Flagellant (Inquisitor)

Round 2: Design an archetype

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka Electric Monk

Flagellant (Inquisitor)
Some inquisitors are zealous fanatics, offering their own flesh and blood in a display of pious devotion to their deity. Flagellants of Hanspur are the most frequently encountered in the River Kingdoms but many other churches contain a few radicals willing to follow this path. A flagellant has the following class features.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An inquisitor is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the cat-o'-nine-tails, hand crossbow, whip, spiked chain and the favored weapon of her deity. She is also proficient with light armor and medium armor. This replaces the normal inquisitor weapon and armor proficiencies.
Inquisition: When selecting a domain a flagellant has the option of selecting from the fervor or zeal inquisitions or from any of the domains or inquisitions normally available to inquisitors of her deity. This replaces domain.
Zealous Fervor (Ex): A flagellant becomes accustomed to pain. At 2nd level she does not become unconscious as a result of nonlethal damage until her nonlethal damage exceeds her current hit point total plus her Wisdom score. A flagellant is staggered when her nonlethal damage equals or exceeds her current hit points. This ability replaces track
Metamagic Feat(Ex): At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, the flagellant gains a bonus metamagic feat in addition to those feats gained from normal advancement. The inquisitor must meet the prerequisites of the selected bonus feat. This replaces all bonus teamwork feats.
Mortification of the Flesh(Ex): At 3rd level, by biting, clawing or whipping at her own flesh, a flagellant is able to offer up her own pain as a sacrifice to empower her spells. When a flagellant uses a metamagic feat, she may cause nonlethal damage to herself rather than increasing the level of the spell slot consumed. For each level she does not increase the cost of the spell, she instead causes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage to herself. The spell slot consumed can not be lowered below the spell's normal level in this way. This ability replaces solo tactics.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

George, congrats on making the Top 32! It's a good place to be, especially as you designed one of just 3 inquisitor archetypes.

First off, a flagellant theme seems right on for the inquisitor, in the "of course, what a good idea!" sense.

Mechanically, though, there's a problem right away, because you say the "inquisitor is proficient with all simple weapons, plus..." etc. That seems to be redefining the inquisitor rather than defining the flagellant archetype. Not fatal, but not building a lot of confidence, either. And I guess I'm not sure I buy the use of medium armor for a character that is presumably scourging himself or herself at every opportunity.

There's a missing period in Zealous Ferver. Again, not fatal, but not encouraging. Shows a lack of attention to detail, though.

Ditching teamwork for metamagic feats... Ok, I'm not sure I get the connection to a flagellant theme, but fine.

The Mortification ability is the bit one for a flagellant, though, so let's see what's going on there. Nonlethal damage instead of increasing level for metamagic? That seems unbalanced and prone to abuse, since it comes back at 1 point per hour and is easily healed by curative magic. Suddenly this archetype goes from "interesting options here" to "easy metamagic power ups".

Overall, I'm inclined to say that this archetype is a good premise and poor execution. Not my recommended inquisitor archetype.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

As the "gods guy" of Paizo, your choice to focus on an obscure god piqued my interest.

Zealous Fervor: In my experience, nonlethal damage doesn't come up often enough for this ability to be relevant most of the time (though a grittier low-level campaign may be very different than what I've been playing for the past couple of years). Note that we added [pain] as a subtype for spells and effects in Ultimate Magic, this ability could give a bonus on those. You missed a period at the end of the paragraph.

Metamagic Feat: Interesting choice. Solo-use of teamwork feats is one of the iconic abilities of the inquisitor. Awarding metamagic feats to a class that doesn't have full spellcasting is also an interesting choice (they don't have as much "wiggle room" in their spell levels to account for a lot of metamagic).

Mortification: Aha, and here's how you get around that. This is worded awkwardly, but I get what your intent is.

I guess the main problem I have with this is archetype doesn't really feel like it was written for Hanspur, who's not into pain or flagellation (he's all about rivers and river travel, and sometimes about death on the river). So you got my hopes up but didn't deliver something that's appropriate for Hanspur or the River Kingdoms (it would be fine for Nidal or some parts of Cheliax).

I do NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial impression: Good idea, not so great execution and fails to maximize setting. This really isn't a River Kingdoms archetype, in my view.

You had some good ideas here, but unfortunately I DO NOT Recommend this submission for advancement.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and feat names: do they show flare? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Archetype and feat names: Not bad. Appropriate to the concept, if not River Kingdom-y.

River Kingdom tie: Little to none. I'm stretching and not seeing it.

Desire to play: Low. There's an interesting concept here in the Flagellant Inquisitor, but this iteration of it doesn't capture my imagination much at all. It's too bad, I'd like to see this concept fleshed (heh) out better.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

I don't really have anything to add to the discussion here. It's not strongly tie to the river kingdoms...I almost feel like Hanspur was an after thought tack on to make the archetype work in the River Kingdoms after the twist was announced...may not be the case but it sort of feels that way.

Congratulations on making it to the top 32. Good luck with the voting.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

You did an excellent job in finding a great idea and design space. I immediately had the image of Paul Bettany in the Da Vinci Code flagellating himself just from reading the name. Good start.

This seems like a Zon-Kuthon match...almost perfect for that god. Which would have been awesome.

I would have liked to see an alignment restriction to this...it would be more thematically appropriate. Something like any non-chaotic.

My first thought on reading the proficiency section is that why Medium Armor? Doesn't really fit thematically with the character who is whipping themselves. Heck...even light armor is stretching it.

I get the Simple Weapons and I liked the additional weapons, but maybe this archetype should have had only a small subset of weapon proficiencies like the Monk flurry weapons.

Inquisition: This is a cool idea and it is totally fitting thematically. Kudos on that. Nonlethal doesn't come up AS much...but I see it quite a bit. Mileage may vary on this ability, but anyone thinking of this archetype would be in a group/setting where it does come into play. I immediately asked about the pain spells that Sean mentions as I read this.

Metamagic: OK. I like this ability. It also really makes sense thematically that this inquisitor is NOT about teammates, but about her own pain. Adding the restriction for meeting prereqs helps greatly here to prevent too much abuse.

Mortification: This is your champion ability of this archetype...by level 3. At the same time as you get your Metamagic ability. Perhaps level 4 or 5 would have been a better time. Also a scaling damage dice would also help prevent abuse, based on level of the spell. I have to agree with Wolfgang on this on the abusability. Potentially 6 nonlethal damage but an average of 3 nonlethal damage to cast any spell with a metamagic feat. At level 3 that's 8+5+5 for 18 HP (full HP at 1st and half+1 for every subsequent level). On average that is 6 metamagic'ed spells before 0 hp, then a further 6 metamagic'ed spells before being staggered because of Zealous Fervor. That's 12 spells metamagic'ed without sacrificing a higher slot before being staggered. Without taking Con bonuses into account. Either a higher average nonlethal damage (2d6 or 1d10) is required to make this less abusable or 1d6+Spell Level nonlethal is required.

I really like this archetype despite the flaws. This is personal bias. I don't think it is the best of the bunch because of the flaws. I may change my mind when I compare all my comments when I vote, but I can't give my vote to this one for now. I may steal it though and use it for my first inquisitor to play.

I do NOT recommend advancement.

Star Voter Season 6

I think Wolfgang and Sean summed up my initial reaction to this well. I would add that I feel like Mortification, and most ways of ignoring metamagic level adjustments, I tend to find overpowered, so playing in this design space is really dangerous. Additionally I feel like it needs something for after level 3.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

George Cunningham wrote:

Flagellant (Inquisitor)

Some inquisitors are zealous fanatics...

The name I'm not thrilled with, but it's okay. If somebody asked me though, I'd tell them I was playing an "Inquisitor variant", rather than a "Flagellant". My players would be merciless.

The background works, but it's not RK themed enough. And, I don't see you picking up the missing theme in the abilities that follow.

George Cunningham wrote:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An inquisitor is proficient with...

I couldn't find a cat-o'-nine-tails in the PRD? I have to agree with Wolfgang on the medium armor. If you wanted to let this archetype have better AC, maybe grant them the Ironhide feat, or some other thick-skinned ability. But your formatting seemed nice enough.

George Cunningham wrote:

Inquisition: When selecting a domain...

I think maybe a comma (or two) might be missing. Otherwise, I'm wondering why you felt it important to point out she could choose certain inquisitions. Couldn't she normally choose _any_ inquisition?

George Cunningham wrote:

Zealous Fervor (Ex): A flagellant becomes accustomed to pain...

This ability works for me, but it's in the wrong spot. It should be swapped with mortification of the flesh. The whole beating herself should be the first ability (as it's her theme) and then the resistance to that beating should come later, not the other way around.

Already mentioned: Missing the period. One of three typos that should not sneak in! The other two are spaces missing between abilities and ability types.

George Cunningham wrote:

Metamagic Feat(Ex): At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter...

Yikes! Removing teamwork feats is a big deal for an inquisitor class. I'm not sure it balances out with how few spells she can cast. Bold move, but I would have to play test this to know if it really paid off.

George Cunningham wrote:
Mortification of the Flesh(Ex): At 3rd level, by biting, clawing or whipping...

It makes sense that you're removing solo tactics if you removed all the bonus teamwork feats. I'm still not sure the payoff is there though.

Overall: I think this archetype leaves some questions open about trade-offs and the link to RK really isn't there. But at least you didn't overpower this character and your writing (aside from minor typos) was easy to read and understand.

Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

your template use was fine, and the attention to detail issues with your writing have already been called out so i won't repeat them; ditto, for the weak connection to RK.

i think there are some noticeable game balance issues here. headcase already pointed out just how often mortification can be used- that's definitely problematic. even worse, you don't place any limits on reducing/eliminating the subdual damage! combining this with an undead bloodline sorcerer (just as one example), either through one of the classes level dipping or just by picking up the eldritch heritage feats, can net you DR 10/- vs. subdual damage... that means you could maximize every spell that you cast for an average cost of .5 (yes, 1/2) a HP each. that's the kind of flaw you need to anticipate (and prohibit; for example- "this damage cannot be reduced or avoided in any way").

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Hmm, unlike a lot of other archetypes I've read so far, your flavor isn't that great - instead you've come up with some interesting new mechanics.

Though, I have to ask - what if the flagellant is immune to nonlethal damage? Say, if they were a sorceror 10, flagellant 3, lich. They then can use all their metamagic feats every spell they cast. Quickened Maximized Expanded fireball as a level 3 spell slot!

I was all ready to vote for this on interesting mechanics alone until I came across that - and without really exciting flavor to fall back on... this archetype isn't worth it.

Still, good luck this round, and future rounds if you make it!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ack, I've been Neil'd!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Not sure I have much to add here - the mortification is easily abusable, especially since inquisitors can get fast healing with their judgement, which makes that non-leathal damage go away pretty fast, not to mention all the ways you can ignore nonleathal (troll flagellant anyone?).

Finally, not only does this not fit Hanspur at all, I can't really think of how it would fit the river kingdoms at all. It feels like this was your archetype idea, then the River Kingdoms twist was announced, and you saw that Hanspur was a local god, so you threw a reference to Hanspur in the intro paragraph and was done River Kingdomifying it.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Congrats! I can't judge you on your mechanics as I don't play and have no experience with Inquisitors. With so much great stuff you can do with Hanspur I feel you just dropped the name in for a RK link. When the RK twist was announced the first thing I came up with was a Hanspur archetype, and it was great fun to work on.
Good luck!

George! I really wanted to vote for an Aussie this round but I'm sorry I just can't.
There are issues that are covered above so I won't repeat them aside from saying that 1d6 per spell level increase seems low, even if it was real damage.

From a concept point of view a flagellant (for metamagic) seems more inline with a Cleric (and it would have been a great move to do a cleric) as flagellation isn't really a spur of the moment thing but something done privately between a person and their god, suiting itself to prepared casters (during preparation) rather than spontaneous.
Secondly by tying in the Flagellant to particular gods in the rules (perhaps by specifying which deities can add Zeal or Fervor to their Inquisitions) you can tie it much more strongly to Golarion and the River Kingdoms. At the moment you've just made an archetype that is popular with a particular god set in the River Kingdoms, and a deity I believe is less in tune with flagellation (being a self inflicted punishment for disobedience which seems more Lawful than Chaotic).

Good luck, I would like to see you in subsequent rounds but I suspect if you do make it it will be because of your Skipping Stone.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

My biggest gripe is the thematic match, or lack thereof. As has been pointed out, Hanspur is no god of pain, and Zon-Kuthon would have indeed been a much better match. So there really is no RK connection whatsoever, except the non-canonical connection. Flagellation + inquisitors go well together, though, and this is a decent arhcetype if you stop thinking about the RK requirement.

Anyway, I wish you good luck in round 2!


The thing I find most interesting about this archetype is that you tried to make a Metamagic focused Inquisitor and Inquisitor is one of those half-spellcasting classes that has almost no magic-focused archetypes.

However, the mechanics are clunky at best and the archetype oozes Zon-Kuthon rather than Hanspur.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: If any archetype is going to be a flaggelant its the inquisitor, nice archetype for the class.
Bad: Not really seeing a good RLs tie-in
Ugly: Like some items I reviewed this year this has a gross out factor for me that makes it hard to vote for. Other reviewers did good job pointing out mech issueswill not reitterate those.
Overall: This isn't getting my vote, it was up against allot with the theme for me execution didn't elevate it enough to change my mind.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

I reckon I could use three levels of this for a character who I guarantee would not look much like an inquisitor of Hanspur. Too front-loaded. Fits dubiously with the stated deity and without it, doesn't have much of a tie to the required setting.

An Arco-flagellant is a kind of Servitor formed from an Imperial citizen sentenced to the death penalty of arco-flagellation.

Arco-flagellants are pumped full of a combination of narcotic stimulants during battle, transforming them into furious whirlwinds of devastation that are completely resistant to wounds.duck life

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2013 / Round 2: Design an archetype / Flagellant (Inquisitor) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Round 2: Design an archetype