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Horns of Valhalla (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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Ever found (or thought about buying) a horn of Valhalla but didn’t want to prep the required stat blocks, carry yet another heavy book to the game or muddle through hoping for the best? Horns of Valhalla banishes these problems!

This PLAYER’S RESOURCE contains a detailed write-up of the standard version of this iconic magic item and offers five variants (including full stat blocks of all the warriors and creatures called forth) as well as suggestions for other variant horns, rules for adding additional powers to the horns and more!

    The variant horns of Valhalla include:
  • Arachne’s Horn
  • Horn of the Bow
  • Horn of the Dead
  • Horn of Elemental Fire
  • Horn of the Hunt

Designed to easily fit into your character’s folder, each horn’s entry contains all the information you need to quickly and easily get the most out of this iconic magic item.

This ZIP file now includes two versions of Horns of Valhalla, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad. You can learn more about Raging Swan's Dual Format PDF initiative at ragingswan.com.

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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A few sour notes in an otherwise-excellent horn.

****( )

There are certain magic items in Pathfinder that are classics. These aren’t your typical +1 longswords, but rather the magic items with iconic names and powers that everyone knows about, even if they’ve never gotten one themselves. Things like the staff of the magi, the apparatus of the crab, or the cubic gate. And of course, the horn of Valhalla. This last one, though, carries with it a bit of bookkeeping, as it requires you to have stat blocks for the combatants summoned – there’s also a bit of an oddity in having a horn named after a plane of existence that might not exist in your game.

It’s issues like these that Raging Swan Press aims to take care of with their eponymous Horns of Valhalla supplement. Let’s see how well they do.

On the technical side of things, there are two versions of the supplement, one for screen viewing and the other for printing. That’s what the file names indicate, at least, because I didn’t see any difference between them. Both have the same illustrations, layout, page count, etc. The sole exception was that some of the illustrations are slightly sharper in the print file, but I had to do a side-by-side comparison to notice this.

The product did otherwise hit all of the technical checkmarks that it’s supposed to as a PDF; copy-and-paste is enabled and there are full, nested bookmarks for each section and subsection. In terms of artwork, the book is fairly sparse. There are no backgrounds or page borders, for example. There are enough illustrations that the book never feels visually boring, though, with a black and white illustration, usually of the creatures summoned by various horns, found every few pages.

The book opens by going over the basics of how horns of Valhalla work. Right away, the book presents useful material by giving us additional information (e.g. its armor class, hit points, etc.) and small variants (horns that summon different types of warriors with each use) for the horn. I quite liked this, as these are the sorts of things that nobody cares about until you need them (e.g. somebody tries to sunder a horn), at which point they’re impossible to find. Likewise, I quite enjoy randomized variations on classic things, finding them to be very old school in feeling.

The book suggests a few thematic variants for horns (e.g. a horn of the dwarvish lords), each receiving just a sentence of two of description, before moving on to additional powers and variants. For the most part, these are a large table of additional powers that a horn could have, and how that modifies its caster level and price, along with some additional information regarding horns that are aligned, cursed, and/or intelligent.

This section was quite good, but it was a situation where I felt like it didn’t take a good idea far enough. For example, the table of additional powers didn’t have a percentage, so you can’t (easily) roll randomly on it. Likewise, I would have loved if there had been a table for variant prerequisites for activating a horn (because remember, you need the proper prerequisite to make a horn work correctly, or its summoned warriors attack you).

It’s after this that we’re given full material on six horns: the classic horn of Valhalla and five variants. I say “full material” here because we’re given not only the standard magic item information, but also a visual description, overview of who (or rather, what) typically uses such a horn, and its legend. Oh, and of course, full stat blocks for the creatures it summons.

These five variants are based around themes, with Arachne’s horn, for example, summoning spiders, whereas the horn of the dead summons skeletal warriors. While each horn is detailed nicely, it’s the stat blocks that are the real meat of each item, as having the types of warriors summoned is very convenient. For the most part, the stats themselves seemed fairly consistent, but I did notice the occasional error (for example, the fighters summoned using the horn of the bow have the archer archetype, from the APG. However, they’ve only had the first alternate class ability of that archetype swapped in; the others, such as having trick shot replace armor training, aren’t there.

