The Gassy Gnoll is in full holiday insanity mode here at Gnoll Central, which means he’s thinking about what gifts to pick up for his fuzzy loved ones, what’s on his wish list, and who the heck he should “give” the business end of a polearm, axe, or sword the next time he sees them. Some of those folks are gamers. And a few of them are even current (or former) gamemasters from games over the last year or more… So while in full-on panic mode and driving a team of oxen from shop to shop, he was pondering what might be the best gifts for the gamers in his life…
So here’s his Top 10 Gift Ideas for Gamers…
- Dice. Who doesn’t need a new set of dice now and then? I mean, we all have to sacrifice the “Damned Dice of Critical Failure Rolling” from time to time, right?
- Graph/Hex Paper. Occasionally we are all stuck on map duty during a campaign, but having paper ready when the need strikes takes some of the sting out of it!
- Gift cards for books and music. Amazon, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, iTunes… I bet we could all find ways to spend that money on something on the old wish list.
- Gift cards for food. Money for pizza, snacks, plates, napkins, soda, coffee… even the occasional booze run… is always helpful for anybody who hosts games on a regular basis.
- Gift cards for gas. Do you get rides to sessions occasionally? Why not help fill up the tank as a thank you?
- Gift cards or certificates from your Favorite Local Game Store (FLGS) or online retailer (DTRPG, Paizo, etc.). Just like with for books & music, we can always find SOMETHING we need at our favorite game stores!
- Character sheets. Whether you buy a stack and print a few or design your own, GMs are always in need of character
foddersheets to document the latest monstrous destructive annoyinghelpful NPC!
- Music service subscription to Pandora or Spotify. Some GMs love their background music. (A favorite quote at our table is “HEY! Is that Gladiator?”) Why not give them an infinite amount of playlist capabilities? Chip in for a month or a year!
- Art Supplies, pens, and pencils. Do your GMs or players do papercraft models? Or paint minis? See what they may need for their next project and chip in for a few supplies! And every table I’ve ever played at has needed pens and pencils. Buy a package of mechanical pencils, dry/wet erase markers, pens, or whatever your writing implement of choice may be and leave it as communal property for your next game!
- And the biggest thing? Feedback for your GM. They LOVE that stuff. Maybe come up with a list of the top three to five moments from games during the year to share with your DM and players. Or come up with some suggestions on where you’d like to see your character grow in future sessions. Or maybe even offer to help contribute to relatively undeveloped portions of the GM’s world… Add some NPCs, a location, or some history and give them more fodder to play with.
Ultimately gifts are not really a necessity. But they can reinforce the thanks you have for the people running and playing in your games. (Plus, bribing your GM or game host is NEVER a bad idea. :)) Why not spread the love over the holidays or really any time of year with a token of your appreciation?
And if nothing else, remember that caffeine, sugar, and pizza, are always good choices!