Friday, 18 November 2011
review: divine favor - the inquisitor
DISCLAIMER: Review based on PDF copy provided by Open Design.
Overall: 4.5 scapulars.
This is an ambitious book, if you're fine with the inquisitor class as written, the spells and archetypes will interest you. If you're a rules hacker though, this book really comes to life. Inquisitors are already quite versatile and this book offers options which if you're developing from scratch work wonders though established characters might need a little crowbar & lubrication for the new options available.
Content: 4 scapulars (Excellent if mildly unorthodox, rules hackers & tweakers will love it).
Stefen Styrsky goes to town with the inquisitor, immediately emphasising the classes' offensive capabilities. Censures and condemnations are new abilities and replace the judgement and solo tactics/teamwork feats. The latter feel more like sinister versions of the paladin's mercy abilities which is fitting for the class. A typical inquisitor is empowered to bring down their foe, the build here is much more anti-personnel in nature. Inquisitions replace domain abilities and built around the Midgard setting though adaptation is simple enough. Archetypes is where this book really shines with the ghost hunter, hand of god (assassin/monk/inquisitor), penitent (anti-inquisitor inquisitor), stalking shadow (assassin inquisitor), sworn foe (ranger/inquisitor) and witch hunter (guaranteed hit at parties, perhaps not with parties). New spells offer some wonderful new weapons for the discerning inquisitor. Greater brand, nail foot and well of angry souls make the inquisitor a fearful figure. Three extra feats around the new condemnation ability feels sparse given the plethora of new abilities in this book and compared with other entries in this series - perhaps a missed opportunity though an advert for Complete Advanced Feats on the last page is perhaps opportune.
Art & Layout: 5 scapulars (good cover, subtle layout makes content stand out)
A good cover from Christophe Swal helps give this inquisitor an unsettling air. The skull-flail might be a censer or something much more sinister. The illuminated layout inside seems subtler than Divine Favor - The Cleric and The Oracle and really focusses you on the content. That is a sign of excellent layout and hats off to Timothy Wickham for walking that particular tightrope.
In conclusion, this book pushes the boat out for inquisitors in the same way that Divine Favor - The Cleric did. While there is a cornucopia of spells, the light feats section ends the book on a mild anticlimax. For a GM confident in their handling of crunch and willing to experiment, this book is golden and worthy of a five scapular rating. For those content with the inquistor as written the new options may be less appealing though the archetypes and spells are excellent, making this book a worthy addition.