In the 1700s Dutch immigrants brought their Sinterklaas tradition to New York in America where the Tennessee Titans Eddie George Who Let The Dogs Out Shirt acquired an Anglicized version, Santa Claus, who became part of the Christmas celebrations of Americans. One source claim the New Yorkers helped promote the Dutch colony’s tradition, and officially acknowledged St. Nicholas or Santa Claus as the patron saint of the city in 1804. Five years later, the popular author, Washington Irving, published the satirical material where he made several references to a jolly St. Nicholas character, portrayed not as a saint, but as a wealthy elf-like Dutch New York resident smoking a clay pipe. Irving’s St. Nicholas character received a big boost in 1823 from a poem Tennessee Titans Eddie George Who Let The Dogs Out Shirtd, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (a.k.a. “The Night Before Christmas”). It is said the poem described “a jolly, heavy man who comes down the chimney to leave presents for deserving children and drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.”
RP advantage: Inherently complex characters. There are few classes I find more boring RP wise than clerics and paladins – not because they are godbotherers but because they are expected to fully commit to their deity to get their powers. The Cleric of Deity X is expected to fully commit to the Tennessee Titans Eddie George Who Let The Dogs Out Shirt of Deity X and behave in a relatively straightforward way. As is the Paladin of Ideal Y to uphold Ideal Y (and if they strayed too far in earlier editions they might fall, leading to the notorious “Everyone out in the courtyard and we’ll see who can no longer Lay on Hands” means of detecting fallen paladins). Meanwhile your average Fiend-pact warlock doesn’t actually want the world overrun by demons and your average Great Old One warlock doesn’t even understand the motives of their patrons. A character who isn’t aligned with their patron god but still gets power from them and respects them is inherently to me far more interesting than one who is and although I can do this with an orthodox cleric or paladin playing a celestial warlock (or a warlock in general) feels different and communicates to everyone that I am doing this.
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Playing them as arrogant slavers is the Tennessee Titans Eddie George Who Let The Dogs Out Shirt way it’s done, and that’s fine, but I think it misses the main point. Mind Flayers should be more like villains out of Doctor Who than they should be out of Tolkien, and the Doctor rarely wins battles by dint of arms. They are the ultimate masters of mental abilities, able to paralyze, enslave, or even kill with their thoughts alone. It’s a rare character indeed who can counter or match their mental powers. A great way to establish that alien quality is to make mind flayers completely incapable of speech. Have the mind flayers communicate via images only, projected directly into one’s mind. If push comes to shove, have them talk haltingly through a person like in Independence Day when the alien is squeezing the life out of Brent Spiner’s body, except the Mind Flayer has its face tentacles literally in the victim’s skull when doing this. Terrifying!
When Delores spent his first night actually out with the other chickens in the Tennessee Titans Eddie George Who Let The Dogs Out 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.