Inquisitor with Companion vs Hunter


Advice


I wanted to make a PFS legal character with an animal companion to be the front line melee part of the duo. The character would either do ranged damage with a longbow or reach/flank damage with a polearm. My first thought was as a Hunter class but then I saw the Sacred Huntmaster of the Inquisitor which gives animal focus and companion at the expense of judgements. Would it be better to make a nature focused Inquisitor with a tiger or stay as a hunter? Many thanks.


Hunter focuses a lot more on their animal companion and the animal companion will be stronger and better at combat that an Inquisitor's (even the Scared Huntsmaster). This is a much better choice for melee builds. Hunter spell list works much better to buff their animal companion and make them powerful.

Inquisitors can gain an animal companion through Inquisitions or domains (chivalry, animal, and feather). The Inquisitor makes a much better ranged combatant, and in my opinion the Sacred Huntsmaster archetype isn't great. Losing judgements is huge, and Animal Focus doesn't make up for it. The animal companion is a nice thing to gain, but you can gain it easily as mentioned above.

If I were making the choice I would choose Hunter if I was making a melee build, and choose unarchetyped Inquisitor for making a ranged build (with one of the Domains/Inquisitions that grants an animal companion).

The Exchange

Evangelist cleric with the evangelist doing the range, animal companion melee?

Divine favour + bard song does increase damage quite some.

Silver Crusade

I don't understand Claxon's post at all. He seems to be overlooking that the sacred huntmaster archetype gets a companion that's just like a hunter's animal, which is better than the normal druid type you'd get from a domain, AND that sacred huntmaster shares their teamwork feats with their critter the same way that a hunter does.

So if you want to share teamwork feats with the best animal companions in the game, you have exactly two options: hunter or sacred huntmaster. The differences are 1) the spell lists, 2) hunter gets animal focus and other nature themed abilities sooner, 3) huntmaster still gets some of the minor inquisitor abilites, and 4) huntmaster still gets bane, which is HUGE.

So I'd say mechanically, sacred huntmaster is slightly better than hunter, but mostly because it helps the inquisitor be better in combat, while hunter has more stuff to make the animal better and more nature themed stuff. I'd pick more based on fluff than mechanics, personally (and I did, when I went sacred huntmaster so I could do this type of PC worshiping a non-nature themed deity).


Nope, I just think the base Inquisitor is hands down better than the Sacred Huntsmaster unless you really want to have your animal companion be the real "threat" between the two of you.

And I'm not overlooking sharing teamwork feats at all. Teamwork feats for archery suck for the most part. They're great for melee, but they're pretty terrible for archery (and often require that you're ally make a ranged attack which most animal companions don't have). So granting teamwork feats to an animal companion if you want to be ranged attacker really isn't that useful. There are some feats that do work really well like Escape Route or Shake It Off, but you can just pick those up pretty easily by level up.

Like I said, if you want to do a melee combo build Hunter works great. If you want to do an archery build, go Inquisitor and don't bother with Sacred Hunstmaster and pick up a domain or Inquisition that grants an animal companion.

It's also false that you need to be a Sacred Hunstman or Hunter to share all your teamwork feats. Horsemaster's Saddle does it for a measley 12,000 gold.

Judgments are significantly stronger and generally more useful than Animal Focus, the animal companion (without as much diversity in choice) can be had as an Inquisitor, and the ability to share teamwork feats is of varying usefulness dependent on what kind of build you're making.

Edit: Just realized your first point you were talking about "the sacred huntmaster archetype gets a companion that's just like a hunter's animal, which is better than the normal druid type you'd get from a domain" you meant that it normally comes with a level penalty. That's why I specifically mentioned the Chivalry Inquisition, which doesn't. It just restrict your choice of companions because it grants you the Cavalier's Mount class feature (and also lets them benefit from your Judgments).


I prefer the hunter but mostly due the spell list of a Ranger yet casting as a 6th level means a huge jump in casting power. Some Ranger focused spells are tilted more in the favour of a casting focused hunter that way.

