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B&G's Silver Edition of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden - A Review

If you've been eyeing the various Beadle & Grimm's luxury editions of D&D 5E adventures and wondering if they're worth it—I have bad news for your budget. B&G's Silver Edition of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden definitely adds to and enhances the latest D&D adventure.

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What's in the Box?

The Silver Edition of Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus came with actual metal coins to depict the currency in Avernus and other items that made perfect sense for that adventure, but I wasn't sure what they could do for ID:RotF considering how that adventure worked (see my comprehensive review here). The answer is both elegant in its simple logic and extremely well crafted.

B&G's Silver Edition of ID:RotF comes in an over-sized box that hearkens back to the old first and second edition box sets. However, this box set is heavy, as in weighing 9 pounds so it could be used for arm lift exercises. It's packed with material while leaving a little room for, say, a DM's notebook or such. B&G pads that space with a sheet of bubble wrap to make sure contents arrive in perfect condition, and individual components are shrink-wrapped for further protection.

First, you get the complete contents of ID:RotF but instead of a single hardcover book, it's divided into six softcover staple-spine books that have the same content and artwork as the original, but with wraparound covers. Because they're stapled instead of square bound, the six books can lay flat when open. I love hardcovers for reading and reference but when DMing, especially if you have a small table space, juggling a hardcover behind your DM screen can be awkward. This version is much more practical and shows off the art better. Switching from hardcover to a set of softcovers may seem counter intuitive, but it's a very practical detail.

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An Awesome Screen

Speaking of DM screens, I really like the one B&G designed for ID:RotF. Four-paneled with a vertical/tall profile instead of the horizontal profile the official D&D DM's screen uses, it allows for much-needed extra space. I prefer a vertical screen because it prevents tall players on either side of me from accidentally seeing things they shouldn't. More importantly, the design and extra space allows the ID:RotF screen to contain:
  • An overview map of Icewind Dale
  • The character guide from the book
  • The Ten Towns rumor chart for easy access
  • Condition details for Extreme Cold, Frigid Water, Slippery Ice, and Thin Ice
  • Charts for travel time between locations by foot and dogsled
  • The standard condition info for exhaustion, grappled, frightened, poison, etc.
Along with the DMs screen included in the D&D Essentials Kit, B&G's DMs screen is my favorite so far for 5th Edition. The B&G screen is much more durable and better designed, though.

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Maps & More

Old-school box sets usually contained maps and so does B&G's ID:RotF Silver Editionlots of maps. Icewind Dale gets a canvas paper, poster-size map on one side and the Ten Towns on the other. Battle maps for The Grove, Iriolartha's Study, the Grimskall Throne Room, and the Caves of Hunger are provided on the same heavy paper. Each of the Ten Towns also gets its own map on a single sheet of thick, 8.5x11-inch paper in case you want to focus on just one and the back of each is blank so players can make notes if wanted. It's a small detail but thoughtful.

One of the components I really like are the encounter cards. One side has art from the book of a creature or NPC and the other side has their stat block. One of the perks for running Scourge of the Sword Coast for Encounters during the D&D Next play-tests was a set of face cards for the NPCs. I've long complained that WotC should offer something similar for each adventure. Beadle & Grimm's provides it, but improved it by placing the stat blocks on the other side of the tent-folded sheets so you can hang them on your DM screen, allowing you to see the stats while the players see the art. My only quibble is that I might have printed those on card stock so they could stand up on their own, but that's an extremely minor detail since they're designed to hang on the screen.

Similarly, art from the book is printed on 48 half pages so you can show them at key times to illustrate what the characters are seeing. Along with the encounter cards, they help to set the mood and tone.

Pre-gens are provided that fit smoothly into the setting. They're not generic characters that could used anywhere. Four bonus encounters are also included that similarly tie into the original adventure well and extend the play options. One, Lliira's Night, is lighter in tone and features a tavern competition which could be used to provide a break from the horror and dark tone of ID:RotF.

Other small touches that make a difference include a scorecard for Auril's tests so progress is easier to track and a map and timetable to similarly track the Chardalyn dragon's activity. B&G even provide Goat Ball rules for the Wyrmdoom Crag Goliath's encounter.

