Book Review: Advanced Feats: The Inquisitor’s Edge by Sigfried Trent and Open Design

The Spanish Inquisition. Not a good time to be suspected of anything, whether you voiced doubts about the Catholic Church or political targets of the era. When the Inquisitors
came calling on your town, you could expect some pain and suffering before they were through.

I have to say I was a little surprised to find the Inquisitor as a new class in the Pathfinder RPG. That said, as an alternative priest, it makes sense to have this type of character roaming around looking for “enemies of the faith.” For me, this would be a bit more of an NPC for a GM to keep in his bag of tricks to keep a campaign hopping. But I can also see where the path of an inquisitor might also make for an interesting player character.

The Inquisitor’s Edge is the latest book from Sigfried Trent in the Advanced Feats series from Open Design. Within the book’s sixteen pages, you’ll find more than feats, but some very interesting ways to look at this class. He’s a bit like a thief with lots of skill points, plus the offensive and spell abilities of a priest. I like Siegfried’s description of the inquisitor – “A bit like a bard in that it is a jack of all trades, but where the bard is something of a pack leader, the inquisitor is more the lone wolf…”

Add to that the Judgment ability for inquisitor characters and you really do have a more self-sufficient character. Once a day (or more for 4th, 7th, 10th, etc. level characters), they can pass judgment in one of nine different types – Destruction, Healing, Justice, Piercing, Protection, Purity, Resiliency, Resistance, and Smiting. Divine wrath being what it is, the ability effects are quite varied. Using these judgments in combat grants the inquisitor quite a large array of ways to get out of the trickiest of situations.

Trent documents many of the inquisitor’s strengths and tactics early in the book. That section alone should probably be used as an overview of how to use an inquisitor’s abilities in a campaign. This class would make Batman proud as a detective/superhero with plenty of skills, abilities, and spell capabilities to grant them advantages in and out of combat.

As with all of the Advanced Feats books, there’s a list of 30 new feats available for your use in The Inquisitor’s Edge. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in the number of feats that were inquisitor-only this time. Extra Judgment, Improved Judgment, Persistent Judgment, and Shared Judgment were the four specifically for the class. The rest of the feats would apply to any character. Though all the feats seem pretty well balanced, I would have liked more examples specifically applicable to the inquisitor.

But all of the character builds included – the Bloodhound, the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and the Detective – are very cool. Each provides a unique take on the inquisitor, whether good or evil with a complete package of stats, level guides, and spells, which makes them easy to drop in as NPCs in any campaign. And as odd as it seems to me, I really like the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. As an evil character masquerading as good, I can see this NPC causing no end of troubles for the PCs working quietly behind the scenes. He (or she) would be a perfect Moriarty foil to any party!

I found a few typos in this book, which is unusual for Open Design. Usually the editors catch most of the biggies, but I noticed one spot with a typo and another with an extra word that just needed to be cut. Beyond that however, the usual high standards for artwork and layout were intact and wonderful as always.

So other than the minor errors, I can see some insidious inquisitors causing trouble in any future Pathfinder games I might run. Again, Siegfried has done a great job pulling feats from the Net Book of Feats and creating a solid product. I just wish there was more about the history of the Inquisition and the inquisitors than was included.

Check out <em>Advanced Feats: The Inquisitor’s Edge</em> at the Kobold Quarterly store, at DriveThruRPG or RPGNow!

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