D&D 5E Is Rime of the Frostmaiden the deadliest 5e campaign (probable spoilers)?

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Players don't need to complete exploration of the city at all. After a couple of days bossmonster turns up and takes down the barriers herself.

Not a couple of days. 12 hours for Avarice and 24 hours for Auriel. Or 1 long rest. And when they do show up, hunting parties get sent out and you get interrupted nearly every hour, making long rests impossible after that. So yeah, you pretty much have to explore the city (or get exceptionally lucky to explore the right areas) all in the first long rest. Otherwise every battle after that takes resources and you don't get them back. Which is important because being at 1/3 hit points and ability/spell slots makes a big difference when you run into Auriel. And even before she does show up, you have a 50% chance of an encounter every hour or each time you explore an area, whatever happens first
But my party had no trouble resting using Rope Trick and/or Tiny Hut (which can be cast by an NPC ally if the party don't have it).

Again, "well, in order to take a rest, you must have this NPC with you or a PC that happens to have that spell in their repertoire, prepared, and slots to cast it. That's hardly a given. Also, LTH isn't invisible. Take your rest, then when the dome goes down you're surrounded by a ton of enemies just waiting for you.
And woe be to the player who touched the giant spear and is now too large to fit in the hut to begin with.
There is also nothing to stop the party leaving the city and resting outside it.
Sure, but then you have to reenter and go through the gauntlet again, not able to take any rests because you're getting attacked every hour
A single target ability. It's no big deal if one character spends a couple of rounds on the bench. It only took two rounds for the rest of the party to destroy the second form.

I don't think you read what I said. It's not a couple of rounds. Once you're frozen, unless you have prof in CHA saving throws, you're pretty much there to the end, taking damage each round. And it doesn't go away when her 2nd form does.
Who goes into an adventure called Rime of the Frostmaiden and doesn't prep fire spells? Who can't figure out to use fire to melt ice?

For one, the crystal isn't ice, it was a crystal. Secondly, the PCs don't know it's immune to everything except fire, so it's likely they would just attack it with weapons or other magic first. Thirdly, Auriel would target the PCs who could use fire or who did the most damage since she's not an idiot, right? Which incidentally is what happened to us. Fire druid got frozen, and rune knight got frozen. Since both of us had 10 CHA, there was no way we would ever succeed in being free. Leaving the monk, rogue, and warlock to face her and her mephits alone. It's not likely that they could take her down in a 2 rounds.
[/ispoiler][/ISPOILER]
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
For one, the crystal isn't ice, it was a crystal. Secondly, the PCs don't know it's immune to everything except fire, so it's likely they would just attack it with weapons or other magic first. Thirdly, Auriel would target the PCs who could use fire or who did the most damage since she's not an idiot, right? Which incidentally is what happened to us. Fire druid got frozen, and rune knight got frozen. Since both of us had 10 CHA, there was no way we would ever succeed in being free. Leaving the monk, rogue, and warlock to face her and her mephits alone. It's not likely that they could take her down in a 2 rounds.
:unsure:...my copy says its an ice crystal.

One question - throughout the 10 or so levels of the campaign, wouldn't multiple characters, maybe even all of them, be getting ahold of some form of fire damage to use in fight? While vulnerability to fire isn't a byproduct of being immune to cold in this edition (unlike some), it's an expectation in an icy setting that comes up often enough to be worthwhile.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
:unsure:...my copy says its an ice crystal.

One question - throughout the 10 or so levels of the campaign, wouldn't multiple characters, maybe even all of them, be getting ahold of some form of fire damage to use in fight? While vulnerability to fire isn't a byproduct of being immune to cold in this edition (unlike some), it's an expectation in an icy setting that comes up often enough to be worthwhile.
The players don't know it's ice. It's simply described as a magical crystal. One might surmise that, but it's not assured. It most assuredly isn't assumed that it would be immune to everything except fire. It's perfectly reasonable (and likely), that a character would use their warhammer that did more damage than any fire trick they had to smash it first.

And how would most PCs get access to fire magic? You'd have to take a magic initiate feat to do that with most, and that's not likely someone would do that.
 

