Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

For a venerable holiday icon, Santa Claus sees a lot of action. Could the Easter Bunny conquer the Martians? I think not.

Not only does he best alien invaders, but he teams up with Merlin to whup Satan in this 1959 gem, which could only come from south of the border. Frank L. Baum (of Oz fame) retcons Claus into Oz lore, and has him Santa raised by a wood nymph, educated by a council of magical creatures, and gifted with immortality. The Japanese thought that was so cool they made an anime about it with the appropriately anime-ish title Young Santa’s Adventures (Shounen Santa no Daibôken).  In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Santa Claus (or Father Christmas across the pond) shows up in Narnia to give the Pevensie kids the magic items they need to beat the White Witch.

Claus isn’t always the good guy, though. The far future of Futurama has a Santa Claus robot who takes down the naughty with extreme prejudice. The DC Comics anti-hero, Lobo, under contract to the Easter Bunny, goes after a badass Santa who’s abusing his elves.

All this makes me wonder if Santa Claus makes many appearances in gaming. Sure, most of these appearances are somewhat comedic in nature--but too comedic for Encounter Critical, or even Old School D&D? I think not.

John Stater gives us cool yule magic items, and a certain red-clothed demigod in NOD #6. Has anybody else had Santa come down the metaphorical chimney of one of their games?


Unknown said...

My all-time favorite appearance by Santa in a game-related product is S. John Ross' "A Kringle In Time". It is hands down the best Christmas adventure that I've ever seen, and it ranks among the best epic adventures of all time.

John Matthew Stater said...

Thanks for the mention! I can only imagine the form he takes in the City.

Chris Sims said...

WOTC's website did stats for Santa one year around Christmas, I think for 3rd Edition. If I remember correctly, he was a high-level druid with a lot of ranks in craft (toys), and had a magic item like a Bag of Tricks, except instead of pulling out an animal, you pulled out a random toy.

I do not recall if there was a Random Toy Table, but I hope there was.

christian said...

One time in the World of Greyhawk, our party's Palading was run down by a deranged elf in red who had a sleigh drawn by demonic deer. It was awesome. The Paladin charged into their midst of the deer with a lance, killed one, then went down. He was trampled and mangled, but managed to live. :)

Trey said...

@Risus - Interesting, Ross' stuff is usually pretty good. I'll take a look at that.

@Matt - I think you may get a glimpse of the City's Yule-time patrons on Thursday. Stay tuned.

@Chris - Druid, huh? I guess I can see that. A random toy table would be pretty cool.

@Christian - Paladin got run over by a reindeer? Classic.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that movie, Santas Claus conquers the Martians was on TCM last Friday night. I had to take time out from LOTRO to watch it.

In the 80's Games Workshop had Santa Chaos, painted by Ian Miller, a crazed mutant from the northern Chaos gate. Judge Dredd has also chased Santa Claus as illustrated by Simon Bisley. Good stuff all around.