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Versions
Pg. 1
Nick: 
PDF version
Publisher: 
Year: 2013
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
Product Code: AJ XMAS2013
8 pages
Size: Letter
English
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From publisher blurb:

I am an unrepentant fan of the 1964 film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It know that it’s goofy, made on a ridiculously low budget, and has plot holes you could fly a team of reindeer through. I don’t care. It’s just fun. The idea that Martians would kidnap Santa Claus to help their children, because their own technological advancements have made them distant and cold, is sweet and touching. With a few notable exceptions, they’ve used their technological progress to move away from being a mighty warrior race toward being a kinder, more compassionate people.

The movie was meant to be a Cold War allegory, with the Martians standing in for the Soviets but it never quite works on that level. Certain Martians admired Earth culture and saw adapting to it as a way to resolve their own internal problems, sure, and the superiority of good old American whatever (because Santa is clearly American here, in spite of residing at the North Pole) proves true. I find more in common with modern society; the Martian children are glued to Earth television and have no concept of play, and modern kids are firmly planted in from of screen of various sizes and suffer from obesity because they have no concept of “outside”.

The film offers up an intersection of fantasy and science fiction that in and of itself makes it transportable to a fantasy roleplaying game. Martians can come from another planet or another plane. Their technology is reminiscent of the classic 1st edition adventure module where adventures explore peaked barriers and find robots and ray guns. There is precedent for this sort of silliness. If your campaign world lacks a Santa Claus analog, there are plenty of deities, demigods, and heroes that the Martians might want to kidnap back to their own world to help resolve their problems, whatever that may be.

For more on using Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as roleplaying game fodder, check out the systemless setting from Asparagus Jumpsuit, available where you acquired this holiday freebie. You should also check out other entries in the Monster Hide line, for variants of more traditional fantasy roleplaying game monsters.

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