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The next big Dungeons & Dragons adventure was officially revealed during this year’s D&D Live event. Entitled Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, this upcoming adventure book will be releasing on September 15, 2020, priced at $49.95 or your regional equivalent. Here’s what it will have to offer:
SOME SECRETS ARE WORTH DYING FOR
Feel the cold touch of death in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
In Icewind Dale, adventure is a dish best served cold.
Beneath the unyielding night sky, you stand before a towering glacier and recite an ancient rhyme, causing a crack to form in the great wall of ice. Beyond this yawning fissure, the Caves of Hunger await. And past this icy dungeon is a secret so old and terrifying that few dare speak of it. The mad wizards of the Arcane Brotherhood long to possess that which the god of winter’s wrath has so coldly preserved—as do you! What fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the sunless heart of the glacier, and what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale? Can you save Ten-Towns from the Frostmaiden’s everlasting night?
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a tale of dark terror that revisits the forlorn, flickering candlelights of civilization known as Ten-Towns and sheds light on the many bone-chilling locations that surround these frontier settlements.
And if you’d like to learn more about the book, you should check out this massive VentureBeat article that covers a lot of ground, including the book’s structure, the new character secret system it introduces, and even its connections to Tuque Games’ upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance action-RPG. An excerpt:
These secrets factor into character creation as well. This adds some intrigue, mystery, and maybe even friction for the players, as they can decide to share their secrets or keep them to themselves. They can use print-out cards with these secrets.
“I think the most interesting part [of Rime of the Frostmaiden] is the character secrets,” Perkins said. “Characters can play it one of two ways. They can keep their secret close to their chest and not reveal it to the other players, fostering and breeding paranoia, or they can reveal it anytime they want to, and then wrestle with the consequences of it. That’s left entirely up to the players.”
Secrets fit well into Icewind Dale. Most D&D fans’ first introduction to Icewind Dale is from the 1988 R.A. Salvatore novel The Crystal Shard, and it showed the role secrets play in that region. The Frozen North welcomes those folks running from trouble. Regis of The Companions of the Hall lives in Icewind Dale for this very reason. Many folks there have things to hide, some benign, some terrifying, and the secrets players get at the beginning reflect this.
When Perkins started talking about horror and secrets during the presentation, my mind first went to The Thing, the seminal John Carpenter horror flick from 1982. It’s a fitting inspiration for what Perkins and crew laid out.
“The Thing is a story about an isolated group of people dealing with a monster in their midst, and much of the movie takes place at night. If you take that idea and apply it to a D&D campaign, there’s lot of potential there,” he said over email. “When your setting is a cold, dark, isolated place, the horror comes easily. I was struck by the fact that our previous excursions to Icewind Dale didn’t really lean in that direction, so here was a chance to show Icewind Dale in a different light.”