D&D 5E Rime of the Frostmaiden Post-Mortem (Spoilers)

BenTheFerg

Explorer
I bought the adventure twice over - on Roll20, and on D&D Beyond. Expensive, but was the better experience running it. It would've been a serious pain importing all the maps and handouts into Roll20 myself, but when it came to actually running the campaign, having it open across several tabs in D&D Beyond was far easier than trying to access the content via Roll20's interface.
Good to know. I have not tried D&DB
 

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BenTheFerg

Explorer
I find it improbable that 90% of groups don't notice this. Groups, after all, are constructed of individuals. And I'm sure that any individual, given months of gameplay in the setting, will ask questions about that world. But if you and WotC are happy putting out material that doesn't stand up to the slightest scrutiny, well, I can't help there.
The nitpick of the illogical climate is just one issue endemic across the entirety of Rime of the Frost Maiden - one of carelessness, lack of structure, and editorial oversight. I've spoken to other DMs (not on this board) who trash on this adventure, so it's not just me.
So yes, you can easily fix the timeline of the weather. You can clear up the confusion of the human sacrifice. You can fix the timeline of traveling across the continent. You can add story and reason to go to the different sites (aside from just "level grinding.") You can tie in the lost city to the rest of the adventure so it's not a disconnected anti-climax. You can create your own maps for the various sites that aren't detailed. You can search for other resources to fill in the gaps for the skeletal structure provided for the Ten Towns region.
You can do all this stuff, but why? What is honestly worth keeping once you've done so much work to it? The excellent plot (that doesn't matter)? The barebones setting? The stereotypical northern barbarian tribes? The Frost Maiden who barely plays into the adventure - or her castle with like one room in it? The random adventure locales of crashed baby gnome mind flayers or the submarine whale (that honestly could've been put in any adventure to the same effect)?
Am with you Retreater.
It simply would be nice to know that if you wanted to be a lazy GM (for a few sessions! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣)... that you could rely on a WotC campaign to be able to be run out of the can, having read it & prepped it as is. Enough frigging work just doing that TBH. It would be nice.

I simply don't understand why various people will go to extreme lengths to
1. Argue with you- sometimes to the point of harassment (I have blocked someone on this thread) to....
2. Defend the right of WotC to produce shite/ incoherent/ badly thought through/ illogical adventures/ campaigns.

I just don't get it!
Admittedly its been a long day of travelling.... but....sigh 🤷🏻‍♂️

All I want are adventures I can use without having to rewrite then to the point of having to write them 100% myself! Argh!!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣
 

Retreater

Legend
It simply would be nice to know that if you wanted to be a lazy GM (for a few sessions! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣)... that you could rely on a WotC campaign to be able to be run out of the can, having read it & prepped it as is. Enough frigging work just doing that TBH. It would be nice.
Ok. So I will sing the praises of two official short adventures, one from the TSR-era and one from the WotC 3.x era.
You had the Shattered Circle (1999) [Bruce Cordell] The Shattered Circle (2e) - Wizards of the Coast | Adventures | AD&D 2nd Ed. | DriveThruRPG.com
A simple, straightforward dungeon of about 32 pages. You could read it and run it pretty much as written. You could expand from it. In fact, my longest campaign started just that way - with this simple adventure.
Then you had Sons of Gruumsh (2005) [Christopher Perkins]
It's not going to win any awards for being a deep adventure, but you can run the thing without having to download additional guides to link together adventure sites.
Either would be enough to run 2-3 sessions of play. That's all I'm asking for with these adventures. And if you want a 1st-12th level campaign, link a few of these types of adventures togther.
 

Retreater

Legend
I simply don't understand why various people will go to extreme lengths to
1. Argue with you- sometimes to the point of harassment (I have blocked someone on this thread) to....
2. Defend the right of WotC to produce shite/ incoherent/ badly thought through/ illogical adventures/ campaigns.
Thought it was just me. Not feeling very well liked at the moment on here.
At least my dogs like me. :)
Maybe I need to visit a site that is less about celebrating Wizards of the Coast and actually wants to learn how to adapt the products to suit them, instead of just assuming everything is perfect by default?
 

