Last week Rite Publishing released a new Pathfinder RPG supplement for their Faces of the Tarnished Souk NPC series : Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin. The book introduced the friendly looking criosphinx to the game, with several new additions to the Pathfinder system.
Story-wise Khufurisis is a very interesting character : he seems to be very friendly and could appear as a potential ally for players. He seems quite honorable and interested in “higher justice”, but in reality he is a betrayer who only thinks about for himself. In the first opportunity he sets a deadly trap for anyone, if that provides him some extra treasure, which is his sole motivation.
If you are interested in game statistics there is 3 version of Khufusiris to use, at Cr 17, CR 13 and CR 9. On the peak of it’s abilities he is an advanced betrayer primordial riven magic criosphinx, so I guess I have to speak about the new templates in this book to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses. For a first check (for his CR 17 version) he seems above his CR, while he seems to be weaker in other things.
For example, he has a much lower AC than his CR 17 brethren, and except if he surprise allies a smaller damage output, however considering that he is planned with betrayal in mind the later is maybe the smaller problem. On the other hand he has magic immunity (basically unlimited Spell Resistance), which I consider a highly debatable design decision, as it makes spellcaster characters almost completely useless in a encounter as they are rightly assume that their spells has the chance to cause some harm. (in comparison many CR 17 creatures has SR 28)
In the end that means that fighter-types will be much more effective against Khufusiris (if they could overcome his displacement) most likely needing just 2+ to roll to hit, while casters staying back casting True Seeing, or more logically running away to prevent their enemy getting stronger from their presence as he drains their spells with attacks and gaining temporary hit points (40/hit !!), AC and damage boost as a result. However I don’t consider this problem unsolvable, with some modifications (less anti-magic and temporary HP gain, higher base AC etc.) he will be a more balanced opponent. Well, maybe we could consider to tone down his potential to cause 24d6 + 2d8 + 34 damage in a surprise round.
The other smaller contents of the book – some new spells, feats, an artifact-level sigil, primordial template – are excellent as you may guess for a Rite Publishing product. I’m a big fan of the new feats, as a monster swatting opponents away or feign death are quite fun ideas.
I consider Khufusiris an interesting NPC, and while some of his abilities is debatable he is quite a memorable character. On the other hand I wouldn’t play him as an NPC as presented, only after some tweaks here and there. In the end I give it 4/5 points, as I really liked the idea behind the character and most of the Pathfinder additions.
If you want to take a look yourself, Khufusiris is available at DriveThruRPG for only $1,99, here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros