Captivating Traps in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons are more than just damage delivery gimmicks. A great trap communicates something about who created it, the danger you face, and engages the environment in exciting ways. This is an example of trap design that creates an environmental challenge with Progressive Failures and Rising Tension that engages character skills. I used this trap in my campaign last night to great effect and wanted to share it with the community if it’s useful for you as well.
This is my remix of the Foaming Mugs quest from the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons module, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. You can use this to spice up your encounter with a bit more intrigue, potential negotiation and roleplay. It also ties back to The Chardalyn Syndicate, a faction that is part of the Far North & Ten-Towns remix posted here previously. Check out the RotF and Remix tags on this site for more remixes.
This is an NPC I’ve used in my Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign as a foil in Bryn Shander and to introduce a political ingrique plot for the players early on in the game.
With the publication of Tasha’s Caldron of Everything, the game introduced the concepts of Supernatural Regions to 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Areas that have variable and mysterious effects that might be invoked by specific actions or conditions. Within Icewind Dale are localized arcane phenomenon zones said to manifest The Heart of Winter, that is the conjunction of planar regions brought into alignment with Icewind Dale as a function of Auril’s ongoing enchantments. Small clusters of these supernatural phenomenon ebb and flow across the region and it has been growing in frequency, intensity, and size as time progresses.
The Ten-Towns of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden provide rich plot, roleplaying, and excellent modular encounters for your 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons game. These early adventures setup the core tension of the adventure, and provide some of the most obvious ways to allow heroes make an impact on the region. What follows here are a few updates, changes, or additions to Ten-Towns to spice up your sessions in different ways. The factions section below provide a bit more political context to the adventure, the Sacrifices to Auril section provides a bit more background and context for the dangers faced and how each town is adapting, the Winter Survival Gear and Travel section enhance the survival mechanics in the setting. Like any remix, this is just a skew toward a specific style of running the game, use what you find useful and ignore the rest. Many of these core components setup remixes for individual encounters I will post over time.
This post contains the remixes and changes I used for the Lake Monster quest picked up in the town of Bremen in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. It runs similarly to what is written in the module with a different backstory, delivery and climax. You can likely use this remix as an independent encounter in any game, but to get the most out of it you will need the module.
Remixes have become a great way for DMs to talk about how they are using published content in the wild for their actual 5th edition games. It focuses on how you arrange or change the elements to suit your individual game and style, and avoids the o-so-very-internet thing of labeling things as broken or awesome.
An NPC I fleshed out for my Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign. She is the silent and secretive leader of The Harpers in Icewind dale, dedicated to keeping the faction members safe in the wake of assassinations years ago.
A ramshackle and squat two story stone building made held together by rotting timbers, with opaque frosted windows and a dilapidated tiled roof. It sits on a side road along the edge of town slightly northeast of the road to Targos. This is a standard 25x25 battlemap I created for my Rime of the Frostmaiden camapgin, I hope you can use it too.