Designing the Inquisitor for Starfinder: Class Basics

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.

(Art by Digital Storm)

SF INQUISITOR

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.

Class Skills
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.
Proficiencies
Armor
Light armor, Heavy Armor
Weapons
Basic melee weapons, grenades, and small arms. Also select either advanced melee weapons or longarms.

SF Inquisitor Class Features

LevelBase Attack
Bonus
FortRefWillSpecial1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1+0+2+0+2Inquisition, judgement +1
2+1+3+0+3Detect zealotry, inquisitor tactic
3+2+3+1+3Adversary codex, discipline, weapon specialization
4+3+4+1+4Inquisitor tactic2
5+3+4+1+4Judgement +2 2
6+4+5+2+5Inquisitor tactic3
7+5+5+2+5Discipline 32
8+6+6+2+6Inquisitor tactic32
9+6+6+3+6Judgement +3 33
10+7+7+3+7Inquisitor tactic 432
11+8+7+3+7Discipline 432
12+9+8+4+8Inquisitor tactic 433
13+9+8+4+8Judgement +4443
14+10+9+4+9Inquisitor tactic 4432
15+11+9+5+9Discipline 4432
16+12+10+5+10Inquisitor tactic 4443
17+12+10+5+10Judgement +544432
18+13+11+6+11Inquisitor tactic 44432
19+14+11+6+11Discipline 44433
20+15+12+6+12Inquisitor tactic, Capstone444431

SF Inquisitor Spells Known

Level01st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1st1
2nd2
3rd3
4th31
5th32
6th43
7th431
8th432
9th433
10th5431
11th5432
12th5433
13th54431
14th55432
15th55433
16th554431
17th555432
18th555433
19th555443
20th5554441

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 9, 2021, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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