Jadeite’s Guide to the Inquisitor

Jadeite’s Guide to the Inquisitor

All feats and spells can be found on d20pfsrd.com

ONE STAR * This is a choice I don't recommend – keep clear

TWO STARS ** This option is good, but not great

THREE STARS *** I recommend this option

FOUR STARS **** I highly recommend this option – practically a "must have"

Books used:

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook

Advanced Player’s Guide

Ultimate Magic

Cheliax – Empire of Devils

Orcs of Golarion

Inner Sea World Guide

Faiths of Purity

Pathfinder 10: A History of Ashes

Ultimate Combat (incomplete)

Inner Sea Magic (incomplete)

Blood of Angels (incomplete)

Blood of Fiends (incomplete)

Advanced Race Guide (incomplete)

An inquisitor’s role

"I'm the best at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice"

Party Healer – While inquisitors are able to cast healing spells, they only have a few spells per day. They also lack additional ways of healing like channel energy or lay on hands. In terms of healing ability I’d rank them below bards and druids and above rangers.

Defender – An inquisitor can be tough. With Heavy Armor and the Purity Judgment, his AC should be comparable to that of a fighter. Similar to a fighter, he can have a strong defense without crippling his offense.

Melee striker and ranged striker – The inquisitor is very good in dealing damage, both in melee and ranged, but I rank melee a bit higher because its better complemented by his tactical feats and there are no spells that only work with ranged weapons.

Supporter – While the inquisitor has some abilities to support others, most of the time he should be the one supported.

Debuffer – The inquisitor has some very nice spells, but most of those are high level. Also, some domains offer very good abilities to weaken his enemies, so getting a weapon with the conductive enchantment allows him to apply them while still making full attacks.

Skill Monkey/Socializer – He’s not as good as a bard, but he still gets 6+Int Skill Ranks per level and abilities to further support them. He’s also the best when it comes to intimidate others, especially if he’s a half-orc.

How to fight

Two weapons – While the bonuses the inquisitor can apply to attack and damage roll benefit a two-weapon fighter, he needs a large number of feats to benefit from it as well as a high dexterity. His bane ability can also be only used on one weapon.

Weapon and Shield – This allows the inquisitor to get a really high AC. Using shield bash would cost even more feats than two weapon fighting, so it’s not an option I’d recommend.

Two-handed weapon – This needs very little feats (Power Attack is the only ‘must have’), so it’s recommended for inquisitors that want to use their feats for something else than their fighting style. Also excellent for intimidating your enemies.

Dervish Dance – You’ll need scimitar proficiency to take it. Not nearly as good for the inquisitor as it is for the magus.

Ranged – Another feat intensive way of fighting, but with Rapid Shot and Manyshot, you’ll get a huge number of attacks, usually each round. If you take a mount, you can even make full attacks while moving which is rather useful.

Ability scores



There’s also the wisdom based melee inquisitor, but you’ll need 3.5 material to be useful.

A guided weapon allows you to add your wisdom bonus instead of your strength bonus on melee attack and damage rolls. With such a weapon, an inquisitors array should look like


Two levels of monk and a guided temple sword might be a good idea for such a character, but many GMs don’t allow 3.5 material, especially if it’s that powerful. You get only your wisdom modifier, no matter if you wield the weapon in one hand or both.


Dwarf – A bonus on your casting stat and the usual benefits of being a dwarf. The favored class option from the ARG is pretty good.

Elf – Very little synergy with the class, but okay for ranged inquisitors. Half-elf is a better choice, though. Inquisitors are already proficient with longbows, so weapon familiarity isn’t that useful. 

Gnome – If you want to play a slow character with high constitution, play a dwarf instead.

Half-elf – A surprisingly good choice. Instead of Skill Focus you can start with proficiency in an exotic weapon like the falcata.

Half-orc – Darkvision and proficiency in the falchion and the greataxe make this race a solid choice. The favored class option is pretty good if you want to play a bully.

Halfling – Not as bad as the gnome. If you want a stealthy inquisitor with a ranged weapon, halflings are okay.

Human – Extra skillpoints and an extra feat are always welcome. If you plan to take the animal domain, Eye for Talent might prove more useful than the bonus feat.

Tiefling – Same favored class bonus as the half-orc and the option to get STR/DEX+2, WIS+2. Probably the best race for inquisitors.

Favored Class Bonuses

Bonus hp – Inquisitors have a d8 as a hit die, so getting some extra hp is helpful

Bonus skill ranks – While inquisitors gain 6+Int skill ranks per level, they usually can’t afford to put many points into intelligence, so getting one additional skill point per level is also quite useful

Bonus Intimidate & Creature Identify – With this, the inquisitor gets even better at intimidating. A 20th level, enemies will be shaken for two additional rounds. You’ll also know much more about your opponents.

Bonus Inquisitor Spell – You might not need additional orisons, but with this favored class bonus you can be much more versatile.

Judgement Level Increase – Justice is probably the best choice, but aside from Smiting anything is fine.

Bonus on Concentration Checks – Useful for a while but becomes redundant.

Bonus Teamwork Feat Change – You should already have enough free changes to satisfy your needs.

Bonus on Intimidate, Knowledge and Sense Motive Checks against Outsiders – Sense Motive is nice, but it’s still inferior to just Intimidate and Knowledge against anyone.

Bonus on Intimidate Checks to Demoralize Humanoids – The reason the previous option isn’t red.

Bonus on Intimidate and Knowledge Checks against fire subtype – Another circumstantial bonus.

Bonus on Stealth Checks while motionless – 

Bonus Judgment Uses – How many fights do you have per day?

Class Abilities

Spells – Full caster level and a good selection of spells make this quite useful.

Domain – Even without the bonus spells domains offer potent abilities.

Judgement – A bonus that lasts all combat. A low level inquisitor will either use justice or destruction most of the time, but since he has access to all judgments, those might be useful from time to time.

Monster Lore – Considering that identifying monsters is the most common use for knowledge skills, this ability is useful.

Stern Gaze – Another bonus that’s useful in social situations.

Cunning Initiative – Another bonus. And not a bad one, considering the obsession some people have with acting first.

Detect Alignment – Four first level spells, usable at will.

Track – Another bonus.

Solo Tactics – Benefit from teamwork feats without dictating others how to build their characters.

Teamwork Feat – Useful with solo tactics. And the ability to change them is nice, too. More in the feats chapter.

Bane – Another boost on attack and damage rolls. The increased enhancement bonus might help to pierce damage reduction. It’s a swift action to activate and change, so you have to decide between this and judgment which one you want to activate first.

Discern Lies – Considering his good wisdom and the bonus on Sense Motive, an inquisitor should be quite good at discerning lies even without this ability. Still, getting a cleric 4 spell at 5th level isn’t bad.

Second Judgment – Now you no longer have to chose between destruction and justice.

Stalwart – Not as useful as evasion and the armor restriction is strange.

Greater Bane – More bonus damage.

Exploit Weakness – Only works on critical hits. With bane, most damage reduction should not be a problem at this level. Mostly useful against creatures with damage reduction that’s piercable by epic weapons, damage types and special enchantments like vorpal. The increased damage against creatures with vulnerabilities is pretty pointless.

Third Judgment – Gain another bonus from using judgement.

Slayer – Increase one of the bonuses from judgement by one or two.

True Judgment – Gain a death attack, usable once every 1d4 rounds.

Class Skills

Bluff (Cha) – Even if you can exchange charisma with wisdom, you number of skills per level is limited.

Climb (Str) – Loses much of its use once you gain access to flight. I’d put one point into it.

Diplomacy (Cha) – Gather information is useful, but most other uses can be done with intimidate.

Disguise (Cha) – While it can’t be dispelled like disguise self, you are not going to have enough points for it.

Heal (Wis) – With a single point and a healer’s kit, you should be able to treat a large number of conditions by taking ten. Guidance is also a good way to increase your chance of success.

Intimidate (Cha) – Useful in and out of combat. Better chance of success than diplomacy, but has a few drawbacks (apparently people don’t like being intimidated). Stern Gaze grants a bonus as does the half-orc favored class bonus.

Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int) – You should put at least one rank in each to gain the class bonus. The Improved Monster Lore feat is an excellent way to gain additional bonuses, as is the half orc favored class bonus. You don’t get Knowledge (local) as a class skill, but a single point allows you to make checks to identify humanoids.

Perception (Wis) – Probably the most rolled skill in the game. The feather domain grants you an additional bonus.

Ride (Dex) – Useful if you have a mount.

Sense Motive (Wis) – You gain a bonus through Stern Gaze, but that should not stop you from assigning additional points.

Spellcraft (Int) – Identify spells and magic items. Also used for crafting, but you’ll probably don’t have the feats for that.

Stealth (Dex) – A useful skill, but your ability at stealth can be seriously impaired by your party’s inability.

Survival (Wis) – You gain track, so you get rather good at tracking if you also max the skill, but you don’t have that many points to spend.

Swim (Str) – Unless the campaign is water based, I’d not spend more than one point on this skill.

Cross Class Skills

Acrobatics (Dex) – Useful, but your list of class skills has more useful skills than you could take.

Appraise (Int) – Much to difficult.

Disable Device (Dex) – A single point allows you to open simple locks.

Escape Artist (Dex) – Much to difficult.

Fly (Dex) – You can’t train this skill.

Handle Animals (Cha) – Useful if you have an animal companion.

Linguistics (Int) – Little difference between class and cross class. Each rank grants you an additional language. Useful, but the tongues spell grants you every language.

Perform (Cha) – Take two ranks Perform (dance) if you want Dervish Dance. Ignore otherwise.

Sleight of Hands (Dex) – Can be used untrained.

Use Magic Device (Cha) – You’ll need a high level to even use wands without risk


Teamwork Feats

Allied Spellcaster – Pretty circumstancial. Not recommended as a permanent feat.

Amplified Rage – A half-orc inquisitor with the rage domain or anger inquisition might take it, but you need another character with rage to use it. Still, doubling your rage bonus is nice.

Back to Back (Ultimate Combat) – There are spells that make you immune to flanking

Broken Wing Gambit (Ultimate Combat) – Hello Paired Opportunist

Brutal Grappler – Unless you have another grappler in the party, it’s useless. And even then, grappling isn’t a very good choice.

Cavalry Formation (Ultimate Combat) – If you're a mounted inquisitor, it's not too bad.

Combat Medic (Ultimate Combat) – If you need it, exchange your highest teamwork feat. Not worth to have most of the time.

Coordinated Charge (Ultimate Combat) – Charge as an immediate action. You get it pretty late, but it's great.

Coordinated Defense – Gain +2 on CMD whenever you’re adjadcent to an ally. Not bad, but there are better teamwork feats.

Coordinated Maneuvers – If you want to use combat maneuvers, this is a good choice, but I’m not sure if the inquisitor has enough feats to really make use of them.

Duck and Cover – The cover bonus against ranged attacks is nice, but in many cases taking damage from an effect that allows a reflex save is less severe than being knocked prone or getting staggered.

Enfilading Fire (Ultimate Combat) – A +2 against opponents flanked by your allies isn't bad, but the preacher archetype is probably better for a ranged inquisitor.

Ensemble – You’re not going to put ranks into perform, are you?

Escape Route (Ultimate Combat) – Your allies no longer provoke for moving adjacent to you.

Feint Partner (Ultimate Combat) – If your allies feint, take this feat for its successor. Considering that a character with Improved Feint will probably take Greater Feint, too, it's pretty bad on itself.

Improved Back to Back (Ultimate Combat) – Swift action. It's kind of funny that you can get a +4 AC bonus against flankers with this feat and its prerequisite but there are better choices for two teamwork feats.

Improved Feint Partner (Ultimate Combat) – If you have a feinting ally, this feat grants you an extra attack against an opponent that's denied its dexterity bonus.

Lookout – A good feat when you have an ally with the ability to always act in surprise rounds (like a diviner). Inquisitors have good initiative, but this feat is still helpful when you roll bad.

Outflank – The bonus on flanking is nice and the additional attacks of opportunity make it even better.

Pack Attack (Ultimate Combat) – Immediate Action. Might help you to get into a flanking position.

Paired Opportunists – If your ally has an ability like opportunist, spell breaker, counter strike or come and get me, you benefit from it, too.

Precise Strike – 1d6 points of extra damage while flanking. Probably your 3rd level choice.

Seize the Moment (Ultimate Combat) – Another easy way to get attacks of opportunity.

Shake It Off (Ultimate Combat) – Gain a bonus on saves for adjacent allies. You'll want to flank as often as possible, so it's not that useful.

Shield Wall – Circumstancial. And a +2 bonus on AC at best.

Shielded Caster – The bonus is okay, but if you’re in melee reach of an enemy, shouldn’t you attack him?

Stealth Synergy (Ultimate Combat) – It's debatable if this works with Solo Tactics

Swap Places – Friendly switch from Seekers of Secrets is better, although you don’t get it as a bonus feat.

Tandem Trip (Ultimate Combat) – If you like tripping, this is a good feat. But tripping isn't a very interesting option for inquisitors.

Target of Opportunity (Ultimate Combat) – Immediate Action. Very easy.

Team Pickpocketing (Ultimate Combat) – Immediate Action. Not very useful.

Combat Feats

Agile Maneuvers – If you have to use combat maneuvers, just use strength.

Armor Proficiency (heavy) – You only get medium armor proficiency, so this feat allows you to walk around in full plate. If you aren’t going for ranged or multiclassing, it’s a solid choice.

Bleeding Critical – Stacks with itself.

Combat Expertise – If you want defense instead of offense, just use the purity judgment.

Combat Reflexes – Outflank allows you to make attacks of opportunity when your flanking buddies score a critical, so having a bit more of them might be a good idea.

Cornugon Smash – Grants you a free intimidate check when you hit with Power Attack, recommended, especially for half orc inquisitors.

Critical Focus – Increases your chance for a critical hit and grants access to critical feats.

Deadly Aim – A good feat for ranged inquisitors, but Rapid Shot and Manyshot should be taken before.

Defensive Combat Training – Maybe worth it at high levels.

Dervish Dance – If you want to play a dervish inquisitor, take it.

Desperate Battler – Fighting alone prevents you from using your teamwork feats.

Dodge – Take it, if you have no idea what to take otherwise.

Dreadful Carnage – Another feat that lets you intimidate for free, you can’t get it before level 15, though.

Elven Accuracy – Not bad if you are an elf and have feats to spare. Which is rather unlikely.

Enforcer – Not bad, but Cornugan Smash is a better choice most of the time.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency – Half elfs can take it at first level. Most exotic weapons aren’t worth a feat.

Far Shot – If you want to go ranged, this feat has a pretty low priority.

Furious Focus – Prerequisite for Dreadful Carnage, grants you +4 on a attack that would hit most of the time anyway at best.

Gang Up – You can flank more easily, but it has Combat Expertise as a prerequiste.

Improved Critical – A keen weapon is probably the better option. And available much earlier than 11th level.

Improved Initiative – You already gain a bonus on initiative.

Improved Precise Shot – An excellent feat for ranged inquisitors.

Intimidating Prowess – A good feat if you want to be really scary.

Lunge – Grants you an increased reach but only on your turn, so it doesn’t help with attacks of opportunity.

Manyshot – An excellent feat for ranged inquisitors, makes bows superior.

Mounted Combat – If you have a mount, it can be useful. Needs ranks in ride, though.

Point blank shot – As a ranged inquisitor, this feat is unavoidable. It’s not bad, though.

Power Attack – If you want to use a two-handed weapon, take this feat at third level.

Quickdraw – Useful if you want to abuse a quickdraw shield.

Precise Shot – If you are ranged, you’ll want this feat.

Rapid Reload – Use a bow instead.

Rapid Shot – Not as great as Manyshot, but still useful. And a prerequiste for it.

Shatter Defenses – Useful with Cornugon Smash. Most enemies wil not have that much dexterity bonus and you gain no additional benefits against flat-footed opponents.

Shield Focus – Dodge is better.

Shield of Swings – If you want a shield bonus, use a shield. Or the purity judgment.

Spirited Charge – Might be fun when you have a mount. You’ll usually not have the lance proficiency, though.

Staggering Critical – Since you only have a medium BAB, your DC isn’t that high, but even on a successful save the target is staggered for one round.

Step up – Useful to prevent enemies from avoiding you but needs an immediate action.

Two-weapon fighting – Okay, but not the best tactic for an inquisitor.

Vital Strike – Deal a bit of extra damage as a standard action.

Weapon Finesse – Not a good choice.

Weapon Focus – Not a bad feat, but you can’t take it at first level and at later levels there are usually more interesting options.

Inquisitor Feats (Feats that have an inquisitor Class Feature as a prerequisite)

Branded for Retribution (Ultimate Combat) – The cost of a feat, a standard action and three rounds of bane are far to high for what this feat offers.

Double Bane (Ultimate Combat) – Makes your TWF strong, but only for a short duration

Exploit Lore (Ultimate Magic) – Gain a +2 bonus on attack and damage against one creature for a minute once per day as a free action. It stacks with any other bonuses you have, but you can’t take it before 15th level. If you think you’ll need another boost against bosses, take it.

Extended Bane (Ultimate Magic)  – Grants you a few more rounds of bane per day. Useful at 5th level when you get bane, but later, you should have enough rounds per day without this feat.

Extra Bane (Ultimate Combat) – Better than Extended Bane if your Wisdom is 15 or less.

Eyes of Judgment (Ultimate Magic)  – With enough time, you should be able to determine the exact alignment by using your detection abilities in succession.

Favored Judgment (Ultimate Magic)  – Unless you fight against certain types all the time, it’s probably not worth the feat.

Instant Judgment (Ultimate Combat) – Activating your judgment is usually your first action in combat. You can’t use immediate actions while flat-footed, so Instant Judgment doesn’t allow you to do so earlier. It would allow you to activate bane on your first turn and judgment immediately afterwards, but that isn’t enough to spend a feat on.

Intimidating Bane (Ultimate Combat) – The bonus is much lower than other feats would grant without all those restrictions. The fact that the creatures retain the shaken condition while your bane remains active is nice, but you still have to use one full-round action for Dazzling Display.

Judgment Surge (Ultimate Magic)  – A good choice for a first level feat, although its usefulness depends on your current level

Menacing Bane (Ultimate Combat) – If you want a menacing weapon, buy one. A bane property that you can assign on the fly is much better.

Merciful Bane (Ultimate Combat) – Again, a merciful weapon is better.

Monster Lore, Improved (Ultimate Magic)  – Gain a bonus on all rolls to identify monsters. A good way to save skill points.

Righteous Healing (Ultimate Combat) – Your judgment only works in combat. You should not spend your turn casting cure spells

Shared Judgment (Ultimate Combat) – A good way to buff an ally, especially at high levels.

Spell Bane (Ultimate Combat) – An okay way to boost your DC.

Other feats

Alertness – Gain a bonus on Perception and Sense Motive. Not a high priority.

Antagonize – With your bonus on Intimidate, it should work on everyone. Some people believe it to be broken, though.

Boon Companion – If you have an animal companion, this is your 5th level feat.

Combat Casting – If you are within melee reach, attacking is usually a good option.

Divine Interference – Sacrifice a spell slot to force an opponent to reroll an attack roll. Usefull to avoid critical hits, but uses an immediate action.

Eldritch Heritage – Has some great options, but you’ll normally not have the required charisma.

Expanded Arcana – If you want extra spells known, play a human.

Extra Rage – If you have the Rage domain and are allowed to take it (you don’t have the rage class ability after all), it might be worth taking to rage all the time

Extra Rage Power – If you are allowed to take it, Superstitious and Witch Hunter might be useful

Fleet – Gain 5 feet of extra movement. Can be taken multiple times. There are usually better options

Grant Initiative – Not worth a feat

Insightful Gaze – Only works on one use of Sense Motive, Skill Focus (Sense Motive) should be better.

Intimidating Gaze – Only usable once per day, take Skill Focus (intimidate) instead

Keen Scent – You can get Scent with a 2nd level spell.

Leadership – A broken feat.

Lightning Reflexes – You don’t have a good Reflex Save. But most spells that allow a Reflex Save aren’t that bad anyway.

Skill Focus – If you want to be even better at intimidating, Skill Focus (intimidate) might be worth it

Toughness – Extra hp, about as good as putting all of your favored class options into hp

Item Creation Feats

Craft Arms and Armor – Useful to save some money, don’t take it if anyone else in your party has it.

Craft Wondrous Item – Similar to Craft Arms and Armor

Metamagic Feats – I can’t think of any metamagic feat that would especially useful for an inquisitor. Metamagic Rods should be sufficient, especially Extend and Persistent.


Sacred vs Profane. A neutral inquisitor can chose between a sacred bonus and a profane bonus. From a CharOp point of view, profane is the superior choice since there are several other ways to gain a sacred bonus but none for profane bonuses. Keep in mind, though, that some people have the opinion, that it’s impossible to benefit from a sacred and a profane bonus at the same time.

Destruction – Bonus damage. Justice is usually a better choice once you have Power Attack or Deadly Aim, but it’s still useful as a second or third judgment.

Healing – Fast healing is most useful to heal out of combat. Since judgments don’t work out of combat, it’s not a great choice. It can be used by a half-orc with Orc Ferocity to recover, though.

Justice – With this judgment, the inquisitor comes pretty close to a full BAB.

Piercing – Circumstancial. Activate it if you want to pierce spell resistance or cast a spell, otherwise there is no reason to use it.

Protection – Nice AC bonus. A good choice for a second or third judgment.

Purity – Similar to protection, a bonus on saving throws is useful.

Resiliency – You’re probably better of with the bonus to AC.

Resistance – Circumstancial. Resist energy will offer much more energy resistance.

Smiting – The ability to pierce alignment DR at 6th level is nice, but once the enhancement bonus of your weapon is sufficiently high, it becomes pointless. With bane, even a +3 weapon is sufficient to pierce alignment DR and a +2 weapon for adamantine DR.


Air Domain – A weak energy attack and some electricity resistance. Not a good choice.

Cloud Subdomain – Thundercloud might have some uses to harass spellcasters while protecting yourself with the resistance judgment.

Wind Subdomain – Better than the air domain. But very circumstancial.

Animal Domain – Speak with animals and gain an animal companion. Especially useful with Boon Companion. The feather subdomain is even better, though.

Feather Subdomain – ? level on perception rolls, a bonus on initiative when you can act during surprise round, enhanced maneuverability while flying AND an animal companion. Even without Boon Companion, this is great.

Fur Subdomain – Takes a swift action, not nearly as good as the feather subdomain.

Artifice Domain – Repair constructs and get a dancing weapon a few times per day.

Construct Subdomain – Animate objects. Lasts longer than the dancing weapon of the artifice domain.

Toil Subdomain – The aura is rather circumstantial and allows a saving throw.

Chaos Domain – An excellent debuff and the ability to make your weapon anarchic a few times per day. Even if you don’t fight that many lawful enemies, Touch of Chaos is awesome. Using it is a standard action, though.

Azata Subdomain – The bonuses last longer than touch of good, but aren’t nearly as good.

Demon Subdomain – Better than touch of evil. Judgment and Bane are better uses of a swift action, but getting a +10 enhancement bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls and combat maneuvers isn’t bad, either. So, it’s useful for combats that last more than two rounds.

Entropy Subdomain – Uses an immediate action, is usable only once per day, only minor reduction of an effects duration.

Protean Subdomain – It’s pretty easy to negate the effect of the aura, so the chaos domain is better.

Whimsy Subdomain – You can’t Channel Energy. Kind of strange, as only Inquisitors are able to take this Subdomain. Even if they could, it’s a pretty bad domain, considering the average extra healing or damage you get from using it is about 0.6.

Charm Domain – Dazing creatures as a standard action for one round is nice, but it only works if they have less HD than you. Charming as a swift action has its uses, too, but it only works on humanoids and has a very short duration.

Love Subdomain – Immediate action.

Lust Subdomain – It might take a standard action, but it’s useful in and out of combat.

Community Domain – Heal some minor conditions and allow allies to use your saving throw. Not horrible, but there are better choices.

Family Subdomain – In some circumstances it might be useful to take the afflictions off others, but in most cases it’s better to let others suffer while getting things done.

Home Subdomain – Useful for securing your camp, but there are other ways to do that.

Darkness Domain – Blind-Fight as a bonus feat and a debuff with a duration of more than one round. At 8th level, you can see in magical darkness, but the duration is extremely short.

Loss Subdomain – There’s nothing in the description that indicates that the inquisitor is immune to his own aura.

Night Subdomain – Useful, especially for dwarf and half-orc inquisitors. Also grants Blind-Fight.

Death Domain – You can cause a rather weak damage on time and heal from negative energy.

You don’t lose your ability to heal from positive energy. Still rather circumstancial.

Murder Subdomain – Too little uses for being circumstancial.

Undead Subdomain – Extremely circumstancial.

Destruction Domain – A stronger standard attack in melee. And the ability to cause any attack within 30 feet to deal more damage. If it’s damage you want to deal, this is a good choice, although a bit risky.

Catastrophe Subdomain – Deadly Weather has its uses, but Destructive Aura is better.

Rage Subdomain – Access to rage as well as rage powers. An excellent choice for any melee inquisitor.

Torture – Allows you to demoralize in place of an attack. You still have to hit, but you also deal nonlethal damage and get an enormous bonus on your intimidate check.

Earth Domain – Similar to the air domain, this is not a good choice.

Caves Subdomain – Better than the earth domain.

Metal Subdomain – To little uses per day.

Evil Domain – Not as useful as the other alignment domains.

Daemon Subdomain – Fascinating your enemies is rather circumstancial.

Demon Subdomain – Better than touch of evil. Judgment and Bane are better uses of a swift action, but getting half your level as an enhancement bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls and combat maneuvers isn’t bad, either. So, it’s useful for combats that last more than two rounds.

