First attempt at inquisitor,player asks how to optimize it.


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As per the title,and i'm no expert at inquisitors.
I know they are a mixture of stealth and paladin but that is all.
So far he is thinking about the Conversion Inquisition and deity Sarenrae, but we'll need some advice how to optimize it.

Work so far, lacking name,equip and other details.

F half elf inquisitor 1:

Unnamed Hero
Female Half-Elf Inquisitor 1
CG Medium Humanoid (elf, human)
Init +5; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8+1); judgement of sacred healing 1
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +4; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities judgement of sacred protection +1; DR judgement of sacred resiliency 1: magic; Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities, judgement of sacred purity +1, judgement of sacred resistance 2 (fire)
Speed 30 ft.
Special Attacks judgement of sacred destruction +1, judgement of sacred justice +1, judgement of sacred piercing +1, judgement of sacred smiting (magic)
Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 1):
1 (2/day) Protection from Evil, Cure Light Wounds
0 (at will) Resistance, Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Light
Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 12
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Sense Motive)
Traits Focused Mind, Seeker of Brightness (Knowledge [religion])
Skills Diplomacy +6, Disguise +5, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (planes) +5 (+7 to identify the abilities and weaknesses of creatures), Knowledge (religion) +6 (+8 to identify the abilities and weaknesses of creatures), Perception +9, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, monster lore
Languages Common, Elven, Infernal
SQ domains (conversion inquisition), elf blood, judgement (1/day)
Other Gear 150 GP
Special Abilities
Elf Blood You are counted as both elven and human for any effect relating to race.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Focused Mind +2 to Concentration checks
Inquisitor Domain (Conversion Inquisition) Deities: Any deity.

Granted Powers: You are a powerful persuader. A honeyed tongue empowered by divine argumentation sways the indifferent and adversarial to your side.
Judgement (1/day) (Su) Variable bonuses increase as the combat continues.
Judgement of Sacred Destruction +1 (Su) Weapon Damage bonus.
Judgement of Sacred Healing 1 (Su) Fast Healing
Judgement of Sacred Justice +1 (Su) Attack bonus
Judgement of Sacred Piercing +1 (Su) Concentration and vs. SR bonus
Judgement of Sacred Protection +1 (Su) AC bonus
Judgement of Sacred Purity +1 (Su) Save bonus
Judgement of Sacred Resiliency 1: Magic (Su) DR/magic
Judgement of Sacred Resistance 2 (Fire) (Su) Energy Resistances
Judgement of Sacred Smiting (Magic) (Su) DR bypass
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Monster Lore +2 (Ex) +2 to Knowledge checks when identifying the weaknessess of creatures.

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There are a few routes you can go that will focus the question you are asking. Do you want to go ranged or melee primarily? Are you going to be the face of the group? The inquisitor is amazingly versatile, like a divine selfish bard, so it greatly depends on what you want to do with the character.

Depends on what other char will be, think i'll have some type of frontliner, a wizard and a rogue.

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From an optimization stand point you should be dumping CHA. The conversion inquisition allows you to use your WIS instead of CHA for Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate which is pretty much the only CHA based skills you need.

Sarenrae give you proficiency with scimitar which opens up the Dervish Dance feat. This will allow you to swap your STR and DEX and still do decent damage. It will also increase your chance to hit when using ranged weapons which an inquisitor does very well.

Consider going with Human as your race for the favored class bonus of extra spells. If you do decide to stay as a half elf don’t bother going skill focus sense motive. You will already have the highest sense motive of anyone. Perception is a much better use for skill focus. It has been called the most useful skill in the game for a reason.

Resistance is a useless 0 level spell get Guidance instead. It is pretty much a floating +1 bonus and can be used for skills. Once you get a cloak of resistance the resistance spell is of no use. Stabilize is also a good spell to keep someone from dying until they can be healed.

