It is snowing.
At the first crossroads
… the party meet St Nicholas (see picture). He is cheery on the surface but underneath he is seething, he has done nothing but give out gifts for thousands of years and has been sustained only by brandy and cookies.
He presents each PC with a present, each wrapped with string in bright, sturdy wax-paper:
- Brass bottle painted with a bright abstract design and the words “Henderson’s Excellent Temporary Tonic”. Makes you feel like you can do anything, that obstacles are just tissue paper, for an hour — have d6 temporary hp. Then it makes you feel like you can’t do anything at all for a second hour — have d6 temporary negative hp. (if you’re temporarily at zero or below, you’re basically useless for the period).
- Random spell scroll in an attractive leather case. (casts at user’s level)
- Leather-and-wood party popper that has the name of a random spell on the side – casts it when fired. Level 5 effect but targeting protocol is unclear to say the least.
- Handheld paper effigy of St Nick that’s full of something solid. On the back it says “Drive back the dead this festive season”. Has a fuse coming out of his head, and if you light it the whole thing burns for one turn and no undead below 4HD may bear being within 20ft.
- Disposable hand-cannon (30’ range 2d8 damage, one use only)
- A fluffy white kitten in a Santa hat. Quite clever and helpful but oh so very vulnerable.
He does not give hirelings or retainers anything — it turns out they have not been good.
He is accompanied by four
St Nicholas’ Reindeer — HD 2, AC 12, move 50ft fly 60ft, ML 8, bite d6
Much antlers, much fur, much… teeth and claws? Make a lot of mouth-sounds that are suspiciously like talking. If they are talking, they’re making a lot of insinuations and jibes. Will try to steal things and would quite like to eat you (but St Nicholas will stop them).
At each location
In every scene and/or encounter, roll d12 once on this to add Christmas flavour.
|1||d4 Christmas stockings, roll d6 for each: |
1-3 d6*10 coins
4-5 d6*10 ordinary stones
6 Fat muscular worm with a face, Dex save or d3 bite damage
|7||A crashed (non-flying-type) sleigh. There the body of a sturdy farmer under the sleigh and wrapped gifts in the back. Gifts are consumer durables worth d6*20 coins but if you take any the farmer’s ghost will follow the PCs and harass them until they make amends.|
|2||Everything is candlelit, even if outside||8||Something ate a reindeer here. they did not eat it neatly and they left the bones behind|
|3||It is particularly snowing now. Useful visibility is about 30ft.||9||St Nick is here too. “You again?”. He throws coal at you and a reindeer tries to steal a backpack.|
|4||D3 more of those reindeer, as weird as the first time and with St Nick to rein them in||10||Children here, singing. They run away if you try to interact.|
|5||A random magical treasure in a gift-wrapped box. It’s in the possession of any monster or NPC that’s here,||11||A nativity scene. The saviour is in the manger and the magi look on. Does it move when you’re not looking? Surely not.|
|6||Holly tree at the focal point||12||A fat turkey gobbles about here. It’s wearing a little backpack containing with sausagemeat, sage, breadcrumbs, and two onion.|