Devil Subdomain – Give an opponent a -2 penalty on all saving throws. Considering that you need to make a melee touch attack, the disadvantage on opposed skill checks doesn’t seem very useful.

Fear Subdomain – Some extra damage and bonus hp as an immediate action, usable only a few times per day.

Fire Domain – Another elemental domain.

Ash Subdomain – The wall of ashes can be used to regroup or prepare for battle, but it’s still not a great domain.

Smoke Subdomain – Better than the fire domain.

Glory Domain – Since you don’t channel energy, you don’t get all benefits of the domain. The granted powers are rather circumstancial.

Heroism Subdomain – Better than divine presence. Might be worth it once you have judgment and bane active. Pretty useless if you have a bard in the party since good hope is superior to aura of heroism.

Honor Subdomain – The freedom domain allows a reroll against any kind of effect.

Good Domain – A very good (but short) buff to an ally and the ability to make your weapon holy for a short duration.

Agathion Subdomain – Protection from evil and some bonuses that don’t stack with cloaks of resistance and rings of protection for a few rounds per day. Holy Lance is better.

Archon Subdomain – Reduce your enemies saves and AC by two. It takes a standard action to activate it, but it’s still rather good. Unlike a holy weapon you can’t simply get it as a weapon enchantment.

Azata Subdomain – The bonuses last longer than touch of good, but aren’t nearly as good.

Friendship – Could be useful in a social situation or during a stealth operation.

Healing Domain – If you want to heal others, an oracle of life is a better choice.

Restoration Subdomain – Another domain that lets you remove some conditions as a standard action.

Resurrection Subdomain – The inquisition isn’t about raising the dead.

Knowledge Domain – Monster Lore makes the granted ability pretty redundant. Spying on your enemies has its uses, though.

Memory Subdomain – Better than the Knowledge domain.

Thought Subdomain – Being able to read the surface thoughts of others is certainly useful for an inquisitor. On the other hand, he already has lots of ways to get his informations.

Law Domain – Touch of Law has its uses, but you can’t use it on yourself. Making a weapon axiomatic is nice, too, but not as useful as making it holy.

Archon Subdomain – Reduce your enemies saves and AC by two. It takes a standard action to activate it, but it’s still rather good. Unlike a holy weapon you can’t simply get it as a weapon enchantment.

Devil Subdomain – Give an opponent a -2 penalty on all saving throws. Considering that you need to make a melee touch attack, the disadvantage on opposed skill checks doesn’t seem very useful.

Inevitable Subdomain – Much better than the command spell since its DC scales with your level and its also unaffected by spell resistance. Has some useful application in and out of combat.

Loyalty – A good bonus against charm and compulsion for one hour, usable multiple times per day. Even at first level, you could easily protect your whole party with it.

Slavery – Short duration Dominate Monster with an additional exit clause.

Tyranny  – Can be used to double the damage of one attack by using an immediate + standard action. Just demand that the creature commits suicide. Can also be used in bargaining.

Liberation Domain – Act as under freedom of movement and allow your allies to ignore some serious conditons. Only a few rounds per day but still useful.

Freedom Subdomain – Doesn’t compare to freedom of movement.

Revolution Subdomain – Powerful persuader is pretty useful for an inquisitor interested in intimidating others. It’s usable only a few times per day, though.

Luck Domain – Rerolls are always nice. Bit of luck is better than Touch of Law, but it still prevents you from attacking.

Curse Subdomain – The malign eye ability isn’t that useful for an inquisitor who hasn’t lots of spells per day. It’s a standard action, so you usually have to wait for one round before benefitting from it.

Fate Subdomain – A good replacement. There’s nothing stopping you from allowing an ally to reroll.

Madness Domain – Visions of Madness can be used as a buff as well as a debuff. Use it either to cripple your opponents saves and attack rolls or to increase your own attack bonus while using the purity judgment to mitigate your reduced saves. It lasts longer than one round, so it’s a bit more useful than other domain abilities. Aura of Madness is rather useful, too, since it only affects enemies.

Insanity Subdomain – The Madness domain is better since its ability can be used on unwilling targets.

Nightmare Subdomain – Not nearly as good as the madness domain. Might have some uses if you want to bully creatures immune to fear but that’s a pretty special situation.

Magic Domain – Hand of the Acolyte has its uses for a low level melee inquisitor. The ability to dispel magic isn’t bad, but there are other, more unique domain powers.

Arcane Subdomain – You should not build your inquisitor around supporting arcane casters. It’s probably better than hand of the acolyte, though, so take it if you want the dispel magic ability of the magic domain.

Divine Subdomain – Better than hand of the acolyte, but uses a swift action.

Nobility Domain – Use a short term Heroism a few times per day and gain the most broken feat at 8th level. Useful, but most people don’t allow the feat (for good reasons).

Leadership Subdomain – The domain power isn’t bad, it’s just not a good choice for an inquisitor.

Martyr Subdomain – Might save the life of an ally. Immediate action.

Plant Domain – The duration of Wooden Fist is much too short to build your character around it. Bramble Armor isn’t bad, though.

Decay Subdomain – Aura of Decay is rather strong, but you’ll usually have allies within 30 feet and friendly fire isn’t appreciated.

Growth Subdomain – Enlarging yourself as a swift action isn’t bad, but it suffers from the usual problem. Still better than wooden fists, so take this subdomain if you want Bramble Armor.

Protection Domain – Enjoy your free Cloak of Resistance. The domain powers aren’t that great, though.

Defense Subdomain – Better than the Protection Domain, but the Deflection Aura doesn’t stack with rings of protection. It’s nice on the first few levels, but gets pretty useless afterwards.

Purity Subdomain – Might be useful out of combat.

Repose Domain – Stagger an opponent as a touch attack. Depending on your allies, that might be useful. The deathward aura might definitely come in handy from time to time.

Ancestors Subdomain – Speak with dead a few times per day.

Souls Subdomain – Useful against incorporeal enemies.

Rune Domain – Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat. Not very useful for an inquisitor with his rather limited list of spells known. Blast Rune and Spell Rune aren’t that great either, at least not for an inquisitor.

Language Subdomain – Deal 1d6+1/2 level as a standard + swift action.

Wards Subdomain – Immediate action. Plus, a damaging effect causing Sanctuary is rather strange.

Scalykind – Gaze attack plus a serpent companion. If you want an animal companion, the Animal, Fur or Feather domains have a better selection. And the Gaze attack isn’t that great either.

Dragon Subdomain – Gain a breath weapon. 3d6 at 4th level (okay), 11d6 at 20th level (not very good).

Saurian Subdomain – Considering that dinosaurs are among the best choices for animal companions, this isn’t bad. I’d still prefer the bonuses of the feather domain. Without Boon Companion, the companions level will be one higher, though.

Strength Domain – Another support domain. Strength Surge isn’t bad, but as an inquisitor, you should be the one supported. Might of the Gods can be useful from time to time but doesn’t stack with other enhancement bonuses.

Ferocity Subdomain – Similar to the destructive smite of the destruction domain but usable on any melee attack and untyped.

Resolve Subdomain – Not a bad ability, but it takes a standard action to use.

Sun Domain – Since you don’t channel, the first granted power is useless to you. Nimbus of Light is okay, but other domains offer more abilities.

Day Subdomain – Similar problems as the sun domain and a domain power that takes 10 minutes to use.

Light Subdomain – Since you can actually use both domain powers, it’s a better choice than the sun domain.

Travel Domain – Bonus Movement, the abilitiy to ignore difficult terrain and the ability to teleport as a move action. An excellent choice.

Exploration Subdomain – Useful for spying, but in many cases, walls will be too thick to use this power. Most inquisitors will prefer the ability to ignore difficult terrain.

Trade Subdomain – Gain an additional bonus on Sense Motive checks (a few times per day), retain bonus speed.

Trickery Domain – A single mirror image as a move action. Like other domains powers, Master’s Illusion suffers from its short duration.

Deception Subdomain – Copycat is better than Sudden Shift and with all your swift actions, your use of immediate actions is rather limited.Thievery Subdomain– A bit more useful than Master’s Illusion, although neither Disable Device nor Sleight of Hand are class skills for the inquisitor.

Void – Bonus against mind-affecting effects and the ability to make Terrible Remorse even more powerful. With this, the target has the choice of doing nothing for a round or taking damage and being confused. If you are decent enough to refrain from abusing Terrible Remorse, this domain is much less useful.

Dark Tapestry Subdomain – Useless, as you don’t gain summon spells

Stars Subdomain – You don’t get the domain spells, so it’s useless.

War Domain – The ability to gain a feat as a swift action isn’t bad, but, unlike a cleric, an inquisitor has several good ways to use a swift action.

Blood Subdomain – A bleeding weapon isn’t that great.

