Inquisitor Build Advice

I really like Inquisitors, in fact my first Kingmaker character was an Half-Orc Inquisitor. Only issue I had was with action management, since Judgement, Bane and potential Quickened Spells (Round/level buffs mostly) were all swift actions that couldn’t all be cast before engagement. Admittedly they are just ressources that should be used separately, like Judgements for a somewhat hard fight and Bane for a Boss, but it still irked me.
In this second Alpha I tried something new: Starting with 3 levels of Zen Archer for most of the Archery feats I would need and WIS to hit, then full Sanctified Slayer. The result at level 8 is not that great truth to be told: Combat abilities are on par swingier than Lann’s due to the added d6 from Sneak Attack and Bane, but generally comparable.

So I thought next time I would just try an Inquisitor with no dips, and devised two builds for that:
SHIELD BASH INQUISITOR
LN Human (19,15,12,10,14,8), Leader origin for Rapier and Longsword Proficiencies
Sanctified Slayer 16, Abadar with Nobility Domain
Aeon Mythic Path
1)Two-Weapon Fighting
1)Shield Bash
3)Weapon Focus (Rapier)
3)Shake it Off (Bonus Teamwork feat)
5)Power Attack
7)Dazzling Display
6)Outflank (Bonus Teamwork feat)
8)Improved Two Weapon Fighting
9)Combat Reflexes
9)Seize the Moment (Bonus Teamwork feat)
11)Improved Critical
12)Shield Wall (Bonus Teamwork feat)
13)Shatter Defenses
15)Shield Master
15)Precise Strike (Bonus Teamwork feat)
16)Bashing Finish
Yeah, Shield Bash build don’t work all that well with 3/4 BAB classes in the end, since it would get Shield Master really late. but the goal is to try and get the most out of both Bane and Sneak Attacks. Also sinc I have yet to reach Sanctified Slayer 8 in my current run, I’m not sure they can pick Ranger Combat Styles which might help shave some feats off. Not sure either if I should make room for Opportunist Slayer Talent somewhere. All in all it seems like I’m trying to use a build made for a Fighter or Slayer on 3/4 BAB without the necessary feats.

Another build I had in mind was a more classic Two-Hander Inquisitor, either as a Monster Tactician or as a Sanctified Slayer. Assuming Monster Tactician:
TWO HANDER INQUISITOR
LN Human (19,14,14,11,14,7) Healer Origin for Persuasion scaling with WIS (tentative)
Monster Tactician 16, Abadar with Nobility Domain
Aeon Mythic Path
1)Power Attack
1)Martial Weapon Proficiency (for either Bardiches or Glaives)
3)Cleave
3)Shake it Off (Bonus Teamwork feat)
5)Cleaving Finish
6)Outflank (Bonus Teamwork feat)
7)Great Cleave
9)Combat Reflexes
9)Seize the Moment (Bonus Teamwork feat)
11)Improved Critical
12)Precise Strike (Bonus Teamwork feat)
13)Improved Cleaving Finish
15)Dazzling Display
15) ? (Bonus Teamwork feat)
17)Shatter Defenses
This one is obviously not looking great either. I think the issue is that I’m trying to cram a full Slayer or Fighter build in an Inquisitor that can’t afford to spare the feats required for it. I could remove the Intimdation Feats, but then I’ll be tempted to take Spell Focus (Conjuration), Augment Summoning and Superior Summons. I should probably dip in a Martial Class to avoid having to spend a feat on Martial Weapon Proficiency, but I’d dislike having to delay Bane/Greater Bane or the Second Nobility Domain Power. Or I could just switch the Healer Origin for Warrior of the Linnorm King origin for Greataxe proficiency.

In the end, the goal of both of these builds is to do as many attacks per round to get the most out of Inquisitor/Aeon’s Bane, while being able to support the team with Divine Magic.
Which is why I’m making this Topic: any comments, critiques, or advice on how to use an Inquisitor to its full potential?

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I played an Inquisitor in Kingmaker, and while my build was certainly not optimal and was played on lower difficulty, I can give my advice.

One issue with the Inquisitor is that it’s a jack-of-all-trades. You get lots of skills, spell casting based off of Wisdom, a 3/4 BAB, and some abilities that encourage you to go with Persuasion and Intimidation. Trying to use all of them is difficult and risks being merely decent. Spell casting is very much a bonus of the Inquisitor and not the main draw in my opinion - you are a martial character with some spell slots for healing and buffs. You can build for spell casting, but it involves sacrificing your other strengths, and you’ll probably want to go with Monster Tactician to get more Summon Monster spell slots and then focus on finding ways to buff your minions. Most of my Inquisitor’s spell slots went to healing spells for emergencies like Restoration, buffs like Heroism or Magic Vestment or Death Ward for the party, and then self-buffs like Divine Power or Righteous Might to make my melee attacks more powerful.

I should point out that several of the archetypes (at least in Kingmaker, I don’t have the WotR alpha) sacrifice your Judgment ability for their other benefits. I think this is a good trade - Judgment is nice, but has limited benefits and has to be paced carefully in a game that has lots of small trash encounters. Trading Judgment for other class features means that you’ll have fewer swift actions to juggle, which you mention as one of your annoyances.

