Sanctified Slayer Ability vs Judgement benefits


Advice


Hi There,

Been away for YEARS and getting back into playing.

I always loved inquisitors and judgement is a favorite ability of mine.

I saw the Santified Slayer archetype however.

Studied Target is +5 uptyped attack and damage and spell DC AND skills vs anyone you study or Sneak attack.
Plus 7d6 SA when you can.
And 4 Slayer Talents

This looks like a very High DPR build if done right.
Inquisitors have the spells and skills to support it.

Trading of a fixed plus via Judgements.

What do people think of the trade off?


As far as I can see, the only difference between the two is trading off the versatility of judgements for a damage boost (via sneak attack). Once level 8 hits, judgements equal the damage/attack that is supplied by Studied target (since you get to use two judgements at once). After that, it is just slightly higher DCs for the sanctified Slayer abilities and your choice of Slayer talents (and thus ranger combat styles) versus more judgements.

Personally, I'd select the Santified Slayer over the other most of the time. Realistically, I'd pick the Nature Fang Druid over the Santified Slayer Inquisitor if given the choice.


My personal opinion, Studied Target is better at low levels, but worse in the long run. Once you can have two judgement running simultaneously you also have enough uses per day that it's not a problem.

The main complaints about judgment are:
1) Only start with one affect
2) Not enough uses

These are only problems at low levels IMO.

Sneak attack is...bad. It always sounds good on paper but ends up being something that doesn't work out nearly as often as people expect it will.

Judgements also have a lot of versatility in the things they can do.

All around I think judgments are better, you just have to wait till level 8 for it to reach that point. For PFS where the career is over at level 12, it might not be worth it. For home games where you're likely to reach level 16 or higher, to me it's not a question.

The one real benefit not considered is being able to pick up Ranger Combat Styles (allowing access to feats without meeting prereqs, which can be useful depending on what combat style you're using).


Claxon wrote:
My personal opinion, Studied Target is better at low levels, but worse in the long run. Once you can have two judgement running simultaneously you also have enough uses per day that it's not a problem.

Studied target does have that little caveat of boosting the DCs your target has to meet regarding your "class" abilities. Spell casting (Spells) happens to be a class ability. It basically allows for better save or suck options without maxing your casting stat. Aside from that, it is only the domain abilities you gain that would benefit (since True Judgement is traded away).

Quote:
The one real benefit not considered is being able to pick up Ranger Combat Styles (allowing access to feats without meeting prereqs, which can be useful depending on what combat style you're using).

It really only comes online at level 8 (plus 9 & 11 if you spend feats for extra slayer talent), so how useful it is is kinda up in the air, all dependent on your choices.

Honestly, I feel that the Sanctified Slayer is a fair trade off from the base class.


Another thing to consider is that both Judgments and Studied Target will frequently eat your swift action (Studied as an Immediate before level 7, or as a swift at 7), which precludes you from doing a bunch of other things, like style feats, Bane, etc.

I think skipping Studied Target is an easier pill to swallow, so I’d be inclined to snag Sanctified Slayer for Ranger Combat Style Feats.


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I really like this archetype. I haven't played one but it looks good on paper. That being said, you should plan around it because I think that generically speaking the judgements are stronger, more versatile and less situational than studied target and a sneak attack that maxes or at 6d6.

I plan on making one. The first step is to variant multiclass rogue, then I'm taking accomplished sneak attacker at level 5. This way sneak attack maxes out at 11d6 plus studied target and greater bane for a potential 15d6+whatever.


I prefer the studied target over the judgements for simplicity's sake and because most of my play is done at lower levels. The highest level I've played an inquisitor at is 12th, for reference.


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born_of_fire wrote:
I prefer the studied target over the judgements for simplicity's sake and because most of my play is done at lower levels. The highest level I've played an inquisitor at is 12th, for reference.

I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"


Zolanoteph wrote:
I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"

Whenever I read post like this, a small part of me grows a little bit sad. You folk are missing out on such a rich and splendid aspect of the gameplay when you are limited to such 'low' levels. I am not sure what causes so many games to fold around the level 11-12 mark, but it happens way too often to other people for me to just dismiss it casually. It might have to do with HOW people are playing the game, I don't know.

I've taken several of my games to level 20 and two games in particular went as high as level 25 with 5 mythic levels. High levels are FUN, especially when you grow from the early levels and know exactly what your abilities do and combat becomes streamlined. Our most recent game (Iron Gods) got all the way up to level 18 before we finished the campaign (I was the GM). We had a Druid, Slayer, Arcanist, and Kineticist (with a random NPC the players hired for different reasons at different times). The players are were simply devastating to things they came across, and the occasional tough guy made them slow down and focus, ending up becoming a very memorable encounter. I could throw so many things at them and they had a response to most of it. It was a rush.

