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[PFS] Making it work- Hexenhammer Inquisitor


Advice

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

With my latest build idea- a Samsaran Paladin/Bard getting no feedback or assistance, I've decided to look into another possible build that may be easier to manage- a Hexenhammer Inquisitor. Hexes for laughs, and access to witch spells. I could play a Witch, but nah- i feel a lot of the Horror Adventures PFS legal archetypes don't get enough attention. Hexenhammer looks like one that doesn't give up too much of the parent class, for something i could use as roleplay fodder.

Samsaran Inquisitor
Stats are flexible but currently:
13 Str/13 Dex/12 Con/14 Int/17 Wis/10 Cha

ART: Mystic Past Life (Spells: Path of Glory, others TBD)
Traits: Bruising Intellect, Blessed Touch

I'm seeing this character as a support melee build, possibly with a reach weapon and possibly using the Hexenhammer's Evil Eye demoralize often, so possibly a Dazzling Display build- playing with the Samsaran's int bonus into Bruising Intellect for "Int to Intimidate". I could put the points into Charisma and leave a trait open for something else.

Looking for suggestions of feat progression, or alternate build ideas that play to the Samsaran and Inquisitor's strengths. I'd like to keep with the Hexenhammer archetype.


Some general thoughts.

The archetype stacks with sanctified slayer, which boosts DCs of spells as hexes.

Heavy Armor is a good feat from you.

I would get the wis to 18 if your focusing on casting and hexes.

Otherwise if your trying to add some melee I would go with something like:

16/10/12/14/17/7

Feats to consider (no order): Heavy Armor, Intimidating Prowess or Skill Focus (if your using bruising intellect), Power Attack.

Blistering Invective might work well for the build.

Hexhammer Withering Gaze has an issue. You have to make the intimidate check and they get save so getting everything as high as possible is necesssary.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Why Heavy Armor? Why Power Attack? Being a possible Support Melee build, i'd prefer it to me mobile, and Heavy Armor would slow it down.

Imo, Power Attack is not for every str-focused melee build, and if i plan on using my Withering Gaze and such, wasting ability points and feats for a dedicated melee build is pushing the build in a different direction that i would like.
unless Bruising Intellect stacks Int with Str via Intimidating Prowess

I don't think the Sanctified Slayer archetype adds anything to this build, and it's abilities again pushes the build in a more melee focused build.

I like the idea of using Blistering Invective, so let's consider this a debuffer build- i don't have a character that focuses on debuffing enemies.


Your con is low and your AC will be sub par Heavy armor fixes part of that. Were you going to grab mithril breast plate? That is a decent option but I see combat going like this.

Round 1 - Withering gaze. Move stay out of melee range.

Round 2 - Cast spell, Move into melee range.

With this you will likely get into melee the round after everyone else does. This gives you an extra move, most of the time you should be fine in heavy armor.

Power attack and Intimidating Prowess were for if you changed your stats to be decent in melee, not for your initial build. Right now as I see it you don't have a melee build you have caster with a 17 in its casting stat, that can flank. You wont have decent melee ability, until you have bane and the is only for a few rounds day.

Against the target of studied target the DCs of all class abilities (hexes and spells) is increased by the studied target amount. This is huge for your build.


If you want mobility, especially in heavy armor, consider the Chivalry inquisition for a mount. You hadn't identified what Domain or Inquisition you planned to take.

I think you're going to find your signature move negated heavily in a lot of PFS scenarios though. Immunity to mind-affecting is a thing and both Evil Eye and Intimidate rely on that not being present. The other witch hexes you'll gain aren't much better.

All that said, there might be a better option for doing what you're trying to do: The Divine Scourge cleric archetype. You'd essentially trade away your melee focused abilities and some skill points (offset by your intelligence) for better, more reusable hexes and more emphasis on spells for situations where your hexes won't cut it. This is supported by your stat array and declared build desires. I agree with Grandlounge that if you want the Hexenhammer, you should at least attempt to use some of the melee capability of the Inquisitor. But if you don't want to hit things, the Divine Scourge would be just as capable of providing a flank.

Edit:

It's also worth pointing out that the wording of Withering Gaze is such that it doesn't seem to work well with most other ways of doing intimidate other than just using the base skill. It specifically calls out standard action intimidates. So something like Warning Shot, which lets you intimidate as a free action, can't trigger the Withering Gaze. Nor would Dazzling Display (a full-round action). Blistering Invective probably would work, however.

You could also consider focusing more on Dex and doing an archery focused build, which would offset your Con a bit by being in the back line. You could still intimidate from that distance.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Question-
Would it be worthwhile to try to make this character a Spiked Chain user?
I'm having delusions/ideas turning this into an Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon.
I don't really care to try to trip with the Spiked Chain, but I still want it to be effective at wielding it.