BenTheFerg

Explorer
Am with you Retreater.
It simply would be nice to know that if you wanted to be a lazy GM (for a few sessions! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣)... that you could rely on a WotC campaign to be able to be run out of the can, having read it & prepped it as is. Enough frigging work just doing that TBH. It would be nice.

I simply don't understand why various people will go to extreme lengths to
1. Argue with you- sometimes to the point of harassment (I have blocked someone on this thread) to....
2. Defend the right of WotC to produce shite/ incoherent/ badly thought through/ illogical adventures/ campaigns.

I just don't get it!
Admittedly its been a long day of travelling.... but....sigh 🤷🏻‍♂️

All I want are adventures I can use without having to rewrite then to the point of having to write them 100% myself! Argh!!!!!!

Thought it was just me. Not feeling very well liked at the moment on here.
At least my dogs like me. :)
Maybe I need to visit a site that is less about celebrating Wizards of the Coast and actually wants to learn how to adapt the products to suit them, instead of just assuming everything is perfect by default?
There are a lot of folks who have raised issues. You're not alone.
It's got so bad, one friend who loves Spelljammer can't be arsed to get excited by the nu Spelljammer since his expectations of WotC content is so low. 😔 This could of course be a reflection on how bad my DMing skills are though! 🤣
Whilst I will get the Radiant Citadel, I'll not hold my breath!
 

Scottius

Explorer
There are a lot of folks who have raised issues. You're not alone.
It's got so bad, one friend who loves Spelljammer can't be arsed to get excited by the nu Spelljammer since his expectations of WotC content is so low. 😔 This could of course be a reflection on how bad my DMing skills are though! 🤣
Whilst I will get the Radiant Citadel, I'll not hold my breath!
I'm in the same boat. It's to the point where I'd just assume WOTC forget about a setting save for ensuring all the old material is made available in PDF and POD on DMS Guild rather than update it in their current style.
 

BenTheFerg

Explorer
Ok. So I will sing the praises of two official short adventures, one from the TSR-era and one from the WotC 3.x era.
You had the Shattered Circle (1999) [Bruce Cordell] The Shattered Circle (2e) - Wizards of the Coast | Adventures | AD&D 2nd Ed. | DriveThruRPG.com
A simple, straightforward dungeon of about 32 pages. You could read it and run it pretty much as written. You could expand from it. In fact, my longest campaign started just that way - with this simple adventure.
Then you had Sons of Gruumsh (2005) [Christopher Perkins]
It's not going to win any awards for being a deep adventure, but you can run the thing without having to download additional guides to link together adventure sites.
Either would be enough to run 2-3 sessions of play. That's all I'm asking for with these adventures. And if you want a 1st-12th level campaign, link a few of these types of adventures togther.
And thanks for the recommendations 👍🏼
 

pukunui

Legend
Thought it was just me. Not feeling very well liked at the moment on here.
At least my dogs like me. :)
Maybe I need to visit a site that is less about celebrating Wizards of the Coast and actually wants to learn how to adapt the products to suit them, instead of just assuming everything is perfect by default?
I haven’t contributed to this thread but I want to say that I appreciate what you’ve been doing with these posts.

I’ve steadily been getting more and more disillusioned with WotC’s adventure offerings ever since Dragon Heist. It’s gotten to the point where Princes of the Apocalypse is starting to look appealing as a full campaign rather than a grab-bag of spare parts.

I had high hopes for Candlekeep Mysteries as I do think we need more short adventures rather than big campaigns, but that book is just so disappointing on so many levels.

As a result, I am cautiously optimistic about Radiant Citadel but am not letting myself buy into the hype at this stage. And despite disliking Spelljammer when it was new, I kind of want to run the Light of Xaryxis.

But I also want to convert and run Red Hand of Doom, using some of the short adventures from Rime as a way of fleshing out the setting before the invasion.
 
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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
If you do, get the Beyond20 browser extension. It allows you to make die rolls directly from D&D Beyond and have them resolve in Roll20, amongst other features.
This is how I ran it as well and I definitely recommend doing it this way if you can afford it. FWIW I also have the hardcover because I'm a maniac.
 

