One of the great things about the Kings and Kingdoms Adventure Path is that it really offers a chance for wilderness-based characters to shine. Animal companion? Great! Special mount? Perfect! Bonuses against plants and animals and fey? Just what we need! Character concepts that sometimes get straitjacketed in urban or dungeon or plane-hopping adventures instead are set up for success in this AP.
Cold Mountain takes advantage of being at a relative sweet spot in character levels where a challenging environment can be its own adversary for the PCs. They have enough skills and resources that exploring the wild wilderness is not a death sentence, but it’s no walk in the park either. For those who follow the kill counts and obituaries for this AP, the number of deaths due to wandering monsters is staggering! More to the point, PCs at this level are still in the throes of exploring, and this adventure offers a truly wild and remote feel but with the opportunity to open up this land to civilization, for good and for ill.
Looking into a sweeping vista of pristine natural beauty brings home the opportunity that exploration brings… and also makes the sense of danger that much more keen when things begin to go terribly wrong.
Not every preview needs to be a glimpse at the dramatic and violent. Sometimes a bit of simple introspection and beauty tells you all you need to know. Cold Mountain is a tragic tale, but one your players will remember for its haunting beauty as much as for its deadly dangers.