d12 Unusual Cold Weather Events & Items

1. Transparent snow – the ice and snow of a hidden region, or which falls in response to some magical event, is unusually translucent, so much so that one can see completely through it. In fact, it has a lower reflection coefficient than glass, meaning it does not even glare in the sun. Local snow kobolds fashion dwellings from blocks of the substance, giving rise to the aphorism “those who live in ice houses shouldn’t prepare traps which throw stones”.

2. Reverse snow – under the right circumstances, a particular body of water will form snow at its surface. This snow then rises gently upward, eventually forming low clouds which are easily pushed along by the wind. Supposedly the clouds are dense enough for people to walk on them – but only the ground-facing surface of the cloud. Weight placed on the upper surface will fall through, as with any other cloud. What’s the duration on that reverse gravity scroll again…?

3. Rubber snow – it’s like a bouncy house that lasts for three months. Great fun for kids, but it’s miserable for shoveling.

4. Rainbow snow – not only is it visually interesting, in the right hands this substance can be used by casters who already know how to cast multicolor magic (color spray, prismatic spells, etc.) to cast such an effect without using their own spell slots or without having to have the spell currently memorized. This works once per spell level, once per snowfall – that is, a caster could cast one 1st-level multicolor spell, plus a 2nd-level multicolor spell, and on up to the highest spell level known, once each until the next melt. Make your own yellow snow jokes.

5. Sage storm – a terrible blizzard whose winds will howl an answer to any question shouted into it. The truth or folly of the answer depends upon the direction of the wind.

6. Attenuating aurora – when magic items are left on a mountaintop altar beneath the northern lights, entities slip down from the curtains of light to lay their dweomer-laden touch upon the objects. A new magical effect might be added, or charges might be restored. This is an exercise in trust; the objects must be left overnight without guard or watch, or the entities will not appear. There is a 1 in 12 chance that the item will be taken instead, having caught the interest of an entity or having been considered fair payment for services rendered (even if those services were rendered to people other than the owner of that particular item).

7. Flying toboggan – because flying carpets don’t like the cold. The user(s) must accelerate to at least thirteen meters per second on a downhill run and catch air to activate the enchantment.

8. Pick of Frigid Ascent – a magical icepick which will produce pitons made of force energy when the blunt end is struck against an icy surface. The pitons have no set duration, but they will vanish if the medium into which they are hammered thaws.

9. Pouch of Sand of Sure Grip – sand, salt, or any other rough, granular substance may is placed within this pouch. When “cured” for one day and one night, a pinch of the substance may be drawn and cast upon the ground, where it will spread to cover an area of 3 square meters. This area is shaped as the pouch’s user desires. The coefficient of friction of the affected region is greater than 1, ensuring a non-slip surface.

10. Chisel of Icecraft – when this chisel is used with a hammer to carve ice into the shape of nonliving matter, the ice is transmuted to become the item whose shape has been carved into the ice. If the carved item is exposed to a source of warmth, the outer surface will melt away, revealing the real item beneath. Ordinary nonliving matter can be created in this fashion, including nonliving organic matter like food or rope. Living beings may be carved, providing appropriate spells are also applied to animate the carving. This item is sometimes used to create caches (or traps) which will remain in ice form until someone comes along to warm them up. Resourceful users might carve flint and steel, kindling, and firewood so that they can make a fire even on a featureless ice plain.

11. Wind-Wolf Harness – this harness is meant to be rigged to a dogsled. When the command word is spoken, wolfish constructs made of wind will fill the harness and draw the sled as a well-trained team, responding to commands with alacrity. They are the size of normal wolves, but each can pull as much weight as a horse. As a bonus, ordinary dogs who are harnessed with this item gain two-way empathic communication with their driver.

12. Shield of Frost – when carried, this shield creates a freezing aura about the user which deals 1d4 damage to anyone who comes within the aura, such as melee attackers. The user is not granted immunity to the aura, which means only those already resistant or immune to cold can benefit from the device.

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