Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Fandomentals TTRPG Gift Guide 2023

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Black Friday returns this week and it’s time to get those gifts going! Today, let’s talk about the things we can get for the Tabletop Role Player in your life: your DM, your adventuring partner, your friend you don’t see for multiple hours every Tuesday because he’s busy being a Wizard. Encourage their obsession with one of these picks! And check out our previous guide for even more ideas!

Dungeons & Dragons Lore & Legends

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

MSRP: $50

Something for the D&D superfan in your life, this book is absolutely stuffed with breathtaking art from the last ten years of 5E, going from the initial conception up to the books released THIS year. Not only does it make for a great coffee table book to thumb through, there’s a lot to learn from it if you’re interested in the behind the scenes design process as well as what went into things like the Stream of Many Eyes, D&D Beyond, and more.

The Game Master’s Handbook of Proactive Roleplaying

Publisher: Media Lab Books

MSRP: $14.99

The Game Master’s Handbook of Proactive Roleplaying cover

Any of the Gamemaster’s Guide series would make a great book for the GM in you life, but I’m a big fan of this one thanks to the solutions it offers to an often overlooked problem. Roleplaying in TTRPG’s always assumes quite a bit of the DM and the amount of improv needed can often be daunting. This book breaks down the essential skills of good storytelling so you can create more interesting and fun games for players. Players can also benefit from reading it as a way of understanding how the game can be ran and how to help their GM/DM tell a better story. Plus at that price it’s a real stand out compared to most expensive tabletop ephemera.

Ultimate TTRPG Campfire Deck

Publisher: Adams Media

MSRP: $19.99

Another little DM tool that works wonders is this from James D’Amato, who took a break from explaining how to make good lairs and baddies to help you generate good conversations in between adventures. While some groups do eschew this aspect of the game in favor of more dungeons and murder hobo-ing, there’s a lot of great character that can be done around a warm fire. I mean those are some of the best parts of any RPG video game! Get to know your character and your fellow party members in ways you never really thought possible. It’s also a great character creation tool to boot!

Heroes’ Feast Flavors of the Multiverse: An Official D&D Cookbook

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

MSRP: $35.00

Another collectible Ten Speed release but one that I think a lot of D&D fans will have had their eyes on. Similar to the first Heroes’ Feast, Flavors of the Multiverse splits itself up into different planes and demiplanes like Barovia, the Feywild, and Spelljammer. For players and GM’s it can be a fantastic resource for worldbuilding and even character work while also being a compendium of truly great food. The writing is sharp and sometimes even funny (which is rare for a cookbook) but the recipes are all rock solid and a fantastic addition to anyone’s cookbook shelf.

Cantrip Candles Adventure Triptych

MSRP: $48.00

Any single Cantrip Candles release makes a great gift. Their 16 oz candles are AMAZING with the included d20 and if you’re feeling fancy their concrete casts are a gorgeous set piece. But the Adventure Triptychs are maybe my favorite item on their shop because it really has everything I love about their candles all in one go. The candles are all tied together by a theme but are not all the same scent and the production value of the box is top notch. The Stealth Triptych aims for a more chill, underground vibe while the Pensive Triptych is great for the wizard in your life who needs some comforting scents to help study.

Dragonbane Core Set

Publisher: Free League

MSRP: $47.60

Now I of course would love to just recommend a whole bevy of books to you to try but that list wouldn’t be nearly short enough, so I decided to just pick one of my favorites for this year. And that’s Dragonbane, the weird and wonderful new TTRPG from Free League that updates and remixes a classic Swedish TTRPG for the modern market. It has a refreshingly old school vibe without being quite as edgy as others of that sort (I mean there are playable duck people). Free League’s boxed sets are some of the best in the business and this one is no exception containing not just the Rulebook and a set of adventures, but also maps, dice, characters and blank sheets, and even some monster standees. It’s very much a “pick up and play” sort of title and that makes it great for anyone who wants to try something new.

Many Worlds Tavern Coffee

MSRP: $16/bag

You know I have a special place in my heart for nerdy coffee companies and I could go on about my love for Found Familiar and Smugglers. But I wanted to spotlight one of the newer companies on the scene in Many Worlds Tavern, a company from Texas with a fantastically cozy vibe and amazing coffee. I’ve loved all their stuff (their tea is very good too) but their coffee stood out to me as something really special. And you know what else they’ve done? They made some DAMN fine instant coffee too. I know, put down the pitch forks and just listen. No it’s not QUITE as good as the real deal but sometimes you just DON’T have time to brew a cup before work or before your weekly D&D session. When that happens it’s great to have something fast and tasty ready to go. Even if you’re not into the nerdy themes, it’s just a fine cup of coffee.

Yaniir Class Apparel

T-Shirt: $35.44

Sweatshirt: $60.90

Long Sleeve: $45.45

Yaniir is one of my alltime favorite Dice Makers and I highly encourage you to check out her range of handmade dice and dice jewlery if you’re looking for something truly special and one of a kind. But on the more affordable end of things, I’d recommend her apparel for people looking for a really striking gift for the TTRPG player in your life. Find out their favorite class and get them one that truly captures that class’s essence, or if they’re a DM get them the TPK shirt to help them rub it in. They’re just some fantastic pieces of art that help you show off your hobby without it being quite as…nerdy as some other options.

Images via Respective Owners

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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