Designing the Inquisitor for Starfinder: Bringing It All Together
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
Okay, all the posts tagged “SF Inquisitor” in August of 2021 show the design and thought process I used to get to this point: a playable draft of the Inquisitor for Starfinder. But it’s hard to play a class spread out over a half-dozen posts, so here are the game things without all the design theory, all in one place (along with things like the text for Weapon Specialization, and true judgment as a capstone).
Anyone who is a member of my Patreon on Aug 31st and Sept 1st, 2021, will also get this as a stand-alone pdfs, slightly revised and expanded.
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, when you take your first level of inquisitor, select either advanced melee weapons or longarms to gain proficiency with.
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||Acumen, adversary codex, weapon specialization||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|5||+3||+4||+1||+4||Inquisition power, judgement +2||2||–||–||–||–||–|
|9||+6||+6||+3||+6||Inquisition power, judgement +3||3||3||–||–||–||–|
|13||+9||+8||+4||+8||Inquisition power, judgement +4||4||4||3||–||–||–|
|17||+12||+10||+5||+10||Inquisition power, judgement +5||4||4||4||3||2||–|
|20||+15||+12||+6||+12||Inquisitor tactic, true judgment||4||4||4||4||3||1|
You cast spells drawn from the inquisitor spell list (see the bottom of this article). To learn or cast a spell, you must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against your spell is 10 + the spell’s level + your Wisdom modifier.
You can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Your number of spells per day is given on the Inquisitor Class Table. In addition, you receive bonus spells per day if you have a Wisdom modifier of +1 or higher, using the same table as the Mystic in the core rulebook. Note that you only receive these bonus spells once you can cast spells of that level normally. You can also cast 0-level spells. These spells are cast like any other spell, but there is no limit to how many 0-level spells you can cast each day.
Your selection of spells is extremely limited. You begin play knowing one 0-level spell of your choice. At each new inquisitor level, you learn one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Inquisitor Spells Known. Unlike spells per day, the number of spells you know isn’t affected by your Wisdom modifier.
Every time you gain a level, you can swap out one spell you already know and learn a single new spell of the same level in its place. In effect, you lose the old spell in exchange for the new one. You must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time you gain new spells known for the level.
You can cast any inquisitor spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level. You can also cast a spell using a higher-level spell slot. For instance, if you want to cast a 1st-level spell but have used up all your 1st-level spells for the day, you can use a spell from a 2nd-level slot instead if you have one.
You can also decipher magical inscriptions that would otherwise be unintelligible or, as a full action, identify any spells encoded in a spell gem as a full action. This does not normally invoke the magic contained within, although it may do so in the case of a cursed or trapped spell gem.
SF Inquisitor Spells Known
At 1st level you select an inquisition. This represents the thing that empowers you to strike out against the enemies of your order, faith, creed, people, or philosophy. Each inquisition may be tied to deific powers (for example the inquisition of battle is common among inquisitors that worship gods of war), to your role within an organization (a powerful star crusade may have inquisitors of battle as their elite battlefield commanders), or to your personal nature (a battle inquisitor may simply be driven by a warlike nature and conviction to defeat enemies without any outside force driven them on).
Your inquisition grants you a special power at 1st level, and every 4 class levels thereafter. If an inquisition power has a save DC, the DC is determined as 10 +1/2 your class level + your Wisdom modifier.
While the final version of this class will have multiple inquisitions available, for now there is only one written up, the battle inquisition, which is presented after the other class features and before the inquisitor spell list.
You can focus your disapproval and wrath into a supernatural force that grants you additional might against a specific target. As a move action during combat, you can designate a target to direct your judgment against. Until that target is defeated or you designate a new target, you gain a +1 bonus to your attack and damage rolls against it. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th level, +3at 9th level, +4 at 13th level, and +5 at 17th level.
Additionally, at 1st level attacks you make against the target of your judgement are magical. At 5th level they are aligned to your alignment (for example, if you are chaotic good, your attacks against your judgment target is chaotic and good, bypassing any DR that is bypassed by chaotic or good attacks). At 9th level, they do full damage to incorporeal targets. At 13th level they ignore any DR or energy resistance the target has. At 17th level attacks you make against the target of your judgement do full damage even if the target is normally immune to the damage type the attacks deal.
Detect Zealotry (Sp)
At 2nd level, as a move action, you can detect the presence of strong supernatural forces aligned to a specific alignment. This functions as the detect magic spell, except as noted in this ability. Rather than magic, you can detect the presence of the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful subtypes, and of any spell, weapon fusion, or effect that allows an attack to bypass alignment-related DR (such as the anarchic, axiomatic, holy, and unholy weapon fusions). You can only detect a single alignment subtype or damage type (chaotic, evil, good, lawful) at a time. If you detect an alignment subtype in a creature, it must succeed at a Will save (DC 11 + your key ability modifier), or you learn it’s creature type and any subtypes as well. Once a creature has succeeded at a save against this ability, it need not do so again until you gain a new class level.