You get very few spells know so they should be something that will be useful at all levels. You can swap out a limited number of spells as better ones become available but usually only one per spell level. Cure light wounds should be done from a wand not taking up one of your spell slots. Divine favor is probably better and can be swapped out for Divine power.

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If you want to max melee damage, grab a two-hander from deity favored weapon or ancestral arms, pump str, and pick power attack at 3rd level. Choose spells as if you were a battle cleric, buff up and go to town. Your stats seem fine for this, though some folks will suggest dumping a stat, I don't usually go that route as a personal choice. You can make good use of your teamwork feats up on the frontline with the fighter-type. If they take a good teamwork feat, you can both get the benefit and you can always change out when you are not partnering with them. If you want your inquisition to boost social, I prefer heresy to conversion. For melee, I like persistence for step up.

For a switch build, boost dex, go Sarenrae, weapon finesse at 1, dervish dance at 3rd.

Remember that many Domain/Inquisition Abilities, whether (Sp) or (Su), have a DC that scales 1:2 levels, better than your top level spells. It's a bit counter-intuitive because the (Sp) abilities otherwise have the spell level of whatever spell they are (or derived from class level if it's not an SLA of an existing spell), but many Domain (Sp) and all Domain (Su) abilities (AFAIK) specify their DCs as scaling 1:2levels, and all Sub-Domain and Inquisition Abilities (Sp or Su) get that higher DC by definition, which helps keep them more relevant at higher levels and those will likely be your highest DC abilities at high level.

Also, (Sp) abilities (but not Su) should benefit from any spellcasting boosts you might have like Spell Focus, Spell Bane (Ult Magic, +2DC when target of your Bane class ability) and the like. IMHO, Spell Focus is only possibly worth it if it applies to these Domain/Inquisition SLAs whose DC already scales well. Spell Bane is more flexible in that it's not school dependent, but I don't think it makes sense unless you have a good offensive Domain/Inq. power to apply it to since your regular spells' DCs will cap lower.

If you're looking at Ult Magic anyways for Inquisitions, there is also Archetypes which let you add your WIS to Social/Stealth skills, which leaves your Domain/Inquisition free, although note that your CHA mod is still ALSO applied, so if it's dumped a negative modifier will also counteract your WIS bonus to some extent. I guess you could double up with both the Archetype WIS bonus and an Inquisition substitution of WIS for CHA, although that seems excessive and unproductive.

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If you go with the Conversion Inquisition and the Infiltrator Archetype, you actually double tap WIS for several of the social skills. Add in the Dex thing using Dervish Dance, and your inquisitior largely cares only about Wis and Dex. Sure Con and Int are nice, but your question was about optimizing, right?

I'm having fun with the growth domain, precise strike and a greataxe.
That's an easy 4D6+X damage without even getting into bane or divine favor.

Gandal wrote:

As per the title,and i'm no expert at inquisitors.

I know they are a mixture of stealth and paladin but that is all.
So far he is thinking about the Conversion Inquisition and deity Sarenrae, but we'll need some advice how to optimize it.

Work so far, lacking name,equip and other details.
** spoiler omitted **...

I recently played an inquisitor up to 6th level, until the party was wiped out mid adventure by a plant of all things. A story for another day.

My inquisitor was created to play second fiddle to the main front rank melee fighter, and to hopefully frighten the pants off the opposition by maxing out his intimidate skills.
I opted for human to take advantage of the favoured class bonus of extra spells known, then went all out for intimidate.
I took the conversion inquisition, and the alternate racial option of Focused Study/Skill Focus intimidate at 1st. Masterful Demeanour and Intimidating Prowess put yet more pips in intimidate. The 2nd level spell Blistering Invective complements intimidate nicely, and I intended to take the Dazzling Display feat so I could intimidate the hell out of many, many monsters, but unfortunately the GM killed us before we got there. I think he was running scared because I was just soooo scary.
I was starting to shape up as a half decent melee fighter thanks to Weapon Focus and Extended Bane feats, bane and judgement class abilities, and spells like Divine Favour, Weapon of Awe, True Strike.
I was just starting to enjoy myself so I'm taking pretty much the same character in the next campaign, see what he's like beyond 6th.

