Help me understand Inquisitors. Please?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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My subject line might be a bit deceptive. I get what they can do. I get their abilities. I just don't get, thematically, what they are. They don't seem like a super viable adventuring class as a character that is meant to purge their faith of blight and such. I do have a feeling I am missing something though.

Remember, this is all thematics. Not crunch. I get the rules and such no problemo and really, really like them. I am just trying to wrap my head around how to fill the background and rest out.

How would an Inquisitor of Desna or Shelyn or Cayden Cailen go about their every day business? What heresy's are they rooting out? I can see Pharasma going after people in their faith that are breaking the laws of natural death but they certainly wouldn't be clerics or such, as Pharasma would deal with them on her own. Asmodeus Inquisitor? What's he going after?

Just having troubles wrapping my head around what they would do outside their own faith in day to day adventuring.


Van Helsing

Owner - Kapow Ltd Comics, Cards and Games

He wasn't really an Inquisitor at all though! They just share fancy hats!


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I set up a rather extreme example in a D&D game a few months ago. One of the PCs was a follower of a gnomish deity who was fond of practical jokes. He attended a very solemn service to his own deity and disrupted it because the entire idea of a solemn religious service was of course a complete denial of that deity's basic tenets.


Inquisitors are Church-Rogues, basically. They interrogate, infiltrate, and root out anyone who is doing something outside of their god's idea of what is right. Enough skill points and magic to do these things well, and the martial power to execute what needs executing.

Inquisitions don't always need to take place within the church itself, although Inquisitors are probably the Internal Affairs of their respective churches too.

The Church of Asmodeus might send Inquisitors undercover as slaves to find out who is raiding and freeing them. The people freeing the slaves may well be Inquisitors of Cayden Cailen undercover as slaves themselves.

Pharasman Inquisitors can be traveling preachers who keep an eye peeled for any signs of undeath, missing bodies, or disturbed graves in the little podunk towns where necromancers assume no one will stop them.

An Inquisitor of Gorum could incite riots against attempted peace talks between two warring nations, or infiltrate one side and convince the leaders that aggressive expansion is worth a bloody campaign (or three).


(Copied and pasted and slightly from a thread that died, and expanded to include more deities.)

Actually, I have wondered about this. As a concept, I would have thought of Inquisitors as something that not just any random member of the priesthood could be, given the special position they have relative to the rest of the clergy, but rather a Prestige Class. (Not saying I have anything against the Inquisitor mechanics -- the mechanics are fine for a Base Class -- just that the social concept seems like you should have to prove yourself for a while before you can get it.) Anyway, as it is, we have it as a Base Class. So, on the one hand, you could argue that not all religions commission Inquisitors, just as not all of them commission Paladins (although that is mechanically enforced rather than just conceptually). But on the other hand, you could think of what would an Inquisitor of some deity who seems non-Inquisitorial like Shelyn be for? So I came up with possibilities for them like investigating child abuse, forced marriages, art scams (including but not limited to outright theft), prostitution rings, and other attempts to commoditize love. (Unfortunately, the Church of Shelyn sort of shot themselves in the foot for the latter goal with that artwork of her that they often put on their temples, the one that makes her look like a Medieval/Antiquity equivalent of one of those scantily clad models that NRA/Militia types like to have on their calendars or other posters.)

Since a cult of Desna acts as rebels in Nidal (and possibly Cheliax), it seems a reasonable hypothesis that Inquisitors of Desna might be into trying to break up the slave trade and related nefarious trafficking of sentient beings. Among other assaults on freedom, these crimes (even though not classed as crimes in those countries) involve moving people against their will and holding them down against their will, as well as crushing or otherwise corrupting their dreams.

Cayden Cailean is a tough one to think of, since I cannot wrap my head around a concept of promoting alcohol consumption as compatible with being good, chaotic or otherwise. But I suppose his Inquisitors might be involved in fighting off attempts to get people hooked on something even worse.

Asmodeus is the easiest: His Inquisitors go after EVERYTHING that isn't firmly loyal to him, and keep a stern and paranoid watch over the faithful to look for the slightest signs of incomplete loyalty. Given how Cheliax operates, enabling Devils yet seeking to enslave them, I would not be suprised if the church of Asmodeus has TWO major factions that often clash with each other (although of course immediately uniting against any non-Asmodean threat): A Diabolist faction (wants to bring everything under the control of Hell) and a Hellknight faction (wants to make everything like Hell, but outdoing Hell in this effort and thus remaining independent of and eventually subjugating Hell); Asmodeus would profit from this conflict (it battle hardens both factions and helps keep the other Archdevils and Dukes of Hell in line), and would ride whichever side was eventually victorious to victory. In the meantime, each would have its own Inquisitors, which in both cases would try as hard as they could to outdo the Spanish Inquisition.


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I could see an inquisitor of Desna working to keep the roads safe at night as well.

Essentially, they would be vigilantes that want to make it safe to walk around at night. So taking on brigands, orcs, and viscous beasts (particularly viscous beasts considering the animosity towards Lamashtu).

