GridStream's Christmas 2018 Brainstorming thread

As some of you may know, I collect ideas every year at GridStream parties for Halloween and Christmas brainstorming, and it’s time for the Christmas one. I know it’s not even October yet, but that’s how the timing works out. After two weeks collecting ideas, I curate them into a somewhat ordered list, we put them in some semblance of order, and I put a little more detail into our favorites, with reference images where appropriate. Then I send those off to FC roughly two months before the event, which I figure is shortly before they need it. In order to get this list to them about the time they’re done making Halloween, this is how early we have to start thinking Christmassy. Take a little side trip to the Carpathians if it helps.

This is the first year I’ve had the option of also putting that list on an official froob-friendly FunCom forum. I’ll keep the whole list on the GSP forums, but we can discuss new ideas to add to it here, and then I’ll post the results here when they’re done. Also, the GSP list will be both AO and TSW, but I’ll split out the results to the two separate forums here. It seemed to work pretty well last time.

If you’d like to see the full list, the thread is at If you have a GSP forum account you can post your idea there if you want, or just reply here, or come to a show and tell me there.

And yes, you can always just post your own suggestion any time you want, in the Suggestions thread even, but I find that these Brainstorming threads, especially the discussions of them at parties, bring up a lot more ideas and more of them actually get posted in a big pile FC can more easily find. So let’s hear it. What do you want for Christmas, boys and girls?

There are some common sense guidelines, or would be if sense were common, so I’ll mention them just in case:

  1. Don’t infringe anyone else’s Intellectual Property.
    There are Fair Use exceptions for parody and such, and oblique references are fine, but a direct copy of someone else’s IP isn’t going to happen. Grey areas are not worth the trouble of getting lawyers involved.

  2. Items should be social in nature rather than providing a gameplay advantage.
    Minor conveniences and average gear, on par with the items we’ve had in previous years, are fine because that still comes out to a cosmetic difference from what’s normally available. Cache weapons are fine, even if they have some brand new effect, as we can expect FC to keep them roughly in line with all the other cache weapons.

  3. Keep it within the game’s rating and rules.
    Clothing can be pretty skimpy, like the various bikinis and outfits (Snakecharmer) we already have, but remember, only monsters go to “clothing optional” beaches. Ingesting drugs or alcohol, including tobacco, is similarly prohibited. I don’t recall anyone suggesting anything patently offensive in the past, but if even suggesting it would be against he EULA, it’s probably not very Christmassy anyway. Then again… Krampus. So, you know. “Christmassy” is relative. We can leave the grey areas in on this one and let FC make the call.

  4. New ideas are preferred, but I’m not going to ask anyone else to go back over 8 years of lists to check.
    If you want to go to the GSP forums and dig up one or two old TSW or even AO ideas, because they’re still your favorite ideas, go ahead. I’ll probably be doing that myself toward the end, just to remind them. Similarly, please look over this thread before you add to it (just this year’s, not all the past ones), to make sure someone else hasn’t just said the same thing. (Just write your idea down first so you don’t get distracted by all the shinies and forget yours.) If there’s already something similar, adding some details and/or options to it is always good.

I think we can already smoke and drink in this game. I know we could in TSW.

We can smoke smolders and drink assorted soft drinks and poisons. The label is the difference.

Let’s split the difference and give us Malort :skull_and_crossbones:

Also, we can get Ergot based drinks, at least in the Horned God (Ergot is a powerful hallucinogen and a precursor to LSD).

Seriously, though, how about some more of the niche Christmas Traditions from around the world?
Like the Gavle Goat

Goat Burning Competitions would make an absolutely EPIC alternative to our regular PvP.

Or, more comically, something based in Kaidan themed around the Japanese Christmas tradition of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I can see Dante taking the place of the Colonel. In full costume, of course. Something like, Brigadier General Dante’s Country Fried Akab. Now in regular and extra tasty crispy!

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We need more flavours of barrel hounds (in regards to what’s in the barrel) and a barrel puppy swarm. Imagine three little puppies frolicing around you while do your fireball stuff to save the world.

That Gavle Goat reminds me of the Beehemoth. Maybe the devs and GMs set them up somewhere in Agartha and we come burn them down. To make it a competition, maybe the ones who do the most damage to it get an extra piece of candy or whatever, but it shouldn’t be pointless for casual and social players to participate.

As for Dante… would that just be a little cosmetic detail? Like the decorations in Agartha? Or is there more to it? Or do we have to investigate to discover whether there’s anything more behind this cosmetic detail? My agents tell me Dante’s taco meat is nothing to be concerned about, but I’m not sure how much I trust those bums, either. If he started selling “chicken” I’m not sure I’d want to investigate it.

