Friday Night D&D: The Lich Who Stole Christmas
It’s the holidays and the holidays have tons of stories that you can borrow from or steal for a D&D one shot, in fact, Acquisitions Inc. just did a holiday special that was A Christmas Carol, just with a whole lot more blood.
So let’s set the stage, this game everyone is going to be playing as Santa’s little helpers those wonderful Christmas elves. They’re busy getting ready for Christmas when they hear coming from Santa’s office “Ho Ho… Nooooooooooo” and when they go and look Santa Claus has been kidnapped. They have just enough time to jump through a portal as they see Santa being taken.
However, they don’t end up in the same place that the person was going, but instead they end up in a little world, a tiny little forest really and there are brightly colored eggs laying around.
What I’d want to do is run through a number of different holidays quickly. This might be only a one shot, or if you have some time off and want to get a few games in, maybe you split this up over a few. If you are just do a one shot, I’d have them face off against the Easter bunny first, or maybe cupid before they get to the Lich whose heart is not 3 sizes too small, but has turned to dust. They need to find Santa Claus, beat the lich, and get him back in time for Christmas. I’d probably create an in game timer or some sort for that countdown to Christmas.
Now, if you’re doing this over multiple nights, the timer is a bit longer, but I’d still have some sort of in game timer, but one that will give them a chance to face off against a few more holidays. I’d probably say the Easter Bunny, Cupid, and a Giant Turkey for sure, but maybe pick a weird holiday to add in as well, Arbor Day comes to mind, and have them face off against a giant living tree who is trying to skewer them, or maybe New Year’s and have it be a team-up of the New Year’s baby and the old last year, or maybe have the old last year transform into the New Year’s baby when their hit points go low enough. I’d also have minions for as many of these guys as you can. Eventually they’ll win and you can have them face off against a Lich that is going to want to kill them in a world of Halloween.
I think another thing that you really should do is lean into the holiday that they are facing off against. It should be it’s own holiday world with lots of crazy things happening in it. For Easter, everything in the world, minus things like the Easter Bunny, probably some little chick minions, to be made of candy or to be a dyed Easter egg, something like that would be memorable, and the players might get distracted trying to eat as much candy as possible. You could even make the fact that everything is candy be an encounter where if they eat too much they have to make saves against being poisoned, or maybe treat it as a haste spell or something like that where maybe they take a level of exhaustion after the affect wears off. And I’d try and come up with something like that for each location.
Finally, you are going to face off against the Lich in the world of Halloween, because where else would a Lich be hanging out, Arbor Day? This is less about finding that phylactery and more about beating the lich and getting Santa. If/when they beat the Lich, that shouldn’t just get them Santa, they should then have a bit of a challenge to rescue Santa. Or maybe during the fight they also need to rescue Santa. Clearly the Lich is an evil mastermind, so they are going to have some sort of weird contraption that is dropping Santa slowly into a pit of acid or something like that, and maybe your characters aren’t actually at the level to fight a Lich, but of course Santa would be.
If you could play this with your family, I think everyone would have fun with it. Definitely this is something that you all agree to, and as the DM, you bring in a batch of prebuilt characters so that you can just sit down and get going, especially for the one shot, but even for the longer one if you have a short time around Christmas, say 3-4 nights.
Anyways, Happy Holidays for this Friday Night D&D. Would playing in a game like this be fun? Have you done any gaming over the holidays with family or anything like that before?