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Your Most Popular Gift Ideas for GMs

What should you buy your game master this holiday? We asked and you answered. Here's the top gift ideas you recommended and links to buy them. [h=3]Miniatures (44%)[/h]The number one most-voted gift in our poll was miniatures, and it's easy to see why. For games that use miniatures, including Dungeons & Dragons (and OSR/Pathfinder), miniatures are always valuable, as per Terry Herc:

I put minis because they are expensive and get used by everyone at the table. A think a bulk pack or something (especially painted!) would be my favourite gift.

For game masters, monsters are probably more important than other figures, so plastic toys can stand-in as miniatures. The best appropriately-scaled figures appear to be 3D printed from Smiling GM. 40 28mm fantasy miniatures include 5 each of goblins, fairies, hags, imps, lizardmen, oozes, and orcs for $25. For slightly more ($40), Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box provides a suitable alternative with 300 creatures included.

[h=3]Rulebooks (37%)[/h]Rulebooks were the second-most popular, but Von Ether had a caveat:

Rulebook that for once I don't have to buy. Though the odds are if a player gets me a rule book, their will be an ulterior motive.

There's far too many games to list for purchase here, but for DMs who have everything the new Limited Alternate Covers Core Rule Gift Set makes a beautiful (if expensive at $154) gift.

[h=3]RPG-Themed Clothing (19%)[/h]RPG-themed clothing has proliferated in recent years, but purchasing them obviously requires knowing your game master's shirt size. MNBLockhead thought this was a good idea:

Good, if you know the DMs tastes and size. Many of my players and I wear "gaming" shirts on game day. Just t-shirts with usually humorous art and text on them. I would love receiving these, but I am hesitant to gift them, mostly because I am awful with sizing. One thing I do though, is that some kickstarters include t-shirts as extra stretch goals. I'll often buy a couple extra at different sizes to give to one of my sons or a friend.

There is a wide variety of outlets that sell geek-related shirts of all types. The shirts that have gotten the most press are actor and D&D-cheerleader Joe Manganiello's Death Saves store. If you're looking for something a little more holiday-themed, Amazon has a few long-sleeved choices.

[h=3]Dice (19%)[/h]After rulebooks and miniatures, dice probably get the most wear-and-tear for active role-players, and along with miniatures the most frequently lost. Maceochad agreed:

Wooden deck/dice boxes are great, especially if you see them carting around ye olde velour dice bag. They can be pricey but if the whole group pitches in it will be something they will really use. (My friend Daniel Reiss at Elderwood Academy makes really nice ones!)

From a sheer volume perspective, you can get 20 complete sets of different-colored dice in one big bag from Outee. But a nicer gift might be this comprehensive set that includes 6 full sets of dice with different dragon heads, with the colors matching the type of dragon on the bag. It even includes a dragon-themed dice tower.

After those three popular choices, you ranked terrain (17%), RPG Decor (15%), a GM's screen (9%), theme music (4%), and digital products (3%). In the Other category (7%), rknop said it best:

A group spirit and a willingness to go along with the story that the GM and the rest of the players are trying to create. The ability to have your own character be an individual without making that individual so uncompromising that you refuse to accept another character, or to play the game that is there. Willingness to make a character that fits with the genre. Making your character effective without trying to break the scenario because it's "hilarious".

In the end, perhaps the best gift you can give a game master is to be an enthusiastic player who is present for every game.

Mike "Talien" Tresca is a freelance game columnist, author, communicator, and a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to http://amazon.com. You can follow him at Patreon.

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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Von Ether

... the Limited Alternate Covers Core Rule Gift Set makes a beautiful (if expensive at $154) gift."

At that price, the GM screen is practically free. The retail price of almost $170 give you a discount on the screen, I think. But it still means the three fancy books covers are regular cost.


Awwww... I missed the party.

I would have loved to add "Trophies" in the "World's OKayest DM" style, but not just some dime-store trinket. For example, I'm having a fairly large wooden d20 made, stained, and numbered to make into the centerpiece of a trophy for a first-time IRL DM.