Every year I put together a few ideas for gifts that will thrill a gamer on Christmas Day. This year I tried to keep my list practical and reasonably priced due to the miserable state of the economy. Other than that limitation, my list is quite diverse and I hope interesting. As usual, I do not make anything on sales of these items, so my opinion is not tainted with the hint of a commission. Ok, enough talk, it is time to get to the swag!
1. Give to a charity in someone’s name.
OK, this is not strictly for gamers, but I felt it important to at least pitch the idea. In this economy, charitable giving is down and demand for services is way up. Getting games as gifts is very nice, but good karma is not bad either. I am fond of heifer.org, but any charity will do.
2. Alpha Omega
My current role-playing campaign and antidote to fantasy gaming. Genetically engineered angels and demons doing battle across a post-apocalyptic earth with magic and technology. Great fun and one of my favorites of this year.
3. A small press role-playing game
This was on last year’s list, but still worthy of an entry again. There literally hundreds of small RPG publishers producing some very interesting games. Do some digging and come up with a real gem. Quick suggestions include “Hot War” and “Dogs in the Vineyard.”
4. Snow Tails
A fast-paced, mechanically simple board game of dog-sled racing that is great for all ages. Unlike most Euro games, this one is playable by almost any age that can perform basic math calculations. Dog teams race around a track and may the fastest sled win! A track that changes with every game adds to replayability.
A trans-human RPG from Catalyst Game Labs that caught my eye at Gen Con. Fun system, interesting PC classes ( a nano-bot swarm is an option!) and a fun world earn its place on the list.
A cooperative board game with a ferocious viral enemy. Get together with friends and try to save the world from a viral apocalypse. Victory is rare and that just make it all the sweeter.
Yes, a locker bag as a gift to gamers. You may have noticed that gamers are not the most…physically fit group of people and I hope this idea makes going to the gym a bit less troublesome. I own one of these bags and they make going to the gym at lunch a breeze. The stiff body and locker-friendly shape make it very easy to get changed fast, even in a crowded locker room. I am also very fond of the separate section for shoes that keeps them away from the clean clothes.
8. A history book
History education in America is often inadequate. Sadly, this means many gamers miss out on a great resource for story ideas and campaign settings. Without exception, every history book ever written has an RPG campaign waiting for discovery within its pages! Give the gift of knowledge. I am currently enjoying “Gladiator: Rome’s Bloody Spectacle” by Konstantin Nossov, if you need a suggestion.
Not released yet, but it makes the list because of Haaldaar’s review of Azagar’s Book of Rituals. He gave it a thumbs up and that is good enough for me. A nice idea for the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons player in your life.
Alex Garrett sculpts custom miniatures for a reasonable price. Now you can finally have that half-ogre with a machine gun miniature you always wanted!
Oh, and if all else fails, by them a Utilikilt for Christmas! Kilts are just cool.
That is my list, if you have something you think deserves a spot on the list, drop it in the comments. I look forward to your ideas.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer