Thursday 14 January 2016

B/X Class: The Inquisitor

Man, remember when this blog used to be about clockpunk fantasy in Central Asia?

I was skimming the Pathfinder SRD the other day, and I came across the Inquisitor. It's a cleric variant where you get to pronounce Judgements against people. Sounds cool, right? Well, let's look at the Judgements:
Justice: This judgment spurs the inquisitor to seek justice, granting a +1 sacred bonus on all attack rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every five inquisitor levels she possesses. 
So, first of all, this makes no sense. You... pronounce a judgement of justice on... yourself? 'Hey, self, you're a pretty just guy, you know? In my judgement, you should totally keep going with that whole justice thing.' Secondly, it's totally underwhelming. You declare your divinely-inspired intention TO! SEEK! JUSTICE!, and you get... +1 to-hit. Rising to +2 to-hit at level 5.

But it made me think: what would it look like if you built a whole class around going about judging people?

Maybe something like this...

* * *

The Inquisitor
A B/X class for players who love over-acting at the gaming table

Hit Dice, Experience, saving throws, to-hit charts, weapons, armour: All as Cleric.

Turn Undead: As cleric of equal level.

Judgements: The Inquisitor does not gain cleric spells. Instead, he gains the ability to pronounce Judgements upon his enemies. An Inquisitor can pronounce one Judgement per level per day.

To pronounce a Judgement upon someone, the Inquisitor must point at them and declare: 'Sinner!' (or Blasphemer, or Heretic, or Adulterer, or whatever.) 'I judge you to be worthy only of...'

They then complete the sentence with one of the Judgements listed below, which then takes immediate effect. Note that some of these are only available to Inquisitors of a certain level or higher. An Inquisitor who is unable to point at people and/or unable to speak is unable to pronounce Judgements.

(NB: In case it isn't obvious, the person playing the inquisitor needs to actually speak the judgement, preferably in their best, spittle-flecked, hellfire preacher voice. GMs may award saving throw penalties to their targets for particularly impressive delivery of the line.)

This is you.

The list of possible Judgements is as follows:

Judgements available to all Inquisitors

  • ...Destruction! The target takes 1d6 damage per level of the Inquisitor. (Save for half.)
  • ...Fear! The target must save or flee in blind terror for 1 round per level of the Inquisitor. 
  • ...Humiliation! The target must make a saving throw or throw themselves prone and grovel in the dirt for one round per level of the inquisitor. They will continue doing this even if attacked.
  • ...Pain! The target must make a saving throw or be overwhelmed with agonizing pain, taking a -4 penalty to their attack rolls and AC. After a number of rounds equal to the Inquisitor's level, they are permitted another save to shake off the effects; if they fail, the effect resets.
  • ...Silence! The target must pass a saving throw or be stricken dumb for 1 hour per level of the Inquisitor.
  • ...Slavery! The target must make a saving throw. If they fail, they must obey all orders given to them by the Inquisitor for one hour per level of the Inquisitor. Ordering them to do something totally abhorrent to them permits a new saving throw to break the effect, potentially with a bonus for particularly awful acts. ('Eat your own eyeballs' is probably worth a +10 modifier or so.) Being directly attacked by the Inquisitor or his allies causes this effect to end immediately.

Judgements requiring Inquisitor level 3
  • ...Foulest Pestilence! The target must pass a save or be infected with a horrible rotting disease for 1 day per level of the Inquisitor. During this time they suffer a -2 penalty to their to-hit and damage rolls, and the stench of their rotting flesh is so awful that everyone within 15' of them suffers a -1 to-hit penalty unless they wear a nosepeg or similar. Everyone will avoid them if at all possible, and they suffer a -2 penalty to reaction rolls. 
  • ...Hellfire! The target takes 1d4 fire damage per level of the Inquisitor. If this damage is enough to kill them, they explode in a ball of hellfire, inflicting half this much damage on everyone within 10'
  • ...Icy Torment! The target takes 1d4 cold damage per level of the Inquisitor, and must pass a saving throw or be so numbed with cold that they suffer a -2 penalty to their to-hit and damage rolls until they get a chance to warm up.
  • ...Repentance! The target must make a saving throw or spend 1 minute per level of the Inquisitor grovelling on the ground, tearfully confessing to all their misdeeds. These confessions will always be true, but the first sins they confess will be the ones that they personally feel most guilty about, which will not necessarily be the ones that the Inquisitor is interested in. The effect ends immediately if the victim is attacked.

