There are a lot of great deals available on line. Which is fine if you must save money. But, I strongly recommend supporting your local games shop. My favorites are Destiny City Comics, Wizards Keep Games, Shane’s Cards, Tacoma Games, Mox Boarding House, Krampus Kave, Book and Game, and Digital Heroes.
Supporting a local shop introduces you to great people, encourages them to host games and helps your city continue a culture of discovery and creation.
Here’s some general overview of gifts before we head into my particular callouts as great purchases to amplify fun.
- Target boardgame and D&D starter set discounts (Polygon)
- The best D&D gift ideas for fans, players, and Dungeon Masters (Polygon)
- A 2022 board game gift guide (Don’t Eat the Meeples)
- My 2021 gift guide.
- Have Christmas inspire your next Artificer
Every suggested item is something I’ve purchased myself or from a company I have purchased from .
Stormwreck Isle (review at Strange Assembly) – The current Starter Set launched at Target, but is now available everywhere. It’s cleaner, simpler than the initial Starter Set (Lost Mines of Phandelver). If you have someone in your life who hasn’t played before but should this 10-20 dollar purchase is perfect.
Stranger Things (review at Polygon) – Millions of people had their love of Dungeons & Dragons reawakened by Will in the Netflix series Stanger Things. There’s a box set available written as if the group wrote it. It can be hard to find, with eBay prices over $60.
Player’s Handbook – Amazon has it so cheap you may as well give it to a friend who hasn’t said they’re interested in D&D.
Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen (review at Polygon) – Send your party to war in the world of Krynn. The adventure’s main opponent is a death knight that rides death dragons and lives in a flying citadel. As war rages around you, you will have to deal with the chaos of war to attempt to save a kingdom as dragon armies ready to conquer the world.
Journeys through Radiant Citadel (review roundup at ENWorld) – What I love about Radiant Citadel is that it doesn’t tell stories that I am familiar with — these are new tales by mostly new talent, all BIPOC. The art is vibrant and fantastical; the stories well written.
DnD Beyond – The entry level (hero) subscription is perfect for people who create characters for fun. I have nearly 100 characters created because creating characters helps teach me about myself and the world.
Warlock – Kobold Press is a third-party publisher that puts out unrivaled content mostly focused on swords & sorcery mixed with high fantasy. Their Warlock magazine-style subscription has the feelings of pre-2e D&D with rules perfect for modern play. I have several of their books, Tome of Beasts is an excellent collection of monsters.
Arcadia – From MCDM, the creators of Kingdoms and Warfare and several other supplements, Arcadia is a full-color, fantastical to D&D-superheroes type of content. Many of their authors have freelanced for official D&D.
T-shirts – I may just be including this because my body changed a bit during the years of stress related to the global pandemic. I need new shirts and frequently wear graphic T-s underneath flannel. Head to Heroes & Villains if you just want to give someone a one-off that’s stunning.
I cannot map. So I support these creators.
Deven Rue creates amazing frame-able maps that equally belong on office walls and gaming table.s
Dyson Logos focuses on dungeons. Most of their maps are available for free because of the strong Patreon support. Add to that support if you plan on using the art. Like Deven, Dyson has appeared in official products.
For outdoor battle maps I love 2-minute Tabletop. They also create assets for a creator to blend and make their own maps.
Watabou is where I head when I need a map fast and trust a procedural generator.
Psuedodragon – I may get this one for myself. Who doesn’t want a smol draggo hanging out with you in the office? It’s about the size of a large textbook.
Eldrador Creatures – These minis that aren’t official; they are perfect for fantasy play. You will need to stat them up. That’s one of the joys of playing D&D.
My favorite fancy dice are from Artisan Dice. Their woods and stones are unique. For cases and Hope Shields I go to Wyrmwood. There are two places I suggest for people with personal 3D printers — Hero Forge for characters and mz4250 for creatures.
As big of a coffee nerd as I am a D&D nerd, I’ve found one roaster that combines their passion for both to put out the highest quality — Found Familiar. Regular Gnoll is what I get when I want something with cream.
Friday Afternoon Tea creates dozens of geek-inspired blends. Bard’s Blend is my most frequent purchase.
What if you’re shopping for me?
If you’re me you’ll enjoy everything listed above, as well as things on my wishlist.