Designing the Inquisitor for Starfinder: Class Basics
Posted by okcstephens
Having taken a look at what the key concepts for the inquisitor class are in PF1, it’s time to make a stab at some of its basic features. Things like Hit Points and Stamina Points per level, class skills, proficiencies, and spells per level may not seem as exciting as fancy class features, they are nevertheless the backbone of what a class can do and how it plays in game. They are also firm starting points when trying to determine what class features should be capable of–the more effective a class is in its basic bonuses and proficiencies, the less room there is for a lot of additional class feature abilities.
For the Starfinder Inquisitor, we’re shooting for something that has less spellpower than the core spellcasting classes of mystic and technomancer, and more room for class feature options. At the same time, we need to keep an eye on combat effectivness. There are only three HP and SP progressions in core Starfinder–5 per level (for the technomancer and later wirtchwarper), 7 per level (for the solarion, soldier, and later vanguard), and 6 per level (everyone else). So that midline seems a clear choice. Similarly, every class gets 4, 6, or 8 skill points per level, with both mystic and vanguard good example of 6-skill-point classes, so we’ll go with the midline for that as well. for class skills, we’ll try to hit all the areas of ability the PF1 inquisitor’s skills cover.
On armor, the closest equivalent to what we are doing with the Starfinder Inquisitor is the exocortex mechanic, which gets light and heavy armor (but not powered armor), and basic melee, grenades, small arms, and longarms. We don’t want to be significantly more effective than that, but a lot of iconic inquisitor concepts are going to want to be melee combatants, and basic melee weapons won’t cover that role well. But instead of just adding advanced melee weapons, let’s make the inquisitor choose between advanced melee and longarms as a starting character. That means they can be effective with their better-weapons of choice, but not as good or flexible with a backup as soldiers.
Good Fortitude and Will saves round out the base numbers, and that lets us take an initial stab at a class feature table. Looking at the spells known table I drew up when we did our first thoughts article, I want to match that theory and give the SF Inquisitor fewer spells known as well as being a full spell level behind in spells acquisition. This is a crucial balancing factor, since we’re giving the SF Inquisitor better combat proficiencies than any other spellcasting Starfinder class. At low levels, the SF Inquisitor just has 0-level spells, but can use their good armor, skills, and weapon options to be an effective character. Since pure spellcasters all gain access to a “wish”-like spell at 20th level, I’ve decided to allow the inquisitor a single 6th level spell known and spell per day when they hit 20th. It’s not nearly as good as wish/miracle/warp reality, but it’s a nice capstone for the class. Of course their spell list will be crucial too, but I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.
With everything else in place, this is also the time to take a first stab at what their class features will be called and when they’ll get them. For the moment I am assuming each inquisitor will gain one Inquisition, which will be a subclass-like option similar to the mystic’s connection, operatives specialization, or soldier’s fighting style. Judgement becomes a bonus to attack rolls with an action cost, similar to the mechanic’s exocortex target tracking. They get an inquisitor tactic at every even level, which is where a lot of secondary PF1 inquisitor class features will be found, along with things similar to teamwork feats. Disciplines are rarer, more impactful choices, a lot like how soldiers get gear boosts on top of tactics and bonus feats. I want to do something to detect outsiders with elemental subtypes, so I call it detect zealotry and stick it at 2nd level, and give an identifying-foes ability (adversary codex) similar to monster lore that comes in at 3rd. I can define all those things later, and adjust the class feature progression if needed once I am deeper into that.
I’ll want some kind of captstone for 20th level, above just another tactic and the one 6th level spell, but I can design that at the end of this process.
So, here’s what things look like at the moment.
Hit Points: 6
Stamina Points: 6
Key Ability Score – Wis
Your Wisdom determines your spellcasting ability, the saving throw DCs of your spells, and the number of bonus spells you can cast per day, so Wisdom is your key ability score. A high Strength or Dexterity score can also help you in combat situations.
Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Medicine (Wis), Mysticism (Wis), Perception (Wis), Profession (varies), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis)
Skill Points at each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Light armor, Heavy Armor
Basic melee weapons, grenades, and small arms. Also select either advanced melee weapons or longarms.
SF Inquisitor Class Features
|1||+0||+2||+0||+2||Inquisition, judgement +1||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2||+1||+3||+0||+3||Detect zealotry, inquisitor tactic||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|3||+2||+3||+1||+3||Adversary codex, discipline, weapon specialization||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|20||+15||+12||+6||+12||Inquisitor tactic, Capstone||4||4||4||4||3||1|
SF Inquisitor Spells Known
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