Ask Your Readers: Christmas Gifts for Roleplayers

Christmas is approaching quite fast and people all around the globe are getting ready to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Roleplayers are usually no exception here and quite a few of them plan to get RPG-related gifts for their friends and family. I am sure we all have some friend or relative who has some interest in RPGs but hasn’t started playing yet. What would be a great gift for someone like this? And we all know the one guy who has everything! Are there any obscure and/or rare roleplaying products even that guy doesn’t own yet? Please post your recommendations below!

When I am ask what I would to give to my roleplaying friends as a present, there are a couple of things that come to mind:

Eureka is one of the coolest products I had the honor to review this year. It’s the perfect gift for any GM and it’s not some weird novelty but something you can really put to use all the time. Let me quoute from the review I wrote in August:

So why should any GM get Eureka? In my humble opinion it’s the most useful tool a gamemaster could probably have. We all know that sometimes coming up with a unique adventure can be very hard. Especially when you get older and you don’t have that much time to prepare your games, you’re happy for any help you can get. I am pretty sure I could open Eureka at any page, read the adventure plot I find there and run an adventure after only 15 minutes of prep, probably less. That’s the power of this book, and that’s why I wholeheartedly recommend it.

You can get Eureka from your local brick & mortar store, the Engine Publishing online shop or from DriveThruRPG, if you prefer the PDF version. Regardless where you buy it, it’s an awesome product and a great gift for any GM.

Open Game Table Vol. 1 and 2
The Open Game Table is one of the greatest projects I had part it. The two books currently available contain the best articles from the RPG blogosphere and are perfect gifts for anyone interested in RPGs. The 1st volume is a bit D&D-centric, but still has a lot of high-quality content even if you are not into that game. Let me quote from my friend Roberto’s (aka Sunglar) review of OGT Vol. 2 and my preview of OGT Vol. 1. Let’s start with Sunglar’s review of OGT Vol. 2:

I could muse on and on about more pots, probably about the whole book, but let me summarize it by saying this. The idea of collecting a selection of outstanding blog posts must be commended and applauded; it is a great opportunity to share ideas with gamers out there who might have missed them. If you have a friend who loves gaming, but may not be as active in the online community, this will make an excellent gift. If you are a gamer and just don’t have time to follow every blog (and who does), this is an excellent book to get. Even is you are a blogger and follow many of this talented authors, do yourself a favor and pick a copy, it is a different experience readying all these posts together, playing off each other and creating a greater whole out of the awesomeness of its parts.

And that’s what I had to say about OGT Vol. 1:

You don’t get articles written by detached game designers sitting in some emerald tower but every article was written by one of us, a roleplaying game fan, who writes about his hobby on the internet. So you probably ask yourself why you should buy the book when you can read the posts on the ‘net for free. In my opinion there are several reasons: you get a beautiful book that you can read while commuting, sitting in your garden or wherever you like without the need of a computer or internet access, the anthology also contains only the very best RPG blog articles of 2008 and it is organized in a clear and sensible manner. You’ll probably find many awesome articles you’ve missed on the ‘net, mainly because trying to follow everything that has been written on the network is like drinking from the proverbial firehose.

Both books shouldn’t be missing in any gamers’ library and are the perfect gift for anyone interested in gaming! You can get them from Lulu, and many other places. You can also get both the Open Game Table Vol.1 and Vol.2 as PDF documents at DriveThruRPG. There’s also a bundle deal that gets you both volumes for mere $17.

Last but not least there’s Savage Worlds, undoubtedly one of my favorite roleplaying game systems. It’s pretty inexpenisve, can be used with almost any setting and easy to learn and play. In my humble opinion every roleplayer worth his salt should at least own one copy of the Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition. Here’s an excerpt from a review I wrote ages ago:

If you are looking for a complex ruleset that has rules for every situation then SWEE is probably not the right choice for you. Check out GURPS instead. But if you need a simple and fast roleplaying rules system that can easily work with any setting, than SWEE is worth more than a look. The rules are very easy to learn and the edges and hindrances give players a lot of opportunities for creating unique characters. Another major selling point is the low price and the compact format. SWEE could be perfect when going to a roleplaying convention. Just throw the rules, some character sheets, a pencil, your dice and a deck of poker cards into your backpack and you’re good to go. If I should rate SWEE on a scale from 1 to 5, I would give it a 5.

The print edition should be available in your favorite brick and mortar store or your favorite online shop. The PDF version sets you back $9.99 and is available at DriveThruRPG.
These are my gaming gift recommendations for this year’s holiday season. But as the post’s title suggests I am also interested in your thoughts on that subject. Please share your gaming gift recommendations below! Any comment is highly appreciated!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

6 thoughts on “Ask Your Readers: Christmas Gifts for Roleplayers”

  1. I'm making "bags of holding" for my players. I could buy them commercially but I can make them cheaper. I got some shoulder bags form a local surplus store and I'm having a metal working friend of mine make metal plates that say "bag of holding" on them that he'll rivet to the front flap of each bag.

  2. A good gift to give if you want to use the theme of Christmas is Evil Hat Productions and Atomic Sock Monkey Press's game Spirit of the Season. It's compatible with Spirit of the Century and Truth & Justice. It's basically a pulp superhero game with a holiday flare. Sadly, it's no longer in print, but you can still find it in PDF form.

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