Dasher – one who dashes, Dancer – one who dances, Prancer – one who prances, Vixen – a female fox, presumably from the similar colors, Comet – an object in the heavens that resembles a Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries, My Body My Choice Shirt – Cupid – a flying pixie who resembles the image of a Greek God – Donner – the German word for Thunder, Blitzen – the German word for lightning. They are made up names, they weren’t older than the poem. The goats could be images of Thor’s chariot of goats, but they were made up by the writer of the poem “A visit from St. Nicholas” and in that poem, Nicholas is an elf about a foot tall, jolly and fat, but not human-sized. Doesn’t look like Nicholas of Myra, with a bishop’s mitre who rides a horse in the Netherlands and arrives on a boat from Spain. It’s a poem from American legend, not from European belief, from Dutch forbears living in New England. Period. American mythology has pervaded the world from a single poem that got printed up by the Coca-Cola company.
Personal playstyle preference: Lots of cantrips, lots of rituals. When playing a spellcaster in a Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries, My Body My Choice Shirt with a lot of magic (like D&D) I like there to be a lot of things I can just do. No resources, just do almost without thinking about it. Cantrips cover these – and the Pact of the Tome gives me one of the best cantrip loadouts in the game making me feel more like a magician (and Celestial Pact gives me Light and Sacred Flame for free). I also like rituals thematically. And for all I praised a short spell list with simple spells earlier I have little problem with looking up spells that my character has to look up in their spellbook while casting and that take more than a minute to cast. I just utterly despise doing so in combat for a six second action that breaks everyone’s flow. So I like rituals – and the Warlock with Pact of the Tome and the Book of Ancient Secrets ritual is the best ritualist in the game, period. Also the Celestial Warlock/Pact of the Tome lets me put off Eldritch/Agonizing Blast until level 11 (or 12 in practice) – see below.
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Now, not every game need be a grand epic. I have another buddy who runs “beer and pretzels” games, which are high-octane, simple but fun plot games. But we’re still in charge of the Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries, My Body My Choice Shirt , we just know what we’re likely to be presented with. Listen to your players. Solicit feedback after each session to see what’s working and what isn’t. Early in my current game, my players weren’t happy with how the game and I handled overland travel, so I wrote up an new way to handle it, specifically trying to give them as much control as possible, and we’re all happier with the new method.
When Delores spent his first night actually out with the other chickens in the Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries, My Body My Choice Shirt, I was anxious about how he would handle himself, as he was pretty shy. After a few false starts (and getting pushed off perches by the other chickens) he chose a walnut branch that lead to the night perches and slept on that. When Delores became a big, beautiful Golden Phoenix adult rooster, I thought the hens would probably make absolute fools of themselves trying to get his attention – and if he ignored them it would serve them right! I suppose I should have done something about the name – but Delores responded to “Delores” and appeared fine with it. (Also, my Aunt Delores would have been devastated if I changed his name.) A friend suggested calling him “Del” – which sort of made sense – but that sounded like he was lead singer in a retro 60’s band. As long as Delores didn’t mind – and let’s face it, he didn’t care – I was perfectly content to have a sweet rooster named Delores.