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Death Frost Doom
 
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Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Death Frost Doom
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Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Troy V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2015 07:22:40
In the typical LotFP fashion, the "winning" scenario is damn near impossible, the adventure contains numerous devices which screw player characters royally, and is grimdark to a fault, replacing wit and imagination with tragedy and cruel jokes. Your characters might as well just stay in the tavern, tea house, inn, or drug den. Better yet, tell your referee to lighten up or replace your referee, and stop pulling these tasteless, depressing pranks on you and the rest of the players.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I\'d like to point out that this reviewer has placed this exact review, verbatim, on eight different products written by six different people, including on one product not released by LotFP. You can decide for yourself whether this harms the credibility of the reviewer.
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/16/2015 13:29:02
I approached James Raggi IV for a copy of this pdf about two days ago and downloaded it prepared for something of a total party kill adventure. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a stone cold horror adventure done in the round robin way of isolated Heavy Metal album covers and European myth & legend. Where as the first Death Frost Doom was a scattered tapestry of horrific elements, Zak Smith has rewritten the entire adventure from the ground up to weave every morbid facet of this adventure as a whole. And its done very well. The cover art (in color) was done by Yannick Bouchard and the black and white interior illustrations, cartography and design were done by Jez Gordon. These elements are all done very, very, well. From just a look over of the material we're plunged into a peusdo European world of horror and twisted dark mythology with an entirely new take on the undead. Everything in this module echoes so far the charm of a romp through the darkest corners of imagination with bits of Lovecraftian adventure throughout out the first couple of pages. To get into the ins and outs of this module is like looking at a horror film with a subplot that runs through it in a smart and very well way. There is the feel of European legend here mixed in with horror films then set on high and poured into a setting waiting to spring on the PC's. And I'm not talking about a total kill straight out of the gate. Instead what we're looking at is an adventure that takes full advantage of the horror tropes in well done but different way. Ways that actually fit into a wide variety of old school quasi- historical backgrounds and setting for which Lamentations of the Flame Princess is well known. This adventure can not only seamlessly fit into the back space of existing campaigns but can be used to generate entire local sub spaces for such. The adventure elements add an entire sub mythology and myth to the adventure. This is something that Zak Smith has done before as an author and designer. I see this all of the time on his blog but to see it done in an adventure using the old Death Frost Doom material is something else entirely.
Straight up this is a very well done adventure and I'll get more into it in the second part. My intial impress is that not only can this adventure work for Lamentations of the Flame Princess but I would use this adventure for other old school rpg's as well. I'm thinking here of OD&D with a dark horror theme or even Cthulhu Dark Ages. The conversion would be quite painless and easy to accomplish. Death Frost Doom is an adventure of supernatural horror and intrigue with a veneer of OD&D. This is not a light weight adventure but one that needs far more attention then it has been getting. Please remember these are only my initial impressions of the adventure. But for those DM's already running a LoFP campaign who bought the original adventure, go back and grab this one. This is a completely different animal then the first adventure and be prepared for that.
Death Frost Doom is an adventure that literally draws you into the center of its world like a black hole of wintry death. This is a place that has gone beyond the pale of mere myth and legend into a world of all its own. And the adventurers are drawn up into the module's magick and malevolence. This is a horror movie starring your PC's and the situations described are ones with an internal world all their own. You've just stumbled into the world of Death Frost Doom. So what the hell is it about DFD that is so intriguing? The writing, the plot, or construction of the adventure or perhaps Zak Smith's writing? Maybe the artwork? None of the above really. There's an internal mechanism of menace to the adventure that makes it part investigation, part dungeon crawl, and part monster menace all rolled into one package.There's a nice quality of high weirdness and depravity to the events of DFD that give the DM plenty to work with. And if played correctly with a solid group of players will have them experiencing something akin to Evil Dead part two and some dark twisted European fairy tale on steroids. Adding to mix is the cover art (in color) was done by Yannick Bouchard and the black and white interior illustrations, cartography and design were done by Jez Gordon. All of those seem to add to the total feel of the adventure and it can be added straight into a pre existing LoFP campaign with little issue. Heck this could be added straight into any horror themed campaign. There are reminders and echoes of old Gothic European, Romanian, and Russian legends in DFD. This is adventure that Ravenloft wouldn't have the balls to pull off, and yet the horror elements bring some new stuff to the LoFP. There is a totally new take on the undead in this adventure that has some very cool implications for your LoFP adventures if you decide to take this option on board your campaigns. Lots of miliage of this adventure if you decide to adopt some of the ideas, mythology, and high weirdness that lurks between the pages of DFD. As a frame work to me at least this adventure has a ton of potential to take your adventures in some dark and dangerous directions!
This is an adventure that pulls heavily from the legendary roots of its own mythology and deals with its encounters as a series of events set in motion with balance and terror all in one. Something that really well done horror movies try to do. But be warned this is a horrific module that can and will wreck PC's if dumb decisions are made.
So is Death Frost Doom worth the price of admission? Yes I not only think so but I actually one of the essential LoFP books because of the way that it handles the game's material. This is a solidly dark and disturbing read,run, and rabble through the underbelly of the Lamentations universe for characters. I'd put this adventure high on the list of runs for a mid level group of LoFP adventurers. Five out of five for a reinvention of a fantastic adventure.
Eric Sword and Stitchery and The Dark Corner Blog

