Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Nameless Nil, the Beggar of Self (PFRPG) PDF (based on
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“If 'to be or not to be' is the question, this is the wrong answer.”
In Dream, something can arise from nothing—but what happens when that something doesn't want to go back? The bizarre almost-being called Nameless Nil is a disjointed accumulation of identity that shambles through the Tarnished Souk, begging for dreams and gobbling up stray items of power. Disturbingly, for a creature with dozens of faces it can wear, not a one feels like its own.
This product provides Game Masters with details on a mask-made moocher 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.
The latest installment of the FoTS-series is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisement, leaving us with a total of 18 pages of content . quite bunch, so let*s checkout Nameless Nil!
Following my format for the series, I'll first examine the new rules-content we get: We get the bloody maw, half-construct, hungry nightmare templates and Nil uses horrifically overpowered feats from SGG's book of said name, namely the Gestalt feat, which is reprinted here. Nil also makes use of the autohypnosis-skill you might know from Dreamscared Press without being psionically active (psionic-haters may breathe a sigh of relief) and its incarnations have multiple Savant-levels (KQ, if I'm not mistaken) and sport 11 (!!!) feats in addition to the horrifically overpowered one. Oh, and Nilcomes with stats for scorpion whips and 9 (!!!!!) magic items (including illustrious items like the Belt of Consuming Teeth that can literally eat you up and a minor artifact) as well as a Relic from SGG's Relics of the Godling, the 7 league boots. Latter improve over the levels much like Purple Duck Games' acclaimed Legendary Items.
Oh, have I mentioned the steal combat maneuver? Also, Nil's mid an high-level incarnation can call upon different versions of Rimeheart, a white dragon rogue as support. Of course both come fully statted. And finally, Nil also comes with two new unfettered eidolon evolutions and two traits related to the dreamburning mechanic of Coliseum Morpheuon.
At CR 6, 13 and 21, the incarnations of Nil span all playstyles, so I guess it's time to talk about the creature. SPOILERS. Seriously. I usually don't do SPOILERS in FoTS-reviews, but here it's justified - potential players, jump to the conclusion.
Still here? All right! A being of masks, clad in ragged robes would be a strange sight anywhere but in the Tarnished Souk. Here, Nil, pitifully, is begging for dreams of other people, requiring the consumption of both dreams and magic items to sustain its existence. At first, Nil may actually evoke pity, for it can be pleasant and attach itself utterly to a person, a quest, whatever seeking to emulate the heroics of characters or others But if the boots, whip etc. were not ample clue enough - this being is, among others, about making escape a nigh impossibility, for Nil is a conglomerate of beings, each mask representing one personality buried in the vast network of Nil's jumbled mind. If you recall the undead-conglomerate One-as-Many from Mask of the Betrayer, that would be an analogue - only that Nil can't even evoke the sympathy of a broken being that needs to be put out of misery.
Nil is not broken. Nil was never whole. Born from the imaginary friend of a summoner, its core is an empty void, its emulation of life, humanity, feelings, conscience being just that - a pantomime in search for something it can neither attain, nor grasp. The horror of Nil's utter alienness (btw.: Its Masks can swallow you whole...), once exposed, goes even beyond the chill of Many-as-one: It is the horror of a mirror-image through a darkened glass trying to eat you and replace you without gasping truly what all of this entails. The advice provided for the DM on using Nil, btw., is more than sound. Oh, and have mentioned that Nil comes not only with its basic statblock, but with 8 (!!!!!!!!!!) fully statted ability suites for the different roles it can take on, each with different powers, attacks etc.? There is much space in the Hollow and it tends to consume all that encounter it - will your PCs prevail versus such a versatile for?
editing and formatting are top-notch this time around - I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's old rune-bordered b/w-standard in 2 columns and the artwork of Nil by Bran Brinlee is brilliant. The pdf comes with extensive nested bookmarks.
Take a look at all the FoTS-reviews I've written, at the vast array of 5-star + seal of approval-verdicts. Nil blows them all out f the water. I can't recall when we ever had such a complex character with so many different supplemental pieces of information and neat combat options provided. Matt Banach and Justin Sluder have transcended their usual great work and married their mastery of complex crunch and far-out ideas with a sense of wrongness the likes of one usually only sees by the hands of Richad Pett or Nic Logue; And even when compared to the oeuvre of these two demented geniuses, Nil would stand out. This is hands down my favorite FoTS-character so far. Hell, I'll make Nil a legend in my next campaign. I'm hard to excite anymore, but this thing is gloriously demented, its iconography so disturbing it's a joy for my malicious DM-heart. If I could, I'd slap 6 stars on this one - 5 stars + seal of approval, easily earned: A new benchmark for Character-pdfs à la FoTS, Infamous Adversaries etc.