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This session was a good example of organic direction. The module provided some seemingly conflicting information regarding the fish stew and the intentions of the Shaman, but in the end both were presented as a way for the GM to work within a larger framework, and not have to rely on a “connect the dots” kind of progression.
The Detect Poison attempt was really smart, although I’ll admit that if the module hadn’t actually included that as a potential plot point, I wouldn’t have thought to include a positive result. Yes, the tribe tried to poison the party, knocking them unconscious with the intent to leave them in the ice caverns for the dragon’s minions to find, but yes, the Shaman seems to be the only one who wants to get the hell away from the dragon. Even if the party had just eaten the stew, any members who succeeded in their CON check would have gotten the admission (and antidote) from the Shaman. They would have all had to have failed in order to have ended up in the caves against their will, but the Detect Poison, so in the end the scenario followed options available through the module.
One of the more difficult things that I was focusing on was how to deal with the idea of being inside an iceberg. It’s cold, it’s kinda-not-really dark (there are lanterns for kobolds and ice toads), but most importantly, it’s slippery. This is a significant portion of the environmental description in the module, so it has to be significant. Unfortunately, “ice” only has official rules that treat it as “difficult terrain” which means reduced speed when moving. Since we’re not dealing with traditional mini-movement and speed, that effectively negates the difficult terrain modifier. But the ice has to play into it somehow. One way is that the map is actually color coded to indicate the heights of sections, which allows us to understand when there’s a ramp leading down (Wheeeeeeeee!) or a ramp leading up. Leading up is of particular concern because the players will have an extremely difficult time making it up those slopes…difficult, but not impossible if they can figure out some way to master the ice. Otherwise, there’ll probably be some kind of imposition on them during combat if they try and move. Dodging during combat, whether active or implied, has to take the icy conditions into account in some way, I feel.