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    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG) $2.95
    Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie  (PFRPG)
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    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Rite Publishing
    by Marco F. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 11/02/2011 02:38:17

    Since I am settling following a campaign of Pathfinder ewith Viking mythology, this book is a very useful tool for me. The manual then you did really well! Thanks

    Sorry for my english...

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Rite Publishing
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/20/2011 14:38:45

    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!

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Rite Publishing
    by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 07/20/2011 09:25:26

    Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2011/07/20/review-faces-of-the-tarnished-souk-brynhild-eirensdottir-the-shining-valkyrie/

    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie is a 14 page PDF, including cover. Like the rest of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk line, this book is a character study for a Pathfinder NPC. Though they are written with Rite Publishing’s Coliseum Morpheuon setting in mind, I found Brynhild Eirensdottir to be a character that could be dropped into a straight Pathfinder game with ease. I must admit that reading this book definitely piqued my interest in the Coliseum Morpheuon setting, which seems to take place in the Plane of Dreams.

    The cover is a very striking black and white drawing of Brynhild. This same piece is repeated within, alongside a pretty amazing shot of Brynhild battling a dragon. The general design work is nicely executed as well. I suspect it might be a bit too ink intensive to print, but I am an ink miser.

    At its heart, this book has one thing to offer: Brynhild Eirensdotter herself. She is a winged elf with a variation of the oracle class. For the players, she can function as a mercenary spellcaster. For the game master, Brynhild really shines as a potential story catalyst. It is easy to imagine her offering her services in exchange for legwork and questing on the part of the party. She is not tightly attached to the Coliseum Morpheuon setting. In fact, she would be at home in any city in your campaign setting.

    As far as rules go, there are three variations of the Shining Valkyrie. At CR 6, Brynhild is a powerful ally. At CR 13, she is a force to be reckoned with. At CR 20, she is, for all intents and purposes, a goddess. The included rules for her race, the Aellar Elves, are balanced enough that I could see allowing a player character to use it, though your mileage may vary. If your campaign can handle the occasional winged elf, then the this book is worth the cover price for the Aellar Elf race alone. The Mixed-Mystery Oracle archetype is an interesting take on the under-appreciated Oracle class and is quite useful. By taking on an additional curse, a Mixed-Mystery Oracle gains access to a second mystery. While not an archetype that will pop up in every campaign, it is interesting enough to find a use for. There are five magic items, none of which is game-breakingly overpowered and could be slipped into a game with or without Brynhild. The Enchanted, Mithral-Clad, and Immortal traits are the least useful rules material included, unless the GM is really shooting for hard to kill NPCs or enemies. That said, a crafty GM can find uses for them that make sense for their campaign.

    Ultimately, the value of Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie is dependent on how eager the GM is to use the winged oracle

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    I wanted to thank alexander for taking the time to do a review of our product. Steve Russell Rite Publishing
    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Rite Publishing
    by Dawn F. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 07/16/2011 19:36:16

    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. Some spoilers follow, be forewarned, players.

    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 so 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 to 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 allows 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.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Brynhild Eirensdottir, the Shining Valkyrie (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Rite Publishing
    by Andrew L. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 07/14/2011 12:47:07

    I am so glad I got this, it is a pleasure on many levels. Why, you may ask, has someone who hasn't GMed anything involving a d20 in over two years said this? Firstly I'm currently doing the plot design for a GURPS Banestorm campaign and Brynhild Eirensdottir , being a solid, well thought out, interesting combination of fantasy elements nicely makes a link I was wanting to form between Blackwoods and the Emperor of Megalos. The fact that I am going to have to do some re-statting is neither here nor there, as an NPC she is a good strong story element.

    Secondly, the writing and editing. The PDF is not simply a padded stat block. Right from the first word the writing is clear and has no fat. All the text works to the end of delivering you this well constructed creature.

    Thirdly, the design. I'm no design geek, but with low cost PDFs one does appreciate someone who knows the benefit of using clear fonts consistently. The front page character illustration is line art on a white panel. Great I can easily extract and manipulate it to make a paper figure as well as use it as an illustration for my players.

    Lastly, of course I'm not reviewing this for the balance or mechanics of its stats, but the powers all make good sense for the character.

    As a reviewer it is pure pleasure to come across something which embodies a good idea that has clarity in writing and layout. Full marks to Rite Publishing for this product as source material.

    Techie TIP: If you're a Linux user and you should have worked out that the best way to print RPG PDFs is to feed them to CUPS from the command line using the lpr or lp commands. Know that this is one where you are much better off doing that.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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