As George R. R. Martin is fond of saying: “winter is coming” and with it, a host of massive annoyances fun winter activities! Winter can also bring new and interesting challenges to your game. Here’s a selection of fun winter challenges and features to drop into your next session:
Ice wizards: Many games have lots of spells that can be ice themed or re-skinned to ice themes. These spells often include a variety of direct damage, control, and zone placement making Ice wizards fun to confront. Ice wizards are also excellent keepers of wintry lore so they can be good information sources with tense negotiations.
Ice sprites: Ice sprites can be powerful and capricious, with all the powers of an ice wizard plus any other powers you want to stack on top: flight, possession, auras of cold, etc. While they can be appeased, their chaotic nature makes dealing with them peacefully nerve wracking at best.
Ice mazes: Mazes are a common RPG trope, though they tend to be used sparingly because they carry a high frustration factor. A winter themed adventure is the perfect time to include one because there’s a nice synergy between the two concepts. First the slick ice walls make going over more of a challenge than usual, strong frigid winds can make flying over more difficult, and exposure damage adds a time factor that puts stress on the challenge.
Ice flow jumps: What would a winter adventure be without a challenge to jump from ice flow to ice flow over a frigid river? Like ice mazes, strong winds and exposure damage can make these more difficult for advanced parties, but smart play (roping each other off, sending over the skilled character to anchor a guide rope, etc…) can make these challenges easier.
Block puzzles: More a video game than tabletop trope, wintry adventures provide the perfect opportunity for sliding block puzzles, even one as simple as building a staircase out of ice blocks. These can also include a prerequisite challenge to deal with traction and exposure problems (attaining special boots and gloves for example).
Ice minions: Ice minions are a varied bunch from the deadly (ice golems, winter wolves) to the comical (mini snowmen and snow cone ice crabs), every icy villain worth his rock salt has a cadre of minions to do his frosty bidding.
What winter challenges did I miss? What are your favorite Winter spells? Most adorable winter minions? Let me know what you think in the comments below.