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[5e] Six Months Later - Lost Mines of Phandelver - What's Winter like in that region?

Nelzie

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My group has decided to continue on with the campaign, after clearing out the Lost Mines and setting up shop in the Town of Phandalin.

It's now winter in the realms. What's that like in the region around Neverwinter? (I know the city is called that because of the endless flowering plants that are even pulled out and displayed in the winter, but what is that winter like? Is it more of temperate cold with leaves falling off trees and a short period of snow here and there or is it more like the Midwest, with biting cold wind and snowdrifts deep enough to bury an Ettin?


Does travel stop? Do people remain trapped in their villages and towns for the most part?
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
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Neverwinter itself is unnaturally warm because of the enchanted river flowing through town, but the North has intensely harsh winters -- Greenwood designed it that way to make it difficult to fight extended wars.
 

raniE

Untitled
Validated User
Looking at The Savage Frontier by Jennel Jaquays, one of the first source books for the North, the climate in most of The North, from Waterdeep and up to the Spine of the World, the climate is described as (mild) subarctic, except for a strip along the coast which has a more temperate climate. But Phandalin is a ways inland, so the subarctic description probably fits better. From the book:

The Savage Frontier said:
This translates as long, bitter winters that effectively last from mid-Marpenoth (October) to late Tarsakh (April) with temperatures that drop into the low -30s and rarely climb past 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These winters are punctuated by fierce, often destructive storms that howl in off the western ocean, dumping mixed snow and rain on the more southerly coast line and heavy snow across the mountains and midlands. Frequent blizzards blanket the land in deep snow drifts (often 10 or more feet deep) and isolate northern communities from one another.
The book also notes that Neverwinter wood doesn't feel the effects of winter, but the land around it sure does. Also, most rivers are iced over, but the Neverwinter river is ice free year round, and the coast in general has a milder climate (although is often hit harder by the aforementioned storms coming in from the sea). Going back to Neverwinter over the winter is likely going to be sorely tempting.
 

Matt-M-McElroy

What Are You Afraid Of?
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The PCs in my group decided that they needed to travel North to Luskan and the Ten Towns after Phandalin. I love the idea of hitting them with some winter hazards requiring some teamwork/problem solving that isn’t “I blast it.”

M
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
The PCs in my group decided that they needed to travel North to Luskan and the Ten Towns after Phandalin. I love the idea of hitting them with some winter hazards requiring some teamwork/problem solving that isn’t “I blast it.”

M
...going north to Luskan in winter is like going south of Hell in August. 🥶🥵
 

raniE

Untitled
Validated User
The Ten Towns are pretty much straight up arctic, or almost so. And north of a mountain range which contains some of the highest peaks in the world. The only way to avoid essentially crossing the Himalayas in winter is to follow the coast up past the pirate city of Luskan, through the mining stronghold of Fireshear, up to the unwelcoming dwarfhold of Ironmaster, built as much into the never-melting ice as the canyon walls.

Sounds like quite an adventure!
 
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Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks for the information.

They're going to "love it"...

Also, with that kind of bitter cold... A wee White Dragon can decide it wants in on the action of the riches coming out of Echo Wave Cavern now.

*maniacal laugh*

*maniacal laugh*

*maniacal laugh*
 

raniE

Untitled
Validated User
There’s one advantage to traveling in winter. Almost no one else will be fool enough to do it, so you probably don’t have to worry too much about being attacked by Uthgardt or Orcs. White dragons are another matter of course. Also, this is so far north that the days are going to be really short, unless you cross the arctic circle in which case they’re going to be non-existent for part of winter.
 

Nelzie

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Validated User
So, the party did a SUPER fast number of Venomfang, wiped the wee Green Dragon out in three rounds of combat. (I hadn't realized how extremely powerful 3rd level characters... and nine of them to boot, could be...)

Afterwards, while depleted, they wiped the floor with a group of Dragon Cultists too. Their leader barely escaped.

Now, these heroes have made an enemy of the Dragon Cultists.

I'm thinking of tossing a White Dragonborn Eldritch Knight, somewhere between 5th and 7th level, a small number of beefed up White, Arctic Kobolds with 2 to 3 casters, a retinue of 3rd level fighter type Dragon Cultists and their "patron", a youngish White Dragon that has setup a lair close enough to include Echo Wave Cavern, with the future aims to be taking Echo Wave Cavern as it's permanent icy home.

The scenario will be that the Dragon has sealed off the main entrance and it's cultists and retinue have setup camp outside of the secondary entrance to whittle down the Dwarven miners. One of which has escaped and just barely made it to Phandalin, to tell our heroes of everything. (except the Dragon, because they don't know about the Dragon... that's going to be a surprise.)

I'm going to run this as a "Seasons of the Dragon Cult" campaign now. A few little side adventures here and there, with a big Dragon Cult bit, where the Dragon Cult aims to get rid of the PCs.
 

Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
So, the party did a SUPER fast number of Venomfang, wiped the wee Green Dragon out in three rounds of combat. (I hadn't realized how extremely powerful 3rd level characters... and nine of them to boot, could be...)

Afterwards, while depleted, they wiped the floor with a group of Dragon Cultists too. Their leader barely escaped.

Now, these heroes have made an enemy of the Dragon Cultists.

I'm thinking of tossing a White Dragonborn Eldritch Knight, somewhere between 5th and 7th level, a small number of beefed up White, Arctic Kobolds with 2 to 3 casters, a retinue of 3rd level fighter type Dragon Cultists and their "patron", a youngish White Dragon that has setup a lair close enough to include Echo Wave Cavern, with the future aims to be taking Echo Wave Cavern as it's permanent icy home.

The scenario will be that the Dragon has sealed off the main entrance and it's cultists and retinue have setup camp outside of the secondary entrance to whittle down the Dwarven miners. One of which has escaped and just barely made it to Phandalin, to tell our heroes of everything. (except the Dragon, because they don't know about the Dragon... that's going to be a surprise.)

I'm going to run this as a "Seasons of the Dragon Cult" campaign now. A few little side adventures here and there, with a big Dragon Cult bit, where the Dragon Cult aims to get rid of the PCs.
 
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