General Prestige Class : Shadowbane Inquisitor

Clad in bone-white armor and wreathed in righteous conviction, shadowbane inquisitors battle incessantly against evil in whatever form it takes. Every shadowbane inquisitor belongs to a fellowship of religious knights called the Order of Illumination (see page 179). The order advocates merciless aggression against evil, and its members train to detect and destroy evil creatures and individuals. Filled with fervor, an inquisitor knows only one solution to an infestation of evil: the sword. The purifying flame and the clean cut of a holy blade are his tools.

Along with their comrades (as members of the order refer to one another) the shadowbane stalkers, inquisitors find and confront evil wherever it hides. Unlike shadowbane stalkers, however, inquisitors emphasize purging evil rather than finding it. Their relentless zeal and their overwhelming belief in their own righteousness allow shadowbane inquisitors to root out evil cleanly, even ii it costs the lives of a few good creatures, without the moral doubt that other knights might feel. The Order of Illumination expounds that it is better to sacrifice a village that hides s powerful demon than it is to risk letting the demon escape or the evil spread. Although inquisitors remain devoted to the cause of good, this conviction allows them to use their abilities against enemies regardless of their alignment.

Inquisitors must watch shadowbane stalkers carefully to make sure they do not slip into darkness - stalkers are willing to use subterfuge to find evil where it hides, and subtlety and stealth are tools of evil. This situation occasionally puts the two branches of the Order of Illumination at odds, but the order as a whole remains zealously dedicated to good.

Almost all shadowbane inquisitors were once paladins who took a few levels of rogue to better understand and combat the subtle forces of evil. This unusual class combination gives the inquisitor a remarkable ability to resist the manipulations of evil creatures and confront them without fear. Some cleric/rogues become inquisitors, sacrificing their study of divine magic in order to perfect their combat abilities.

Adaptation: Shadowbane inquisitors can easily be added to a campaign as part of a less extreme organization by portraying them as good-aligned detectives with solid combat abilities and distinctive special powers. Although most martial characters have difficulty participating in detective work or social encounters, the inquisitors shine in both areas. On the other hand, simply removing the alignment requirement from the class and renaming it to fit a neutral or evil order of knights makes the inquisitor into a much more overt entry class for the blackguard prestige class.


To qualify to become a Shadowbane Inquisitor, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The shadowbane inquisitor's class skills are Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Gather Information, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (religion), Move Silently, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, and Swim.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadowbane inquisitors are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Absolute Conviction (Ex): Should a shadowbane inquisitor's alignment ever change from lawful good for any reason, he may not take additional levels in this prestige class, but he does not lose any class abilities from levels already attained.

Pierce Shadows (Su): A shadowbane inquisitor can spend one of his daily uses of his turn undead ability to shed a holy radiance. This light brightly illuminates an area in a radius of 20 feet plus 5 feet per class level of the inquisitor. The light is centered on the inquisitor and sheds no shadowy illumination beyond its border. This radiance lasts for 10 minutes per inquisitor class level.

Sacred Stealth (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a shadowbane inquisitor can channel some of his divine spell power to become stealthier. To do this, he must lose a prepared divine spell from memory (or give up a potential spell slot for the day if he casts spells as a sorcerer). He gains a +4 sacred bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks for a number of minutes equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) plus the level of spell given up in this manner.

At 7th level, the bonus increases to +8. Using this ability is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity (see Swift Actions and Immediate Actions, page 137).

Smite (Su): Once per day, a shadowbane inquisitor of 2nd level or higher can attempt to smite a creature that he judges to be corrupt with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his attack roll and deals an extra 1 point of damage per inquisitor class level. Unlike with a paladin's smite evil ability, an inquisitor relies only on his own judgment when determining what creatures to use this ability against. How an inquisitor uses this ability exemplifies his outlook on the work. The more suspicious and uncompromising an inquisitor is, the more likely he is to feel that a creature should be struck down. An inquisitor can use this ability twice per day at 6th level and three times per day at 10th level.

