Theme Thursday: Fix The Inquisitor

Fix The Inquisitor

A very cool class, it seems to me the inquisitor is just slightly too powerful in comparison to other classes. An inquisitor can outperform other players too easily, making the game less fun for everyone. In addition, the class references a severely Antisemitic organization from real-world history. This theme Thursday is all about dialing the inquisitor back just a little bit to make it viable.

Problems: a little too customizable to the fight, can outperform other players too easily on both attack and defense, loaded with too many low-cost actions, some abilities upgrade too fast, can re-tool significant chunks of the character build at will, and has a somewhat anti-Semitic flavor.

  1. Entering and switching Judgements is a move action, not a swift.
  2. The “Healing” judgement instead allows you to cast cure light wounds as a cleric of your inquisitor level. This free spell can be cast once, at any time so long as the healing judgement lasts. At 5th level, this becomes cure moderate wounds, at 10th level, cure serious wounds, and at 15th level, cure critical wounds. 
  3. You cannot change your last bonus Teamwork feat as a standard action, as it encourages players to go digging through supplements and can complicate combat to a ridiculous degree. You can change it with 1 hour of practice outside of combat.
  4. The “destruction” judgement only upgrades every 4 levels.
Dealing with the Antisemitism inherent to an inquisitor class is an interesting problem. On the one hand, the inquisitor as it is imagined here has got nothing to do with the Jews, set in a fantasy world as a grim hunter of evil who’s quite cool. On the other hand, it’s named for one of the worst organizations in history, which tortured and killed an enormous number of innocent people, and the art captures the costume that struck terror into the hearts of thousands.
I think it’s important to keep it light-hearted and make sure your inquisitor has a very clear agenda. This preserves their hunter-of-evil coolness while staying away from the unpleasant associations that would otherwise come up.
Also, Paizo, please don’t make a German Secret Police class, as that would be about as bad.

6 responses to “Theme Thursday: Fix The Inquisitor

  1. Are you really so pompous to think that just because something is called an inquisition, its antisemetic? There is nothing in the class that references any real world religion – and yes, the inquisition killed peoples of all religions, not just Jews. Should no one use the word genocide because of the armenian genocide or crusade because of what happened in the middle ages?

  2. I’d like to think I’m not that pompous. But you can’t deny that the inquisition targeted the Jews in a large and very significant way, or that the Inquisitor class does not directly reference this historical event.
    I tried to be even-handed in my treatment of the subject.
    If Paizo came out with a “Genocider” class, that would be a problem in the same way, wouldn’t it? Your thinking is at right angles to my point.

  3. I found this within 5 seconds on searching wikipedia:
    Goa Inquisition, run by Portuguese colonials in Goa for nearly 200 years
    Literary Inquisition in Chinese history
    Medieval Inquisition, including Episcopal Inquisition and Papal Inquisition
    Spanish Inquisition, an ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1478 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms
    Portuguese Inquisition
    Roman Inquisition

    Saying that the name inquisitor is antisemitic is like saying that only Jews died in the holocaust. Yes, the Spanish inquisition killed Jews but it isn’t the only inquisition in the history of the world.

  4. Basically, yes. Inquisitions hated on a lot of people so you shouldn’t be personally offended as a ________________ but as a human being.

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