You enter the dreaded Ice Forest where the ancient path leading through can change with the wind. What perils will you face before nding the way to the other side?
This 24 page “adventure” is a series of random encounters that a party has in a snowy forest … that acts as a labyrinth. Some ok magic items and eerie dead bodies can’t save a glorified wandering monster table.
The icy forest is cursed and people get lost in it. You need to make the correct path choice 13 times to get out .. which means making a 50/50 dice roll at each path split. There’s no map, this is all abstracted. Each time you go down a path there’s a chance to encounter one of the fourteen table entries. There’s also a chance that you’ll encounter an ice igloo that serves as a safe house to rest in … and keep evil creatures 20’ away. The combination of game-ist safe igloos and “just roll the dice until you succeed 13 times” is just too much for me. It all feels like a waste of time. Inexplicably, you can’t leave the paths. Recall, there’s no map, it’s all abstracted, but there is a mechanism for punishing players with being crushed by moving trees if they leave the path. This makes no sense. Who cares if they leave the path, it’s not like doing so will shorten their 13 choices?
The hooks involve going in to find a treasure, escorting a box through the forest, and taking a short-cut to deliver medicine. There are two common elements to each: why am I going in the cursed forest and then Here’s A Thing To Help Make The Right Path Choice. The “going in” reasons are generally pretty weak. Having to go in and find an object is an ok reason, and the need for a speedy short-cut to deliver medicine is a pretty good one. The others just offer no motivation at all for going through the wood instead of around it. That entire section could use a rethink. The Path Chooser objects, specific to each hook, are generally ok, ranging from a bag of path-picking frogs to a magic lantern. I would probably mix & match to find a hook that I think would appeal to MY party, with a bag of frogs for path-picking from a different hook.
The real problem is the encounters. They feel, for the most part, like generic wandering monster encounters. Monsters show up and attack. Joy. There’s not really even much of a “frozen forest” vibe going on, at least not one that comes through with the writing. The encounters that DO spark the imagination are the ones that play well on the ice forest theme. These ALL involve frozen dead bodies. Wherever ter is a frozen body the text handles it well. Without a frozen body in the encounter it just comes across as Yet Another Wandering Monster. That’s quite disappointing. Alas, the titular “Winds” are not to be found.
This is available at DriveThru.