The holiday season is upon us once again, which means it’s time for cold weather, arguments with family members, and severe depression. Don’t fret though because game night should help you maintain your sanity through this joyous season.
However, if you’re playing D&D your game master is guaranteed to be suffering from the same holiday burnout as everyone else and that on top of playing a god is not a good combination. To prevent a full party wipe it might be best to gift them something special. These are the top five gifts for D&D dungeon masters (to clarify 5th Edition D&D).
Tome of Beasts
There is no greater satisfaction for a game-master than challenging their players in new and exciting ways, Tome of Beasts fills that very need. The book is published by Kobold Press and features over 400 new monsters for 5th Edition D&D, which means your game-master will have plenty to work with. While most of the creatures play a role in the publisher’s Midgard setting many will still find a use in almost any setting. Noteworthy inclusions are the fey and fiend lords which will work best for boss fights and other worldly encounters. Additionally, there are a wide variety of new lesser and greater dragons, clockwork constructs, fey creatures, and even a few aberrations pulled straight from the Lovecraft mythos.
However, my personal favorite is the alehouse drake, which breathes burps that make creatures drunk. I could see a themed game being run with just a handful of monsters from this book a thousand times over, which makes it a very special gift. But, I also take no responsibility if the dungeon master throws a void dragon at the party. [amazon_textlink asin=’1936781565′ text=’Tome of Beasts is currently available on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’6b459ace-e2d3-11e7-96cd-673e1040f92b’]
Dice are a dungeon master’s most essential tool and as such it is important to have as many as possible. Some days certain dice just aren’t rolling that well and need to be swapped for another set. If your game-master is relatively new then I recommend Wiz Dice’s [amazon_textlink asin=’B01KP4T6TQ’ text=’Bag of Devouring’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’a9bd0d24-e2d5-11e7-b198-f767c6562624′], a bag filled with 140 polyhedral dice, which is twenty full sets. The bag itself has a picture of a weird tentacle monster, and who wouldn’t want that.
If your dungeon master is more experienced and already has plenty of dice then maybe think about gifting them with a set of themed dice. Themed sets are good for specific campaigns, story arcs, or characters. Most of these sets are made by Q-Workshop and have unique designs, some even come in different colors. The most stunning are the 3-D [amazon_textlink asin=’B003V6GJ3M’ text=’Dwarven’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’f04032a3-e2d5-11e7-b0d3-1bc94e105388′], Celtic, and Forest sets which look like they have been carved. Regardless of what dice you buy your game-master is certain to like having more to roll with.
Taldorei Campaign Setting
With the success of a show like Critical Role it is no surprise that a seasoned game-master like Matthew Mercer would allow access of the setting that he and his players created to all of their ravenous fans. This book, published by Green Ronin, gives an in depth look into Taldorei a continent within Mercer’s world of Exandria. There is a detailed history of how the world came to be and the rise of civilizations on the continent. Extensive summaries on each city and organizations within the setting are featured heavily, which makes this a perfect gift for new dungeon masters.
“But, what about seasoned game runners who like to use their own homebrew setting?” Well there is plenty here for them too. There are four new archetypes for player classes that could be tweaked narratively to fit in any setting; as well as, some new feats and backgrounds for players. However, the real meat that any game-master can use are the Vestiges of Divergence; a number of magical items imbued with rare abilities that can be awakened based on character actions and developments.
Now, obviously they may take on different names in other settings and have swapped abilities based on discretion, or perhaps be templates to make your own fantastical loot. There is a lot in here to get the creative juices flowing, so for game-masters it is a must have. The [amazon_textlink asin=’1934547840′ text=’Taldorei Campaign Setting’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’806d6127-e2d6-11e7-915e-15b739151c74′] is currently available on Amazon.
Miniatures are always a cool thing for a game-master to have, but they are also expensive, cumbersome, and take up a lot of space. Now the only alternatives to full 3D minis are cheap cardboard pawns or bite sized candies, at least that used to be the case. Arcknight has recently changed the game with their line of flat plastic miniatures, which are exactly what they sound like. These minis feature fantastic drawn images of characters, NPCS, and monsters printed on thin strips of plastic that can be inserted into bases.
They are easily stored, durable, and can withstand any drink spills. Arcknight minis are also far cheaper than any full-size minis. The miniatures usually come in a pack of around sixty and are usually themed, so if your game-master has been searching for that undead horde Arcknight might be the way to go. Unfortunately, Amazon UK currently only carries [amazon_textlink asin=’B01A0Q8FAA’ text=’The Grove pack’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’832c2143-e2d8-11e7-a944-ff7108981ad3′], but I encourage visiting Arcknight’s site and checking out their stock.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
Last on our list is Wizards of the Coast’s latest book for 5th Edition D&D. [amazon_textlink asin=’0786966114′ text=’Xanathar’s Guide to Everything’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’e9dd9b53-e2d7-11e7-8edf-09f7dd9b8cec’] features a lot of content and functions as an expansion for the system: new rules, character options, spells, magic items, roll tables and so much more. Additionally, almost everything contained within this tome has been play-tested thoroughly through Wizards’ Unearthed Arcana articles and surveys.
There are thirty-three class archetypes for players; as well as, tips for creating backstories and role playing those classes. Several clarifications for existing rules are also present, which are bound to relieve headaches from your dungeon master. New ways to award experience points to players are also available for more role play heavy groups. This book just released last month and is sure to please even the most wizened and scornful dungeon master.
Well that is all folks if your game master isn’t satisfied with any of the gifts on this list then perhaps you need to find a new gaming table that allows bribery. But, if by chance they do enjoy their presents be sure to remind them of that when your character is on the verge of death. Also stay tuned for reviews of some of the books seen above in the new year, they are long overdue.