Retreater

Legend
It’s gotten to the point where Princes of the Apocalypse is starting to look appealing as a full campaign rather than a grab-bag of spare parts.
If you do run this one, consider this adaptation...
(The adventure is solid enough on its own, though.)
 

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I simply don't understand why various people will go to extreme lengths to
1. Argue with you- sometimes to the point of harassment (I have blocked someone on this thread) to....
2. Defend the right of WotC to produce shite/ incoherent/ badly thought through/ illogical adventures/ campaigns.
I can answer question 2 for you - because their adventures are well crafted. I stated why. The fact that you find them "shite/incoherent/badly thought through/illogical adventures" is indeed an opinion. The reason people debate is because what you say is not a fact. Just like me saying it is "good" is not a fact.
I say that, with even a half-a** work ethic, it can run for any table just fine. I can also say that there are problems with every single AP I have ever bought: D&D, PF, third party. So a certain amount of prep is, and should be, expected if you want it to blend with your players and table style.

Of course if you have players there that don't mind a stumble here or there, then you can just run as is.
 

BenTheFerg

Explorer
I can answer question 2 for you - because their adventures are well crafted. I stated why. The fact that you find them "shite/incoherent/badly thought through/illogical adventures" is indeed an opinion. The reason people debate is because what you say is not a fact. Just like me saying it is "good" is not a fact.
I say that, with even a half-a** work ethic, it can run for any table just fine. I can also say that there are problems with every single AP I have ever bought: D&D, PF, third party. So a certain amount of prep is, and should be, expected if you want it to blend with your players and table style.

Of course if you have players there that don't mind a stumble here or there, then you can just run as is.
Listen Scott

I will say this one last time... Loads of people have chipped in on this thread stating the massive problems there are with Rime & other campaigns.
Problems which are simply the map is wrong/ the room description is poor (which are easily fixable although still annoying - and Rime has these in spades too)
The problems are fundamental -and also difficult to sort out in Rime

The 1st MASSIVE problem is player motivation - compounded by the fact that some villages are practicing human sacrifice (which is not working in the game as written) - why would PCs ally themselves to the 10 Towns with that going on?

2nd is the massively long winter- as others have pointed out, it would have killed everyone by the time the PCs arrive/ why hasn't there been a mass evacuation/ other cities sent aid (which the pcs can be main leads in?)

3rd massive problem: lack of agency by PC when it comes to the central plot - it is assumed they will join up with the Necromancer Vellynne Harpell. This is not necessarily going to happen.... and this creates a problem for players - they don't know where the city of Ythryn is, why should they want to care about it...... returning to motivation.

Now obviously all of these are solvable (I solved them) but only in the hands of an experienced GM who expects various aspects to be fecked up and needing fixing.

HOWEVER not every GM is an experienced GM. And as was stated earlier, Swedish Chef chipped in to state their GM was not experienced and it was creating havoc for the group since players spotted various logical flaws in the situation (like why are people still alive after over 24 months of permanent winter etc) D&D 5E - Rime of the Frostmaiden Post-Mortem (Spoilers)

MOREOVER what I and others are saying is that wouldn't it be nice if WotC who are a massive games company employed an editor to run their eye over their campaigns to make sure such errors, small and large, did not happen. Since they are a big company these should NOT happen - since they can afford to employ such a person.

The Biggest Problem - one I am still grappling with - is at the end in Ythryn

At the END OF THE CAMPAIGN... the logic falls apart entirely. This material is from a thread from Justin Alexander - he says it really well

Ending Option #1
One way the PCs can end the campaign is to activate the 'Reset Obelisk and save Ythryn' ending of the campaign.
How do they do this:
1. They take Iriolarthas' staff of power (within Ythryn).
2. They use it to activate the obelisk.
Seems simples!!

