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LugWrench

Creating Inquisitors

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I'm looking to make a long-term Nemesis for my F&D game and I'd like something a little more....unique than the cookie-cutter Inquisitors in the back of the F&D core books.  Would I start with a pre-fab Inquisitor from the book, and then start giving it XP's  and leveling it up like a character?  Or should I/How would I make an Inquisitor from scratch and have it level up right along with the players (so it would be more akin to a PC than an NPC)?

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XP and leveling is kinda awkward, since NPCs and PCs don't quite work the same when you talk encounters and adventures.

What I think works is to start with the Encounter where the players face him, and work backwards.

What does that encounter look like? Where do you see it happening? What will the Inquisitor do in that encounter? Will he die, or is there an escape option for him? What difficulty will the kind of checks he makes be? What talents do the players have you want him to counter? What gear and weapons will he need?

Once you know that you can build your stats, and from there apply a personality to match,...

 

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What worked best for my campaign, and what I' m hoping will work with the new game I'm running now, is to make NPC's special more through story than stats.

I had several Inquisitors in my first campaign. Each one had a fairly similar skillset, based off of the set up in the back of the CRB. What really distinguished the various Inquisitors was how I flavored them, and the magnitude with which I handled them. For example, one Inquisitor was a former Nightsister, and I often described her Force abilities to evoke the magicks we see in The Clone Wars. Green, wispy flame when she used Unleash, green ichor being ripped from the player's bodies when she used Harm, ect. And her Stormtrooper entourage and other NPCs who knew about and reacted to the Nightsister Inquisitor helped to sell how, well, creepy she was.

Another Inquisitor I made was a Trandoshan hunter with ambitions to become a true Sith. He was the big bad of most of the campaign, and I did my best to keep his actual interactions with the party few and far between. The party didn't fear him because he beat them up in a fight. They feared him because his presence was always felt during the game, like a looming shadow. Star destroyers closing in, brief glimpses of an armored Trandoshan in hot pursuit while the players were on the run. And the few times the Inquisitor did get involved, he typically offed a major, story-relevant NPC. Everything about the Inquisitor's presence had been designed to frighten the players of the power behind him. The power he represented, that of the Empire.

Sure, I also statted him in a way that he did a decent job of countering the two most dangerous PCs, but that was an after thought. What really kept my players going was how I integrated him into the story.

Mechanically speaking, I'd just go with the standard rules for how to make the normal Inquisitors. Then I'd look through the books and find a handful of talents that you feel would be both thematic and would help them against your players. Oh, and also, give the Inquisitor Parry and Reflect, in addition to however many other Inquisitor talents, abilities, and powers you feel they need. 

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Look to Force Powers and Supreme Talents.

Have a "specialist" at Influence, that mind-controls Innocents and sends them screaming at the PCs.

Or Suppress, who is very effective at shutting down their Powers.

Or an extremely mobile (Enhance, and 2 Initiative Slots) Inquisitor who uses Saber Throw, a lot.

Heavily ranked Terrify.

The Scathing Tirade chain.

The list goes on.

But do not bother to "level them up" like a PC. At most just get an idea of what is possble with ~1000 XP RE: Soak and Defense and Characteristics and bog-standard Talents like Parry/Reflect (of note, I would recommend giving all Inquisitors the Improved versions of those Talents at a minimum), Sense Danger, the Force Is My Ally, a few ranks of Second Wind, etc. and figure out your own "baseline" Inquisitor.

Then just tack on the specific Supreme Talents and Powers (including Inquisitor-only "Upgrades") that you need to make them feel special.

Edited by emsquared

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I think, ultimately, what I'm looking for is a way to build an Inquisitor that will stand up to what my party is going to throw at him.  My players live by the mantra 'If brute force (i.e. explosives) failed to solve your problem, you didn't use enough of it.'.  I have a few tricks and other Dastardly Ideas for the various fights that this guy will show up in, so it won't be just him Vs. the party.  I want him to have force abilities, and the ones used in the F&D book for building Inquisitors is nice, but how would I add (or upgrade) force powers?  How would they up their skills?  How would I best keep this guy at rough parity with my party?  Emsquared has some good ideas, but can I just 'bolt on' powers and skills as I feel necessary?

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1 minute ago, LugWrench said:

I think, ultimately, what I'm looking for is a way to build an Inquisitor that will stand up to what my party is going to throw at him.  My players live by the mantra 'If brute force (i.e. explosives) failed to solve your problem, you didn't use enough of it.'.  I have a few tricks and other Dastardly Ideas for the various fights that this guy will show up in, so it won't be just him Vs. the party.  I want him to have force abilities, and the ones used in the F&D book for building Inquisitors is nice, but how would I add (or upgrade) force powers?  How would they up their skills?  How would I best keep this guy at rough parity with my party?  Emsquared has some good ideas, but can I just 'bolt on' powers and skills as I feel necessary?

