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

Eltab

Hero
One of the episodes in BBC's "Walking With Dinosaurs" was about the polar forest of Australia (which was near but not covering the South Pole). There might be ideas there to be used for conditions in the Everlasting Rime - for both animal and plant.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
What you’re missing here is the fact that in such situations trees would never grow in the first place. So your claim they would die is purely based on your assumptions. You’re claiming they would all die, however the reality is that you have no evidence for that.

No one is claiming the trees are thriving... just that they’re still there.
I'm wondering what happens to the ground temperatures in the second year. Apparently that's what would kill them: Protecting trees and shrubs in winter

"Roots of most trees and shrubs that grow in Minnesota die at temperatures at or below 0 and up to 10 degrees. These plants survive in Minnesota because soil temperatures normally are much higher than air temperatures and because soil cools down much more slowly than air temperature.

Many factors influence soil temperature.

  • Moist soil holds more heat than dry soil, so frost penetration will be deeper and soil temperatures colder for sandy or dry soils.
  • Snow cover and mulch act as insulators and keep soil temperatures higher.
  • With newly planted trees, cracks in the planting hole allow cold air to penetrate into the root zone, reducing fall root growth or killing newly formed roots."
It also knows that having less sun would actually be a help for them surviving if the cold doesn't go away:

"Bright sunny days during the winter warms plant tissue, which in turn initiates cellular activity. Then, when the sun sets or goes behind clouds, foliage temperature can drop, injuring or killing the foliage.

Bright, cold winter days destroy chlorophyll in the foliage. The chlorophyll does not re-synthesize when temperatures are below 28 degrees. This results in a bleaching of the foliage."
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
It has been claimed that trees would all be dead, because apparently there are no real world locations with trees exist in those circumstances. Though of course there is no place in the real would where a two year winter appeared where there wasn’t one before.

The reality is people are claiming absolutes when in fact there are none.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
What you’re missing here is the fact that in such situations trees would never grow in the first place. So your claim they would die is purely based on your assumptions. You’re claiming they would all die, however the reality is that you have no evidence for that.

No one is claiming the trees are thriving... just that they’re still there.
More on plant freezing... Extreme low temperature tolerance in woody plants

Sounds like things that usually grow places its cold for a long time can do amazing things.
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
It has been claimed that trees would all be dead, because apparently there are no real world locations with trees exist in those circumstances. Though of course there is no place in the real would where a two year winter appeared where there wasn’t one before.

The reality is people are claiming absolutes when in fact there are none.
No, I'm not saying what about is how you can claim this isn't objective, absolute fact, LOL! There's no WAY that ANY tree without magical aid is surviving 2 years at polar tempatures with no sunlight, that's literally impossible. And if the adventure had bothered to explain this, and then explain what kind of magic (say with the druids) is keeping the forests alive, the adventure would have been significantly better and the premise far easier to bite into.

Frostmaiden is good for what it is, but these kinds of logical considerations can make a good project truly great. I don't know what reality you live in though that a tree can survive 2 years with no sunlight at -49 though.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
No, I'm not saying what about is how you can claim this isn't objective, absolute fact, LOL! There's no WAY that ANY tree without magical aid is surviving 2 years at polar tempatures with no sunlight, that's literally impossible. And if the adventure had bothered to explain this, and then explain what kind of magic (say with the druids) is keeping the forests alive, the adventure would have been significantly better and the premise far easier to bite into.

Frostmaiden is good for what it is, but these kinds of logical considerations can make a good project truly great. I don't know what reality you live in though that a tree can survive 2 years with no sunlight at -49 though.
Any evidence of this not happening with existing trees? Obviously not...
 

I'm still struggling with the argument that normal trees should be expected to live with no light and brutal, arctic cold all the time for two years. The cold does in trees at much milder temps even when there's light. Taking away the tree's ability to create food for two years seems a no brainer as to the result, but here we are.

Most of the trees that would grow there in the first place are pretty well equipped to lay dormant over prolonged periods of time. Their sap have high sugar content, allowing them to survive stupid cold temperatures. It would stunt their growth big time, no new trees would sprout, all saplings and young trees would get eaten by deers and rodents, but I don’t think a 2-year long winter and prolonged darkness alone would be enough to kill them.

the temperature listed in the book are extreme, but surviving trees; that I can buy, or at least is in the realm of believability.

besides, it’d be unlikely that they would show any signs of damage (other than broken branches from wind storms) until the land thaws in the spring. That’s when they’d be the most in danger of dying.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
No, I'm not saying what about is how you can claim this isn't objective, absolute fact, LOL! There's no WAY that ANY tree without magical aid is surviving 2 years at polar tempatures with no sunlight, that's literally impossible. And if the adventure had bothered to explain this, and then explain what kind of magic (say with the druids) is keeping the forests alive, the adventure would have been significantly better and the premise far easier to bite into.

Frostmaiden is good for what it is, but these kinds of logical considerations can make a good project truly great. I don't know what reality you live in though that a tree can survive 2 years with no sunlight at -49 though.
So you have a scientific study to back this up? Oh, and where does the mod say it's been total darkness for 2 solid years? Auril has been f'ing with the weather for a couple of years, but does not say how gradual the changes have been. That, and it's not complete pitch black even as the story starts, it's still twilight.

And ... I need to give up. It's like talking to a (frozen) rock. This scenario is not particularly drastic for fantasy writing no matter the accuracy.
 

There's no WAY that ANY tree without magical aid is surviving 2 years at polar tempatures with no sunlight, that's literally impossible.
Of all the things that the snowpocalypse would cause, the Survival of the trees is the most believable.

Let’s be clear; no trees would ever grow in these conditions. But healthy, adult trees accustom to cold winters (which I assume are those that grow in Icewind Dale in the first place) can survive prolonged cold and darknesswitg relative ease. There isn’t much photosynthesis happening during winter; they are « asleep ». Whether they sleep for 6 months or 24 doesn’t make that much of a difference. Rapid successions of freeze and thaw would be harder on their metabolism actually.

if the frost reached a certain depth, it is possible that some of these trees wouldn’t survive the next summer, but we would know that until the whole thing is all over.
 
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Most of the trees that would grow there in the first place are pretty well equipped to lay dormant over prolonged periods of time. Their sap have high sugar content, allowing them to survive stupid cold temperatures. It would stunt their growth big time, no new trees would sprout, all saplings and young trees would get eaten by deers and rodents, but I don’t think a 2-year long winter and prolonged darkness alone would be enough to kill them.

the temperature listed in the book are extreme, but surviving trees; that I can buy, or at least is in the realm of believability.

besides, it’d be unlikely that they would show any signs of damage (other than broken branches from wind storms) until the land thaws in the spring. That’s when they’d be the most in danger of dying.

I guess it depends on how much of a stasis they can go into. Most of the people looking into the "plants dying" side of things seem to point to the trees surviving a few months on their reserves.

And, if the trees are just "hibernating" but will be dead when they go to sprout new growth in the spring and find that they do not have the energy to do so... then they are effectively dead, because they will either die with the coming of spring and warmth, or die from continued cold.

Responding to your second post, it does actually matter if it is 6 or 24 months. I know trees aren't bears, but bears and other hibernating animals also lower their metabolism and "sleep" through the winter. And they generally have juuust enough of a reserve to make it out the other side. Now, animals need far more energy than plants, I know, but plants also create and store less energy. If the ratios are even roughly the same, then you can see why a minimum of 4 times longer is a problematic statement.

And of course, we have been focused on trees, but we have to remember that not only are their other plants equally dead, but more importantly to the survival of the Ten Towns are the animals. The vast majority of which would be dead as well.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Just read the Revel’s End section. Prison run by the Lord’s Alliance. Due to magic, all interior spaces stay at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and are lit by continual light spells. Also, apparently you can get a ship here to take you out of Icewind Dale.

Surely the place is swarming with desperate refugees from the Ten Towns, right?

Nope. Business as usual and plenty of room. Upon request, the warden will put up the adventurers for up to two days rent free, meals included.

This is not me trying to pick things apart. There is stuff in this adventure that doesn’t, on a basic level, make sense.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Just read the Revel’s End section. Prison run by the Lord’s Alliance. Due to magic, all interior spaces stay at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and are lit by continual light spells. Also, apparently you can get a ship here to take you out of Icewind Dale.

Surely the place is swarming with desperate refugees from the Ten Towns, right?

Nope. Business as usual and plenty of room. Upon request, the warden will put up the adventurers for up to two days rent free, meals included.
Because yes... a trek through the wilderness to a notorious magical prison full of dangerous criminals is the first place townsfolk would think of for safety!
 


TheSword

Legend
Supporter
No, I'm not saying what about is how you can claim this isn't objective, absolute fact, LOL! There's no WAY that ANY tree without magical aid is surviving 2 years at polar tempatures with no sunlight, that's literally impossible. And if the adventure had bothered to explain this, and then explain what kind of magic (say with the druids) is keeping the forests alive, the adventure would have been significantly better and the premise far easier to bite into.

Frostmaiden is good for what it is, but these kinds of logical considerations can make a good project truly great. I don't know what reality you live in though that a tree can survive 2 years with no sunlight at -49 though.
Yes, what most published adventures need is more published tree husbandry!

Rules for growth rates, a random chart of disasters and a comprehensive list of names and terms for various tree maladies.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be in the next book.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Yes, what most published adventures need is more published tree husbandry!

Rules for growth rates, a random chart of disasters and a comprehensive list of names and terms for various tree maladies.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be in the next book.

Is there any criticism of the module you think is legitimate?
 

Just read the Revel’s End section. Prison run by the Lord’s Alliance. Due to magic, all interior spaces stay at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and are lit by continual light spells. Also, apparently you can get a ship here to take you out of Icewind Dale.

Surely the place is swarming with desperate refugees from the Ten Towns, right?

Nope. Business as usual and plenty of room. Upon request, the warden will put up the adventurers for up to two days rent free, meals included.

This is not me trying to pick things apart. There is stuff in this adventure that doesn’t, on a basic level, make sense.

Wow, I missed that.

Yeah, those criminals would be out on their asses and the magically warm interior would be co-opted by someone. Heck, don't even need to worry about letting them roam free. Send them out with no winter gear or supplies, banishment style.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Is there any criticism of the module you think is legitimate?
Sure, Ten towns makes it difficult to become particularly invested in any of them. I also am disappointed the city didn’t involve some monstrous spawn rather than the old ‘netherese ruins’ schtick.

I definitely don’t think criticism of the long winter because the trees would be dead is legitimate.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Sure, Ten towns makes it difficult to become particularly invested in any of them. I also am disappointed the city didn’t involve some monstrous spawn rather than the old ‘netherese ruins’ schtick.

I definitely don’t think criticism of the long winter because the trees would be dead is legitimate.
Thank you for the response!
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Yes, what most published adventures need is more published tree husbandry!

Rules for growth rates, a random chart of disasters and a comprehensive list of names and terms for various tree maladies.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be in the next book.
First you ask for scientific evidence that trees would die in cold and dark for two years. When you're pointed to evidence that trees die off at much higher temps if denied a growing season, you make a strange argument that implies tree lines don't shift, sometimes suddenly, with local climate changes. Now you're complaining that the discussion is about how trees live in cold temps. The goal posts are shifting so fast here that I'm dizzy.
 

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