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D&D 5E Rime of the Frostmaiden Previews Include a Scroll of Tarrasque Summoning

Some D&D designers and freelancers have been sharing previews of what's inside Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Take a look!

When a wizard puts their brain inside a helmless horror.

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David Sladek

A ring of warmth.

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Claudio Pozas

And this last item... perhaps the less said the better? Ouch!

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Afraid it's going to be goofy?

Yeah, a little.

Note: I'm a big fan of light-hearted fantasy and weird themes, but for this one I was actually thrilled by the idea of a more serious and gritty adventure. I'll still get it, though, nothing changes about that.

I also hoped for a less high magic, high adventure, save-the-world campaign than what we're used to, something more local and with lower stakes. So having an magic item to summon a world-eating beast as a tactical nuke makes me hesitant a little.
 

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Jacqual

Explorer
I'm assuming it's meant to be a big nuke and a McGuffin that's not expected to be used. (I would also assume there's huge costs and conditions attached to prevent high-level adventures from turning into tarrasque summoning wars.)

Or, if it is going to be used, it's how you can beat Auril, and whatever expensive/difficult components and "stars as right" conditions go with her when she's defeated.

But this isn't "breaking the game," since DMs and players who want to do that have always been able to, whether it was tween-age munchkins using Deity and Demigods as a shopping manual of characters to defeat and treasures to plunder (Mjolnir in one hand and the Rod of Orcus in the other!) or homebrewing ridiculous content for level 200 games. (A buddy of mine keeps wanting to tell me about his campaign at that level and I always black out and am unable to process anything he says.)

DMs Guild even has a nicely selling adventure called Planet of the Tarrasques. We're a long way from the days this was a singular monster in the 1E MM2.
Or the Scroll is actually cursed and reading it causes the Tarrasque to appear next to you, and it is really pissed off as you have awoken it and it knows you did so it is extremely mad at the reader over all others.
 


Reynard

Legend
Yeah, a little.

Note: I'm a big fan of light-hearted fantasy and weird themes, but for this one I was actually thrilled by the idea of a more serious and gritty adventure. I'll still get it, though, nothing changes about that.

I also hoped for a less high magic, high adventure, save-the-world campaign than what we're used to, something more local and with lower stakes. So having an magic item to summon a world-eating beast as a tactical nuke makes me hesitant a little.
I think those are all owrthy but unrealistic desires. The WotC adventures are the RPG equivalent of MCU films -- they are going to appeal to the broadest demographic with a mix of action, adventure, humor and nostalgia. With only one storyline per year they can't afford to create a niche adventure. It's why you won't see one set in Dark Sun or Even Eberron until they expand the production schedule.

As to the Scroll -- it's brilliant and I love it and I think I'll drop it into my Avernus campaign.
 

I'm assuming it's meant to be a big nuke and a McGuffin that's not expected to be used. (I would also assume there's huge costs and conditions attached to prevent high-level adventures from turning into tarrasque summoning wars.)

Or, if it is going to be used, it's how you can beat Auril, and whatever expensive/difficult components and "stars as right" conditions go with her when she's defeated.

Agreed. I mean this is a big set up for a Kaiju fight, right? Didn't someone in some post compare Auril to a Kaiju? ( I seem to remember it but I could be wrong). Heck, maybe the PCs even get to control the Tarrasque.
 

Remathilis

Legend
D&D: "... Includes a Scroll of Tarasque Summoning."
Me: "Congratulations on breaking the game."

I mean it can have a great story reason and be limited to a single item, but they've created it. It will be put as an item in Roll20, D&D Beyond, etc. It's a scroll that (I'm guessing) can now be scribed during a wizard's downtime activity.

So yeah, they pretty much just broke 5e.

Its not a spell-scroll, so no scribing. No more so than a Scroll of Protection is.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I think those are all owrthy but unrealistic desires. The WotC adventures are the RPG equivalent of MCU films -- they are going to appeal to the broadest demographic with a mix of action, adventure, humor and nostalgia. With only one storyline per year they can't afford to create a niche adventure. It's why you won't see one set in Dark Sun or Even Eberron until they expand the production schedule.

As to the Scroll -- it's brilliant and I love it and I think I'll drop it into my Avernus campaign.