Again, "well, in order to take a rest, you must have this NPC with you or a PC that happens to have that spell in their repertoire, prepared, and slots to cast it. That's hardly a given
It's part of the plot and in her stat block. Whilst you could refuse her help, that's hardly the adventure's fault. And as I said, you could simply leave the city, have a rest, then come back later.
Also, LTH isn't invisible.
It is impenetrable. and many of the wandering monsters have no reason to wait outside. Or you could, like, conceal your campsite.

Sure, but then you have to reenter and go through the gauntlet again
What gauntlet? Just walk to the caves, then walk back to the city. It's only a mile across, you can get anywhere in it in about 20 minutes.
I don't think you read what I said. It's not a couple of rounds.
No, it's only one, until someone firebolts it. It has all of 9 hp.
For one, the crystal isn't ice, it was a crystal
Ice is crystal. What do you think someone called the Frostmaiden is going to make crystals out of?
Secondly, the PCs don't know it's immune to everything except fire, so it's likely they would just attack it with weapons or other magic first.
They all have intelligence as their dump stat?
Auriel would target the PCs who could use fire or who did the most damage since she's not an idiot, right?
With an ability she can only use on one target once until it recharges. If she took out two characters with that, she was either cheating or you were very unlucky. You only have one character who can use fire? No oil flasks? There is a Blast Circlet knocking around. A common-or-garden troll would have made mincemeat of you!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It's part of the plot and in her stat block. Whilst you could refuse her help, that's hardly the adventure's fault. And as I said, you could simply leave the city, have a rest, then come back later.

It is impenetrable. and many of the wandering monsters have no reason to wait outside. Or you could, like, conceal your campsite.


What gauntlet? Just walk to the caves, then walk back to the city. It's only a mile across, you can get anywhere in it in about 20 minutes.

No, it's only one, until someone firebolts it. It has all of 9 hp.

Ice is crystal. What do you think someone called the Frostmaiden is going to make crystals out of?

They all have intelligence as their dump stat?

With an ability she can only use on one target once until it recharges. If she took out two characters with that, she was either cheating or you were very unlucky. You only have one character who can use fire? No oil flasks? There is a Blast Circlet knocking around. A common-or-garden troll would have made mincemeat of you!
You're still not reading what I'm writing.
 

You're still not reading what I'm writing.
If you don't believe me, what about all those players who defeated Auril in chapter 5, whilst they were level 7? Auril is a pushover, practically famous for it. I had to buff her with giants, packs of wolves, and coldlight walkers, and it was still only the third form that lasted longer than two rounds, and that was only by hovering at extreme range hidden in a snowstorm.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
The players don't know it's ice. It's simply described as a magical crystal. One might surmise that, but it's not assured. It most assuredly isn't assumed that it would be immune to everything except fire. It's perfectly reasonable (and likely), that a character would use their warhammer that did more damage than any fire trick they had to smash it first.
Why would the DM not call it an ice crystal if it's an ice crystal?
And how would most PCs get access to fire magic? You'd have to take a magic initiate feat to do that with most, and that's not likely someone would do that.
Potion of Fire Breath, Flame tongue, fire elemental gem. And for non-magical options - alchemist's fire.
 

Why would the DM not call it an ice crystal if it's an ice crystal?

Potion of Fire Breath, Flame tongue, fire elemental gem. And for non-magical options - alchemist's fire.
I don't think there is a flame tongue in RotFM - that would make it far to cheesy! But there is a circlet of blasting and several fireball scrolls. Plus 50% of 5e classes have fire spells.
 



Retreater

Legend
My group didn't have an "easy" time with Auril. I ended up allowing them to destroy the third form with a single hit - which was hard enough to do and had the entire party feeling like they spent every resource. They barely scraped by with that victory. The other choice I had was a TPK and a table of frustrated players.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Alchemist's fire is on the equipment list - you can buy it in Bryn Shander.

