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D&D 5E Which favored enemy and languages for Rime of Frostmaiden?

auburn2

Adventurer
I am going to play a half elf Ranger for Rime of frostmaiden. I get two or three languages (one from background, one from half elf and potentially one from favored enemy)

I don't really want any spoilers, but what would be good choices for this adventure?

By the way the Ranger is the PHB type, so the favored enemy is about wisdom checks and recalling information, not about combat.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I haven’t read or played the adventure, so my opinions are both spoiler free and also just kind of blind conjecture. But, I would think Dwarven and Giant might be good languages to have (IIRC there’s a dwarf clan of some import in the Ten Towns area, and Goliaths seem like they might be relevant in such a wintery, survivaly campaign.) Maybe Goblin or Orc because those are fairly common enemies? Frankly though, anyone the writers consider worth interacting with will almost certainly speak Common, so the value in languages is really more in being able to communicate with your party in a language others won’t understand than in being able to understand others.

As for a favored enemy, maybe Aberrations? Frostmaiden is supposed to have Cronenbergish elements, right?
 

There aren't actually that many Aberrations in RotFM. You might try giants, but really it doesn't matter. You may as well make your ranger a fisherman and select knucklehead trout as your favoured enemy for all the good it will do you.

As already pointed out, pretty much anyone you would want to speak to speaks Common. You might get a little mileage out of Dwarvish, Goblin, Kobold or Giant.
 


Yeah, hate on these guys:
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6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I am going to play a half elf Ranger up a character for Rime of frostmaiden. I get two or three languages (one from background, one from half elf and potentially one from favored enemy)

I don't really want any spoilers, but what would be good choices for this adventure?

By the way the Ranger is the PHB type, so the favored enemy is about wisdom checks and recalling information, not about combat.
Given the dwarven valley area and the number of dwarves in the stories, I would select Dwarven certainly. If nothing else, it shows your respect for a race you will likely meet at some point.

Giant is also a good choice IMO.

For a possible third language I would recommend Draconic or Infernal.
 

Unless you have a DM that really, really focuses on languages to the point where it is impossible for your party to communicate with people language choices are probably useless. Pick your languages because that makes sense for the story you want your character to embrace and as a symbol for the understanding of the culture of those languages.

That extra heavy lean into culture is something I'm doing in my campaign and world. There is a lingua franca that exists due to the multi-generational influence of a trade-empire/church that is the sole source of healing throughout the continent of play.

Every other language (and history) is replaced by Culture. Doing so expands not just the story for your character, it also makes your characters and sessions more believable.

I outlined my vision for eliminating language and replacing with culture on my blog.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Unless you have a DM that really, really focuses on languages to the point where it is impossible for your party to communicate with people language choices are probably useless.
Bah. If everyone in the party can speak in the same, relatively obscure language, you can talk to each other in it without being understood. That’s not quite Rary’s Tepathic Bond good, but it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Other than that, you might be able to talk your DM into giving you advantage on a social check for using the native language of someone you’re speaking with, but that’s about the extent of its usefulness.
 

As someone who was a huge fan of "Cultural Lore" from the playtest, I find this idea really interesting. I'd probably keep History as an actual skill though, just like keeping Performance, if you use the XGtE option of overlapping Skills & Tools (or Lores in this case). I probably wouldn't allow simply changes from languages to other skills though, since skills over overall far more useful than languages, even in games where the DM tries to make languages important.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
Unless you have a DM that really, really focuses on languages to the point where it is impossible for your party to communicate with people language choices are probably useless. Pick your languages because that makes sense for the story you want your character to embrace and as a symbol for the understanding of the culture of those languages.
Thanks. In playing with my DM languages are very useful for several reasons:
First is reading things. For some reason the people who build dungeons and puzzles and such leave written clues as to how to solve them. In a diary, in ruins over the archway, in ancient script. Sure you can use a spell for this, but if you know the language you don't have to waste the slot or components. We do this all the time

Second is threatening/intimidating/bargaining/deceiving enemies. Some enemies like Orcs and Goblins speak common, which makes their language kind of irrelevant, but others like Gnolls and Giants don't. So you ambush the group of gnoll guards and take one out in the first round brutally, quickly and with a lot of blood and then tell the rest to lay down their arms or you will slaughter them all ........ or walk up to the gnolls and tell them the boss wants to talk to you and persuade them to let you pass. Sometimes that stuff works sometimes it doesn't but we try it all the time in my games and you can't do it if you "don't speak the language".

Third is using it as others have said to talk to party members without talking to everyone around you. That can be difficult though because it immediately raises suspicion.
 


I am going to play a half elf Ranger up a character for Rime of frostmaiden. I get two or three languages (one from background, one from half elf and potentially one from favored enemy)

I don't really want any spoilers, but what would be good choices for this adventure?

By the way the Ranger is the PHB type, so the favored enemy is about wisdom checks and recalling information, not about combat.

What is your character's background? For your first level Ranger abilities, I'd suggest picking a favored enemy and terrain that jives with your background rather than strictly focusing on potential optimization for the particular campaign you are playing. Especially given the text for the ability: "Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy." Your background is one reflection of that experience. You might be pleasantly surprised how useful they'll be anyway even if they appear more random at first. Or perhaps they won't be mechanically useful at all and your character will need to learn and grow to overcome their "stranger in a strange land" dilemma - good story fodder.

