Dresden Files: New York
A measure of your ability to actively track or hunt for things and, hopefully, find them.
Investigation is mindful, deliberate perception, in contrast to the passive perception of Alertness. An equivalent Investigation effort is nearly always going to yield better, more in-depth information than an Alertness effort would. The downside is that Investigation is far more time consuming—“ minutes to hours,” as opposed to “seconds to minutes."
Use Investigation to focus attention on a target in order to perceive details that you might normally miss, like trying to hear something that might be difficult to pick up on casually.
Use Investigation to deliberately look for clues, deep patterns, or hidden flaws in something. This can be used to verify the truth of information, whether it’s checking up on a rumor you got via Contacts or spotting a forged document in a pile of paperwork.
Use Investigation to set up a system to keep track of a target over an extended period of time, whether by watching a fixed location or by following the target on foot through busy city streets. If the investigator is looking to keep an eye on his target without being seen, a second roll is necessary using Stealth as per Shadowing. Long-term Surveillance may call for Endurance rolls (Or be restricted by it). Equipment can aid the roll or remove the need for it entirely; a thermos of coffee and an empty bottle are practically “musts” in the professional surveillance business. Having a second person help out so you can take a break is a plus as well.
Listening: You can tune out your other senses and simply focus on your hearing, making you able to pick up faint sounds with astonishing clarity. Gain a +4 on your Investigation roll when Listening; however, your Alertness drops to Terrible while doing so, due to the exclusion of your other senses. If a conflict begins while you are Listening, it will take a full exchange for your Alertness to return to normal once you stop.
Pin the Tail: You’re a tough person to shake once you get on someone’s trail. Gain +2 to your Investigation rolls when trying to keep track of a target during Surveillance (page 133). When Shadowing someone using Stealth, you may use Investigation to compliment (page 214) your Stealth skill.
Quick Eye: When examining a location for clues, your eye is quick to pick out the visual details. Your first Investigation roll to determine deeper details about a scene is two time increments (page 315) faster than usual.
Scene of the Crime: You have a practiced eye when combing over a crime scene. In such a circumstance, you gain +1 to your Investigation roll and arrive at your findings one step faster than usual on the time table (page 315).