Improved Sunder: At 3rd level, a shadowbane becomes accomplished at shattering the weapons of his foes and tainted magic items. He gains the Improved Sunder feat as a bonus feat.

Sneak Attack (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, a shadowbane inquisitor deals an extra 1d6 points of damage when flanking an opponent or any rime the target would be denied its Dexterity bonus. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. It increases to 2d6 points at 7th level and 3d6 points at 10th level. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player's Hand book. If a shadowbane inquisitor gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as levels of rogue), the bonuses on damage stack.

Merciless Purity (Su): Beginning at 5th level, a shadowbane inquisitor benefits when his enemies perish. Upon the death of a creature that the inquisitor has designated as corrupt, he gains a +1 sacred bonus on his Fortitude and Reflex saves for the next 24 hours. An inquisitor designates a creature as corrupt in his eyes by using his smite ability (see above) as part of a melee attack against the creature. The inquisitor need not kill the creature himself. An inquisitor can benefit from this ability only once per day; subsequent deaths of creatures that he has designated as corrupt grant no special benefit.

Righteous fervor (Su): When an inquisitor of 8th level or higher designates a creature as corrupt, he gains a +1 sacred bonus on attack and damage rolls against that creature for the rest of the encounter. The inquisitor designates a creature as corrupt by using his smite ability (see above) as part of a melee attack against the creature. This bonus does not apply to the smite attempt itself, only to subsequent attacks against the same creature made in that encounter.

Burning Light (Su): At 9th level and higher, an inquisitor can spend one of his daily uses of his turn undead ability to deal damage to creatures around him. To do this, he must already have his pierce shadows ability active. All creatures within the illuminated area (except for the inquisitor) take 4d6 points of damage. This damage results directly from divine power and is not subject to being reduced by energy resistance. Using this ability requires a standard action.

Multiclassing Note: A paladin can multiclass as a shadowbane inquisitor without losing his ability to take additional levels of paladin. In addition, he can multiclass freely between the paladin and rogue classes and may even gain additional rogue levels. He must still remain lawful good in order to retain his paladin abilities and take paladin levels.

Fallen Inquisitors

Like paladins, shadowbane inquisitors occasionally fall into darkness and evil. The light of self-righteousness burns strongly within an inquisitor, and he never faces the self-doubt or moral dilemmas that heroes of less conviction must deal with. It is this overwhelming confidence in his own ability to define what is right and wrong, however, that sometimes leads an inquisitor into darkness. The path of the inquisitor is long and dangerous, and those who complete it are among the most powerful and persistent opponents of evil. But those who fall, having known the heights of purity, become evil beyond reckoning.

Convinced of their own moral purity, fallen inquisitors pursue their vile agenda without ever feeling doubt, and they are often charismatic enough to draw others into their wicked plans. Should an inquisitor who also has paladin levels ever gain levels in the blackguard class, his shadowbane inquisitor levels stack with his paladin levels when determining the number of extra abilities that the blackguard gains for having paladin levels. For example, if a 5th-level paladin/1st-level rogue/5th-level shadowbane inquisitor takes a level of blackguard, he gains extra blackguard class abilities as if he were a fallen paladin of 10th level.

Shadowbane InquisitorHit Die: d10
1st+1+2+0+0Absolute conviction pierce shadows
2nd+2+3+0+0Sacred stealth (+4), smite 1/day
3rd+3+3+1+1Improved Sunder
4th+4+4-1+1Sneak attack +1d6
5th+5+4+1+1Merciless purity
6th+6+5*2+2Smite 2/day
7th+7+5+2+2Sacred stealth (+8), sneak attack +2d6
8th+8+6+2+2Righteous fervor
9th+9+6+3+3Burning light
10th+10+7+3+3Smite 3/day, sneak attack +3d6

Source: Complete Adventurer

General Prestige Classes