Dungeons & Dragons’ subsequent marketing campaign module hits the road on Sept. 15. Titled Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, it brings the franchise again to the atmosphere of a few of its most famed novelizations. However don’t be expecting to look a lot of Drizzt Do’Urden in its 320 pages (he’s were given his personal online game at the means, in any case). As an alternative, you’ll to find one of the difficult collection of adventures in franchise historical past. This ebook throws just about the whole lot within the D&D arsenal at its avid gamers. Even skilled Dungeon Masters may have a tricky time maintaining.
What do I imply by way of difficult? Incessantly, after I’m paging via a brand new Dungeons & Dragons marketing campaign from writer Wizards of the Coast, the storyline can provide itself away in an overly intentional means. Designers need so to information Dungeon Masters (DMs) up to imaginable, reducing the cognitive load required to ship a fancy tale to a birthday party of 4 to 6 avid gamers. Rime of the Frostmaiden, alternatively, takes such a lot of atypical twists and turns that I had a troublesome time maintaining from web page to web page. It’s an attractive learn, even though you’re now not making plans on working the journey in any respect.
However Rime of the Frostmaiden is easily well worth the bother. If it have been a work of loot, it could resemble an enormous, opaque gem with dozens of different semi-precious stones embedded inside its crystalline construction. Merely put, this ebook is a treasure.
[Warning: The following review includes minor spoilers for Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. If you’re not planning on being a DM for your group, you might want to skip to the last two paragraphs.]
The marketing campaign itself has two viable issues of access. Gamers can get started at point one, visiting the Ten Cities area and introducing themselves to Icewind Dale’s icy local weather and its frontier villages. Alternately, events may just simply transition into the marketing campaign from in other places within the Forgotten Geographical regions round ranges 4, 5, or six. Development is milestone-based right through, so don’t be expecting to be paying a lot consideration to enjoy issues as you pass.
What DMs will have to be expecting is a number of overland go back and forth. The area is trapped in an unending wintry weather, and avid gamers will want to plan accordingly to get from position to put. Choices come with touring by way of snowshoe, dogsled, and even atop chocobo-like Awl Beaks — large, semi-feral ostriches.
The outlet chapters play out briefly. Be expecting your first dozen gameplay classes to final just a few hours each and every. It’s a hodgepodge of loosely connected quests that concentrate on the folks and the puts within the Ten Cities, completely designed to onboard new avid gamers into the role-playing pastime. The narrative function is to get everybody on the desk invested in those off-the-grid communities and the characters who reside there. Then, within the recreation’s ultimate few acts, the whole lot they love will probably be put in peril.
As soon as avid gamers hit point 3, the tempo starts to select up significantly. Rime of the Frostmaiden contains encounters with dragons, doppelgängers, illithids, and extra. There’s even a sentient sperm whale thrown in for just right measure. Most likely extra so than another fifth version module to this point, encounters come with a lot more than simply struggle. Gamers should be quick-witted and suave about the usage of their abilities in peculiar techniques to return out on best. There’s even a couple of minigame-like competitions thrown in for just right measure. It’s an incredible collection of reports, very best for uplifting just right role-playing on the desk.
The journey additionally accommodates more than one branching resolution issues. Do the avid gamers chase a mystical assemble around the tundra, or do they press directly to defeat its writer? Do they kill a weakened god, or do they to find otherwise across the issues to hand? There are even a couple of techniques for avid gamers to wreck the journey totally. A just right DM will want to be able with different choices to get issues again on the right track with out railroading the birthday party, or prepared to toss the ebook out totally and take issues in a completely other course.
Best possible of all, Rime of the Frostmaiden contains more than one endings. There’s a “just right” finishing to make sure, one the place (most commonly) everybody rides off into the cold sundown and lives a lifetime of peace. However there’s a “dangerous” finishing as neatly. All it takes is one split-second resolution overdue within the marketing campaign for the birthday party to fling itself off a story cliff, and onto the pages of an epic, high-level journey that everybody on the desk will want to write in combination.
The marketing campaign ebook itself additionally comes with a strong, double-sided map with a number of white house for avid gamers to discover. Teams shouldn’t be afraid to mark it up once imaginable.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is supported by way of a couple of further equipment hitting shops round the similar time. There’s a sublime set of “cube and miscellany,” very similar to different units that have been revealed along Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage and Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus. I might warning avid gamers towards studying a lot of the incorporated subject material, alternatively, as they generally tend to damage one of the module’s encounters.
There’s additionally a sequence of upgraded, deluxe editions at the means from Beadle and Grimm’s. Whilst the Platinum Version is bought out, the Silver Version comes extremely advisable. Delivery in November, it’s $175. That’s so much, however it’s going to come with all the journey module shredded into simply controlled booklets, in addition to some as but unannounced handouts and props.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden starts delivery on Sept. 15. The ebook was once reviewed the usage of a bodily reproduction supplied by way of Wizards of the Coast. Vox Media has associate partnerships. Those don’t affect editorial content material, despite the fact that Vox Media might earn commissions for merchandise bought by the use of associate hyperlinks. You’ll to find further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.