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

YES! Exactly! I want a mod so customized to my personal tastes that one of the core premises gets a bit more explanation!
Well since that is not going to happen, you either have to do it yourself or decide not to use the product.

I would run ToA, but I would never use the Death Plague setup as written.
I know that, and accept that.

Unless you you consider Rime to be an exigent evil that must be stopped, you are doing the equivalent of constantly saying..."but warp power CAN'T exist " to any discussion about Star Trek, even if we are talking Tribbles.

I understand you do not like the thermostat setting in Rime....great....move on dude.
Exception, noted.....what else can you contribute to the conversation?

Chaosmancer, by their own admission in another thread has never used a module.
"I've never seen an Opera, but the Magic Flute is bad one"........not exactly ironclad credentials there, alas.

robius, I empathize with, they feel burned by past WotC Adventures and are gun shy about buying another product. What is ironic, is that many of the types of advice that would have been helpful in prior modules, is actually present in Rime.
 

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TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Pointing to another bad premise because it's popular is exactly what I said it was last time -- things aren't true because their popular was. And, GoT described the winter as people don't live in the cold places anymore because they starve and die. It's not something that people go, eh, we'll get through that, it's presented as an existential crisis for the north. The mere threat of which is used to say things could be worse, do better.
Yeah, If the winters in Game of Thrones are too much to handle for peoples sense of verisimilitude then this one probably isn’t for you. Whilst popularity is not a measure of accuracy it is definitely a measure of how acceptable something is to common sensibility.

Everywhere becomes cold during a Westeros winter it isn’t limited to north of the wall. Obviously people did survive them and they are dark - the long night. With stores of food, carefully looked after cattle, and ingenuity.

You’re asking for a degree of realism that isn’t present in most fantasy games. Not that the claim that having no light kills coniferous trees and all life within two years has been referenced anywhere... it’s all based on suppositions. I have demonstrated that life can survive 3-6 months. Of course there aren’t locations on earth that have longer so it can’t be tested.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Well since that is not going to happen, you either have to do it yourself or decide not to use the product.
Neither of which dispute the validity of the criticism. Of course I have to make that choice -- it's printed. Pointing out the issue, though, assists others in making that choice, and discussing solutions also helps others make that choice.

Plus, WotC's doing a lot of revision to products these days, so it's quite possible they might choose to release supplementary material or issue a change if people complain. I doubt a change, but a supplement's possible. We're not talking about wholesale revisions, here, but additions to the current material to help it along.
I would run ToA, but I would never use the Death Plague setup as written.
I know that, and accept that.

Unless you you consider Rime to be an exigent evil that must be stopped, you are doing the equivalent of constantly saying..."but warp power CAN'T exist " to any discussion about Star Trek, even if we are talking Tribbles.
YES!! Rime is a exigent evil that must be stopped!1 People need to know about this so they can help stop it by making purchasing decisions better informed OR having awareness that this issue may need assistance from them the text will not provide!!11! Only in this way can the evil be halted and prevented from spreading!1!!1eleven!!!

You know, I think I might just start leaning into the strawmen like this -- it's kind fun and a break from saying "I didn't say that, you made it up." Also, /sarc tags.
I understand you do not like the thermostat setting in Rime....great....move on dude.
Exception, noted.....what else can you contribute to the conversation?

Chaosmancer, by their own admission in another thread has never used a module.
"I've never seen an Opera, but the Magic Flute is bad one"........not exactly ironclad credentials there, alas.

robius, I empathize with, they feel burned by past WotC Adventures and are gun shy about buying another product. What is ironic, is that many of the types of advice that would have been helpful in prior modules, is actually present in Rime.
Ah, back to dismissal of criticism because it can't be fixed in the current product. I thought we weren't doing that? And, if you respond to me, do not point to other people's arguments as if they're representative of mine. I have used modules, and was interested in Rime, but this issue and the synopsis I've read indicates that this is, yet again, another WotC module that's trying to be too clever but fails to make it. There's some good set pieces in there, but I'm not interested in the Icewind Dales enough to buy it for those and the gazetteer section. That I've decided to not purchase this module (or pick it up on sale or second-hand) doesn't make my criticism less valid or not worth stating. You need to stop addressing criticism with arguments that try to render the ability to criticism moot. They're not valid arguments and they don't address the criticism.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Yeah, If the winters in Game of hrones are too much to handle for peoples sense of verisimilitude then this one probably isn’t for you. Whilst popular is not a measure of accuracy it is definitely a measure of how acceptable something is to common sensibility.

