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Tabletop Game / Felwinter

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A custom campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons, Felwinter opens with the heroes finding themselves stranded in the Grim Up North. What appears to be an inexplicably Crapsack World slowly reveals itself to be overrun with an Ancient Evil that was a result of Abusive Precursors seriously offending the Powers That Be. It falls upon the adventurers to find a way to lift the curse before an apocalyptic weather event known as the Felwinter brings about The End of the World as We Know It.


Felwinter brings together a slowly revealed Cataclysm Backstory along with elements of Cosmic Horror and Dark Fantasy. Leans heavily toward the cynicism side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, with many of the world's misfortunes a direct consequence of how Humans are Bastards. Also features the presence of lurking eldritch abominations.

Oh, and watch the ceiling.

Felwinter contains examples of:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The gnomish ruins, which fell long ago into abandonment and were overtaken by various eldritch creatures drawn from a portal in the heart of the ancient city.
  • The Alcoholic: Both Vadric and Huey are unapologetic drunks. Though Vadric gives up alcohol near the end of the campaign.
  • Animalistic Abomination:
    • Much of the wildlife encountered throughout Felwinter is a twisted, malevolent version of an otherwise harmless creature, and many abominations encountered take the recognizable form of an animal.
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    • The Speaker of the Hunt: the entity's evil so ancient and primordial that it assumes the form of a hideously malformed crow.
  • Animal Talk: Both Tamlyn and Safflower are able to communicate with the natural world.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The party eventually encounters one of these under the sway of a lich-cleric who believes he has found a way of accelerating the Felwinter.
  • Archer Archetype: Tamlyn, more or less.
  • Author Avatar: Rolf is a stand-in for the creator's player character from a prior campaign.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Alistair is resurrected by a friendly barbarian tribe after a lethal encounter with a frost giant.
    • Gabriel and Vadric are also resurrected after giving their lives during the siege of Silent Resolve.
  • Beneath the Earth: The frost gnomes fled underground to escape the original Felwinter cataclysm, and have lived there unbothered for centuries despite the horrors of the surface world.
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  • The Berserker: Rolf. Also, Gabriel whenever he faces great evil and Tamlyn whenever he faces drop goblins.
  • Big Bad: The Speaker of the Hunt, to a point. Though the true antagonist turns out to be a physical incarnation of the Felwinter itself, represented as three demons who stand as a manifestation of hunger, hatred, and frost respectively.
  • Big Eater: Bertram has a rather healthy appetite.
  • The Big Guy: Gabriel, but also Samson and Bertram.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The adventurers lift the curse from Felwinter and redeem humanity in the eyes of the celestials, though Rolf and Vadric gave their lives in the process.
  • Black Sheep: Vadric is considered the designated screwup of the Battlesunder Clan though he eventually dies a celebrated hero.
  • Blind Seer: The frost gnomes' elder soothsayer has cataracts over both her eyes.
  • Blood Knight: Rolf is a classic example of this - an oddly cheerful berserker who takes a simultaneously deranged and childlike joy in combat.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Speaker of the Hunt is either a vicar of extreme evil or obeys some primordial logic so alien as to be effectively inscrutable.
  • Boisterous Bruiser:
    • Rolf is remarkably jovial when not in the midst of chopping enemies to bits.
    • Samson is also a rather cuddly sort when he's not tearing the faces off assorted evil.
  • Burn Baby Burn: After discovering that the missing trappers from Quiet Hearth had been turned into food, the party burns the cannibal tribe's settlement to the ground.
  • Butt-Monkey: Vadric.
  • Creepy Crows: The Speaker of the Hunt is malevolent, strange, and highly intelligent at the same time.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Both Vadric and Rolf ascend to the heavens after death, honored by the celestials for sacrificing their lives while fighting the Manifestation of Felwinter.
  • Drunken Master: Vadric is an oddly competent fighter despite being near-constantly intoxicated.
  • Dumb Muscle: Gabriel.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The entirety of Felwinter exudes a sort of everpresent, frosty evil that influences living creatures and even weather patterns.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Vadric gets no end of grief for being a dwarf.
    • Played straightforward for the frost gnomes, who were the targets of pogroms and enslavement by human predecessors.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Vadric is called something unspeakably racist (by the reanimated skeleton of an ancient pogrom instigator, no less).
  • Finagle's Law: The campaign setting is rife with atrocities, and events often culminate in something horrifying/unsettling.
  • Forest Ranger: Tamlyn is an experienced woodsman and tracker who is so bonded to the land that he cannot sleep unless nestled in a tree.
  • Genius Bruiser: Alistair is a melee heavy with high intelligence, though he eventually begins to favor arcane mgic over direct combat.
