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

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Same way you got in, through the Yawning Portal. You pay a 1 gold piece toll and they lower the elevator.
My guess is the DM misread the comment about 1 gold buying you a one-way trip through the portal, assuming that meant you had to find a completely different way out, rather than that you had to pay another gold for the return trip.
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
My guess is the DM misread the comment about 1 gold buying you a one-way trip through the portal, assuming that meant you had to find a completely different way out, rather than that you had to pay another gold for the return trip.

Maybe, but hard to explain the very specific "you can get out once you reach the third level" thing.

The book's pretty clear:

"Durnan charges adventurers 1 gp each to descend into the well, whether they opt to use the rope or not. The return trip also costs a piece of gold, sent up in a bucket in advance."
 

Eltab

Hero
Maybe, but hard to explain the very specific "you can get out once you reach the third level" thing.

The book's pretty clear:

"Durnan charges adventurers 1 gp each to descend into the well, whether they opt to use the rope or not. The return trip also costs a piece of gold, sent up in a bucket in advance."
My group got around that problem by paying Durnan 2GP each: one to go down and pre-pay for the trip back up.

The DM who trapped the party in Undermountain until they reached the third level, goofed up. Once he/she acknowledges the error, though, let it go and move on with the adventure.
 

Azzy

Newtype
I presume you mean temperature of minus 40C?

That’s fine, that’d be like northern Russia, Canada, and Scandinavian countries. All of these countries expérience temperature reaching that low, but are far from an average temperature of -45C.

An average below -25C is rare for these countries even in the deepest months of winter. Nevermind an average of -45, which would assume regular spikes of -60C. With the wind factor, that could go down to an equivalent of -80 and worse, which is nearing the temperatures at the equator on Mars.

unless the -45C already include the wind? Anyhow. In itself the temperatures are appropriately apocalyptic; I’d had expected more migration from 24 months of it.

As for the wacky FR-apocalypse of the month; yeah, I’m right there with you...

Pre-Frostmaiden's Flatuence, Icewindale's wind speeds were about minus 10-20℉ (5.5-10℃) due to winds blowing in from the Trackless Sea in the west. For the current situation, I had assumed that the extreme temperatures would be ±18℉ (±10℃) for a low of 31℉ (35℃), but I was pulling those numbers out of my arse (I live in Florida in the US, so I'm completely ignorant about the sorts of environments that have these god-awful temperatures).

The listed wind chill in Rime is just dumb, even taking an apologetic position, I agree that needs to be yeeted into the sun and replaced with something more sensible. According to the internet, blizzards have sustained wind speeds of 35+ mph (56+ km/h) and severe blizzards have sustained wind speeds of 45+ mph (72+ km/h). However, I couldn't find the sustained wind speeds of the most sever blizzards (all they provide are gusts, if they provide wind speeds at all), so for a though experiment I went with 90 mph (145 km/h) (because that sounds pretty extreme). So, given those numbers (which, again, are pulled out of thin air), I figured that at the most extreme the wind chill would be -136℉ (-93℃). So, the average wind speed should be a LOT less extreme. Even with a "normal" blizzard that has 35 mph (56 km/h) sustained winds and the average -49℉ (-45℃) temperature as its base, that's still a wind chill of -93℉ (-70℃). Which is still probably way too high. However, that's assuming the unusal circumstances as snow storms (let alone blizzards) shouldn't be occurring 24/7. In fact, in Rime, blizzards are said to last 2-4 hours.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I find it amusing that the people who are arguing that flavor-text and fluff of a module is no big deal and the DM can change it if they want spent a lot of the summer debating lines of fluff describing Chult, Vistani, orcs, and drow. Maybe the fluff is more important than people want to give credit to after all?
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
As an aside, where I live we go through long stretches of winter where its below -30 and very regularly -40 ranging occasionally into the -50's. That's the school closure mark up here btw, -50. Oh, it's just -49? Off you go kids. :p
 

That's kind of an extreme take on what I've said, and it takes a bit of a leap to get to your "under that logic". The adventure IS good (IMO, naturally) because of the sum of its many good parts. They absolutely could NOT have "written anything" and still have it be good. It has a bunch of small problems that are easily fixed. (Yet again, you can see them as big problems if you chose to, that's all fine, I just don't). Every adventure I have ever read has things that I don't like about it. That's not because they're all bad (some of them are bad), it's because it's not possible to write an adventure that will be all things to all people.

