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


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Shardstone

Adventurer
There's only so much room in an adventure book. Or so much time you can spend on writing stuff. Another option would be to increase the cost of the book so that there are more resources to devote to internal consistency.
This book does not need an increased cost to justify a few more pages or to justify having increased resources to make it internal consistent. These things are what we are paying for already for $50.

Maybe a lot of Enworld just has no idea how much $50 is worth to people who aren't financially well-off?
 

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?

One of my proposed solutions was a sidebar. Not even a full page.

So, how about cutting a piece of art? Would you mind getting one less half-page of art in exchange for more robust world-building? Or maybe we can cut out something else. Heck, Mad Mage had at least one entirely pointless encounter that I know took a lot of text to explain. Maybe Rhime has an encounter that is basically just "hungry wolves attack you" that could be cut with no loss.


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.

Will most groups notice it? Maybe. Can't say. Seems like everyone is going to hear the part in question, it is after all, the hook of the adventure.

As for a team of climate and flora experts? No. I don't think they needed that. But, this is not something that requires that level of expertise in the first place. Most plants work on a yearly cycle. It has been two years with no sun (or very little sun) and no spring, so no pollination or creation of new seeds for annuals which literally die after a year.

I don't need to be an expert in climate and plants to realize that that is a "bad thing" after a year. After two years, I would expect everything to be dead. But we are being told that it will be at least two and a half to three years for the plants and animals to be at risk of dying? That doesn't make sense.

And could I change it? Yes, of course I could. But just because I can change the entire timeline of the adventure plot they created, doesn't mean that it is a good thing that I had to do that.

And, since I saw you bring it up in your other post, and I know these discussions can ramble, I will repeat again. I'm not saying the adventure is worthless, or that WoTC is incompetent. This sort of writing happens all the time in Fantasy. I get that. But, this isn't a background detail, or a strange setting piece, this is the entire premise of the adventure. That's a big deal, isn't it?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That's a big deal, isn't it?

If it bothers you, tweak it. "Last summer the sun barely came up, not nearly enough to melt all the snow. This year spring isn't coming and the days aren't getting longer." Done.

So no, it's not a big deal IMHO since it took all of 30 seconds to think of something that makes more sense if you want.
 

I don't think anything really even needs to be changed, other than not taking a few sentences in the adventure word-for-word literally. Other than those few sentences, which I think are oversights, the adventure heavily implies that the trouble has been PROGRESSING for two years, not that it suddenly went from NORMAL to DARK COLD WINTER one day without warning. It really doesn't spell out that it means for anyone to take it that way. It's also the simplest "change" to make - over two years it got worse until it's this way NOW. Go adventure!
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Maybe part of my problem with some of the complaints is that a lot of people are saying that the basic premise of the mod is broken*. I disagree, but it's more that while I may disagree with the details of the description of what Auril is doing and may tweak it, the basic premise of the mod is that you have a (literally) cold hearted god bent on permanently freezing the region.

If I tweak the details a bit (or say the changes have been gradually getting worse) so that people are still alive but fearing for their lives but not already dead, that doesn't change the premise of the mod. Just adjusts the fluff a bit to be what I would consider more realistic.

*At least some people are saying the entire mod is horrible because of this detail.
 

Maybe a lot of Enworld just has no idea how much $50 is worth to people who aren't financially well-off?
Books or Food is a tough spot to be in.

In dollars adjusted for Inflation, modules today do not cost more then the $15 that such omnibus editions like Temple of Elemental Evil and Demonweb pits cost.

I think the Omnibus Giants/Underdark/Demonweb pits has half the page count of Rime's 300+ page count.

Of course more of something you dislike, does not make it better.

WotC could chose to make changes. that could allow less expensive production runs, like B&W maps and artwork. That does not seem to be a model that D&D is currently interested in though.
 

If it bothers you, tweak it. "Last summer the sun barely came up, not nearly enough to melt all the snow. This year spring isn't coming and the days aren't getting longer." Done.

So no, it's not a big deal IMHO since it took all of 30 seconds to think of something that makes more sense if you want.
In this case, the fact that it is easy to «fix» isn’t what makes it a big deal or not. It’s that the turn-off happens in the opening sale pitch of the adventure. That is a big deal to many, even if it isn’t to you.
 

