The Forlorn North Adventure Path for D&D and DCC RPG
  • The Forlorn North Adventure Path for D&D and DCC RPG


    Winter crouches outside howling at doors trying to get in. Some frozen ancient thing snatches the unwary from warm homes. Consider tying together several Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG winter adventures into an adventure path for brand new characters.




    Dungeon Crawl RPG has a series of winter modules that can be combined for either DCC RPG or D&D. Frozen in Time), The Old Gods Return), Trials of the Toymakers), Advent of the Avalanche Lords), and Twilight of the Solstice) start at 0 level and run one level at time to 4th level. The PCs can be either traditional quasi-Western European fantasy adventurers or primitives using the included table as a guide to playing brewers, canoe-makers, hunters, and stargazers. Frozen in Time also includes a mini-campaign setting called the Forlorn North. The entire adventure path takes place there.

    The PCs could be from the civilized southern lands. For a more unusual option, PCs can be Neolithic tribesmen. Humans use winter camps and one can be found just south of the Ghost Ice in Frozen in Time. The first adventure features a time traveler’s hideaway found in the Ghost Ice in the mountains called the Knives.

    Dwarves, elves, and halflings are likely allies and visitors to the human camp. Elves call the village of Krinnleton in the Cracking Forest (which ties in to later adventures) home. Dwarves hail from the Frostfire Mountain and halflings from the Briefgreens.

    While the Old Gods Return is set in the south, a GM can easily move the floating glacier from the Forgotten Fane west over the Howling Plains and to the PCs’ winter camp. When that adventure concludes, the floating glacier the PCs escape from has come to rest near the Cracking Forest and their next adventure.

    Semi-nomadic, wild elves called the Makarhu live in the village of Krinnleton. The GM should check out the village description and NPCs in Advent of the Avalanche Lords before running Trials of the Toymakers. The elves welcome the PCs as guests and invite them to observe an important annual event when fey gnomes called Konhengen leave gifts. When the gift giving ends prematurely and elven children go missing, the PCs step in to investigate.

    These same elves come under attack in Advent of the Avalanche Lords. Once the PCs protect the village once again they might return to their winter camp. Twilight of the Solstice can follow from there, taking place in the Knives.



    These adventures do not have to follow immediately one after the other The ruins of the advanced human civilization of Hyperborea lies beneath the ice and GMs can add in adventures of their own. Odobenmen (walrus-men) raiders might move inland from the coast, attacking the nomadic tribes and searching Hyperborean ruins for an unknown relic. Or hunters go missing in the Cracking Forest as a slumbering sentient ooze from the stars stirs to life. The PCs must either defeat the star spawn or lull it back to sleep.

    The adventure path could be run using D&D 5E. DCC RPG uses many of the same rules such as hit points, ascending armor class, and saving throws. New PCs could create a background using the 0-level list as a guide. A DM could run Frozen in Time as a 1st level adventure. Trials of the Toymakers features spell duels which aren’t part of D&D, but simple initiative order could be used.

    Whether played with Neolithic cord-makers and gatherers or Middle Ages butchers and cheesemakers, a heroic adventuring career can be forged in the Forlorn North. A handful of PDF adventures and the rules of your choice are all that are needed to get started.

    This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. Please note that Charles is a participant in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to DriveThruRPG. If you enjoy the daily news and articles from EN World, please consider contributing to our Patreon!
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Retreater -
      So this is saying that DMs can run the adventure path in 5e if they convert it? Not that it's dual-statted or being published in two formats?
    1. pauldanieljohnson's Avatar
      pauldanieljohnson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
      So this is saying that DMs can run the adventure path in 5e if they convert it? Not that it's dual-statted or being published in two formats?
      I believe that's correct.

      This is a good idea, though, despite requiring the DM to do a bit of conversion. I did something similar a year or two ago with classic D&D modules. We started off with Against the Cult of the Reptile God, then Isle of Dread, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation trilogy, Death's Ride, and Earthshaker!. It's a fun way to give modern players a chance to experience old modules, and as a DM it's fun to find ways to string separate plots together into a cohesive campaign.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
      So this is saying that DMs can run the adventure path in 5e if they convert it? Not that it's dual-statted or being published in two formats?
      That is correct. The modules are all for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. DCC is based off of D&D 3E and is highly compatible with D&D 5E (ascending AC, hit points, and saves for example). Any spells would have to be swapped up, but the systems both use spell levels and have many similar spells.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanieljohnson View Post
      I believe that's correct.

      This is a good idea, though, despite requiring the DM to do a bit of conversion. I did something similar a year or two ago with classic D&D modules. We started off with Against the Cult of the Reptile God, then Isle of Dread, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation trilogy, Death's Ride, and Earthshaker!. It's a fun way to give modern players a chance to experience old modules, and as a DM it's fun to find ways to string separate plots together into a cohesive campaign.
      Sounds like you had a heck of a campaign. And I agree. Lots of modules work with 5E. DCC is a bit easier in some ways because it shares many design choices with D&D 5E. But the old stuff isn't too hard to convert either.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      I'd totally buy all the DCC adventures if there was an actual official 5E version.
    1. pauldanieljohnson's Avatar
      pauldanieljohnson -
      Considering that Goodman Games is now officially releasing 5e conversions for old modules (they started with Keep on the Borderlands, IIRC), it's actually a bit surprising that they aren't offering 5e versions of their DCC titles.
    1. Bercilak's Avatar
      Bercilak -
      I appreciate this article. I am, generally, a pretty busy person, so I wind up skimping on DM prep by using published material. I like DCC, but haven't run a full campaign in it because the amount of material is rather overwhelming. Pulling together adventures that work well together as a campaign is pretty useful, and I'll definitely be keeping this sequence in mind when DCC makes its way back to the top of my rotation.
    1. Obryn's Avatar
      Obryn -
      I'm a big fan of DCC, and ran two of these adventures - The Old God's Return and Frozen in Time - just in the past few weeks. They're really spectacular adventures, but I'd suggest running them in DCC as opposed to 5e. DCC's a fantastic system, with some good (and surprisingly) modern design.

      The one exception I'd take with this article is that, by default, there's no possible way to get from 0th to 4th level in DCC with just these adventures. Nothing's stopping you from milestone leveling or whatnot, but all of them can be finished in 1-2 sessions, so the pacing will feel pretty 'off.'
    Comments Leave Comment