Truthfully I was to join a Rise of the Runelords game and was going dwarf hunter with an ankylosaur while the wife asked me to find a way to get her a triceratops mount. Took a lot of math to work (and still not level one but close) but she went inquisitor for that one. So I've seen both worlds and it was really just a season to taste thing.

Claxon is right losing judgements sucks. But action economy makes up for that.


Claxon wrote:
Nope, I just think the base Inquisitor is hands down better than the Sacred Huntsmaster unless you really want to have your animal companion be the real "threat" between the two of you.

sacred huntmaster = both of you are a threat, both of you together are a BIG threat


The ranger and druid spell lists are generally better for buffing an animal than the inquisitor list. Vice versa for buffing yourself. Something to consider.

Liberty's Edge

Do both.

Divine Hunter 3 / Sacred Huntsmaster 3

The downside is that you are a 3rd level caster in each class rather than a 6th level caster in one, but you have access to both the Hunter and Inquisitor spell lists for wands and such, add a Cleric domain, and boost the companion with a celestial or fiendish template.


Just a thought, but have you looked into the Mad Dog Barbarian? It is one option to consider if you do not want to deal with magic.


I was thinking of doing a hunter as well and came up with the same dilemma of the sacred hunt master. My conclusion is that hunter is better at levels 1-4 and inquisitor is better at 5+
Inquisitor has much better saves, initiative, a bunch of useful abilities and from level 5 bane.
Hunter has access to full martial weapons, a bonus feat at level 2 and access to animal focus from level 1 instead of 4.
At level 5 basically the inquisitor has everything the hunter has short of one feat, plus a lot of cool and useful abilities and even going up at level 8 the second animal focus doesn't make up for the difference even if it helps.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Do both.

Divine Hunter 3 / Sacred Huntsmaster 3

The downside is that you are a 3rd level caster in each class rather than a 6th level caster in one, but you have access to both the Hunter and Inquisitor spell lists for wands and such, add a Cleric domain, and boost the companion with a celestial or fiendish template.

I also think divine hunter 3 Sacred Huntsmaster X is to most powerful melee option but I dont have the math to back up the claim

Litany of righteousness with a celestial templated AC sounds like the shiznit though and inquisitor gives possibility to make a character that is an utter intimidator or liar while dumping charisma because you can key it off wisdom

Dark Archive

Taking away Judgements is a HUGE hit to any inquisitor: it is the ability that makes the Inquisitor viable for damage. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the use of Bane for level uses per day compares in any meaningful way to Judgements. IMO Judgements are to Inquisitors as Smite is to a Paladin: don't every take an archetype that gives up your best class features.

Silver Crusade

??? While judgments are a nice bonus, they aren't what make inquisitors "viable for damage".

I have an inquisitor who's mostly a skill monkey, but is an archer in combat. He wasn't much of a damage dealer at low level, even with judgements. Then he hit 5th level, and all of a sudden he's a heavy hitter. Yes, it's limited in rounds per day, which is why I considered the Extra Bane feat. Bane is clearly the best class feature of the inquisitor.

But on the topic of this particular archetype, they get an animal companion in exchange for judgments. Which do you think can do more damage per round? A whole attack (or possibly more) by a critter, or that +1 from judgment at level 1? Even at higher levels, when judgement does more damage, the multi-attacks from the critter, with all sorts of teamwork feats to make them even better, is a HUGE boost.

I don't know what you have against this archetype, but it's clearly a viable archetype, even if it takes away your favorite part of being an inquisitor.


Claxon wrote:
That's why I specifically mentioned the Chivalry Inquisition, which doesn't. It just restrict your choice of companions because it grants you the Cavalier's Mount class feature (and also lets them benefit from your Judgments).

The Sacred Huntsman can take the Chivalry inquisition too, though.

Argus The Slayer wrote:
Taking away Judgements is a HUGE hit to any inquisitor: it is the ability that makes the Inquisitor viable for damage. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the use of Bane for level uses per day compares in any meaningful way to Judgements. IMO Judgements are to Inquisitors as Smite is to a Paladin: don't every take an archetype that gives up your best class features.