It’s that the turn-off happens in the opening sale pitch of the adventure. That is a big deal to many, even if it isn’t to you.
Great don't buy the book....why slander it, when it doesn't appeal to you?

This a D&D module....even products acclaimed to be good or great by the masses are still hated by many.

Tomb of Horrors is a crap adventure. It is memorable, someone likely will die, but it is a gimmicky train ride to death. For some this is a feature! 🃏
 

In this case, the fact that it is easy to «fix» isn’t what makes it a big deal or not. It’s that the turn-off happens in the opening sale pitch of the adventure. That is a big deal to many, even if it isn’t to you.
Out of curiosity, would you have liked the premise if they had explicitly spelled-out that the situation progressed to Dark Cold Winter over two years of steady decline?
 

Out of curiosity, would you have liked the premise if they had explicitly spelled-out that the situation progressed to Dark Cold Winter over two years of steady decline?
Maybe? I don’t know. It isn’t a big turn off for me. Only, I acknowledge that it can be for many people.

for what it’s worth, I also acknowledge that it’s a big wow factor for many others.

my position in this matter is that I dislike when people speak in absolute, regardless of their stance.
 

Maybe? I don’t know. It isn’t a big turn off for me. Only, I acknowledge that it can be for many people.

for what it’s worth, I also acknowledge that it’s a big wow factor for many others.

my position in this matter is that I dislike when people speak in absolute, regardless of their stance.

Oh yeah, I agree entirely about absolutes.
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
Books or Food is a tough spot to be in.

In dollars adjusted for Inflation, modules today do not cost more then the $15 that such omnibus editions like Temple of Elemental Evil and Demonweb pits cost.

I think the Omnibus Giants/Underdark/Demonweb pits has half the page count of Rime's 300+ page count.

Of course more of something you dislike, does not make it better.

WotC could chose to make changes. that could allow less expensive production runs, like B&W maps and artwork. That does not seem to be a model that D&D is currently interested in though.
What?

Did you mean to respond to my post?
Great don't buy the book....why slander it, when it doesn't appeal to you?

This a D&D module....even products acclaimed to be good or great by the masses are still hated by many.

Tomb of Horrors is a crap adventure. It is memorable, someone likely will die, but it is a gimmicky train ride to death. For some this is a feature! 🃏

So we can't criticize the adventure? A lot of people in this thread have been constructive and polite; are you saying that WotC adventures are above criticism?
 

Of course you can criticize the Adventure. If it is constructive criticism, I might even adopt the changes proposed.

Non-constructive Criticism becomes tedious after a bit. You don't like the module...Cool.

Others, do like the module....also cool.

Next topic, please.
(Essentially, that is what we are left with once Constructive Criticism is exhausted).
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This book does not need an increased cost to justify a few more pages or to justify having increased resources to make it internal consistent. These things are what we are paying for already for $50.

Maybe a lot of Enworld just has no idea how much $50 is worth to people who aren't financially well-off?
Bud.

No.

I’ve been quite poor. I have felt nearly overwhelming gratitude over $10 given freely, and choking, shaking, rage at the same amount lost for reasons beyond my control. I have eaten or not eaten because of the mood of strangers.

I just don’t care about the specific thing that you find so important, here. It has no impact on my view of the value of the product. To me, you’re essentially suggesting that we are being overcharged because you don’t like the art style of the cover.
It’s a preference, not a matter of quality. 🤷‍♂️
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
Bud.

No.

I’ve been quite poor. I have felt nearly overwhelming gratitude over $10 given freely, and choking, shaking, rage at the same amount lost for reasons beyond my control. I have eaten or not eaten because of the mood of strangers.

I just don’t care about the specific thing that you find so important, here. It has no impact on my view of the value of the product. To me, you’re essentially suggesting that we are being overcharged because you don’t like the art style of the cover.
It’s a preference, not a matter of quality. 🤷‍♂️
If it doesn't matter to you, but it does to me and others, then why do you keep repeatedly telling us how to feel? Why do you feel such an earnest need to tell people that their issues with the adventure are smalltime and don't matter? What are you gaining from demeaning our point of view so much?
 


