View Full Version : Inquisitor of the Council PrC [3.5 PEACH]

2010-01-09, 10:13 PM
The inquisitor of the council is a prestige class I constructed for hill dwarves in the city of Safehaven, one of only two great dwarven cities in my homebrew campaign world. These dwarves are somewhat xenophobic and have a certain dark, Lovecraftian undercurrent to them. Please examine and critique honestly! The inquisitors are intended in part to establish the unique flavor of Safehaven and communicate my campaign world's take on hill dwarves, and are available to PC dwarven clerics as well.

Important House-Rules and Setting-Specific Information:

Rich Burlew's alternative diplomacy rules are in effect.
Grundor is the dwarven creator god.
Safehaven is the only great hill dwarf stronghold in the world.
Hill dwarves themselves are an offshoot of the mountain dwarf race who suffered a divine cataclysm after disobeying Grundor's teachings and consorting with aberrations from the far realm. They wandered as refugees for centuries before regaining Grundor's favor and founding Safehaven.
The other settlements listed on the Community Modifiers table are major campaign world locations familiar to the players.


Also called the Hounds of Grundor, the inquisitors are an elite branch of the priesthood who pursue enemies of the faith, including blasphemers, dissidents, and criminals fleeing punishment, as well as more traditional foes of the dwarven people. Inquisitors are chosen for their fanatical devotion to the church and to the dwarven race, and are regarded as either righteous examples of pious devotion or dangerous zealots hell-bent on extending the power of the church, depending on where you ask the question.

Clerics of Grundor most often choose to become inquisitors. Paladins and multiclass monks might also choose this class, but members of such classes are quite rare among dwarves. Members of other classes could theoretically become inquisitors, but would gain little benefit from doing so.

Inquisitors are the chosen servants of the Council of Elders, the ruling council of Safehaven. They serve as the council’s eyes and ears, and execute its will. On the field of battle, inquisitors are hailed as heroes, exhorting their comrades to greater effort even as they call upon Grundor’s aid and heal the fallen. In the chambers and cornerclubs and streets of Safehaven, they are accorded respect and no small amount of fear, for every dwarf knows that the gaze of an inquisitor sees your deepest heart, and the mind of an inquisitor is quick to judge. In pursuit of wrongdoers, they are relentless, merciless, and widely known for their ability to summon the Hounds of Grundor, magical avatars of the pack that ran at Grundor Earthlord’s heels during the Great Conflict that ended the First Age. Inquisitors are sometimes employed as ambassadors, trade representatives, and diplomats to other races, especially races whom the Council does not trust.

To qualify to become an Inquisitor of the Council, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Race: Hill Dwarf.
Alignment: Must be lawful.
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks.
Feats: Iron Will
Special: Must be able to cast divine spells. The character must be a member of the priesthood of Grundor, and must be sponsored by an inquisitor or by one of the Elders of the Council.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells per Day
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Seal of the Earthlord, Resources|+1 level
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Augmented Summoning, Dwarffather's Judgment -2|+1 level
3rd|+2|+1|+1|+3|Finding the Flaw|+1 level
4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Abiding in Stone|+1 level
5th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Augmented Ally, In Grundor’s Name|+1 level[/table]

The inquisitor’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis). See Chapter 4 of the Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Inquisitors gain no proficiency with weapons, armor or shields.
Spells per Day: An inquisitor gain improved caster level, new spells per day and spells known as if advancing in the divine spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class.
Seal of the Earthlord: The inquisitor bears the seal of the Council of Elders, and few are willing to cross a servant of the elders of the dwarven nation. The inquisitor gains a +5 circumstance bonus to all Diplomacy and Intimidate checks, but only when he is speaking in an official capacity as a representative of the council.
Resources: As a representative of the council, the inquisitor has access to an array of resources, even when outside of Safehaven. For example, a human merchant in Denapoli may owe a favor to a Longtraveler caravan master, who owes the Council in turn. By taking some time to acclimate himself to the political climate in a large city, the character may pull the strings and learn what resources he can collect in that area. Use of this ability requires at least one day in a large city and a check of 1d20 + twice his inquisitor level + Charisma modifier + community modifier. Community modifiers are shown on table 7–2: Community Modifiers.

