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Books to gift the roleplayer in your life this Christmas
Whether you contribute to their shelf of D&D supplements, suggest a fun new system to try, or add a classic to their collection of games, we have something for every Roleplayer this holiday season!
Dungeons and Dragons
It’s the world’s most popular Roleplaying Game for a reason! Whether you know a seasoned adventurer or someone wanting to get started, there are so many options for fantastic books.
For someone looking to play for the first time there are starter kits available! These come with everything you could possibly need to run your first game, including character sheets, dice, and a slimmed down version of the rules. At a fraction of the cost of the core rulebooks, it’s the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of RPGs.
For the more experienced adventurers, the world really is your lobster when it comes to choosing a D&D book!
Adventure Paths are pre-written adventures, with the setting, puzzles, NPCs, and story ready to play, and are a good choice for fans of D&D official lore. Storm King’s Thunder, Curse of Strahd, and Tomb of Annihilation are some of the most popular choices.
Campaign settings are a lot freer as source material for a Dungeon Master (DM), they describe a world and offer guidance for how to make your own story within it. Like an Adventure Path, they give information about the world with characters, magic, monsters, and plot hooks, however they leave it up to the DM to make the story themselves. Some excellent campaign settings are The Forgotten Realms, the Wild beyond the Witchlight, and Humblewood.
There are also countless reference guides that add spells, places, gods, monsters, and more to enrich any game and inspire those who like to create their adventures from scratch. These are often the choice of players with lots of characters who want to expand what they play. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything are all packed with fantastic supplement material.
There is a whole world of Roleplaying out there! Whether you know an RPG connoisseur who would like to expand their collection or a D&D adventurer ready to explore other systems, as a solo experience or with a group, combat heavy or purely roleplay, modern or medieval, fantasy or sci fi, crunchy numbers or loose and narrative, we have something for everyone!
There are brilliant games that only require one book to play, making them perfect choices for an RPG gift that can get them rolling straight away without needing to go out and get more material. Some excellent examples are Blades in the Dark (for playing scoundrels in noir dystopian fantasy), Monster of the Week (for retro monster fighting and investigation), and Masks (young superheroes fighting evil but also trying to get their homework in on time).
All these have free online resources and only require some six-sided dice to play, so all you need is the book to plan a great game.
There are also systems which, like D&D, have wide rulessets with myriad books available to learn and into which expand. Options include Pathfinder (D20 based with some excellent Adventure Paths available and more combat variation than D&D), the Star Wars RPG (narrative, lore-filled space adventuring and refined ship combat which ports well to other games), and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (percentile dice and anti-heroes in the Old World of Warhammer lore).
There are starter sets available for these big RPGs to get dice, character sheets, slimmed down rules, and some premade adventures to get right into the roleplaying before you commit to the collections of books.
Most RPGs require a group to play with, but there are solo RPGs out there for those who prefer to adventure and tell stories alone. A solo adventure can be a fun change for those used to playing RPGs in a group, and are a great way to creatively recharge for GMs. Five Parsecs From Home takes adventuring and turns it into a randomly generated exploration of Space, build a crew, train up, loot and fight your way to a successful colony!
There are also solo RPGs more based around creating a world than playing in one, and are great for playing and using as tools to create resources for other games. Delve has the player exploring a mountain and designing a dwarven hold along with artefacts and monsters. Apothecaria is a journalling RPG in which the player creates potions and creates stories with those who need them.
There are more Roleplaying Games out there than we could ever write a post about, and we have so many more in stock than are listed here, so feel free to have a browse and ask any questions about systems or books and we’ll help you find the perfect thing!
Stocking Filler ideas!
Roleplayers are often absolute dice fiends, and there are essentially infinite ways that you can gift them some shiny numerical rocks that they'll love. From small tins of plastic dice to the fancier sharp-edged and velvet-boxed versions, there are dice to fit any tastes or any budget. Pick a style that you like and they'll be delighted to add to their hoard!
For players who like to create we have a fantastic range of Roll & Play notebooks. The Game Master's Toolkit and the Fantasy Character Kit contain huge ranges of tables, prompts, items, places, everything someone could need to kickstart their next character or campaign, or add details to an existing one. The Player's Notebook and Game Master's Notebook are incredibly useful for recording your adventures, and with built-in character sheets, maps, tables, and more, they make sure all of your game notes are in one handy place.
Roleplayers who play in person often use 'minis' - miniature versions of their characters and monsters that move about maps on the table as they play. There are so many character minis available from tiny gnomes with knives to Elves shooting spells, but it's tricky to choose a player mini if you don't know what characters they like to be. Monster and animal minis on the other hand are versatile, slot into any game, and look very cool. Some popular choices are the Dungeons and Doggies set, a Beholder, or a Gelatinous Cube. If you look at a model and think it looks like it'd be fun to adventure alongside or battle, then your roleplaying loved one will too. Always remember that when in doubt, everyone loves Dragons!