My build in Kingmaker was a Sacred Huntsman (animal companions are just so useful) and I worshipped Shelyn - partly for the role-play, but also because it gave me proficiency with a Glaive, which gave good damage and reach so my build could afford to be more squishy. It looks like you really want to go with the Aeon Mythic Path, but I’m not sure that Abadar is really a great deity choice if you want an optimal build. Abadar gives crossbow proficiency, which you already have, and I found that without access to Domain spells, a lot of domains were fairly mediocre in their benefits. Outside of bows and crossbows, the Inquisitor only gets simple weapons, so the weapon of your deity can have a huge impact on your build.

So my main advice is to be careful about trying to use all of the Inquisitor’s options - focus on a specific aspect, like melee combat with a strong weapon (I like reach, but there could be other strong choices), archery, or spell casting, and then use the other options to boost your main approach. Spells should either focus on buffs, offensive spells, or summoning. Deity choice has a strong impact on your equipment.

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I agree. For Inquisitor I would suggest a reach weapon and you are a buffed 2h fighter. You need lots of str. Several archetypes can be good. If you do not like the base Inquisitor you could take monster tactician for summons or sanctified slayer for slayer stuff. I think you could take a God with a reach weapon (while enlarged any 2h weapons allow you to attack from the back row which you can get via background) or animal domain for the pet.

No dip is spectacular. Everything stacks. I usually go Divine Power, Bane Weapon toggle on -> attack -> highlight Judgements.

She’s at range because she’s primarily a caster, using unique Inquisitor spells to their fullest.

Indeed, that was also my conclusion on Inquisitor: Buff self and team then kill stuff with Archery or Reach weapons. Shelyn is indeed the only deity with a Reach weapon, but Glaives are damn nice and the Luck Domain gives some very nice buffs (free rerolls), doubly so with the Mythic feat that turns your Domain Powers into Swift Actions which makes Bit of Luck and Good Fortune very powerful self buffs. Not a fan of the goddess’ flavor especially since it clashes a bit with Aeon, but it sounds like a very powerful option.
Any advice on what feats to focus on? Improved Cleaving Finish line or Intimidation line first?

On Archery, I thought it would be hard to get all the necessary feats quickly enough (PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Clustered Shots, Manyshot as well as the new Snap Shot, Improved Snap Shot and Greater Snap Shot). Also as it is there are not that many Teamwork Feats that work with archery (Shake it Off is always good, Allied Spellcaster can help land debuffs I suppose, and Seize the Moment may work with the Snap Shot line of feats). hich was why I tried dipping Zen Archer, but as you say dips generally don’t seem worth the delayed progression.

Never really looked at the Castigate and Litany spells preferring to focus on self buffs, but now that I’m reading their descriptions it would make for a powerful opener or in combat debuff with a Quicken Rod. If I’m reading that screenshot correctly, you didn’t even need to maximize her Spell DC (10+5 from spell+6 from WIS) with Mind Fog.

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Yes, Linzi (Fey Bloodline Sorc1/Bard13) and good KM (Immunity to Compulsions) set the stage but the key thing is that AoE spells don’t need to beat all the saves or have high Spell Pen to be good. There is no Mass Hold Person so Mass Castigate (Castigate works on more targets than Hold Person anyway) is a unique effect worth building around, leaving you enough feats to get there ranged. That build wouldn’t be using the Snap Shots because it wouldn’t be in melee.

You do eventually run out of good teamwork feats though do melee would probably be better.

My two cents:

I think skills are one of the best features of an inquisitor, particularly perception. But skills aren’t as strong in CRPG as in PNP. So the class is relatively weaker in CRPG.

Because the class has 3/4 BAB and limited precision damage from bane/greater bane, it suits a 2H playstyle more than archery, dual wield, or shield bash. Also, the teamwork feats suit melee better.

Frankly, I wouldn’t play an inquisitor in CRPG over a 2H cleric or a full BAB martial. It’s more micromanagement than the martial with I suspect less overall reward, and a cleric brings full divine casting with lower (but still decent) 2H cleave damage.

I would strongly consider a monster tactician because an army of summoned meatshields is great.

Between the Improved Cleaving Finish line and the Intimidation line, I would focus on the Intimidation line first. Improved Cleaving Finish requires you to get the killing blow on multiple creatures in a turn, which will happen either with hordes of weak enemies or later in the game when Power Attack, magic weapons, and Bane damage all add up to lots of damage per attack. It takes a while to get there though, and feats like Shattered Defenses can debuff enemies and give your Inquisitor - who already has to juggle a 3/4 BAB and feats like Power Attack hindering your already mediocre accuracy - more sustained damage.

As a spontaneous caster you can spam Divine Favor/Power which is Luck and your Judgements are Sacred so everything stacks. Yet again I posted the shots and negative theorycrafters are sticking to their (wrong) conventional wisdom.

WIS to Initiative is strongest ability in the game and Perception bonus of lvl/2 is a close second. Skills are of tremendous importance and Inq having all class skills can both fill your gaps and give you a guaranteed Perceptor.