@Svella, while a barrel puppy swarm does sound adorable, I suspect the folks who complain about pet lag and pet noise and such would object. I can put it in the list anyway, but I think the “flavors” of barrels are more likely. Of course, if FC were to implement a switch to ignore, as in not even render, other people’s pets, maybe whole litters of puppies would be fine.

Just ran into one more, that would, in fact, fit right in with our current Viking theme:

I’m not sure how exactly this would happen in SWL. Where do you imagine a burning longboat or a procession of torches would work? There’s some undead Norsemen in Kingsmouth… maybe they dredge up the boat they arrived in and we bring the torches? It doesn’t really seem like a very New England celebration, but does Stonehenge have a coastline within range? I can just throw it in the list anyway and see if it sparks some idea, but it would be nice to have some idea how it would work.

Well, Nova Scotia literally means ‘New Scotland’ and it isn’t that far from Solomon Island (the real life Deer Island is often given as the modal for Solomon Island, I believe, although it has been years since I’ve seen the threads with all the photos and specifics), so it would be reasonable for there to be some cultural bleed through:,+Canada/@42.787242,-71.3587819,5z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4b591298de18cf45:0x102581ef8cf0940!8m2!3d44.6819866!4d-63.744311,+ME/@44.222001,-68.9868238,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4cae83ad5341b319:0x86e980589e582d8c!8m2!3d44.2245068!4d-68.6777805

As you can see, if the Fog were not in the way, we would actually be able to see the coast of Nova Scotia from the docks at Kingsmouth.

Running into a Scottish celebration would not be out of place there, especially with all the Norse mythology around.

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Okay, so, the Christmas ideas are coming together slowly. That’s not unusual. Halloween is the big favorite, and Christmas always lags behind. It’s just lagging more than usual, so, here’s some idea seeds. Some vague notions that came up and could use some specific ideas.

  • beverages
    Some old favorites have already been suggested, but if you have a favorite Christmastime beverage, we can add it to the list, whether that’s your winter or summer or you live somewhere that has no seasons … like SWL…
    -hot chocolate
    -mulled apple wine
    -hot spiced cider
    -buttered rum
    -and eggnog, of course

  • snacks to go with those beverages
    Gingerbread cookies and Danish Butter cookies are all we’ve got for those so far. Anyone else have any particular favorite Christmas snacks, cookies, candies, or whatever?

  • a new Arctic Circle mission
    Something related to The Christmas Conspiracy, perhaps reusing some of the assets from Amundsen’s expedition… but what? Any ideas what might be going on at the north pole that fits with what we’ve seen so far?

  • a candy cane hammer skin
    … but what about the other weapons? Should we just start with that one, or ask for candy / icicle / gingerbread versions of all the weapons? Or toys? Or is that getting too silly? Maybe just to get the ideas out there:
    -icicle swords
    -candy cane pistols
    -gingerbread elemental focus
    -gift-wrapped chaos focus
    What about claws?
    Shotguns and rifles just bigger candy canes, or does someone have a better idea for those?
    Gift wrap the blood book too, or make it a specific book?

  • “Naughty” and “Nice” outfits
    It’s been pointed out, every time I bring this up, that I was already wearing the “Naughty List Bikini” when I asked. But SWL doesn’t have that. Yet. It’s on the list already. If they don’t just copy that, does anyone have any other ideas for what these might be?

  • winter makeup and hair
    There were a couple examples for this already, but we could use more.
    -like a blue fade eyeliner with gratuitous glitter - []
    -green hair with red highlights, or red and silver, blue and silver
    -add a dusting of snowflakes to any hair

Still open to new ideas too, but I just thought these might kick off something.

Here’s the SWL portion of the final list. If you’re interested in both AO and SWL, it might be easier to read the combined list on the GSP forum:

  1. [both] Xmas thigh-highs and/or leggings, like AO’s Halloween ones

In AO, this would be a Christmas version of the striped Halloween tights/stockings, either continuing up to a low waist, like SWL’s elfin leggins, or with a little bare thigh showing below matching panties or boyshorts. Or even better with both options. And they’d have to set a low priority foot texture, too, so we can either wear boots over them or have stockings all the way down to some matching slippers or something.

In SWL, I guess they’d be separate colors to collect, rather than changing colors with a right-click like in AO. Unfortunately, there’s still no lingerie layer, (I’m still assuming you want to do that someday) so they’ll have to be either leg items with a hip part, as above, or foot items that cover halfway up the thigh, if you can manage that. If both are possible, having options would again be even better.

