Features | Written by EdFortune 24/11/2020

STARBURST’s D&D Christmas Guide

Dungeons and Dragons players are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. After all, when someone’s hobby is ‘being everyone else in an entire world’, it can make getting gifts for the Dungeon Master, Paladin or Warlock in your life a little daunting.

We’ve pulled together a list of some our favourite Dungeons and Dragons related things that we think might make a good gift. Alternately, you can check out the official holiday guide here.

First off, the easiest and simplest solution to what to get a gamer as a gift is dice. More dice is always good. If you want to go for the deluxe option, Wizards of the Coast produce a number of boxed sets that include all the dice you need to play the game in a handy box so when you roll the dice they don’t spring off the table and get stolen by the cat. The official ones include a Avernus/Baldurs Gate set, a Sword Coast/Elf Inspired set and a rather lovely set inspired by Icewind Dale, which has a very useful map if you're playing that campaign.

If you have a more modest budget, then UK companies such as DnDice and Beholder's Gaze do 'dice boosters'. These are lucky dip bags with a full set of dice in them. Beholder's Gaze are also currently having a sale if you're on a budget but want to pick the dice you're after.

Of course, dice are nice, but they are also plenty of dice based accessories for you to carry your dice and roll them and so on. Dakota Irish will do you wooden dice vaults, dice trays and so on. Beautifully crafted stuff. Alternately, if you have wads of cash and don't mind paying for imports, you could try US based Wyrmwood Gaming, who pretty much invented wooden gaming gear. They do official D&D merch and are responsible for the lovely table and kit on hit D&D live-stream, Critical Role.

Speaking of which, the Critical Role team have book out called The World Of Critical Role: The History Behind The Epic Fantasy. It's a comprehensive companion to the series and an ideal present for a fan. It's even got Matthew Mercer looking all moody on the front cover. Fans of the show would also appreciate D&D release The Explorers Guide To Wildemont, an official sourcebook that features the lands from Critical Role. Those looking for something a little less serious might want to consider The Ginny Di Natural 21 Calendar. Ginny is a cosplayer who is heavily inspired by both Critical Role and Dungeons and Dragons.

Swinging back to actual Dungeons and Dragons content, those still getting into the hobby may appreciate either the D&D Starter Set or The D&D Essentials Kit. The starter kit is a large box with an adventure, dice and basic rules. The adventure is absolutely fantastic. The Essentials Kit is a similar sort of thing; a slightly shorter adventure but you get a very basic DM's screen and flash cards to go along with it. Both are great introductions to the hobby, and you may also want to get a more robust Dungeon Master's Screen, such as the Wilderness Kit. The most important book you'll need to play D&D though is The Players Handbook, and it's a good place to start. The other core books are The Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual. If you're feeling rich all three can be found as part of a boxed gift set. If you're feeling very, very wealthy take a look at Beadle and Grimms luxury editions, full of unique collectable items from the world of Dungeon and Dragons.

Those who love books but hate bookshelves (or prefer to travel digitally) should check out online service DNDBeyond. It's got all the books you need available digitally plus utilities and the like to make the game easier to run. Ideal if you run your games via Web conferencing software.

They are an absolute pile of additional books for the game, of course. Actual adventures such as Baldur's Gate: Descent in Avernus and Icewind Dale: Rime of The Frost Maiden are comprehensive campaigns likely to delight players and Dungeon Masters alike. There's also the Greek-Myth themed adventure setting Mythic Odyssey's of Theros, which is more a campaign setting than a single story. The latest 'rule book' for D&D is called Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. It's not a core book but it's jammed full with fun options to spice up a game.

Speaking of spice, and moving on to books that aren't about the game rules, there's Heroes Feast, a cookbook. It's been quite fun to watch various people in the D&D community use this book to delight their gaming groups (like breaking bread, D&D is very much a social activity). We understand that Dungeon Master to the stars Paul Foxcroft makes a mean Halfling Chilli. They are plenty of other fun spin-off D&D books as well. The 2021 D&D Annual is the sort of book that has a maze puzzle and a wordsearch in it but it's also a great snapshot of the state of the hobby right now. The Young Adventurer’s Collection on the other hand is a set of books that tell you all about the monsters, creatures, heroes and other things in the D&D world, but it's rules light. Ideal for young minds.

Another option for the adventuring shopper are models. You don't need miniatures to play D&D but they do add to the fun. Wizkids are the official producer of D&D models, and they produce both pre-painted and unpainted models as well as scenery. Their Icons of The Realms provide all sorts of creatures from all sorts of settings. They also do specific big models such as The Purple Wyrm and The Hydra. They also produce dungeon and setting scenery such as the Warlock Dungeons Tiles, which let gamers recreate the dungeons they're fighting in on the table. If you really want to impress though, Wizkids also do Dragon heads on trophy plaques. No wonder Dragons are endangered.

If you are not in the mood to play a full D&D campaign, but still want to have some quick fun round the table, they are offical D&D card games. Dungeon Mayhem is a cartoonish romp with additional expansions and there's also The Great Dalmuti, a more tradtional card game with a D&D style theme.

Finally they are a plethora of tie-in gifts and the like. Zavvi do a range of very striking Celestial and Infernal themed D&D homeware. In addition to very nice (and rather heavy metal) looking hoodies and t-shirts, they also do very nice cusions and blankets. They look stylish enough to suit most homes and have an extra bit of geeky fun to them. Warm as well. Over-all, D&D is big right now and you are spoilt for choice when it comes to gifts this Christmas.

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