you know how the system works? Have you ever looked the other way?


  • Methodology: Empiricism
  • Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Skills: Mercantile Lore, Thievery, Diplomacy
  • Sample Feats: Predictive Purchase (Investigator), Implausible Purchase (Investigator), Eye for Numbers


When so much of the world lies beneath the veil of the sea, it only makes sense that we should be curious as to what lies beneath! Think of all the unknown mysteries and treasure lie within those murky depths. As a salvager of shipwrecks and nautical antiquities, you are well-acquainted with doing your research before undertaking any operation. Using charts and studying weather patterns, salvagers use reason when determining where to dive.

Pathfinder Second Edition Investigator

Maybe you’re searching for some elusive historical artifact, or perhaps your actions are financially motivated. Either way, you are acclimated with the terrors of the deep and life on a ship. So much history is apparently lost forever, whether it be from international conflicts, piracy, or storms. You might even be searching for long-lost heirlooms to cash in on that sweet reward money.

What areas of the world or specific seas do you typically work in? Do you go out into the deep depths, or do you focus on shipwrecks closer to shore? What treasures have you found? Have you hidden any away from the rest of the world? Do you work in a team or mostly by yourself? What are the primary resources that you use for your work?

Have you solved any previously unsolved mysteries of the sea? Have you encountered any mythical sea beasts or monsters? Has anyone else tried to take credit for your findings? Why do you dive? Are you searching for something in particular?


  • Methodology: Empiricism
  • Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
  • Skills: Sailing Lore, Athletics, Nature
  • Sample Feats: Connect the Dots (Investigator), Red Herring (Investigator), Underwater Marauder


Ancient runes are packed full of secrets. Histories that are either forgotten or secretly tucked away from the world. Archaeologists apply their knowledge on two fronts. First, they try to locate and uncover these locations. Secondly, they investigate them to understand their purpose. We can learn much about the world by understanding the people that walked before us. Monuments, ruins, and temples all provide clues to the past.

Pathfinder Second Edition Investigator

When delving deeper into unknown areas, you let the thrill of discovery propel you forward. Even in the midst of danger, the possibility of finding something new is a dangerous catalyst that might prevent retreat. Archeologists don’t even necessarily deal specifically in really, really old places either. Their talents are applied easily to present-day secrets that are being covered up and pushed under the rug.

What is your primary motivation for being an archeologist? What are you hoping to find or uncover? Do you have any important discoveries to your name? Are there any areas that you are particularly interested in? Are you more interested in finding out about every day life, or is there a grand artifact or discovery that you’re waiting for? Do you get your hands dirty, or let others do the heavy lifting?

Have you found any evils or terrors that were meant to stay buried? Are you adept at defending yourself? What close calls have you experienced? Do you publish any of your findings? Are there any artifacts that you keep on you because they mean so much? What was your first find? Do you specialize in man-made structures or something else entirely?


  • Methodology: Forensic Medicine
  • Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Skills: Thassilon Lore, Society, Arcana
  • Sample Feats: Detective’s Readiness (Investigator), Blind-Fight (Investigator), Automatic Knowledge


We’ve all heard the stories about the strange creatures that always slip away from sight. The ones that passed down through legends, getting more grandiose with each telling of their story. The beasts that are so unbelievable, that’s it’s harder to believe they could have even been made up in the first place. Cryptozoologists study the lore and histories behind these creatures in an attempt to understand them. And, I supposed, if they happen to find them that would be a huge plus on the old resume.

Pathfinder Second Edition Investigator

The key for Cryptozoologists is to separate the fact from the fiction. Even lies contain at least the smallest grains of truths. If one can discern the difference, they can be a powerful force for reaching meaningful, logical conclusions. These thrill-seekers pore over tomes and listen to bards sing tales, if only to get one step closer to finding their ever-elusive target. And then you’ll become a part of the legend…

What creature or tale are you hoping to find or prove true? Do other people take your work seriously? Where have your travels taken you? Have you ever gotten close to the final prize? What strategies have you employed to make yourself as successful as possible?

What secrets about the cryptid(s) do you know that nobody else does? What logical deductions are you most proud of? Have you ever fabricated the existence and proof of a new cryptid? How are you portrayed in the scientific or academic communities? How long have you been searching? Why do you still do it? Is there something that people don’t want you to know? Like…I don’t know…THE TRUTH?!


  1. Methodology: Interrogation
  2. Ability Scores: Charisma, Wisdom
  3. Skills: Fey Lore, Intimidation, Survival
  4. Sample Feats: Lie Detector (Investigator), Just One More Thing (Investigator), Hobnobber

Pathfinder 2E Investigator Class – Lost and Found!

Investigators are a class that supports any character that is perceptive and logical. Their deductions can turn the tide in an interrogation or help catch subtle cues in conversation. A party is lucky to have access to such a keen intellect!

Be sure to check out the master post for all of the character concepts for Pathfinder Second Edition! I’m keeping it up-to-date as I post new concepts articles, so you can find that perfect character for your next campaign.

Until next time, enjoy your time in Golarion!

How to Create Great Pathfinder Second Edition Characters

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