I'm pretty sure there are potions of Fire Breath to be found in RotFM.
Can't find a potion of Fire Breath, but that's not really the point. Just because a magic item exists in an adventure is no reason to assume the PCs will have it. Many magic items are never discovered for a number of reasons. For alchemist's fire, assuming the town even has it, it's costly, requires an improvised attack roll, and only does 1d4 damage. So that's not exactly a way to quickly free a PC who is frozen. Assuming the other PCs carry them and forgo the other options they have and know that only fire can damage the small crystal. Which all of those things aligning is unlikely and improbable.
It does call it an ice crystal in the description.
You're confusing what is in the written description, and what is described to the PCs. The players do not see the written description. It's a gem-sized ice crystal in the book, but to the players, it could be a diamond, quartz, or any other crystal-like object. An object that is gem-sized, and easily not even noticed when it's created in the heat of battle. If it is noticed, and if it is put together by the PCs that it's the cause of their friend being frozen, then the most probable action is to attack it with the most effective attack the PC has. That's not going to be a 1d4 alchemist's fire. Not until they realize it's immune to everything else first. For example, if you have an ice cube and need to destroy it, are you going to smash it with a hammer, or use a lighter first to melt it?
 

You're confusing what is in the written description, and what is described to the PCs. The players do not see the written description.
It's the DMs job to describe it. If the DM doesn't describe it as an ice crystal, then, frankly, the DM is cheating.
to the players, it could be a diamond, quartz, or any other crystal-like object
Anyone should be able to tell the difference between those and ice.

Even with a cheaty DM, what else would you expect an ice deity to make stuff out of?
An object that is gem-sized, and easily not even noticed when it's created in the heat of battle.
It doesn't say it requires a perception check, so it is the DM's job to describe it.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It's the DMs job to describe it. If the DM doesn't describe it as an ice crystal, then, frankly, the DM is cheating.

Anyone should be able to tell the difference between those and ice.

Even with a cheaty DM, what else would you expect an ice deity to make stuff out of?

It doesn't say it requires a perception check, so it is the DM's job to describe it.
Is this ice, a diamond, glass, or another type of crystal? Also, from 30 feet away in the heat of battle and it's an inch wide? Sorry, I don't buy it when you say anyone should be able to tell the difference or the DM is cheating. The DM describes the visual characteristics of an object. They don't, and shouldn't, give away additional information. That's not cheating. That's being impartial.

1656347025462.png
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I'm not unsympathetic to the concerns in the OP. Published adventures have to tread a line between too easy for PCs with a perfect setup to counter every challenge vs parties that aren't. Plus there's the implementation at the table - for example, whether or not the crystals are described as ice crystals, or whether PCs aggressively adapt for the events of the campaign vs stick to their initial concept, or even whether the DM appropriately passes on the published adventure's attempt to telegraph information such as
the keyed encounter with the chardalyn berserkers outside the cave where they can't benefit from the frost maiden's fire

But I think there's also a difference between concluding that the adventure is bad or killer based on a personal bad experience without also analyzing how or why things went badly and recognizing that people have honest, different perspectives. For example, I'm pretty stumped why the DM didn't call the crystal an ice crystal - not saying that strikes me as unnecessarily vague, maybe not the point of cheating, per se, but of being so vague that the DM unwittingly sets the players up to fail because a relatively obvious solution is obscured.
 

Is this ice, a diamond, glass, or another type of crystal?
It's leaded glass. Ice crystals look like this:
1656348591819.png
1656348607778.png
1656348628560.png

Crystal shapes are very distinctive. And colour, ice is pale blue.

But it's the DM's job to give players all relevant information. there is nothing in that ability text to imply that players do not see what happened.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It's leaded glass. Ice crystals look like this:
View attachment 252139View attachment 252140View attachment 252141
Crystal shapes are very distinctive. And colour, ice is pale blue.

But it's the DM's job to give players all relevant information. there is nothing in that ability text to imply that players do not see what happened.
Nope. It's ice. I think the point has been proven. Also, "gem sized ice crystal" is a basically a fancy ice cube, just like this:

1656349895825.png
 

Nope. It's ice. I think the point has been proven. Also, "gem sized ice crystal" is a basically a fancy ice cube, just like this:

View attachment 252145
Then it is not a crystal:
a body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces.
Something formed in a mould is not a crystal. The shape of ice crystals is determined by the 104.5 degree angle of the water molecule.
 

I have seen ice cube as crystalline as pure crystals. I have seen ice sickles so clear that you were able to see through them.

Is it so hard to believe that magic would create perfect ice crystals that looks like... well crystals?
 

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