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


log in or register to remove this ad


Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
Over time, WoTC has made the writing teams for their books larger and larger. This has resulted in really disjointed adventures as it is extremely obvious that different sections of the books are written by different teams. Very often each section foreshadows some big things that is just not picked up in the next section.

The earlier books were just a few people doing the writing and they are way more cohesive.

I wish that they would go back to tighter teams.
 
Last edited:

they find out that no one told them to do this
Nowhere in the text does it say that. There are lots of frost druids running around, along with other diviners who could communicate the will of the gods.
The PCs are not going to want to help those particular leaders very much.
The PCs can always try and take over.
At the least, there's a good chance that they will demand the sacrifices be stopped before they decide to help.
And so, they stop the sacrifices and everyone dies. As pointed out, there is no way people could have survived for two years of this - unless Auril was keeping them alive.

Or, they could go on a quest to defeat Auril before the end of the month, so there won't have to be any more sacrifices.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
If the PCs talk to the people in charge, they find out that no one told them to do this, they just decided to start murdering their own townsfolk on a hunch, and despite absolutely no beneficial change in weather they're still murdering their own people 12 months later. The PCs are not going to want to help those particular leaders very much. At the least, there's a good chance that they will demand the sacrifices be stopped before they decide to help.

If the PCs get picked to be in the lottery, especially after helping a town already, it's game over.

The "whose idea was this" thing is a major omission that makes it hard for the DM to grapple with the sacrifices subplot.

Either the sacrifices are useless nonsense, in which case there should be some paranoiac Jim Jones-type figure in the Ten Towns leading them, or they are NOT useless, in which case the leaders of the towns are making a grim calculation to ward off even further calamity. Both options are interesting and viable and could even have been presented as options, allowing the DM to choose. Even if for whatever reason the designers didn't want to flesh this out, just a couple of paragraphs outlining this would I suspect be helpful for many DMs, especially less experienced ones.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Nowhere in the text does it say that. There are lots of frost druids running around, along with other diviners who could communicate the will of the gods.

The PCs can always try and take over.

And so, they stop the sacrifices and everyone dies. As pointed out, there is no way people could have survived for two years of this - unless Auril was keeping them alive.

Or, they could go on a quest to defeat Auril before the end of the month, so there won't have to be any more sacrifices.

The book does explicitly say that the sacrifices are useless and do nothing. If the sacrifices were the thing that was keeping them alive, I'd personally find that way more interesting.
 

Azuresun

Adventurer
The "whose idea was this" thing is a major omission that makes it hard for the DM to grapple with the sacrifices subplot.

Either the sacrifices are useless nonsense, in which case there should be some paranoiac Jim Jones-type figure in the Ten Towns leading them, or they are NOT useless, in which case the leaders of the towns are making a grim calculation to ward off even further calamity. Both options are interesting and viable and could even have been presented as options, allowing the DM to choose. Even if for whatever reason the designers didn't want to flesh this out, just a couple of paragraphs outlining this would I suspect be helpful for many DMs, especially less experienced ones.

The way I plan to do it is
there is a steadily growing movement that says that only supplication to Auril can save everyone, engineered by the druids and other agents of Auril--for example, Sephek is recast as a vigilante taking it on himself to "offer sacrifices" before it becomes official policy anywhere, and a couple of loggers in Lonelywood can oeprate without fear of the beast after pledging themselves to Auril and making offerings. As time passes, especially in settlements without leaders who strongly oppose this, these cults gain more strength.
 

lluewhyn

Explorer
The "whose idea was this" thing is a major omission that makes it hard for the DM to grapple with the sacrifices subplot.
Ok, so I went back and read the section on page 21 and you're right, it's left somewhat ambiguous, so it's my interpretation of the text that the Speakers came up with it on their own since nowhere else does it specify minions of Auril have told them to do this. I could swear I read somewhere in the text that Auril isn't appeased by the sacrifices in the slightest, but if so I don't remember where it was.

Either way, I'm going with your Option 2 where the PCs are seeing Druids are just now preaching the sacrifices to the towns which will bring relief, but only for a short time before the conditions get even worse the next time.
 


Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
Dragon Heist is fine. Low level and set in a huge and famous city. Somewhat of a railroad but I think that is more a nod to having a cohesive adventure to play in such a big place. They also tried to bring in a decent number of of iconic FR characters.