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Not necessarily better, rather a more optimal use of your allotted ressources. Being able to perform a full attack every round is damn good especially when you take Manyshot and Rapid Shot into account, and with the cramped corridors in WotR having too many melee units is not always practical or even feasible.
And yeah, Inquisitors are indeed the best choice for Perception. Jaethal with Eyes of the Eagle certainly could cover all your perception needs for half the game.

That’s what I was thinking, patching accuracy for guaranteed hits should probably be the priority, on the other hand I thought with Bane, Power attack and High STR the Improved Cleaving Finish potential could be interesting, though it might mean having to rely on too much other ressources to help the Inquisitor actually land these attacks.

Inquisitor is definitely easier to play with a Two-Hander than with Two-Weapons/Shield bash, that’s true. Still I believe thinking about it as a Diet Cleric is kind of a disservice, with Judgements (or Study in the case of the Sanctified Slayer) you can make your AB on par with that of a Martial (There is also a Mythic Ability to make Judgements unlimited) and Bane/buffs can take that even further (though that does apply to , though you certainly miss the extra attacks on level 6-7,11-14 and 16-onward.
Trying the Shield Bash Inquisitor right now, it’s … Functional, not great though. The definition of a Jack-of-All-Trades, Master-of-None: Kinda resilient but not truly tanky, okay damage but nothing amazing. Main problem is that i think it would need to be above level 16 to outpace a Reach build as far as damage is concerned. And if a build needs to get past the mid-game to get good, I’m not sure I can really call it a good build with a straight face.

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The thing about Cleave/AoO/Vital Strike builds is that everything is at full BAB.

I think y’all are also sleeping on Castigate, Mass which should eat packs of Demons alive. You could even take Lann that direction with WIS to everything.

I haven’t done the math on how judgement/bane compare to a slayer/paladin/fighter/etc. My gut says that the judgment/bane are roughly equal to the loss that you’ll take on to-hit rolls and the damage loss from extra attacks, but that the slayer/fighter will pull ahead from precision damage/feats/weapon training/etc. That’s of course offset by the divine spells, but having to cast a rounds/level buff during combat is a micromanagement tax after 60 hours of gameplay when I could just have comparable performance from an auto attack archer/melee. I’d rather micromanage my full casters, and solve my perception needs with a cleric.

I think they’ll be fairly competitive with unlimited judgements. You can leave them on autocast that way too. I think…

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Again. Don’t do the math until you play the game. Or credit someone who has and has presented the evidence. If you try to you’ll miss too much to be meaningful. GIGO.

Accurate deduction can only be based in effective induction. That takes practice and experimentation.

@Raikan has pointed out that you need less rest in Wrath. Not even sure that unlimited Judgement is worth it. You get enough by midgame. With how much of the class scales by level it feels like a Wizard where you’re weak early but get very powerful by midgame.

I have played the game—both KM and alpha and PNP—multiple times on multiple difficulty settings. And while I generally agree with your point about data gathering, it’s far less salient in a rules-based game where a class’s power is based on math equations. As I stated in my earlier advice, I have limited experience with the inquisitor class. The OP can factor that into my advice.

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Not necessarily surprising, since you can’t really get Mass Catigate before level 13 which is really late in the WotR Alpha. Even in KM it comes late enough that Inquisitor are already somewhat slotted as Attackers/Buffers in players’ mind, not as debuffers. Tried Zen Archer 3/Inquisitor, it works but isn’t exactly outstanding. Definitely a worthy sidegrade though, sacrifices a bit of damage for much better supporting abilities. If you want a secondary archer, it’s certainly worth looking into. Delaying the Inquisitor abilities is a tough choice though.

It definitely requires a lot of micromanagement but it’s quite rewarding in the end. With the full array of buffs and abilities on Inquisitor are really on par with Martials, with the added ability to buff the whole team. And as Desiderius says, with themore forgiving time constraints of WotR the required ressources spent on Inquisitors aren’t as critical. Though I quess what they provide may feel redundant if a Full Divine Caster is around.

Can’t say I have tried it yet. For now I’m trying out the Sanctified Slayer, thinking that Study Target and Sneak Attacks may prove better than Judgement with the added bonus of extra feats. For now it seems to provide a little more damage (as long as the enemy is susceptible to precision damage), but 1 less attack bonus at a given level. Which is weird since I thought the attack bonus from Study Target would scale at the same rate as the Justice Judgement, 1 at level 1 + 1/5 levels.

The Spell Pen Judgement goes up 1/3 per lvl, which is pretty sick, and picking up WIS to initiative for Lann is pretty big, as is the Perception lvl/2. If Snap Shot turned on flanking (and Outflank) like it should it would be a better fit.

If you play it through the game as a pure Inq you end up using Castigate itself a good bit because it has a wide range of valid targets. Of course Crusader’s Edge is insane in this setting but it competes for space with Divine Power.

Was enjoying Lann as Drovier w/ Wolf and +4 CMB Aura until the Gargoyles stole his Wolf.