Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 18/09/2020



Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden is the latest supplement for the roleplaying game that is currently conquering the world, Dungeons and Dragons. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Icewind Dale is an iconic part of D&D's mythos. This out-of-the-way frost covered nook of the Forgotten Realms has featured in popular novels and video game throughout the years, but this new book does something refreshingly different and new, whilst still being familiar fantasy.

In short, this book is a resource to run epic fantasy adventures that are themed along the lines of ‘Mortal Man Versus Nature’ with a dash of cosmic horror for taste. Of course your party may be elves, dwarves and gnomes, they’re still going to have to brave out the cold, dark and weird. They’ve drawn from many different sources here, with the focus being on ‘epic’ and ‘cinematic’. So they are adventures that feel inspired by movies such as The Thing, Alien, The Meg, Ravenous as well as pretty much anything written by Jack London. There’s a touch of At The Mountains of Madness here also, just a enough to bring the cosmic horror home.

At this point, they are certain things that we’ve come to expect from a Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons book. Its hardback, over 300 pages long, crammed full illustrations and has a difficult to remove map at the back. It’s also a brilliant toolkit filled with ideas; they are memorable adventures for pretty much any type of play-style here. And that’s sort of the point; each potential story to be told in this book is one that your players will remember and talk about for years. In this modern age where everyone is streaming their games, this is a book crammed with striking stories for you to cut & paste into your games. There’s also a menagerie of new monsters to through at your players, from the adorable to the horrifying.

Your party may well be delving into ancient artefacts from distant places, or ruins of things that history has chosen to forget. They are insane aquatic monsters, malicious spirits, shape-changing horrors that keep the paranoia running and so many secrets to uncover. There’s also a lot of fun and humour here; it’s designed to be useful to any sort of group. They are quite a few shout-outs to old school stories throughout and some really quirky moments that cross the line into ‘silly’ without breaking the mood. Because this is D&D and it’s meant to be fun.

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden will appeal to all types of fantasy gamers. The horror elements are well woven into the game and the result is something that will make for hours of entertainment for your gaming group. This book marks a turning point for D&D and is the culmination of years of development; This is D&D as it should be; unique, accessible, epic and unforgettable.