Everywhere becomes cold during a Westeros winter it isn’t limited to north of the wall. Obviously people did survive them and they are dark - the long night. With stores of food, carefully looked after cattle, and ingenuity.

You’re asking for a degree of realism that isn’t present in most fantasy games. Not that the claim that having no light kills coniferous trees and all life within two years has been referenced anywhere... it’s all based on suppositions. I have demonstrated that life can survive 3-6 months. Of course there aren’t locations on earth that have longer so it can’t be tested.
They aren't, and I suspect we're talking about different things. For one, what constitutes "winter" in GoT is a bit vague. For two, it's so bad that people die and leave the North of Westeros, and the people in the South of Westeros starve. GoT explains the winter, tells you what happens and how absolutely horrible and murderous it is, and then uses that not as a set piece but as a threat to be stopped.

Frostmaiden makes it fact, and then trivializes it. I can have no problems with GoT winter and still have all of my criticisms about Frostmaiden's implementation be untouched by that. The winter in GoT is only similar to the one in Frostmaiden in terms of being multi-year. Otherwise, they aren't the same thing at all, and that's before we look at GoT winter to see if it's at all realistic -- they don't even have magic and yet they're doing things that no real human civilization has ever done. If it was as easy to do as you suggest, why is not Antarctica peopled?
 

Frickin piece of junk. My Anti-virus keeps blocking the site and I lost my entire post.
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?

Since I don't want to spend another hour typing out my full response. I'll do highlights.

This phrase " If your disbelief can't even get you across the threshold." seems to ignore that it is just as much of the author's responsibility to set up disbelief as it is anyone elses. Writing a story that can't be disbelieved is not a failure on the part of the reader.

Also, I read the copy on DnD Beyond that one of my DMs has, and found things are so much worse than I thought.

See, while I agree that the story cares about what the PCs do, the PCs can't do anything unless the scene is set. And this is where the premise of the two years falls flat. Because threats like Auril and the Dragon don't matter if everyone is already dead. Nobody would be alive for the players to save, so the players can't save anyone.

Also, in skimming the start of the adventure, I had not realized that the players had come up from the South so recently. The Trade Roads are still open. The Passes are still navigable. And people down south are aware of the Endless Winter. The PCs came to the Dale in spite of the Winter.

And yet, they are not confronted with desperate people, but with normal every day life. They might get a quest to hunt down a serial killer (being told who it is), or to find some elemental spirits for a researcher. Or fight a monster fish. Life is still normal.

Which means there is no urgency, there is no desperation. In fact, the fish quest is particularly egregious in this respect. The researcher tries to shame the dwarf for sending the players to thier deaths "For what? A few fish?" as though the safe fishing of this lake isn't going, you know, keeping the town alive because everyone is starving. Nope, these few fish aren't really worth the player's lives and the Dwarf is just greedy.

None of that adds to the atmosphere of a place in desperation, a place on the brink of collapse. It reads like the Ten Towns are... annoyed at the long winter, but it isn't deadly or a real threat. Life is going on. Which means I don't really need to care.

If the NPCs who are living in the town don't find it urgent. I don't find it urgent. If food is still plentiful then no one is in danger.

Chaosmancer, by their own admission in another thread has never used a module.
"I've never seen an Opera, but the Magic Flute is bad one"........not exactly ironclad credentials there, alas.

Would you like to point me to the place where it says "Only people who have run modules can critique their stories?" I must have missed it.

Also, within that same post (which I'm sure I'll respond to there as well) I actually said I have never run a module. I have in fact played in quite a few. My DMs have run Curse of Strahd, Dungeon of the Mad Mage (woof, that was a bad start to a game. I had to really bite my tongue when I was told that our agreeing to go down the well was a one-way trip. I didn't make a character who was suicidal enough to enter a death dungeon on a whim, with no way out.), White Plume Mountain from Tales. And a few other older modules from various magazines and such.

Does my expeirence as a player in modules, and a DM in general, and as a writer of Fantasy stories qualify me enough in your eyes? Can my problems with a written plot be taken seriously now?

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

Also, while I'm not supposed to directly quote Sword, I want to point out that I did do some basic research into Coniferous trees needing sunlight, and a lot do.

The link to a google search is here How much sunlight do conifers need - Google Search

But the basics seem to be that while pale or golden conifers may burn when they are young in direct sunlight, dark green conifers need quite a bit. Seems most trees need at least six hours of direct sunlight. Which... nothing is getting that in Rime. Also, this was the site where I got the trees surviving 90 days without light How long could an ecosystem survive without sunlight?

Since, you know, seems like I need to start putting up a bibliography to show I'm not just making things up. (BTW, I know this isn't a heavily researched, peer-reviewed article type of thing. It shouldn't need to be.)
 

There's some good set pieces in there, but I'm not interested in the Icewind Dales enough to buy it for those and the gazetteer section.
What Gazetteer section are you writing about? There are monsters and magic items in the Appendix section...like the good lord intended.

So you acknowledge that the set pieces are good, but your still are not interested.
Excellent...we know...you are not Interested in this product.

Should I just shoot my computer now?

.."Boring Conversation, anyway"
1602866297432.jpeg
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
What Gazetteer section are you writing about? There are monsters and magic items in the Appendix section...like the good lord intended.
Chapter 1 is pretty much a gazetteer of Icewind Dales. It describes the normal condition of the Ten Towns and gives brief info on the area and each of the towns. There's a small bit of adventure overlay with the quests, but mostly it's a gazetteer of the Ten Towns.
So you acknowledge that the set pieces are good, but your still are not interested.
Excellent...we know...you are not Interested in this product.
And what does that mean? I suspect you're trying to say something, here, but it's not coming through. Is it the already strongly debunked argument that you have to be willing to buy the product to critique it? Because, and you may want to hold on, here, I'm not buying the product because of my criticisms of it.

Not buying the product doesn't invalidate criticisms of it, no matter how many times you intimate it. If you're suggesting that I'm not aware I've solved your conundrum (don't buy it or modify it) for myself, I thought I made it clear that wasn't even a conundrum. Not only is it obvious, but it doesn't relate at all to the issue of valid criticism. If anything, it reinforces it.
Should I just shoot my computer now?

.."Boring Conversation, anyway"
View attachment 127539
You do you, man, but I'd suggest checking your budget, first.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Chapter 1 is pretty much a gazetteer of Icewind Dales. It describes the normal condition of the Ten Towns and gives brief info on the area and each of the towns. There's a small bit of adventure overlay with the quests, but mostly it's a gazetteer of the Ten Towns.

And what does that mean? I suspect you're trying to say something, here, but it's not coming through. Is it the already strongly debunked argument that you have to be willing to buy the product to critique it? Because, and you may want to hold on, here, I'm not buying the product because of my criticisms of it.

Not buying the product doesn't invalidate criticisms of it, no matter how many times you intimate it. If you're suggesting that I'm not aware I've solved your conundrum (don't buy it or modify it) for myself, I thought I made it clear that wasn't even a conundrum. Not only is it obvious, but it doesn't relate at all to the issue of valid criticism. If anything, it reinforces it.

You do you, man, but I'd suggest checking your budget, first.
Just out of interest, why are you expending so much energy criticising a product you have no intention of buying?

I mean... I have no intention of getting my nose pierced... but I don’t go on an open assault on tattoo parlours?
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Dungeon of the Mad Mage (woof, that was a bad start to a game. I had to really bite my tongue when I was told that our agreeing to go down the well was a one-way trip. I didn't make a character who was suicidal enough to enter a death dungeon on a whim, with no way out.),

Jumped out at me. FWIW, that one's on your DM. As written, you can definitely leave the dungeon.
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
Just out of interest, why are you expending so much energy criticising a product you have no intention of buying?

I mean... I have no intention of getting my nose pierced... but I don’t go on an open assault on tattoo parlours?
Comparing constructive criticism to open assault...strange comparison.
 

Haffrung

Adventurer
Yeah, If the winters in Game of Thrones are too much to handle for peoples sense of verisimilitude then this one probably isn’t for you. Whilst popularity is not a measure of accuracy it is definitely a measure of how acceptable something is to common sensibility.

Everywhere becomes cold during a Westeros winter it isn’t limited to north of the wall. Obviously people did survive them and they are dark - the long night. With stores of food, carefully looked after cattle, and ingenuity.

You’re asking for a degree of realism that isn’t present in most fantasy games. Not that the claim that having no light kills coniferous trees and all life within two years has been referenced anywhere... it’s all based on suppositions. I have demonstrated that life can survive 3-6 months. Of course there aren’t locations on earth that have longer so it can’t be tested.
The difference with Game of Thrones is the long winter is something that’s referred to, but not experienced by the POV characters. So the obvious questions that would arise from being immersed in that environment don‘t arise.

