Frozen Empires?

Admiral Caine

First Post
I just noticed that Open Design has announced a new project to create a arctic climate sourcebook called Frozen Empires, done in a similiar style to Sunken Empires.

Sunken Empires ended up being a pretty damn fine sourcebook. I don't usually buy 3rd party stuff, particularly mechanics, in hardcopy, but that was a definite keeper.

I was just wondering if anybody else was looking at it as well, and had any thoughts about it?

Do you use arctic type material a lot in your adventures? If you don't, is it because you need more support on that environment. I find that is usually the case with me.

log in or register to remove this ad

I'm not a disinterested party since I participated a lot in the thread over there that got it off the ground. That said, I've always loved ice and snow and adventures in same. (Thank you, Fafhrd's origin story, Island at the Top of the World, Norse legend, and a whole host of other things.) I found the 3.5 environment book on cold, Frostburn, to be fair, but without a lot of spark. Hence I'm hoping I can join eventually. (Gaming budget vanished into a new electrical panel.)


I've purchased Sunken Empires (and From Shore to Sea), so here is my take on this type of product:

1. Do not believe hype and short blurb. Read the table of contents for yourself. There may be significant differences between original intent and final product.

2. Look at author's name (or names) and the products they wrote. The quality is going to be good, the type of presentation may follow writer's preferences.

3. Ask patrons for detailed opinions.

Now, while Sunken Empires did not meet my expectations (see 1) [1], it is a damn fine book, and it would be most unfair to criticize it just because I was looking for something else.
If Frozen Empires follow its example, you may expect:
- designer notes
- nice, though a bit detailed maps
- items
- prestige classes
- spells
- monsters
- some plot hooks

All done in style, with very few errors and spiced with proper designer zeal.


[1] Why it did not meet my expectations?

Based on description, I have expected a book about cthuloid depths, exploring the unknown and monsters from beyond the scope of traditional CR genre [2]. Dave "Zeb" Cook introduction on aboleths further piqued my interest - slimy, alien slave overlords are very lovecraftian, too.
A few notes on ancient culture of aboleth civilization would have been dandy (along with explanation why they no longer rule supreme despite their awesome powers).

Instead, the book contains a long introduction about lost continents in literature monsters, stuff listed above and random serving of monsters (all below epic levels).

It's still a good and useful book. My needs would have been better served with something in a style of Blood Sea: Crimson Abyss.

[2] Traditional CR genre: monsters you are supposed to vanquished with resource consumption based on CR differences.

Beyond traditional CR genre: high CRs, Sanity checks, unique and outlandish abilities, sentience coupled with Far Realm aspects, alien civilization. Examples from Golarion: Visitors from Leng, Armageddon Engine (aka Tarrasque) and its kin, Shoggoth, Neothelid.
Last edited:

An Advertisement