That seems like a bit of a dramatic overstatement. Yeah, Judgement is really nice, but you're talking about +1 to attack or damage at level 1 in terms of offensive benefits. +2 to damage at level 3, +2 to attack at 5, +3 to damage at 6 and so on. That's a pretty far cry from smite and honestly not even very good until second judgement comes online.

It's silly to act like a full progression animal companion and animal focus somehow can't compare to a marginal bonus to attack or damage.


swoosh wrote:
Claxon wrote:
That's why I specifically mentioned the Chivalry Inquisition, which doesn't. It just restrict your choice of companions because it grants you the Cavalier's Mount class feature (and also lets them benefit from your Judgments).
The Sacred Huntsman can take the Chivalry inquisition too, though.

Yes, but that would be quite silly.

Sacred Huntsmaster grants you an animal companion as a class feature that replaces Judgment (I think). You needn't find another method to get an animal companion. The Chivalry Inquisition grants you the Mount Class feature of the cavalier. Considering that Inquisitions are okay, but usually not amazingly great, it's a very good use of an Inquisition to gain a mount.

I stand by my statements that, an unarchetyped Inquisitor with the Chivalry domain will be great for an archer, and that the Hunter is great for a melee combo team. The Sacred Huntsmaster is viable instead of the Hunter, but I think the Hunter is better at the specific niche (though I haven't actually run numbers to be certain).

Silver Crusade

Claxon may be right about a non-archetype inquisitor being better, or at least comparable, if you're doing archery, due to the lack of teamwork feats worth sharing with the animal.

I still think Sacred Huntmaster is just slightly better than a Hunter for damage output on a melee pair, just because they get Bane. But because of the spell lists, the Hunter gets more stuff to buff the animal, while the Sacred Huntmaster gets more self buffs, so it really comes down to which you want to focus on more - the animal and nature, or the inquisitor and some non-nature skill stuff.

But there's a teamwork feat that lets you split your spells with the critter, too. So you could cast stuff like Divine Favor on both of you at the same time as the Sacred Huntmaster, which is another point in favor of the one that can self buff better, then share it.


OP said he wants a melee combatant, so whether stock in is better at archery is moot


All the OP said is to have the companion be the front line part of the duo with the possibility of using archery on the character.

Claxon makes very solid points about using domains to get the companion instead of the archetype, but to me there are a couple weaknesses to that approach I would want to avoid when conidering building an animal companion focused, damage dealing duo. First is that the only domain that grants your AC at level one is Chivalry, which is actually a mount, and so extremely limited in animal choices. Everything else comes on at level four, and only becomes good at level five with the feat tax of boon companion. If you want a viable companion that isn't a horse (or wolf if you were smart and went with a small race) from levels 1-4 then sacred huntmaster is the way to go. The feat tax is also a very real thing, especially for the archers that make better use of the unarchetyped inquisitor and were unable to snag the elf domain for a free feat.

In the debate between hunter and sacred huntmaster I'd have to say my vote goes to sacred huntmaster. I love the flavor of the inquisitor, domains add a lot of nice options, and bane makes for a very effective comabatant when it counts most. If you want access to the nature themed spells Hunter is the obvious choice, but I'm not even sure they are that much better than the inquisitor and buffing the ac. A bit better yes, but not by much I don't think. Divine Favor, Expeditious Retreat, Disguise Self, Invisibility, Magic Vestment, Heroism, Divine Power and Righteous Might are all good options that can be shared thanks to your special link.


For archery, definitely the inquisitor, though I would follow Claxon's advice. The single biggest concern you should have when creating an archer is removing the positional penalties - i.e. "How fast do I get Improved Precise Shot or a suitable replacement for it?" Solo Tactics + Friendly Fire Maneuvers is a suitable replacement and you can have it as fast as level 3. Your next biggest concern is maximizing damage, which is effectively addressed once you get Bane, one of the single best damage abilities in the entire game. Using the Chivalry Inquisition is the easy road to a companion, albeit it will likely be a horse. If you're super concerned about that, you can invest feats to fix that problem via Monstrous Mount and the associated Mastery feat. Get your griffon and be ridiculous.