The cool thing about the make your own Inquisitor rules is that they are just the groundwork. It’s fully intended that you use them only as a starting point and can expand upon them however you want in order to make your Inquisitor truly unique.

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1 minute ago, Tramp Graphics said:

The cool thing about the make your own Inquisitor rules is that they are just the groundwork. It’s fully intended that you use them only as a starting point and can expand upon them however you want in order to make your Inquisitor truly unique.

*Insert Evil GM Grin here*

 

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If you want a recurring villain, I think Underachiever599  has the right idea: don't let the PCs face him directly very often.  Since the Inquisitorious doesn't get involved until there's a reason, the first "encounters" should probably indirect.  Round one could be an ambush by local troops, with the Inquisitor observing from a distance to learn the PC's tactics.  Next up could be a capture mission, possibly using specialist troops or mercenaries.  Only after they've confirmed Force users are present and have started to learn a bit about the group's strengths and weaknesses, should the Inquisitor start getting involved directly - and they should always have a way out planned.  The important thing is for the Inquisitor to always have the initiative - not in combat, but in staging the encounters with the PCs.

Assume the PCs will win any straight battle the Inquisitor initiates, and have a way to avoid losing.  "We can kill him in just 5 more rounds" sounds good . . . unless there's a pair of AT-AT's 3 rounds away (conveniently loud enough to hear/feel over the sounds of battle).  Disengage while "winning" so they can flee should become the party's MO, with a transition towards having the Inquisitor being the one to flee as the party get's more powerful - and then the Inquisitor changes tactics and starts going after the PC's support network.  Eventually the PCs should get fed up with the interference and go on the offense, trying to take the fight to the Inquisitor.  When they finally chase him down after cutting off his access to Imperial resources, you'll get the climactic battle with no more escape options* and the death of their nemesis.

*Any opportunity to "lose" the body for a second round is, of course, acceptable.  With Darth Maul surviving Naboo part of canon again (And Anakin, for that matter), plausibility is not particularly necessary.

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11 hours ago, LugWrench said:

can I just 'bolt on' powers and skills as I feel necessary?

No. George Lucas will come to your house and force you to change the name of your dog to something of HIS choosing if you do. *shudders*

Seriously, nothing obeys the Career/Spec system except players. You do what you need to, to make a good story.

The main thing you need to be wary of is, don't give your Inquisitors any items/gear that you're not okay with your players having (ie really good armor and weapons, etc.).

And don't try to pull off the "lone baddy" encounter. Action economy deficit will kill you.

Edited by emsquared

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Oh, don't worry, Emsquared.  My Main Villains never fight fair.  And, really, the guy I plan on making won't be seeing combat for quite a while, so the players won't be getting any Spiffy Toys of his body until the campaign is pretty much done.

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In my last campaign I had my PCs meet the night brothers on Dathomir mid-campaign. One of the brothers was a badass force sensitive that they had to face off with a couple of times. They incapacitated him during a big battle in a temple on Dathomir. They also stole something from his tribe (a dark side amulet) and so he went looking for them to get revenge and get his amulet back. During his search for the PCs he came across the Empire who saw that their goals aligned and so they brought the brother into the inquisitor program. This was all unknown to the PCs until the big reveal in the finale. When they met him in the finale he was wearing inquisitor armor, carried an inquisitor saber and had some new-improved abilities.

Mechanically speaking: At first meeting, before he became an inquisitor, the night brother was a Rival with 'Enhance' force power (with force leap) and carried an electrostaff. When they met him during the finale he was a Nemesis level threat, WT and ST in the mid 20's. He had: Saber throw, Enhance (with force leap), Parry 4, Reflect 4. He also had the inquisitor saber that has some special abilities when used in the double saber mode and spin mode. He was unique but I used Maul and the 5th and 7th Siblings from Dawn of Rebellion as references. It's probably good to note that he was knight level (plus) threat at the finale of a year-long campaign so I had to pull out all the stops.

Edit: Also, I should mention that between the initial and final meetings, the PCs went to an ISB facility. They found a training room with some prisoners that had been cut in half with some sort of heat weapon. This was an EotE campaign so it was the first time the players saw evidence of a light saber in the game. This was a major foreshadow without actually introducing my new threat directly. It also worked well because my melee player decided to invest in some cortosis weapons after that.

Edited by VadersMarchKazoo

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