However - there is a problem here!
Since Iriolarthas (the demilich) has spent 1800+ years trying to solve this problem. Despite his "best efforts" he's been unable to do so, despite having access to everything he needs.
A - the text states he is only a demilich since he cannot access his phylactery (its trapped under ice) -but this is a misreading of the rules about the phylactery - since it only has to be on the same plane as the demi-lich.....thus...??!!
B. But the problem here is that:
(i) The city is stuck because X needs to be done. (X = get staff)
(ii) X could have been done at any time. (Since Iriolarthas has his staff - although in the adventure it is not on his person but hidden in the rubbish in his library...??)
And this doesn't make sense. Nor will it make sense to any of my players who all are smart (one incredibly so) and experienced gamers... and I am sure this is the case for many gaming tables......

Thus the only solution seems to be - and an easy one here to boot: the GM needs to add an out-of-context element - ie: the staff of power is outside of the city (not in the demi-lich's library) - in a ruin such as that sole Spire of Netherill - which would force the PCs to leave the city, get the thing they need, and then come back. Which would also help with some of the timeline issues the finale struggles with.

Activating the Obelisk creates other problems too.... (going back in time - so you may want to change that too!)

Ending Option #2
The Pcs use the Ythryn mythallar to cast control weather and end Auril's winter!

Problem: This doesn't actually work. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Like WTF!
1. it can only change the temperature from "arctic cold" to "cold". For 8 hours. As long as the user concentrates.
2. PCs have to do this 3 times per day for it to work, whilst concentrating.
3. It only effects a 50 miles radius, which isn't far enough to reach all of Ten-Towns.

On the other hand, as JA points out, it's nice to have an alternative resolution to the Auril's winter plot than killing Auril... except not really. Because the adventure says that using the mythallar immediately causes Auril to show up and fight them to the death.

So it's all pointless. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

[I like the idea of this working - so it needs some work to be changed!]

Ending Option #3
24 hours after the PCs enter Ythryn, Auril shows up & then she fights to the death. 🤷‍♂️

Mostly I/ JA & others I have chatted with don't understand the timeline here.
  • The PCs reach Ythryn.
  • 12 hours later, competing archaeological teams arrive in the city.
  • 12 hours after that, Auril shows up, summarily executes the competing archaeological teams, and triggers the endgame.

Which really misses the point of this awesome city Ythryn and what you can do with it.

Instead JA encourages us (& I wholeheartedly concur):

Ending Option #3 solution:
  1. Roleplay the arrival and interaction of different Arcane Brotherhood teams - led by Avarice & Vellynne. Get the PCs in conflict/ negotiating with these groups as they search the ruins for magical goodies/ lore/ etc. Roleplay the Big Bads & their minions to the hilt.
  2. Use Monte Cook Games' Arcana of the Ancients for 5e (it is awesome) and use it to seed up some "sifting through the ruins" combined with neighbourhood/ zone explorations
  3. Load it all up into your campaign status document. Push some internecine espionage as the teams spy on each other's efforts, steal their field notes, etc.
Despite doing all of that, it still does not solve the issues of #1 and #2....

Spoiler ends

I really like lots of aspects of RotFM - which is why I am running it.

As soon as I read about the idea of a lost Netherese city under the ice, it sounded awesome (a spin off Lost City)..... and there are tons of kewl parts to the campaign.

I agree that every GM brings their own skills/ personality/ tastes and modifies a campaign or simply loots them for their own ends....

I have run my fair share.... However, never have I had to change so much as when I have been running Rime. & if I ever run Out of the Abyss/ Descent into Avernus etc, I know there are massive things to do be done with those campaigns as well.

All I ask for, as others do, is for Wizards of the Coast, that small games company run by someone in their garage, to get their act together and create a more coherent campaign. Hopefully Radiant Citadel will do all of this!! I sincerely hope so, since I am very interested in a planar campaign at some point in the near future.
 


Listen Scott

I will say this one last time... Loads of people have chipped in on this thread stating the massive problems there are with Rime & other campaigns.
Problems which are simply the map is wrong/ the room description is poor (which are easily fixable although still annoying - and Rime has these in spades too)
The problems are fundamental -and also difficult to sort out in Rime

The 1st MASSIVE problem is player motivation - compounded by the fact that some villages are practicing human sacrifice (which is not working in the game as written) - why would PCs ally themselves to the 10 Towns with that going on?

