I am currently planning a adventure in the north of Faerun around Neverwinter / Icewind Dale / Silverymoon. The adventure should take place somewhere between Eleint 1371 DR and Hammer 1372 DR. As it will be winter and heavy snow fill have fallen, the party has to cope with not being able to travel around easily. I really want to make it a challenge to come from one point to another, contrary to our usual more south based adventures in the Heartlands where travelling is quite easy. Now, I'm stuck with how to make the travels challenging (they have to think of a way to do so) but not impossible. I've tried to find descriptions on how the people up there travel during winter. I've so far only found that there is are sledge dogs between Silverymoon and Sundabar on the river when it is frozen.

So, what I plan is that the group starts in Neverwinter, have to go up to Ten Towns and there into the Spine of the World. From there they've to reach Silverymoon. So the question is how to travel?

I've so far come up with:

  • Neverwinter to Icewind Dale:
    • By ship til Fireshear (farther in the north is too dangerous due to the Sea Of Moving Ice) and from there, depending on the weather, by dog sledge or afeet (Horse should IMHO already get difficult).
    • They could also travel by land along the sea to Luskan and continue north. What rides would be possible during that time?
  • Ten Towns to Spine:
    • Sledges? Don't really know.
  • Icewind Dale to Silverymoon:
    • They could use the way back they've taken up. Sledges to Fireshear and then a ship to Neverwinter. Does anybody know when the harbours freeze? Is there any lore about this? Now comes the question how to get from Neverwinter to Silverymoon in winter?
    • I think another way could be with the ship down to Waterdeep, there take another ship up the river to Yartar. Which comes to the same problem as before: how to get from Yartar to Silverymoon.
    • Over the Spine of the World, this should IMHO be impossible, i.e. suicidal?!
    • Again ashore along the sea, but as it's later in the year, it should be more difficult. But how?

So, I try to come up with how to do this in case they don't have an idea but also to be able to evaluate if their (usually crazy) ideas are ok. Does anybody know a lore book where it is explained how travel works when there's more than a little snow?

We're playing with the Pathfinder rules in Faerûn. I'm not really versatile with 5e rules and lore but open to suggestions from there.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear what specifically you're asking for. Idea generation questions aren't really suited to a Q&A-style site like RPG.SE. However, if you have specific questions about whether there's lore about a certain place, or whether a particular method of transport is possible, those might be appropriate as separate questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 23:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry if I wasn't clear. The short question is "What is in the lore of Faerun about travelling in the north during winter when there is a meter and more of snow, specially on the Route Neverwinter -> Ten Towns -> Spine of the World -> Silverymoon". \$\endgroup\$
    – Shade
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 0:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What are the level, classes and resources of the characters? If they have access to a Carpet of Flying or other means of flying, for example, the snow depth is irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shade: You might want to trim down the tangential details, or at least reorganize your question to emphasize that that is the question. The easiest way to do this might be to simply edit in the exact question from that comment into the end of your question, with bold formatting or similar to make it clearly visible. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


Ghoste rothe

Reading the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting for 3.0 (FRCS), there is a section on page 80 discussing mounts.

For humans, horses and mules are the most popular mounts for almost all purposes. In unusual situations such as aerial travel, Underdark travel and extreme climates, folk favour griffons or pegasi, riding lizards and camels in deserts or ghost rothe in the frozen wastes.

Ghost rothe would appear to be the most setting-appropriate low-level way to travel across snow or ice. Who wouldn't want to travel over the frozen ground on a massive albino bison? Granted, you probably want a druid and/or ranger to get them, since they are instinctively allergic to being trapped (p313-314). However, other options include...

  • If you want to fly over the ground instead of travelling along it then flying mounts are also an option according to the quoted section, unless you as GM wish to rule that these are prohibitively expensive or unavailable.

  • Difficult/dangerous options that are supported by the setting include Portals, both linked and networked (see p59-61 of FRCS), the Underdark (p210-214 FRCS) or some combination of portals and Underdark travel.

  • If the characters are sufficiently high level then there are a host of spells available to allow flight and/or teleport, although the latter requires detailed knowledge of their destination.

Other options that are not explicitly supported by the setting information but are covered within Pathfinder include:

  • Dog sleds and sleighs - see p 86-87 in Ultimate Equipment for Pathfinder.

  • Snowshoes - see p89, 91 in Ultimate Equipment for Pathfinder.


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