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The Artifacts

Two sets of components, however, really help to showcase the immersive qualities Beadle & Grimm's provides and the luxury elements—handouts and artifacts.

The handouts are plentiful, not just a couple of notes. B&G provides handouts tied to situations in each of the Ten Towns, plus additional items like a copy of the Rime of the Frostmaiden, notices, and letters. One piece of pebbled paper looks like a piece of torn leather or bark with “help me” scratched onto it. Hand something like that to your players, and they'll love it.

The two “artifacts” are beautifully made. One is a wearable Chardalyn amulet necklace like those worn by the Black Swords and followers of Levistus. At 3.5-inches long, it's a striking design. The other is a Chardalyn dragon totem you can use while tracking the dragon's progress. The 3.5-inch diameter token is a lovely piece of metal work. While the entire Silver Edition is very well done, these two items are the ones that will probably be shown off the most.

Is It Worth It?

The quality and production values are very well done. When calculating how it fits into your budget, I wouldn't think of it as a $175 item though. If you were already considering buying ID:RotF but hadn't yet, deduct the cost of ID:RotF (which has a $49.99 MSRP, but is frequently found on sale) for a more accurate assessment of the cost since B&G provides the full book adventure.That provides a better sense of how much extra you're spending. A group could also chip into the price to make things easier for a favorite DM who is on a budget.

If you definitely plan on running ID:RotF (as opposed to just reading it), and you can swing the cost I do think it's worth it. Beadle & Grimm's handles so many details so well, gives the DM tools to experience for the players. I can't wait to see what B&G has planned for Candlekeep Mysteries.
 

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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels


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Nebulous

Legend
Ive actually been on the fence the last few days about buying 5E Ptolus. Only reason I havent yet is that when I bought the 3.5 version I didnt use it. Beautiful of a book as it was, it was so big it was daunting. Conceivably you could run that and never need another setting ever again.
Same here. Amazing book. Never used it. I would LOVE the 5e version, but I would never get my money's worth from it. I guess if Monte released a 5e statblock conversion you could just use the old book. I have no idea what has changed from the old and new one. I assume it's not the exact same book inside.
 
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Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
This you?



So, the fact that some people think a gucci set of a mediocre D&D adventure - one that you are personally not interested in- is peacocking, is personally offensive to you?
"Gucci"? Whatever, dude.

Yup, that's me. Yes, I find the term "peacocking" in context here offensive. I don't see how this being out of my budget negates that in any way. "Peacocking" means "to show off", as a peacock shows off it's tailfeathers. I'd love to pick this item up, but sadly (for me) it's outside of my budget. I'll survive somehow, I'm resilient.

Is Rime of the Frostmaiden mediocre? Perhaps, some think so. I don't. If you do, then this box set probably would not be a good purchase for you. For those who like the adventure, or even don't think it's all that great but love the items in the fancy boxed set, this is potentially a good purchase.

I've never understood folks who demean items they personally don't care for, but obviously others do.
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
"Gucci"? Whatever, dude.

Yup, that's me. Yes, I find the term "peacocking" in context here offensive. I don't see how this being out of my budget negates that in any way. "Peacocking" means "to show off", as a peacock shows off it's tailfeathers. I'd love to pick this item up, but sadly (for me) it's outside of my budget. I'll survive somehow, I'm resilient.

Is Rime of the Frostmaiden mediocre? Perhaps, some think so. I don't. If you do, then this box set probably would not be a good purchase for you. For those who like the adventure, or even don't think it's all that great but love the items in the fancy boxed set, this is potentially a good purchase.

I've never understood folks who demean items they personally don't care for, but obviously others do.
It just seems a strange thing to be personally offended by. But you do you.

Me?

I'm gonna not buy it, make a joke about Shaggy selling overpriced twaddle, move on with my life and be fun at parties.
 

pogre

Legend
To me, it is like many of the high priced accessories - If it enhances your game and you can afford it - go for it. If you get 20 hours of enhanced entertainment out of it - it's worth it. Even if you don't use it, but enjoy owning it - that's cool too. That's a big part of the hobby for many.

I will spend my money on other parts of the hobby. However, I think it is pretty cool they are able to sell out of a top tier item like this. I personally do not see a downside.