Gandal wrote:

As per the title,and i'm no expert at inquisitors.

I know they are a mixture of stealth and paladin but that is all.
So far he is thinking about the Conversion Inquisition and deity Sarenrae, but we'll need some advice how to optimize it.

Work so far, lacking name,equip and other details.
** spoiler omitted **...

What rule books are you using?

I bought almost any rule package for herolab, so thik i have all rules concerning imquisitor.

Pick some race or god that gives you a decent two handed weapon

L1: Toughness (if human), intimidating prowess
L3: Power Attack
L5: Furious Focus
L7: Cornugan (sp) smash

Teamwork feats: Precise, opportunist, lookout

I freaking love Inquisitors and one of the biggest things I think about optimising is to get JUDGEMENT SURGE as your first feat.

At level 1 your judgements will be doing:

Destruction: +2 damage - This is power attack without the attack penalty

Healing: Regenerating 2 hp per round - when you have 10 hp that's 20% of your hp regenerated a round.

Resistance: Resist any energy 4 points - This amount of resistance is massive and will kill most over time or aura effects.

Piercing: +2 concentration checks and +2 caster level - Now when you cast spells that scale like Divine Favour, Wrath and Heals, they are cast as if you were a level three inquisitor!


So in a battle start you activate Judgement Piercing and cast Divine favour (gaining +2 damage and +2 attack!). Now in round 2 activate Judgement Destruction and your Inquisitor is has +2 attack with +4 damage at level 1!

If you're fighting a boss cast Wrath, so you now have +4 attack and +6 damage at level 1, this is before adding your strength and weapon damage.

On a theoretical 16 STR Inquisitor of Gorum/Destruction wielding a Greatsword and Smite, you'll be swinging with +7 attack 2d6+8 at level 1. With wrath in play it's +9 attack 2d6+12 on something that probably has 18 AC. Tell the full bab classes to stand in the back while you destroy things in melee.

If you go a ranged Inquisitor you could get multishot, 16 dex and fire two shots per round with +5 attack +4 damage which quickly amounts to a huge amount of damage.

When you say that the Piercing Judgement gives your Divine Favour a boost, I think you might be misinterpreting. The description of a Piercing Judgement is 'This benefit grants a +1 sacred bonus on concentration checks and CASTER LEVEL CHECKS MADE TO OVERCOME A TARGET'S SPELL RESISTANCE.' The surge increases this by 3 levels, making your bonuses +2. It doesn't actually give you a bonus to your caster level, so your Divine Favour at level 1 only gives +1 to attack/+1 damage.
When you activate your Destruction Judgement, you gain +1 to damage, increasing to +2 by virtue of the surge, giving you a total of +1 to attack/+3 damage (the damage stacks as divine favour is luck and the judgement is sacred/profane).
When you cast Wrath you gain a +1 morale bonus to both attack and damage (against 1 creature), giving a total of +2 attack/+4 damage.

Note that, even if you are right about the Piercing Judgement giving you actual caster level boosts, you have swapped out Piercing in favour of Destruction in round 2 so it wouldn't apply anyway - you can't have more than 1 active judgement until 8th level.
At 1st level +2/+4 is still not to be sniffed at though.

I stand corrected on Piercing. It does change a whole lot calculations unfortunately.
I would still argue that Judgement Surge applies to the entirety duration of your first judgement.

"Judgment Surge
Once per day, the power of your faith surges, further empowering your judgments.

Prerequisites: Judgment class feature

Benefit: Once per day, you can treat your class level for your judgment class feature as if it were 3 higher than normal. If you have multiple judgments active at the same time, this benefit applies to all of them."

I suppose the real debate is what your GM considers "once per day", it's possible he could rule it as one round, one battle or even longer.