2nd is the massively long winter- as others have pointed out, it would have killed everyone by the time the PCs arrive/ why hasn't there been a mass evacuation/ other cities sent aid (which the pcs can be main leads in?)

3rd massive problem: lack of agency by PC when it comes to the central plot - it is assumed they will join up with the Necromancer Vellynne Harpell. This is not necessarily going to happen.... and this creates a problem for players - they don't know where the city of Ythryn is, why should they want to care about it...... returning to motivation.

Now obviously all of these are solvable (I solved them) but only in the hands of an experienced GM who expects various aspects to be fecked up and needing fixing.

HOWEVER not every GM is an experienced GM. And as was stated earlier, Swedish Chef chipped in to state their GM was not experienced and it was creating havoc for the group since players spotted various logical flaws in the situation (like why are people still alive after over 24 months of permanent winter etc) D&D 5E - Rime of the Frostmaiden Post-Mortem (Spoilers)

MOREOVER what I and others are saying is that wouldn't it be nice if WotC who are a massive games company employed an editor to run their eye over their campaigns to make sure such errors, small and large, did not happen. Since they are a big company these should NOT happen - since they can afford to employ such a person.

The Biggest Problem - one I am still grappling with - is at the end in Ythryn

At the END OF THE CAMPAIGN... the logic falls apart entirely. This material is from a thread from Justin Alexander - he says it really well

Ending Option #1
One way the PCs can end the campaign is to activate the 'Reset Obelisk and save Ythryn' ending of the campaign.
How do they do this:
1. They take Iriolarthas' staff of power (within Ythryn).
2. They use it to activate the obelisk.
Seems simples!!

However - there is a problem here!
Since Iriolarthas (the demilich) has spent 1800+ years trying to solve this problem. Despite his "best efforts" he's been unable to do so, despite having access to everything he needs.
A - the text states he is only a demilich since he cannot access his phylactery (its trapped under ice) -but this is a misreading of the rules about the phylactery - since it only has to be on the same plane as the demi-lich.....thus...??!!
B. But the problem here is that:
(i) The city is stuck because X needs to be done. (X = get staff)
(ii) X could have been done at any time. (Since Iriolarthas has his staff - although in the adventure it is not on his person but hidden in the rubbish in his library...??)
And this doesn't make sense. Nor will it make sense to any of my players who all are smart (one incredibly so) and experienced gamers... and I am sure this is the case for many gaming tables......

Thus the only solution seems to be - and an easy one here to boot: the GM needs to add an out-of-context element - ie: the staff of power is outside of the city (not in the demi-lich's library) - in a ruin such as that sole Spire of Netherill - which would force the PCs to leave the city, get the thing they need, and then come back. Which would also help with some of the timeline issues the finale struggles with.

Activating the Obelisk creates other problems too.... (going back in time - so you may want to change that too!)

Ending Option #2
The Pcs use the Ythryn mythallar to cast control weather and end Auril's winter!

Problem: This doesn't actually work. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Like WTF!
1. it can only change the temperature from "arctic cold" to "cold". For 8 hours. As long as the user concentrates.
2. PCs have to do this 3 times per day for it to work, whilst concentrating.
3. It only effects a 50 miles radius, which isn't far enough to reach all of Ten-Towns.

On the other hand, as JA points out, it's nice to have an alternative resolution to the Auril's winter plot than killing Auril... except not really. Because the adventure says that using the mythallar immediately causes Auril to show up and fight them to the death.

So it's all pointless. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

[I like the idea of this working - so it needs some work to be changed!]

Ending Option #3
24 hours after the PCs enter Ythryn, Auril shows up & then she fights to the death. 🤷‍♂️

Mostly I/ JA & others I have chatted with don't understand the timeline here.
  • The PCs reach Ythryn.
  • 12 hours later, competing archaeological teams arrive in the city.
  • 12 hours after that, Auril shows up, summarily executes the competing archaeological teams, and triggers the endgame.

Which really misses the point of this awesome city Ythryn and what you can do with it.

