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Any urban, particularly Absalom, Katapesh, Oppara, Quantium, and Westcrown
Iconic character
Source: Advanced Class Guide, pg(s). 30ff. (1E)
Advanced Player's Guide, pg(s). 54
ff. (2E)
Quinn as a lamplighter investigator.

The investigator specializes in solving mysteries and teems with knowledge. In battle, they play out every possibility in their head, striking true just at the right moment. Their methodology grants them an edge, and their wit and skillfulness mean they almost always have the right tool for the job.1 Investigators use their perceptive curiosity, alchemical knowledge, and spry wits and dexterity to gain and use knowledge to their advantage. They excel at tracking down people, valuables, and conspiracies with little more than their observational powers and inspired deduction.2 Sometimes, like alchemists, investigators carry formula books to store their known formulas.3


Although investigators are knowledgeable about many topics, they all specialize in one particular field. Investigators may focus their studies on alchemical analysis to learn to collect information from particles and fluids left on the scene; empiricism, statistics, mathematics, and inductive reasoning to be able to determine the most likely outcome of any scenario; forensic medicine to gather information from bruises, bone fractures, blood splatters, and even carrion insects; or the art of interrogation to always manage to force others to tell the truth, even when they do not want to do so.4

On Golarion

Often, investigators choose not to work with others of their kind—instead, preferring to operate alongside those whose areas of expertise complement theirs—but they sometimes form guilds and societies for the training and betterment of their own. Some investigators in Golarion serve as advisors to the wealthy and powerful.56

Investigators flourish in urban settings. The great cities of Absalom, Katapesh, Oppara, Quantium, and Westcrown are home to many investigators.56

Investigators can be found anywhere information is valued, and the politics of Cheliax play to their strengths. Investigators serve on both sides of the law in Cheliax, whether that means among the ranks of the dottari, the guards and wardens of Westcrown, or in the pay of shadowy groups like the Apsis Consortium or the Council of Thieves. The Thrune government also relies on investigators to ferret out dangerous traitors, while even ordinary nobles may hire them to uncover new and devastating gossip about their rivals.56

Constantly in the throes of revolution, Galt is a hotbed of accusation and suspicion, and investigators are key to both the Gray Gardeners' machinations and the safety of those who would stay one step ahead of the government and its final blades.56

Thuvia's prominence in the Inner Sea region is caused by its annual auctions for the sun orchid elixir. Because of the auction's policy of forcing even losing bidders to pay, every year, eager investigators become high in demand to gather intelligence on other participants or to protect oneself from unwanted curiosity.56

The University of Lepidstadt in Ustalav is a bastion of rational thought. Investigators among the professors, deans, and senior students of the university study and teach the "mortal sciences" (especially in the schools of history and science), or else travel the land uncovering the causes behind the region's numerous calamities. In addition, Ustalav is also home to such agencies and societies as the Sleepless Agency, Conference Z, the Bureau of Criers, the Anaphexia, the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, and many others, whose ranks are filled with investigators.56

Lepidstadt Inspectors

Investigators who have graduated from the University of Lepidstadt are legendary in their ability to get to the bottom of any mystery. Troubled settlements throughout the region send petitions to the university requesting an investigator when faced with a mysterious threat to their community. These inspectors are tasked with assuming nothing and asking difficult and unpopular questions to get to the truth behind a problem. Inspectors are experienced in confronting mystical threats, but also mindful that some supernatural problems may simply be caused by more mundane occurrences such as bandits, wild beasts, or public hysteria.56

Notable investigators

See also: Category:Investigators


There are no restrictions on the race of an investigator, but catfolk, aphorite, kitsune, goloma, and shisk adventurers often become investigators.


Investigators may investigate deities, but there are no restrictions on their choice of religion.


  1. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 53. Paizo Inc., 2020
  2. Jason Bulmahn, et al. Advanced Class Guide, 18. Paizo Inc., 2013
  3. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Classes” in Advanced Class Guide, 30. Paizo Inc., 2015
  4. Logan Bonner, et al. “2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 58. Paizo Inc., 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Dennis Baker, et al. “Class Is in Session” in Advanced Class Origins, 4. Paizo Inc., 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Dennis Baker, et al. Investigator” in Advanced Class Origins, 14–15. Paizo Inc., 2014