Also several designs were suggested, not just colors, so again, the more options the better:

  1. [both] strappy stripey candy cane bikini

This is an example I came up with a few years ago, trying to design the rest of an outfit that would go with candy cane striped thigh-high stockings. I still think it needs better shoes than what I’ve drawn, but the rest is pretty much exactly what I want. It should work in both AO and SWL, and if you wanted to make matching outfits like this for the other thigh-highs listed above, that would be awesome, but at least this one would be a good start.

  1. [both] “Nice List” outfit to go with the “Naughty List Bikini”

AO’s had that “Naughty List Bikini” for what, a decade now? And there’s still no “Nice List” outfit? This idea also works for SWL, but they’d need the “Naughty List Bikini” copied over there first. Heck, they just need that anyway.

Some options:

  • Nice List Swimsuit - vintage 1940’s style one-piece, red with white snowflakes and bows, maybe ruffles like the SWL “bikinis”
  • Nice List Play Suit - jogging gear / sports bra and tennis shorts / leotard and tights (less 1980’s aerobics, more 2000’s yoga)
  • Nice List Nightwear - Christmas version of Adrienne’s Valentine’s Day Naughty Nightwear from AO
  1. [both] red and green pasties / nipple shields

Because sometimes the Naughty List isn’t naughty enough. If Krampus is coming for you anyway, may as well have fun with it. This isn’t even the naughtiest stuff that was suggested, but I’m trying to keep it within the established ratings. Barely.

  • with tassels / tinsel
  • glowing
  • with blinking Christmas lights
  • shiny hemispheres, like Christmas Tree balls, with tinsel tassels hanging from the hooks in front
  • ribbon bows
  1. [both] snowflake lingerie

There were two ideas that came up for this. The one that’s been on previous Christmas lists was a snowflake bikini, like three of AO’s Snowflake Nanosprays sized down and applied as chest and leg items. Like this:

The second, which I don’t think we’ve asked for before, is a white mesh teddy, almost transparent like the white fishnet stockings on the 2nd and 6th Anniversary Play Costumes, with opaque snowflakes on it here and there. The snowflakes would stand out as the part that /doesn’t/ shimmer with moire interference. Or maybe hexagonal lace so it looks like a frosted window with snowflake decorations. Not just the mandatory three flakes as above, but a little flurry of them scattered about. Kind of like these:

  1. [SWL] “Elves are Slave Labor” t-shirts

  2. [both] velvet bodysuit

Long sleeves, no legs, and all velvet. Dark red velvet, like cranberry or burgundy. Lace top stay-up ivory thigh-high stockings. Matching red slippers or heels.

  1. [both] top hat with mistletoe dangling off the front

…so you can position it over the person you’re wanting to smooch. Maybe instead of straight, tilt it at a cheeky angle? That’s a couple degrees less than a jaunty angle, right?

  1. [both] red ribbon bikini

Every year we ask for the “just a red ribbon” outfit, but you keep passing on it. What if we call it “Red Miiir with Bows” instead? If the Miiir outfit didn’t have all those leg bands, it would be pretty much this. Then just put a bow on it. For SWL players who don’t know Miiiir, it’s kinda like Leeloo’s strappy outfit, so imagine that reduced to one horizontal band and one vertical, with bows.

  1. [both] Christmas beverages
  • hot chocolate
  • mulled apple wine
  • hot spiced cider
  • buttered rum
  • horchata
  • hot spiced mead
  • and eggnog, of course
  • moonshine? for those who think Plumbo is too healthy for them? But call it “White Lightning” or something.
  • Moose Milk (it’s a Canadian thing - 2 parts eggnog, 1 part vanilla ice cream, 1 part rum, sprinkle with nutmeg)
  1. [both] red flannel or red/green plaid onesie, or PJs

Like the colorful onesies we got in SWL for social media campaigns, but less trademark icon colors and more Norman Rockwell Christmas.

  1. [SWL] winter makeup and hair
  1. [both] One-shoulder soiree dress in red and white candy cane stripes

Same cut as SWL’s current “One-shoulder soiree dress”, just make that one shoulder one of the stripes, and the rest of the dress continue that pattern in red and white stripes. Spiral, not circles, so the stripes appear to move like a barber’s pole when you twirl. Well… a curvy barber’s pole.