Tactics Subdomain – Has some uses combined with Lookout

Water Domain – Elemental Domain

Ice Subdomain – Again, this is better than the elemental domain it’s based on. DR 5/- is nice at 8th level. The level 1 ability is still horrible, though.

Oceans Subdomain – As usual, better than the Water domain.

Weather Domain – Inquisitors should not waste their actions and domain abilities on weak blasts.

Seasons Subdomain – Better than the Weather domain, Endure Elements for the whole party.

Storms Subdomain – Might be useful for ranged inquisitors.


Ultimate Magic

Anger Inquisition – You gain rage two levels earlier than with the rage domain, but you gain no rage powers.

Conversion Inquisition – A boost on social skills and a short duration dominate person.

Fate Inquisition – Getting a 2nd level cleric spell once per day at first level isn’t bad. The problem is, that the 8th level ability only works once per day.

Fervor Inquisition – The first level ability is similar to the elemental domain powers, only more restricted and therefore horrible. The 8th level ability is rather nice but only usable once per day.

Heresy Inquisition – At first level, this inquisition is inferior to the conversion inquisition. Rolling twice on Bluff, Diplomacy and Stealth isn’t bad, but rolling twice on Intimidate would be better. You also gain the ability to use a limited duration bestow curse once per day.

Imprisonment Inquisition – Another inquisition that suffers from too few uses of its ability.

Illumination Inquisition – A rather weak domain power, but you gain it at 4th level.

Justice Inquisition – The first level power gets less useful once you and your allies have critical focus and needs an immediate action to activate. The 6th level power is interesting, but only usable once per day and negated by a will save.

Oblivion Inquisition – You gain a permanent but weak aura and the ability to cast  a weakened feeblemind.

Order Inquisition– The mantle against chaos loses its use once you gain access to magic circle against chaos, but the ability to cast a limited version of greater command several times per day isn’t bad.

Persistence Inquisition – An enhancement to speed that doesn’t stack with Boots of Springing and Striding, Expeditious Retreat or Haste, as the paladin’s lay on hand once per day. Gain Step up as a bonus feat.

Tactics Inquisition – An inquisitor should not sacrifice his actions to buff his allies. The ability to add wisdom to initiative a second time is nice, though.

Torture Inquisition

– A small bonus on initiative checks, the ability to use a cantrip a few times per day and the option to gain a bonus on confirmation rolls that does not stack with Critical Focus. If you want a boost on intimidate, the conversion inquisitionis a better choice.

Truth Inquisition – Sacrify your actions to buff an ally and gain the ability to use a 2nd level inquisitor spell a few rounds per day once you reach level 8.

Valor Inquisition – Remove fear a few times per day and become immune to it. Since you can’t use your judgement when you are frightened, this is quite useful

Vengeance Inquisition – A mild attack (comparable to the elemental domains) and a retaliation once per day when you drop below 0 hp (but don’t die).

Zeal Inquisition – Heal once per day and select a rival religion. Depending on the campaign this may be uselss or powerful.

Ultimate Combat

Black Powder Inquisition – You gain two bonus feats but firearms are pretty horrible without gunslinger levels. Which also grant those feats. And the ability to make concentration checks more difficult by attacking your opponent with a ranged weapon isn’t very good, either.

Spellkiller Inquisition – Gaining a sixth level fighter exclusive feat at first level is pretty good. The bonus on AC for defeating an enemy isn’t bad, either, at least till you get Third Judgment.

The ability to stagger spellcasters has its uses, but you can only use this ability if you have defeated another opponents within a minute. This inquisition is best when you only take one level of inquisitor.

Animal and Terrain domains

Ultimate Magic

Inquisitors might be allowed to take these domains, so it won’t hurt to evaluate them as well.

Aquatic Domain – A good choice in an aquatic campaign.

Arctic Domain – Channel energy to heal cold creatures or hurt fire creatures. Charisma based. Also usable to dispell fire spells.

Cave Domain – You gain darkvision a few hours per day as well as tremorsense at later levels. 

Desert Domain – Blur and planar ally??

Eagle Domain – A hawk familiar and a bonus on one ranged attack as a swift action. Also evasion while flying.

Frog Domain – A frog familiar, a sticky tendril and a swim and climb speed.

Jungle Domain – Climb as a free action and gain trap sense.

Monkey Domain – A monkey familiar, a bonus on acrobatics, climb, disable device or sleight of hand a few times per day and the ability to use Disable Device and Sleight of Hand at a range.

Mountain Domain – Create difficult terrain and gain an aura that fatigues.

Plains Domain – Use pounce a few times per day.

Serpent Domain – Gain a viper familiar, the ability to slither and poison immunity.

Swamp Domain – Channel energy to heal animals, plants and vermin, limited blindight.

Wolf Domain– Improved Trip and the ability to flank. Might be useful with certain teamwork feats.


Combat Traits

Armor Expert – Reduces Armor Check Penalty by one. Unless you’re wearing a Mithral Shirt or multiclass into fighter, this comes pretty close to a +1 on nine skills. although you’ll not use all of them.

Deft Dodger – +1 on Reflex saves.

Dirty Fighter – A +1 trait bonus on damage while flanking. Considering that you’ll gain other benefits from flanking through teamwork feats, it’s not bad. And unlike Precise Strike, it’s multiplied on a critical hit.

Reactionary – +2 on initiative. If you want high initiative, you’ll probably take this trait. There are other traits that grant a similar bonus. They’re trait bonuses, so they are not going to stack.

Resilient – +1 on Fortitude saves. Not as useful as Reflex or Will saves

Faiths Traits

Birthmark – The bonus on saves isn’t that important, but an indestructible and irremovable divine focus has its benefits.

Fate’s Favored – Divine Favor and Divine Power just got better. Nice synergy with the Sacred Tattoo Half Orc Racial Trait.

Indomitable Faith – +1 on Will saves.

Magic Traits

Dangerously Curious – If you want Use Magic Device as a class skill, this is the way to get it. You’ll usually don’t have enough skill ranks or charisma, though.

Magical Knack – Not bad should you want to multiclass. Otherwise useless.

Social Traits

Adopted – Grants you access to any Race Trait.

Bully – You already have intimidate as a class skill, so it’s only a +1 bonus, but if you want to be as scary as possible, feel free to take it.

Child of the Streets – If you want Sleight of Hand as a class skill, this is the way to get it. You’ll usually don’t have enough skill ranks, though.

Natural-Born Leader – If you want (and are allowed) to take Leadership, this trait is useful. It won’t be useful before you get Leadership, though.

Rich Parents – Useless past level 2

Race Traits

Forlorn – Another trait that grants +1 on Fortitude saves

Warrior of Old – Another way to gain +2 on Initiative

Elven Reflexes – Another way to gain +2 on Initiative

Brute – Another way to gain +1 on Intimidate

Well-Informed – Gain Knowledge (local) as a class skill, as well as a bonus to gather information

World Traveler – If you want Knowledge (local), Well-Informed is better.

Regional Traits

River Rat – Bonus on dagger damage. Makes the dagger better than the short sword since it’s more versatile.

Vagabond Child – Disable Device or Sleight of Hand as class skills

Religion Traits

Divine Warrior – Bonus damage while using spells like Flames of the Righteous or Weapon of Awe. Doesn’t stack with Dirty Fighter.

Undead Slayer – Bonus on damage against undead, doesn’t stack with Dirty Fighter.


0-Level Inquisitor Spells (Orisons)

Acid Splash – Dealing acid damage can be useful from time to time, but you are usually better off doing something else.

Bleed – If you want someone to die, you might as well use something else to hurt him.

Brand – Mark someone and identify him later (like a werewolf). The fortitude negates makes it less useful, though.

Create Water – Getting unlimited water isn’t bad.

Daze – The save, target restriction and the fact that it’s only usable once every minute for a creature makes it a bad choice.

Detect Magic – Everyone has this spell and so should you.

Detect Poison – It might save  your life one day but most of the time you will just seem paranoid.

Disrupt Undead – Useful to hurt incorporeal undead at low levels.

Guidance – Useful to gain a bonus on a skill check.

Light – Useful if you have no darkvision, can be used to create flairs.

Read Magic – Might be useful from time to time.

Resistance – Get a cloak of resistance instead.

Sift – Search for traps at range.

Stabilize – Better than bleed

Virtue – If getting a temporary hit point that lasts a minute seems useful, there are usually other, better options

1st-Level Inquisitor Spells

Alarm – Not bad, but you don’t have many spells per day.

Bane – Useful at low levels, but you don’t have many spells per day at that point. Later, the Save DC will be pretty low, so many enemies will not be affected by it.

Bless – Not bad at low levels, but later, you’ll have better buffs

Bless Water – If you want holy water, buy it.

Bowstaff (Ultimate Combat) – Clubs and quarterstaff are horrible weapons. Unless you’re prevented from making five foot steps, this spell is a bad choide.

Burst Bonds – How often do you expect to be bound or grappled?

Cause Fear – Useless at higher levels.

Command – Will suffer from its low Save DC

Compel Hostility (Ultimate Combat) – A nice ‘tanking’ spell.

Comprehend Languages – Tongues is only one level higher and much less restricted

Cure Light Wounds – If your party lacks healing, get a wand of cure light wounds. Even when you use all your slots on healing, it won’t be sufficient.

Curse Water – If you are fighting good outsiders, you have better choices than sprinkling them with water.

Deadeye’s Lore (Faiths of Purity, Ultimate Combat) – You already gain a bonus on tracking, so it’s not a bad idea to get some additional bonuses. There are, however, spells that should have a higher priority.

Detect Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – You gain those spells as spell like abilities, usable at will. No need to waste spells for it.

Detect Undead – You have a pretty good chance of stunning yourself with this spell.

Disguise Self – The spell is useful, but a hat of disguise is only 1800 and usable at will.

Divine Favor – A nice buff at higher levels, it doesn’t stack with Divine Power, though.

Doom – You have better ways to make your enemies shaken.

Ear-Piercing Scream – The damage is low and so is your DC

Expeditious Retreat – +30 feet base speed, doesn’t stack with boots of springing and striding and haste

Forbid Action – Will negates

Forced Quiet – Silence is a better way to keep your victims from screaming

Gorum's Armor – Weak retaliation

Haze of Dreams – Will negates

Hex Ward – How many witches do you expect to fight?

Hide from Undead – Might be useful to avoid encounters

Horn of Pursuit – Probably useless most of the time

Inflict Light Wounds – You might as well make a normal attack.

Interrogation – The target is free to lie to you.

Know the Enemy – Useless in combat

Lend Judgment – Short duration

Litany of Sloth (Ultimate Combat) – The ability to prevent a target from casting defensively makes this a useful choice.

Litany of Weakness (Ultimate Combat) – Prevent an opponent from running or charging for one round.

Lock Gaze (Ultimate Combat) – Another tanking spell.

Longshot (Ultimate Combat) – Good with firearms (although those have problems of their own), of little importance otherwise.

Magic Weapon – Useless once you have a magic weapon

Peacebond (Ultimate Combat) – Flavourful but useless in most situations.

Persuasive Goad – Another bonus on intimidate

Petulengro’s Validation (Pathfinder Society Field Guide) – Useful to expose impostors, but how many do you expect to meet?

Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – Useful, swap it out once you have magic circle

Remove Fear – Good against certain enemies and haunts

Returning Weapon (Ultimate Combat) – This spell isn’t enough to make thrown weapons useful.

Sanctify Corpse – If you expect to need this spell, get a wand instead.

Sanctuary – Your best options are offensive and the DC won’t be very high.

Shield of Faith – Good at low levels.

Stalward Resolve (Pathfinder Society Field Guide) – With a longer duration, it would be a very useful spell.

Tireless Pursuit – Extremely circumstancial

True Strike – The ability to ignore concealment is useful, but it takes an action and a spell slot

Unerring Weapon (Ultimate Combat) – Short duration bonus on confirmation rolls. There are better ways to spend a standard action.

Vocal Alteration – Extremely limited in scope

Wartrain Mount – How often do you expect to use it?

Weapon Wand (Inner Sea Magic) – Weird Spell, long casting time, rather short duration. If you want to alternate between weapon and wand, use Weapon Cords.

Weapons Against Evil – Some severe limitations, but useful against weak demons and devils

Wrath – Unlike Divine Favor, this spell stacks with Divine Power

2nd-Level Inquisitor Spells

Acute Senses – Nice boost on Perception checks, the duration is a bit short, though.

Aid – Except for the temporary hp, bless grants this to the whole party

Align Weapon – Might be useful from time to time.

Bestow Weapon Proficiency (Ultimate Combat) – The duration is much too short to replace a feat.

Blistering Invective (Ultimate Combat) – Demoralize opponents within 30 feet as a standard action. Better than Dazzling Display. The damage effect is just a bonus.

Bloodhound – Good duration.With this and Deadeye’s Lore, you’re incredibly good at tracking.

Brow Gasher (Ultimate Combat) – A nice debuff that doesn’t allow a save.

Calm Emotions – Will negates, requires concentration

Castigate – Use the action to intimidate the target instead

Confess – Better than Interrogation.

Consecrate – You can’t channel

Corruption Resistance – Only reduces the damage, does not protect against other conditions.

Cure Moderate Wounds – Get a wand of cure light wounds.

Darkness – Useful if you have darkvision, but most of your enemies will have darkvision, too.

Death Knell – Will negates

Delay Pain – Only protects against a few effects that aren’t that crippling.

Delay Poison – Gain immunity to poison for some hours. If your level is sufficiently high, you can cast this spell multiple times per day.

Desecrate – Similar to Consecrate

Detect Thoughts – Useful to gain information

Discovery Torch (Ultimate Combat) – Gain a bonus on Sense Motive, Perception and Knowledge checks to identify monsters. The duration is good, but the bonus is pretty low.

Disguise Other – You’ll don’t have enough slots to disguise the whole party.

Distressing Tone – Long casting time, will negates, short duration.

Early Judgment (Faiths of Balance) – Short duration, will negates, target restriction. Best against neutral targets.

Effortless Armor  (Ultimate Combat) – The duration is rather short. If you don’t want to use a mithral fullplate, its effect is pretty small.

Enthrall – You’ll probably not have that much charisma

Fairness (Faiths of Balance) – Not useful enough to be worth the slot.

Find Traps – Short duration, if you suspect traps, Acute Senses offers a much higher bonus

Flames of the Faithful – Gain a flaming burst weapon. Short duration. There are usually better choices for combat buffs.

Follow Aura – Bloodhound is better

Ghostbane Dirge – Will negates.

Ghostly Disguise – This spell will probably see some use if you take it.

Hold Person – Will negates

Honeyed Tongue – The duration is good, you are better at intimidating, though.

Howling Agony -Fortitude negates. And spellcasters will just scream.

Hunter’s Lore (Inner Sea Magic) – The ability to take 20 on a knowledge check isn’t bad, but you have to spend a full round action to do so. More useful out of combat.

Inflict Moderate Wounds – A weak damaging spell

Instrument of Agony (Ultimate Combat) – Bonus on Intimidate checks and the option of trying to nauseate an opponent once.

Invisibility – Not as useful as for wizards but still very good.

Knock – No longer an auto success

Litany of Defense (Ultimate Combat) – Very short duration, uses a swift action.

Magic Siege Engine (Ultimate Combat) – I see little reason for an inquisitor to use a siege engine.

Perceive Cues – Another bonus on sense motive and perception

Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Communal (Ultimate Combat) – The duration gets very short, especially when compared to magic circle.

Qualm (Ultimate Combat) – Will negates. Useful against spellcasters, but those are probably going to have a high will save.

Remove Paralysis – Also helps against Slow, but still not that useful.

Resist Energy – Useful against many enemies, as well as natural hazards.

Restoration, Lesser – A wand of lesser restoration only costs 750 gp if made by a paladin

Returning Weapon, Communal (Ultimate Combat) – Allows you to make multiple weapons returning, but you can’t use more than two returning weapons.

See Invisibility – Good duration, helpful against casters

Sacred Bond – Your healing abilities aren’t very good. Much better when used by a support cleric or oracle.

Shield Other – Useful to keep an ally alive, but again, better used by a support character

Silence – Excellent versatile spell.

Soothing Word – Reduces the severity of a condition.

Spiritual Weapon – Useful against incorporeal monsters. Damage and attack bonus are low, but it gains iterative attacks.

Surmount Affliction – Short duration.

Tactical Acumen (Ultimate Combat) – Short duration, but a good buff. Insight Bonus, so it stacks with most other effects.

Tongues – Speak and understand any language.

Undetectable Alignment – Useful, but might be worth the investment of a wand

Weapon of Awe – The duration makes it a good spell to cast before combat. Makes targets shaken on a critical hit. Stacks with the destruction judgement if you chose profane bonuses.

Whispering Wind – Slow and unreliable.

Zone of Truth – Will negates and the subjects are aware of the spell, so you can’t be sure if they lie.

3rd-Level Inquisitor Spells

Arcane Sight – It might be better than Detect Magic, but it’s not usable at will

Banish Seeming – Useful against druids and shapechaning monsters, but Dispel Magic is much more versatile

Bite the Hand (Pathfinder Society Field Guide) – Very limited.

Blessing of the Mole – Both the range of the darkvision and the bonus on stealth are rather low

Blood Biography – Not great but interesting for a CSI/Dexter inquisitor

Burst of speed (Ultimate Combat) – Useful to get into a flanking position, but a bit weak for a 3rd level spell.

