For those that celebrate, we hope you’re having a happy holiday season. We here at Technical Difficulties are grateful for our fans and looking forward to a 2017 with more adventures for you to enjoy.
As a GM and player, the holidays are also an opportunity to think about your games. It’s easy to miss sessions during this time of year, so it can be used as an opportunity to think about your games and their worlds. Do you like the direction things have gone? What would you have done differently? What are ways your characters would be using their downtime as you await the next session?
It’s also an opportunity to think about holidays IN your games. Do you need to do some world building to figure out what holidays are celebrated in your game-world's culture(s)? If your campaign is set in the 'real world,' what is the dominant culture in the area and which holidays are celebrated by the majority? What do your characters believe? How does that affect which holidays they celebrate? Do they have family they would spend time with? Is that by choice or due to social pressure? If not, is that by choice or a lack of resources available to get to their family? Who are they celebrating with and how? Do they have a favorite memory associated with the holidays? All of which led to thinking how J.J., Catrin, and Neko from our MonsterHearts campaign would celebrate…
Winter Quarter 1998
She first felt the leaves of the mistletoe as Neko brushed it too close to her head. ‘Hattie’ Areleous, clad in a green gown for the Christmas party at her house, rolled her eyes at the child standing behind her as she sat on the sofa with baby Nicholas. Turning around to look Neko in the eyes, she bent and kissed Nicholas on the head.
“Clever.” Neko said,
“The point of the plant is to kiss someone. And it is my choice who I kiss. Games will get you nowhere, child.”
Neko, dressed in a golden turtleneck and black slacks, sat next to the goddess on the sofa. Hathor smiled at Neko and turned her gaze towards J.J. and Catrin playing Monopoly with the older set of JJ’s siblings. Neko sighed.
“You’re right. Just trying to get into the spirit of the day I suppose. We didn’t have any winter festivals back in our time,” he said, bringing up the plant to smell it. “And we used plants that, you know, smelled nice?”
“I wouldn’t get that so close to your face. It is poisonous.”
Neko recoiled, and was about to throw it when he looked back at Nicholas, giggling as he played with a plastic set of keys. He instead got up and retired the plant to the door frame.
“You wouldn’t have known, child. It’s from Europe.”
“These traditions are strange. Though… isn’t it odd you’re celebrating a holiday of the Christians? They weren’t around for millennia after our time.”
“It’s mostly for the children.”
“Cole celebrates it too. He’s free to do what he wants.”
“You humans have free will for a reason.”
“Whatever. Anyway, as they say…” said Neko, as he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a small present. “Merry Christmas.”
Hathor shifted Nicholas into a one armed hold and held the gift. The small box was wrapped in gold wrapping paper with a golden bow.
“You do realize we had other colors back home, right?”
“Just open it.”
She took off the bow and gave it to Nicholas, then pulled off the wrapping paper. The box was also golden, and when she lifted the lid, stared at a clay figurine of a woman with a cow’s head. Hathor squealed with delight and hugged Neko.
“Oh Ra! I haven’t seen one of these in centuries!”
“It’s from my relic collection. I was re-inventorying it and realized I had a figurine of you.”
“Oh Neko!” Hathor kissed Neko on the cheek. “Thank you so much!” As she looked back to the figurine she couldn’t see Neko smiling deeply. She then set it on the side table, grabbed a box, and gave it to Neko. “Merry Christmas.”
He ripped open the bright red paper, and opened the lid. He gasped as he saw a box filled with golden coins.
“Oh my. How-”
“How do you think I’ve stayed in my station all these years? I know you’re still trying to re-establish your kingdom. A little goes a long way.”
Neko hugged Hathor, then got up to join his friends. Hathor readjusted her hold on Nicholas and smiled at her children and J.J.’s friends. She never expected these families she wandered into, but she’s always glad for them.