My current campaign (I think at the two to three year mark with one 3 hour game a week) started with it. Party is 12/13 level now and in DoMM. But for ages they were off on sea adventures (port city lead to that) and I have wrote a bunch of urban adventures as well (liberally stealing from Call of Cthulhu and other 3rd party sources).

I find that the “Encounters in Waterdeep” book really helps to allow a DM to have the party wander around. I also use Raging Swan urban dressings and eventures liberally.
 

I knew that this was a sandbox campaign, and I wanted to be well prepared. In addition to purchasing the module on Roll20 (since we play online), I also purchased the hardcover adventure for reading away from the computer, read numerous guides, watched videos on YouTube, and downloaded a DMs Guide on DriveThru. The DMs guide ended up being very helpful as it provided additional encounter maps that aren’t included in the hardcover (or on Roll20).
Using the various resources, I followed the advice for presenting the best starting quest and Ten Towns quests from the beginning.
Disclaimer: In no way am I criticizing you as a DM or your group. But regarding prep:

It sounds like all you did was let others tell you what to do. Basically, all input with no output. In my personal experience, it is the DMs with either: A) a high rate of output or B) a high depth of output, that manage to make AP incredible. It has been the same when I DM as well.

I know, an AP is supposed to be buy and play, basically the equivalent of plug and play. And again, in my experience, they are. But to make it better than average, you have to have output, not input, prior to play.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Disclaimer: In no way am I criticizing you as a DM or your group. But regarding prep:

It sounds like all you did was let others tell you what to do. Basically, all input with no output. In my personal experience, it is the DMs with either: A) a high rate of output or B) a high depth of output, that manage to make AP incredible. It has been the same when I DM as well.

I know, an AP is supposed to be buy and play, basically the equivalent of plug and play. And again, in my experience, they are. But to make it better than average, you have to have output, not input, prior to play.

I largely agree with this - or at least, that both output and input are important.

But naturally, "How much work do I have to put in changing/fixing this to make it good" is still a metric one can reasonably use to rate the quality of an adventure.

I think Lost Mine of Phandelver and Dragon of Icespire Peak ended up equally good at the table when I ran them, but they're not equally good adventures on paper.
 

Retreater

Legend
Disclaimer: In no way am I criticizing you as a DM or your group. But regarding prep:

It sounds like all you did was let others tell you what to do. Basically, all input with no output. In my personal experience, it is the DMs with either: A) a high rate of output or B) a high depth of output, that manage to make AP incredible. It has been the same when I DM as well.

I know, an AP is supposed to be buy and play, basically the equivalent of plug and play. And again, in my experience, they are. But to make it better than average, you have to have output, not input, prior to play.
Not sure I understand what you're saying.
If you're saying I didn't put anything new into it to augment the adventure, that would be incorrect. I just didn't get into that because it's not exactly relevant to the appraisal of the adventure as published.
So here's some new stuff I added:
1) completely redoing the mind flayer ship. Putting in a completely new map, new encounters. I worked in skill challenges to repair the ship and for a character to survive a psychic surgery with an illithid who was going to unlock psionic powers in her.
2) rewrote purposes to go to many of the adventure sites to recover the poem of a bard lich who had previously defeated Auril. With the poem, they could weaken her during the climactic fight.
3) added a nasty dungeon from a fallen dwarf wizard that had lots of nice treasure, a poem fragment, etc. Also had the added benefit of putting in a reference to the fallen Netherise city.
 

Nebulous

Legend
I'm a player in Rime now, one of the few times I ever play. It's only twice a month for a couple hours, so I imagine it will take a very, very long time to complete it. Unless the DM cuts some stuff out. I like it fine so far. In contrast, I have run Princes, Phandelver (twice), Tomb of Annihilation and Curse of Strahd, and I like all of those better than Rime as far as setting and story. Curse I supplemented with online guides, and it is amazing how much extra work fans and DMs have put into the game. I pay for patreons where artists create full motion maps, sound effects and still images from set pieces from the book and outside the scope of the official campaign. Adding these elements has greatly lengthened their exploration of Barovia, but the players don't know it. They think it is all part of the adventure, but the three Fanes are additional, and the Tome of Strahd is now a time-traveling device that portals the PCs into the past to relive parts of Strahd's life when he was alive. Taken as a whole, CoS is truly epic and a blast to run. Some of my players wish it was lighter and more magic-oriented like typical D&D with magic shops around where they can upgrade to fight monsters. I try to tell them that this is gothic horror and not vanilla D&D and there's just not tons of magic lying around. We've been playing a year and a half now online and they're STILL not at Castle Ravenloft. That might be the next session, and God knows how long it will take them to traipse through that place. I've gone SO easy on that party; they're casual, some are newbies, and there hasn't been a single PC death. That said, I have scared the crap out of them countless times, which is probably more fun for me than actually killing their characters. They refuse to return to Argynvostholt to fight the revenants again.
 

