View Full Version : Pathfinder PEACH Demisphinxes: A Playable Race of Minor Sphinxes

2019-05-05, 06:50 PM
I got the idea for this race, and was excited to do a write-up. This is the first draft I banged out in a few hours, and is missing a lot of additional bells and whistles, but I feel unless I get a lot of feedback that a major change must be made, the core abilities laid out here are or or less complete for the base race, though I'm more than open to critique and advice on changes in implementation of ideas, and on changes/clarifications of wording. I'd also greatly appreciate any and all writing critique.


Demisphinxes are a race of creatures whose bodies resemble an odd mix of human, lion, and falcon features. Some claim that the race of Demisphinxes came from the union of humanoids with the greater sphinxes, while many demisphinxes themselves maintain they are simply another race of true sphinx.

Physical Description: Demisphinxes are creatures with human heads, whose bodies bear a mix of features from a human and a small lion. Capable of moving on both two legs and four, their bodies seem to shift seamlessly between postures, appearing catlike on four legs and humanoid on two. From the front, their neck and upper body appear human, blending into lion fur and a more lion-like shape below their abdomen. Their backs are furred and bear two Falcon wings. For the majority, these wings are not large enough to enable flight, but demisphinxes are usually capable of slowing falls using them, and some may even glide. Their limbs appear much more similar to a lion’s than to those of a human, and while they are somewhat longer proportionately, their legs appear disproportionately short when in a two-legged posture. Their hands are significantly less dexterous than those of other humanoid species, being a blend of features of human hand and feline paw, and as a result demisphinxes often find difficulty with craftsmanship and fine manipulation. Total head and body length is typically an average of 3 feet 9 inches, standing height is an average of 6’4”, and the average weight is 170 lbs.

Society: Demisphinxes, while not antisocial, typically prefer to stay away from the settlements of other races, and prefer warmer, dryer climates. They live most often either in bands of roaming herdsmen in the periphery of other civilizations with whom they trade meat and milk for supplies, or in small isolated villages where they are unlikely to encounter other peoples. Though they prefer to avoid other societies, individuals and small groups who find themselves in a demisphinx village or among a demisphinx herding band note they are extremely hospitable and give food and shelter freely to peaceful and polite travelers who happen by them. From the travelers they meet or the people they trade with demisphinxes like to collect stories, songs, jokes, and riddles of their societies, but they are happy to observe at a distance; It is extremely rarely that their curiosity about other societies causes any desire to see them for themselves.

Relations: Demisphinxes see little difference between other races, and mostly only understand ‘us’ and ‘them’. Herding bands try their best to stay on friendly terms with more urban and agrarian peoples, sometimes even settled demisphinxes, and in many places there will be parties and celebrations with locals and herding bands in attendance, held on neutral grounds. Many, however, mistrust the bestial people, or feel their attempts at polite friendliness come across as ingenuine and condescending. The feeling is not always without merit, as demisphinxes in positions of leadership or power are very prone to the same inflated self-importance as their cousins.

Alignment and Religion: Demisphinxes are in general good natured, hospitable, and friendly. While those in positions of power can become self-important, haughty, and condescending, they usually retain good intentions, try to display themselves as a role model for nobility, and are mostly harmless. While held together by familial bonds and some form of leadership, demisphinx societies are typically loosely organized, with very few civil issues, such as the ownership of herd animals, being treated with any degree of legal scrutiny. Their chaotic nature often leads them to delight in bets, gambling, and leaving life decisions up to chance, which for most civil disagreements stands in for a legal system.
Demisphinx religion varies significantly from place to place, and generally follow some form of animism. This may focus purely on the veneration of land spirits, or among herding bands may incorporate the gods of the peoples they trade with. Held in the highest esteem is generally a dualistic god or spirit, of whom one aspect embodies cunning, and the other luck, though the name of the spirit, or which god is ascribed these aspects, varies wildly.

Adventurers: Though rare, some demisphinxes’ curiosity in other races and other lands extends beyond observational amusement and casual interaction. For those who it does, the call to adventure is powerful, and those who leave their home or their band find a world of wonder waiting to be explored. While they may be received well in areas where demisphinxes do business, those who adventure into lands unfamiliar with their people will often find themselves looked upon with suspicion and be poorly received, or worse, treated as monsters. On rare occasions, adventurous demisphinxes have used their mythological nature to rise to positions of power, enthroned as living gods among the more superstitious.

Female Names: Sostrate, Zoe, Aspasia, Gaiana

Male Names: Ampelios, Leon, Melanthios, Archelaos


● Ability Score Racial Traits: Demisphinxes are brawny, and extremely cunning, but not especially graceful. They gain +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, and –2 Dexterity.
● Size: Demisphinxes are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
● Type: Demisphinxes are Monstrous Humanoids of the Demisphinx subtype.
● Speed: Demisphinxes are somewhat clumsy on two legs, and have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed on two legs is not modified by armor or encumbrance.
● Languages: A Demisphinx begins play speaking Common and Sphinx. Demisphinxes with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).


● Desert Runner: Demisphinxes are made to live on their feet and receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.


● Learned: Sphinxes have a natural curiosity, and tendency to accumulate knowledge. Select two Knowledge skills. You gain a +2 racial bonus to these two skills, and they are always considered class skills. If you gain levels in a class for which these are class skills, the racial bonus increases to +3.
● Stumpy Fingers: Demisphinxes’ hands serve triple duty as hands, feet, and weapons, at the cost of manual dexterity and a solid grip. A demisphinx receives a -2 penalty to Craft, Disable Device, and Sleight of Hand checks. Because of a demisphinx’s poor grip, they also receive a -1 penalty to attack rolls made with manufactured weapons, and to CMD against disarm attempts.


● Four-Footed Run: Demisphinxes are much quicker with a four-legged gait than two. A demisphinx can run on all fours at speed of 40 feet if they don’t hold or carry anything in their hands. This speed is modified by encumbrance and armor. When running on all fours, they are treated as if they had the Run feat. If used to charge, a demisphinx cannot draw a weapon or shield before their attack, even if they usually may do so as a free action.
● Glide: Demisphinxes possess wings that, while not normally strong enough to fly, can allow them to fall safely. They may make a DC 15 Fly check to fall safely from any height without taking falling damage, as if using feather fall. When falling safely, a Demisphinx may make an additional DC 15 Fly check to glide, moving 5 feet laterally for every 20 feet they fall.


● Claws: Demisphinxes have a pair of claws they can use as natural weapons. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage.


● Darkvision: Demisphinxes can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.


Add alternate racial traits: I have several ideas for Alternate racial traits, which would swap out the less-central abilities such as Desert Runner, Learned, and Darkvision. Some alternate racial traits may incorporate third party rulesets, such as DSP's Psionics, and Spheres of Power.
Add racial feats: A feat that grants a supernatural/spell-like enchantment ability based on riddles is obvious, as is a 2-long feat tree which allows them to gain a fly speed at level 10. I don't know what the first feat in the tree should be though.
Add favored class bonuses?: While these would be a nice touch, they're hardly ever used, and are just really low priority.

2019-05-06, 02:42 AM
i was having manticores as race but this goes to same pile as playable monster races.