I personally agree that the idea that Icewind Dale has had no light and a -45 average temp for 2 years, as the module appears to say (yet while showing otherwise) is a bit too much for how I'd run it, but I also think that those sentences are a very minor detail in an otherwise very good book. (There's other things I'd change too, like the speed of travel by dogsled and just how dangerous falling into water might be, and yet those are also still minor things).

This is not to say that I don't think that it's possible still to make better D&D books than this one. I think it's one of the better ones, but of course, there's still plenty of room for improvement. I'd be surprised if the people who wrote it thought that it couldn't get any better.

I guess I did jump a little far, but I'm just getting confused and frustrated how people can look at something that is a problem for some of us, and think that "it isn't a problem if you ignore it" is a solution. Or like Sword, continue to harp that we clearly wouldn't have been happy without a scientific dissertation on tree growth.

And, maybe it is a minor detail in terms of size of the detail, but the impacts of it are not minor. This vastly changes how the module will be interpreted by some players. It changes us from the horror of man against nature, to just being a backdrop of being a little chillier than normal. This changes it from an apolcalypse that has led to the breakdown of society, to an inconvenience that people grumble about in the bar after work.

This "minor detail" changes everything about the entire tone of the entire adventure for me.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
This "minor detail" changes everything about the entire tone of the entire adventure for me.
The words in bold are key. You can't really argue with that statement as written. If it's an issue for you then you should address it, without a doubt. It isn't an issue for me, but that's at the same level of personal taste and style. This only turns into an issue when you take those two bolded words out and people start trying to argue about absolutes, which is silly IMO. The fact that I might present reasons why this sort of detail doesn't bother me, and ways that I might deal with the inconsistency in play, is not me suggesting that everyone should adopt my answer, nor that their issues are baseless.
 

The words in bold are key. You can't really argue with that statement as written. If it's an issue for you then you should address it, without a doubt. It isn't an issue for me, but that's at the same level of personal taste and style. This only turns into an issue when you take those two bolded words out and people start trying to argue about absolutes, which is silly IMO. The fact that I might present reasons why this sort of detail doesn't bother me, and ways that I might deal with the inconsistency in play, is not me suggesting that everyone should adopt my answer, nor that their issues are baseless.
Ok, except you said that "Anyone who wants to get all tangled up based on a single line of fluff text is probably having less fun than me" which clearly indicates that you think your attitude towards the adventure is superior to those who have problem with this particular issue. If people would think like you do then they would have more fun.
 
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I guess I did jump a little far, but I'm just getting confused and frustrated how people can look at something that is a problem for some of us, and think that "it isn't a problem if you ignore it" is a solution. Or like Sword, continue to harp that we clearly wouldn't have been happy without a scientific dissertation on tree growth.

And, maybe it is a minor detail in terms of size of the detail, but the impacts of it are not minor. This vastly changes how the module will be interpreted by some players. It changes us from the horror of man against nature, to just being a backdrop of being a little chillier than normal. This changes it from an apolcalypse that has led to the breakdown of society, to an inconvenience that people grumble about in the bar after work.

This "minor detail" changes everything about the entire tone of the entire adventure for me.

I understand that you feel that way (and that's okay), but I disagree that it would somehow be changed to an inconvenience - the idea of the situation getting gradually worse not only doesn't stop it from being an apocalypse (in fact, if it continues to get worse from there than it really would be absolutely terrible) - it just deals with the "How is anything still alive?" question. (Along with stuff like Druids and Clerics helping out as best they can).

It's still a horrible situation to be in, and (to me at least) still allows for things like cannibal cultists. I for one, would not play any of it as a simple inconvenience, but anyone who wants a lighthearted romp in the snow could play it that way if they choose to.

The words in bold are key. You can't really argue with that statement as written. If it's an issue for you then you should address it, without a doubt. It isn't an issue for me, but that's at the same level of personal taste and style. This only turns into an issue when you take those two bolded words out and people start trying to argue about absolutes, which is silly IMO. The fact that I might present reasons why this sort of detail doesn't bother me, and ways that I might deal with the inconsistency in play, is not me suggesting that everyone should adopt my answer, nor that their issues are baseless.
Exactly. It's an easy trap to get into when discussing anything on the internet (both sides of any argument tend to do it). Everything looks like an attack, so people tend to attack back as a defense - and even if they don't intend their defense as an attack, the other side interprets it as one. I actually think we're really all on the same side here. It just doesn't always read that way.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Short version: instead of looking at the mod as a whole, I'm going to continue to harp on one thing with laser like focus on a couple of lines of fluff that I disagree with.

As far as my posts I'll repeat. I think giving opinions and advice on how to increase the enjoyment of our hobby (even if a mod has two lines of fluff I find problematic) is useful. Endlessly complaining about something I will never change is not.
It's literally the purpose of this thread. Not to discuss the whole module, but what, if anything people should change given the winter.
 

The words in bold are key. You can't really argue with that statement as written. If it's an issue for you then you should address it, without a doubt. It isn't an issue for me, but that's at the same level of personal taste and style. This only turns into an issue when you take those two bolded words out and people start trying to argue about absolutes, which is silly IMO. The fact that I might present reasons why this sort of detail doesn't bother me, and ways that I might deal with the inconsistency in play, is not me suggesting that everyone should adopt my answer, nor that their issues are baseless.

You're right, I can't make a claim on how big of an issue this is for you. Or most other people. And from the amount of dismissal I and others who do have this issue have recieved, it is clear that others don't have this problem.

And, a lot of people have said that our issues are baseless. In fact, you yourself made this statement:

Anyone who wants to get all tangled up based on a single line of fluff text is probably having less fun than me. I never worry about crap like this, I can change it or tell the story slightly differently if I want to, or I can treat like the text of a story where the description has some dramatic license baked in. If the players care about the question they can play to find out and we can find out how the 10 towns survived winter's embrace together.

So, according to your own assertion, I am having less fun than you. I'm worrying about "crap" instead of focusing on just enjoying myself.

And, as we have found, it is more than a single line of fluff text. Not only is there the line in the opening about it being two years of darkness and winter, but as was shown when you find a description of Auril casting the spell, it has been an immediate effect. This "single line of fluff text" is in fact the entire point of conflict. Auril has cast a spell that has left Icewind Dale in Darkness and extreme winter for two years.

One of the first adventures you can have is going out on a lake to confront a fish monster destroying boats. And you are told that because a sage interrupts a greedy dwarf who was going to send you out to fish without that knowledge. Purely because he wants to make a profit, not because, oh, I don't know, people are starving in the streets due to limited supplies and most of the big game dying off due to an endless winter.

We have human sacrifice to break the curse side by side with "business as usual".

It isn't a problem for you, I get that. But I can bold those two little words as well, and point out that just because it isn't a problem for you, doesn't mean it isn't a problem for the structure of the module.

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I understand that you feel that way (and that's okay), but I disagree that it would somehow be changed to an inconvenience - the idea of the situation getting gradually worse not only doesn't stop it from being an apocalypse (in fact, if it continues to get worse from there than it really would be absolutely terrible) - it just deals with the "How is anything still alive?" question. (Along with stuff like Druids and Clerics helping out as best they can).

It's still a horrible situation to be in, and (to me at least) still allows for things like cannibal cultists. I for one, would not play any of it as a simple inconvenience, but anyone who wants a lighthearted romp in the snow could play it that way if they choose to.

Which sounded like a reasonable solution, until it was pointed out that the module is actually fairly explicit. Her spell prevents the sun from rising. The situation did not gradually get worse, except potentially in terms of the cold (which would have been very quick, as we do all tend to know that it gets colder at night fairly quickly) one day, two years ago, the sun did not rise.

We would actually have to change, not only the text in the intro to describe it slowly growing worse, but also change the spell Auril is casting, to instead have been a slow changing of the day cycle, instead of just a complete stopping of the sun.

