- You have been told of the Inquisition; that shadowy organisation which defends Mankind and the Emperor from the perils of heresy, possession, alien dominance and rebellion.You have been told the Inquisition are the ultimate defence against the phantoms of fear and terror which lurk in the darkness between the stars.You have been told the Inquisition are the bright saviours in an eclipse of evil; purest and most devoted warriors of the Emperor.You have been told the Inquisition is united in its cause to rid the galaxy of any threat, from without or within.Everything you have been told is a lie!
A Gaiden Game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Inquisitor focuses on the details of the Emperor's Most Holy Inquisition, specifically the ideological schisms and factional infighting that plague that organization, and the problems that arise when two loyal Imperial servants with unlimited authority have a disagreement with each other. It's notable for providing the first real insight into the workings of the Inquisition, which was portrayed in most previous materials as being monolithic, inscrutable, and united in the face of mankind's enemies.
Inquisitor is a "narrative wargame," designed more around telling stories than providing fair and balanced competition between two players, and in many ways could be considered the spiritual forefather to the first true 40k roleplaying game, Dark Heresy. It also served as the inspiration for the Eisenhorn series of novels by Dan Abnett. The game is also notable for its miniatures, which (at 54mm scale) are approximately twice as large as a normal 40k miniature, with a correspondingly increased level of detail. Although Games Workshop no longer actively supports Inquisitor, the miniatures remain available through the company's Specialist Games division, and the rulebooks and other supplementary material are available for download on the GW website.
The game provides examples of:
- Blade Below the Shoulder: The Power Fist used by Inquisitor Tyrusnote is fitted with a retractable power knife that can be used as a punch dagger when the fanatical Inquisitor requires precision and speed over destructive power.
- Blown Across the Room and Punched Across the Room: Characters have a "Knockback" value equal to 1/10th their Strength. If you get hit with something that does at least that much damage, you go flying or (just as often) get knocked down.
- Character Alignment: "Puritan" Inquisitors are essentially Lawful and "Radicals" are Chaotic, but whether they're Good or Evil rather depends on where you're standing. This is only a characterisation device, though, with no game mechanic to represent it — two Puritans with conflicting agendas could perfectly easily find themselves fighting, although each would probably claim the other is Radical.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: To quote the rulebook regarding "crippling" head damage -Character is dead, dead, dead!
- Drop the Hammer: Sample character Preacher Josef is armed with a great big honkin' warhammer as his primary weapon.
- Gaiden Game: Of Warhammer 40,000.
- Groin Attack: The groin is a targetable hit location, complete with its own set of health levels. Getting hit in the groin tends to leave characters temporarily stunned from the pain, in addition to any other ill effects they may suffer.
- Guns Akimbo: The special ability Gunfighter enables a character to fire two pistol weapons simultaneously. Unless they're ambidextrous, though, it does confer an aiming penalty to the gun being used in the character's off-hand. This skill is especially poplar for Desperado characters such as the freelance gunslinger Lucius ‘Slick’ Devlan.
- He Who Fights Monsters: All veteran Inquisitors run the risk of falling into this; Inquisitor Eisenhorn is the example given in the book.
- Hypocrite: Nearly everyone. It's something of a theme.
- Knife Nut: Characters with the Blademaster talent, such as the twin Death Cult Assassins Severina and Sevora, are masters of knife fighting, able to cause more damage with a knife than other characters can cause with a sword.
- Knight Templar: The Monodominant faction of the Inquisition and the Cult of the Red Redemption, represented by sample characters Inquisitor Tyrus and Devotee Malicant respectively.
- Lightning Gun: The Xenarch death-arc is one of the more exotic alien weapons available to characters in the game. Produced by a mysterious race from the Northern Rim of the galaxy, the death-arc utilizes highly advanced charge cells and capacitors to fire multiple bursts of electrical energy, each of which hits as hard as a long rifle lasgun.
- Non-Human Sidekick: A few sample characters demonstrate how to include Xenos in your retinue. Official models available include a Tau Diplomat and a Bounty Hunter of some obscure alien species.
- Parrying Bullets: The Deflect Shot talent.
- Purposely Overpowered: Space Marines to hilarious levels, to the point where the game recommends against using them unless you're willing to put a lot of work into counterbalancing the campaign.
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The fundamental concept behind the game.
- Rule Zero: The GM is the final arbiter of everything, as is usual in an RPG.
- Shoulder Cannon: The Mind Impulse Unit (MIU) allows a character to fire a gun without using their hands. Inquisitor Covenant is the most famous user of such equipment, linking the MIU to a shoulder-mounted Psycannon so that he can still fire the weapon while wielding his two-handed power sword.
- Stupidity-Inducing Attack: Daemon weapons with the 'Brain Leach' Property have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and will devour the mind of anyone they cut. The is represented in-game by models wounded by a 'Brain Leach' weapon suffering a penalty to their Sagacitynote characteristic.
- Subsystem Damage: Damage caused to a character is allocated to a random part of their body (although there are rules that alter the chance to hit various body parts or to aim at specific areas) with each body part having its own Damage Table with results that range from Light Damage (minor annoyances such as being stunned or falling over) to Crippled (ranging from going into system shock and being unable to do anything for the rest of the game, to outright death).
- Sword Cane: The Inquisitor model for the famous Inquisitor Eisenhorn depicts his power sword as a sword cane, although rules wise it is no different to any other power sword.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted during normal game-play: As with most actions, you must spend an action point to talk. You can only "say", per action, what you'd be able to say in 2-3 seconds in real life; lots of talking means more of actions spent. (For reference, most characters are allowed 3-4 actions per turn.) On the other hand, one may talk and perform another actions at the same time, albeit with a reduced chance of success for the other action. May be played with during what amounts to a Cutscene.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Inquisitor Covenant (by Inquisition standards, anyway).