I don't know if being a worshipper of Zon-Kuthon gives Spiked Chain proficiency without the Exotic Weapon feat.

I'm just trying to throw ideas out there to get some feedback.


You would be proficient as it is you diety's favourite weapon. This includes the spike chain. A str build two handing will work.


If you do want to melee, this thread came up in just the last few days, with an idea that might work for you: Dip 2 levels of Cavalier (Order of the Cockatrice) to get Standard Action Dazzling Display (and you don't even have to have your weapon in hand), which DOES qualify as Standard Action Demoralize (not only that, it is Mass Standard Action Demoralize). Unfortunately PFS doesn't allow VMC Cavalier, last time I checked, although even if it did, that would require first using the dip and then retraining shenanigans to get this online reasonably early; on the other hand, the Cavalier dip would get you the Heavy Armor Proficiency you want without spending a feat (as well as other martial weapon proficiency). If you do this, you will want seriously Magical Knack to offset caster level loss from the dip (unfortunately, it doesn't do this for your Hexes), and it even fits thematically (really hard-core Kuthite family -- kid left in daycare run by Kytons?).

If you do decide to let in the Sanctified Slayer archetype after all (it is compatible with Hexenhammer), at 9th level you will be in a very good position (just need to add Weapon Focus) to make use of Shatter Defenses, especially if you can get a friendly arcane caster to Haste you first, although unfortunately the cramped career space in PFS doesn't let you make this really good (although Accomplished Sneak Attacker would help alleviate this if you can fit it in, but on the other hand, eats another precious feat).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
If you do want to melee, this thread came up in just the last few days, with an idea that might work for you: Dip 2 levels of Cavalier (Order of the Cockatrice) to get Standard Action Dazzling Display (and you don't even have to have your weapon in hand)

.

Yah, that's MY thread, and imho- dipping for Mass Evil Eye sound fun, i don't think it's immediately necessary for the build.
Though, with the point array Grandlounge posted- the OotC's demoralize DC would be lower- due to negative charisma [even though i'd have a pretty good Wisdom to offset it.]
If i do dip Cavalier, possibly considering the Emissary archetype so i'm not hindered by Medium Armor.
I kind of want to go Vermin Tamer and ride around on a Giant Centipede. ;)

>edit< Though, looking at the Order of the Cockatrice, it only says i get Dazzling Display as a bonus feat- not that i can actually use DD as a standard action... So, this dip would only be for the free Dazzling Display feat. So... I'm thinking a cavalier dip won't bring much to the build as one would expect.

I would have liked to try for Kyton style, but that would require a deep Monk dip for a ki pool.

Let's just focus on building the Hexenhammer/Sanctified Slayer build, and contemplate a late Cavalier addition.

Mystic Past Lives (Spells: Path of Glory, others?)
1> Toughness
2> -
3> Intimidating Prowess/Skill Focus [Intimidate]
4> -
5> Weapon Focus (spiked chain)
6> -
7> ?

I wish i could make this into an Ifrit build, because of their Fiery Gaze trait [Take 10 on Intimidate, even in combat], but his Wisdom penalty would be more a hindrance...


If you want to skip intimidating prowess you still have the option of bruising intellect which was part of you original plan. It end up being a point lower to start though I assume with a strength and wis focused character it will fall further behind. It will however free up a feat.

Have you decided on an inquisition?

For mystic past I would be looking at the ranger and paladin list as they have a lot of spells at lower spell levels. Druid would offer you spells that are drastically different from what you have by default.

What do you want out of the spells? Combat buffs, control, utility, something save or die.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

since I'm an Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon- i'm limited to a few...
By all accounts, if i take the Heresy Inquisition, i get my Wisdom instead of Charisma to Intimidate, which would be higher than my Intelligence from Bruising Intellect, so- there's that.

I like the Damnation Inquisition- Minor Command ability with a later Minor Phantasmal Killer sounds fun.

Oblivion would fit the "support idea" a little bit.

Overall, I'm thinking Heresey as my main Inquisition, for that Wisdom to Intimidate, which leave a Trait open for something else, and more points for distribution elsewhere.