If it bothers you, tweak it. "Last summer the sun barely came up, not nearly enough to melt all the snow. This year spring isn't coming and the days aren't getting longer." Done.

So no, it's not a big deal IMHO since it took all of 30 seconds to think of something that makes more sense if you want.

You seemed to have skipped over the paragraph before that. I'll repost it.

"And could I change it? Yes, of course I could. But just because I can change the entire timeline of the adventure plot they created, doesn't mean that it is a good thing that I had to do that."

Yes, I could solve this issue. I could do so very quickly. We did do so. That isn't the point I am making. If it was a matter of "I need a solution" I would have been done with this thread by the OP's post, which also gave solutions.

I'm asking a deeper question. Isn't it a big deal that the Premise of the adventure, the hook that is supposed to draw us into the game, needs fixed? That from the very beginning of the adventure, I need to step in as a DM and start rewriting, not minor nags, but the core concept of the entire plot? That feels significant to me.


Maybe part of my problem with some of the complaints is that a lot of people are saying that the basic premise of the mod is broken*. I disagree, but it's more that while I may disagree with the details of the description of what Auril is doing and may tweak it, the basic premise of the mod is that you have a (literally) cold hearted god bent on permanently freezing the region.

If I tweak the details a bit (or say the changes have been gradually getting worse) so that people are still alive but fearing for their lives but not already dead, that doesn't change the premise of the mod. Just adjusts the fluff a bit to be what I would consider more realistic.

*At least some people are saying the entire mod is horrible because of this detail.

Okay, this is a different point of view, but, I think this speaks to knowledge and opening scenes.

To me, the premise presented is "two years of harsh cold and no sun, if this continues, nothing will be left alive. The adventurers must fix this." And then they find out that the root cause is Auril, a cold-hearted goddess bent on permanently freezing the region.

And, where I end up stumbling is that, if we accept that Auril is the premise, she should have already won. She has frozen the region, and when I look at the two year timeline it is like reading the end of Watchmen. "I completed my plan 30 minutes ago." The region would be devastated, everyone or nearly everyone should be dead.

Which, to use another example, would be like saying the premise of the new Walking Dead property is to prevent the Zombie Apocalypse. But, it takes place after the apocalypse already happened. It is too late to prevent that.

And again, I know I can go in and rewrite the module to make this work. I can fix this, and the rest will run fine, but I feel it is significant that I have to go in and fix it, because they gave us a mission to prevent an apocalypse, then told us it was already too late, without explaining why we still have nearly a year to still save the region.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Great don't buy the book....why slander it, when it doesn't appeal to you?

This a D&D module....even products acclaimed to be good or great by the masses are still hated by many.

Tomb of Horrors is a crap adventure. It is memorable, someone likely will die, but it is a gimmicky train ride to death. For some this is a feature! 🃏

Most of the people who were slandering it seem to no longer be in this discussion. So, I'm not sure who you are referring to with that

Why can't we critique it though? I love the first Avengers movie, it was really really good. It is not above critique, and the fact that it is not a perfect movie with zero flaws does not mean it isn't a great movie with much to be lauded for.

I'm just not sure where this hostility is coming from, these are fairly honest critiques of the module. It does not mean it is not still a good module. Everything has flaws, but if we never talk about them, we can't improve.

Edit: It seems you are more thinking that the discussion has run its course and should be finished. Which... I disagree with, mostly because it seems the discussion has not run its course yet. But, if you feel there is nothing more to be said, then I can respect that you have nothing more to say.
 

Weird that I still see constructive criticism, such as from Chaosmancer, and you ignore it to focus on the scraps of meanness there are in this thread.
Scraps of meanness? I've been responding to you ....is that how you are describing your own posts? I am not understanding you, I'm afraid.
Why can't we critique it though?
You can, of course .....I have a post all about constructive criticism, just a few posts, above.

Fiction is about suspension of disbelief. If your disbelief can't even get you across the threshold....there isn't that much more to talk about.

The module at it's heart is not about what the NPC's do, but what the players do.
Winter's Fury is unleashed...players...en media res..what do you do?
The Chard Dragon will be unleashed....what do the players do?
Nobody is going to live unless Auril is dealt with...what do the players do?
There is a really cool Lost City...what do the players do?
 

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