Like many of my contemporaries, I was recently researching game-related gifts for a feature on my podcast. When we recorded the program, however, it was necessary to cut the feature from the length of the show, which still turned out to be the longest we’d ever produced. Feel free to check it out! At the very least, you might win some cool gaming swag of your own.
Since it didn’t work out, I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts here on my blog. Over the past year, my own gaming horizons have expanded considerably, and I thought I’d share a few gems from this year’s consumer stockpile to help stuff the stockings of your fellow gaming enthusiast:
On the top of the pile is the cult classic self-styled beer and pretzels RPG Kobolds Ate My Baby. That’s right… the kobolds are back, and as crazy as ever! Five years after its initial run, 9th Level Games has released a “super deluxx edition” in digital format that includes everything you need to play minus the dice and a handful of victims. It’s the game of “horrible kobold death, cannon fodder high jinx, slightly evil wizardry, cows falling from the sky, and blind loyalty to King Torg (All Hail King Torg!)” and it’s a fantastic stocking stuffer at only $10 from Drive Thru RPG.
You may heard that the merry band of misfits at Evil Hat Productions have Kickstarted the new edition of Fate… but in case you haven’t had the pleasure, I invite you to pick up a copy of their perennial favorite Spirit of the Century, currently a steal at only $5 at Drive Thru RPG. Spirit of the Century uses the Fate engine to good effect, providing a quick, fun game of pulp adventure that can thrown together on a moment’s notice and offer an entire evening of grand entertainment. Fun for the whole RPG family!
This year, Bully Pulpit Games – makers of the unbelievably entertaining improv RPG game Fiasco – have thrown yet another gem out into the ether in the form of Durance. Durance is a “fast-paced, low-prep, highly collaborative game” with an engaging sci-fi bent. It takes place on a prison planet. Seriously. How awesome can it get? The PDF is available for just 10 American greenbacks, and Bully Pulpit has even provided us with a fantastic preview so you can see what’s what. Give ‘em heck!
Another fabulous holiday gaming gift erupted earlier this year from the imagination of famed designer Kenneth Hite in the form of Night’s Black Agents from Pelgrane Press. It’s a GUMSHOE game, which means you can expect loads of investigation, mystery, and intrigue… and it’s a spy thriller! With vampires! Yep… I said it. There are vampires. But you’re not the vampires… you’re Jason Bourne-style badasses who have just realized that you’re working for bloodsucking monsters. And vamipires. See what I did there…? While not exactly a stocking stuffer at $24.95, it’s definitely a fantastic gift for the gamer in your life.
Finally, I have to sing the praises of the Dragon Age RPG for just a moment. Whether or not your gamer giftee is a fan of the excellent Bioware video game series, Green Ronin’s Dragon Age is a work of art, with a clever, fairly simple system and a setting that is rich and bountiful. Yes, it’s another fantasy RPG, but I’d say that it might be an even better gateway drug to tabletop goodness than the later editions of D&D. The system is easy to learn and exciting in play, and the world is deep and engaging. And best of all, the gorgeous introductory set is $29.95, but Green Ronin sells the PDF for only $17.50!
Before I go, I should mention a couple of tabletop games that aren’t roleplaying-oriented, but are still a lot of fun. If the gamer in your life enjoys miniature games, strategy games, or Star Wars, then I’d suggest you check into Fantasy Flight’s new Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game. It has cool and exciting dogfighting rules, and you can buy numerous expansions to add breadth to your fleet.
And no gift-giving advice would be complete without mentioning that Cards Against Humanity is once again available for sale. If you haven’t heard of it… well, I have no words. It’s fantastic, disturbing, and fairly adult. And they keep selling out. So jump on it. Seriously.
Happy holidays, friends!
Orryn Emrys, the Prismatic Dragon, is the director of the Prismatic Tsunami web community and the host of the popular Metagamers Anonymous RPG podcast. Learn more at http://www.prismatictsunami.com.