So, the Inquiry skill in Dark Heresy reads as if it is primarily used to question people. However, in the Inquisitor's handbook, under the expanded definition for Awareness, the example refers to using the Inquiry skill as a means of gathering clues at a crime scene. Looking through the skill list, I don't see one that seems to be specifically geared toward crime scene investigation, and the Investigation table at the end only seems to refer to questioning people or doing research.

Is there a better skill used for this? ("Awareness cannot be used as an investigation skill in its own right" - Inquisitor's Handbook)


1 Answer 1


The full quote is:

Awareness cannot be used as an Investigation Skill in its own right, but it can be used to assist an Investigation skill. - Inquisitors Handbook, p225

Awareness is about noticing things, but you still need to know how to recognise that something is worth investigating further. That's the difference between an observation and a clue.

If we look at the skills with the Investigation attribute, we see they fall into three groups, based on their associated attribute:

What you know (Int)

Chem-use, Lores and Evaluate allow you to realise

  • that those needles are for illicit drugs rather than medicines (Chem-use or Scholastic Lore: Chymistry);
  • whether the scratches around the door are from an attempt to break in (Common Lore: Underworld) or made by an animal (Scholastic Lore: Beasts);
  • whether that the art on the wall in a valuable ancient artefact (Evaluate or Scholastic Lore: Legend) or a worthless heretical icon (one or more Forbidden Lores).

What you can find out (Fel)

Inquiry and Interrogation are both about getting people to talk to you, whether by guile or authority, but these don't work well in isolation. You still need awareness to notice things that might be worth asking about, and you definitely need Scrutiny to recognise when people are lying to you.

What you can infer (Int)

Logic is all about putting the clues together, finding the links and breaking the code. This is the long term goal of an Investigation.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So, your suggestion seems to be to use Awareness or Search to uncover 'potential' clues, then use one of Chem-use, Lores, etc to understand the specific details of the potential clues. BTW: Your write-up makes much more sense than the investigation section in DH. Makes me glad that my character just shoots things :) \$\endgroup\$
    – basilard99
    Commented Aug 13, 2011 at 4:10

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