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Nerdarchy > Creator Spotlight  > The Nightmare Before Critmas — Tale of a Holiday One-Shot

The Nightmare Before Critmas — Tale of a Holiday One-Shot

D&D Ideas -- Travel
D&D Ideas -- Alliances

The Nerdarchy crew experienced a tremendous year in 2019! We grew by leaps and bounds, earning a Silver Play Button for the YouTube channel, creating a wildly successful Kickstarter, organizing Nerdarchy the Convention and growing the website right here by hiring me full time along with staff writers Megan R. Miller’s increased role with us and the author and writer of this very post, Steven Partridge. Steven is a remarkable writer, a creative powerhouse and really a good-natured and great hearted fellow. The whole Nerdarchy crew is so happy to have him as part of the family. Steven regularly contributes fun, intriguing content here to help inspire better games and better friendships. Please go visit his website to see all the stuff he is up to here. But that’s enough of me hijacking his holiday tale! — Nerditor Doug

Nerdarchist Ryan makes the imaginary into reality on his own YouTube channel The Dream Syndicate Art Dolls. Here we see his amazing rendition of Krampus. Click the image to visit the channel and check out all the incredible work he’s doing over there. [Image and Krampus art doll by Ryan Friant]

Nerdy Night Before Critmas

‘Twas the night before Critmas, and deep in Ted’s basement,

Minis and dice scattered the battle map’s placement.


With Dave dressed like Santa and Ted, a winter wizard,

The game night was stranded by a midwinter blizzard.


With nowhere to go and an adventure all prepped,

Dave, Ted and Doug gamed, while the families all slept.


“Roll for initiative!” DM Ted commanded.

Dave’s d20 bounced off the table and landed.


Doug leaned over to examine the result.

“Natural 1,” he declared, and Dave said it’s the table’s fault.


Then something extraordinary swirled ’round the three.

Was it glitter, or pollen? Oh, what could it be?


With a flash of light and a jingling of bells,

The three found themselves transported into the Nine Hells.


Dave scoffed, “What kind of a holiday adventure is this?

Fire and flames don’t become Christmas!”


Ted rubbed his hands together with wicked DM glee.

“This year, I have a special boss for you to see.”


Then, out from the fire and flames rose some horns.

His tall, thin, robed form towered, crowned with thorns.


“Behold!” Ted raised his arms high,

“You’re facing Krampus!” and Doug cried out, “Why?”


The truest villain of the holiday season

reached for paladin Dave without rhyme or reason.


The poor paladin never saw it coming (1 for initiative, remember?).

Death was on the menu for this game in December.


Like a flash, druid Doug shifted into a bear.

He charged toward Krampus, a mass of muscle, claws and hair.


Dave rolled for multiattack. ‘Twas a 20!

The bear unleashed a barrage of claw swipes a’plenty!


Krampus now reeled, and Ted exclaimed, “No!”

Now it was Krampus’ turn to go.


The monster imposed a save at disadvantage.

Both heroes attempted, but missed, even if they’d had advantage.


The two both started to consume with fear,

Until paladin Dave shouted, “Not now, not here!”


“You’re both frightened,” DM Ted insisted.

“No, we’re not.” Dave pointed to where his abilities were listed.


“I’ve got an ability that lets us both ignore fear!”

DM Ted grabbed the character sheet. “Let me see here.”


Alas, ’twas true: the paladin had him bested.

And now, ’twas his turn! He took water and blessed it.


With the casting of a piddly 1st level spell,

Dave caused holy water to rain down in hell.


Krampus ignited in black fire and green.

Ted wailed, and Doug cheered. Oh, what a scene!


In a single turn, Krampus was foiled.

“But wait!” said Ted. “I forgot! He’s activated shadow of moil!


The damage was dealt; the hit points were lost.

The battle progressed, and many dice were tossed.


In the end, Krampus fell to a round of applause,

Defeated by a knight before Christmas and the acolyte druid, Santa Claws.


As the evening’s session drew to a close,

Christmas dawn broke through the windows.


Doug wiped his brow. “I can’t believe we just played all night.”

Dave clapped Ted on the shoulder. “He sure knows how to built a spectacular fight.”


And so as festivities commenced for the day,

Three tired Nerdarchists hit the hay.


But Ted woke before the others and pulled something from under his bed.

A box with next year’s date written in red.


He pulled out his notes for their next year’s game.

The title was different, but the villain, the same.


“Phase one is completed.” Ted smirked ‘neath his beard.

“Next year’s the real test, when things get super weird.”


A creak in the floorboard signaled to Ted someone was coming.

He slid the box away, then came out, a’running.


“What were you doing?” asked Dave. “Dinner’s almost ready.”

“Nothing,” Ted lied, then changed the subject by asking about spaghetti.


“Are you sure you’re okay?” Dave raised a brow.

“Oh, I’m perfectly fine.” Ted convinced him, somehow.


But you, on the other hand… Ted grinned ear to ear.

You won this round, but just wait until next year.


So, all ate, drank and made merry by toast

To Christmas, family, friends and the things we love most.


So, dear nerds, our tale comes to a close,

Though only until next year, we suppose.


This holiday, be thankful for all that you have,

And remember, dear nerds, the GM always gets the last laugh.



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Steven Partridge

Steven Partridge is a published fantasy author and staff writer for Nerdarchy. He also shows up Tuesdays at 8:00pm (EST) to play with the Nerdarchy Crew, over on the Nerdarchy Live YouTube channel. Steven enjoys all things fantasy, and storytelling is his passion. Whether through novels, TTRPGs, or otherwise, he loves telling compelling tales within various speculative fiction genres. When he's not writing or working on videos for his YouTube channel, Steven can be found lap swimming or playing TTRPGs with his friends. He works in the mental health field and enjoys sharing conversations about diversity, especially as it relates to his own place within the Queer community.

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