Designing the Inquisitor for Starfinder: Inquisitions

We launch up this week’s work on creating a Starfinder version of the Inquisitor class from PF1 (having already decided what is core to the classwritten up a draft of the basicscreated a spell list, and written up the adversary codex, detect zealot and judgment class features) by tackling what is going to be a major part of defining the flavor of any SF Inquisitor — Inquisitions.

In PF1, inquisitions were not originally a core part of the class when introduced in the APG. Instead, each inquisitor got one domain, selected from those offered by their deity. The problem was, with a very different function than clerics, and lacking the bonus domain spell cast and spells known, domains were often terrible choices for inquisitors. This wasn’t clear at first blush, but as the class got more and more play the failings of domains as a noteworthy part of the class becomes increasing obvious as emergent behavior. So, when UM came out, a new option was crafted for PF1 inquisitors — inquisitions. These were built on somewhat different concepts than domains, and granted by specific deities, and were specifically built to be useful to inquisitors.

Most inquisitions had 2 powers (though those with 1 or 3 both exist), and often just gave access to a new options or worked 1ce per day, but had more impact than typical roughly-cantrip-level powers a domain might give at lower levels.

Since I want SF inquisitions to have roughly the same impact as a mystic connection or operative specialization, I want to standardize at what levels each one gives a character something, and at least roughly balance out how potent those are. That’s a trickier design prospect obviously–standardization is often the enemy of flexibility–but it makes later interactions much smoother (such as if we need to swap out the inquisition power gained at a specific level for archetype abilities, or later want to create alternate inquisition powers as choices any inquisitor can take in place of an ability granted at a specific level by their inquisition). This isn’t mandatory, but in my experience the extra work of balancing all of the subchoices you get from a class to give powers of the same usefulness at the same levels is worth it in the long run.

While I’ll want a bunch of inquisitions eventually, all I need to start is one. So, let’s do the Battle Inquisition. This is going to be the most soldier-y of the inquisitions, giving access to more weapon proficiency and specialization, and then having out minor bonuses that may give in edge in specific circumstances, but don’t generally make the inquisitor more effective than a soldier or solarion. Since I want to have multiple minor ability, I put them at the levels when judgment increases its bonus by +1, to make gaining those levels a bit more exciting for a player.

(At by deviney designs)


You know the best way to oppose the forces that threaten your chosen order is to face them in violent, final conflict.

Trained for War: At first level, you gain proficiency in advanced melee weapons or longarms (whichever you did not select from the base inquisitor proficiencies) and heavy weapons, and when you gain weapon specialization as a 3rd level inquisitor it applies to these weapons as well. When making attacks with starship weapons, you automatically gain your judgment bonus to attack rolls (but not damage).

Power Fist (Ex): At 5th level, you can wield weapons that normally requires two hands to use in just one hand. This also means you can make attacks with this weapon while grappled (because this is not considered taking an action that requires two hands).

The Tool for the Job (Ex): At 9th level, as part of the first action you take, you can reload any 1 weapon (assuming you have the appropriate ammunition or battery) or change what weapons you are wielding (putting away anything else you were holding as long as it is something you could have dropped). This takes no additional action.

Triple Jeopardy (Ex): At 13th level, when you make a full attack against the target of your judgment, you can make up to three attacks instead of two attacks. You take a –6 penalty to these attacks instead of a –4 penalty.

Deadly Determined (Su): At 17th level, you can focus your will into an attack to increase its effectiveness. Once per round when you roll damage for an attack (including an attack made in starship combat), without taking an additional action you can expend 1 Resolve Point to reroll any damage die that resulted in a 1. You must use the rerolled damage, even if the dice roll more 1s.

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About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil 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. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at

Posted on August 16, 2021, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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