  1. [both] classic ski bunny outfit
  • AO - like the Stylish Skiing Outfit, but red and white, with a smaller (midriff) jacket with the zipper down
  • SWL - something less bulky than the winter gear we have now, more suited to sipping mulled cider with rum in a ski lodge and hitting on instructors than actually skiing
  1. [SWL] festive weapon skins
  • Sword: icicle swords, or candy canes, like when you suck one end down to a point
  • Hammer: candy cane hammer or giant Salvation Army Santa bell
  • Fist: fist full of small candy canes like they sell in a box, or tied onto the back of your hand with a gift wrap ribbon, or icicle spikes on a frosted red and white glove
  • Chaos: pie with crust on top so you can’t tell what’s in it, maybe little holly designs on the crust, or maybe just a giant red gift bow, possibly dripping with blood
  • Blood Magic: Bettie Kruger’s Cursed Cookie recipe book? Grimm’s Yuletide Tales? Or maybe it’s still giftwrapped
  • Shotgun: a pump action candy cane?
  • Rifle: Red Ryder BB Gun with a red bow on it
  • Pistol: two flintlock candy canes
  1. [both] “naughty” and “nice” outfits

AO’s had a “Naughty List Bikini” for a long time, but as mentioned at the top of the list, SWL still doesn’t, and there’s still no “Nice” version. How about a whole new outfit for both that comes in Naughty and Nice variants? I imagine a corset or bustier, matching panties, garter belt, thigh-high stockings, high heels, and long gloves, all in either white lace or black leather. For boys, maybe a nice jacket, no shirt, well fitting dress slacks and shoes, and a flat brim hat.

  1. [SWL] more Barrel Hounds

Do they have to be St. Bernards? The whole brandy rescue dog thing is a myth anyway, so why not other cold weather dogs, like Siberian Huskies with other beverages, in this case Vodka? Norwegian Elkhounds with Aquavit?

It would be terribly cute to have a barrel puppy swarm, like three of them that frolic around you and play, as long as they don’t chase the fireballs you throw. Unfortunately, it would certainly cause an uproar with the folks who are put off by the lag and noise pets cause. If there was an option to ignore (not even render) other people’s pets, that should help both camps, but I suppose it’s a bit much for a holiday patch. If you happened to have that in the pipeline already, that would be great.

  1. [SWL] something based in Kaidan themed around the Japanese Christmas tradition of Kentucky Fried Chicken
  1. [both] Christmas Frank N. Furter (male and female versions)
  • white fur-lined black leather above the knee boots
  • black fishnet stockings
  • black booty shorts
  • black leather corset with white fur trim and silver details
  1. [both] red and green gloves
  • both plain red and plain green, as well as red/green with holiday colored trim/wrists
  1. [SWL] H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society - Death to the World, to play in shops and radios during the Christmas event, or at least carolers wandering about and spouting eerie variations of carols in NPC chat

  2. [SWL] candy cane earrings

  3. [both] tiny mouse-sized pets

  • mini-leet
  • mini-swiftwind / tiny pony
  • little dancing fairy
  1. [SWL] Up Helly Aa
  1. [both] wearable cookie frosting
  • the same frosting we put on gingerbread cookies in AO, as a chest item
  1. [both] more colors of top hats

  2. [both] gingerbread bikini

  • just gingerbread colored, with white straps and piping, not made of cookies
  1. [SWL] assault rifle with a freeze ray that charges up instead of grenades

  2. [SWL] bring back The Christmas Conspiracy, please, if you weren’t planning to already

  • and perhaps make it easier to keep the flute without having to pause the mission
  1. [SWL] new Arctic Circle mission
  • perhaps a corollary to The Christmas Conspiracy
  • maybe reusing some of the assets from Amundsen’s expedition
  1. [both] Christmas Kilts
  • red and green with a couple of jingling silver bells on the sporran
  1. [both] silver tinsel lei and little gold thong

  2. [both] snowflake tattoos

  3. [both] pumpkin spice pumpkins

  • I’m still waiting to see this on RK4, so how about we beat them to it?
  1. [SWL] sleigh hoverboard
  • reindeer pulled sleigh sprint, with a sleigh to ride in - probably too complicated, but it’s an idea
  1. [both] the Gavle Goat
  • like the Beehemoth, the devs and GMs set them up somewhere in Agartha and we come burn them down
  • to make it a “goat burning competition”, maybe the ones who do the most damage to it get an extra piece of candy or whatever, but it shouldn’t be pointless for casual and social players to participate
  1. [SWL] bring back snow blowers and piles of snowballs, but not so many fireworks, please

Thanks to everyone who contributed! I know I’m looking forward to seeing what The Ghost of Saint Nicholas brings this year. And now back to Halloween farming.