Designing the Inquisitor for Starfinder: Class Spell List

In our quest to create the framework for a Starfinder version of the Inquisitor class from PF1, we’ve decided what is core to the class, and written up a draft of the basics.

Now, it’s time to create a class spell list. That gives us some things to consider.

We know we want our SF inquisitor to be bale to do useful things with magic, but we also know we’ve carefully given them better combat options that the standard Starfinder spellcasters. We’ve already reduced the SF Inquisitor’s total spellpower by delaying their access to spells beyond 0-level by one whole spell level (by the time the SF Inquisitor gets 1st-level spells, a mystic, technomancer, or witchwarper of the same level has access to 2nd level spells), and giving them relatively fewer spells known and spells per day even when they do get a new level of spells.

But that’s only part of the equation. Now, we need a spell list for the class… and there are a number of factors that go into keeping that balanced.

As an extreme example, if we let the SF Inquisitor select their spells known from any spell list, they could potentially be more powerful in spellcasting situations that mystics and technomancers, even with fewer and low-level spells, because they could cherry-pick the best spells from all spell lists. Since many spells available to just one class are designed to be balanced for that class, and to give the class some specific areas of expertise. When you begin blending the class spell lists, you create the opportunity to have whatever the best spell in the game if for a wider range of situations.

We need to make sure the SF Inquisitor class spell list doesn’t diminish the value of other classes’ spell lists. There are spells that help flavor specific spellcasting classes because they are the only class that gets them, and we don;t want to impinge on that.

But there’s another issues as well, common to third-party OGL products–expansions of the spell list. If we give the SF Inquisitor a unique spell list curated just for that class, when some other new spell comes along from another source (including, but not limited to, official content), it won’t be clear if inquisitors should have that spell on their own spell list or not. That’s not a big issue initially, but it can cause problems over time as official classes options keep growing, and the inquisitor’s doesn’t. This is sometimes the reason GMs don’t like allowing third-party spellcasters into their campaigns–they inevitably lead to players asking if some new spell can be added to the class’s spell list.

So we need a class list for the SF Inquisitor that is flexible, and easily expanded from new official spell options as they come out, but doesn’t impinge on any other classes’ unique flavor spells

So, here the first blush effort to square that circle: “The inquisitor’s class spell list includes every 0-6th level spell that is available to any two of the following classes: mystics, technomancers, and witchwarpers. If the spell is listed at different spell levels for any of those classes, use the highest of the listed spell as the spell level when adding it to the inquisitor spell list. For convenience, that list of spells as of time of publication is listed here.”

This gives us a large, flexible, class list that doesn’t require any GM consideration on what gets added when new spells come out, and never impinges on a spell exclusive to one class. Now, there are still potential issues–inquisitors that take save negates spells may get frustrated because their save DCs are so low, since their spell level is generally one behind other spellcasters. Maybe we want to exclude any spell that saves save negates? Also, this is a BIG list, which isn’t a power balance issue (the limited spells known and spells per day keep any given SF Inquisitor quite reasonable, and there’s no wand equivalent in Starfinder), but it might create option paralysis in new players.

But it’s a great start, and plenty good enough for us to use it for now, and start looking as the details of specific class features (tomorrow).

(Art by grand failure)

Inquisitor Spells

0-Level

Dancing lights

Daze

Detect affliction

Detect magic

Ghost sound

Grave words

Mending

Psychokinetic hand

Starwalk

Telepathic message

Token spell

Void whispers

1st-Level

Acidic mist

Akashic download

Akashic tutor

Aqueous form

Baleful polymorph

Build trust

Charm person

Comprehend languages

Confusion, lesser

Control winds

Detect radiation

Detect thoughts

Disguise self

Ectoplasmic barrage

Erase

Extra sense

Fatigue

Fear

Flight

Gloom mote

Grease

Gyre

Hide weapon

Hold portal

Identify

Jolting surge

Junk shards

Keen senses

Know coordinates

Life bubble

Mental silence

Necromantic revitalization

Phase blade

Polymorph

Pressurize

Quick change

Remove condition, lesser

Scan environment

Shared evolution

Shrink object

Summon creature

Swim

Tectonic shift

Verdant code

Wisp ally

2nd-Level

Akashic tutor

Alter corpse

Amorphous form

Aqueous form

Atavistic howl

Augury

Baleful polymorph

Benevolent synesthesia

Bioluminescent lure

Body double

Cairn form

Caustic conversion

Cavitation sphere

Command undead

Control winds

Dampening field

Darkvision

Daze monster

Ectoplasmic barrage

Ectoplasmic snare

Ego whip

Emberstep

Extra sense

Fear

Flight

Flux density

Fog cloud

Force blast

Hold person

Inflame

Invisibility

Knock

Last gasp

Make mischief

Make whole

Mirror image

Necromantic revitalization

Overheat

Paranoia

Personal gravity

Polymorph

Remove condition

School spirit

See invisibility

Shrink object

Song of the cosmos

Spider climb

Status

Summon creature

Swim

Tectonic shift

Venomous weapon

3rd-Level

Accelerated adaptation

Akashic tutor

Aqueous form

Arcane sight

Archive

Baleful polymorph

Burning ash cloud

Charm monster

Clairaudience/Clairvoyance

Control winds

Death affinity

Dispel magic

Displacement

Ectoplasmic barrage

Entropic grasp

Etheric shards

Explosive blast

Extra sense

Fear

Flight

Glimpse of truth

Haste

Id insinuation

Intellect fortress

Irradiate

Mental block

Meticulous match

Mind of three

Necromantic revitalization

Nightmare

Nondetection

Pinpoint navigation

Polar vortex

Polymorph

Preserve specimen

Probability prediction

Ray of exhaustion

Remove affliction

Resistant armor, lesser

Selective invisibility

Shifting shadows

Shrink object

Sinking ship

Slow

Speak with dead

Suggestion

Summon creature

Swim

Tectonic shift

Tongues

Wall of air

Warpwave

4th-Level

Akashic tutor

Animate dead

Aqueous form

Baleful polymorph

Baleful polymorph, mass

Borrow corruption

Confusion

Control atmosphere

Control winds

Cosmic eddy

Creation

Data dump

Dimension door

Dimensional anchor

Dismissal

Ectoplasmic barrage

Ectoplasmic eruption

Fear

Flight

Gravity well

Hold monster

Invisibility, greater

Miasma

Necromantic revitalization

Planar binding

Polymorph

Polymorph, mass

Reincarnate

Remove radioactivity

Resilient sphere

Resistant armor

Shadow jump

Shrink object

Song of the cosmos, greater

Summon creature

Swim

Wall of fire

Wander warp

5th-Level

Akashic tutor

Aqueous form

Baleful polymorph

Baleful polymorph, mass

Break enchantment

Contact other plane

Creation

Crush skull

Dismissal

Dispel magic, greater

Ectoplasmic barrage

Flight

Hailstorm

Mislead

Modify memory

Necromantic revitalization

Passwall

Planar binding

Polymorph

Polymorph, mass

Private sanctum

Raise dead

Rapid repair

Reanimate construct

Remove condition, greater

Resistant aegis

Shadow body

Shrink object

Summon creature

Unwilling guardian

Wall of force

6th-Level

Akashic revival

Akashic tutor

Baleful polymorph

Baleful polymorph, mass

Bilocation

Control gravity

Control undead

Disintegrate

Ectoplasmic barrage

Enshrining refuge

Ethereal jaunt

Flesh to stone

Flight

Interplanetary teleport

Invisibility, mass

Necromantic revitalization

Planar barrier

Planar binding

Plane shift

Polymorph

Polymorph, mass

Reanimate

Resistant armor, greater

Shadow walk

Shrink object

Star storm

Subjective reality

Summon creature

Summon drift beacons

Terraform

True seeing

Veil

Wall of steel

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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 10, 2021, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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