Dark Archive

The game definitely works at high levels it just works differently


DeathlessOne wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"

Whenever I read post like this, a small part of me grows a little bit sad. You folk are missing out on such a rich and splendid aspect of the gameplay when you are limited to such 'low' levels. I am not sure what causes so many games to fold around the level 11-12 mark, but it happens way too often to other people for me to just dismiss it casually. It might have to do with HOW people are playing the game, I don't know.

I've taken several of my games to level 20 and two games in particular went as high as level 25 with 5 mythic levels. High levels are FUN, especially when you grow from the early levels and know exactly what your abilities do and combat becomes streamlined. Our most recent game (Iron Gods) got all the way up to level 18 before we finished the campaign (I was the GM). We had a Druid, Slayer, Arcanist, and Kineticist (with a random NPC the players hired for different reasons at different times). The players are were simply devastating to things they came across, and the occasional tough guy made them slow down and focus, ending up becoming a very memorable encounter. I could throw so many things at them and they had a response to most of it. It was a rush.

My upper level experience with PF is not by design. We play very slowly, taking somewhere between 2 and 3 years to get through published AP's. I've only played RotRL, Council of Thieves and Giantslayer in the years since we've switch from 3.5 to PF. RotRL petered out around 16th due to TPW's, we completed CoT at 14th IIRC and GS petered out at 13th due to the GM moving to another city. We're playing a homebrew similar to Ironfang Invasion, currently level 5 with the intent to go all the way to 20. The content is there according to the GM, we'll just have to see how it goes. I'll let you know in about 2 years LOL.


I prefer Studied Target over Judgement for the simple reason that it's simpler to manage than Judgements. I really like the Inquisitor - it's probably the best class Paizo introduced, but it has way too many fiddly bits to manage, especially for a new player, or a player trying to keep track of their modifiers with just a character sheet and some index cards.


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DeathlessOne wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
I've never gone past 8th and I'd like to, but there's a point where based off everything I read (rules and comments) the game stops working. I look at these players with level 15+ characters and think "why?!"

Whenever I read post like this, a small part of me grows a little bit sad. You folk are missing out on such a rich and splendid aspect of the gameplay when you are limited to such 'low' levels. I am not sure what causes so many games to fold around the level 11-12 mark, but it happens way too often to other people for me to just dismiss it casually. It might have to do with HOW people are playing the game, I don't know.

I've taken several of my games to level 20 and two games in particular went as high as level 25 with 5 mythic levels. High levels are FUN, especially when you grow from the early levels and know exactly what your abilities do and combat becomes streamlined. Our most recent game (Iron Gods) got all the way up to level 18 before we finished the campaign (I was the GM). We had a Druid, Slayer, Arcanist, and Kineticist (with a random NPC the players hired for different reasons at different times). The players are were simply devastating to things they came across, and the occasional tough guy made them slow down and focus, ending up becoming a very memorable encounter. I could throw so many things at them and they had a response to most of it. It was a rush.

I should've been more specific. It's not just the issues of number management and clunkiness of the game that would potentially bother me (I'm sure this is surmountable for a competent player) but the change in tone. After a certain point, the flavor of the game falls apart for me.

When you have spells that are altering reality in ways that make haste and slow look like pulling rabbits from a hat, you're not fighting bandits or enemy knights anymore. You become like Neo or Superman and it's hard to keep that gritty feeling. The idea of all powerful Marvel style heroes fighting moon beasts and Godzilla level monsters and casting spells that destroy entire cities doesn't appeal to me, but something akin to Game of Thrones with a few extra fireballs does.

To each his own (but I'm right and you're wrong )


Personally I'm not a fan of gritty realism type campaign, but I also don't like the super high power end either.

For me the sweet spot of Pathfinder is levels 5 - 15 or so. Beyond level 15 spells just get too ridiculous. Before level 5, combat is incredibly swingy and GMs like to throw things like "Hey how much food and water do you have?" and try to kill you through the environment. I don't care for either of these extremes. I like the gritty "realism" stuff because I play this game to be a Big Damn Hero, but I don't like the high level spell casting stuff because I prefer martial characters and the spell casters have too much they can control and do with spells, tot he point that a well played high level spell caster doesn't really need an adventuring party because they can get along with Simularcrums, bound minions, created undead, and summoned creatures.


Zolanoteph wrote:

I should've been more specific. It's not just the issues of number management and clunkiness of the game that would potentially bother me (I'm sure this is surmountable for a competent player) but the change in tone. After a certain point, the flavor of the game falls apart for me.

When you have spells that are altering reality in ways that make haste and slow look like pulling rabbits from a hat, you're not fighting bandits or enemy knights anymore. You become like Neo or Superman and it's hard to keep that gritty feeling. The idea of all powerful Marvel style...