And also remember, the Druids and Clerics helping was something we added in as well. Of course we can keep adding things to make this better, but at some point I think it is fair to acknowledge that there was a mistake made, because the module presents us with two versions of events, both of which cannot be true.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
What's funny is that I did a quick google for reviews. I stopped after 3 because the conclusions were similar. "Rime of the Frostmaiden is well worth the trouble." "It’s a book I’ll definitely be using in future campaigns." "The first half of Rime of the Frost Maiden is good, and the second half is great. But the final exploration of Ythryn is spectacular."
Also funny, none of these reviewers have actually run the adventure.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Having less fun? Pretty obviously. You're worried and need to change stuff and I don't. It wasnt a relative worth statement, just the obvious.

Going out and looking for things to be offended about is a step beyond, my good man. I've been chill and non judgemental in this thread. Relax.
 

Which sounded like a reasonable solution, until it was pointed out that the module is actually fairly explicit. Her spell prevents the sun from rising. The situation did not gradually get worse, except potentially in terms of the cold (which would have been very quick, as we do all tend to know that it gets colder at night fairly quickly) one day, two years ago, the sun did not rise.

We would actually have to change, not only the text in the intro to describe it slowly growing worse, but also change the spell Auril is casting, to instead have been a slow changing of the day cycle, instead of just a complete stopping of the sun.

And also remember, the Druids and Clerics helping was something we added in as well. Of course we can keep adding things to make this better, but at some point I think it is fair to acknowledge that there was a mistake made, because the module presents us with two versions of events, both of which cannot be true.

I mean, sure, we talked about the Druids and Clerics, but I don't know if I'd say we "added" them. They've always been in D&D and are all over the place in the adventure. I mean, it doesn't spend time telling us exactly how they're keeping everyone alive, but one could assume they are, just based on how the D&D world works.

The spell Auril is casting wouldn't really need to change much - it just took time to build to its full power.
 

I mean, sure, we talked about the Druids and Clerics, but I don't know if I'd say we "added" them. They've always been in D&D and are all over the place in the adventure. I mean, it doesn't spend time telling us exactly how they're keeping everyone alive, but one could assume they are, just based on how the D&D world works.

The spell Auril is casting wouldn't really need to change much - it just took time to build to its full power.
-2 years: Auril casts her spell. By spring it becomes clear that the sun isn’t as high as it should be, and days are still short. Spring comes late. People find it weird but hey, weird shit happens all the time...

-18 months: Summer was short, harvest was bad this year. Sun is still too low for early fall. Winter comes early. People brace for a long winter. Hopefully next year will be better.

-12 months. Winter was long and hard. By all standards it still is winter, although it should be spring by now. People hope for a good summer to catch-up. Many contemplate moving out of the area. Special provisions and imports are made.

-6 months. Days are almost as short as winter solstice early in fall. Winter is early again. Many fields freeze before yielding crops. Low birth rate in wildlife in the springs now shows. Game is rare, Wolves and predators become more daring. People start to take more desperate measures.

now: this times winter isn’t going to end. The sun hasn’t moved since winter solstice. If anything it is lower now. Temperatures are lower now than they have ever been. Spring isn’t gonna come. People start to do crazy shit now. Intervention, heroic, divine, or else, is the only foreseeable solution...
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I find it amusing that the people who are arguing that flavor-text and fluff of a module is no big deal and the DM can change it if they want spent a lot of the summer debating lines of fluff describing Chult, Vistani, orcs, and drow. Maybe the fluff is more important than people want to give credit to after all?

Mod Note:

I do not find it at all amusing that after a moderator has noted that people should be kind and respectful, someone continues to make the discussion personal.

That's a second warning to the thread. Don't expect a third.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It's literally the purpose of this thread. Not to discuss the whole module, but what, if anything people should change given the winter.

The premise of the thread as stated in the OP is that "I have a problem with this so this is how I would fix it". If people expressed their concerns and then stated "this is how I would modify it", this thread probably would have gone on for a page or two.

I agree that at a certain point life will end, but personally I think people underestimate how resilient and resourceful people (and wildlife) will be.
So if I were to run this mod, I'd probably not make a big deal of it and borrow the "gradually getting worse" someone else suggested if it ever comes up. But the basic premise is that spring should be springing and it's not, so the fundamental premise is the same. Fix it, or the region becomes a frozen lifeless wasteland.
 

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