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by MARC G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2015 13:41:29
Great module it redefines the concept of undead! :D

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Joel B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2015 11:47:00
Death Frost Doom is a newly revised edition of a horror adventure. The title very accurately sets the prevailing mood, that's for sure. While written for OSR games such as Lamentations of the Flame Princess, it could easily be used with Dungeons & Dragons (any edition, really) or with your prefered d20/OSR game. With a bit of homework, it could be used with other games as well by tweaking the stat blocks and any of the prompts for saving throws.

It is a 66-page adventure written by James Raggi IV and Zak S. The cover art (in color) was done by Yannick Bouchard and the black and white interior illustrations, cartography and design were done by Jez Gordon. This is a review of the PDF edition.

The writing is conversational and clear. The layout, editing and typography are top-notch, making the text easy on the eyes despite the density of the content. The illustrations are wonderful and eerie: absolutely pitch-perfect for this module. Some of the full-page images slam you like sudden jump cuts in a horror film (the Referee gets an early preview of some of the terror that the players will encounter during the game). The maps are easy to understand and use. Overall an impressively well designed product.

The book begins with two maps: one for an exterior (and a small floorplan) and an interior dungeon map The former is keyed with letter, the latter with numbers (which was a nice idea for added clarity). As already mentioned, these are very well designed and easy to use.

There's a concise table of contents with obvious section headers. While some have titles that are more flavorful than practical, their meaning is clear (eg: "Hell vomits its filth", one of the last chapters before an Appendix of sorts, clearly implies a very messy, grim climax). The headers are each clickable and link to each section. Very nicely done.

We’re given a page of notes about this new edition by the two authors which includes some history of the adventure and insight into minds of its creators. Interesting stuff.

Then there's a page on how the Referee can use this module ("The Approach") which includes a few different possible options on how to get things started. After that, it jumps right into the first encounter with a very memorable NPC.

What I really liked about the structure of this first NPC encounter is that the author gives several options on how to use him (or her). There are roleplaying tips, a random table to dictate what he's doing when the PCs arrive at his home and a full page of "ifs" to cover just about any possible interaction. This approach of handling an NPC is really, really fun and memorable besides being a great method to bring in some ominous foreboding. I'm a huge fan of modules taking a "do-it-yourself" approach. With this sort of tool, one can determine all of the details before or during the game, either randomly or by choice. I like this a lot and I'm very inspired already.

As an aside, the cool thing about this module is the author's inclusion of suggested musical cues. That's a nice touch; I appreciate putting effort into preparing good music for a game session. When I run this, I'll follow this advice as closely as possible.

The first major location is the Graveyard. It is an open-ended and creepy place with all kinds of things that can happen to unsuspecting adventurers. There's a strong hint that bad things once happened there (and are about to happen again). There's lots to find or experience in this awful place: it is a great prelude to what comes next. The Cabin, which is totally an homage to a particular horror movie (three guesses which one), adds even further to the creepiness. There is a lot to find and interact with inside that weird place: players who like to tinker and prod at everything will be rewarded (and/or punished, depending on how you look at it). Really weird and neat encounters here: I would be sad if my players missed some of them. I'd probably include a hapless NPC ally or two as insurance (ie- to trigger some of these cool events if no one else takes the bait). These discoveries are not all negative: there are some beneficial things there too (or at the very worst: benignly WEIRD).

