Saturday 26 December 2009

Christmas atmosphere and geeky pastimes

I have a confession to make: I am a geek. Which means that I love what many geeks love: role-playing game and pseudo-medieval stuff. You have been warned, this post is about both.

I don't know if it is only me and my two brothers, but I strongly associate Christmastime with Dungeons & Dragons since I started to play the game, more than fifteen years ago, just as much as I associate it with Viking mythology. Any similar feeling from gamers among you? It just fits Christmas, for some reason, more than it fits other times of the year. It is partially because we only play D&Dr now during the Christmas holidays (not this time sadly, not this time), but not only for that reason. Cold winter days and evenings just encourage us to spend time inside throwing dices and playing characters, while eating some cupcakes or Swedish pastries (more on this another time). You can look outside and just see a travelling party walking in the snow. And when the Christmas tree is in, there is the smell that just makes you feel like you are in the woods.

There is also the music. My brother already blogged about it back in 2006. Jessye Norman's Christmastide for instance has many traditional songs that sets beautifully a D&Dr atmosphere. Another one I find particularly atmospheric is this very difficult to find Swedish Christmas CD. When your characters go on a journey or are on their way to a battle, put their rendition of La marche des rois. Goosebumps guaranteed. I also find many rendition of the Coventry Carol particularly good to imagine characters warming their bones by a fireplace somewhere, in an inn or a castle.

Below is an interpretation of the Coventry Carol. Next time, I might blog about crime fiction and Christmas.

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