Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sphinx race writeup

Continuing previous Sphinx posts, here is the writeup:

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom
Size: Large
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Arcana, +2 History, +2 Religion
Nonhumanoid Monster: You have no hands and use the rules for nonhumanoid monsters.
Natural Weaponry: +2 proficiency, 1d10 damage, Hammer group. Gains an additional +1 to hit when using two-handed fighting style.
Riddle Master: You gain training in Arcana, Religion, or History (your choice).
Immortal Origin: You are consider an immortal for effects relating to creature origin.
Sphinx Recuperation: When you take a second wind as a standard action, you may spend two healing surges instead of one.

Frightful Roar, Sphinx Racial Power
Encounter: Fear
Minor Action. Close Burst 3.
Targets: All enemies on the burst.
Attack: Highest of (Int, Wis, Cha) +1 vs. Will
Increases +1 every 5 levels above 1st
Hit: Target suffers -2 on attack rolls (save ends)


Darkvision: The Sphinx gains darkvision.

Flexible Fighting Style: When attacking with sphinx natural weaponry, the Sphinx may treat the attack as belonging to any melee weapon group, instead of the Hammer group. This does not change the accuracy or damage, but it allows use of abilities like Sneak Attack and weapon-specific Fighter feats.

Leaping Flight: As an encounter power, the Sphinx can move for one round with a flight speed equal to her speed + 2. If she does not end the turn on a solid surface, she falls. Note that this is normal flight, not clumsy flight.

Mighty Roar: The Frightful Roar power gains a +1 feat bonus to hit and is Close Burst 5.


Sustained Flight: The Sphinx gains a base flight (clumsy) speed of 8 and a base overland flight speed of 10. This is affected by speed modifiers as usual.

Tremendous Roar (requirement: Might Roar): The Frightful Roar power gains a +2 feat bonus to hit and is Close Burst 10.


  1. Are there any pictures of a sphinx that looks and acts like this? I love the Riddle Master ability. The rest doesn't feel terribly sphinxy to me, especially recuperation, though I confess I haven't read oedipus in a long while.

  2. After reading all the previous posts, I see better where the ideas originate. I do, however, think it's a really bad idea for rogues to be able to use a 1d10 weapon.

  3. I'm not sure a +2/d10 weapon would be particularly better for a rogue than a rapier. With the large damage bonus from Sneak Attack, a rogue would really want the increased accuracy. For instance, if you have 2d6 sneak attack and cause 1d8+6 damage with a rapier that hits with a piercing strike on 6+, your average damage/round is 13.55. If you switch to using a sphinx claw, your average damage/round is 13.425.

    I could specify, though, that the sphinx rake two-handed attack cannot be used as a light blade. On the other hand, this probably isn't necessary anyway. It costs a feat, and while it gives +1 to hit, and a Sphinx rogue is already -1 to hit for not having a racial Dex bonus. So it doesn't exactly seem like a Sphinx rogue is unbalanced.

  4. I'll trust your math, since it's your wife and not something I foresee needing to rule on. :) I just know I've seen horrible things from a bugbear rogue using the Martial Power build that uses clubs and maces. (I'm aware MM races aren't necessarily intended for players, but I like playing fast and loose generally.)

  5. I always enjoy analyzing the fine details of game balance. In the case of bugbears being super-rogues, I can see two big differences:

    1) A bugbear rogue can take whatever weapon is best for his class and build, then increase the die size by 1. A bugbear with a rapier would do +3/d10. A sphinx merely exchanges a +3/d8 weapon for a +2/d10 weapon.

    2) A bugbear rogue has a racial Dex bonus. A sphinx rogue does not.