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5E A brief rant about Rime of the Frost Maiden, farming, logistics, and ecology

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
But generally, when these sorts of things come up in novels or movies, the expected answer is "you are thinking too much about this, just focus on enjoying the story the author is telling". The problem with this as a DnD experience is that we are the authors, even as players. And this sense that we are incorrectly "thinking too deeply" about the setting, the goals, the motivations, and the consequences of the world... is a little jarring for me. We should encourage deeper thought, I would expect, not treat this the same way we treat more passive media.
Speaking of focusing on the story the author is telling, it made me think of this:

 

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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Funnily enough this:


Makes it sound like there are two parts, but I think my point still stands because the overarching problem is present right from the start rather than being a change that causes the PCs to go on an epic quest.

But I don't agree that it's a problem for the adventure to narrow down to a linear plot (as long as it's not as fragile as most of WotC's plots that hang on critical connections that are forced upon the PCs - see pretty much every 5e adventure ;) ). As a DM, I'm buying this adventure so I don't have to make one that scales with the PCs. I don't want to try and build an epic adventure from a bunch of parts and do all the balancing etc etc. So I guess I don't understand that aspect, but it's probably because we want different things from these adventures.

Edit: Now that I've thoroughly derailed this thread, I should probably see myself over to the "Running" thread... Pardon my mess!
 
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Coroc

Hero
I have tied some pcs to Ten-Towns. Some people have paid 5GP for rumors. I give them the rumors on slips of paper. Those rumors also go on to the Facebook write up, and the big map. Currently my messenger feed is dinging at me. They are plotting on taking over the gem mine. Current plan is to murder the mine owner. Use the kobolds as slaves. Feed them using the cauldron of plenty. Some players do want to pay the kobolds some money. I have two counters to this but some of my players read this forum.
i am so glad i always alter the coinage system in official settings ( would be silver for FR)

The "paid 5g for rumors" made me cringe.
Translated to modern RL this would be like: "You give the drunkard that tells you that there might be a crocodile in the sewer 1000$ for sharing his insights ."
 

Coroc

Hero
I think that’s because they want it to double as an Icewind Dale campaign setting as well as an adventure, so they’ve written locations to be as generic as possible so people can use them in their own adventures with minimal effort if they want to.

It tracks with previous 5e adventures. They’re all meant to be pretty cut and paste.
well if that is the case they could give a twofold description aka " the tavern is crowded" vs "two meagre people on the edge of starvation try to warm themselves up on the small fire burning in the chimney."
 


jasper

Rotten DM
i am so glad i always alter the coinage system in official settings ( would be silver for FR)

The "paid 5g for rumors" made me cringe.
Translated to modern RL this would be like: "You give the drunkard that tells you that there might be a crocodile in the sewer 1000$ for sharing his insights ."
Or you playing a game of dominos with the locals and your turn to buy a round. And you know somehow the locals were cheating on you. GP has always equal $$.
 

Coroc

Hero
Or you playing a game of dominos with the locals and your turn to buy a round. And you know somehow the locals were cheating on you. GP has always equal $$.
nah it is just that a little tip for some rumor shared (as well as a round of booze) should be some copper or a silver most. You spend gold on something like a house or a well fitted plate armor or such, not for some gossip.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So you a bunch of you would be cool if the adventure cut three or four encounters and filled those pages with situation exposition and world logistics instead?
We've had over 300 posts arguing about less than .01% of the mod. Because WOTC didn't explicitly detail out something that most groups are going to not notice, ignore or the DM is going to have to spend 5 minutes adjusting to suit their idea of realistic. The posters complaining base their judgement on modern standards without accepting that some regions have had nearly total crop failures in the past yet people survived.

I don't expect reality simulation from anything D&D, I don't see why anyone would expect it now. What were they supposed to do? Hire a group of climatologists, historians, experts in sub arctic flora and fauna to write a scientifically accurate paper? Because honestly I have no clue what changes to the climate would have to be made to get the level of desperation implied by the mod. While I haven't read the mod my take is that if things don't change, the north is looking at a near extinction level event for surface dwellers. It has to be bad. How bad? Heck if I know.

If you think the description is too harsh (or not harsh enough) change the 3 sentences involved. For example it's spring of the 2nd year and it's getting worse, not better. They're starting to get desperate. While they had barely enough resources to make it through the past year they won't survive another. Tweak the temperatures so the lowest values only happen now and then, adjust the con DC to whatever value makes sense. Done.

If there are major problems with the structure of the rest of the mod, fine. I haven't read the mod I have no clue. But this? Meh.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think that can be assumed, so this is more the tip of the iceberg so to speak. :)

So you're basing your opinion on hearsay and speculation? Based on 2-3 sentences in the entire mod? Okay then.

I don't purchase mods often myself, but in the scheme of "this doesn't make sense" what has been reported is incredibly minimal in light of fantasy in general.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
So you're basing your opinion on hearsay and speculation? Based on 2-3 sentences in the entire mod? Okay then.
More fool me once (or 5+ times) .... won't get fooled again. But as I think you've admitted you don't run these modules so it's no big deal to you. On the other hand I have (or at least tried to), and I'm tired of the messes I've had to clean up all because WotC tried to be cute with plot twists, adventure design etc, and I've seen no sign that WotC is addressing these problems (which is fine, it's not a priority for them - but it doesn't mean I have to like it).

