Yesterday, I notched over 10,000 page views for the LAND O’ NOD. In celebration, I’m putting up a Calendar of NOD for download.
Some explanation: I love sitting down to read settings with totally imaginary gods, new calendars, etc. On the other hand, I don’t love running those settings, at least not for people who haven’t read all the same material I have, because they don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention Pelor or the month of Harvesthold or whatever – at least, not in the same way as if I mention Apollo or October. The purely imaginary is fun, but sometimes takes players out of the game, especially if they’re like my players and would rather spend their time playing and exploring dank caves and moldering ruins instead of brushing up on an encyclopedia of imaginary stuff.
When I decided to put together a calendar for NOD, I had two things in mind:
1 – Keep it simple – I have enough to do running a game, I don’t need to tax brain remembering a complicated calendar.
2 – Make it immediately accessible to the players, with just a tinge of fantasy to keep it “exotic”.
To keep things simple, I decided that each month would have four weeks of seven days each, and I threw in a 13th month (Midsummer, technically) to keep the year about as long as a real year. I used slightly archaic names for the other months to make them recognizable.
I then decided to inject some fantasy into the fact that there are 13 months, which, we all know, has to be unlucky. So, Januar becomes the cursed month, a month of twilight when the dead Sun is tromping through the Underworld awaiting rebirth. During this month, all over the globe, the skies are always overcast and the sun is but a dim, gibbous light. During these months, all the evil things that dwell in the dark corners of NOD emerge from their caves and walk the land. The unconsecrated dead rise from their graves and caper and cavort. Goblins sharpen their blades and make war on humanity. Dragons emerge from their slumber and remind people of their true place in the hierarchy of things. Januar is the month when adventurers are loath to leave the security of stinking, disease-ridden city-states, for they know something much worse is waiting outside.
Anyhow – you can download the calendar as a PDF below. The holidays on the calendar refer back to the Gods of the Motherlands (not yet published, but very soon), a mash-up of Greco-Roman religion with the Medieval Christian Church.