Celebrate good times, come on… and roll a celebration!

Yes, I riffed on a little Kool & the Gang for the title (here are the lyrics to Celebration if you can’t quite get it out of your head)… I was just looking for something catchy! But while you’re here, let’s talk about inspiring a bit of creative writing around celebrations.

party-timeThe fact that I’m writing about them at all is kind of entertaining, because I’m not a big fan of parties unless they’re filled with role-playing games characters around a game table. But since it’s my birthday this weekend, I thought I might as well write about some imaginary parties that your heroes might attend in my honor. Heh.

We’ll start with a quick way to figure out how many terms we’re dealing with and then we’ll roll on another table to actually get those terms. So with a d10 table, we’ll determine how many terms we are using.

  • 1-6 = Roll once
  • 7-8 = Roll twice
  • 9 = Roll three times
  • 10 = Roll four times

And then we need a d10 random table for types of celebrations:

  1. Dancing
  2. Drinking
  3. Eating
  4. Decorating
  5. Ceremony
  6. Dressing up
  7. Singing
  8. Storytelling
  9. Competing
  10. Giving

The results will be pretty skewed to one or two terms, which is perfect. After mixing in a random holiday name generator, it led to the following examples:

  • (Dancing and Decorating) Community Day. Our small town celebrates “Community Day” once every summer and it culminates in a huge party at the town square. Everybody along Main Street decorates their windows with things that remind them of why our community is so special, from pictures of our favorite swimming holes in town to the many times everybody helped out over the last year to build a barn or rebuild someone’s home after a natural disaster. Some folks even go so far as to conduct special sacrifices to the Old Ones down by the Old Stone Pier. Nothing says party like a blood sacrifice to the gods beneath the sea. When night falls, the whole town comes together to dance to the strange tunes of our ancestors. Some kids practice all year until their fingers bleed with the efforts of the minor keys and cacaphonic chords. And at the end of the night, everyone passes out in the wave of ancient magicks released into the world. Sometimes we even lose a local or two in the revelry, but usually it’s just visitors from out of town…
  • playmusictogether(Singing) Proclamation Day. Every year in September, we celebrate Proclamation Day and celebrate the day we joined the Kingdom as a fiefdom. Our Lords ask for all of us to come up with new songs to explore our love for that event, exploring the many stories of the times leading up to that fateful day and all the magical days since. After a generation working for the Council of Lords, we now understand that it was our freedom that was causing us pain. Now we just put in hard work and do what our Lords ask of us. Last year little Timmy wrote a song stating all the lies we sometimes tell ourselves about missing the old days of freedom and self-determination. He was locked away and hasn’t been seen since, so we’ve been more careful to ensure that all the songs sung before the Lords follow the rules…
  • (Competing and Singing) The Celebration of the Word is a fantastic, week-long festival held each year in our capital. The best singers in the land come together to perform before the King and Queen to win a chance to tour the land with the festival singers and gain some fame and fortune of their own. Last year there was some controversy when two competitors chose to compete without music and just through rhythmical language. They were eventually eliminated, but it caused a new open poetry category to be added this year, and that will be an interesting counterpoint to those performing traditional folk songs and instrumentals…
  • drinking-from-the-cask(Drinking) Once a year, the Day of Beer comes to town. Talented drinkers from all over the country collide to see who can do the most drinking in a 24-hour period. The holiday was formed by the local brewers who needed a way to purge their overflow kegs before starting brewing for the next year and ever since has grown larger and larger. Though there are no clear winners, there is a ton of good will and always a few barroom brawls. It has been said that even the worst miscreant can find a beer when this day comes around.
  • (Giving and Storytelling) On the eve of the Fest of Tales, each member of a household is required to choose a story to tell the next day. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but it has to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. On the day itself, all those stories get told in front of the group. The best ones become legendary for years to come. Some people choose to tell the same story year after year. Others create new ones, seemingly from thin air. And depending on the home, I can tell you the stories will be very different. Some love to scare their families to death and others like to make them laugh. Some pull at their family’s heart strings and others just want to get it done. But it’s always entertaining…

So there you have a few very different holidays to explore in your campaigns or in real life. Honestly, I think the Fest of Tales would be a holiday worth starting.

What kinds of holidays will you or your heroes be celebrating next?


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