I'm interested in building an Inquisitor with the Suit Seeker and Sin Eater archetypes. I know you cannot take two archetypes that replace the same class feature.

From the Suit Seeker archetype:

Domain: A suit seeker must select the Knowledge or Luck domain; the Memory or Fate subdomain; or the Fate, Fervor, or Illumination inquisition.

This archetype forces you to choose from a small subset of domains, subdomains, and inquisitions.

From the Sin Eater archetype:

Eat Sin (Sp)

At 1st level, as a free action, when the sin eater inquisitor kills an enemy, she may eat the sins of that enemy by spending 1 minute adjacent to its corpse. This provokes attacks of opportunity. The inquisitor can rush this ritual, performing it as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, but she only gains half the normal benefit (see below).

Eating the enemy’s sins heals the inquisitor of a number of hit points of damage equal to 1d8 + her inquisitor level (maximum +5). The enemy must have been killed by the sin eater within the last hour, and it must have had at least as many Hit Dice as half the inquisitor’s level. The inquisitor can use this ability once for each enemy she kills. This ability has no effect on mindless creatures or those with Intelligence 2 or less.

At 5th level, the healing increases to 2d8 plus her inquisitor level (maximum +10); it increases to 3d8 + her inquisitor level (maximum +15) at 9th level and to 4d8 + her inquisitor level (maximum +20) at 13th level.

In some faiths, this “eating” is a purely symbolic act, while in others, the inquisitor must eat a small amount of food and water as part of the ritual. A few extreme faiths actually require the inquisitor to eat some of the body of the slain enemy.

At 8th level, when a sin eater eats the sins of a creature that would rise as an undead (such as someone slain by a shadow, spectre, or vampire), the sin eater may choose to accept 1 temporary negative level to absorb the taint in the corpse, preventing it from rising as an undead. This negative level can be removed with the appropriate magic, though it automatically expires after 24 hours, and never becomes a permanent negative level. At the GM’s discretion, this ability may prevent a ghost from using its rejuvenation ability.

This ability replaces an inquisitor’s domain. (Emphasis Mine)

Because I no longer would have a domain due to the Sin Eater archetype, would that make the Suit Seeker archetype unavailable, because I no longer have access to a domain? Or does it mean that now I don't have access to a domain, the restrictions do not matter?


2 Answers 2



You can take both. You cannot take two archetypes that replace the same class feature, but that isn't occurring. There is no implication that in order to be a Suit Seeker, you must take those domains - simply that if you are a Suit Seeker, you must select them. You don't get a selection, so it's moot - it never comes up, and being a suit seeker never forces you to pick only those options.

Not everyone will agree with this, however.

Some people will say it is against the spirit of the rules. Others, that since it says 'must' your inability to do it means you suddenly stop being a Suit Seeker (despite that not being RAW, or any interaction of anything).

They shouldn't, though.

Kneejerk reactions aside, this is not optimized or optimizing. Combining those two archetypes does not appreciably add to the power of an inquisitor. It is therefore purely a roleplaying choice. I'm pretty sure the game's designers would have little or no problem with a Suit Seeking Sin Eater, despite having a notable history of kneejerking themselves.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. I wasn't looking to do it for an optimized reason, it was mostly for the flavor. I've always liked the Sin Eater archetype (Partially for flavor, partially for mechanics), and I thought it would be interesting to augment it with the harrow power from the Suit Seeker. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2015 at 5:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @misterducky Having interesting mechanics that are differentiated from other members of <class> is the entire point of the Archetype system, which was intended to replace multiclassing and advancement prestige classes. That it rarely provides meaningful mechanical changes to the base class I consider a fault in the system as a whole. Any differentiation you can wring from it is, I believe, to be encouraged. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jun 7, 2015 at 12:15

Most agree that the inquisitor archetypes sin eater and suit seeker are incompatible...

That's because Class Archetypes on Alternate Class Features says that

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the base class as another alternate class feature.

Emphasis mine. The debate you can have with the GM is over whether replace or alter is inclusive or exclusive. As this 2015 Paizo Messageboards thread demonstrates, the majority believe the phrase inclusive, but a vocal and dedicated minority believe the phrase exclusive.

Summarizing both sides:

  • If one archetype alters or replaces a class feature and another archetype alters or replaces the same class feature, those archetypes are incompatible, therefore making these two archetypes incompatible. This is the majority view.
  • If one archetype alters a class feature then another archetype replaces the same class feature, those archetypes are compatible, therefore making these two archetypes compatible. This is the minority view.

In other words, ask the GM. It's a rules hole that's yet to be filled.

...But combining these archetypes anyway won't break the game

Each archetype is merely quirky and presents no threat to game balance even if the two are combined.

The archetype sin eater costs the inquisitor the class feature domain in exchange for minor situational healing and, later, an effect like the spell speak with dead (already on the inquisitor spell list) except not needing the corpse (which is pretty spiffy). A domain could've gotten the inquisitor an animal companion, while 750 gp could've gotten the inquisitor a wand of cure light wounds and 4,500 gp a page of spell knowledge.

The archetype suit seeker costs the inquisitor the judgments justice, purity, and resistance in exchange for a chance to increase his level for computing his judgment by up to 2 at level 1, up to 4 at level 8, and up to 6 at level 16. The suit seeker draws from a 54-card deck hoping to match one or more of the deck's 9 appropriate cards with the judgment the inquisitor activates (or the inquisitor switches his judgment after having drawn the cards). Someone better at statistics can determine the odds, but I'm guessing not good, and any payoff at all will likely only bump up the judgment to the next category. Losing the judgments to do this is a really big deal.

Which means they're fun archetypes not power play archetypes. You get to heal your wounds with the souls of the slain! You pass holy judgment through the luck of the draw! That's goofy and cool, and no GM should have a problem with combining these two archetypes because of game balance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggestions for improvement welcome. I am happy to update this 5-year-old answer with new information if some is available. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2020 at 3:52

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