Happy Fireworks Day to everyone! In honor of the holiday, and as a follow up to some holiday flavor, I present the second part of my ode to holidays in your Dungeons and Dragons game.
Incorporating holidays and celebrations into your D&D game is a great way to keep your world alive and vibrant. Holidays may occur for any number of reasons and inject a unique event into the lives of the characters in your campaign. Perhaps your players stumble randomly upon such a celebration, are planning to attend it for a few months, or are the guests of honor themselves!
Festivals can make fantastic diving boards into a campaign, or a flavorful adventure on the side. Regardless of how you use holidays in your game, if done well, they have the potential for giving your players a break from their stressful adventure-filled lives, and finally some time to just have fun.
The Good: Upsides to Holidays in D&D
Having holidays and festivals in your game has benefits and downsides, both of which you should consider before implementing them into your game. As the Dungeon Master for your group, you know your players better then I do, and a holiday certainly won't work for everyone, but they do hold great potential.
Holidays can start quests, or even entire campaigns. Perhaps your adventurers get matched up in the same team for the annual Festival of Adventurers! This is a great way to seed plot hooks and information, from the small sidequests to the main plotline.
Want your players to save the King from assassination, or even assassinate him themselves? What better chance to do that then the annual festival when he makes a very public appearance? Is there a villain on the run from the players? What better place for him to hide then in all the hubbub in your nation's capital city during the holidays. Ah, work and pleasure combined.
The Bad: Downsides to Holidays in D&D
Holiday adventures are not for everyone, and if you do decide to use them, make sure to match the events to your players preferences. If you have a kick-down-the-door party, make sure that you have plenty of bar fights, rowdy festival guests, and other such encounters lined up for them.
A potential problem to holidays in D&D as well is the fact that, to do a festival or celebration justice, it may take a few sessions (depending on your average session length). To fully convey such a unique event, much like any important (read: once in a campaign) event in your party's life (like meeting royalty for example), I think it's worth it for the Dungeon Master to plan ahead and truly give the event some thought and detail.
Giving your players time to explore the festival, or a city's unique deals, decor, and events, will be worth it in the end.
Next, I'll discuss ways you can incorporate holidays of varying types into your game (and how to celebrate player birthdays!)
Now, go enjoy your fireworks and try not to blow any fingers off!
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