A Christmas Themed, Family-Friendly D&D Adventure
This adventure is intended for up to 1 to 5 characters of 1st to 15th level. This adventure relies heavily on exploration, role-playing, and problem-solving and has several opportunities for combat. This is a dungeon exploration quest. Numerous random encounters are available in addition to combat, survival hurdles, and role-playing opportunities.
This adventure can be played solo or in a group of up to 5 players. It is recommended that the total party levels don’t exceed 20.
One playable character is provided and he is the main character of the story. If none of the players want to play this character, use the NPC rules for running him.
Winter is here and the land is covered in a thick blanket of snow outside your old friend’s home. Sitting by his huge fireplace with friends and family, you share stories of recent adventures and exchange a few gifts. A loud knock at the door startles you. A brief look around shows that everyone you were expecting is already here.
As Klaus opens the door a strong, cold wind blows snow into the room. A large, plane-paper-wrapped package sits on the stoop. A small note is tied with a string. He brings the package in and reads the note aloud…
It is with a heavy heart that I must deliver this package and the news that your great-great-uncle Nickolas Saintclaws has died. As his sole living heir, you must travel to Castle Kringle in the Kingdom of Nordpole before midnight on new year’s eve to claim your family lands and castle. If you fail to claim your inheritance, the estate will be dissolved. The land will be returned to the king. The castle and all its contents will be auctioned to the highest bidder.
Lord Krampus d’Guy, has made a generous offer to purchase the land, castle, and all of its contents for 20,000 Gold Kroners. Should you wish to take him up on his offer, simply take the signed deed to Castle Sebastian before the New Year’s Evedea dline..
Donner Blitzen, Keeper of Keys
In the distance, you can hear sleigh bells jingling, but you can’t see any sign of the sleigh or the person that left the package.
Unwrapping The Package
In the package, you find the deed to Castle Kringle, a bag of holding, a set of keys, a map, and a large gold ring. The gold ring draws your attention because it has a reindeer head, horns, and ruby eyes.
In the bag of holding you find a huge assortment of cookies and chocolates. Each of these has the same effect as a Good Berry per the spell. One of them is enough to feed an adult human for one full day. The bag will produce 1d8 new cookies + 1d8 candies per day at sunset.
Party Goals & Rewards
The party needs to travel to Castle Kringle and complete a ritual before midnight on New Year’s Eve. There are multiple failure and success options, see below. Each one carries a different reward or consequence.
The party travels to the castle and completes the ritual before the 12th stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Claus Kringle inherits the title Lord Saintclaus as well as all of the land, castle, and servants, and family treasury. He also becomes Santa Claus and gains the Boons of Immortality and Dimensional Travel. He will also automatically be attuned to the magical items below.
The party travels to Castle Sebastian to sell the inheritance. They can exchange the family ring, bag of holding, and the deed to the castle for the promised 20,000 Gold Kroners. If they haggle, Lord d’Guy will offer his own castle and lordship title to sweeten the deal. As part of the payment, Lord d’Guy will present Klaus with a walking stick and a large leather bag. both of which he insists are magical and fair compensation for the portable hole with the Kringle family crest and the family signet ring. d’Guy will not agree to any deal which does not include the deed, ring, and bag. After signing the deed over, the party will be provided with a feast befitting a king and lodgings for the night.
At midnight Klaus Kringle will be cursed to Krampus and be attuned to all of Krampus’ magical items below.
The characters decide not to follow the plot and they keep the items. Every day a new and larger group of hired rouges will show up to steal the items. If the party manages to keep the items until midnight on New Year’s Eve without completing the quest, those items will become mundane, non-magical items and Castle Kringle will likewise lose all its magic. Krampus will be freed from his curse. The magic of Christmas will fade and Dember 25 will become just another day of the year.
In addition to all of the thieves & bandits that are looking to steal the magic items from the party, Castle Kringle is guarded by many powerful spells and minions. With the death of the previous Lord Kringle, the castle’s defenses are on high alert. Anyone wishing to claim the castle and its title must overcome four trials.
Flying reindeer. The castle is guarded and patrolled by 9 flying reindeer which can only be controlled by someone wearing the Kringle family signet ring (Ring of animal influence). While the reindeer will allow the ring wearer and his companions to enter the castle, they will not obey or aid them in any other way unless they have passed all the trials and become Santa Clause.
The maze of misfit and broken toys. Santa was never one to just throw away a toy. All of the discarded and broken toys as well as those special few that just weren’t fit to be given as gifts to children… they live in a maze that surrounds the castle. Each of them lends their special talents and magic to defend the castle.
An army of snowmen and elves is prepared to defend the castle at all costs. The snowmen guard the castle and its grounds. They can be frozen (petrified with no save) by hitting them with a piece of magic chocolate.
Only a person wearing the family signet ring may enter or invite others to enter the castle. All entrances are protected by a wall of force, which will allow the wearer and his invited guests to enter.
There are elves stationed inside the castle. They have created several devious traps and ambush points. The elves will allow the party to pass unharmed if they are singing or wistleing a Christmas carol.
Obstacle 6 & 7:
Rescue the fairies from the mimics. Much of the magic of Santa Clause comes from the Fay Realm and the fairies that live in Castle Kringle. When Santa died, they were encased in protective spheres of invulnerability. They have been taken to the castle courtyard and hung on a giant evergreen tree. There they are surrounded by an army of mimics disguised as gifts. Each mimic can be disabled by feeding them one of the cookies from the bag. Also guarding The Christmas Tree, is the Gingerbread Dragon.
The Final Ritual
Being Santa requires more than solving mazes, outwitting dragons, and defeating monsters. It requires a pure and giving heart. Before Klaus can become Santa, he must prove to the Gingerbread Dragon he is worthy. Here are a few suggestions on how that might work.
- The PC’s avoided combat or killing any of the monsters during the adventure.
- The PC’s provided healing or other assistance to the guardians of the castle.
- Klaus gives all of his personal possessions away as gifts to the other party members.
- Klaus offers the title and castle to someone he deems more worthy.
Monsters & NPCs
The following were collected from Pinterest and I have provided links to the original source of the images/monsters whenever possible.
Mimic Gift Boxes
Tiny mimics disguised as Christmas presents under the tree. These small versions are scaled-down versions of the standard mimic.
Ring of Animal Influence
This ring has 3 charges, and it regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. While wearing the ring, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges to cast one of the following spells:
- Animal friendship (save DC 13)
- Fear (save DC 13), targeting only beasts that have an Intelligence of 3 or lower
- Speak with animals