And like others have said, I engage an entirely different part of my brain when I’m playing an RPG vs passively watching a TV show. I’m trying to reason things through, learn practical knowledge about the setting, apply real-world experiences to my decisions. My players do too. They’ve been known to hire workers to divert a river and flood a dungeon. Don’t think about it too hard it’s just a fantasy world doesn’t really cut it in our campaigns.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Just out of interest, why are you expending so much energy criticising a product you have no intention of buying?

I mean... I have no intention of getting my nose pierced... but I don’t go on an open assault on tattoo parlours?
I have no interest in getting any piercing or any I have no interest in getting a tatto. I do have an eye for art so I may occasionally comment on the skill of a tattoo artist or how a piercing looks. If I see three different tattoos coming from the same shop/artist that all look bad I most defiantly would say something... especially if my friends who like tattoos and piercings are looking into getting one there...

There is a world of difference between “I don’t like sci fi there fore I did like Star Trek” and “I don’t like sci fi but since you asked about this one episode of Star Trek I can tell you my thoughts on its story telling problems”.

we are all D&D nerds here.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Okay so my view is that this mod was most likely not written to be just a mod. Like was said above it is also a gazzater.
However it also must tow a line. I think WoTC bit off a big scary post apocalyptic story then could not chew it... so it ended up swallowing a light hearted kinda bad story.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Don’t think about it too hard it’s just a fantasy world doesn’t really cut it in our campaigns.
Especially when we're supposed to basically "run the world simulator" in our DM brains as we go. If our brains can't make sense of the underlying "logic" then it makes it that much harder to keep the plates spinning as it were.

This is what I feel my brain is doing while I "smoothly" narrate the results of the players actions... :D

 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
My players are the type of players who are definitely going to want to know why everything isn't dead after 2 years of freezing darkness. The adventure has no answer to that, so that's on me to figure out. I do find that annoying for $50. To me, that is a pretty basic and obvious issue that struck me in the first few pages in. I do think more thought was needed.

Here's where I ended up:
Two years of freezing darkness = everything dead

Possible solution #1: eliminate darkness, just make it two years of winter
Problem: Screws up duergar storyline
Possible solution #1 rejected

Possible solution #2: shorten length of crisis. Winter & dark stretched through spring. Now it's summer & weather is still apocalyptic.
Problem: Now the timeline is too short to make general acceptance of human sacrifice in Ten Towns plausible
Additional solution #2a: cut human sacrifice. While a "cool" idea, the writers do almost nothing with it and it's pretty much irrelevant to the story/implications are never explored

So that's what I'm doing. It's been unnaturally freezing and dark for four months. No human sacrifices as of yet.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
The difference with Game of Thrones is the long winter is something that’s referred to, but not experienced by the POV characters. So the obvious questions that would arise from being immersed in that environment don‘t arise.

And like others have said, I engage an entirely different part of my brain when I’m playing an RPG vs passively watching a TV show. I’m trying to reason things through, learn practical knowledge about the setting, apply real-world experiences to my decisions. My players do too. They’ve been known to hire workers to divert a river and flood a dungeon. Don’t think about it too hard it’s just a fantasy world doesn’t really cut it in our campaigns.
And yet, most of the older characters The Game of Thrones have experienced winter lasting several years! They survived.

yes I agree different muscles get used in TT but at the same time fiction will always lead our expectations of RPG. Every TTRPG is derivative from some form of literature or media
 

Azzy

Newtype
two years of deep winter
The problem with this lone of thought, though, is it's not implicit that it's two years of deep winter or that the current conditions are the same as when Auril's Everlasting Gobstoppers Winter started rather than the final culmination of Auril's.prolonged magical workings. I think that the most infuriating part of this conversation is the assumption that this nuclear divine winter just "switched on" at full strength one day rather than a slow, creeping onset of an ever-increasingly winter hellscape. Sure, you can read it that way if you're so inclined but I haven't seen anywhere where it is outright stated to be so. It comes down to a case of: do you want to interpret this in a manner that is ridiculously unrealistic or in a manner that is just fantasy unrealistic?
 

Azzy

Newtype
So, some of these comments and suggested changes are valuable for me if/when I run this module. There's no way my players could 'suspend disbelief' if I told them it was a -50 blizzard, please make a dc 10 con check every hour. (This is probably an exaggeration since I haven't read the adventure, but you know what I mean.)
Which is fair. The fault here, though, lies in Frostmaiden's adherence to the rules in the DMG for "extreme cold" (which set a blanket DC 10 save for temperatures "at or below 0℉") and "frigid water", which it reprints, rather than something a bit more nuanced.
 

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