Acupuncturist (Investigator Archetype)
The Youxia's Handbook
Equal parts doctors and martial artists, acupuncturists are able to leverage their training in anatomy to strike at their enemies’ pressure points. Using their hands or tiny acupuncture needles, they debilitate and wear down foes by turning their bodies against them.


Acupuncturists are proficient with simple weapons and acupuncture needles, as well as light armor and bucklers. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

This alters proficiencies.

Combat Training (Ex)

An acupuncturist is considered an Expert practitioner, gaining spheres and talents as appropriate. Acupuncturists use Intelligence as their practitioner modifier. This replaces the alchemy, poison resistance, and keen recollection class features.

Hands-On Experience

At 1st level, an acupuncturist gains the Scout sphere as a bonus sphere. Additionally, the acupuncturist may use their Heal skill instead of their Perception skill when using the scout ability and uses their Intelligence modifier instead of their Wisdom modifier when using the Heal skill.

Pressure Points (Ex)

At 1st level, whenever an acupuncturist successfully performs an attack action, attack of opportunity, or additional attack granted by a talent or class feature with an acupuncture needle or needle gun against a creature they have successfully scouted, the creature suffers nonlethal damage equal to 1d8 + the acupuncturist’s Intelligence modifier.

Additionally, the acupuncturist may treat melee attacks made with acupuncture needles as unarmed strikes for the purposes of feats, talents, or class features. If a creature struck by an acupuncture needle takes nonlethal damage from this ability, treat the attack as if it successfully dealt that much damage for the purposes of feats, talents, or class features.

At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the damage die of the pressure points ability increases by 1 step (1d8 to 1d10, 2d6, 2d8, etc.).

This ability replaces trapfinding.

Inspiration (Ex)

An acupuncturist can use inspiration on Heal rolls instead of Linguistics rolls without expending a use of inspiration. If the acupuncturist gains the expanded inspiration investigator talent, they may use inspiration on Linguistics rolls without expending a use of inspiration.

This ability alters inspiration.

Stunning Fist

At 2nd level, an acupuncturist gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites. If they already have Stunning Fist, they instead gain any other feat they would qualify for. Additionally, the acupuncturist treats their acupuncturist level as their monk level for determining the number of uses per day of Stunning Fist and uses their Intelligence modifier instead of their Wisdom modifier to calculate the save DC.

At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the acupuncturist gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of their Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect.

  • At 4th level, the acupuncturist can choose to make the target fatigued.
  • At 8th level, they can make the target sickened for 1 minute.
  • At 12th level, they can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds.
  • At 16th level, they can permanently blind or deafen the target.
  • At 20th level, they can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds.

The acupuncturist must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature fatigued by Stunning Fist cannot become exhausted if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.

This ability replaces poison lore.

Medical Studies (Ex)

At 3rd level, an acupuncturist gains the medical training scholar class feature. At 9th level, they gain the advanced medical training scholar class feature. At 15th level, they gain the expert medical training scholar class feature.

This ability replaces trap sense.

Practiced Analysis (Ex)

At 4th level, an acupuncturist gains Studied Scout as a bonus feat. If they already possess the Studied Scout feat, they instead gain any talent they qualify for from the Scout sphere. Additionally, the acupuncturist no longer takes a -5 penalty to their Heal check when using the scout ability.

This ability replaces swift alchemy.

Ki Power (Su)

Starting at 5th level, an acupuncturist may take ki powers from the unchained monk’s list of ki powers instead of investigator talents, treating their acupuncturist level as their unchained monk level and using their Intelligence modifier in place of their Wisdom modifier when determining the effects of ki powers the acupuncturist gains. Instead of spending one or more ki points on a ki power, the acupuncturist may instead spend one point of inspiration per ki point required. As long as the acupuncturist has one or more inspiration points in their inspiration pool, they are treated as having at least one ki point in their ki pool for the purposes of ki powers.

Some ki powers require the acupuncturist to be of a specific level or higher before they can be chosen.

Instant Death Pressure Point Attack (Ex)

At 20th level, as a special attack action, an acupuncturist may expend their martial focus to perform a melee attack with an unarmed strike or acupuncture needle against a creature that they have successfully scouted. If their attack hits, the creature must succeed at a Fortitude save or instantly die. This is a death effect.

Additionally, the acupuncturist increases the bonus from studied combat by 2, and their studied strike damage increases by 2d6.

This ability replaces true inspiration.

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