Land of the Frost Giants

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Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Havard » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:22 pm

This label is found to the north of Io's Blood Isles on the map from the Council of Wyrms Boxed Set.

What is known about this land?

How would you use it in a Council of Wyrms game?

What creatures might be found here besides Frost Giants?

What source books might be useful for expanding on this region?

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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Angelika Tatsu » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:14 am

Havard wrote:What source books might be useful for expanding on this region?
I am not that familiar with Council of Wyrms. I used to own the Box Set and the hardcover but had to sell them many moons ago. Anyway, here's my two cents on this.

For a land concerning frost giants, I am sure that Frostburn would come in handy. Giantcraft, a Forgotten Realms 2E book, might prove to be useful. Against The Giants (1E) and Storms Kings Thunder would be good modules to use. For STK, some finagling would be necessary to adapt it from Storm Giants to Frost Giants, but still doable. I am not familiar with ATG so I am not sure how much work it would be to convert it from the intended rule-set to another.
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:19 am

Havard wrote:What creatures might be found here besides Frost Giants?


White dragons are most likely to be going up against frost dragons. I forget which, if any, metallic dragons are cold loving. And I don't know if any of the gem dragons are cold loving, but I would have guessed that there would be metallic dragons and gem dragons in the north who could come to blows with frost giants.

The SRD has some rules for Arctic Races and I think it could be reasonable to use the variations on the humanoid races that CoW uses. It shouldn't be too hard to compare these to 2nd Edition variant races to see how to retroconvert any of them. :)
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby The Dark » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:30 am

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:What creatures might be found here besides Frost Giants?


White dragons are most likely to be going up against frost dragons. I forget which, if any, metallic dragons are cold loving. And I don't know if any of the gem dragons are cold loving, but I would have guessed that there would be metallic dragons and gem dragons in the north who could come to blows with frost giants.

The SRD has some rules for Arctic Races and I think it could be reasonable to use the variations on the humanoid races that CoW uses. It shouldn't be too hard to compare these to 2nd Edition variant races to see how to retroconvert any of them. :)
Only gold doesn't prefer temperate or warmer climes among the metallics (gold are "any"). Silver are immune to cold, but their climate listing is "Tropical, sub-tropical, temperate".

Among the gems, amethyst like cold lakes, crystal like cold mountains, sapphire are any subterranean, and topaz are cold seacoast. They also will all live in temperate lands, but those are the ones that list cold in their climate description. The crystal and topaz dragons would be particularly apt, since they are immune to normal cold.

Frost giant lands would also seem to be a good place to insert linnorms.
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:23 pm

The Dark wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:What creatures might be found here besides Frost Giants?


White dragons are most likely to be going up against frost dragons. I forget which, if any, metallic dragons are cold loving. And I don't know if any of the gem dragons are cold loving, but I would have guessed that there would be metallic dragons and gem dragons in the north who could come to blows with frost giants.

The SRD has some rules for Arctic Races and I think it could be reasonable to use the variations on the humanoid races that CoW uses. It shouldn't be too hard to compare these to 2nd Edition variant races to see how to retroconvert any of them. :)
Only gold doesn't prefer temperate or warmer climes among the metallics (gold are "any"). Silver are immune to cold, but their climate listing is "Tropical, sub-tropical, temperate".

Among the gems, amethyst like cold lakes, crystal like cold mountains, sapphire are any subterranean, and topaz are cold seacoast. They also will all live in temperate lands, but those are the ones that list cold in their climate description. The crystal and topaz dragons would be particularly apt, since they are immune to normal cold.

Frost giant lands would also seem to be a good place to insert linnorms.


What are linnorms?
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Havard » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:31 pm

Big Mac wrote:What are linnorms?


Linnorm is an old Scandinavian word that means more or less the same thing as dragon or serpent.

I know an old issue of Dragon Magazine presented Linnorms as dragon-like monsters for AD&D 2nd Edition. I dont know if they appeared in later editions as well?

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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby ripvanwormer » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:17 am

Havard wrote:I know an old issue of Dragon Magazine presented Linnorms as dragon-like monsters for AD&D 2nd Edition. I dont know if they appeared in later editions as well?


