The investigation system is a way for characters to abstractly represent their research and learning in a wide range of subjects. This could be anything from trying to verify rumors floating around to attempting to uncover the darkest secrets of the world.
You can have any number of investigations going at once (they cost 25 social resources to start), but only one can be acted on per week. One investigation can be marked active, and during the weekly update, THAT investigation only will roll and check for progress based off an average of a perception + investigation roll and a user-specified stat + skill roll. So if you specify charm and manipulation, the cron will do: (perception + investigation)/2 + (charm + manipulation)/2 = results. You can modify the results by adding resources and silver - values below in the command explanation.
Much like crafting, you will start an investigation with one command, fill out a simple template with a few other commands, and then make it ready to go with the /finish command.
(+/@)investigate/new --- starts a new investigation. You may have multiple investigations in progress. This is the full command.
(+/@)investigate/topic <keyword> --- This will be the 'keyword' for your investigation that the system will attempt to match. As such, you should leave the keyword general. "Genevieve", or "magic", or "demons", "mad mage of the north", etc. For example, '+investigate/topic queen genevieve's suspicious death by somehow falling' would not find an exact match by keywords, while '+investigate/topic genevieve' might instead turn up clues on the Queen and related subjects.
(+/@)investigate/story <text> --- This is the way your character is going about the investigation. It can be pretty exact, or brief and general, but try to be concise. GMs will read likely all of these, so no rambling dissertations or if-then chains, please. Example: '+investigate/story Going to attempt to charm members of the King's Own to talk about the exact circumstances of the Queen's death to find out more about what happened.' This story could result in GMing, and players should be wary. "+investigate/story I think I know who the Evil Supreme Big Bad is, and I am going to confront Bob the Malevolent" might end badly.
(+/@)investigate/stat (and @investigate/skill) --- This specifies the 'additional' stat and skill you want to use in your investigation. Remember that the additional stat/skill are rolled and averaged with your perception/investigation roll. If you specify one (stat or skill), you must specify the other. If you do not specify a stat and skill, it will just roll your perception/investigation. This stat and skill should support your investigate/story; they should be the skill and stat that makes the most sense for how your PC is going it, and anything deemed inappropriate or not justifiable will be failed by GMs without any progress.
(+/@)investigate/finish --- Once topic, story, and (optional) stat + skill are specified, use this command to complete the investigation creation. USING THIS COMMAND WILL TAKE 25 SOCIAL RESOURCES. After it is created, you can use +investigate and refer to the investigation by the ID # shown.
(+/@)investigate AND investigate/history --- the investigate command will show your current investigations. investigate/history will show old, abandoned, or completed investigations. Here you will see the ID #s you will need to use for other commands.
(+/@)investigate/active <ID#> --- this will set the specified investigation as the active investigation, and during the weekly cron the appropriate roll will be applied to this investigation to determine progress or other results.
(+/@)investigate/silver <ID#>=additional silver to spend ---Spending silver in 5k increments up to 50k max to add to your roll results. The maximum benefit this silver can have on the roll is lower than the benefit you can get by applying extra resources to the roll.
(+/@)investigate/resource <ID#>=<resource type>,<amount> --- This will apply resources as bonus to your roll results in increments of 5. The cap for this is much higher than for silver, and is unlikely to be something you'll bump into. Example: @investigate/resource 4=social,25
(+/@)investigate/abandon --- abandons an investigation. Only stops the collection of 25 social resources if done BEFORE @investigate/finish.
If for any reason a player wishes to give up an investigation, they can '+investigate/abandon' it, and they can change course on an existing investigation through the /changetopic or /changestory switches.
Finally, if an investigation is successful and a player wishes to view their shiny new IC knowledge, they can use the '+clues' command to review their discoveries, and +investigate/history.
All this might change going from Alpha to Beta to Release, so don't freak out yo.