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Dungeons & Dragons 5E’s next adventure Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a horror story inspired by The Thing

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The next big Dungeons & Dragons 5E campaign has been revealed as Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, a ‘modern horror’ tale set in a harsh frozen tundra.

Revealed during this year’s D&D Live event, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden returns Dungeons & Dragons to the titular far-northern Forgotten Realms setting of Icewind Dale, the background to R.A. Salvatore’s eponymous trilogy of books and the computer roleplaying game series of the same name.

Dungeons & Dragons’ principal story designer Chris Perkins described Rime of the Frostmaiden as a “horror story” that would explore themes of “isolation, paranoia, secrets [and] being trapped”.

Cover image for YouTube video

Perkins named iconic sci-fi horror movie John Carpenter’s The Thing as a key inspiration, with “the idea of the enemy walking among you and not knowing who to trust” a central part of the upcoming RPG adventure. Players will begin the campaign with a secret that they can choose to reveal to the rest of the group and the dungeon master.

The story sees the players’ party of adventurers exploring the icy wastes of Icewind Dale, coping with the setting’s unrelenting cold and darkness. The first plot details reference the frozen Caves of Hunger dungeon, “the mad wizards of the Arcane Brotherhood” and the location of Ten-Towns under threat from the evil goddess of winter Auril’s - also known as the Frostmaiden - “everlasting night”. The story will present players with the decision of whether to pursue secrets buried in the snow and ice, with Perkins warning “the risks might not be worth the reward”.

Perkins made comparisons to classic Dungeons & Dragons horror adventure Curse of Strahd, saying that Rime of the Frostmaiden would focus more on “modern horror” than the gothic vampire tale.

Cover image for YouTube video

The upcoming title is said to have a “huge” bestiary, claimed to be the largest of any D&D 5E sourcebook to date, including variations of creatures from the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. The entire book will span 320 pages.

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is due for release in both physical and digital editions on September 15th. As has become standard for Dungeons & Dragons 5E releases, both a standard edition and a book featuring alternate cover artwork only available at local game stores will be available.

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.