A couple of years ago, I went looking for a Yule/Holiday/Christmas one-shot adventures. I was surprised to see there wasn’t a ton of content out there, but there is still plenty of good stuff. Here is the list of what I was able to find for various editions of D&D and other tabletop RPGs.
If you have anything you’ve created or found that you’d like to see included please comment below and it will show below once I approve (comments with links require approval).
D&D 5th Edition
- D&D 5e Holiday Adventure – The Darkest Night – Tribality.com
The Darkest Night is our own holiday themed adventure where players battle an ancient evil to save Krinklefest. This adventure can be used as an outline for any game system, but the specific details are for four 1st-level adventurers using the rules of the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons.
- Bag of Krampus – Ultanya
Legend holds that Krampus captures terribly naughty children in his bag and then takes them to his lair.
- Santa Claus Monster Stats – World Builder Blog
- More Christmas Monsters – World Builder Blog
- Yule Cat & Season of the Witch Adventure – Ultanya
According to legend the Yule Cat will eat anyone who was not gifted new clothing to wear during the holidays.
- The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas tale of magic, mystery and sugar plums for 5th level. The adventure is based on an 1816 German story by E.T.A Hoffman.
- Cantrips of Festivus
“These twelve Cantrips of Festivus may be cast by any magic user during the holiday season. Even non-magic users may employ these spells if they believe with all their heart in the magic of the holidays. (Of course always consult your DM before game time!)”
- Solstice Shenanigans: A Wintry One Shot
A 3-4 hour adventure for 5th-10th level characters. The Winter Games are in full swing on the demiplane controlled by the powerful archfey lord of winter, Jack Frost. Games and challenges await the players, along with a baker’s terrible mistake and a bout of mysteriously disappearing trees!
- Not a Creature was Stirring
Helpful and fun for beginners, this Christmas themed adventure was created for new DMs and new players.
- Midwinter Maleficence
The adventurers are called to the village of Pinecrest where all but one of the children have gone missing. Can they find the lost babes in the wood before the children meet their grisly fate? A highly social adventure to run with characters of levels 1-4. Combat is balanced for a party of 5 level 3 characters.
D&D 4th Edition
- A Christmas Carol (PDF) – 2nd Level adventure for 2 PCs
- The Hope Day Massacre
- Twas the Wight Before XMAS – Encounter Level 15
- Christmas Special – Sarah Darkmagic (PDF) – A great collection of encounters and monsters including the Grinch and Jack Frost.
- Krampus Christmas Carnival – Kobold Press delivers a 3 part adventure in blog post format. Part 1 is for Pathfinder.
D&D 3rd Edition
- Santa Claus Monster Stats (PDF) – Wizards of the Coast
D&D 2nd Edition
- Santa’s Soldiers – Complete 60 page game. PDF for $7.00 at DriveThru RPG.
Saving Christmas… By Any Means Necessary. Join the OSN and save Christmas from the depredations of Santa’s deadliest enemies! In this hilarious roleplaying game, you take on the part of an elf operative in the Order of St. Nicholas, Santa’s paramilitary defense force! Take on bizarre villains like the Winter Wizard, the Boogieman and Anti-Claus!
- Spirit of the Season – Evil Hat Productions and Atomic Sock Monkey Press
Spirit of the Season is a holiday treat featuring characters and new rules compatible with both Spirit of the Century and Truth & Justice. Spirit of the Season is your ticket to two-fisted holiday pulp adventure!
Miscellaneous Systems / System Neutral
- Krangle’s Workshop (PDF) – A seasonal encounter for five 10th-level adventurers
- Penny Arcade – Christmas Eve D&D – Article by Gabe that outlines a Christmas Eve game in detail
- Krampus Christmas Carnival – Kobold Press delivers a 3 part adventure in blog post format. Part 3 is for AGE.
- Sinister Soltice (PDF) – Holiday themed adventure for Dungeon World
- Dragonlance – Yule Spirits – Dragonlance Nexus
While I don’t think Santa is really Krynn appropriate, I see no reason why there wouldn’t be some sort of Yule spirit or folklore figure on Krynn. The idea of mid-winter gift-giving occurs in many cultures, and hospitality towards guests is a similar common strain in culture.
- Three Sinister Santas for Your Holiday Game – Gnome Stew
- 4 Christmas Themed Adventure Plots – 6d6Fireball
- Adventures in Bayhaven – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Free PDF) – Hero Kids
- The Christmas Wars (PDF) – Critter System
- The Cult of Christmas (PDF) – The Cult of Christmas is a tongue-in-cheek mission for the Corporation RPG.
- Christmas in Kingsport – Five Tales for a Not-So-Silent Night for Call of Cthulhu
- Penny Arcade – Vault of Winter Comic
- Dark Wizard Santa
Josh Lee wrote a description for the illustation I used on this post that paints Santa as the Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG) for an adventure:
“Once a year, every year, the hobelves swear themselves and their collective energies to the dark wizard Santa in the frozen forest. From the many clans throughout the forzen north Santa gathers this energy to perform his dark magicks around the globe.”
- Celebrating Christmas with 13 Trolls
The Icelandic Christmas period is an intriguing mixture of religious practice and traditional folklore, but unlike most countries that have a single Father Christmas / Santa Claus character, Icelandic children are fortunate enough to be visited by 13 Yule Lads.
Photo Credit: Josh Lee – http://evil-santa.deviantart.com/art/Jolly-Wizard-169298145