Valkyries are chosen, rather than born. The exact process is uncertain, even to the wisest mystics. Though I warn, the cost of their knowledge is always steep, even when freely given. Destiny can become a binding chain. I can say I recall with stark clarity the final moments of my mortality.
Any humanoid PC slain during a fight against a powerful enemy (one with a CR of at least APL+3), or that completes a difficult quest to aid the valkyries, and claims ascension as a reward may become a valkyrie. If a player character becomes a valkyrie, take the following steps.
The PC’s ability scores should not be altered (the PC does not gain the valkyrie’s ability score adjustment). Any racial traits the PC possesses are removed. The PC does not lose their racial ability score adjustment. The PC gains all valkyrie racial traits.
Valkyrie Racial Traits
Ability Scores: Valkyries are gifted and capable warriors whose conviction is more than a match for their physical prowess, but they focus more on power than flexibility. They gain +2 Strength and +2 Charisma but suffer a –2 penalty to Dexterity.
Size: Valkyries are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Speed: Valkyries have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Valkyries begin play speaking Celestial and Common. Valkyries with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following languages: Auran, Cyclopian, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, or Sylvan.
Senses: Valkyries can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Armor a valkyrie is proficient in never impacts her speed, and does not add its armor check penalty to her Ride checks.
Choose the Slain (Su)
Once per day as a standard action, a valkyrie can draw the soul from a recently deceased body and safeguard it indefinitely. This functions as the soul bind spell, but can only be used on one deceased creature willing to have its soul carried by the valkyrie, and can only be used within a number of rounds after the creature is slain equal to the valkyrie’s character level. If the soul is reluctant to trust the valkyrie, she can attempt to convince it to trust her with a Diplomacy check equivalent to increasing its starting attitude (per the Diplomacy skill) as part of the standard action used to bind the soul. The valkyrie must have a character level equal to or greater than the deceased creature’s Hit Dice. If the creature is unwilling, the ability has no effect, but this does not expend the ability’s use for the day. No gem is necessary for storage of the soul. A valkyrie can carry one soul at a time. She can release a soul she carries as a full-round action.
Fated Sight (Su)
Valkyries can use deathwatch once per day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to the valkyrie’s character level, except the valkyrie can only sense creatures who possess a soul (per the choose the slain ability) with the spell.
Valiant Steed (Ex)
A valkyrie gains the services of a loyal mount. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, but the mount’s base statistics do not normally improve as the valkyrie advances in level. She must select a horse as her mount. Her mount is always considered combat trained and begins play with Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. A valkyrie’s mount does not gain the share spells special ability.
Should a valkyrie’s mount die, she may find another mount to serve her after 1 week of mourning. Until she is able to obtain a new mount, the valkyrie is considered to be shaken. This new mount does not gain the link special ability until the next time the valkyrie gains a level.
If a valkyrie has levels in a class that grants her an animal companion or mount, she must choose her valiant steed as her mount or companion for this purpose. Her effective class level is considered to be one higher for the purposes of class features related to her mount. A valkyrie cannot ever have more than one mount or animal companion.
Age, Height, and Weight
Valkyries do not age, and do not gain any bonuses or take penalties from aging. They cannot die of old age.
Valkyrie use the starting age, height, and weight of the race they had in their first life, but typically add an additional 1d6 modifier to height and weight. The valkyrie’s appearance is often similar to her form before her ascension, but some valkyries take on entirely new appearances when reborn into the sisterhood. For example, Small-sized races typically become Medium-sized creatures during their transformation into a valkyrie. The following random age, height, and weight tables are provided for valkyries of the latter type.
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Valkyrie||5 ft. 4 in.||110 lbs.||+(2d8x5 lbs.)|
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of the standard valkyrie racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these options.
- Deathless Defiance: Valkyries are ageless, but not immortal, and can be killed as any other living creature. Some, however, are said to frighten death itself. A valkyrie with this racial trait gains resistance 5 against negative energy damage and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, and negative energy. Once per day as an immediate action, the valkyrie can choose to add her Charisma modifier (minimum +1) as an additional morale bonus to a saving throw against any of these effects, but she then loses all benefits of deathless defiance for 24 hours. She can choose to use this ability after the saving throw is made, but must choose to use this ability before the GM reveals the results. This racial trait replaces the darkvision racial trait and the valkyrie’s resistances.
- Focused Resistance: Valkyries who often fight against particular foes or certain planes sometimes adapt specific defenses. A valkyrie with this trait gains any one of the following: acid resistance 10, cold resistance 10, electricity resistance 10, or fire resistance 10. Once made, this choice cannot be altered. This racial trait replaces the valkyrie’s resistances.