Grand Lodge

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If you look at Inner Sea Gods, you find that Cayden Cailean's faith views slavery as abhorrent. I could totally see Cayden Cailean inquisitors going on a Liberty's Edge mission. They would also be against anything that limited "Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

They want you to have a good time -- or else.

I've been toying with the idea of building the Blues Brothers off a pair of Cayden Cailean Inquisitors.

Hmm

Liberty's Edge

In general, Inquisitors are the spies, assassins, special ops guys, bounty hunters, and other sneaky bits of a particular God's clergy. They do all the subtle, sneaky, stuff. You want to infiltrate another god's worshipers? Inquisitor. You have a dangerous criminal who's betrayed your church and need someone to hunt them down? Inquisitor. Someone's stolen something sacred and you need a guy to find out who and get it back? Inquisitor (also, debatably the plot of Death's Heretic...the protagonist of which is an Inquisitor).

Actually, Death's Heretic (and presumably The Redemption Engine, which I sadly haven't read yet) are an excellent example of what kinds of things a high level Inquisitor of Pharasma does.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Cayden Cailean is a tough one to think of, since I cannot wrap my head around a concept of promoting alcohol consumption as compatible with being good, chaotic or otherwise. But I suppose his Inquisitors might be involved in fighting off attempts to get people hooked on something even worse.

Cayden Cailean is big into anti-slavery and anti-authoritarian regime stuff. The anti-slavery faction in Kaer Maga is pretty exclusively devoted to him, for example. He's also the God of bravery, so desertion in the face of the enemy and similar acts of cowardice by a member of the faith would likely also warrant Inquisitorial attention.

Cayden Cailean drinks, but that's hardly the extent of his definition or portfolio. In many ways, it's actually the least important of his three major areas (the others being freedom and bravery). His followers certainly tend to drink, but they don't actually insist that all others do so or anything crazy like that, and he explicitly dislikes real addiction and discourages it.


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^This also works, although I think you meant vicious beasts . . . although come to think of it, most Oozes would tend to make things unsafe at night, so Inquisitors of Desna taking on viscous beasts works too . . . :-)


An inquisitor is simply the agent of his deity. If someone is causing problems for a deity the inquisitor’s primary job is to fix the problem. Inquisitors are also useful for advancing the goals and interests of the church and, or deity. If the deity is associated with a particular concept or idea an inquisitor would be ideal to help.

Desna is a deity of travel, luck and freedom. She also actively opposes several deities especially Lamashtu because she is trying to reclaim the domains of beasts. An inquisitor of Desna would seek to protect traveler and oppressed people, and may also be working to thwart the followers of Lamashtu.

Cayden Cailean was a freedom fighter so it would make sense that his inquisitors would also be looking to protect others. As other have mentioned they would be actively working against the slave trade, but would also work to overthrow anyone oppressing the innocent. They would keep a sense of humor about them and try to encourage people to have a good time.

Shelyn is the goddess of love, beauty and art. He inquisitors will work to help those in love to be together. They would also be protectors of artists and other creative types. They would also be likely to be working to migrate some of the damage of Zon-Kuthon, but without directly opposing him.

Not all inquisitors need to be grim menacing figures. All deities have enemies, and many of the enemies may be subtle and not operating in the open. These are what the inquisitor is designed to deal with.


Inquisitors are not just about the heretics, they are about all enemies of the faith both internal and external, and they are big on potential threats too. Once you realize that threats from outside the faith are part of the inquisitor's job it is hard not be able to find a way to justify adventuring inquisitors.

DESNA: travelers, anything which molests travelers is a potential threat to the faithful of Desna. night stalkers, Desna's faith teaches the night should be a time of wonder not fear, anything which hunts in the night is fair game for an inquistor of Desna. Lamashtu attacked and killed Desna mentor god, even without Desna having sworn vengance on Lamashtu, this is a threat which any inquisitor of Desna (or just about any god other than Lamashtu) cannot ignore and even the slightest hint of Lamashtu's involvement is worthy of being investigated. The Gossamer King sends out disguised clerics to small communities to infiltrate and corrupt them to Ghalunder worship, some inquisitors of Desna make a point to check on small communities for these infestations before they can take root. Gamblers, Varasians, musicians, and even thieves - many of them are worshipers of Desna and an inquisitor could find herself investigating a too efficient thief-taker as a threat to the faith.

CAYDEN CAILEAN:

Quote:
The majority of those who follow Cayden Cailean are simple people who seek simple pleasures in life. Those who brew and sell alcoholic drink often revere the Drunken Hero, as do those who partake of such fare. Adventurers seeking to promote goodness often find a sense of kinship with the deity, their goals of freedom and adventure mirroring those of the god of bravery.

Well since nothing ever presents a threat to the faithful of Cayden Cailean, inquisitors of this faith might have problems. I suppose the GM could create some completely fantastical story about orcs attacking an inn to get an inquisitor of CC involved. /sarcasm


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In my opinion, Inquisitor was a poor name for the class. It works well for lawful religions, where heresy might be a major concern, but poorly for other Gods and Religions.


