Angry Rants: Your D&D Adventure Isn’t a Christmas Adventure

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It’s time to talk about the true meaning of Christmas. And what the true meaning of Christmas has to do with writing D&D adventures. And why your s$&% adventure ISN’T a Christmas adventure. And why Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie.

Read the entire rant at The Mad Adventurers Society…

11 thoughts on “Angry Rants: Your D&D Adventure Isn’t a Christmas Adventure

  1. The next time I play Changeling, I’m playing a Nocker modeled after my gasifier gaming blogger. Your posts are generally good for my GMing. This one was also good for my soul – I needed to read it for a whole passel of complicated reasons. Really glad you’re doing what you do.

  2. The original Star Wars movies are good also because they follow a good structure: the Hero journey (ala Campbell) and the Blake synder’s Beats sheet (save the cat docet)

  3. Does the fact it’s Christmas play any part in Die Hard? I haven’t seen Die Hard for over 20 years, so I could be wrong, but I’m sure there must be something theme related about the juxtaposition of Christmas with all the shitty things that happen to Bruce Willis?

    Same with Rocky 4 – the fight with Drago is scheduled for Christmas Day, which I guess is a way of showing us that Drago and the Russians are unfeeling robots, contrasted with the “family man / every man” character of Rocky.

    • The Christmas thing in Die Hard is the reason John McLane goes to visit, and the reason the building is empty except for the party (for once, yes it’s that kind of party)And it’s the reason for a couple awesome musical quotes in the score. It’s a plot device, like everything else in that movie, and it flavors much of the film. It’s a Christmas movie in the same way it’s an LA movie. It’s a detail that only goes as deep as the plot.

      I may have watched that movie too many times in the last twenty years

    • It’s the reason McClane is visiting his family in L.A., and the reason the building is mostly empty but for the executive Christmas party. He has a stuffed bear for the kids, but IIRC its not even wrapped, and he never gives it to them. He does see his estranged wife in the end, but at that point it’s not even resolved whether he will be checking into a hotel.

      So, plot device, nothing more. I watch it with my teenage daughter every Christmas, but that is because she appreciates the irony, and because 28 years later it is a good enough film that a teenage girl can enjoy it.

      I think I have seen parts of Rocky IV, but I don’t remember it, so I can’t comment on that one.

  4. Or maybe when people say their gaming session is Christmas-themed, they’re not talking about literary themes. Words have multiple definitions. One of the primary definitions of ‘theme’ just so happens to be “a setting given to a leisure venue or activity, intended to evoke a particular country, historical period, culture, etc.”

    • Maybe people should learn that words have meanings. Or maybe people should learn what a FRAMING DEVICE is. And how you can use a thing like Die Hard or silly adventures to teach important concepts to game masters. For the record, I don’t give an actual f$&% if you want to run a silly “Christmas-themed adventure.” Run whatever the f$&% you want. MY JOB (self-appointed) is to teach GMs that these concepts exist and that they can use them to RUN BETTER GAMES.

      In short… that distant speck flying over your head way high up? That’s the point. Sorry you missed it.

      • Maybe people think a better framing device – since you were already talking about Star Wars anyway – would be the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. Or maybe I’m just cranky because it’s been nearly a month since the last articles you’ve written on intermediate or advanced topics (I’m thinking of the one about inspiration and death spirals and the one about altering rest mechanics). Either way, I don’t put anything Christmas-related in my games… I only posted because think it’s common knowledge that nobody’s “Christmas adventure” is even TRYING to evoke a literary theme, so your framing device is tilting at windmills.

  5. The Christmas period is the best time of the year to be a Jew! no stress, no binge eating, no work
    However, most D&D adventures are Hannukah-themed adventures, beacuse the themes are the same: fews against many, miracles, God helps the right ones

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