Ah, well, then it breaks down into gamestyle preference. I don't have a particular favorite between gritty and 'superhero'. One simply becomes the other after a certain point, but the villian become supervillians, and the challenges morph accordingly. Around level 10, it stops being an all-out fight to keep yourself alive and morphs into protecting the world, or the things you really care about from increasingly powerful monsters/beings.

I stop targeting the players directly and start doing so indirectly, where they are not the strongest. I don't vindictively go after their loved ones, that's annoying. Things they have built over levels start to become more vulnerable and they are inspired to protect it. They end up with multiple directions in which they are pulled. The stress turns from survival to maintaining their power.

Things do tend to get a bit more ridiculous at level 15+ but its nothing I can't handle. At that point, greater and more hidden things have taken notice of the rising powers and take actions accordingly. The world does not sit passively by when powers begin to rise suddenly, and swiftly, like they do in the adventures of the players.

And, you can be right. I'm sort of playing this game on a different level :P


I prefer studied target. Why?

Lvls 1-4: Studied Target helps in all fights, and you have no iterative attacks so a move action doesn't matter too much. For a ranged inquisitor, you can study and shoot, acting as if though you had full BaB (with +1 damage) in every combat. Much better than a judgement that is 1/day.

Lvls 5-7: At lvl 5 you get Bane. This is when inquisitors shine. It becomes what makes you dangerous. With a ranged inquisitor you can still move action (studied target) swift action (bane) and standard action (shoot). Then next round start using rapid shot and many shot. Plus, you'll only have 2 uses a day of judgement, so once again studied target is better.

Lvls 8+: At this point you can have 2 judgments active with one swift action. This is where I'd say that judgments become better. And at lvl 17 you get 3 judgments! Which is just downright nasty. Studied Target will still be good, but just not as good. And sneak attack? For a melee inquisitor it can be some extra damage. For a ranged inquisitor? Only if the enemy is flat footed and you are really close. So...not really.

---------------

Now, most campaigns don't go very high in level. And the majority of the campaign will be spent at lvls 1-7. So I prefer Studied Target. But if you are starting at a higher level, or if you know that the campaign will go to a high level, then consider judgements.

Grand Lodge

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Some additional complications:

Judgment attack scales 1/5 levels the same as study (5 over 20 levels) Damage is better 1/3 (7 over 20 levels)

Lenses of the Predator’s Gaze keep you one ahead for attack bonus and keep you closer or equal on damage for many levels. +1 attack is ~ +2 damage mean that study is often slightly ahead in overall damage with the lenes. I don't know of an item this cheap that boosts judgment but I may have missed it.

Action economy:

If your build has a buff round built-in divine favour/power. The sanctified slayer has the option of swift, move, and standard buff. The Inquisitor does not have a great use for the move action other than moving. The sanctified slayer has a better option for buffing if your build uses a buffing round.

Hunter's Blessing:
Judgements do not stack with this but Study does. Untyped bonuses have benefits.


Studied target is better when you have surprise on your side. You can study a target before combat has even started. Combine that with a good stealth and access to spells like invisibility, and you should be starting a majority of fights with studied target already active.

Studied target is also better for social situations with bonuses to bluff and sense motive. The worst part of having Studied Target is having to constantly say "I study X", because you should probably be studying everything that moves.


Swift action economy can get sticky later on.

Judgements only need to be applied once at the start of the fight, and then they last. Parts of the class is built around this assumption. Besides ability that have been mentioned (such as bane), the inquistor actually has a lot of swift action spells on their spell list- forceful strike is a decent example. The spell list is designed under the assumption that you would not really use the swift action too much after the 1st round, and that you won't have enough spell levels to use quickened spells very well.

In comparison, studied target requires you to spend a swift action when you face a new target in the fight. So, by going with studied target, you are removing the option to do a spelled up charge with bullrush potential.

Also, the hurtful/cornugon smash combo is hard give up if you are a 2 handed character and your game allows you to take it.

Liberty's Edge

For PFS I've got both a level 11 inquisitor with judgements, and a stalker vigilante who dipped into sanctified slayer and makes good use of study target. Both are incredibly useful. I have to say, once you get double judgements, I think it's more powerful, especially with the beautiful potential of the Judgement Light spell.

However, there are two factors in favor of Studied Target I haven't heard anyone mention:
1) You can study a target outside of combat, in social situations. That bonus to Bluff, Sense Motive, and Perception can come in handy.
2) If you deal sneak attack damage to a target, you can then study as an immediate action. Excellent for the action economy, if you don't want to Bane a weapon that round.


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the + side of juddgemaents are the option to go all into defence.
DR, AC, fast healing
or offensive :
damage, to hit

after level 10, 4 fights a day is almost the whole day.

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