- Holy Zeal: A few valkyries choose to forgo traditional armor, whether due to a focus on spell-casting or a desire to be more maneuverable in combat. Instead, their fervor and innate power manifests as a physical force protecting them. A valkyrie with this trait adds her Charisma modifier as an armor bonus to her Armor Class (minimum +1). This otherwise functions as the mage armor spell. She loses this bonus if she wears armor of any type. This racial trait replaces the battle-trained and resistance racial traits.
- Mystic: A few valkyries learn to manipulate fate and magic instead of traditional weapons. Known as the mystics, these valkyries function as scholars or spellcasters. The valkyrie casts spells of the divination school at +2 caster level. After casting a spell of the divination school, she gains a +2 insight bonus to her initiative for a number of minutes equal to the spell’s level, starting at the completion of the spell’s casting time. The duration and bonus from casting multiple divination spells does not stack. This racial trait replaces the battle-trained and resistance racial traits.
- Planar Sense: Due to their travels amongst the planes, many valkyrie develop a keen sense of direction when it comes to strange realms. A valkyrie with this trait always considers Knowledge (planes) to be a class skill. She always knows what plane she is on, and knows the direction to the nearest gate, planar rift, or path to another plane. If she can sense a gate, planar rift, or path to another plane, she can automatically discern the plane it leads to. This racial trait replaces the fated sight racial trait.
- Small: Most valkyries who begin life as Small-sized creatures (such as gnomes or halflings) become Medium-sized upon their ascension. On occasion, a valkyrie whose mortal form was a Small-sized race desires to keep her original size after her ascension. A valkyrie with this trait is Small-sized rather than Medium-sized, with all the applicable bonuses and penalties. A Smallsized valkyrie with the valiant steed racial trait can select a pony or wolf as her mount. This racial trait alters the valkyrie’s size category.
- Spear-Wielder: Some valkyries form a connection with a mystical weapon rather than a mount. A valkyrie with this trait gains the ability to summon a masterwork spear (longspear, shortspear, or spear). She is always considered proficient with this spear. Summoning this spear is a standard action, and the valkyrie can banish it as a swift action. The valkyrie can enchant her spear as if she had the Master Craftsman and Craft Magic Arms and Armor feats, but cannot enchant any other armor or weapon with this ability. Once a valkyrie enchants her spear, it retains those properties each time she summons it. If a valkyrie’s spear is destroyed, she cannot summon it for 24 hours. However, the spear cannot be permanently destroyed unless she chooses to destroy it. This racial trait replaces the valiant steed racial trait.
- Seer: Though they are most known for their skill in battle, many valkyries develop natural prophetic abilities. A valkyrie with this trait gains the ability to cast augury once per day as a spell-like ability, treating her character level as her caster level. The base chance for receiving a meaningful reply is 70% + 1% per caster level + 1% per Wisdom modifier, to a maximum of 100%. This racial trait replaces the valiant steed racial trait.
- Wings: A valkyrie with this trait grows a pair of wings which may take any form suiting the individual (such as dragon’s wings or wings of steel feathers). At first, she can only use these wings to glide. The valkyrie gains the Fly skill as a class skill and takes no damage from falling unless she is helpless, pinned, or otherwise unable to use her wings. While in midair, the valkyrie can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot fallen, at a speed of 60 feet per round. She cannot gain height with these wings, and can only move in horizontal directions as she falls. If the valkyrie possesses the battletrained racial trait, her armor check penalty in armor she is proficient in does not affect her Fly skill checks. This racial trait replaces the valiant steed racial trait and alters the battle-trained racial trait.
The definition of a soul is a sometimes nebulous concept. For the purposes of the valkyrie’s choose the slain ability, the following creature types can possess a “soul:” dragons, fey, humanoids, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, and undead. Additionally, the creature must have a natural Intelligence ability score of 3 or higher.
Some individual creatures might not possess souls or may have souls that are beyond the reach of the valkyrie, subject to the GM’s discretion.
For example, a lich’s soul is contained within its phylactery. Likewise, some rare creatures outside of these types (such as aberrations or constructs) may have souls, but this possibility should always be determined by the GM on a case-by-case basis. Outsiders (without the native subtype), by definition, do not have a dual nature of body and soul, and so never possess a soul for this purpose.
In the Company of Vakyries, © 2018, Rite Publishing, LLC. Authors: Steven T. Helt and Stephen Rowe.