G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (1978)

G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl is the sequel to the G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. If you played the first one, you likely got to this one by grabbing a magical chain and – poof – getting teleported to the snowy wastes. Who cares about rest and recovery when there’s more
monsters to kill, right?

Glacial Rift is maybe my favorite of the three giant modules. It is, again, shockingly thin at eight pages. Where Steading featured earthy monsters like orc, trolls and carrion crawlers, everything here fits into the theme of “cold” monsters. Gygax was a big proponent of this kind of ecology,
trying to populate dungeons with monsters that could co-exist. It works to a certain point – I can see frost giants sharing space with yeti and winter wolves, but why house a rhemoraz or tolerate white puddings? Just because they all live in the cold, doesn’t mean it makes sense for them to live together. Still, it was a step in the right direction and eventually led to believable
dungeon ecologies that would appear in later D&D products, like Dragon Mountain and Night Below, or RuneQuest scenarios, like Snake Pipe Hollow and Borderlands.

I might be thinking too deeply about a scenario obviously designed to focus on killing and looting, of course. And there is some mighty fine killing to be done and loot to be found in the rift. I remember it so clearly, my thief skulking through frozen halls. I wonder what that thief is up
to now. I bet he really wants to descend into the depths of the earth, a wish that could be fulfilled conveniently with module D1! (in case my DM, Hambone, is reading this…)

Oh, and, kidding aside, dig that close-up of the rhemoraz that Dave Trampier delivered. I had no idea they had mustaches!

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