Review: Rite Publishing – Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming (Faces of the Tarnished Souk)

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Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming
Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming is a supplement for Coliseum Morpheuon and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game written by Matt Banach and Justin Sluder and published by Rite Publishing.
By Cape Rust
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Learn more about Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming here
Purchase Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming here
Find other Faces of the Tarnished Souk products here

Undead powerful children are creepy; they always have been and always will be. So it figures that the Tarnished Souk would have their own version. The good news (as long as you are not a monster) is that Zara is there for payback; so If you are in the scare business, beware.

CONTENT

This 26 page supplement has 21 pages of content that includes Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming CR 22 , 13 and 6, variants of Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming at each of those CRs. Mr. Bear Zara’s constant fuzzy companion is included at CRs 11, 6 and 3. Also included are several new magic items and a new Dreamwalker template.

OVERALL

Did I mention creepy, yea I did; Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming follows the creepy little vampire trope really well. What I enjoyed was her need to punish creatures who normally punish other creatures. At a CR 22 Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming gives GMs a really heavy hitter to throw at PCs. Add in a cuddly, not so caring bear and things get interesting!

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Rite has the format for The Faces of the Tarnished Souk books down. The inclusion of advice on how to use Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming is upfront, concise and useful. Placing Zara’s character sheet upfront with the descriptions of her abilities listed, is a format that most Pathfinder players recognize and is a no brainer, but still very important. What made this product a 10 was the art. The cover art of Zara holding Mr. Bear with her dead (OK undead) stripper eyes just finished off the effect. The art feels cohesive rather than a disjointed mix of stock art and original art. Rite Publishing has always done a good job of using the same pictures for templates or feats throughout their products. I guess all of this art just formed the perfect storm, because this one looks good. I think they should revisit some of the old stock art they used to brand templates in the past and update them with art like this.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
Rite Publishing knows how to make outrageous concepts work and keep them within the Rules As Written. However, the inclusion of the + 5 weapons wielded here made this product more mechanically difficult. I have mentioned the huge amount of special abilities many of the characters from The Faces of the Tarnished Souk have, and those alone are difficult enough to manage, especially if you have multiple bad guys. Thankfully these books have really good write ups on those abilities; the weapons ability write ups are there and there are plenty of them. Most of the weapon abilities included are common abilities, but the combination of all of them and ensuring that each of them comes into play adds a big burden to the GM especially in the heat of combat.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
The concept is great and a “teddy bear” toting undead girl with an agenda is challenging no matter where you place here, there are some good template write ups and Mr. bear makes me look at imps in a whole new light. Because the Tarnished Souk is such a unique place, using Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming could take quite a bit of tweaking. The concept is solid enough but the details, well the imp is in the details.

Overall: 9 out of 10
This book is a positive step in the Rite direction. There are not many changes in the art, but things are really looking good. The +5 weapons should be avoided but all of the pluses made sense; there were just a lot of them. This is almost a 2 for 1 product as you get stats for Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming and Mr. Bear. I like the idea that Zara the Girl Who Died Dreaming has a tie in to one of the other Faces of the Tarnished Souk, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out. Zara is not the girl of my dreams, but she is a nightmare to my worst dreams.

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