It’s also worth noting that Raging Swan Press uses a slightly modified version of the typical Pathfinder stat block. Each section, for example, doesn’t have its own header, and one or two things are different, such as a listing for how much a creature’s armor check penalty (or ACP) is. For the most part it’s not a big deal, but it might cause some confusion initially; luckily the book breaks down how it organizes its stat blocks in an appendix, but I still think it might have been better to stick to the standard Pathfinder presentation.

Finally, I question the decision to make all of the creatures listed here be of the construct creature type. I know this follows with what’s listed for the horn of Valhalla in the Core Rulebook, but I suspect that the designers made this change to avoid the thematic problem of summoning actual spirits, not realizing that this creates a more practical problem instead. You see, in addition to having a wide swath of immunities, these creatures also get a fairly hefty bump in hit points – constructs don’t get Constitution bonuses to their Hit Dice, but they get bonus hit points based on size. Since most of these constructs have few Hit Dice, but are man-sized, that means that their hit points have heavily inflated. For example, a typical giant spider is a CR 1 creature with 16 hit points. One summoned with Arachne’s horn, on the other hand, is a CR 1 creature with 33 hit points, and construct immunities. Admittedly, this won’t be a problem since most groups of PCs will likely be higher level than this, but it still seems off to me.

Had it been up to me, I’d have kicked that whole “they’re really constructs” idea to the curb, and just treated all of the combatants summoned by any horn as creatures of the appropriate type; is that really much different from how summoning spells work now? I’m aware that it’s ironic of me to take Raging Swan to task for not hewing closely enough to “traditional” Pathfinder in terms of stat block presentation, while then turning around and saying they shouldn’t have conformed quite so much in the kinds of creature summoned, but there it is.

Overall, Horns of Valhalla is definitely useful to a player, or a GM, who has such a horn. Having the relevant stat blocks at hand is not just useful, but almost necessary for including such an item. The extras and variants are just the icing on the cake. That said, it’s the little things that made me knock a star off of my final rating; the errors with the horn of the bow’s archers, the issues with all of the summons being constructs, etc. were sour notes in the otherwise-clear call of these horns. Still, I recommend this book to those who have or want a horn of Valhalla in their game; without this book, using that horn really blows.


All you need to use Horn of Valhalla in your game with new types.

****( )

Horns of Valhalla by Raging Swan

This product is 23 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, OGL and ToC. (5 pages)

Horns of Valhalla (15 pages)
This offers new variations of the magical horn, new powers to be added to it and new options. The new horns are
Arachne’s Horn - spiders
Horn of the Bow - archers
Horn of the Dead - undead
Horn of Elemental Fire - elementals
Horn of the Hunt - wolves/worgs
Horn of Valhalla - barbarians

Each horn has a base power on what it summons and comes in 4 variation. Silver, Brass, Bronze, Iron. It gives suggestions for what additional powers would work with each new horn. Then each horn has a short history, followed by complete stat blocks for the things it summons and a tactics suggestion on how the summoned things fight.

It ends with how to read the statblocks section, 1 ad and back cover. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The layout and editing is fine. I didn't notice any noticeable errors. The art work is nice black and white art. I didn't agree with all the prerequisite listed, especially on the Horn of the Dead. Making it a divine casting item didn't make sense to me when other spell casters can cast animate dead and such and it seems like a nice Necromancer horn. Other than that I didn't have a problem with the horns. This product is for those that would like variations of the horn and all the information hand to print out and use. This is a solid product but I wasn't wowed either by it. It gives exactly what it promises. I would have liked to have seen some sample horns with some of the extra powers listed applied to the horns. Or even some that are a bit more out of the norm. So whats my rating? I am going to give this one a 4 star review it, gives exactly what it promises in a well done manner, but I felt it could have been better.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


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