Spellwise: debuffing mostly with some save or suck. Hold Person/Hold Monster, Doom.
I could steal Bless Weapon from the paladin list, Path of Glory from the Cleric list, Barkskin from the Druid list... who knows what else


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Longstrider is good if you want to keep mobility up.
Ranger protection from energy.
Grace is a first level Pali spell.
Tactical Acumen is a good buff as a first level spell for s support build.
Angelic Aspect line are good at the levels paladins get them.
Archon's aura and or Aura of Doom could be good. If you have high intimidate you might as well stack evil eye with shaken and aura of doom is a decent way to do that.
Chains of Light is a 4th level palidin spell.
Eaglesoul for 4th level spell is pretty good in many campaigns.
Life bubble ranger.
Spike growth ranger.
Airwalk is good the inquisitor list lacks a way to fly.
Ranger Named bullet is a steal support your ranged allies

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Stats i'm thinking:
15 Str/12 Dex/12 Con/10 Int/17 Wis/11 Cha -so i could get the Samsaran inherent spell like abilities. [Free Comprehend Languages would be a good thing.]
or 16/10/12/10/18/8 with the Heresey inquisition boosting my Intimidate through Wisdom.

are spiked chains finessable? don't know if it'll be more worthwhile to got dex and aim for an Agile Spiked Chain at one point.


Spiked Chains are Finessable and PFS-legal. In addition, Chain Coats allow you to wield them one-handed (even 2 at a time), affixed as if to a locked gauntlet (and thus harder to disarm than normal), but are not yet PFS-legal (the Adventurer's Armory is too new -- but keep an eye out).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Additional resources has been updated and the chain coat is legal for play.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

heh, I have Adventurer's Armory 2 and Jagged Spike Chains with a Razored Chain Coat sound pretty good for this character.
But, as they are expensive upgrades- 1,000 for Jagged Hooks, 1,350 for Razored that slows me down, I may just pass on those.

I would ask "would it be better to go dex-based" but if i want Intimidating Prowess, it be better for me to stick with a str-based build.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Hehehehe, Zon-Kuthon has a Demolarizing Presence trait- +2 Intimidating to demoralize.
Withering Gaze replaces the shaken condition with an Evil Eye attempt... so i think it should stick.

There's a Faith trait that gives a +2 K. (Planes/Religion) to identify weaknesses... this is mostly to offset the loss of Monster Lore...


^Now I've got this vision of an Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon who has REALLY BAD TEETH . . . and who is so scary that this causes targets who fail their Fortitude Save to have THEIR teeth fall out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I just see this character being a zealot of Zon-Kuthon and their religious practices aren't exactly topics of conversation in good company- so this character doesn't have a very appealling rapport.


It seems like the character is shaping up.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Grandlounge wrote:
It seems like the character is shaping up.

Yup, I'm actually liking this character. I'm currently reading Nightglass and it's helping me know about the practices and rituals of Kuthites.

[Name tbd]
Samsaran Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon (Hexenhammer/Sanctified Slayer)
16 Str/10 Dex/12 Con/10 Int/18 Wis/8 Cha
ART- Mystic Past Life (Bless Weapon, Path of Glory, Protection from Energy, Eaglesoul)
Traits: Demoralizing Presence (+2 to Intimidate when Demoralizing)
either Dangerously Curious or Pragmatic Activator; or Gifted Adept (Hold Person?)
1> Toughness
*Heresy Inquisition, Withering Gaze, Studied Target +1 [Intimidate @ +10!]
2> -
3> Intimidating Prowess [Intimidate @ +16!]
*Dark Powers
4> -
*Sneak Attack +1d6
5> Weapon Focus (Spiked Chain)
*Second Studied Target
6> -
7> ??


The next thing I see the build needing for the melee support role is a way to further weaponize demoralize. If you stack evil eye and shaken with study target and Lenses of the Predator’s Gaze you can stack a net affect on saves of 9 (at level 8 +3 to DCs, -4 evil eye, -2 shaken). If you get a cruel weapon you can add sicken to the list of debuffs.

Things to consider building in, to further support and weaponize your intimidate.

- Power attack > Cornugon Smash seems like the best way to go.

- Dazzling display is an option.

- I don't see a great way for you to use enforcer

- Shatter defenses - you can get this a level 8 with your slayer talent from the Menacing combat style.

I know you don't love power attack for this build but there are not a lot of options to efficiently demoralize and I'm try to keep your action economy effective.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

There's Antagonize.

I may change my mind about Power Attack and Cornungon Smash, I'm just worried that with my null-dex and low con, being in combat is sketchy- especially at later levels.
There are many things i'd like to purchase when i get to that point in my PFS career- Belt of Con > Belt of Physical Prowess (Str/Con), among others.


Antagonize is not what you want. It does not help action economy and you're no longer using intimidate to demoralize.

Your ac is going to be pretty low but with toughness and fcd hp your hp should be around where most d8 characters are.

The idea is getting as many debuff on by round two as possible. With cornungon smash the first attack intimidates then the second sickens with cruel weapon.