Next we get to the main dungeon, the Shrine, where the proverbial "shit" gets real. This is a very unique dungeon and it's a delight to read, so I'll omit any spoilers.

There are about thirty encounters in the Shrine (but more rooms than that number).

To start off, there's some clear advice on how to run this location: it is not a typical dungeon crawl. First of all, there's a time limit (that is measured in a really awesome and memorable way). A Referee really needs to keep track of this for maximum effectiveness. More on that later.

There are many things to explore and scrutinize here without referring to a character's skills or abilities (except if something triggers a nasty trap or evil supernatural forces). Being careless or reckless will likely spell doom for a PC; being clever and methodical is by far the safer and more interesting way to go about it.

My favorite example of this sort of thing is the Organ. I won't spoil it, but there are some really neat things built into this object. It ties into a feature of many of the other locations to a clever degree; the PCs will have reasons to return to it several times throughout the course of the dungeon. I'll absolutely delight in presenting this device to the players and getting excited trying to anticipate what they'll do. To me, that's a trait of a well-written adventure, right there.

There are so many things to do and objects to experiment with that my mind reels with the possibilities. Admittedly there are a few "gotcha!" moments but they are never dull or straightforward and they always add to the weird horror mood.

Many of the rooms have ominous triggers such as "If the dead have risen" which modify the encounters quite a bit. In essence, the party could go through most of the dungeon, trigger this conditional event and then work their way back through the same rooms very differently. It's a really effective technique.

Some of the key monsters provide fun possibilities for social interaction. None of them, as far as I can tell, are just there only to fight and kill. While interactions with the PCs may indeed lead to battle, this is not a certainty. Again, what a great idea: many undead monsters are not just mindless automatons, after all, but personalities with motivations (usually twisted). Several of these NPCs have had relationships, good or bad, with others of their kind, and if the conditions are right, encounters with them will be greatly affected by the PCs actions.

At last, near the end is the main event: what happens if certain conditions are met and how quickly (depending on that timer mentioned earlier). This is a BIG DEAL, tapping into the third word of the adventure's title (Doom). Potentially, this event could have a huge impact on your campaign whether or not it completely wipes out the party.

There is no happy ending for characters involved with this adventure, really. Even if they do survive, their world will be quite affected. With a bit of tweaking, the Referee could build a really cool post-apocalyptic setting on top of the previous one, though. If I run this with well-liked pre-established character, I may indeed go that route. I'd run it as-is with newly created PCs, though, as a one-shot.

At the end of the book there's a nice retrospective in which the original author (Raggi) talks about the first edition of Death Frost Doom and even includes some of the original artwork and maps. That was a nice thing to include.

Lastly there are a few player handouts, which are always nice to include.

Summary

This is an extremely well-written and fascinating adventure, even though it is quite grim and dangerous. Say what you will about the potentially lethal ending or the horrific themes: Death Frost Doom is the antithesis of boring or mundane. This is a very memorable adventure that oozes atmosphere.

I definitely recommend this adventure: even if you never run it (which would be a shame), you will be greatly inspired by the style and game-writing techniques. It is also a really fun read and the artwork is incredible.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Sean C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2014 13:21:48
The module "Death Frost Doom" should be exalted for its ability to conform to a number of different rule-sets. It's true that there's limited combat and the majority of the adventure is creating a setting, but that doesn't make it bad. I don't think that I would use this module in order to create a haunted setting that the characters would then have to trudge through for weeks on end, but rather a little one-shot. I used D&D 5th Edition to run this module with some players who haven't played the new rule-set. They grasped the concepts of the skills because DFD likes to set things up to be found and I ended up creating lore for people who just wanted to know more about certain set pieces more than the ones with detailed explanations.

As for changes to the module that I made: I ended up throwing in a small zombie horde (because who doesn't like those generic fights right?) to get the characters more experienced in the combat system of the new rule-set, but if you're playing with players who are familiar with the rule-set you're playing, I don't find any reason to change this module.