Legal Boilerplate on accessing resources:
The Resources table (7–3) describes resources available in terms of goods and services or retainers, the two most common types of resources requisitioned by the inquisitors. Goods and services represent the maximum value of a gift or service performed to pay off the favor. (The gift is the choice of the giver; if the inquisitor demands a specific gift divide the maximum value by half.)
Retainer indicates the loan of a retainer in the employ of one of the Council’s allies. This retainer joins the Inquisitor as an additional cohort for the duration of his time in the area. If the cohort dies while in the Inquisitor’s service, the usual penalties for losing a cohort apply. The exact nature of the cohort is determined by the DM. If the Inquisitor demands a retainer of a specific clan, class, or gender, reduce the cohort’s level by one per demand, to a minimum of one.
The inquisitor may not requisition resources from a given location more than once per month, except in the city of Safehaven, where he may do so once per week. No matter where he is, the inquisitor is calling upon the carefully hoarded wealth and influence of the Council of Elders, and the Council expects such resources to be used wisely. An inquisitor who spends requisitioned resources foolishly or frivolously can expect a reprimand from his superiors at the very least, and may lose the use of this class ability if he falls too far from the Council’s favor.

{table=head]Community Size|Population|Modifier|Example
Outpost|20-80|-1|Icefall Quarry
Hamlet|81-400|0|Aspengrove Village
Village|401-900|+1|Kobernus Point
Small Town|901-2,000|+2|Arendel
Large Town|2,001-5,000|+3|Deverrin
Small City|5,001-12,000|+4|Safehaven
Large City|12,001-25,000|+5|Shadroch

{table=head]DC|Type of Favor|Goods/Services|Retainer
Less Than 25|None available|up to 100 gp|1d3 levels (1-3)
25|Minor|up to 500 gp|1d4+1 levels (2-5)
30|Standard|up to 1,000 gp|1d6+3 levels (4-9)
35|Great|up to 2,000 gp|1d8+4 levels (5-12)
40|Exceptional|up to 5,000 gp|1d10+6 levels (7-16)[/table]
Augmented Summoning: Grundor Earthlord was also known as the Master of Hounds. Beginning at 2nd level, the inquisitor gains the benefits of the Augmented Summoning feat when summoning canine or dog-like creatures, and may summon any non-chaotic canine without facing alignment consequences (although he is still liable for the use to which these creatures are put).
Dwarffather’s Judgment: Inquisitors of the Council are Grundor’s chosen servants, and it is well-known that his wrath is turned against any who would oppose his servants. Beginning at 2nd level, the inquisitor’s standing and reputation reach such a point that anyone of the same character level or lower (or Hit Dice for monsters) has trouble taking direct actions against the Inquisitor. This results in a penalty to any actions made to directly affect the inquisitor, including attacks or skill checks made in opposition to the inquisitor. The inquisitor also gains an equal bonus to any saving throws against actions made directly against him by such individuals.
Finding the Flaw: Sometimes what seem to be the mightiest stones are actually the weakest, for deep within lie hidden flaws. The inquisitor knows that people, like stones, often contain hidden weaknesses, and he has developed a sharp eye for discerning what lies hidden in their hearts. Upon reaching 3rd level, the inquisitor may Take 20 on Sense Motive checks as a free action.
Abiding In Stone: Stone possesses the strength to weather almost any calamity undisturbed. At this level, the inquisitor embraces the steadfastness of the earth, becoming so certain in the use of his techniques that he can use them reliably even under the most adverse of circumstances. Upon reaching 4th level, select a number of class skills equal to 3 + the Inquisitor’s Intelligence modifier. The inquisitor may always Take 10 when using these skills.
Augmented Ally: The mightiest of the inquisitors, fearless zealots who are pure in their service to Grundor, can call upon the avatars of the true Hounds of Grundor. When a 5th level inquisitor summons a hound archon using a planar ally spell (including the lesser and greater versions), he can make a Diplomacy check to convince the creature to aid him for a reduced payment. If he meets a DC of 25, the creature will work for 50% of the standard fee, as long as the task is not one that is against its nature. If he meets a DC of 35, it will work for free. If the inquisitor seeks aid in bringing to justice a criminal who has been officially sanctioned by the council, he gains a +10 circumstance bonus on his Diplomacy check, and the hound archon will be willing to help even if the task involves substantial personal danger.
In Grundor’s Name: Acting with the Council’s blessing gives the inquisitor the authority and unshakable confidence to accomplish nearly any task. Once per day, a 5th level inquisitor may instantly Take 20 on any skill or ability check involved in the execution of his official duties (DM’s discretion whether a skill check is so involved). This does not increase the amount of time required to perform the task.