Retreater

Legend
I'm a player in Rime now, one of the few times I ever play. It's only twice a month for a couple hours, so I imagine it will take a very, very long time to complete it. Unless the DM cuts some stuff out. I like it fine so far. In contrast, I have run Princes, Phandelver (twice), Tomb of Annihilation and Curse of Strahd, and I like all of those better than Rime as far as setting and story. Curse I supplemented with online guides, and it is amazing how much extra work fans and DMs have put into the game. I pay for patreons where artists create full motion maps, sound effects and still images from set pieces from the book and outside the scope of the official campaign. Adding these elements has greatly lengthened their exploration of Barovia, but the players don't know it. They think it is all part of the adventure, but the three Fanes are additional, and the Tome of Strahd is now a time-traveling device that portals the PCs into the past to relive parts of Strahd's life when he was alive. Taken as a whole, CoS is truly epic and a blast to run. Some of my players wish it was lighter and more magic-oriented like typical D&D with magic shops around where they can upgrade to fight monsters. I try to tell them that this is gothic horror and not vanilla D&D and there's just not tons of magic lying around. We've been playing a year and a half now online and they're STILL not at Castle Ravenloft. That might be the next session, and God knows how long it will take them to traipse through that place. I've gone SO easy on that party; they're casual, some are newbies, and there hasn't been a single PC death. That said, I have scared the crap out of them countless times, which is probably more fun for me than actually killing their characters. They refuse to return to Argynvostholt to fight the revenants again.
Sounds like you're having a good time with Curse of Strahd.
When I ran it, it took about six months of weekly play, but they eventually got very focused on the Vistani predictions so they weren't just traipsing across Barovia. There are several towns and dungeons they didn't even encounter.
I did think Castle Ravenloft itself was anti-climactic. Having played it in several editions, I think the 5e version was the "weakest" of them all. Most of the fights were with a couple skeletons or zombies that would be shattered before the turn order even made it around the table. Strahd was a pushover.
The party was prepared, had all the artifacts (the Sunsword can make quick work of any undead), and had several NPCs that came along to help.
The players were satisfied, but I as the DM was a little letdown.
 

Nebulous

Legend
Sounds like you're having a good time with Curse of Strahd.
When I ran it, it took about six months of weekly play, but they eventually got very focused on the Vistani predictions so they weren't just traipsing across Barovia. There are several towns and dungeons they didn't even encounter.
I did think Castle Ravenloft itself was anti-climactic. Having played it in several editions, I think the 5e version was the "weakest" of them all. Most of the fights were with a couple skeletons or zombies that would be shattered before the turn order even made it around the table. Strahd was a pushover.
The party was prepared, had all the artifacts (the Sunsword can make quick work of any undead), and had several NPCs that came along to help.
The players were satisfied, but I as the DM was a little letdown.
Yeah, I (we) are greatly enjoying it. I have heard Strahd can be a pushover, so I might have to beef him up slightly. That sunsword is brutal to undead, and the amulet of ravenkind paralyzes vamps, and they've got Van Richten in their party now. I removed Pidlwick 2 from the castle at the very beginning of the campaign at put him in Vallaki as a magic item (he acts as a ring of regeneration for the rogue), but I think it will be fun to meet the ghost Pidlwick.
 

