Friday, December 14, 2018

Making Christmas Special

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The older I get the more fun I have at Christmas time with ideas for role-playing. I was brave enough a couple of years ago to publish a RPG zine called The Santa Lands, and it worked out nicely. All the prints that were up for sale were sold. The PDF does a few sale sales throughout the year with a handful, it seems, around X-Mas if you include November and January. So making Christmas "specials" with as little investment as an author can afford is worth the investment. But I am thinking more about making the Christmas season a special time for my table-toppings.

Christmas is definitely a time of high fantasy. Before the Christ cycle, there are all the tales around the winter solstice. The Yule tradition as well as the marking of one year to the next even before most calendars. Saint Nicholas of Myra would appear in Medieval Christendom and compete with the Passion Plays as very popular entertainment, often appearing with the closest thing that people had to a CGI heavy Krampus. Even into industrial times, where religious ceremony started to give way to a single holiday (off-work) versus many holy days, it was the interjection of the fantastical old Saint Nick toned down and elves and flying reindeer to get the drunks off the streets and role-playing at home with  kids about being a prosperous citizen in a productive life.

So can the average RPGer make something special out of the high fantasy season of Christmas and the New Years? Maybe not the average ones, but the better ones can and do often. One of the better ones that I can think of is Charlie Fleming's Kringle Force, where elves from the North Pole save not only X-Mas but the world. The only thing missing in this one was Lee Majors and Big Foot.

I write this as consolation blog as a consolation for myself. Alas, unless I do something like an emergency Wobble session over the Christmas-New Year's weeks, I am not doing anything special myself. And the setting I have is more about Saints and their sins and Christendom in the multiverse, nothing really seasonal except for the inclusion of Nicholas of Myra. But starting next November first, I am going to sit down and get something brewing.

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