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Agent of Inquiry

Whether on the trail of a fugitive, a long-lost treasure trove, or a criminal mastermind, agents of inquiry are motivated by an intense curiosity about the world and use knowledge of it as a weapon Observing the world around them, they gain valuable knowledge about the situation they’re in, process that information using inspiration and deduction, and cut to the quick of the matter in unexpected ways.

The agent of inquiry is an archetype of the bard class.

Bardic Performance

An agent of inquiry gains the following types of bardic performance:

Careful Teamwork (Su): An agent of inquiry uses performance to keep allies coordinated, alert, and ready for action. All allies within 30 feet gain a +1 bonus on Initiative checks, Perception, and Disable Device checks for 1 hour. They also gain a +1 insight bonus on Reflex saves and to AC against traps and when they are flat-footed. These bonuses increase by +1 at 5th level and every six levels thereafter. Using this ability requires 3 rounds of continuous performance, and the targets must be able to see and hear the bard throughout the performance. This ability is language-dependent and requires visual and audible components.

This performance replaces inspire courage.

True Confession (Su): At 9th level, an agent of inquiry can use performance to trick a creature into revealing its secrets. Using this ability requires a successful Sense Motive check to see through a Bluff or notice mental compulsion. After 3 continuous rounds of performance, the target must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the bard’s level + his Charisma modifier). Success renders the target immune to this power for 24 hours. On a failed save, a liar inadvertently reveals the lie and the truth behind it. A creature under a charm or compulsion reveals the nature of its enchantment and who placed it (if the creature knows) and gains a new saving throw to break free from the enchantment. This ability is language-dependent and requires audible components. Using this power requires only 2 rounds of performance at 15th level, and 1 round of performance at 20th level.

This performance replaces inspire greatness.

Show Yourselves (Ex): At 15th level, an agent of inquiry can use performance to compel creatures to reveal themselves when hiding. All enemies within 30 feet must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the bard’s level + his Charisma modifier). If they fail, they must cease using Stealth, unlock and open doors between themselves and the agent of inquiry, and dismiss, suppress, or dispel if necessary magical effects that grant invisibility or any other form of concealment from the agent of inquiry. As long as they can hear the performance, affected creatures may not attack or flee until they have eliminated every such effect, though they are freed from this compulsion immediately if attacked. Creatures in the area must make this save each round the bard continues his performance. This ability is language-dependent and requires audible components.

This performance replaces inspire heroics.

Inspiration (Ex)

At 1st level, an agent of inquiry is beyond knowledgeable and skilled—he also possesses keen powers of observation and deduction that far surpass the abilities of others. An agent of inquiry typically uses these powers to aid in their investigations, but can also use these flashes of inspiration in other situations. An agent of inquiry has the ability to augment skill checks and ability checks through his brilliant inspiration. The agent of inquiry has an inspiration pool equal to half his bard level + his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). An agent of inquiry’s inspiration pool refreshes each day, typically after he gets a restful night’s sleep. As a free action, he can expend one use of inspiration from his pool to add 1d6 to the result of that check, including any on which he takes 10 or 20. This choice is made after the check is rolled and before the results are revealed. An agent of inquiry can only use inspiration once per check or roll. The agent of inquiry can use inspiration on any Knowledge, Linguistics, or Spellcraft skill checks without expending a use of inspiration, provided he’s trained in the skill. Inspiration can also be used on attack rolls and saving throws, at the cost of expending two uses of inspiration each time from the agent of inquiry’s pool. In the case of saving throws, using inspiration is an immediate action rather than a free action.

This ability replaces minor auras.

Deductful Dodge (Ex)

Sometimes, while the agent is looking for clues while on the case, foes tend to miss him, or perhaps the agent can see the enemies attack coming before they even make their move through deduction. At 1st level, when the agent is a target of an attack he may make a free Perception check (he does not need to be aware of the attack) using his Perception roll as his AC against the attack. If he is unaware of the attack, he takes a -4 to the roll dodging attacks without knowing he even dodged them. He may do this a number of times per day equal 3 + his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces distraction.

Eye for Detail (Ex)

An agent of inquiry gains a bonus equal to half his level on Knowledge (local), Perception, and Sense Motive checks, as well as Diplomacy checks to gather information (minimum +1).

This ability replaces fascinate.

Arcane Insight (Ex)

At 2nd level, an agent of inquiry can find and disable magical traps, like a thief’s trapfinding ability. In addition, he gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made against illusions and a +4 bonus on caster level checks and Perception skill checks to see through disguises.

This ability replaces well-versed.

Trap Sense (Ex)

At 2nd level, an agent of inquiry gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, granting him a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps. At 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by 1 (to a maximum of +7 at 20th level).

This ability replaces versatile performance.

Extraordinary Accidents (Ex)

At 2nd level, the agent is great at making things happen even if accidental, by opening passages by falling on their back, or saying the wrong words but the right words, at the right time. Once per day, when the agent rolls a 1 on any d20 roll, he may treat that roll as natural 20, seemingly still causing a fumble that actually acts in his favor extraordinarily. At 7th level and every 5 levels thereafter, he may use this ability one additional time per day.

This ability replaces inspiration

Gentleman’s Hustle (Ex)

The agent is adept at chasing after suspects of crimes he inspects, or running from suspects. Starting at 3rd level, he gains a 10-foot movement bonus to his base land speed. This increases by 5 feet every 4 levels thereafter. He loses this bonus movement speed while in any armor.

This ability replaces troubadour.

Studied Combat (Ex)

With a keen eye and calculating mind, an agent of inquiry can assess the mettle of his opponent to take advantage of gaps in talent and training. At 4th level, an agent of inquiry can use a move action to study a single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so, he adds half his bard level as an insight bonus on melee attack rolls and as a bonus on damage rolls against the creature. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or until he deals damage with a studied strike, whichever comes first. The bonus on damage rolls is precision damage, and is not multiplied on a critical hit. An agent of inquiry can only have one target of studied combat at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an agent of inquiry’s studied combat, he cannot become the target of the same agent of inquiry’s studied combat again for 24 hours unless the agent of inquiry expends one use of inspiration when taking the move action to use this ability.

This ability replaces major auras.

Studied Strike (Ex)

At 4th level, an agent of inquiry can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action, upon successfully hitting his studied target with a melee attack, to deal additional damage. The damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and increases by 1d6 for every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 9d6 at 20th level). The damage of studied strike is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to studied strike. If the agent of inquiry’s attack used a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), he may choose to have the additional damage from studied strike be nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. If the agent of inquiry chose to make an attack with a lethal weapon instead deal nonlethal damage (with the usual –4 penalty), the studied strike damage may also deal nonlethal damage. The agent of inquiry must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An agent of inquiry cannot use studied strike against a creature with concealment.

This ability replaces dissonance.

Relentless Pursuit (Ex)

At 9th level, an agent of inquiry can learn enough about a suspect through observation that he can deduce the most effective way to deal with the subject. Once per day, if an agent finds a creature’s tracks using tracking, he gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against or about that creature, as well as on weapon attack and damage rolls against that creature. These bonuses last until the agent selects a new subject for relentless pursuit.

This ability replaces resonance.

True Inspiration (Ex)

At 20th level, an agent of inquiry can use inspiration on all skill checks—even ones he isn’t trained in—and all ability checks without spending inspiration. In addition, whenever he expends inspiration on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, he adds 2d6 rather than 1d6 to the result.

This ability replaces deadly performance.