Fun times at the last game night before Christmas.
The game I am running is set in The Forgotten Realms. The player party had a two day journey back to town after getting finishing their quests with the banshee and the orc band. On the first day on the road, a cold front moved in and snow started falling right before sundown. They set up camp for the night and established a watch.
Towards the end of the first watch, the fighter on duty heard a curious noise. Bells. Not like church bells. Small bells. Jingling. He looked around, and realized the bells were coming from…the sky! He looked up to see a silhouette of a wagon-looking thing flying through the sky being pulled by…I don’t know…caribou. As he woke the rest of the party, an object fell from the wagon into the camp.
It was a large canvas bag. After the usual D&D paranoia caused the bag to be cleared for traps and poisons, they opened the bag to find six boxes, colorfully wrapped. Each box had a different party member’s name on it.
I had taken a blank 3×5 index card for each player, and written a magic item name with a short description on one side of the card. I wrote the magic item’s name with a green calligraphy marker, and the description with a red fine-tipped marker.
Then I folded each card in half with the magic item on the inside, taped it shut, and wrote the character’s name on the outside of the card in green calligraphy marker.
I put them all into an empty felt dice bag. When the bag fell out of the ‘wagon’, I tossed the dice bag out onto the table in the middle of the group. After they did their ‘paranoid’ checks, one player opened the dice bag to pull out the cards. I told them each one was actually a box.
Each party member got a minor magic item that fit their character. The wizard got a Ring of Protection. (Someone said, “Hey! Santa gave you a ring! You’re engaged to Santa!”) The cleric got a jar of Keoghtom’s Ointment. There were two ‘special’ gifts for the human fighter and for the ranger.
The human fighter has been finding himself in caves and ‘dungeons’ being the only guy without darkvision, and he has a two-handed weapon, so holding a torch has been an issue at times. He got a driftglobe. If you aren’t familiar with driftglobes, they are a small crystal globe, about one pound, which lights up on command. It usually uses a light spell, but once a day it can be lit with a daylight spell, which is stronger. On command, it will also float up to five feet off the ground and follow its owner. Very handy item for him.
The ranger also received a very special gift. The player with the ranger took over the character for a player that dropped out of the game. It was the only character in this game that was not a pregenerated character created for this campaign. The original player did not take survival skill for the ranger. I was still just a couple weeks into playing 5E at the time and didn’t realize that rangers in 5E do not automatically come with survival skill. Therefore, we had a ranger without the skill to get along in the wilderness or track. Oops.
The ranger’s Christmas present was a survival manual. This was a magic survival manual. If it was read over a long rest period, the reader gained the survival skill. Upon reading, the words on the page disappeared.
Merry Christmas, everybody!