Right...I know...I'm usually onboard with fantasy super-heroics, but I had a desire for another taste this time around. Anyway, there's nothing blocking me to get the adventure and remove or modify the little details to fit my vision better. :)

I got a strange desire to run a Shadow of the Demon Lord game for my next campaign; I'm really in the mood for a gritty mix of Warhammer + Diablo + Dragon Age + Darkest Dungeon in the moment, I dont know why.
 



TheCultMachine

Explorer
The only thing so far that is kinda goofy (not in a bad way) to me is the Kobolds in a Trench Coat. You have to have a LITTLE comedy in horror. Especially if you are running a huge campaign book like this. I am still waiting on what their idea of “modern horror” is.
 

Mistwell

Legend
D&D: "... Includes a Scroll of Tarasque Summoning."
Me: "Congratulations on breaking the game."

I mean it can have a great story reason and be limited to a single item, but they've created it. It will be put as an item in Roll20, D&D Beyond, etc. It's a scroll that (I'm guessing) can now be scribed during a wizard's downtime activity.

So yeah, they pretty much just broke 5e.

I thought you said you don't play 5e?

God, I wish this was an April 1st joke.

You talking to yourself?

Just talking to myself.

Ah, thank you for the clarification.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
The Scroll of Tarrasque Summoning has to be cursed and malfunctioning. It sounds like "bait"; too-easy way to solve a problem.

My Evil DM thought was that reading that scroll actually summons you to the place where the Tarrasque slumbers and awakens it. You get subjected to an illusion that you haven't moved. And it's still darn cold here (because this environment is designed to make the Tarrasque want to hibernate). 'Behind the scenes', you might actually be in "Antarctica" - but how would the characters know that?
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This reminds me of the talon of final destruction magic item, from the "Sleeping Dragon" adventure for the Council of Wyrms campaign in Dungeon issue #48 (July/August, 1994), by Bill Slavicsek. Basically, it was a single-use item that let you summon the tarrasque and give it a single order which it had to follow for 1d6+8 days, after which there was a 50% chance it would not return to dormancy but instead seek to destroy the person who summoned it.
 


Reynard

Legend
The Scroll of Tarrasque Summoning has to be cursed and malfunctioning. It sounds like "bait"; too-easy way to solve a problem.

My Evil DM thought was that reading that scroll actually summons you to the place where the Tarrasque slumbers and awakens it. You get subjected to an illusion that you haven't moved. And it's still darn cold here (because this environment is designed to make the Tarrasque want to hibernate). 'Behind the scenes', you might actually be in "Antarctica" - but how would the characters know that?
I don't think it is an easy solution to anything. In fact it potentially creates a whole lot more problems than it could solve. Most of the players I know would agonize over using such an item because of its destructive potential.

I mean, sure, the GM could present it in such a way that it becomes a "We Win" button but I don't know too many GMs that are that terrible at running the game. In fact I would say that 90% of "problems" in D&D only exist in white room theory craft and never appear in actual play with real people. But that's probably a different thread.
 



Hexmage-EN

Adventurer
I've always found the use of the name "Tarrasque" for this D&D kaiju to be weird considering the real world French story of the Tarasque.

From Wikipedia:

The king of Nerluc had attacked the Tarasque with knights and catapults to no avail. But Saint Martha found the beast and charmed it with hymns and prayers, and led back the tamed Tarasque to the city. The people, terrified by the monster, attacked it when it drew nigh. The monster offered no resistance and died there. Martha then preached to the people and converted many of them to Christianity. Sorry for what they had done to the tamed monster, the newly Christianized townspeople changed the town's name to Tarascon.

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So to sum it up, the D&D "Tarrasque" is an immortal kaiju, and the original French "Tarasque" was a monster that was tamed, killed anyway despite putting up no resistance, and the people of the city were so ashamed of brutally killing the poor animal that they renamed the town, put on festivals, and built statues in its honor.

Maybe whoever first came up with the D&D Tarrasque imagined a "Gorgo" style scenario, in which the Tarasque of French folklore was just a baby and the D&D Tarrasque is the pissed-off mother.

BTW: I once had a Young Earth Creationist book full of gems like "maybe the Tarasque was a triceratops or whatever, who knows???"
 


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