Judgements requiring Inquisitor level 5
  • ...Blindness! The target must pass a saving throw or be stricken blind for 1 hour per level of the Inquisitor.
  • ...Imprisonment! The earth beneath the target's feet opens up to swallow them. They must make a saving throw to leap clear; if they fail, they will be imprisoned six feet beneath the earth for one day per level of the Inquisitor. Their lightless earthy prison is just big enough to stand up or sit down; it has its own air supply, but food and water may be a problem for long-term imprisonments. The victim is unable to damage the walls of his own cell, but anyone else can dig down through the earth and free him with no more difficulty than would normally be involved in digging a hole six feet deep. This Judgement will not work if the area immediately beneath where the target is standing does not contain enough earth and stone to contain such a prison. At the end of the effect, the victim is spat back out onto the surface. 
  • ...Loathing and Abandonment! For one hour per level of the Inquisitor, all who look upon the target will perceive them as being wretched and loathsome, deserving only of scorn and contempt. They must pass a saving throw to bring themselves to obey, defend, or cooperate with the target; if they fail, they just can't bring themselves to work with such a vile creature. The target themselves gets no save against this effect.
  • ...Madness! The target must pass a saving throw or be reduced to feral, paranoid madness for 1 day per level of the Inquisitor. During this period, they will regard the Inquisitor himself and any symbols or regalia associated with his religion with hysterical terror.

Judgements requiring Inquisitor level 7
  • ...Eternal Servitude! This Judgement can only be pronounced on a corpse. Uttering it causes the corpse to rise as a zombie or skeleton under the Inquisitor's command. An Inquisitor can have a maximum number of undead servants equal to twice his level. 
  • ...Penance! The target must make a saving throw or spend one round per level wounding itself with whatever weapons it has available, screaming that it does not deserve to live. During this time it takes 1d4 damage per round (1d6 damage per round if armed), and will not actively defend itself against attacks. 
  • ...Oblivion! The target takes 1d6 damage per level of the Inquisitor, save for half. If this damage is enough to kill them, then their corpse vanishes and everyone except the Inquisitor forgets that they ever existed. People may gradually be able to piece together proof that they used to exist from diaries, official records, etc, but their lost memories will never return.

Judgements requiring Inquisitor level 9
  • ...Everlasting Misery! The target must pass a save or become desperately ill. They will not die, but become so weak and feeble that they cannot stand or walk, and even speaking requires enormous and painful effort. Unless dispelled, this effect will last for the rest of their natural life.
  • ...Vile Deformity! The target must pass a save or be warped into a horrible, mutated parody of themselves, with hideous features, animal-level intelligence, and an instinctive, hysterical fear of the Inquisitor and the holy symbols of the Inquisitor's religion. This effect is permanent unless dispelled.
An Inquisitor can remove the ongoing effects of a Judgement that he has pronounced at any time simply by pointing at the target and declaring: 'Sinner, I grant thee pardon for thy vile transgressions.' In the case of the Oblivion judgement, this will cause all lost memories of the victim to return. Judgements can also be removed with Dispel Magic just like any other ongoing spell effect.

Mass Judgements: At level 5, the Inquisitor can pronounce a judgement on a whole group of targets, up to a maximum of one per level. The Inquisitor must still be able to point at them, so this will only work on a group of targets all standing fairly close together. The victims of a mass judgement receive a +4 bonus to their saving throws.

Counter-Judgements: Any Inquisitor may remove the ongoing effects of a Judgement inflicted by another inquisitor of equal or lower level by laying on hands and declaring: 'Behold! The infinite mercy of the divine extends even to a wretch like thee!' Doing this uses up one of their Judgements for the day. 

I Appeal That Judgement: If an Inquisitor attempts to use a Judgement on another Inquisitor, then the target may spend a Judgement and declare: 'I defy thy false authority!' Each Inquisitor then rolls 1d6 and adds their level. If the defending Inquisitor scores higher on this roll, then the Judgement has no effect. If the defending Inquisitor was one of several targets of a Mass Judgement, then it has no effect on anyone. 

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