To me because switching between Judgments does not use up more Judgments, I see surge affecting all of your changed types.
To me I believe Judgment as being energy an Inquisitor activates and reshapes into what they want it to do. It also mentions "Judgement class feature" which to me further encompasses all the judgement types underneath that banner.

Either way I still stand by that Judgement Surge is crazy powerful. Even if we played by nerfed interpretation, activating Destruction at the start of a fight and sticking with it is a massive boost.

Further more at level 2 a player gets access to level 5 Judgments which nets
Justice: +2 attack
Protection: +2 AC
Purity: +2 all saves
Resiliency: DR magic 2

Level 3 an Inquisitor can make their weapon aligned and ignore DR completely. Or you could go Destruction again and get +3 damage for no penalty putting Power attack to shame.

I absolutely agree that the judgement surge applies for the entire duration of the judgement, which I take to mean one whole combat. However, I think that it applies only to the judgement or judgements which are active at the time, and at 1st level you can only have one judgement active at a time.
At 1st level if you activate the Destruction judgement in round 1 of a combat you gain +2 damage because of the surge. If you then swap to the Healing judgement in round 2 you gain +2 healing per round, but you lose the +2 damage because the surge applies to the active judgment and by swapping to Healing you have effectively switched off the Destruction judgement.
I agree that it is a great feat though, particularly at lower levels.

If you use Divine Favour you might want to have a look at the faith trait Fate's Favored which adds +1 to any luck bonus you are currently under the effect of.

Thanks so far guys...i'm reading your advices.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another great feat is "Favored Judgement"


Favored Judgment

Your judgment against a particular type of creature is particularly harsh.

Prerequisites: Wis 13, judgment class feature.

Benefit: Select a favored race from the ranger’s favored enemies chart. Any sacred or profane bonus you gain from a judgment is 1 higher for attacks you make against or take from creatures that match the selected favored enemy.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a different favored enemy.

So if you have a good idea what the main type of enemy you will be facing is, it works great. And works for all but 1 or 2 judgements.

I used it for my Pharasman Inquisitor.

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Currently playing a lvl 13 dwarf inquisitor of Abadar with the Travel domain. Great fun!

The inquisitor's strength is in his versatility and ability to adapt to a situation. He has a lot of options available to him through his skills, spells, teamwork feats and judgments. However, getting these all to synergize well takes some planning.

The weakness of the inquisitor is, especially if going into melee, his AC and low hitpoints; he generally can't stand around and take attacks without some type of investment for protection either through feats, spells, or equipment. Also, the inquisitor doesn't have that high BAB, so getting multiple attacks in a round through a full attack action is tough unless you have reliable access to haste.

The class gets lots of skills, lots of spells and bonus abilities, and the teamwork feat things. Where it falls behind is combat effectiveness due to mid BAB and having to spread out stats; thus feats should be used primarily to strengthen combat effectiveness as everything is pretty solid.

The class lends itself toward melee combat due to the better teamwork feats working when threatening or flanking an opponent. Thus, the inquisitor is always looking to optimize his position tactically to make use of his feats and abilities.

Also, the inquisitor tends to run out of actions in a round quickly. Judgment takes a swift to activate or change, bane takes a swift to activate, some great spells take a swift to cast, so you run out of the swift action pretty often. Also, since position is so important, the move action gets used a lot too. Thus you often are only left with a single standard action in order to attack or cast a spell. Furthermore, like the battle cleric, you don't want to spend 2,3 or 4 rounds buffing yourself with spells only to find that the combat is over once you get into it. So you don't want to have to rely on a bunch of buff spells to be effective in combat.

The route I went was to focus on tactical positioning and single attacks, combined with combat reflexes and trying to maximize attacks of opportunity. Power Attack, Vital strike, and combat reflexes are his main thing. Another way to do this would be to focus on critical hits; the scimitar from Sarenae is nice for this, althought it is rather useless for vital strike. But this would be a great way to go since you get it for free. The cleave feats would be a decent option as well.

