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The Definitive Investigator Build Guide by GazeboMimic states that:

Energy Beam allows you to use Devise a Stratagem to deal fire precision damage, which is helpful when you need to avoid physical damage resistance or trigger a fire weakness.

Investigators can deal precision damage when:

  • your Strike uses an agile or finesse melee weapon,
  • an agile or finesse unarmed attack,
  • a ranged weapon (which must be agile or finesse if it's a melee weapon with the thrown trait),
  • or a sap

The Energy Beam is a ranged unarmed attack (so not a ranged weapon), and does not have the agile or finesse trait, nor is it a sap.

Is the guide is mistaken, or can Strategic Strike be used with Energy Beam?

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1 Answer 1

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The guide is mistaken

The Investigators Strategic Strike feature is available to them from level 1 and says:

When you strike carefully and with forethought, you deal a telling blow. When making a Strike that adds your Intelligence modifier on your attack roll due to Devising a Stratagem, you deal an additional 1d6 precision damage.

And Devise a Stratagem tells you you can add your intelligence modifier under the conditions you list above:

you can also add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll instead of your Strength or Dexterity modifier, provided your Strike uses an agile or finesse melee weapon, an agile or finesse unarmed attack, a ranged weapon (which must be agile or finesse if it's a melee weapon with the thrown trait), or a sap.

The energy beam is a ranged, unarmed attack, not a ranged weapon. Unarmed attacks are not weapons:

Unarmed attacks can belong to a weapon group (page 280), and they might have weapon traits (page 282). However, unarmed attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifically say so.

The energy beam also does not have the agile or finesse traits, and is no sap. So it does not qualify for Devise a Stratagem, and hence does not allow you to add your Intelligence modifier or deal precision damage.

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