In 2020, activities we could do remotely that still let us socialize with our friends while also allowing us to flex our creativity have basically become the holy grail. Dungeons & Dragons is all of those things so it’s not surprising that it’s become an increasingly popular activity during quarantine. It’s given so many people an opportunity to regularly gather with friends in online spaces and really let loose. If you or someone you care about is into D&D or even just looking to get started, what better time than the holidays to treat yourself to some new loot?
The Dungeons & Dragons Core Rules Gift Set is a great gift for anyone who’s wanting to get started playing. It includes a copy of all three core rulebooks and a Dungeon Master’s Screen, all in a gorgeous case. Also, for a lot of the books on this list there are also variant covers available, if you want to make that gift even more special.
There’s also the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit, which is a great way to jump right into a fantasy story for the first time (or try your hand at DMing). A newly designed rulebook on-boards players by teaching them how to make characters, and the included adventured called “Dragon of Icespire Peak,” introduces a new 1-on-1 rules variant.
Adventures & Gameplay
Looking for a new adventure to tackle? Here are a few ideas for gifts to send you Dungeon Master’s way, along with their official synopses:
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
In Icewind Dale, adventure is a dish best served cold.
Beneath the unyielding night sky, you stand before a towering glacier and recite an ancient rhyme, causing a crack to form in the great wall of ice. Beyond this yawning fissure, the Caves of Hunger await. And past this icy dungeon is a secret so old and terrifying that few dare speak of it. The mad wizards of the Arcane Brotherhood long to possess that which the god of winter’s wrath has so coldly preserved—as do you! What fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the sunless heart of the glacier, and what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale? Can you save Ten-Towns from the Frostmaiden’s everlasting night?
I haven’t played this yet but I do have the Icewind Dale dice set and they are beautiful and perfectly wintery.
Curse of Strahd Revamped
Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind’s howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia.
Far below, yet not beyond his keen eyesight, a party of adventurers has just entered his domain. Strahd’s face forms the barest hint of a smile as his dark plan unfolds. He knew they were coming, and he knows why they came—all according to his plan.
A lightning flash rips through the darkness, but Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind fills the midnight air. The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner. And you are invited.
There is a lot in this set, including a 224-page perfect-bound adventure for characters of levels 1–10, a 20-page Creatures of Horror booklet of new monsters that appear in the adventure, and an 8-page Tarokka Deck booklet. There’s also a four-panel DM screen, 54 foil-stamped Tarokka cards, which help determine the heroes’ path through the adventure, postcards to invite your friends to play, and a lot more.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
This looks like an awesome gift for those just getting started, but also offers expanded resources for seasoned players. This book offers things like expanded subclasses, more character options, expanded rules options, and a ton of puzzles to sprinkle into your games.
Dungeon Master’s Screen: Wilderness Kit
Do you miss being outside? Of course you do. This kit has a screen and other tools to help you run adventures in the wilderness.
For Kids (and Kids at Heart)
There are a lot of great gifts that are sort of D&D-adjacent, for kids who maybe aren’t ready to jump into a full adventure—or for those who already play but want a change of pace. The classic fast-paced card game The Great Dalmuti has a new D&D-themed version with some beautiful artwork. Dungeon Mayhem is another classic card game that’s easy to learn and lots of fun. The new Monster Madness expansion was released earlier this year, where players play as one of six monsters, each with its own unique abilities and attacks.
The Young Adventurers Collection is a beautifully illustrated 4-book series that immerses the reader in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a great way to introduce a young person to this world and its characters, creatures, and magical elements.
Apparel & Accessories
The entire line of official D&D t-shirts and hoodies is worth checking out. There are a ton of designs and every one of their shirts that I’ve bought has not disappointed. They’re always good quality but still really soft as well as flattering.
Check out this D&D ampersand pewter pendant.
I’m definitely going to gift myself this D20-inspired umbrella.
Also maybe this backpack. Not that I go anywhere anymore, but I could just wear this around the house, right?
For the Home
Also because you’re probably not drinking enough water, there’s this awesome water bottle
This color-changing mood light changes from white to yellow to orange to lilac to turquoise and would be an awesome centerpiece for your next game night.
I’ve already ordered this cookbook and I cannot wait to get started.
Heroes’ Feast includes recipes for snacking, such as Bytopian Shepherd’s Bread, Iron Rations, savory Hand Pies, and Hogs in Bedrolls, as well as hearty vegetarian, meaty, and fish mains, such as Amphail Braised Beef, Hommlet Golden Brown Roasted Turkey, Drow Mushroom Steaks, and Moonshae Seafood Risotto. There are also featured desserts and cocktails—like Heartlands Roseapple & Blackberry Pie, Yawning Portal Biscuit, and Chultan Zombie—and everything in between, to satisfy a craving for any adventure.
There’s a LOT more awesome stuff in the Dungeons & Dragons 2020 Holiday Gift Guide which you can find here.
(image: Wizards of the Coast)
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