Welcome again to another Freestyle Friday. It’s Good Friday and Easter is two days away. I thought I’d give you guys out there in internet land a little something special for Easter: 8 different ways to place an Easter egg in your game…
Easter eggs are little drop-ins that are obscure or are little bits that aren’t extremely important but would be something the viewer, reader, or in this case, the player would recognize and resonate with. Here are 8 little Easter eggs you can use as a DM to entertain your players.
- Reference a previous campaign: After some old characters have been retired and you know they aren’t going to see active service again, reference those characters or their deeds in chatter the players hear or something they see. If a character was an evil rogue, have someone seeking bounty on them or have a wanted poster up somewhere. The players can’t chase him or her down but just seeing that their old characters are gone (gameplay speaking) but not forgotten can give a little pep.
- Reference the player: Sometimes breaking the fourth wall can be pretty cool. Have the player appear in-world or have some characters vaguely reference the player in question. I often do this with myself when I’m DM and make rather self-deprecating remarks, such as saying something like “I’d rather date a balding blind man with a Tracheotomy than help you.”
- “Who would do such a thing?” This is where the DM mocks his or her own strategy or gameplay tropes by having a character reference something awful that happened in such a way that there is a double meaning as to whether they are referring to the event or criticizing the DM.
- TV Show: reference a TV show the players like by having a character similar to one of the stars or having a situation that is similar. Make sure it is an Easter egg more than one person would get though or it might fall flat. Same with all other Easter eggs.
- Politics: This is a thorny one, but a little bit of impersonation and mockery of a political figure is sometimes very funny. Make sure you don’t cross a line and know where your players stand politically. In my group, a hobgoblin that acts like President Trump would get a lot of chuckles and fun, but in a more conservative gaming group it might be considered improper or even offensive.
- D&D novels: There are some D&D heroes and heroines from the novels that a group that reads the books could really get behind. Of course most groups would love to meet Driz’zt and Farideh from Brimstone Angels is on my wish list. And dropping those characters in as cameos can be a good little pick-up for your party.
- Current events: Like politics, this can be a little tricky and is best avoided if you don’t know your players well enough. But if your players keep track of the news, there’s some great stuff you can pull off. One such example I saw in a livestream made during our last presidential election. It was a tie-in to “Storm King’s Thunder,” and one player said they would put up a wall and make the giants pay for it, echoing one of Trump’s promises on the campaign trail. I particularly liked the egg, but others might not.
- Video Games: Similar to TV, Video games offer another way to drop an Easter egg into your games. In addition to characters and bits of reference and story, off-handedly mentioning something that refers to the game mechanics can be a great little additional detail. Like all Easter eggs, you need to make it not so obscure your party won’t get it though. When I could see better and owned a Nintendo 64, one of my favorite games was “Space Station Silicon Valley.” Most reviewers considered it a great game, but I’m the only one who I know who had ever played it or even laid eyes on it, so it’s a bad source for an Easter egg.
So here’s to a good Easter to all of you from The Companions of the Perception Check. I hope to see those of you who aren’t dead from sugar overdose from peeps next week.
About the Author:
Zachary Ruffing is one of the DMs for “Companions of the Perception Check” and he lives with his 2 dogs and 2 rats. He enjoys classic lit and bad sci-fi and horror flicks. He recently went to town on some Peeps Oreos and is now putting his magical unicorn poop on the market, $300.00 an ounce.