As someone playing a hunter archer in PFS, I can tell you with absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am leagues behind an inquisitor in raw damage. I have a better utility spell list and funnier class features, but I can't hold a candle to an inquisitor. I took a 1 level dip into Medium for a damage boost, but it doesn't compare to on-demand Bane, which can help you not only do damage, but also bypass DR types that you aren't hitting with your arrows already.

For the melee/reach builds, I think that's a bit more competitive. My personal opinion, though, is that a melee build with the druid list may as well be a druid with melee stats. A lot of teamwork feats are pretty terrible and, frankly, the one build I've seen that relies on companion + teamwork feats used keen kukris, Butterfly's Sting, Outflank, and Paired Opportunists. The table effectively shut down for a minute or two as a PC and his ape companion bounced back and forth with AoOs. He used hunter levels for that. You could probably do it with Sacred Huntsman, too.


For what it's worth, for the archer Inquisitor I treated the mount as a mobility platform, not an offensive power.

My Inquisitor was devastating enough, I didn't need to deal more damage with my animal companion. What I needed was someone to move me around the battlefield so I could always full attack, and GTFO if danger got to close. That's what the animal companion provides to an archer. So the horse is actually a pretty great choice at that point, because it's got a good movement speed. You add the bodyguard archetype and a few other defensive tricks and it can really help to protect your character from harm. That's how I used the animal companion on my archer Inquisitor and it was incredibly effective.

Now, if you want an offensive animal companion the ones granted by Chivalry wont due, they just don't have much offensive might. But that's also why I'm not recommending it for a melee build.


You could also consider a Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor with one of Claxon's described options for getting an Animal Companion.

Studied Target scales comparably with Judgments in to hit and damage bonuses (especially with the level limits of PFS), but aren't limited in uses per day. Also, Studied Target provides all it's benefits from level one (bonuses to hit, damage, certain skill checks, and class ability DCs), while Judgments require reaching certain levels before multiple benefits can be simultaneously used. Judgments do offer a greater level of versatility, but honestly, the vast majority of the time, players use Destruction and Justice.


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Whoa there on bashing the archery teamwork feats.

I'd just like to bring to your attention the following:

Coordinated Shot
Distracting Charge
Enfilading Fire
Friendly Fire Maneuvers

Also, pick up the Religion trait Deadeye Bowman.
Have fun having crazy bonuses to your ranged attacks while never worrying about cover.

Silver Crusade

galahad2112 wrote:

Whoa there on bashing the archery teamwork feats.

I'd just like to bring to your attention the following:

Coordinated Shot
Distracting Charge
Enfilading Fire
Friendly Fire Maneuvers

Also, pick up the Religion trait Deadeye Bowman.
Have fun having crazy bonuses to your ranged attacks while never worrying about cover.

Those are good for an archer inquisitor who can pretend that all of their allies have the same ones. My archer inquisitor already took Friendly Fire Maneuvers at level 3. But what does an animal companion get out of having them shared? For an inquisitor, that's actually worse for FFM, because the rest of your allies now provide cover, even though the critter doesn't.


galahad2112 wrote:

Whoa there on bashing the archery teamwork feats.

I'd just like to bring to your attention the following:

Coordinated Shot
Distracting Charge
Enfilading Fire
Friendly Fire Maneuvers

Also, pick up the Religion trait Deadeye Bowman.
Have fun having crazy bonuses to your ranged attacks while never worrying about cover.

Yeah, those Teamwork feats are good for an Inquisitor who treats all their allies as though they had them, but not a Hunter (or Sacred Hunstmaster) who only shares them with their animal companion.