That said, as you explore the setting, your Ranger is learning about the common enemies and the terrain. The 6th level additional favored enemy text reflects this: "As you gain levels, your choices should reflect the types of monsters you have encountered on your adventures."


As an example, I recently created a Shifter Ranger with the Fisher background. Her favored enemy is beasts and favored terrain is Coastal as I thought those were thematically appropriate for the character. Certainly not optimized for our upcoming Curse of Strahd West Marches campaign, but true to her background. Then again, I can see how beasts will come in handy and, if the DM is lenient, maybe Coastal will be useful around Lake Zarovich. I'm gonna go out on a (Strahd zombie?) limb and say undead as a favored enemy is likely going to be quite appropriate at 6th level.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Terrain: coastal, tundra, mountains, ice floe / glacier.
Check a Forgotten Realms map for the area around Icewind Dale; that is where you start and are supposed to be stuck in.
For the conditions outdoors, anything that evokes IRL Alaska / Yukon / Scandinavia / Siberia / Antarctica will be appropriate.

Spoiler (sorta): the Ten Towns are supposed to be the northernmost outpost of FR civilization, nearby there are not-Vikings, not-Lapp, and not-Eskimo themed cultures. Presumably your outdoorsy Ranger has spent time with them and knows their 'common survival tips and tricks'.
 

Not a specific category.

They speak Dwarvish and Undercommon, and are included in favoured Enemy: Humanoid (dwarf).

There are a lot of dwarves in RotFM, but most of the ones you would want to speak to speak Common (a couple, it is implied that they speak Common, but leave room for a DM to decide otherwise).
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Other than that, you might be able to talk your DM into giving you advantage on a social check for using the native language of someone you’re speaking with, but that’s about the extent of its usefulness.
Yep. I consider this an extension of the expanded tools rules in Xanathar's.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
What is your character's background? For your first level Ranger abilities, I'd suggest picking a favored enemy and terrain that jives with your background rather than strictly focusing on potential optimization for the particular campaign you are playing. Especially given the text for the ability: "Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy." Your background is one reflection of that experience. You might be pleasantly surprised how useful they'll be anyway even if they appear more random at first. Or perhaps they won't be mechanically useful at all and your character will need to learn and grow to overcome their "stranger in a strange land" dilemma - good story fodder.

That said, as you explore the setting, your Ranger is learning about the common enemies and the terrain. The 6th level additional favored enemy text reflects this: "As you gain levels, your choices should reflect the types of monsters you have encountered on your adventures."


As an example, I recently created a Shifter Ranger with the Fisher background. Her favored enemy is beasts and favored terrain is Coastal as I thought those were thematically appropriate for the character. Certainly not optimized for our upcoming Curse of Strahd West Marches campaign, but true to her background. Then again, I can see how beasts will come in handy and, if the DM is lenient, maybe Coastal will be useful around Lake Zarovich. I'm gonna go out on a (Strahd zombie?) limb and say undead as a favored enemy is likely going to be quite appropriate at 6th level.
Background is archeologist. I have a start on it - The character is from the north, luskan area, I have not completely made up the backstory yet so I can tailor it to these things, that is what I am trying to do. For favored terrain, this is the only adventure I will use this character in so I think anything other than arctic is a waste. For the character I can't use any UA. It is a PHB ranger with the subclasses from XGE.

In the past playing with this DM, a Ranger in the party is a necessity in wilderness adventures. Playing Tomb of Annihilation we spent the first 2 levels being lost 80% of the time despite high survival skills. I had a rogue who I did not intend on multiclassing who had a 13 wisdom (rolled). When we made 3rd level I multiclassed into Ranger solely to avoid getting lost any more (Rangers are never lost in favored terrain).

In the games we play the "never lost" feature is for sure the best benefit of the class. With that in mind I think arctic is the favored terrain I want. I just need to figure out the favored enemy and then flesh out the back story.

As an archeologist I think I was a treasure hunter employed by the Drow band running Luskan. What kind of creatures did I run into robbing tombs/ruins/kingdoms for the Drow? Could be the "undead" who were buried in the tombs I was exploring? Could it be "monstrosities" like Yetis, winter wolves and Rehmoraz that seem common to the far north? Maybe I was competing with other "human" explorers or robbing ancient abandoned dwarven kingdoms where I learned a lot about "Dwarves". Or maybe my favored enemy are the "Gnoll" and "Hobgoblin" mercenaries in Luskan because they would harass me on the way to and from the city, or maybe I was not employed but the Drow but rather enslaved by them and "elves" are my favored enemy. Those seem to be some obvious potential thematic choices, but I want whatever I choose to be somewhat useful in the adventure.
 
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So a dwarven ranger can't pick deurgar as a favoured enemy in your games.
Strange days indeed.
You can't select a subrace as a favoured enemy in any game, any more than you can select "guys called Phil". Duergar are dwarves, you want to hunt them, you need to select Humanoid (dwarf) as your favoured enemy.

Note that, despite the name, you could also use the ability to help track a friend who was lost in a blizzard, or to know the correct way to address a noble of that race (and hence gain advantage on a persuasion check).
 

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