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What are some books that people would recommend for quality material on an arctic / polar campaign setting / region / site?

System neutral, though specifically in the traditional D&D medieval / high fantasy time period.

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4 Answers 4

Ones I own:

Frostburn, by WotC, is a D&D 3.5e specific book all about arctic adventuring. Here's a review which breaks down the contents in detail; it has some d20 cold rules and then the usual crop of feats and monsters and prestige classes that were de rigeur for any WotC 3.5e product.

To my mind slightly better is Frost & Fur, a d20 product by Monkeygod Enterprises; I liked most of their stuff. It does a better job with environment and hazards; many of the Frostburn ones were "made up semi-magical stuff" instead of ones drawn from real life, and I prefer the latter.

Beyond The Mountains of Madness isn't medieval fantasy, it's a mega-adventure for Call of Cthulhu with just scads of info on Antarctica and polar gear, survival, etc. You can't talk about arctic and RPGs without mentioning it. It could easily be adapted into a fantasy game.

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The Arctic Environment by the Brothers Keith (J Andrew Keith and William H. Keith) for Classic Traveller. Supposed to have been released by FFE on one of the Apocrypha CD's (ISTR Apocrypha 1)

They also did two others in the series: The Desert Environment and The Undersea Environment.

All three are just mechanics for how to handle it.

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The Great Glacier is a D&D supplement about both arctic adventuring in general and a specific glacial/arctic region that is nominally placed in the Forgotten Realms, but which is trivially portable to any setting you'd like or used by itself. It was published for AD&D 2nd edition, but the nature of the material makes it mostly system-agnostic, and what isn't is easily adapted to one's system of choice.

From the back of the book:

"A village is only as livable as its surroundings. We are caretakers not only of our homes, but of our world." —Inum

Strange sentiments, perhaps, from one who lives in what many perceive as a frozen wasteland, but the philosopher Inum speak for the Ulutiun people of the Great Glacier. Their tribes share that icy landscape with arctic dwarves who enjoy sun-bathing, sled-animals that are hardier than dogs, and fierce monsters that live nowhere else - and thrive in the freezing air.

The Great Glacier is the first supplement for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting to detail an Inuit-based culture. In this booklet is fact-based information on building a snow-house, suviving in sub-zero temperatures for extended periods of time, and more ideas for fantasy campaigning in an arctic setting. For those who are tired of the normal, temperate, "you-meet-in-the-tavern-and-proceed-to-go-adventuring" games, here's something completely different.

Even better, the PDF used to be available as a free download from Wizards of the Coast's site (the links since broken due to WotC's unbearable habit of regular site reorganisations), so the PDF is out there if you look. Second-hand print copies are also easy to come by; search for the name with the product code for best results: FR14 The Great Glacier.

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Cold Roads for Arrowflight, by Deep7. Pretty much system specific, but a very interesting fantasy setting in Arrowflight, and Cold Roads details a very interesting subsetting.

Ice Goblins, pseudo-norsemen, and wind-sleds. Gotta love it.

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