One of the great things about the hobby is you can play on a slim budget (virtually nothing) or spend tons of cash on it.
 



Same here. Amazing book. Never used it. I would LOVE the 5e version, but I would never get my money's worth from it. I guess if Monte released a 5e statblock conversion you could just use the old book. I have no idea what has changed from the old and new one. I assume it's not the exact same book inside.
Agreed. I too feel that there is market not being filled for people who only want a part of a new book and not all. If I still owned my 3.5 version a mechanical conversion would be great. The option to buy a .pdf or a soft cover with just the mechanical changes for $10-$30 would be great. I understand that there may be new material in the new book that a conversion document would contain that I cant use but that's OK with me. In my case the point is moot as I no longer have mine but seems like money left on the table IMO. At the very least Id assume that in its raw form there are word docs that could easily be converted to .pdf to offer to those not looking to spend the full $150 on the new hardcover if they already own the old one. Then again I'm not in the RPG industry or marketing so the ROI may not be there? The hamster in my brain is running its wheel telling me I'll probably regret not buying it this time around.
 

I also was very interested in seeing how the Cypher system mechanics will play versus DnD 5e material for Ptolus. Because of that I went all in for both versions.
The more we talk about it, the more I'm about to pull the trigger on it. I think my bookcase is sturdy enough to hold this massive tome.

Edit: I did. I pre-ordered the $150 (5E) version. I knew I'd regret not buying it and a .pdf just isn't the same, no buyers remorse.
 
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Ahh I see the overpriced bandwagon continues. Invisible Sun at $250 and Ptolus for $150 (looks to be amazing books, but come on) and now a $50 DnD book for $175! Seriously?!?

A complete Pathfinder AP is basically $120...
$150 for Ptolus or $175 for a B&G Silver Edition seems correct (way more stuff).

Living in France i will never be able ton afford a Platinum/Legendary edition from B&G ($499+shipping+taxes) but the unboxings of the Curse of Stradh one made me sooo jealous :love:
 


Gothstaff

Villager
Yup, that's me. Yes, I find the term "peacocking" in context here offensive. I don't see how this being out of my budget negates that in any way. "Peacocking" means "to show off", as a peacock shows off it's tailfeathers. I'd love to pick this item up, but sadly (for me) it's outside of my budget. I'll survive somehow, I'm resilient.
Chill out dude, as you said, "peacocking" just means "show off," no no need to get offended by it, unless... you're just the type of person waiting to be offended...
 

Same here. Amazing book. Never used it. I would LOVE the 5e version, but I would never get my money's worth from it. I guess if Monte released a 5e statblock conversion you could just use the old book. I have no idea what has changed from the old and new one. I assume it's not the exact same book inside.
I'm like you. I own the 3E version. It's incredible. But I've never used it. However, I did spring for the 5E version despite my better judgment. From the previews that have been shared with backers, it looks mostly unchanged. However, there is some new art that's been commissioned and it's really, really nice. A distinct improvement from the original art. Now I'm planning to run a Ptolus campaign -- The Banewarrens adventure using Shadow of the Demon Lord as the rules. Why I needed a 5E version of Ptolus to do that...? I have no idea.
 




Me too! I remember liking it, as far as reading it, but never ran it. I don't know why Ptolus wasn't used. I think I wanted to but a homebrew campaign at the time was my focus.
I didn't have a group at the time. Now I have LOTS of groups! So it's time to put them to good use justifying my ill-considered purchases.
 

Nebulous

Legend
I didn't have a group at the time. Now I have LOTS of groups! So it's time to put them to good use justifying my ill-considered purchases.
Yeah, you're making me think of how fun it would be to run Ptolus on Roll20. I mean, Monte is a madman, he has really wild but fun ideas and crafts some brilliant stuff.
 

Yeah, you're making me think of how fun it would be to run Ptolus on Roll20. I mean, Monte is a madman, he has really wild but fun ideas and crafts some brilliant stuff.
You've run some really intense dungeon delves and I think The Banewarrens would be a really interesting fit for your style. You could run an adventure introducing 1st level PCs to Ptolus that takes them up to 3rd level, then start them on The Banewarrens. Not that I'm trying to tell you what to do or anything. But that mix of dungeon delving and city intrigue is a great set up.
 

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