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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin (PFRPG) $2.95 $0.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin (PFRPG)
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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2013 20:43:18
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=34283.

Buddy is only part of the word, and Khufusiris the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin knows how to complete the rest of that statement. Actually, if there was ever an NPC designed to better screw their allies over, I’ve never seen them!

OVERALL

Even when the folks at Rite Publishing go for some really obvious troupes, they still make their NPCs feel fresh. Who hasn’t seen the scruffy criosphink who comes off as really loveable and seems almost cuddly, who turns out to be a raging a-hole who screws his buddies over at the worst possible moment?

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Even though the art in this supplement doesn’t take any risks or blaze any new paths, it works and it works well. Rite Publishing stuck with the art style from other supplements to depict some of the templates. While not all of that art was groundbreaking, it re-enforced those templates the second time I saw them. Layout in this supplement is standard for Rite publishing as well as the supplements for the Faces of the Tarnished Souk series. I do think Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin could have looked a bit more friendly and approachable but his depiction wasn’t enough to deduct points for.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
I rarely have any complaints about Rite Publishing’s ability to produce top-notch products that are mechanically sound. The addition of several templates will cause a GM to have to do some homework to run this NPC correctly, but that is to be expected with products that cover higher-level creatures. Rite Publishing isn’t afraid to get complicated, and they do a great job when they do it.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
The main reason that Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin got dinged is because, lets face it, in most settings other than the Tarnished Souk, a criosphink just wandering around, even in the largest hives of scum and villainy, sticks out. Even when he is described as friendly and affable, he is still a criosphink! If disguised as something else he becomes more useful, but part of the appeal is that he is a criosphink.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I have never ever seen a creature who was so specked for betrayal, and I love it. I do feel that if played as written, Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin and his true colors will show way too soon. Any characters that have spent time in the Tarnished Souk and survived should very easily see through his guise as a loyal friend. Smart players know not to trust anything in the Souk and they know that nothing, and I mean nothing, is as it appears. Khufusiris is best used as a long time ally so that if the players let their guard down, the betrayal will hurt that much more. When you feel that knife twisting in your back, you, as a GM, will know where it came from.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Khufusiris, the Crooked Sleuth of Unfathered Sin (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/24/2012 03:58:47
This installment of the FoTS-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 8 pages for the 3 incarnations of Khufusiris, so let's check them out!

As with my other recent reviews in the series, I'm gonna start at the back and move forwards towards the high-CR-incarnation.
Khufusiris begins play as an advanced criosphinx with the primordial simple template (CR +1) applied and CR 9.
His mid-level incarnation is CR 13 and further adds the riven magic template (CR+2, included as well) and becomes able to break magic items , drain spells and be immune to magic. Ouch!

Finally, his CR 17 high-level incarnation also gets the betrayer-template (CR +1). The write-up of the template in this pdf unfortunately lacks the CR-information, though. I found the CR+1 in the excellent Book of Monster Templates by RiP.

An uncommon combat power-house, Khufursis, the dopey-smiling sphinx actually turns out to be a paranoid, delusional creature in its one-page fluff-write up and as always, the sphinx comes with full information for dreamburning as per the rules introduced in CM.

Additional content is provided as well - 3 spells (one enhancing stealth, a phantasmal pit and the high-level illusion treacherous phantasm, which can't even be broken by true seeing, as it clouds the mid of the victim. Oh, and there are feats: A lot of them: 7 feats are included in the deal and make the sphinx and interesting combatant to say the least - a combination of combat and monster feats makes sure that the creature can bluff and power attack like crazy and subvert the defenses of its unwitting allies.

My favorite piece of original content, though, would be the huntsmen's Sigil: Auberyon and his best artists created this tattoo and it shows: Apart from some rather devious abilities, the sigil also makes it VERY HARD to land a killing blow against its bearer - an uncommon, cool and innovative legacy item that makes for an awesome price, should its bearer ever be vanquished.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, apart from the missing CR-information in one template, I didn't notice any glitches. The pdf adheres to RiP's old rune-bordered layout and comes with full bookmarks. The b/w-artworks are fitting. The authors Steven D. Russell and Matt Banach (Justin Sluder for the first time not being part of this installment) have created a rather interesting installment of the series - while the creature is interesting, it features no class-levels and all its power stems from distinct templates, items and feats, which is nice to see for a change. In fact, the feats and the sigil per se make up for the truly interesting components of the creature. Khufusiris does what he sets out to do, but nevertheless a distinct feeling of unrealized potential constantly gnawed at me and after careful consideration, I realized what it was: The motivation. The sphinx is a betrayer and survivor, yeah, but with some modification of the background, perhaps some additional pieces of information, the sphinx could have become a truly multi-facetted being, whereas the status-quo makes the beast feel rather one-dimensional and offers no true possibility of redemption/trauma that would explain its opportunistic paranoia. Thus, due to this and the minor hick-up in the table, I'll settle for a solid verdict of 4 stars - a good installment of the series, but not one of its admittedly mind-boggling peak-performances.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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