If you have not read the Christmas Encounter Table, it may be worth having a quick look before proceeding, as this is not the Santa Claus you’re familiar with, and far from the 5th edition homebrew versions of Kringle you might have seen elsewhere. My Santa, the Santa of my long-running annual Christmas Campaign is a villain, a wicked courtier of the Fey, a master of his own Wild Hunt. Tooth Fairies feed him information on the children of the world so that he can enslave their minds, ensuring his power is never challenged as those children grow into meddlesome adventurers, Baron Klaus, mad tyrant of the candy folk.
A few notes on my design choices:
Again I’ll be using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules, and presumes you have the Players Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Here I present Santa as a mid-level villain. The encounter table was for players no higher than level 4, but they should not be able to face him just by stumbling across him because of a random roll of the dice, the final encounter should be epic in scale, hunting the Fey lord to his Factory of Wonders deep in the frozen north. If players encounter him at random, he will toy with them, taunt them, remind them why trying to kill Santa is a terrible idea, in a similar vein to Strahd von Zorovich in the Ravenloft setting. Even his Hunt are never actively seeking the adventuring group, but will never pass up the opportunity to fight something interesting.
Note that Klaus does very little damage, he relies predominantly on manipulation of minds to get his way, and his unwavering army of minions to do the actual killing. Note that the spells he’s capable casting without effort make it easier for him to create the image of a jolly old man, capable of learning large amounts of information while remaining a mystery, and help him slip in and out of houses without being seen. He’s an arch villain, a tyrant, but not a fighter.
He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good… it might just save your life. Here is the final entry to the Encounter Table.
He arrives in a flurry of snow, the master of the solstice, the Cour in Red, Santa has found you.
Large fey, lawful evil
Armour Class 18 (natural armour)
Hit Points 220 (13d10 65)
|19 (+4)||16 (+3)||21 (+5)||17 (+3)||19 (+4)||22 (+6)|
Saving Throws Dex (+7), Wis (+8)
Skills Animal handling +8, deception +10, history +7, insight +7, perception +8, persuasion +10, stealth +7
Damage Resistances cold, psychic, damage from non magical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, unconscious
Senses darkvision 120ft, passive perception 18
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Seasonal Spirit If slain, Santa reappears in his Factory of Wonders at sunset on Christmas Eve. If the Factory is destroyed it reforms at the same time. This can be prevented by ensuring that no creature that is a juvenile of its species believes in Santa before sunset on Christmas Eve while Santa is dead and the Factory is destroyed. If Santa is alive, the Factory is still operational, or if a single child believes, Santa returns as normal.
Innate Spellcasting Santa’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 18, +10 to hit with spell attacks). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: darkness, detect evil/good, detect thoughts, faerie fire, friends, gaseous form, jump, knock, mending, thaumaturgy
2/day each: invisibility (self only), modify memory, sleep (as a level 4 spell), suggestion
1/day each: fabricate, heroes feast, mass suggestion
Legendary Resistance (1/Day) If Santa fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance Santa has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons Santa’s weapon attacks are magical.
Cane Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft ., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage and the target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or Santa moves the target 10 ft in a direction of his choosing.
Santa can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Santa regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Cane Santa makes one attack with his Cane.
Move Santa either moves his speed, or he can pilot his sleigh.
Spell Santa can cast a spell he has available. It costs 1 action to use a spell he can cast at will, and 2 actions to cast a spell that has limited uses per day.
Santa’s Sack: The heavy burlap sack functions as a bag of holding except that the space can be accessed by two separate sacks. Items put into either sack can be removed from the other and vice versa. Santa uses the sack to transport toys from his Factory of Wonders, but will occasionally pass kidnapped children in the opposite direction to enslave.
Sleigh: The sleigh is a vehicle that uses the statistics of a Sled in the Players Handbook, except that Santa does not contribute to its weight capacity. It is drawn by nine reindeer with a flight speed of 90 ft.