On this week Rite Publishing released another expansion for their Faces of Tarnished Souk NPC series for Pathfinder, FotTS: Smiles-Under-the-Bed. As always, the supplement contains a high level character with her extensive statistics and background information, so we could readily use it in our campaigns.
The current character is a cat-like nightmare, called Smiles-Under-the-Bed, who is actually a CR 19 “Female advanced apex predator dream eater laughing beast nightmare greymalkin” if we looking at her statistics. Wow, even writing it down is very long!
Practically Smiles-Under-The-Bed is a very dangerous and evil predator, hunting for dreams. While she is intelligent and have a secret agenda too the players most likely only meet her in combat encounters – if she attacks somebody when the risk seems to be smaller than the reward. This, combined with the distrustful nature of the beast makes her harder to integrate into a campaign than many others of the series – if you want more than a fight against a fear based nightmarish monster.
If we looking at the game statistics then we must recognize the many flavorful abilities Smiles-Under-the-Bed has. It’s easy to make a memorable and terrific encounter with the NPC, but I guess that the number of abilities could be lower, s more then one page of special abilities – not counting the spell-like abilities – seems too complex, and hard to manage for the Game Master. But individually they are great, so maybe as a Game Master you should pick which options do you want to use during an encounter beforehand.
Of course, there is place for complex characters like this in any adventure, but I feel that it’s unlikely that Smiles-Under-the-Bed will be a central NPC in many campaigns. But of course, this is only my opinion, as others may draw more inspiration from the character as I do. In this regards all of the other NPC-s in the series I can think of have a much greater potential to justify their complexness.
All in all Smiles-Under-the-Bed is an interesting NPC, who potentially could be used to create some dreadful moments in your campaign. Still, I feel that I’ve seen better and a bit deeper characters in this series, with more ways to include tem into an adventure. Considering this, as a final score I give it 4/5 points.
If you are interested in the Faces of Tarnished Souk: Smiles-Under-the-Bed (PFRPG) supplement, it’s available on DriveThruRPG on this link.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros