Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dazzling Inquisitor (Inquisitor Build)

Dazzling Inquisitor
Half-Orc Inquisitor with the Conversion Inquisition 17/Cavalier(Gendarme) with the order of the Cockatrice 2/Rouge(Thug) 1
Fear me!

The Primary Purpose of the Dazzling Inquisitor is to intimidate his foes, both in and outside of combat. His main method is dazzling display, but he gets a few other tricks down the road. He is also a decent front line fighter.  Your first two levels are Cavalier (Gendarme) with the Order of the Cockatrice. Next you dip one level of Rogue (Thug). The rest is Inquisitor with the Conversion Inquisition.



Put your increases into strength. If your wisdom is under 16, make sure that is maintains pace with the spells you can cast. With the Conversion Inquisition, Charisma does nothing for this build.

Also, choose the half-orc favored bonus, by adding ½ to intimidate checks every level.

15 Point Buy
STR: 18 (16+2)
DEX: 13
CON: 14
INT: 7
WIS: 14
CHA: 7

20 Point Buy
STR: 18 (12+2)
DEX: 13
CON: 14
INT: 7
WIS: 16
CHA: 7

25 Point Buy
STR: 18 (14+2)
DEX: 13
CON: 16
INT: 7
WIS: 16
CHA: 7


Unnatural Presence: This allows you to demoralize animals and vermin. Very useful!
Bully or Brute: +1 To intimidate


1: Cavalier: Power attack, Weapon Focus: Falchion
2: Cavalier: Dazzling Display
3: Rogue: Furious Focus
5: Intimidating Prowess
7: Cornugon Smash
9: Shatter Defenses
11: Antagonize
13: Persuasive
15: Dreadful Carnage
17: Dodge
19: Gory Finish

Suggested Gear

Standard weapon enchantment (keen helps) and armor enchantments. Grab a falchion for some sweet 18-20 crit range. You want the heaviest armor you can get - full plate? Nothing too special besides that. Ominous and Cruel weapon enchantments will help your cause.


Litanies are great, grab some of those. Besides that, Persuasive Goad and Instrument of Agony will be helpful.

What the Build Looks Like at...

This assumes a 20 point buy and only mundane equipment (not even masterwork)

Level 1: We are just a cavalier right now. Might as well grab a horse animal companion for a flanking buddy, as we won’t be riding for too long. We don’t have dazzling display yet, but we do have an intimidate +5. Other than that, we attack at +6 (18-20) for 2d4+6. 12 HP, 20 AC.

Level 4: We have dazzling display with +14 and all the usual inquisitor tricks, plus a few rogue and cavalier tricks. Other than that, we attack at +7 (+9 against shaken) (18-20) for 2d4+9. 34 HP, 20 AC.

Level 8: We intimidating at +26. With Judgement of Destruction, and power attack, we are attacking at +10 (18-20) for 2d4+15. 62 HP, 20 AC.

Level 12: We are intimidating at +34. With Judgement of Destruction and Justice, and power attack, we are attacking at +14/+8 (18-20) for 2d4+20.   90 HP, 20 AC. (Against Shaken opponents, DPR 23)

Level 16: We are intimidating at, um. +47, which means even if you roll a one on your intimidate check, you demoralize a CR 20 Red Dragon Wyrm for 2 rounds. With Judgement of Destruction and Justice, and power attack, we are attacking at +21/+13/+8 (18-20) for 2d4+23, which isn’t too shabby. We’ve got 118 HP, 24 AC.

Level 20: We are intimidating at +55, which means you have a 30% chance of demoralizing the CR 39 Lucifer for two rounds. With a decent ominous weapon and a good roll, you have a chance of making him flee! With Judgement of Destruction and Justice, and power attack, we are attacking at +25/+16/+11 (18-20) for 2d4+27, which isn’t too shabby. We can also have protection up, yielding 146 HP, 25 AC.


First round, dazzling display as a standard action, then charge in. Cause about half of the enemies to be frightened through your rogue archetype so that you only need to fight half at a time.  You can completely destroy enemies groups by having many or most of them flee, then picking off the remainder and killing the rest.  Cornugon smash and dreadful carnage will allow you to continue demoralizing in combat. Then, your level 9 shatter defenses will allow you to treat demoralized enemies as flat footed!

The rogue thug archetype allows you to increase the length of demoralize by one round, or change it to frightened if it would go for 4 rounds or longer. You also get sneak attack against all those flat footed enemies! Your Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier dip gives you +2 to hit demoralized enemies - which should be everybody.

If up against guys who can’t be demoralized, you still hit with an alright amount of punch, so get in there swinging. You also have a number of spells up your sleeves, and a decent wisdom score to back it up.

Your intimidate will also be very, very useful outside of combat.

Guide to the Builds
Comprehensive Guide to the Guides


  1. Fleeing enemies tend to, you know, actually flee. Especially if they are casters, loot teleporting away is not fun.

    Thug archetype is not recommended. Otherwise the build is very nice.

    1. Of course, the thug archetype just gives you the option to make them flee. Particularly useful in splitting a group in half, disposing of enemies you don't want to kill, or getting to the treasure guarded by something way above your pay grade. If you are think the enemy has sweet loot you might want to grab, and he has a way of escaping that you can't get to, then choose not to make them flee.

  2. Consider going with a bow instead of the falchion. Easier to hit fleeing enemies.

    Also consider Cruel on the weapon - when it hits someone who's shaken (as from intimidate) they become sickened too.

  3. Consider Skill Focus (Intimidate) rather than Persuasive. It nets you a +6 vs a +4 to Intimidate for the same number of feats.

    1. Also, Gory Finish is a redundant and less useful version of Dreadful Carnage. They effectively do the same thing except that Gory Finish reduces you to one attack and uses up your swift action for a turn. The only plus side to Gory Finish is that you can get it sooner than Dreadful Carnage, but you have it as the final feat.

  4. Thank you for posting this! I've been considering a Cavalier dip for an intimidate-based build, specifically running a monk to cheese the Demoralize feat and make for easier Stunning Fists. This build narrowly won out over a Thug Rogue build using Bludgeoner and the Sap Adept chain due to RP reasons. Your post has inspired me to take the dip!

  5. This is awesome the only changes I'd make to bring this build up to date would be to swap out some feats for violent display and hurtful.

  6. If you are doing this as a half-orc (and I agree you should) then the wolf is not a valid Cavalier animal companion since it has to be something that can act as a suitable mount for your character. Since you're just looking for a short-term flaking companion anyway, why not get a horse or a camel instead? It meets the criteria and it even does more damage than a wolf, at least in the short term. Just because it's a mount doesn't mean you have to ride it.

    Thanks for posting this build, by the way. it has been very helpful in giving me ideas for my own intimidate-focused inquisitor.

  7. How exxactly are you Dazzling Display as a Standard action?

    1. The level 2 ability of the order of the cockatrice:

    2. Wow, can't believe I missed that

    3. There's a lot going on here, so no worries.

  8. Would a 3 level dip in Antipaladin for Auro of Cowardice be worth it to make more creatures subject to intimidate?

    1. That's a very interesting dip! It's 3 levels, but it is full BAB and it gets us unholy resilience.

      The only problem is that the aura of cowardice only goes out 10 feet, so it's not going to include a ton of enemies. But honestly, the unholy resilience and full BAB makes this a very possible dip - if you happen to be chaotic evil.

  9. Hi! I -love- this build for Intimidation Inquisitors and I've made a few different versions of it because it's just so gosh darn fun.

    I'm currently using a variation in Rise of the Runelords (Anniversary Ed.) to absolutely hilarious effect. It's an Oni-Spawn Tiefling w/ Variant Ability #46: +2 Int and the Bruising Intellect trait. I changed out the Rogue dip because I don't want to lose the Inquisitor 18 unlocks and I'm using the Ravener Hunter (Battle) archetype to bring a bit more reliability to the fights. To keep the potential encounter shattering effect of Rogue, I've tossed the feat Signature Skill (Intimidate) into the pot and while it isn't an auto-fear, it usually does the job just fine.

    Thank you for sharing this, you're awesome! 💪