You learn your first inquisitor tactic at 2nd level, and an additional tactic every 2 levels thereafter. Inquisitor tactics require you to have a minimum inquisitor level, and they are organized accordingly. Some require you to meet additional prerequisites, such as having other tactics.
If an inquisitor tactic has a save DC, the DC is determined as 10 +1/2 your class level + your Wisdom modifier.
You must be at least 2nd level to choose these tactics.
Cunning Initiative (Ex): When determining your initiative bonus you can use your Wisdom modifier, rather than your Dexterity modifier. If you have 5 or more class levels, when you roll for initiative you can choose to expend 1 Resolve point to roll the d20 twice, taking the best of the two results.
Team Tactics: You gain a bonus Teamwork Feat. (This class feature is specifically designed to work with the teamwork feats I already created for Starfinder–if Starfinder ended up with official teamwork feats, I’d have to see if this needed to be rewritten). If you have 5 or more class levels, you can change who is considered to be on your team as a move action by expending a Resolve Point.
Tracking (Ex): You gain an insight bonus on Survival checks to track equal to your judgement bonus. If you have 5 or more class levels, when you roll a Survival check to track you can choose to expend 1 Resolve point to roll the d20 twice, taking the best of the two results.
Solo Tactics (Ex): You are always considered to have one team member adjacent to you when determining the effects of teamwork feats. You must have selected team tactics to select this inquisitor tactic.
Stern Gaze (Ex): You gain Improved Demoralize as a bonus feat. Additionally, you may use your Wisdom bonus, rather than your Charisma bonus, to determine your total Intimidate skill bonus.
You must be at least 8th level to choose these tactics.
Bane (Su): Your attacks are all considered to benefit from the bane fusion against any creature.
Discern Lies (Sp): You can discern lies, as per the spell, for a number of rounds per day equal to your class level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. Activating this ability is a swift action or a reaction to hearing a statement.
Stalwart (Ex): If you succeed at a Fortitude save against an effect that normally requires multiples successful saves to cure (such as a disease or poison), that effect immediately ends and is cured with a single successful save.
You must be at least 14th level to choose these tactics.
Exploit Weakness (Ex): You have learned to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. Whenever your attack roll is a natural 19 or 20 (the die shows a “19” or “20”), that attack ignore any damage reduction or energy resistance the target might have. In addition, if the target has regeneration, the creature loses regeneration on the round following that attack and can die normally during that round.
Greater Bane (Su): Whenever your attack roll is a natural 19 or 20 (the die shows a “19” or “20”), you can apply the stunned critical hit effect to the target. If the attack is a critical hit, you may also apply any one other critical hit effect the attack has. You must have selected the bane inquisitor tactic to select greater bane.
At 3rd level, your constant and disciplined study of topics related to your mission has given you greater talent with one or more skills. You may select two class skills, which now gain an insight bonus to skill checks equal to your judgement attack bonus. Alternatively you may select one skill that is not a class skill of yours. That becomes a class skill, and gains an insight bonus to skill checks equal to your judgement attack bonus.
You gain an additional acumen at 7th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. Each time you may select two new class skills, or one non-class skill, which gain the benefits of this class feature.
You are constantly studying information about possible foes you might face or need to track down. You may have a codex provided by an order you belong to, or may be skilled as searching through the dregs of dark infospheres, sorting fact from wild speculation.
At 3rd level, you can make a special check whenever you want to identify a creature and it’s strengths and weaknesses. This acts as am identify creature task of the appropriate skill to identify the creature (Engineering, Life Science, or Mysticism), using the normal DC for that task, but your check is 1d20 + your Wisdom bonus + (inquisitor level x 1.5). You cannot gain any insight bonuses to this check.
You can also use this check to learn more about a group’s or culture’s leaders and prominent inhabitants, and deities and religious figures, as if using the Culture skill for the recall knowledge task to do so. However, the DC for such checks is 5 higher than it is when suing the actual Culture skill.
You gain the Weapon Specialization feat as a bonus feat for each weapon type this class grants you proficiency with. This includes either advanced melee weapons or longarms (whichever you selected to be proficient with when you gained your first level of inquisitor).
At 20th level, you can level judgment against your foes with barely any effort. Whenever you make an attack, you can change the target of your judgement to be the target of your attack without taking any additional action.
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.
Remove condition, lesser
Song of the cosmos
Burning ash cloud
Glimpse of truth
Mind of three
Ray of exhaustion
Resistant armor, lesser
Speak with dead
Wall of air
Baleful polymorph, mass
Song of the cosmos, greater
Wall of fire
Baleful polymorph, mass
Contact other plane
Dispel magic, greater
Remove condition, greater
Wall of force
Baleful polymorph, mass
Flesh to stone
Resistant armor, greater
Summon drift beacons
Wall of steel
About Owen K.C. StephensOwen 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 https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens
Posted on August 25, 2021, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged Base Classes, Game Design, gaming, Geekery, PC Options, SF Inquisitor, Starfinder. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
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