So I would suggest looking at a melee combatant focused on critical attacks through the scimitar. You have a lot of ways to stack static damage on attacks to deal solid hits with criticals. This saves a feat on weapon proficiency as well.

Dervish Dance might be something to consider with the scimitar. This would let you forego str enitrely and focus instead on Dex. The drawback is you can't use a shield with it when you need the extra AC, and it takes two feats to get. But the higher Dex would reduce the need for a shield at times. And it leaves a hand free for spellcasting or wielding a wand or something else.

Are you sold on half elf as race? From an optimization standpoint is not the best, but if its the concept you want then run with it. The half elf inquisitor favored class bonus is worthless, so you'll be putting those points into skills or hitpoints; not bad but dwarf, half orc, and human have better options. Human has significant advantages over half elves, especially with altered racial traits. (Instead of human bonus feat and skill points get +2 to another ability, or get skill focus at 1st 8th and 16th levels instead of just 1st).

As for feats, Skill focus (Sense Motive) is a bit of a waste. You will have an incredible sense motive skill anyways, the feat will be overkill. Stealth, Perception, Diplomacy, or Intimidate would all be better options.

Improved Initiative isn't bad, but you are already going to get a bonus to initiative by adding wisdom to it, so it might be overkill as well.

Feats are where you are short, so these need to be carefully chosen. I'd probably start with Combat Reflexes or a weapon proficiency at 1st lvl. Then power attack at 3rd. You are proficient with a spear at start so that might be a good weapon to use early on to maximize combat reflexes (and also to avoid getting hit). Or if looking at Dervish dance pick up weapon finesse at 1st then dervish dance at 3rd. Then look at how else you want to play the character in combat.

Also figure out your role in the party. Are you going to be the face of the party? Will you be relying on Intimidate and/or Diplomacy? Is Intimidate a skill you want to use in combat? Its not necessary to be good at either or both of those, but you can be if you want to be. For inquisitor skills I prefer perception, stealth, survival, spellcraft, sense motive and knowledge skills, as there tends to be a rogue or paladin or sorcerer or bard in the party who does diplomacy better. You get the free bonus on intimidate though, so its easy to make good use of it. But as was said before, dump Cha. You can make up the difference either through domain abilities or feats (skill focus or intimidating prowess).

For stats I'd go in order Str, Wis, Dex, Con, Int, and dump Cha as far as possible. If you can go weapon finesse and/or dervish dance I'd switch dex to first then Wis, Con, Int and Str. You'll need at least 13 Str for power attack though.

For teamwork feats I like outflank, precise strike, sieze the moment (requires combat reflexes and improved crit), and escape route. Others are nice too. One thing to remember is you have access to the coordinated effort spell (3rd lvl) which lets you give your teammates access to one of your teamwork feats for 1 minute/level, but only in relation to you. These can be an amazingly effective ability, especially with Seize the moment. I found escape route to be a great teamwork feat to have as it lets you move pretty easily around in combat without provoking AoOs, especially if you have a large party or lots of companions or summons.

A great first level spell is litany of sloth. swift action and last 1 round, but it prevents a single opponent from taking attacks of opportunity or casting defensively. This is a game changer at times as you can shut down an enemy caster with proper positioning and you can save your allies and yourself a ton of damage against those big creatures with long reach who like taking lots of AoOs.

Litany of defense (2nd) is another good one for boosting your AC quickly in combat, so long as you have a good enhancement bonus on your armor.

Don't be afraid to switch judgments around in combat either. The situation changes constantly from round to round, so one round you might want extra damage, another you need AC, another you need good saves, etc... This is where the inquisitor can be really versatile, switching from offense to defense as needed.

Another good 1st level spell is share judgment, and lets an ally benefit from your current judgment. So you can really help someone else out sometimes with this.