Not sure I understand what you're saying.
If you're saying I didn't put anything new into it to augment the adventure, that would be incorrect. I just didn't get into that because it's not exactly relevant to the appraisal of the adventure as published.
So here's some new stuff I added:
1) completely redoing the mind flayer ship. Putting in a completely new map, new encounters. I worked in skill challenges to repair the ship and for a character to survive a psychic surgery with an illithid who was going to unlock psionic powers in her.
2) rewrote purposes to go to many of the adventure sites to recover the poem of a bard lich who had previously defeated Auril. With the poem, they could weaken her during the climactic fight.
3) added a nasty dungeon from a fallen dwarf wizard that had lots of nice treasure, a poem fragment, etc. Also had the added benefit of putting in a reference to the fallen Netherise city.
That stuff sounds awesome, and from what I remember after reading, much better than the original writing.

I was just using your other post (What you want out of an Adventure), and combining it with this post, to highlight why your expectations might not meet any AP published. For example, wanting an AP to invest in greater reasons for characters to be involved. That requires an enormous amount of work on your part, and there is nothing anyone can tell you (input) that will change that. Why? Because your players have their own reasons and own backstory.
If you will indulge me, I can give you an example. In one AP I wrote, I provided optional backgrounds the PC could take. One was a noble that ran off because he was tired of all the "royalty" stuff. Another was a member of a local and large farming family. Another was a guard who quit because of something that happened to him off duty. I placed sidebars for the DM during certain scenes that would progress these characters' story arcs. I was quite proud of it, as it allowed them to play the primary story arc and character story arc. But I also realize, it also takes a certain style of player to enjoy this.

All that requires a lot of output on the players' behalf.
 

Retreater

Legend
I was just using your other post (What you want out of an Adventure), and combining it with this post, to highlight why your expectations might not meet any AP published.
Well, maybe.
But I'm currently running The Enemy Within campaign for Warhammer Fantasy RP. And it has this hook in the first chapter -
You come across the body of someone who looks like a member of the party who was supposed to inherit a fortune. The party can try to lay claim to this inheritance, but it also puts them on the radar for cult activities, assassination attempts, etc.
And I previously ran Masks of Nyarlahotep. The opening pulls you in by -
a friend of yours has information about a case and is targeted by an evil cult when you come to visit him, instantly embroiling you in the plot.
It's just something that D&D seems to not want to do. It doesn't want to go big. And Rime of the Frost Maiden, man, that could've gone big.
 

Well, maybe.
But I'm currently running The Enemy Within campaign for Warhammer Fantasy RP. And it has this hook in the first chapter -
You come across the body of someone who looks like a member of the party who was supposed to inherit a fortune. The party can try to lay claim to this inheritance, but it also puts them on the radar for cult activities, assassination attempts, etc.
And I previously ran Masks of Nyarlahotep. The opening pulls you in by -
a friend of yours has information about a case and is targeted by an evil cult when you come to visit him, instantly embroiling you in the plot.
It's just something that D&D seems to not want to do. It doesn't want to go big. And Rime of the Frost Maiden, man, that could've gone big.
I am confused. Rime had quite a few that were really clever. They may not have been directly correlated, but it wasn't too much of a stretch to make tie them.
They not only had "Character Hooks tied to Backgrounds" (13 of them), but they also had "Character Secrets" (17 of them). All of them were just as, or more substantial, than the ones you just posted. Were these things not in your copy? Did you have a digital or book copy? They are in my copy of the book (physical copy).
 

Retreater

Legend
I am confused. Rime had quite a few that were really clever. They may not have been directly correlated, but it wasn't too much of a stretch to make tie them.
They not only had "Character Hooks tied to Backgrounds" (13 of them), but they also had "Character Secrets" (17 of them). All of them were just as, or more substantial, than the ones you just posted. Were these things not in your copy? Did you have a digital or book copy? They are in my copy of the book (physical copy).
I didn't use them. Some seemed of the variety of "you're secretly evil and going to betray the party" but none of them actively encouraged a party to come together and adventure to solve the issue.

What could've been awesome? Party starts off in a suddenly frozen camp and need to make it to the Ten Towns before "whatever" is pursuing them catches up to them.
What could've been awesome? Party stumbles into a sacrifice to Auril (or are maybe targeted for the sacrifice themselves). Why are the people doing this? Who is involved? How deep does this go?
What could've been awesome? Pretty much anything besides the random, unconnected quests given to us at the start of the adventure - which don't even seem to fit what's going on in the world. (Go fight these goblins who stole these iron ingots - which have nothing to do with the Frost Maiden, the deathly eternal night and winter, etc.)
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top