I couldn't finish this review without giving large amounts of props to the writer of Death Frost Doom. James Edward Raggi IV did an excellent job of making a module that gives the GM tools. He writes in these minute details for a good GM to use to his advantage, but even somebody inexperienced is provided with enough to understand what is meant by everything in the module. The way Raggi wrote DFD is almost like a conversation that he's having with the GM. He answers questions the second that they come up, he prefaces everything by giving you a viewpoint to better focus your proverbial GM lens, he even digs little holes for you to fill in with your own flare. This is truly a module that is meant for collaboration between Raggi and the GM rather than something that Gygax would write (not that there's anything wrong with box text and rigid settings. I grew up on that).

tl;dr-
This is a malleable module that works with a variety of different rule-sets. There won't be many changes that you'll feel are necessary unless they're specific to a campaign you're already running. The writing is respectful to the GM and provides them with more set pieces and descriptions than will ever come up in one session.

p.s. There's a small formatting issue when printing directly. The margins are like 2 inches so it makes for a LOT of pages when there isn't actually that much in the module. This ended up being around 30 pages printed. It provided one session's worth of material. My Gygax module in the same binder is 12 pages and provides about four sessions worth of material. It's a small issue that's hard to fix, but I recommend copying what you will use from the pdf into a notebook so that you don't kill too many trees or whatever.

p.p.s. I FORGOT TO MENTION THE WONDERFUL DUNGEON MAP. Okay now I'm done. Enjoy the module.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Robert A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2010 00:16:43
Creepy. And awesome. This product is very "rules-light" and very "flavor-heavy" so it can really be used for almost any version of D&D (or any other fantasy rpg) that you prefer for your game. Great story (very Lovecraftian in its horror)!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Kelly O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/23/2010 08:46:09
5 PCs, all 3rd level started the night. 1 made it home. All had a great time though.

This is a creepy, atmospheric site adventure. Officially written for 1e D&D, it easily converts to any system due to being mostly descriptions and events, rather than stat blocks. I ran it in Pathfinder and did most of the conversions on the fly.

It is combat light...as long as the players don't go poking around. If they go in determined to do what they came to do and make it out at no cost, they probably will. It is the curious, the stupid, and the morally inflexible who will not make it out alive.

Every trap has a logic behind it. Every encounter can be avoided. And most of my players, who do NOT take PC death well, all contacted me today to tell me how it was one of the best session of any campaign, any DM, they had ever had. The atmosphere of the first 3/4 of the adventure is just perfect. The players were getting up and pacing the room because they were to tense. They trusted NOTHING and kept waiting for the crud to hit the fan.

Certainly one of the best modules I've ran.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/14/2010 12:57:21
The core concept of this adventure is the classic discovery of a seat of ancient evil - one that is not too ancient to protest at being disturbed, of course. A tough adventure that can work for low level parties (up to 6th-level is suggested, although it may still be challenging for slightly higher levels), playtesters survived in the main by running away and at least in one case by cutting a deal they will probably live to regret!

To locate this adventure, all you need is a mountain that nobody dares to climb. If running as a stand-alone game, you can either read out the legend or have the characters discover it in nearby settlements to start them off, or it can be placed in a suitable area of an existing campaign world. It's also suitable if you need the characters to quest for an item... they'll get a bit of a surprise when they go to pick it up!

The adventure proper opens with a chance at a bit of role-playing and interaction, with a daft old coot who lives half-way up the mountain and has some passably useful information if the characters have the patience and tolerance to listen. Further up comes the adventure site itself, and from there on, it is classic dungeon crawl time. Plenty to trap the unwary or unlucky, some loot to gather and more undead than you can shake a stick at! All excellent poke around at your peril stuff.

As a bonus, there's a brief stand-alone adventure, The Tower, at the end. Who could resist a treasure map and a gold key engraved with a heart? If you go there, you probably will wish you had resisted, after all.

Classic 'old school' adventuring, well-presented and atmospheric, and with a coherent underlying rationale: everything is there for a purpose.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Death Frost Doom
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Colin C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2009 09:03:54
Oldskool horror, feels like an Evil Dead Dungeon Crawl. For 5 gp you're totally getting your monies worth!

I wish the rating meter went up to AWESOME!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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