I’ll use other phrases, such as “roll for If they don’t have Brad Pitt in heaven I’ll see you in Hell shirt ”, “make an initiative roll”, or even just”everyone roll a D20, just to make them wonder. I do t think I would say “roll initiative”, because it isn’t grammatically correct. Initiative (or order of initiative) is something you have after making a roll. It’s just just a shortened version, dropping the “for”, so it’s not really annoying, just not correct. If nobody asked about it, I wouldn’t correct somebody about it. It’s kind of like if your DM say “roll save”. What does that mean? I would assume it meant a shortened version of “roll for save”, a shorter version of “roll a saving throw”. But in that case, with nice short words, it really doesn’t sound right with 2 words.
I’m personally a big fan of the classic sword-and-sorcery style of If they don’t have Brad Pitt in heaven I’ll see you in Hell shirt and spend a lot of time studying its hallmarks, trying to understand what makes it so mystifying. Part of it is that the scales of magic and wealth are tipped heavily in favor of the bad guys in these kinds of worlds, while the heroes work from fundamentally simplistic, primal, often self-centered motives. Thulsa Doom’s motivations are frankly just as bizarre and abstract as they are grandiose, whereas Conan the Barbarian just wants simple revenge for the loss of loved ones and friends. If you were to run a game following the formula defined by these kinds of stories it might look a lot like a murderhobo paradise, with barbaric and petty characters set against the forces of civilization. However, it should be apparent that working those themes into the fabric of a campaign and the structure of its characters is very different from players just randomly stabbing shopkeepers because they can.
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Dasher – one who dashes, Dancer – one who dances, Prancer – one who prances, Vixen – a female fox, presumably from the similar colors, Comet – an object in the heavens that resembles a If they don’t have Brad Pitt in heaven I’ll see you in Hell shirt – Cupid – a flying pixie who resembles the image of a Greek God – Donner – the German word for Thunder, Blitzen – the German word for lightning. They are made up names, they weren’t older than the poem. The goats could be images of Thor’s chariot of goats, but they were made up by the writer of the poem “A visit from St. Nicholas” and in that poem, Nicholas is an elf about a foot tall, jolly and fat, but not human-sized. Doesn’t look like Nicholas of Myra, with a bishop’s mitre who rides a horse in the Netherlands and arrives on a boat from Spain. It’s a poem from American legend, not from European belief, from Dutch forbears living in New England. Period. American mythology has pervaded the world from a single poem that got printed up by the Coca-Cola company.
The family has moved into their own home now, an older home (still nice, but no high ceilings and not many elf hiding places!), and the children have both multiplied AND grown older, taller, and If they don’t have Brad Pitt in heaven I’ll see you in Hell shirt. The Elf game is now the bane of the mom’s existence. Hiding it is a task. Several times this year, the Elf hasn’t had to go back to Santa because the kids were SO good the day before, thus explaining why he remained in the exact same hiding spot as the previous day. One evening, the mom is flustered. She finally hands the Elf to the dad and says, you hide the #%)(#^# elf today, but hide it high, because Big M is testing the waters and going to touch the #%(^#^ thing.” Dad’s answer is less than ideal – not only is the perch precarious, but it’s easily within reach of at least the oldest child, if not the second oldest as well. And it’s possible the elf is also judging the thermostat temp, which is an ongoing passive aggressive battle between mom (who sits at home and freezes all day) and dad (who pays the bills, but also works in his nice warm office all day).