And the Judgment Light spell at 4th level can have some significant effects depending on which judgments you have active. So its good to know what you need to do so you can switch to the rigth judgments to cast the spell.

Wow thats a lot. I hope this helps!

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Learn to stack your bonuses. Inquisitors get a LOT. Grab yourself a menacing weapon, the Outflank feat, and use bane as much as you can. That will get you a +8 more to hit than anyone else, allowing you to easily keep you accuracy on par with full base attack bonus classes.

And that's before possibly adding more with your Justice judgement. Best part? This can all be set up in as little as one round. Talk about quick buffing.

Indeed. Menacing weapon is the best ability you can have on your weapon as an Inquisitor, especially when combined with Outflank. Outflank will also give you an AoO whenever an ally you are flanking with confirms a crit. You can start grabbing Outflank at lvl 6 when you get BAB +4. (I actually took Craft Magic Arms and Armor with my dwarf Inquisitor just to craft menacing and impact weapons and animated bucklers.)

This is why reach and/or size increases can be extremely helpful, as it increases the possibilities for flanking and taking AoOs. And if you take any Cleave feats this helps as well. With Seize the Moment you can take an AoO whenever an ally crits any foe you are threatening, no matter the positioning. Paired Opportunist can work very well with these abilities but requires being adjacent to an ally who threatens the same target, so its harder to put together since you usually want to be flanking.

Now, consider these teamwork feats when you cast Coordinated Effort on your allies, granting them one of your teamwork feats in relation to you. So with Seize the moment, now anytime you crit, they get an AoO, and anytime they crit you get an AoO. You can really stack some serious damage up this way. (And at 10th lvl, the Justice Judgment doubles its bonus on confirming crits, so an additional +3 to confirm.)

See how the synergies of these abilities start to work together? This is how an Inquisitor succeeds in combat.

My personal Inquisitor is the party tank, 2nd power hitter, party healer, party face and boasts crazy saves. In my case I took a level in fighter purely so I *could* wear heavy armour, tower shields and use any weapon if I chose. In my case I've opted for a tough to kill, jack of all trades Inquisitor due to unfilled roles in the party.

In my case my GM didn't allow us starting traits when we made our chars.

Human Inquisitor
ST18 DX13 CN14 IN12 WS14 CH8
Domain: Luck

Lvl 1: Judgement Surge, Dodge
Lvl 2: Fighter level - Power attack
Lvl 3: Additional Traits: Defend of Society, Second Chance
Precise strike
Lvl 4:
Lvl 5: Cleave
Lvl 6:
Lvl 7: Cornugon Smash, Duck and Cover

With this build I can easily match the Ranger of my party in damage while being 1 handed, have the highest AC, great hit points, can use luck to roll twice and take the best roll, can steal a reflex save from my party members, can reroll any d20 once per day, can re-roll any save once per day. Gain 9 skill points per level.

Additionally I've purchased the Circlet of Persuasion to improve my intimidate and also do crazy blistering invectives + corn smashes.

While maybe not optimum this is a build that I made for my campaign situation.

@Father Dale: thanks for the long and useful response.Will talk with player for the race,the game is still on planning after all.

Some great ideas that I never thought of for my own inquisitor.

I tried to make a melee/front line support character.

I took the preacher archetype with the intent of forcing rerolls on my dm. He has an amazing (more often then believable) rate of rolling crits. The party healer doesn't heal so it helps.

Besides the preacher archetype, I took the body guard feat and combat reflexes.
The body guard feat allows me to use an AoO to use the aid another action to add to an an adjacent allies AC for a single attack. I also took a trait that increases my aid another bonus by 2. So normally aid another would add +2, with the trait I add +4 to AC as an AoO. I put the benevolent armor property that lets me add my armor enhancement bonus to my aid another to AC. With my +2 chain shirt I'm add +6 to ac so I help mitigate a lot of hits to allies.

I also use cornugan smash to demoralize as a free action when I power attack.

Hope this helps!

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