As for Sanctified Slayer, it's also a really strong archery choice, especially within the confines of PFS. I played an unarchetyped Inquisitor because I had just played a Ranger archer and wanted a comparison. To me the biggest thing was not having access to Point Blank Master, though the animal companion as a mobility platform mostly made the moot (especially with Escape Route). Both are really strong options for an archer Inquisitor, though I think in the long run the unarchtyped Inquisitor gets a slight edge because of more versatility, higher scaling bonuses (at least I think destruction will add more damage), and the ability share those bonuses with your mount if you use Chivalry domain. But at lower levels the differences is small and the unlimited use of Studied Target is more valuable when you would normally have limited use of Judgment.


The previously mentioned feats are great for any archer (Hunter or Inquisitor). While it is true that an unarchetyped Inquisitor gets more mileage out of them, they are still rock solid. Since the animal companion will almost certainly be engaged in melee, you'll be getting the benefits pretty steadily. Plus you have an animal companion.

I was simply pointing out that these are very nice archery teamwork feats.

If you're going Hunter, those are some of the ones that you should probably take. If you're going Inquisitor, you'll likely take the same feats (Whether Sacred Huntmaster or unarchetyped).

However, it is true that the animal gains very little benefit from these feats. As such, the Inquisitor is better served eschewing an archetype and picking up a companion in the method suggested by Claxon (Domain/Inquisition + Boon Companion).


I vote inquisitor. I don't really think the hunter list has super great animal companion buffs you're missing out on compared to your buffs. And the inquisitor gets class features that the hunter doesn't.

Sovereign Court

I'm currently playing a Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor and I haven't had any problems. Claxon has mentioned that you loose out on the bonus from judgements, well since my character has both the Pack Flanking and Precise Strike teamwork feats my AC, just by being beside me in melee, grants me +2 to hit and +1d6 damage. Not to mention that it gets to make it's own attack. Another good option for an Inquisitor is to take the Sanctified Slayer archetype and the Chivalry inquisition for a Mount.

Honestly an Inquisitor with an Animal Companion compared to a Hunter can do largely the same things, it's just that they do them a little differently and have different flavors for how you roleplay.


This thread has actually made me kind of want to try a small sized Sanctified Slayer with the Chivalry Inquisition riding a Wolf. It's similar to the Halfling Charger Cavalier build, but I think it offers a bit more.

With Pack Flanking, you will always get your Sneak Attack dice while riding your Wolf. Take Precise Strike and Accomplished Sneak Attacker to get the Sneak Attack dice up to 5 at 10th level. Outflank would give the Inquisitor a constant +4 to high while riding the Wolf.

Hrm....I'm kind of interested in this build, the more I think about it. Great mobility from the mount. Lots of static to-hit bonuses (between Studied Target, Pack Flanking/Outflank, self-buffs like Divine Favor, etc.) and lots of bonus damage (5 dice of sneak attack at 10th level with the feats mentioned above plus another 2 dice from the Bane class feature, as well as static damage bonuses from self buffs and studied target).

So, I think it would put out as much damage as the Halfling Cavalier, but also have all the utility of the Inquisitor.


Saldiven wrote:

This thread has actually made me kind of want to try a small sized Sanctified Slayer with the Chivalry Inquisition riding a Wolf. It's similar to the Halfling Charger Cavalier build, but I think it offers a bit more.

With Pack Flanking, you will always get your Sneak Attack dice while riding your Wolf. Take Precise Strike and Accomplished Sneak Attacker to get the Sneak Attack dice up to 5 at 10th level. Outflank would give the Inquisitor a constant +4 to high while riding the Wolf.

Hrm....I'm kind of interested in this build, the more I think about it. Great mobility from the mount. Lots of static to-hit bonuses (between Studied Target, Pack Flanking/Outflank, self-buffs like Divine Favor, etc.) and lots of bonus damage (5 dice of sneak attack at 10th level with the feats mentioned above plus another 2 dice from the Bane class feature, as well as static damage bonuses from self buffs and studied target).

So, I think it would put out as much damage as the Halfling Cavalier, but also have all the utility of the Inquisitor.

