Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Ah, the androsphinx.  Supercilious and disdainful of physicality, Low Libido androsphinxes form the last corner of the dysfunctional sphinx love rhombus—wait, no, pentagram—joining the Princess gynosphinx, “Nice Guy” Criosphinx, Rapist heiracosphinx, and Necrophagous cynosphinx (courtesy of Pathfinder Adventure Path #82: Secrets of the Sphinx).  Seriously, Dan Savage should be writing this entry, not me.

I’ve already said most of what I wanted to say about sphinxes here.  That said, a few more notes for role-playing the male variety…  If you took philosophy in college, now’s your chance to use it.  (I didn’t; I took religion, which at my college was philosophy, semiotics, and hermeneutics with a blood sacrifice chaser.)  Rather than engage in riddle play, male sphinxes love philosophical debates, so in the back of your mind I think you should assign a school of thought (fantastic or otherwise) to each of your androsphinxes, so you know through what lens they view the world and frame their answers.

The following androsphinxes attempt to avoid the usual tomb/temple/mountain pass/necropolis locales in favor of locations more in keeping with their studies, but rest assured most of these magical beasts still guard relics, ruins, and holy sites all over the desert.

Androsphinx Bartumyubus is a political philosopher, and his convictions have him secretly pulling the strings of several Cyan Crescent communities, each one enacting a different form of utopian government.  Unfortunately and despite his goodly intentions, the firmness of his convictions and his geographic distance from his policies’ effects leave him unable to process the very real harm he is doing to the people under his influence.

Ramset IV prefers a sun-baked cliff overlooking the water to an empty desert.  There he collects stories about the laws and customs of undersea nations (when not composing sestinas).  Given that he demands knowledge before he offers any, novice travelers are discouraged from calling upon him…especially since the uneven rocky slope he dwells upon makes his roars particularly lethal.

Drawn in by the arguments of a kyton, former Stoic scholar Blackwing has begun to fall under the outsider’s rhetorical spell.  Any advice the sphinx gives now comes laced with danger, as he has become convinced of the cleansing clarity that comes from facing danger and pain.  Should adventurers return his way again after more than six months have passed, they will find a surgically altered beast who is unknowingly giving more and more of himself over to the fiend with every surgery.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 251

I should note that Mythic Adventures has a mythic (albeit gyno-) sphinx.  And (as I’ve mentioned before) Jonathan H. Keith has a chapter on sphinxes in Mythical Monsters Revisited.  Finally, in “basic” D&D male sphinxes had access to magic-user (wizard) spells while female sphinxes had access to clerical spells.  You might want to emulate a similar divide if you decide to give your sphinxes class levels…

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