Viva la Vida
Investigation is the art and science of solving mysteries, examining seemingly disparate evidence to find a connection, answering riddles and overcoming paradoxes. It not only allows your character to get into the head of a killer to grasp his motives or plans, it allows her to look beyond the mundane world to guess at answers to mysterious problems, or to have a “eureka” moment that offers insight into baffling circumstances. Your character might realize that all murder victims have the same digits jumbled in their phone numbers, she might interpret a dream that has striking similarities to events in the real world, or she could recognize why an intruder took the time to paint a room red. Certain individuals such as law-enforcement officers, forensic specialists, scientists and investigators are trained in the art of examination, while others simply develop the knack through years of practice. Note that Investigation is different from the perception Attribute Perception (Wits + Composure or Wits + another Skill) is typically checked when a character could spot something unusual or amiss when she isn’t actually looking for it. Investigation-based rolls are typically made when a character actively studies a situation. Dots in Investigation donÕt give a character sudden insight or capability in the realms of other Skills, however. She canÕt miraculously identify changing brushstrokes in a painting, for example. That would be the realm of Academics or Crafts. But she might identify how the placement of paintings throughout a house creates a pattern and imparts a message.
Possessed by: Criminals, doctors, forensic examiners, police officers, scientists, scholars, and soldiers.
Specialties: Artifacts, Body Language, Crime Scenes, Cryptography, Dreams, Autopsy Diagnoses, Puzzles, Riddles, and Scientific Experiments.
Dramatic Failure: Your character studies an individual or situation and draws an incorrect conclusion or focuses on the wrong details.
Failure: Your character fails to notice the details or information for which she searches. It might be right under her nose but she overlooks it.
Success: Your character studies the situation or problem and finds useful details that answer her questions. A single success might be sufficient to solve a simple puzzle, but more successes may be required to gather extensive clues. The Storyteller may offer small insights with each success in an examination, starting with the obvious and ending with the obscure.
Exceptional Success: Your character studies and not only discovers useful details about a person or situation, but notices additional clues that provide more in-depth information. Not only have the murder victims at two separate scenes been killed elsewhere and dumped, they both possess matchbooks from the same bar.