Alongside the launch of the latest Dungeons & Dragons adventure book, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, Wizards of the Coast has released a themed dice set. Coming with 11 dice, 20 illustrated character and monster cards, two dice trays and a double sided map of Icewind Dale, there is plenty of content in the set. However, who is this dice set aimed at and does it offer what they need? Let’s find out!
As predominantly the set is about the dice they are a good place to start. The set comes with an almost full set of dice. Midnight blue in colour they sparkle with aurora like colouring, which comes directly from the adventure setting, with etched silver numbers. They are slightly transparent allowing some light through, adding to the stunning look. Included are two d20s, one d12, two d10s, one d8, four d6s, and one d4.
While somewhat stating the obvious, the two d10s are both standard d10s. Normally, these sets include one d10 of values 0 – 9 and the other is a percentage die with values 00 – 90. There isn’t a percentage die included, which players can get around but is a bit of an oversight with the set. Having two d20s is always a plus though, making the likes of advantage and disadvantage rolls simpler. The d20s aren’t oversized and they also do not feature the D&D ampersand in place of the 20, which have been used in other official D&D dice sets.
The included dice are plastic so they are relatively lightweight, especially if you are used to the heaviness of metal dice. For the price point though, with the rest of the included content, metal dice wouldn’t be possible. When it comes to weight this is certainly a personal preference. Some will lean towards heavy dice as somehow the weight of the dice can add to the weight of the importance of the roll, with others not caring and just wanting the dice to roll well.
From what player will be rolling to what they are rolling into, as the set has two felt lined dice trays. Having two to hand can be very useful for a Dungeon Master (DM) to keep check rolls in, for monster perceptions etc., keeping them apart from any other rolls. Most will probably want to pass one out to another player during a session, enabling more than one person around the table to have something to roll into. As satisfying as it is to roll dice and see them bounce across the table, inevitably some go off the table. A dice tray allows a player to still roll hard and not have to keep picking dice up off the floor or stretching across the table. The felt does mean you don’t get the normal clatter of dice but it’s isn’t completely gone either, just deafened. As a way to store the parts of the set the two trays combine, with one being the lid for the other. You can store quite a bit in with the dice. A player could easily fit some item cards, their character mini if laid down and a rather folded character sheet.
The remainder of the content is more aimed towards DMs, though the map is player friendly. As a player I often struggle visualising a map in my head, making it an epic inclusion in the set. Replicating the large poster-like map found in the back of the Rime of the Frostmaiden adventure book, this is smaller in size (measuring 10.5″ by 15.75″), though it is still double sided. On one side it features Icewind Dale, while the reverse has maps of Ten-Towns – each with an important location or two labelled. For those with the adventure book having the same map again might not seem useful, though having the ability to pass a smaller map around the table to players is more convenient at times.
The final part of the set is a selection of 20 illustrated cards, featuring monsters and characters players may encounter throughout the Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign. These are not exactly player friendly and many DMs won’t want their players to know what could come their way. Nothing is in massive plot spoiler territory but it depends if DMs want to keep things a complete mystery until the adventurers come across them. These cards are all from the viewpoint of Drizzt, the rather famous Drow ranger that appeared in The Crystal Shard novel, which was also set in Icewind Dale. The artwork will certainly help players, utilizing theatre of the mind to play, to visualise the depicted characters and monsters. Note that the artwork on the cards is also found in the Rime of the Frostmaiden adventure book, so it is not unique to the dice set cards.
So who is the Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden dice set aimed at? The majority of the content can be used by players, offering a great dice and tray combo, with the trays doubling as a box for the set. Adventurers that don’t mind mild spoilers can enjoy the illustrated cards, otherwise it is something you’d own but not want to see. For DMs getting to run the campaign of Rime of the Frostmaiden then all of the content will be both useful and used. It makes less sense to get the set if you’re not getting the adventure book. Despite giving a glimpse into the snowy lands, via the map and characters, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, much of the extra content on top of the dice and trays would be worthless. The set has nothing groundbreaking, that hasn’t been seen in previous sets. Still, it is a great set for those looking to jump into the Rime of the Frostmaiden setting, as for them it can be so much more than just stunning, sparkly dice.
(Editor’s Note: The Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Dice Set was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. The set is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)