AC 20 (natural armor)
HP 142 (15d10 + 60; bloodied 71)
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
Proficiency +4; Maneuver DC 18
Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +8, Int +8, Wis +10
Skills Arcana +8, History +8 (+1d6), Perception +10, Religion +8
Damage Immunities psychic; damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities , , ,
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Celestial, Common, telepathy 120 ft.
Inscrutable. The sphinx is immune to divination and to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts. Insight checks made to determine the sphinx’s intentions are made with .
Innate Spellcasting. The sphinx’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 18). It can cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: , , ,
3/day each: , , , , , ,
1/day each: , , , , ,
Multiattack. The sphinx attacks twice with its claw.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d10 + 6) slashing damage.
Dispel Magic (3rd-Level; V, S). The sphinx scours the magic from one creature, object, or magical effect within 120 feet that it can see. A spell ends if it was cast with a 3rd-level or lower spell slot. For spells using a 4th-level or higher spell slot, the sphinx makes a Wisdom ability check (DC 10 + the spell’s level) for each one, ending the effect on a success.
Flame Strike (5th-Level; V, S). A column of divine flame fills a 10-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder within 60 feet. Creatures in the area make a DC 18 Dexterity , taking 14 (4d6) fire damage and 14 (4d6) radiant damage on a failure or half damage on a success.
Speed Time (1/Day, While Bloodied). For 1 minute, the sphinx’s Speed and flying speed are doubled, opportunity attacks against it are made with , and it can attack three times with its claw (instead of twice) when it uses Multiattack.
Planar Jaunt (1/Day). The sphinx targets up to eight willing creatures it can see within 300 feet. The targets are magically transported to a different place, plane of existence, demiplane, or time. This effect ends after 24 hours or when the sphinx takes a bonus action to end it. When the effect ends, the creatures reappear in their original locations, along with any items they acquired on their jaunt. While the effect lasts, the sphinx can communicate telepathically with the targets. The sphinx chooses one of the following destinations:
Different Location or Plane of Existence. The creatures appear in empty spaces of the sphinx’s choice anywhere on the Material Plane or on a different plane altogether.
Demiplane. The creatures appear in empty spaces of the sphinx’s choice on a demiplane. The demiplane can be up to one square mile in size. The demiplane can appear to be inside, outside, or underground, and can contain terrain, nonmagical objects, and magical effects of the sphinx’s choosing. The sphinx may populate it with creatures and hazards with a total Challenge Rating equal to or less than the sphinx’s Challenge Rating.
Time. The creatures appear in empty spaces of the sphinx’s choosing anywhere on the Material Plane, at any time from 1,000 years in the past to 1,000 years in the future. At the Narrator’s discretion, changes made in the past may alter the present.
The sphinx uses Planar Jaunt to banish its foes if it can. Otherwise, it uses its action to cast Flame Strike on the first turn of combat and then uses its claws on successive turns. It speeds time for itself as soon as it’s . With its legendary action, the sphinx attacks with its claw if it can reach an enemy or uses Teleport if it can’t, and then uses Slow Time with its remaining legendary action each turn. The sphinx doesn’t retreat.
Sphinx Riddles and Challenges
1 “Hooves, paws, wings, roar. Heads three, feet four.” (chimera)
2 “In desert plain or ancient tomb, answer me or face your doom.” (sphinx)
3 "A knight in red armor with a lance of flame. Fear is his banner, gold his aim." (red dragon)
4 “All copper but two, all silver but two, all gold but two. How many coins?” (three)
5 “Delved by dwarf, feared by fiend, by cloud concealed, by magpie gleaned." (silver)
6 “My sun's the moon, my bed's a board, my food is drink, my smile's a sword.” (vampire)
7 Steal a statue from an in the City of Brass
8 Slay a and return with its beating heart
9 Under the effects of a , answer moral conundrums
10 Traverse a labyrinth filled with deadly traps, each of which has a safe solution hinted at by a riddle
11 Travel into the bleak, post-apocalyptic future to obtain a spell or item that hasn’t been created yet
12 Win a pegasus-drawn chariot race against winged charioteers
Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Religion check, characters can learn the following:
DC 10 Sphinxes are monsters with lions’ bodies, eagles’ wings, and humanoid faces. A sphinx won’t let you pass unless you answer a riddle or overcome some other challenge.
DC 15 Though their own senses are supernaturally keen, sphinxes don’t register to divination magic, making their motivations eternally inscrutable.
DC 20 Guardians of cosmic order, sphinxes have the power to control both space and time.
Creatures of legend, sphinxes are spontaneously conjured into existence by the convergence of cosmic forces. Wherever earth meets the heavens, or thought meets action, a sphinx stands guard.
Sphinxes have the legs, torso, and tail of a lion, the wings of a giant eagle, and the head of a humanoid. They are at once graceful and terrifying, elegant and imposing, composed and brutally unforgiving.
Guardians of Thresholds. As sentries against entropy, sphinxes often protect the boundaries between planes or the border between reality and unreality. A sphinx may also guard a spell or magical object that could preserve (or breach) the cosmic order.
A sphinx often presents travelers a task or riddle. Those who successfully complete the sphinx’s challenge prove themselves worthy and are allowed to continue their quest, while those who fail suffer a gruesome death. Riddles are the most common challenge, but sphinxes sometimes require creatures to fetch a difficult-to-obtain object, battle in a magical arena, or solve a hazardous puzzle of the sphinx’s devising.
Ageless Philosophers. Permanent fixtures in an ever-fluctuating cosmos, sphinxes are anchor points of the multiverse. They are constantly learning, gathering knowledge, secrets, and truths to add to their trove of wisdom.
Sometimes sphinxes aid mortals, sharing knowledge and prophecy with those they deem worthy. At other times, sphinxes might enforce the natural order in a way that seems cruel: barring mortals from reaching the heavens, for example, or smiting those who seek to evade death. To sphinxes, every cosmic law is equally sacrosanct.
Time Keepers. Dabblers in chronomancy report that any attempt to travel through time draws the attention of a sphinx. Long ago, a wizard successfully answered a sphinx’s riddle and journeyed to the Plane of Time, a vast wasteland filled with deserted ruins. Through doorways in the crumbling walls, the wizard is said to have witnessed scenes from a thousand bustling and unfamiliar cities.
1 Attacks anyone who can’t solve a riddle
2 Only those who solve a riddle may pass
3 Summons monsters to test the characters’ mettle
4 Each character is presented a moral conundrum or asked what they have learned from a specific incident in their past
5 The sphinx tests travelers’ worth by battling them. When it is reduced to 0 hit points, it fully heals and becomes friendly
6 ; helps the party if restored to flesh
1 Strange, sourceless music in a minor key
2 Everything here is weathered as if ancient beyond time
3 This area is completely silent
4 A distant, echoing roar
Sphinxes are found in remote temples and wildlands where the barriers between realities are thin.
Treasure 6 tablets of prophecy (worth 250 gp each, and might shed light on the characters’ current quest), , ,
CR 17–22 with or 2 ;
Treasure magical bloodstone rings, each carved with a character’s initials (when worn by that character, the first time the character would die they instead regain 10 hit points and the ring shatters), , , and, at the Narrator’s discretion, an artifact
Monstrosities are magical beings usually native to the Material Plane. Some monstrosities combine the features of beasts and humanoids, like. Others have bizarre or unnatural appearances, like many-tentacled . Monstrosities could only arise in a world suffused with magic.