Cast Out – Again, Dispel Magic is more versatile and has a better duration

Continual Flame – Just buy a Ioun Torch

Coordinated Effort – Useful with Outflank

Countless Eyes – Immunity to flanking for level hours.

Cure Serious Wounds – You don’t have enough spells per day to use them on some minor healing

Daybreak Arrow (Ultimate Combat) – Useful for ranged inquisitors that are going to fight lots of undead.

Daylight – Useful against certain monsters, but the duration is to short to use as a constant source of light.

Deadly Juggernaut (Ultimate Combat) – Doesn’t stack with Divine Favor or Divine Power but has a much better duration. Takes some time (and enemy lives) to gain its full effect. Best when fighting many weak (but not too weak) opponents.

Deeper Darkness – Excellent if you have some way of seeing in supernatural darkness

Delay Poison, Communal  (Ultimate Combat) – Not as useful as the normal version. When the duration ends, your companions will suffer the poison’s effect.

Dimensional Anchor – A good way to prevent your prey from fleeing

Dispel Magic – Versatile

Eldritch Fever – Allows a save.

Fester – Doesn’t work against undead

Glyph of Warding – Has its uses, but its probably sufficient to use scrolls

Halt Undead – Useful against strong mindless undead since they don’t get a save

Heroism – A good, long lasting buff. Doesn’t stack with Stern Gaze, though.

Hidden Speech – Very limited in scope, you gain it later than other classes.

Hunter's Eye – The ability to ignore concealment is nice, but see invisible and acute senses are more versatile

Inflict Serious Wounds – 3d8+level points of damage aren’t worth a third level spell

Invisibility Purge – There are some invisible monsters it does not work against.

Keen Edge – Get a keen weapon or improved critical instead

Light of Iomedae (Inner Sea Magic) – The ability to negate channel resistance is meaningless for you. Against invisible undead, invisibility purge is better.

Litany of Eloquence  (Ultimate Combat) – Fascinate a creature for one round without a saving throw.

Litany of Entanglement (Ultimate Combat) – Unlike Litany of Eloquence, this one allows a saving throw.

Litany of Righteousness (Ultimate Combat) – Awesome for paladins, pretty useless for inquisitors (unless they have a good aura from another source).

Litany of Warding (Ultimate Combat) – The duration is much too short.

Locate Object – Another utility spell

Locate Weakness (Ultimate Combat) – Increase your average damage on critical hits. With a falcata, that means about 4 extra points of damage per critical hit. Not too impressive and annoying to roll.

Magic Circle vs. Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – Long duration, multiple targets

Magic Vestment – Saves you money

Magic Weapon, Greater – Doesn’t allow you to break DR

Nondetection – Good duration, useful for infiltration

Obscure Object – You get it later than anyone else

Prayer – If you want to cast a spell in the first round of combat, this is a solid choice

Protection from Energy – Resist energy is probably better

Remove Curse – Works much better for clerics

Remove Disease – Works much better for clerics

Resist Energy, Communal – Helpful against enemies with energy attacks.

Retribution – It only works against enemies that attacked you and a successful saves reduces the duration.

Righteous Vigor – Gaining temporary hp with every successful attack is nice

Seek Thoughts – Useful to get informations

Searing Light – You have better ways of hurting undead

Speak with Dead – Useful to get informations

Terrible Remorse – Even the corrected version is still strong, especially against spellcasters and enemies with high strength. A boss killer.

Ward the Faithful – Doesn’t stack with rings of protection and cloaks of resistance.

Witness – Could see some use if you have an animal companion or familiar.

4th-Level Inquisitor Spells

Battlemind Link – This spell is a bit strange, but it greatly increases the chance of you and an ally to hit and crit.

Brand, Greater – Will negates. Casting time one round.

Chaos Hammer – Friendly fire if you have non-chaotic party members

Coward's Lament – Useful against casters and archers

Crusader’s Edge (Inner Sea Magic) – Longer duration than your bane ability. An outsider will have a pretty good chance of making its save, but if it doesn’t, it’s crippled for 1d3 rounds.

Cure Critical Wounds – Another cure spell

Curse of Magic Negation – Allows a save. Otherwise a nice debuff.

Daze, Mass – At 10th level, the ability to daze humanoids with 4 or less HD for one round is not going to be very useful

Death Ward – Useful against undead

Defile Armor – Magic Vestment has a much better duration

Denounce – Useful in and out of combat

Detect Scrying – Good duration, but you don’t have that many spells.

Discern Lies – You already can use the spell a few rounds per day.

Dismissal – Will negates and you can’t loot the target

Divination – Greatly depends on the GM

Divine Power – A good buff to cast in combat.

Fear – Usually, you don’t want your enemies to flee

Fleshworm Infestation – Vile, but useful

Find Quarry (Ultimate Combat) – Locate the target within 20 miles. Considering you get it at 10th level, your GM will probably have some way to prevent you from getting much benefit from it.

Forced Repentance – There are much easier ways to trip a target

Forceful Strike (Inner Sea Magic) – For a 4th level spell, an average of 25 points of damage isn’t very impressive, especially if it’s halved on a succesful save (which also negates the bull rush).

Freedom of Movement – A useful spell to escape unpleasant situations

Geas, Lesser – Will negates, but powerful in scope

Hold Monster – Better than Hold Person, but it still doesn’t work against a huge number of creatures

Holy Smite – Similar the Chaos Hammer, although you can probably expect more evil opponents than lawful ones.

Inflict Critical Wounds – Ineffective

Interrogation, Greater – Doesn’t prevent the target from lying

Invisibility, Greater – Another good combat spell

Judgment Light (Ultimate Combat) – A great spell to cast at the start of a combat. The effects persist for a number of rounds, so you are free to change your judgments after casting the spell and still gain those benefits.

Leashed Shackles – Reflex negates and the target is only partially entangled

Litany of Escape – Teleport a grappled ally.

Litany of Sight (Ultimate Combat) – See invisibility is a 2nd level spell with a duration of 10 minutes per level.

Magic Siege Engine, Greater (Ultimate Combat) – Same as the normal version of the spell.

Named Bullet (Ultimate Combat) – If you can afford it, get a wand and cast it several times before a combat. Strong, but very expensive.

Neutralize Poison – Use it before the duration of delay poison ends.

Order's Wrath – Similar to Chaos hammer

Protection from Energy, Communal (Ultimate Combat) – You only distribute the duration, so each recipient has its own energy buffer.

Rebuke – How often do you expect to fight against worshippers of your god?

Reprobation – Similar problems as Rebuke

Restoration – Expensive

Sanctify Armor – Use Magic Vestment

Sending – Long casting time

Shadow Barbs (Inner Sea Magic) – Spiked Chains are bad weapons. The option to ignore the damage from vicious is nice, but but at 11th level, you’ll probably have a better weapon than a +3 vicious spiked chain.

Shared Wrath – High spell level for what it does

Sleepwalk -Cause a unconscious or sleeping target to move around. Will negates.

Spell Immunity – There are far to many spells that can be used against you.

Stoneskin – Powerful, but expensive

Tireless Pursuers – Won’t be useful most of the time

Unholy Blight – Similar to Chaos Hammer

5th-Level Inquisitor Spells

Atonement – You can’t attone yourself

Banishment – Better than dismissal

Break Enchantment – Not as versatile as Dispel Magic, but works when Dispel Magic doesn’t

Castigate, Mass – Better than castigate, but immunity is still an issue

Command, Greater – Useful to disarm your enemies or prevent them from acting. Mind-affecting

Commune – Expensive

Cure Light Wounds, Mass – Another weak healing spell

Dispel Chaos/Evil/Good/Law – Use Magic Circle and Banishment if you want to banish Outsiders

Disrupting Weapon – Your DC may not be that high, but your undead enemies are going to make a lot of will saves

Divine Pursuit – By that level, you have better ways to gain a flight or swim speed.

Flame Strike – A blast

Forbid Action, Greater – As written, it last for level rounds without allowing additional saves.

Geas/Quest – Long casting time

Ghostbane Dirge, Mass – How often do you fight against hordes of incorporeal enemies?

Hallow – This should be done by professional clerics

Inflict Light Wounds, Mass – 1d8+level points of damage. Not worth the action, slot or spell known.

Lend Greater Judgment – A very good buff for a party member

Litany of Thunder (Ultimate Combat) – Allows a saving throw.

Litany of Vengeance (Ultimate Combat) – Doesn’t stack with the Justice judgment. A nice buff for your allies, but the duration is very short.

Mark of Justice – Only works against willing or restraint targets

Resounding Blow – Staggering your target with each successful hit is good. 

Righteous Might – Another good combat buff.

Spell Immunity, Communal (Ultimate Combat) – As spell immunity, but on multiple targets.

Spell Resistance – The duration is short and spell resistance has its downsides

Stoneskin, Communal – Very expensive.

Telepathic Bond – Useful for stealth operations and social situations

True Seeing – Powerful, but expensive.

Unhallow – Similar to Hallow

Unwilling Shield – Powerful, but expensive and will negates.

6th-Level Inquisitor Spells

Bite the Hand, Mass (Pathfinder Society Field Guide) – As limited as the standard version

Blade Barrier – Useful for archers

Blasphemy – Friendly fire. Will negates most of the effects.

Circle of Death – Expensive. Creatures with 8 or less HD should not be a problem for 16th level inquisitors-

Cleanse – Use heal instead

Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass – If you want to heal others, play an oracle, cleric or paladin

Dictum – Similar to Blasphemy

Dispel Magic, Greater – Versatile

Fester, Mass – Better against adventuring parties than their enemies

Find the Path – Can be useful if you travel often

Forbiddance – Very expensive

Glyph of Warding, Greater – Probably isn’t going to be used that often

Harm – 150 points of damage to one target, Will halves. By the time you get, a full attack will deal more damage, though.

Heal – Heal 150 points of damage. The only healing spell worth learning.

Heroes’ Feast – Useful buff with a long duration

Holy Word – Similar to blasphemy

Inflict Moderate Wounds, Mass – Another weak damaging effect

Legend Lore – Others are better when it comes to identifying magic items

Litany of Madness (Ultimate Combat) – Confuse the target for at least one round.

Named Bullet, Greater (Ultimate Combat) – Deals a bit more damage than the normal version but no additional benefits.

Overwhelming Presence – Much better than mass hold monster

Repulsion – Useful for archers. Will negates

Undeath to Death – Similar to Circle of Death

Vision of Lamashtu – Do you enjoy tormenting others?

Word of Chaos – Similar to blasphemy



Celestial Armor – If you play a ranged inquisitor, you’ll find no better armor.

Mithral Breastplate – If you don’t want to take Heavy Armor Proficiency or need the movement speed, this is your armor.

Mithral Fullplate – The best armor for inquisitors with low dexterity. Needs a proficiency feat.

Armor Enchantments

You gain Magic Vestment as a third level spell, so you might want to use it to get an enchantment bonus and use your money on other stuff like fortification instead.


Composite Longbow – If you are a ranged inquisitor, this is your weapon.

Falcata – The best melee weapon. Half elves can gain proficiency with it at first level. Another way to get it is Heirlom Weapon, but that has some risks.

Falchion – Half-orcs are proficient with this weapon.

Scimitar – If you are a Dervish Dancer, this is your weapon. It’s not that bad for other characters, either.

Morningstar – If your god doesn’t offer you any useful weapon, this is the best simple weapon for you.

Otherwise, it depends on what your god grants you. There are deities that grant proficiency in the bastard sword or other exotic weapon. If you get it, use it, but you should not chose a god just to be proficient with it, there are much better weapons out there.

Weapon Enchantments

The enhancement bonus of a weapon allows you to ignore certain kinds of damage reduction. With the bane ability, a +3 weapon is enough to pierce anything but epic and damage types. There are some rather interesting enchantments, though.

Bane – You can get bane against anything you fight. No need to waste money on it.

Conductive – If your domain grants you melee touch abilities, this enchantment allows you to channel them through normal melee attacks. Not very useful with ranged touch abilities since they just do a bit of energy damage.

Guiding – Allows you to use wisdom instead of strength. 3.5

Keen – The best way to increase an inquisitors threat range.

Menacing – Increases your bonus for flanking.

Speed – Doesn’t stack with Divine Power or Haste. Boots of Speed are usually better.

Other equipment

Amulet of Natural Armor, Cloak of Resistance, Ring of Protection, Stat Boosters – The remaining for of the notorious big six

Boots of Speed – Gain the benefits of haste for 10 rounds per day

Hat of Disguise – Disguise self at will for only 1800 gp. The duration is only 10 minutes, though.


Ultimate Magic


Verdict of Exorcism – Lose Second Judgment to daze a creature for one round and cast out possessing entities. Using this ability ends your Judgment.

Verdict of Exile – Lose Third Judgment. Similar to Verdict of Exorcism. When you get this, you already have access to Banishment.

Closed Mind – Lose Slayer, become immune to compulsion effects and possession.

Verdict of Anathema – Like Verdict of Exile, but affects everything within a 10 feet radius.

You lose to extremely versatile abilities for something that’s only useful against special enemies. Not recommended.


Escape – Using this ability is a move action. It’s an additional option, though, that costs you nothing.

Lore of Escape – A bonus on Bluff and Stealth isn’t bad, but you can no longer take Improved Monster Lore

Hide Tracks – Another free ability that’s only useful in special situations

Since all abilities are granted at first level and none relies on inquisitor level, it might be useful for a dip into inquisitor. For a full inquisitor, I’d prefer Monster Lore.


Misdirection – Gain a fake alignment for a day in exchange for a huge bonus on Sense Motive and Intimidate.

Guileful Lore – Gain a bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy. Not as useful as Monster Lore, but since you crippled your Intimidate, you might want to use Diplomacy instead.

Forbidden Lore – Track isn’t that great, but a neutral inquisitor can cast alignment spells without problem.

Necessary Lies – A huge bonus against certain spells.

A good archetype when you are infiltrating institutions, but if this isn’t the only thing you’re going to do, a normal inquisitor will be more useful.


Determination – For a ranged inquisitor, the ability to reroll an attack or force an enemy to reroll are useful, even if it’s limited to a few times per day. Since you lose Solo Tactics, I’d replace all teamwork feats.

Nice for a ranged inquisitor, melee inquisitors should prefer Solo Tactics and the Teamwork feats.

Sin Eater

Eat Sin – Lose your domain, gain the ability to heal yourself through killed enemies. Only works on creatures the inquisitor killed himself. Has its uses, but I’d prefer the domain and a wand of cure light wounds.

Speak with Dead – Only works on creatures you killed yourself within 10 minutes. How about just taking them prisoner if you want to ask them something?

Burden of Sin – About as useful as Exploit Weakness

Unless you enjoy playing a cannibal or arguing with your fellow players for ‘kill stealing’, this archetype isn’t the best choice.

Words of Power – Lose some of your versatility without gaining anything of interest in return.

Ultimate Combat

Iconoclast (At high levels, it might be much better, depending on Dispelling Attack)

Shake Effects – You lose access to Improved Monster Lore for a rather small bonus on saving throws against magic items.

Detect Magic – Lose four first level spells that are usable at will for one additional cantrip?

Dispelling Attack – If you aren’t going to use Discern Lies, it’s good, otherwise I’d rather take a fourth level spell than a third level one.

Negating Critical – Only shuts down minor magic items (worth less than 4000 gp). At 14th level, that isn’t very good. The text is a bit strange, so if it applies to any non artifact, it would be blue.

Destroy Artifact – It fits the theme, but how often do you expect to use this ability?

Spellbreaker (Blue if you only intend to take a one level of inquisitor)

Strong-Willed – You lose access to Improved Monster Lore, but gain the constant ability to roll twice against spell-like effects. A very good choice for a level dip into inquisitor.

Defense Against Magic – Doesn’t work against divine spells or spell-like abilities, so it’s rather limited.

Foil Casting – Trade a great ability (Solo Tactics) against an ability that is worth about one feat.

Impervious – Total immunity against one school. Only works against arcane spells and also blocks beneficial effects.

Witch Hunter

Spell Sage – Lose a bonus on six abilities for one on one ability.

Knowledgable Defense – The bonus gets pretty good. Worse than detect alignment when you get it, but it gets better as you gain levels.

Spell Scent – Weird ability, only usable once per day.

Witch Bane Judgment – Only useful against arcane casters, but better than Exploit Weakness.

Inner Sea Magic

Vampire Hunter

Judgments – Many energy drain effects don’t allow a save when you get hit by them. Once you have a +3 weapon, the ability to ignore silver DR becomes meaningless while you need a +5 weapon to ignore alignment DR.

Silversmith – Lose a useful ability for a bonus on creating silver items?

Bane – Lose your flexibility. Considering you are still limited to a few rounds per day, the ability to give the weapon to someone else isn’t very good.

Sun Strike – An insignificant bonus with a short duration.


Fighter – Three levels grant you two bonus feats (three if you count Heavy Armor Proficiency) and the ability to move at full speed in Mithral Fullplate

Monk – If you are wisdom based, two levels of monk offer you an increased defense and an additional attack per round as well as a few bonus feats, evasion and increased saves.

Hellknight – A level 3 Hellknight can gain the abilty to make demoralized enemies frightened instead of shaken. Rather strong, but you lose three inquisitor levels.

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