If it is a family gathering and you are part of the Kind Said The Boy T Shirt, try to show up and be with the family, then duck out and be Santa, then get out of costume and return to the party with as minimum fuss as possible. Also, have the photographer, there is always one in the family, take a couple of shots of you during the night to keep the illusion alive that you were there when Santa came calling. When Santa leaves, everyone says good bye inside and Santa goes out by himself so as not to spook the reindeer. Although I never did this I just thought of something fun if the party is at a house. Tie a long string with loud reindeer bells and drape it over the house. When Santa leaves and the door closes, he could run over and jerk on the string a few times so it sounds like the reindeer are on the roof at the back of the house. Maybe one of the adults could catch a glimpse of “Ol Saint Nick” flying away and try and point it out to the kids.
To cast spells you use Somatic, Material, and Verbal actions; you can use one of each of them in a Kind Said The Boy T Shirt. Not all spells use all three of these actions, so some spells take less than a full turn to cast, although depending on which spellcasting actions you had to use you might wind up not being able to cast a second spell anyway. Sometimes spells offer optional spellcasting actions, picking up more power depending on which ones you choose to use. A base one-action healing spell might just give a quick couple of dice to top off a buddy with a touch, but a healing spell pumped full of all three spellcasting actions might become a group heal that can be done at range. Thoughts: At a glance this is a natural complement to the action economy, but in practice spellcasters have so much less flexibility with it that they tend to be at a big disadvantage yes, really compared with martial classes. Coupled with aforementioned poor/irrelevant feat selections, spellcasters kind of suck to play in this version of the game. I expect they’re going to get heavily revised for the release version when it comes out later this year.
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Raise the stakes for the encounter too. Maybe the Mind Flayers have a powerful spelljammer than’s literally a Kind Said The Boy T Shirt with laser cannons and such. Maybe a single one of them can dismissively defeat the entire party, or even a military force. Maybe they have hostages who must not be harmed. One thing’s for certain: all who know them should be terrified. I’m actually not a fan of mind flayers who use their mental powers to sense everything that the PCs are doing. Again, truly alien Mind Flayers probably have as much trouble analyzing the thoughts of a human as a human would their thoughts. So don’t play the “the Mind Flayer read your mind and knows what you are doing” card too much. This doesn’t mean the Mind Flayers have to be stupid, but making them all-knowing is problematic because that leaves the PCs with only one option: beating them by dint of arms. That’s fine to happen at some point, but it shouldn’t be the main thrust of the plot.
I was hoping Delores wouldn’t become a Kind Said The Boy T Shirt aggressive rooster, as my recently deceased “Lance” had been, before passing on to “rooster heaven” with the assistance of a local coyote. The rooster I currently had, Gordon, was a sweet boy and was very happy to have Lance gone. Lance had been a fierce rooster who attacked literally every moving thing but the hens and me (displaying extreme good taste and discretion) and I was not prepared to live through as second several years of yet another “attack rooster”. Neither were the neighbor dogs. Nor were the neighbors, for that matter. I really didn’t think this would be a problem, as Delores was such a sweet rooster – showing no violence or aggression at all, and just wanted to sit on my shoulder (rather like a parrot) and look around. He’d snuggle against anyone’s neck or in anyone’s lap who would hold him and he adored being petted. Delores ran around digging for bugs in the lawn – but was just as happy sitting by the kitchen sink watching me trim vegetables or whatever. He made (as all my chickens did) a truce with the cats and was friends with the goats, horses and my other rooster, Gordon. They all slept together in the barn at night.