Instead JA encourages us (& I wholeheartedly concur):

Ending Option #3 solution:
  1. Roleplay the arrival and interaction of different Arcane Brotherhood teams - led by Avarice & Vellynne. Get the PCs in conflict/ negotiating with these groups as they search the ruins for magical goodies/ lore/ etc. Roleplay the Big Bads & their minions to the hilt.
  2. Use Monte Cook Games' Arcana of the Ancients for 5e (it is awesome) and use it to seed up some "sifting through the ruins" combined with neighbourhood/ zone explorations
  3. Load it all up into your campaign status document. Push some internecine espionage as the teams spy on each other's efforts, steal their field notes, etc.
Despite doing all of that, it still does not solve the issues of #1 and #2....

Spoiler ends

I really like lots of aspects of RotFM - which is why I am running it.

As soon as I read about the idea of a lost Netherese city under the ice, it sounded awesome (a spin off Lost City)..... and there are tons of kewl parts to the campaign.

I agree that every GM brings their own skills/ personality/ tastes and modifies a campaign or simply loots them for their own ends....

I have run my fair share.... However, never have I had to change so much as when I have been running Rime. & if I ever run Out of the Abyss/ Descent into Avernus etc, I know there are massive things to do be done with those campaigns as well.

All I ask for, as others do, is for Wizards of the Coast, that small games company run by someone in their garage, to get their act together and create a more coherent campaign. Hopefully Radiant Citadel will do all of this!! I sincerely hope so, since I am very interested in a planar campaign at some point in the near future.
I hear you and respect your critiques. I think they are valid. We simply disagree on the level of severity, and I think, the amount of time needed to fix them. I hear the others on this board, and most share your opinion - that RotFM is a mess. Again, valid opinions, just as saying it is a fun and exciting and fluid adventure is valid. We may disagree on the "valid," but please know I can tell you are sincere in your critiques.
 

BenTheFerg

Explorer
I hear you and respect your critiques. I think they are valid. We simply disagree on the level of severity, and I think, the amount of time needed to fix them. I hear the others on this board, and most share your opinion - that RotFM is a mess. Again, valid opinions, just as saying it is a fun and exciting and fluid adventure is valid. We may disagree on the "valid," but please know I can tell you are sincere in your critiques.
Thanks for your sincere reply!!

As I said - I am enjoying it - but my - it really takes all my skill to fix things and I am highly indebted to others who have done loads of work in this regard. I would rather though spend time on fleshing out side-quests/ sandboxing it/ getting players linked in via background/ developing how to roleplay various npcs/ working out how the rules / spells work/ how critters will do tactics - this is enough work IMHO.

Curse of Strahd just needed 3 solid weeks of prep - after that it ran itself. Nice. Ditto Darkening of Mirkwood for AiME. Also nice! Rime needs tons of work.... Want to avoid another Rime for a while!
 

Thanks for your sincere reply!!

As I said - I am enjoying it - but my - it really takes all my skill to fix things and I am highly indebted to others who have done loads of work in this regard. I would rather though spend time on fleshing out side-quests/ sandboxing it/ getting players linked in via background/ developing how to roleplay various npcs/ working out how the rules / spells work/ how critters will do tactics - this is enough work IMHO.

Curse of Strahd just needed 3 solid weeks of prep - after that it ran itself. Nice. Ditto Darkening of Mirkwood for AiME. Also nice! Rime needs tons of work.... Want to avoid another Rime for a while!
I have not run, only played, in Curse. I found it a lot of fun. Hope your Rime turns out just as successful.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The book explicitly tells you that the sacrifices do nothing and are meaningless. You can change it so they work, but again that’s you fixing the adventure.
So, @Paul Farquhar has said this is not the case. Logically speaking, unless your books are different, one of you is wrong.

As you are the one making a claim that the book says X, it is up to you give us the location in the book where this is stated - this is your chance to prove you are right!
 

BenTheFerg

Explorer
So, @Paul Farquhar has said this is not the case. Logically speaking, unless your books are different, one of you is wrong.

As you are the one making a claim that the book says X, it is up to you give us the location in the book where this is stated - this is your chance to prove you are right!
Sigh.
I can assure you there is nothing in the book that says any form of sacrifice is working. It is really badly handled in the book. Not sure what Paul is smoking TBH
 

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