Linnorms were introduced in a two-part article in Dragon #182 and #183, and reprinted in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One.

In 3rd edition, they were in the Monster Manual II, and in "The Ecology of the Linnorm" in Dragon #356.

In the Pathfinder RPG, the Pathfinder Bestiary has the crag linnorm, ice linnorm, and tarn linnorm. The Bestiary 3 includes the cairn linnorm, fjord linnorm, taiga linnorm, and tor linnorm. Lands of the Linnorm Kings details a unique linnorm named Fafnheir.

Briefly, linnorms are wingless, serpentine dragons, more bestial than true dragons.
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:20 am

I was convinced that Drakes and Linnorns were the same thing in D&D...
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Coronoides » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:43 am

I've started sifting through the PDF (search 'frost') for all the canon information on CoW Frost Giants and compiling it into a short essay of canon information (only). About half way through give me a few days
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Coronoides » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:27 am

Land of the Frost Giants (summary of canon information)
References: CWA book 1 in boxed set, CWB book 2, CWC book3, C card. So CWB65 is page 65 of book 2 and C9 is card number 9.
Frost giants are a major foe in the boxed set and therefore a summary of the giants and thier cold homeland will be of use to the DM. Other than being a coastline and blank spot on the map what do we know for sure about this region? A search of the boxed set uncovers the following information. We are told that even the dragons know very little about this land (CWB7). This is a big indicator that you can create many details yourself as needed.
Culture
Frost giant technology is at least Iron Age in sophistication. They use armour and shields fashions from white dragon hides and put white dragon hides to a number of other uses (CWC34). A typical frost giant warrior is armed with a giant sized spear and boulders for throwing (CWC43). They fashion tools and ropes (CWC42) and use these to build ships, ballistas (including double versions CWC44) and furniture (CWC43). The ships must be huge, the ships carry smaller ‘launches’ that can transport 12 frost giants to the shore (CWC26, 29). Certainly, these ships are bigger than any vessel built by dragon vassals (CWC32). As for dwellings frost giant lairs within the Io’s Blood’s northern isles can be hidden within frozen caves but this might not be typical of settlements on the giant homeland (CWC34). The bulk of the frost giants of both genders live together in a single large barracks with tents for privacy (CWC43), giants of both genders are equally capable warriors (CWC43, 45). A typical hidden base houses more than 30 frost giant adults (CWC43). Whole tribes of ogre hirelings might be present in these hidden outposts (CWC37) and there are likely to be dragon slaves (CWC37). Such cave complexes are often homes to native ice toads, winter wolves and yetis with whom the giants must come to an understanding with (CWC40, 43). The giants hiding in the Io’s Blood are very careful to conceal their presence. Dock for ships are hidden within large caverns (CWC39) and even refuse is kept in a cavern rather than dumped in the ocean (CWC37). The centre of the settlement is the Great Hall where the chief has his throne with a table for his advisors near it. The hall also functions as a common room for the giants (CWC44). Near the hall are the quarters of the chief and his wives (CWC45). Frost giant chiefs (at least) are polygamous.
Their society is sufficiently complex for individuals to hold social ranks, we know ‘raiding chief’ or perhaps just ‘chief’ is a rank (CWC16). A chief commands a number of Frost Giant Ships (CWC32, 34). Despite this they are unlikely to be highly stratified because of their chaotic evil alignment (CWC29). The chief is advised by a Shaman who is also the communities spiritual leader (CWC44). We have at least one male frost giant name ‘Odifal’ (CWC16). There are also somewhat sophisticated economic systems. They mint their own gold coins (CWC13).
Leisure time is spent playing game and other lazy activities (CWC43). Meals include stews and roasted meats (CWC44).
Flora and Fauna
Frost giants have domesticated winter wolves (CWC43). The northern islands of the Io’s Blood chain are home to numerous creatures that are also likely to be found in the nearby Land of the Frost Giants. These include remorhaz, wild winter wolves, ice trolls, and yeti (CWC32, 34, 42), white puddings (CWC41), ice toads (CWC43) and more (see Card 9 for arctic encounter tables).
International Relations
Antagonism between frost giants and dragons has a long history. Even prior to the invasion of the Dragonslayers there were minor invasions by Frost Giants (CWB7). White dragons and Frost Giants battle frequently (CWA28).
Frost giants are slavers and sea raiders. Frost giant raiders can be found wandering the arctic plains and coasts of the northern most isles of the dragons looking for dragons to enslave (CWB8 C9). They also take vassals who they can sell to ice troll tribes (CWC41). There is likely to be at least one hidden giant lair in Glacianta (CWC29). Clan Starlight in particular is often raided by frost giants from across the sea looking for young crystal dragons to be beasts of burden and food (CWB17) but Clan Frostwind have suffered the most from recent giant raids (CWC33). Raids can occur as far south as Majyst Isle (CWC16) and travellers need to wary of Frost Giant ships and raiders even in temperate coastal regions (C9). Rarely, the raiders can be found venturing even further south or inland (C10). Therefore, even those far to the south can fall foul of the frost giant slave trade. The frost giants are in secretly in league with vassals in the Io’s Blood chain who spy for the giants (CWC16, 21) and some tribes of ogres from whom they buy stolen dragon eggs and wrymlings (CWC6). For their part many of the ogres are torn between mis-trust of the slaving frost giants and greed for giant gold (CWC9,13). The ogres are responsible for transporting the slaves at least some of the way north before handing them over to the frost giants (CWC13).
Even though the slaver raids are problem there is the potential for the giants to become a greater threat. The frost giants are an obvious ally for any foreign enemy of dragons (CWC30). If an outsider could influence the frost giant chiefs into cooperating and improve the giant’s training in warfare the frost giants might be able to take and hold one of the northern dragon isles using a combined navy of giant ships from a number of chiefs (CWC35).
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:59 am

