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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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"Rise, warrior, and fight for greater glory tomorrow."

Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie is a savior of the battlefield—heavenly insurance that a lost duel need not be a last duel. Descending to the bloody dirt of the arena from the sky above, the cool shadow of her breathtaking mithral wings is a welcome sight to any fallen hero. But those who pray for a second chance from her healing touch had better put on a good show, for there is only one thing she loves more than life—the games.

This product provides Game Masters with details on a heavenly healer found amongst the Faces of the Tarnished Souk, ready for immediate use in any campaign—but especially for use within the Coliseum Morpheuon. Each entry features ingenious stat-blocks from multiple OGL sources, history, motivation, secrets, and insight into the NPC's most carefully guarded dreams, along with complete game statistics for low, middle, and high levels of play.

Within you will find: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie, a mithral-coated maiden of battle who will ensures that the games go on.

  • CR 20 Female enchanted immortal mithral-clad aellar elf oracle (mixed-mystery) 18
  • CR 13 Female enchanted mithral-clad aellar elf oracle (mixed-mystery) 12
  • CR 6 Female mithral-clad aellar elf oracle (mixed-mystery) 6
  • Enchanted, Immortal, and Mithral-Clad creature templates, to make this elf into a gleaming angel
  • New magic items including the triage helm—for those who often find themselves (or others) on death's doorstep
  • Featuring feats, spells, and alternate racial traits from Rite Publishing's acclaimed 101 series

Authors: Matt Banach and Justin Sluder
Cover Art: Toby Gregory
Pages: 9

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RIP0158E


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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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Another fine addition to the series

*****

This latest installment of the FotTS-series is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page credits, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 9 pages for the three incarnations of Brynhild.

As is the usual procedure in the series, this pdf begins with one page of aptly-written prose on the background of the character, a sidebox on how to best use her and information on dreamburning.

In the by now time-honored tradition of Rite Publishing and this series in particular, we get a very complex, multi-templated NPC, whom, in order to understand, we should dissect:

Minor spoilers ahead, players might want to jump ahead.

One of the templates is the mithril-clad template (CR+1 ), the template that (ironically) tarnishes Brynhild, for she obtained it from a devil who still can cash in his payment for the favor.

/SPOILER

Brynhild is an aellar elf, a rare type of winged elf and the race gets its racial traits presented as well: Aellar get +2 to Dex and Int, but -2 to Con, low-light vision, elven immunities and the aellar ancestry from another excellent book by RiP. Irt should also be noted that Brynhild utilizes the mixed mystery oracle archetype, which is also included herein. Oracle? Yep, our stalwart, honorbound valkyrie is actually an oracle with the curses of haunted and tongues, but represented in a way that is both unconventional and imaginative.

Her low-level CR 6 incarnation, Brynhild the Merciful, is thus clad in the template, but lo! And behold, her mid-level incarnation once again starts to show the imaginative interweaving of templates I’ve come to enjoy so much in these pdfs: The “Enchanted” (CR +1) template is added to her, as are levels – here, she clocks in at CR 13 as Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Iron Swan.

Her high-level incarnation also gets the immortal-template (CR +1) and boy, Brynhild Eirensdottir the Shining Valkyrie, is a terrible beauty to behold, both her b/w-artwork (though I’ve seen this one before), but mostly due to her CR 20-statblock, including cool abilities like turning into a fiery, positive energy elemental. She also gets access to the Mystical Healer feat, two new spells and 3 items, though you might know the spells “Cleanse of Alcohol” and “Discern Health” from RiP’s excellent 101 0-level-spells. The items are Robes of Renewal, greater and lesser and a helm that features a deathwatch and status-effect.

Conclusion:
Editing is top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. The same holds true for formatting. Layout adheres to RiP’s classic b/w-two-column-standard. The b/w-piece of artwork is nice. The pdf is extensively bookmarked.

Brynhild is a VERY interesting take on the valkyrie-trope – she is a healer, but one that may irk the players due to the tendency of enabling fallen warriors to fight again. Her carefree enthusiasm is contrasted starkly with the implied taint of her infernal-babbling fits of rage. I really like that particular duality, as well as the idea to use the mithril-clad template in conjunction with the metal mystery. Brynhild is a great character that might be utilized in a plethora of ways, as ally, adversary, annoyance or sponsor any combination of the mentioned. I really liked this installment of the series, though, as a healer and a rather interesting take on it, certainly was not too easy to design. Nevertheless, I slightly preferred the last three installments, some of which also provided a bit more content. Given that there’s nothing wrong per se with Brynhild, she still remains an awesome addition to your campaign and sans any true gripes and with only personal preferences to go, my final verdict will be 5 stars – Well done, once again!


Do You Want to Live Forever?

****( )

I really have high hopes for the Shining Valkyrie. I have a soft spot for strong female characters. They appeal most strongly to my innate desire to want to be a hero. This is the reason I role play, not just for good tales and good times with friends. Spoilers below, you have been warned.

------------------------

So, she’s a healer and doesn’t like cheaters, but won’t stand up to the Khan or help those in need until a fight is done, but only is interested in the Coliseum Morpheon and has little interest in the folk of the Tarnished Souk. Hmm, I already want to change her motivations and personality. The stat block is the most useful part of this for me. She is just a heal-bot, and not a very interesting one though evidently easy on the eyes. Still, she’s not my idea of a strong female character. Stating her up as an Oracle per Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide is useful to me. The added bit on the Aellar (winged elves) is also quite useful. Still she’s an NPC not a PC so she shouldn’t be the hero of the story, that is the players’ jobs. I can live with the weak character motivations. It also gives the party some role play possibilities.

Just like the other Tarnished Souk NPC supplements, this one includes a couple of different lower level stats for the same character. In fact, if I use her as she is written up, I prefer to keep her at a lower level. This way it makes more sense that she hasn’t tried to buck the system. This goes to show just how much the multiple stat blocks that appear in all the Tarnished Souk materials shine. The flexibility of being able to use the same character at multiple levels for many needs makes this a great product. Along with the various stat blocks there are also a couple of templates that have been applied to her including notes on how to become a Mithral-Clad creature.

This is where the format of the Tarnished Souk NPC creations demonstrates its usefulness. I can make use of this character even though I dislike the write up of the NPC as written, for the CR 20 version. The lower level stat blocks allow me to keep this same vision of the character’s personality and not have to modify to suit my own view of how a powerful healer like the Valkyrie behaves. I still can do that, but it gives me some flexibility to utilize her as a flawed individual at a lower level who has room for growth, and can be affected by the PCs in either a positive or negative manner.

I am still not going to give this one a full 5 stars, the female heal-bot beauty trope is an old and tired one in my opinion. So I am giving this supplement 4 out of 5 stars.


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