2010-01-10, 02:52 AM
Hmm. I like it. It's a nice truth flavored PrC, which I think is useful. It seems aimed at Paladins honestly, though you mention that those are rare for some reason? Probably just fluff in your world I guess.

Anyways, I like the class. I do have two nitpicks, and one "you might wanna watch this" concern.

-Any possible entry gives them simple weapons already, why mention it again here?
-No need to mention that taking 20 on Sense Motive checks are free actions, as Sense Motive has no action listed, and thus it's not super relevant. Just saying you can take 20 on Sense Motive checks is pretty clear. Also, this ability is pretty good.

-I'd watch for possible abuses of Resources. It seems like it'd be easy to really kinda abuse, especially since it's basically free money. I know you'd probably keep a tight eye on it, but it is something I am wary of. Not really a criticism per say, but something that is worth watching closely.

2010-01-10, 03:39 AM
It's interesting, but it seems like it could be re-flavored just a bit to allow all races. Take away the deity's name in the abilities, and the class suddenly becomes available to pretty much every stone-related race. Just saying.

I'm thinking dwarffather's judgment is too powerful. -2/-4 to everything affecting the inquisitor negatively? That's essentially hexblade's curse permanently, without a save. The only thing stopping it are high-HD enemies. You also spelled judgment wrong.

Does in Grundor’s name let you take 20 on skill checks with skills you are not trained in?

I'm kind of tired now to be looking at the class. I'll try and come back tomorrow and critique more.

2010-01-10, 11:28 AM
This is a very well thought out prestige class. Thanks so much for putting in all the notations to house rules, etc. as it makes it easier to understand.

I think getting a hound archon to work for free at DC 30 is too low. It really should be DC 40 as it should be twice as difficult to get one to work for free as it would be to get one to work at 50%.

Appraisal would be a more appropriate class skill than Craft for this prestige class.


2010-01-10, 01:25 PM
Note on the Hound Archon, since I was a bit concerned too, till I thought about it some more. The fastest possible entry is Cleric 5, meaning you can't get Augmented Ally (needs a better name too) till level 10. At level 10, a Hound Archon, while useful, isn't that game breaking. In fact, they aren't that good even. The best thing they've got is greater teleport, and honestly, if you're using planar ally to get a free teleporter for a day or two, I don't have an issue with it. I think that's probably a fine ability, especially since it only works on Hound Archons.

2010-01-10, 08:42 PM
By 10th level, a Diplomacy check at DC 40 shouldn't be impossible either, but I'll concede to the DC 30 in that a creature summoned by planar ally should be considered helpful.


2010-01-11, 11:40 PM
All: Thanks for the excellent feedback, and for the compliments! This class is something I've invested a lot of effort into, and it's great to get help from the community to make it even better.


You're correct, the paladin shortage is just a campaign fluff issue. The truth flavor is exactly what I was going for -- I tend to favor investigative and roleplaying encounters and city adventuring in my campaigns, with less hack'n'slash and fewer dungeon crawls.
Good point on the simple weapon proficiency and sense motive checks. I've removed the weapon proficiencies, but I'll leave in the verbage on sense motive because my players tend to be weak on the finer points of the rules.
Your point on Resources is well-taken. I'll need to carefully monitor players who take this class.

You're correct on the reflavoring, although the specificity of the class increases its value to me by helping to define Safehaven in the player's minds as a grim, slightly xenophobic police-state.
Good catch on the typo too, and yes, I see what you mean about Dwarffather's Judgment. I'm basically giving out +4 AC and +4 to all saves. I had originally created this as a 10-level class and later compressed it to 5 -- a -4 on rolls made more sense when it couldn't be gained until level 13-14. I'll strip out the improvement to the ablity.
In Grundor's Name can be used on untrained skill checks, although it doesn't allow a character to attempt an untrained check with a trained-only skill. The chief balancing point on that power is that the check must be related to the official business of the council (i.e. DM-controlled plot threads).


I had been juuust on the edge of increasing the DC to 25/35, and you've convinced me. While the ability is not all that powerful, as Arguskos notes, it should require some growing to reach its full potency. If the inquisitor can take 10 and autopass the check as soon as he gains the ability, then the DCs are pointless and I'd be better off just providing the benefit automatically.