The inquisitor represents a common trope found in fantasy stories, mythology, and to a lesser extent historythe driven warrior fighting for a religious cause. From Samson and the judges of the Old Testament to the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne, the Knights of the Round Table, Saladin, Gochiin no Tajima, and Saito Musashibo Benkei, stories of the religious warrior are commonplace. Modern fantasy stories and roleplaying games pick up on this tradition, which can be seen as the source of the paladin class, and the martial feel of the cleric class.
In many ways the inquisitor is a midstep between the spellcasting cleric and the fighting paladin, with lower attack bonuses and hit point totals than the paladin but fewer spells than the cleric, though augmented with more powers that aid her in combat. Much like the other class that has spontaneous spellcasting up to 6th-level spells, the bard, the inquisitor also cant be pinned down easily in terms of her role in a group. She can serve as a fine back-up warrior, but she will never outshine barbarians, fighters, paladins, or rangers. She has access to a good range of spells for both healing and damage, but lacks the spell slots to do either for long and doesnt have enough good buffing spells to be much help aiding other classes in fulfilling their roles.
However, the inquisitor is remarkably self-reliant. She isnt likely to need other classes to protect or augment her, leaving her free to act on her own in most conflicts. And while she has neither the fighting prowess or spell power to make a major impact with those roles alone, she also has sole access to a fascinating brand new mechanic: the judgment. Judgments are special supernatural bonuses an inquisitor can call upon a limited number of times per day. They provide combat advantages that last for an entire combat, and as an inquisitor gains levels she can call on them more often and more at once. Although judgments dont allow an inquisitor to surpass her fellow adventurers in their specialties, they do give her the flexibility to react to a wide range of situations in combat. Depending on the foe she faces, an inquisitor can enhance her accuracy, damage, resilience, or healing power with her judgments. They are the unique element of the class, and serve as the main thing that keeps an inquisitor from being a cleric with fewer spells.
It would makes sense, then, if the inquisitor had access to a large list of judgments from which a player could customize and focus the character. Alas, a lack of space makes a long list of judgments impractical in the Advanced Players Guide (especially given that the inquisitor already has new spells and teamwork feats that take up considerable room). To broaden the utility of judgments, Advanced Options: Inquisitors Judgments present several new judgments, a judgment-heavy alternative inquisitor class, and a few new judgment-focused feats.