Zeromaru X wrote:I was convinced that Drakes and Linnorns were the same thing in D&D...


That's an interesting conclusion. What led you to that? Do we have one (or more) D&D editions where the D&D stats for Drakes and Linnorns are virtually identical?

The Ice Drake in the Pathfinder book Tome of Horrors Complete (which is based on the 3rd Edition version that seems to be some sort of licensed conversion of pre-3e monsters) has a flight speed. The various Drakes in Draconomicon also have flying speeds.

Ripvanwormer suggested that Linnorms were wingless, serpentine dragons, so I'm wondering if Linnorms would be able to fly (without wings). If that's the case, we would be talking of two different creatures.

But I guess they could be fairly closely related, like slugs and snails are.
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:14 pm

Coronoides wrote:I've started sifting through the PDF (search 'frost') for all the canon information on CoW Frost Giants and compiling it into a short essay of canon information (only). About half way through give me a few days


Amazing work Coronoides.

It looks like this would be a great opportunity for a Council of Wyrms adventure path.

Eberron had an ancient giant empire on the continent Xen'Drik. I wonder if there is some Eberron material in Secrets of Xen'Drik (or another Eberron product) that could be raided and rebooted to work with Council of Wyrms.

The giant ships, that go out on slave raids, are just begging for support for nautical Council of Wyrms campaigns. Deck plans would be great, if someone could work out how big to make those ships and launches you mentioned. Someone in the SJ community (I can't remember if it was Night Druid of Auld Dragon) was saying how big Spelljamming ships are mobile dungeons. Whoever it was, that would certainly be the case with frost giant slave ships. You have a nasty place full of frost giants (and maybe some of the ogres that work for them) and the PCs can be motivated to go there to rescue NPCs.

The concept of frost giant vassals working as spies is a great one, especially if you have enslaved dragons working for the frost giants.

And an actual invasion, of one of the islands, would be a big world-changing event.

It's all good stuff. :cool:
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Coronoides » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:10 am

The book 3 of the boxed has a map with frost giant ships on it. From this we can tell the ships are 250 feet long and 100 feet across the beam. These ships carry the launches which are smaller but hold 12 giants so still big by elf standards.
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Re: Land of the Frost Giants

Postby Big Mac » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:46 pm

Coronoides wrote:The book 3 of the boxed has a map with frost giant ships on it. From this we can tell the ships are 250 feet long and 100 feet across the beam. These ships carry the launches which are smaller but hold 12 giants so still big by elf standards.


Thanks. I'll have to check those out. (They might double up as spelljamming ships. :) )
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