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Class and theme are only loosely related these days. A barbarian might be a savage tribesman, or he might be a city-born nobleman with a bad temper. The Inquisitor class provides the mechanics - the flavor is up to you. RAW requires you to have a god who empowers you and whose goals you serve, but your mission is for you to invent. You could have a background as a policeman, a monster hunter, an assassin or a bodyguard.


Wallie Desruisseaux wrote:
My subject line might be a bit deceptive. I get what they can do. I get their abilities. I just don't get, thematically, what they are.

That's all flavor text, and thereby mutable.

In other words, your Inquisitor is whatever you want your Inquisitor to be.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
RAW requires you to have a god who empowers you and whose goals you serve, but your mission is for you to invent. You could have a background as a policeman, a monster hunter, an assassin or a bodyguard.

Or, of course, a pair of blues loving brothers trying to save the orphanage they grew up in from foreclosure.


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kikidmonkey wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
RAW requires you to have a god who empowers you and whose goals you serve, but your mission is for you to invent. You could have a background as a policeman, a monster hunter, an assassin or a bodyguard.
Or, of course, a pair of blues loving brothers trying to save the orphanage they grew up in from foreclosure.

Inquisitor 1: It's 106 miles to Cheliax, we got a full pack of food, half a wand of Cure Light Wounds, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.

Inquisitor 2: Hit it.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
... and we're wearing smoked goggles.

FTFY


Inquisitors are feared because they have official sanction from their church or in some cases their deity to exterminate the enemies of their respective faith. The name pops right out of history. If you read the class description it even goes so far as to say that they step outside of normal church law to get to enemies. Oh the irony that they bend church statue to enforce it.

Vanhelsing is very much the archtypal inquis.

Another good version of the inaquis is Gary Oldman's character in Red Riding Hood.

Case in point. A monster is raiding your town. It is a monster of evil and demonic taint. The local cleric and his allies have operated with good faith however they have failed to slove the problem. Church superiors send in an outside operative to get results. He comes in and uses methods harsher and more intrusive than the town clergy ever would.


Short version:

Clerics act in accordance with their deity/faith/philosophy. They can proselytize, crusade, inquire, or simply live as an exemplar of their faith.

Inquisitors seek out transgressions against their deity/faith/philosophy. Some clerics do this too, but they are strictly bound by their faith's tenets. Inquisitors step outside those tenets if need be to get the job done. This flexibility is the niche that inquisitors fill that clerics cannot.

Liberty's Edge

Gnomezrule wrote:
He comes in and uses methods harsher and more intrusive than the town clergy ever would.

Uh...this bit? Not necessarily true at all.

An Inquisitor is free of his Church's strictures, but not those of his deity or morality, depending on the God and church that could easily be less harsh and intrusive than the local clergy, rather than more. The Cult of the Dawnflower are likely to be a lot harsher than most Inquisitors of Sarenrae ever are, for example.

An Inquisitor showing up and methodically pointing out why the people the local church has been persecuting as 'in league with Evil' have nothing to do with the problem, and should thus be left alone is very possible, and even likely for Good aligned Inquisitors.

Think about how it works in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, for example. That's a very possible Inquisitor scenario (and continues the trend of referencing mediocre fairy-tale based movies). :)


Inquisitors are traditionally the ones who step out of church code to be more ruthless and get results. That's just the flavor I imagine is most used. Obviously making sure your clerics don't go overboard is encapsulated with the Internal Affairs portion of the job I mentioned in my other post. That is totally something they can do as well.

As long as you're given spells by a god that you worship, you're an Inquisitor/Cleric. Everything else is a blank book.


In retrospect, Clerics and Druids should have been built on an Inquisitor-style game mechanical chassis (getting slower spellcasting in exchange for a BUNCH of other cool stuff, of which Channeling could be an option, only make the spellcasting 7/9 instead of 6/9), with a d6 1/2 BAB Priest class (something like this but not necessarily tied to the Knowledge Domain) for those who really want the full 9/9 Divine casting, and Inquisitors themselves should be a Prestige Class designed to progress from any these classes (although getting a Prestige Class to work right with both a 6/9 or 7/9 Base Class and a 9/9 Base Class would be tricky).

My reasoning is that a faith would want an Inquisitor to be somebody who had shown some proof of being trustworthy of such as profession, rather than just any random Cleric/Druid-initiate off the street/cowpath. I would also argue a similar thing for Paladins and similar Holy Warriors (D&D 3.5 Unearthed Arcana actually offered a Prestige Paladin, as well as a Prestige Ranger and Prestige Bard, although I think Prestige Paladin was much more important than the other 2; note that these were all 15 Level Prestige Classes).


Inquisitors are generally unexpected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tym0MObFpTI


If the Paladin is a gods mighty and valiant right hand clutching a flaming sword of justice, the Inqusitor is that same gods sneaky left gently sliding a cold shiv between the ribs.

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