Wizards of the Coast Announces Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden for 5E D&D
DND Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage is live and in the tradition of Wizards of the Coast’s annual announcement celebrations, the next campaign storyline was announced during this year’s event, which live streams from remote locations while participants continue to stay safe by staying home during the COVID-19 outbreak. For this year’s community celebration D&D teamed up with big personalities in the entertainment world to create a star studded event for the most worthy of quests. DND Live 2020’s live play games, announcements and panels taking place throughout the event raise money for Red Nose Day to help children affected by the global pandemic.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is 5E D&D adventure best served cold
During a press briefing Chris Perkins, Jeremy Crawford and Ray Winninger from the D&D team explained how the chilling new adventure for 5E D&D came about. Perkins revealed that Rime of the Frostmaiden is a horror story all about secrets set in Icewind Dale, a harsh arctic region in the Forgotten Realms. Unlike the Gothic horror found in Curse of Strahd, this storyline is a more modern tale of horror. The story creator and lead writer cited John Carpenter’s The Thing as an inspiration for an adventure designed to create paranoia among the players.
The theme of secrets creeps into character creation itself. During character creation for this adventure the characters develop secrets about themselves. Throughout the campaign players will have to choose whether to divulge these secrets to their fellow party members or keep them hidden. Either way there will be consequences. These secrets might be benign or they could be terrifying. With The Thing being an inspiration I think it’s safe to say some of these secrets will have dire consequences indeed.
For 5E D&D players curious about new content, Crawford revealed Rime of the Frostmaiden comes with new monsters — lots of them. Like, more than any other book to date. These include variations of existing monsters, like the snowy owlbear and he shared that one of his favorite new monsters is the snow golem, which he said is “horrifying.”
Yours truly got the first question in during the Q&A segment of the press briefing and I asked about the design team’s focus on the exploration pillar because you know I love it! Crawford described how they built on material found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide to develop expanded guidelines for things like blizzards, avalanches, extreme cold, high altitudes and other survival circumstances.
He also revealed Rime of the Frostmaiden contains more minigames than any other 5E D&D book they’ve produced. One of these are rules and guidelines for characters to fish for knucklehead trout. By the end of the adventure who knows, maybe you’ll become as good a scrimshander as Regis. Another is a goliath sport characters can participate in during the adventure. Speaking of goliaths, this playable race gets a great treatment in the upcoming book, reprinting existing information and building on it to expand their breadth and scope. One major change players will love is goliaths gain cold resistance! This makes perfect sense considering their mountaintop origins.
There’s a ton to unpack and reveal from the press briefing and this is just a tiny taste. In the meantime you can get involved with the community celebration, enjoy all the live streaming events going on and help raise money for Red Nose Day by heading over to the D&D homepage and checking out DND Live 2020: Roll With Advantage here. You can also preorder Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, set for release Sept. 15, 2020 here.