That's actually a pretty solid idea, except Pack Flanking requires Int 13 and the Sanctified Slayer doesn't automatically grant all teamwork feats to their companion. So you would need the Horsemaster's Saddle, which while not terribly expensive is annoying to have a build completely depend on such a thing.


I went the sanctified slayer route with the feather domain...honestly people are in shock with the damage i can do. Another teamwork feat to add to the list is Improved spell sharing...basically round 1 cast a spell on yourself and the animal companion at 1/2 duration...but cmon how long does something survive when you just divine favored yourself and your large tiger??


You can't take Improved Spell Sharing as a Sanctified Slayer.

Well you can, but it doesn't do anything. You animal companion also has to take it and they wont qualify because they need to be able to have an animal companion too. It's basically only available to the Hunter or Sacred Huntsmaster.


Claxon wrote:
Saldiven wrote:

This thread has actually made me kind of want to try a small sized Sanctified Slayer with the Chivalry Inquisition riding a Wolf. It's similar to the Halfling Charger Cavalier build, but I think it offers a bit more.

With Pack Flanking, you will always get your Sneak Attack dice while riding your Wolf. Take Precise Strike and Accomplished Sneak Attacker to get the Sneak Attack dice up to 5 at 10th level. Outflank would give the Inquisitor a constant +4 to high while riding the Wolf.

Hrm....I'm kind of interested in this build, the more I think about it. Great mobility from the mount. Lots of static to-hit bonuses (between Studied Target, Pack Flanking/Outflank, self-buffs like Divine Favor, etc.) and lots of bonus damage (5 dice of sneak attack at 10th level with the feats mentioned above plus another 2 dice from the Bane class feature, as well as static damage bonuses from self buffs and studied target).

So, I think it would put out as much damage as the Halfling Cavalier, but also have all the utility of the Inquisitor.

That's actually a pretty solid idea, except Pack Flanking requires Int 13 and the Sanctified Slayer doesn't automatically grant all teamwork feats to their companion. So you would need the Horsemaster's Saddle, which while not terribly expensive is annoying to have a build completely depend on such a thing.

True, but I'd assume the AC is an ally, so the Inquisitor would get to treat the AC as if it had the feats for his own benefit through the Solo Tactics class ability. The Companion wouldn't get any benefit, though, without taking the feats itself (or using that magic item).

The Int requirement is more of a pain in the butt, though. Not insurmountable ("mount," get it?), but still annoying.


That's true, if you were only looking for your Sanctified Slayer (and not the animal companion) to benefit I guess that would work okay.


Claxon wrote:
You animal companion also has to take it and they wont qualify because they need to be able to have an animal companion too. It's basically only available to the Hunter or Sacred Huntsmaster.

The glaringly obvious way this feat is meant to function isn't permissible in PFS without errata? Ugh.

Silver Crusade

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It's meant to be a feat for only those classes that share their teamwork feats with their animal companions. In other words, hunters, and archetypes that impersonate them.

There are plenty of feats that are restricted to a specific class, or just those classes that have a particular feature. There's nothing wrong with this being one of them.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Fromper wrote:

It's meant to be a feat for only those classes that share their teamwork feats with their animal companions. In other words, hunters, and archetypes that impersonate them.

There are plenty of feats that are restricted to a specific class, or just those classes that have a particular feature. There's nothing wrong with this being one of them.

The tactician class feature can also be used for eidolons, familiars, and special mounts.


Yes, but the general point is that the feat isn't meant to be open to everyone. It's for classes that possess an ability to share their teamwork feats with others.

So Keep Calm's observation was incorrect.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yes...

I was agreeing with Fromper and providing an additional avenue beyond the Hunter (which is specifically for animal companions).


Man that truly sucks had it on the companion and my character and glossed over the prereq assuming it was just for the character and not the companion. A ring of tactical precision wouldnt work on a quadruped... so the question is besides another level in another class is there another way to get the companion that feat.


If you ride your companion as a mount the Horsemaster's Saddle will do it, but you actually have to be riding it.

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