  • Gentle Giant: Gabriel is 6'5 and unsparing in his pursuit of justice, though he also shows himself to be quite doting with children.
  • Genocide Backfire: The human predecessors' attempted genocide of the frost gnomes results in the near-complete destruction of human civilization.
  • Good Is Not Nice:
    • Gabriel is quite abrasive despite a notably virtuous and... rigid moral code.
    • The Celestials are revealed to be this in spades, with their retribution toward humanity so unsparing and harsh that they verge on Lawful Neutral.
  • Great Offscreen War: What happened in ancient history between humanity and the Celestials. You can guess who won.
  • Grim Up North: And how.
  • Groin Attack: Jaguar is rather fond of this.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am a Dwarf Today?: Subverted. Vadric receives no end of prejudice for being a dwarf, including from his comrades-in-arms.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tarek and Rolf, especially after they strike out on their own when Hope's Redoubt is nearly burned to the ground and Tarek's lover is killed in the process.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Vadric and Gabriel both give their lives in the defense of Silent Resolve.
    • Subsequently, Father Arias also gives his to resurrect them both under the dictates of the Celestials.
    • Rolf and Vadric (again) during the climactic battle.
  • Honor Before Reason: Gabriel is a man of profound convictions and... "limited" intelligence.
  • Horror Hunger: The adventurers are ambushed by a hunting party that intended to make them dinner, so to speak. It is later revealed that the attackers belonged to a tribe of pale-skinned, degenerated humans that the Speaker of the Hunt compelled to cannibalism.
  • Human Sacrifice: Implied in multiple situations, including when the parties encounter a cult under the sway of an eldritch abomination while scouring the ancient gnome ruins.
  • Jump Scare: Drop goblins. You're never safe.
  • King in the Mountain: King Oerik is trapped in the northernmost mountain in Felwinter, known as the Peak of the World, as punishment for his crimes.
  • Last of His Kind: The Gray Ridge orc tribe encountered near the start of the campaign were revealed to be among the last orcs in all of Felwinter, with all others either having been driven insane or perishing from the frost.
  • Lost Technology: The power cores that the Celestials once gifted to the frost gnomes.
  • Lovable Coward: Safflower is somewhat averse to combat, yet one of the more level-headed and reasonable members of the party.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The Speaker of the Hunt grows distended limbs and massive claws when forced to engage in combat.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Jaguar, Bertram, Samson, and Zuul.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Speaker of the Hunt. In a pretty unsettling way, at that.
  • Multishot: Tamlyn can sometimes shred an entire enemy line before they get within melee range.
  • Nature Hero: Tamlyn, and also Safflower.
  • Nature Lover: Tamlyn. In some ways quite literally.
  • Odd Couple: Tarek and Rolf are a quiet half-elf ranger and an unhinged dwarven berserker respectively. Somehow, some way, they appear to get along fantastically.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Speaker of the Hunt transforms into an even more horrific and eldritch form when forced to engage in combat.
    • Gol'Run, the Gray Ridge Orc chieftain, rises as a werewolf after his physical form is struck down.
  • The Omnipresent: The Speaker of the Hunt seems somewhat capable of this, appearing to the party at various points throughout the campaign.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins native to Felwinter are feral, highly aggressive, and prone to ambushing from above.
  • Patron Saint Gabriel achieves sainthood after giving his life in defense of Silent Resolve.
  • Quirky Bard: Huey is a drunken ne'er do-well who grinds his pelvis against the remains of fallen enemies... and is also a surprisingly competent bard.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Tamlyn after repeated drop goblin ambushes.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Vadric and Alistair eventually fashion helms from white dragon skulls.
  • Slave Liberation: The frost gnomes, with assistance from the Celestials, staged an insurrection against their human persecutors that included retributive assassinations.
  • Snow Means Death: Pretty much a constant.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Gabriel, especially after delivering furious justice.
  • Squishy Wizard: Subverted somewhat with Alistair, who is less vulnerable than most magic users.
  • Talking Animal: Bertram, though his vocabulary is somewhat limited.
  • The Smart Guy: Tamlyn and Alistair are the obvious brains of the story.
  • There Are No Therapists: Sadly, Tamlyn lacks a support group to manage his uncontrollable rage toward ceiling-borne goblinoids.
  • Tragic Villain: Chieftan Gol'run of the Gray Ridge Tribe reveals that he and his orcs were driven out of their ancestral home, and that much of their hostility towards the settlers at Hope's Redoubt was a result of desperation.
    • King Oerik, somewhat. Having spent centuries trapped in a mountain and forced to watch as everything he knew was destroyed, he's a broken and guilt-ridden man who realized the evil of his actions far too late.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Gabriel, who is more or less a walking metaphor for sexual frustration.

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