RPG Blog Carnival: Holiday Generator

Note from Brent: The Merry Month of May is all about festivals and holidays in the RPG Blog Carnival this year. While things have been busy and I didn’t have time this week to write something new, I thought it appropriate to re-share this piece I wrote back in 2019, also for the Carnival. It’s a sweet little table that sits in my GM binder and I get a surprising amount of use from. Since it’s been a while I am dusting it off for you to look at again. See you next week with a brand new piece!

I’m always on the hunt for random generators that can not only help simplify my work at the table, but add a bit of colour to my campaign. As we’ve touched on in previous RPG Blog Carnival articles, festivals and holidays are a great way to do that. But sometimes you don’t have time to fully develop one for your campaign, or you need one on the fly. I’ve created a random generator which uses a d4, a d8, and a few d20s to help you come up with a name for your festival. That should help jumpstart some ideas on how it’s celebrated and what it’s about, and you can go from there. Always remember, you don’t have to explain everything about the festival or holiday right away. Let the players have their characters do the work of asking around and figuring out what’s going on. Listen carefully to what they think the festival is, and either ply to or against that expectation, whichever is the most fun.

To start, roll a d4 to get the structure of the festival/holiday’s name. Then roll on the charts indicated to generate that name. Feel free to adjust individual words as necessary to make the name make sense.

Roll d4:

  1. [Roll on A] of the [Roll on B] [Roll on C]
  2. [Roll on C](‘s) Day
  3. [Roll on B] [Roll on C] Festival
  4. Special Event; Roll on D

Column A (roll d20)Column B (roll d20)Column C (roll d20)Column D (roll d8)
1. Month1. Good1. Epiphany1. Important Birthday
2. Lamentation2. Drunken2. Stoat2. Village Centennial
3. Festival3. Sober3. Saint3. Naming Celebration
4. Flagellation4. Wicked4. Fool4. Solstice
5. Week5. Smiling5. Earth5. Equinox
6. Anniversary6. Pallid6. Advent6. Eclipse
7. Birth7. Burly7. Dragon7. Trade Festival
8. Harrowing8. Wise8. Flumph8. Military Parade
9. Solemnity9. Welcome9. Martyr
10. Remembrance10. Forbidden10. Faerie
11. Night11. Terrible11. Orc
12. Gala12. Wondrous12. Goblin
13. Feast13. Pestilent13. Magi
14. Running14. Penitent14. Moon
15. Competition15. Dancing15. Sun
16. Masque16. Whistling16. Guardian
17. Jubilee17. Smiling17. Judgement
18. Anniversary18. Crying18. Hag
19. Day19. Smelly19. Angel
20. Equinox20. Friendly20. Satyr

And of course, feel free to add your own words to this list, and change it however you like. Or if you come up with a list of your own, share it with us in the comments on our Facebook Page. We’d love to see it.