You have a sickening blistering invictive as an option once you have 3rd level spells. If you don't want to rely on melee.

You have identified the tricky part of builds like this. Stats are needed for magical offense, physical offense, and physical and magical defense. You have the magical offense and physical offense. By virtue of the class you have pretty good magical defense, good will and fort saves. But, AC and initiative are lacking.

You could switch to dex. Though you're going to burn an extra feat and a weapon enhancements putting off cruel longer or grab heavy armor. The thrid option is dipping one level though I would avoid this if the primary goal is support debuff. I'm trying to use melee as a way to complement that initial idea switching between melee and support.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

since the Chain Shirt allows me to wield the Spiked Chain one-handed, i could invest in a shield.
I should probably take Improved Initiative and Reactionary to better my odds of getting off a Withering Gaze as soon as possible.
Though, the other concern is- isn't using my Withering Gaze ability going to negate my Inquisitor abilities?
If i use a Hex or Witch spell, i loose my domain abilities- so there goes +4 to Intimidate- until i do my little minute prayer.

i could tweak the stats-
15 Str/12 Dex/12 Con/10 Int/18 Wis/8 and grab Skill Focus (Intimidate) instead of Prowess.

I understand my action economy is going to be all over the place, tis why i want to primarily focus on Save-or-Suck spells like Hold Person. There are a few spells i think could be entertaining for an inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon.

I'd rather wait to get power attack/cornugon smash until i have iterative attacks.


Withering gaze is not a hex so I think it is fine.

I did make a mistake earlier it looks like withering gazes penalty does not increase at level 8 like evil eye normally does.

Quote:
instead of applying the shaken condition, she can apply the effects of the witch evil eye hex as if she were a 1st level witch

So knowing that it never increases to 4 consider this.

Quote:
Effect: The target takes a –2 penalty on one of the following (witch’s choice): AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. This hex lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the witch’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save reduces this to just 1 round.

vs

Quote:

Shaken

A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Shaken is a less severe state of fear than frightened or panicked.

Evil eye gives a -2 to one type of roll requiring an intimidate check and a save but has better duration compared to shaken's -2 to 4 of 5 of the evil eye options requiring just an intimidate check.

Just something to think about as I read the archetype more thoroughly.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

yah, the Evil Eye's benefit comes from lowering AC. it's probably not something i'll be throwing out willy-nilly.
it's a bummer that the Evil Eye won't scale- but it's going to be fun when an Intimidate lowers AC.
And let's not the best thing about Evil Eye- IT STACKS! I can't shaken something that's already shaken- but i can stack evil eye penalties on the same enemy. Down goes AC, down goes Att, down goes Saves...


You are correct it was just a little worse than I had though and I did not want you to miss understand the rules on my account.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

So, i saw on the other Samsaran build thread that the spells they can acquire always revert to the base caster class levels- Wizard, Cleric, Druid, & Psychic.

So: Mystic Past Life spells-
Bless Weapon: paladin only, 1.
Path of Glory: Cleric, 2
Protection from Energy: Cleric/Druid 3

Eaglesoul will Sicken my Inquisitor [who's going to be LN... and it Sickens nongood, and staggers evil casters].
so, looking for a good 4th lvl spell.

My next question is- Inquisitors are divine casters, and choose the spells at the start of each day...
The MPL spells and Witch Spells i could potentionally take are on my spell list as already prepped spells, or among the ones i could prepare for the day?


Inquisitors are spontanious casters. I will keep an eye out for 4th level spells for you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Ah, that's good to know. I was looking at the Barbed Chains spells, very fitting for a Kuthite. :)
Persuasive Goad will be hilarious when i get it.

since they asre Spontaneous casters, i'll also invest in a few Pages of Spell Knowledge for more basic spelss [like Doom and Wrath].


Grandlounge wrote:
Inquisitors are spontanious casters. I will keep an eye out for 4th level spells for you.

Not sure if this matters, but if you do want an Inquisitor that does prepared casting and is Intelligence-based, Living Grimoire is for you. Although the class features that it gets for smacking enemies upside the head with the spellbook keep making me think alternately of Monty Python and a certain scene in Babylon 5 . . . .

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
Inquisitors are spontanious casters. I will keep an eye out for 4th level spells for you.

Not sure if this matters, but if you do want an Inquisitor that does prepared casting and is Intelligence-based, Living Grimoire is for you.

Nah, i prefer spontaneous over prepared- a limited spell list is easier to manage. too many spells to go through to choose for Druids and Clerics.

I like the flavor of the Hexenhammer with Zon-Kuthon as the diety

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