But let's agree to disagree. I care a lot about the internal consistency of the world/adventure and it seems you don't (forgive me if I misunderstand your position) and that's fine. :)
 


uzirath

Adventurer
So you a bunch of you would be cool if the adventure cut three or four encounters and filled those pages with situation exposition and world logistics instead?

It could be handled easily in a sidebar. They could just provide some bullet points for ways to rationalize things depending on your groups' tolerances. Alternate flora (or magic flora), casters desperately keeping people alive, adjust the timeline from 2 years to 1 year, special UV from the aurora. Lots of the sorts of ideas that have been shared in this thread. I know that this depends on the table and I have no problem doing it myself, but it did leap out at me as a giant question mark that should have been addressed, at least in passing.

As a GM designing a scenario like this, I would try to weave some of these "background" questions into the core of the adventure path itself. For example, what if the dwarves have access to "solar crystals" that grow in the underworld and are tuned shine with the light of the sun on a typical 24-hour cycle? (These would explain a lot of things... why don't we have these already?) This would provide a more explicit connection between the dwarves and the humans, resolving another question in the adventure. The crystals might only last for a certain amount of time when they are removed from their caves, so there would be a desperate need for trade between the humans and the dwarves. Maybe Aurilian cultists would be trying to extinguish the crystals. Maybe they put pressure on the dwarves to cut off trade. (Or cut a deal with the Duergar to interfere with the crystals via some chardalyn powered engine.) Lots of adventure possibilities here for first-tier PCs as they grow toward the bigger challenges.
 

Probably you and I (and the designers it seems) disagree on what constitutes a modicum of common sense.

Not that common sense exists at all, of

We've had over 300 posts arguing about less than .01% of the mod. Because WOTC didn't explicitly detail out something that most groups are going to not notice, ignore or the DM is going to have to spend 5 minutes adjusting to suit their idea of realistic. The posters complaining base their judgement on modern standards without accepting that some regions have had nearly total crop failures in the past yet people survived.

I don't expect reality simulation from anything D&D, I don't see why anyone would expect it now. What were they supposed to do? Hire a group of climatologists, historians, experts in sub arctic flora and fauna to write a scientifically accurate paper? Because honestly I have no clue what changes to the climate would have to be made to get the level of desperation implied by the mod. While I haven't read the mod my take is that if things don't change, the north is looking at a near extinction level event for surface dwellers. It has to be bad. How bad? Heck if I know.

If you think the description is too harsh (or not harsh enough) change the 3 sentences involved. For example it's spring of the 2nd year and it's getting worse, not better. They're starting to get desperate. While they had barely enough resources to make it through the past year they won't survive another. Tweak the temperatures so the lowest values only happen now and then, adjust the con DC to whatever value makes sense. Done.

If there are major problems with the structure of the rest of the mod, fine. I haven't read the mod I have no clue. But this? Meh.
If that 0.1% is in the premise for the mod in question, it is bound to feed a 300+ posts because that is literally the first things we learn about in the adventure. Regardless whether I find this premise realistic or not, or whether I care about realism or not, I'm not surprised that it creates a hearty discussion.

The premise of an adventure is always a bit tricky; stakes must be high enough to raise interests but if you go too far, people might not read past the back cover text...

Suspension of disbelief in fantasy/sci-fi is weird sometimes. People have no issue with flying, fire-breathing dragons because that's what we've been told that dragons do; they fly and they breath fire. Wizards cast fireball. Frost giants ignore the coldest temperatures, etc. But when a game/story focuses on something with which we have experience as humans, we tend to have less tolerance for the "unrealistic". See falling from 1000 feet and wading through lava. Prolonged exposition to extreme temperatures for two consecutive years (without further explanation of how this is survivable) leans on the "this isn't compatible with my perception and experience of cold/starvation" side of things.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If that 0.1% is in the premise for the mod in question, it is bound to feed a 300+ posts because that is literally the first things we learn about in the adventure. Regardless whether I find this premise realistic or not, or whether I care about realism or not, I'm not surprised that it creates a hearty discussion.

The premise of an adventure is always a bit tricky; stakes must be high enough to raise interests but if you go too far, people might not read past the back cover text...

Suspension of disbelief in fantasy/sci-fi is weird sometimes. People have no issue with flying, fire-breathing dragons because that's what we've been told that dragons do; they fly and they breath fire. Wizards cast fireball. Frost giants ignore the coldest temperatures, etc. But when a game/story focuses on something with which we have experience as humans, we tend to have less tolerance for the "unrealistic". See falling from 1000 feet and wading through lava. Prolonged exposition to extreme temperatures for two consecutive years (without further explanation of how this is survivable) leans on the "this isn't compatible with my perception and experience of cold/starvation" side of things.
My point is simple. There's a lot of bluster and accusations of he mod being worthless by people who have not even read nor played it.
It's 2-4 sentences. If it bothers you, change it. Done. It's a molehill, not a mountain.
 

My point is simple. There's a lot of bluster and accusations of he mod being worthless by people who have not even read nor played it.
It's 2-4 sentences. If it bothers you, change it. Done. It's a molehill, not a mountain.
Agreed!

But beyond the discussion of the realism/verisimilitude (or lack thereof) of the intro, I don't think most people were here to prove the whole adventure "worthless" [edit: before segue on other unrelated tangents that is]. The OP actually proposed sensible solutions, and then moved on. Then there was much bickering about whether or not it was important to address the premise. But people do get aggressively opinionated on the internets, so you might be right...
 

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