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Dropping Below Zero: A Chilling Adventure on the Road to Icewind Dale
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Dropping Below Zero: A Chilling Adventure on the Road to Icewind Dale


Warm up to the Icewind Dale with this chilling introductory adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game!

Accompanying a caravan through a wintery mountain pass, local heroes find that their travel is severely impeded by a gathering snowstorm. Hope of making it to the next waypoint is lost, but a small copse of fir might provide some shelter if they can keep the carts – and themselves – from sliding into the frozen river, first.

With exhaustion becoming a real danger and the snowstorm only strengthening, the adventurers find themselves stranded. And as dusk begins to fall upon them, so does a sense of dread. Despite the dangers, one by one the caravan crew inexplicably start losing all sense of fear, even the instinct of self-preservation.

The situation only grows more chilling. As night sets in and watches are posted, caravan members begin to go missing, leaving only the occasional frozen appendage behind to mark their passing. With warmth and resources waning, can these local heroes locate the real threat and protect both themselves, and the caravan, long enough to make it through the night?

Contents. "Dropping Below Zero" is a 3 - 4 hour D&D adventure for APL 1 - 6. This includes a full-color PDF of the adventure for screen readers and tablets, a printer-friendly PDF, two novel monster stat blocks, 3 fleshed-out NPCs, and a set of four high-definition custom maps. The PDFs contain keyed maps for the DM and an acompanying zip file contains eight seperate HD JPG files for the players and/or VTT use (two each for each map, a VTT-optimized copy and a more thematically gloomy option).

Usability. This adventure might serve as a prequel or introductory session to the Icewind Dale campaign setting, offering players a chance to test out characters and get a feel for the anticipated tone of the upcoming hardcover. That said, the adventure is applicable to any scenario in which the heroes are traveling through a wintery terrain and includes specific scaling recommendations. To drop the adventure into an ongoing campaign, any opportunity for winter travel suffices: Perhaps the PCs choose to accompany a caravan as hired muscle to make a few coins between towns? Did they get caught in the same snowstorm, only to join forces with the caravan as they all try to make headway against the wind and sleet? Or perhaps their story begins here, with a kismet meeting on the road, their storylines converging when they step up to protect their fellow travelers? 

Difficulty. The adventure, as written, works well as an introductory session for an average party level (APL) 1 – i.e., a party of 3 – 5 PCs, all or mostly level 1 characters. The module is designed to evoke horror and dread using difficult encounters, but suggested modifications are provided in the footnotes, where appropriate, for how combat encounters may be scaled. The module includes specific scaling recommendations for larger parties or those with an APL up to 6. A party with an APL above 6 may not be substantively challenged without some additional creativity on the part of the Dungeon Master (DM). 

Content Warning. This adventure is intended to evoke a sense of isolation, horror, and building dread amidst a frozen, austere landscape. Can the local heroes find hope, in themselves and each other, to push through the oppressive and unknown threats of this long, bleak night?

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File Last Updated:
August 02, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on July 26, 2020.