New Adventure for Dungeons & Dragons Provides Epic Chills and Thrills
(Picture: Wizards of the Coast)
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a thematic masterpiece crammed with horror, chills, and risks, whereas additionally offering the DM with maneuverability to craft the journey primarily based on their on tastes and the wants of their social gathering. Every year, Dungeons & Dragons releases a single full-length marketing campaign that units the tone for a full yr of adventures in Organized Play, streaming video games, and residential video games. This yr’s journey is Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, an journey set within the iconic locale of Icewind Dale made well-known by R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt novels. Rime of the Frostmaiden builds off of the missteps of earlier adventures, giving DMs loads of materials to work with whereas not forcing gamers to go down the highway of a single storyline to its end.
The most important innovation in Rime of the Frostmaiden is how the journey itself flows. By means of certainly one of two opening quests, gamers study concerning the minor goddess Auril the Frostmaiden and her position in putting Icewind Dale beneath an everlasting winter. At first, this perpetual state of snow is merely a backdrop as gamers discover the icy north, confronting killer moose, exploring deserted pirate ships, and discovering a analysis station pulled straight out of John Carpenter’s The Factor. Nevertheless, the journey ultimately shifts to the perpetual winter taking part in a extra lively position in events- duergar invade the floor because the winter negates their pure sensitivity to daylight, unleashing an enormous and epic assault on the settlements of Ten-Cities. From there, gamers may be recruited to cease the everlasting winter, a quest that leads gamers into Auril’s wintry retreat and to an historic metropolis crammed with forgotten magic.
The important thing to Rime of the Frostmaiden is that lots of the storylines can both be used as the main target of the entire marketing campaign, performed individually, or eliminated with out a lot consequence to the general story. For example, the duergar invasion acts as a catalyst for the gamers taking on the search to cease Auril’s everlasting winter, however DMs can select to disregard that storyline (as the specter of everlasting winter alone needs to be sufficient an impetus to struggle Auril with out prompting) or finish the marketing campaign with the gamers standing victorious over the duergar. Save for the ultimate two components of the marketing campaign, every chapter principally stands alone, offering the DM a bit bit of additional room to take away the weather they do not like with out destroying the integrity of the general journey. Every chapter explains the way it flows into the general story, and a DM ought to have the ability to use these components to make adjustments as crucial.
One other half I loved about Rime of the Frostmaiden is its emphasis on remoted journey hooks and encounters. The primary two chapters function each a marketing campaign setting information for Ten-Cities and Icewind Dale and as a compendium of brief encounters, lots of which may be pulled out of the ebook and utilized in any journey. There’s additionally quite a lot of nods to numerous horror films and different popular culture cameos. Along with a fantasy recreation of The Factor, there are homages to Alien, The Shining, and On the Mountains of Insanity that gamers may decide up on. There’s even a reference to the frozen corpses that dot Mount Everest that serves as grim landmarks to these making the climb.
As famous within the preliminary announcement, Rime of the Frostmaiden has dozens of recent creature statblocks, though 12 of them are humanoid NPCs. Notably, the magen (magical constructs created by wizards) make their return within the ebook, as do the monstrous Tomb Tappers that guard historic Netherese ruins. My favourite new monsters are probably the unusual new thoughts flayers that come armed with laser pistols and the Coldlight Walker that serves as a direct homage to The Factor. The brand new monster statblocks aren’t precisely mindblowing, however they do add a splash of recent selection to the nonetheless comparatively small pool of monsters made for 5E. The journey additionally accommodates a couple of new magic objects and spells, the latter of which is a primary for a D&D journey in no less than a couple of years.
Whereas it is hardly the main target of the journey, there’s one very intriguing plot level that seems in Rime of the Frostmaiden that doubtlessly opens the D&D franchise as much as a world of potentialities. The mysterious obelisks which have appeared in previous adventures are lastly defined in Rime of the Frostmaiden, and so they doubtlessly result in a brand new marketing campaign setting of types that hasn’t been elaborated on in Fifth Version. It’s going to be fascinating to see if Dungeons & Dragons follows up on this thread in any respect, or if it simply exists as a nod to each the previous of the franchise and as a means for DMs to construct a brand new world that has solely the scantest hyperlinks to the Sword Coast.
Reactions to earlier D&D adventures have been decidedly combined, however I really feel like Rime of the Frostmaiden can be well-received by each gamers and DMs. There are not any obtrusive flaws or complicated gimmicks that crippled the journey, and the journey permits for gamers to progress as slowly or rapidly as they’d like. The ebook additionally continues the nice practices began in different adventures, equivalent to offering a number of endings primarily based on the choices revamped the course of the marketing campaign.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is the strongest marketing campaign ebook launched by Wizards of the Coast since Curse of Strahd. It has the potential to be an on the spot basic and can probably be fondly remembered by adventurers for years to return.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden goes on sale on September 15th. Pre-orders are stay on Amazon now.
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