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2020 Gift Guide Role Playing Games

by The Haunted Game Cafe on November 13, 2020

So you’re buying a gift for someone who plays tabletop RPGs…..


You can never have too many dice! After all, sometimes dice misbehave and have to be put somewhere in shame. We have a large selection of dice in various sizes, colors, and shapes - pick your favorite and hope they roll well! Especially popular are the miniature dice in glass potion bottles and (on the opposite side of the spectrum) the huge plush dice. Or, get really fancy with metal or gemstone dice for the elite gamer in your life.




Dice Bags

Because sometimes you *think* you have too many dice but really it’s because you don’t have anywhere to put them. Dice bags come in many different sizes, and we offer an incredible amount of beautiful designs. For those who have a particular set of favorite dice, we suggest our elegantly carved wooden chests with separate compartments for each die. We even have dice bags disguised as cute stuffed animals (provided you think dragons, beholders, owlbears, and sharks are cute). With so many different varieties, you’re sure to find something to please your giftee.


Dice Trays and Towers


We’ve all been in that situation where dice fly all over the table (or OFF the table) and it breaks the action of a game. Avoid such distraction with dice trays that keep dice contained and cushioned when rolling. Plus, dice towers to make sure your rolls are truly random.




Dungeons & Dragons Brand

The three main books of Dungeons and Dragons are The Player’s Handbook (handy for all players), the Dungeon Master’s Guide (essential for anyone who plans to or wants to run a game), and the Monster Manual (useful for Dungeon Masters and any player who has an animal familiar - or is just curious).
If your giftee already has the main books, consider the extended versions: Xanthar’s Guide to Everything (a little more about everything), Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (more monsters!) , Volo’s Guide to Monsters (even more monsters!), or Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (a little more about everything, releases Nov. 20th, 2020).

Spell Casting classes also really appreciate having a physical spell book with spell cards (for easy reference during game play). (We have these for Pathfinder too!)





For Game Masters/Dungeon Masters:

GM Screens: These give the game master space to view many rules at a glance during a game… AND provide a secret area for dice rolls so the suspense of death can remain a mystery!



Modules: These prepared storylines give a framework so that a game master can run an epic campaign made up of multiple sessions with reduced effort.




Stat Tracker Reference Cards: These screen-hanging cards put all the information needed about an enemy right in front of the game master during a combat, while doubling as an initiative tracker for players.



Easy-reference cards for Pathfinder or Starfinder: Critical hit/fumble cards that add a fun level of randomization to epic moments of gameplay.




Bestiary Box: The next-best-thing to a huge collection of miniatures, this hefty box provides a whole bestiary of beasties on standees to bring the game to life.





For the adventurous RPG player! (selections that aren’t D&D)

Go to Space!

Star Wars: Adventures in a galaxy far, far away. This system uses special positive and negative dice that allow a player to succeed with elements of disadvantage - or to fail with elements of advantage. 

Starfinder: Explore a science-fantasy universe on a starship. Play as a human or alien and assume the role of a soldier, technomancer, or more! This system is very similar to D&D but in SPACE!



Feel the Fright (Horror)

Blades in the Dark: Play in a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. This system uses 6-sided dice and focuses on fast game play with a flashback mechanic.
World of Darkness: What if all the horrors and monsters from fairy tales were real? This system uses 10-sided dice and focuses on storytelling. This encompasses the games of Vampire, Changeling, Geist, and many others.
Monster of the Week: Designed to operate in "episode" style sessions, players face monsters and supernatural beings and work to take them down. This speedy, straightforward system uses 6-sided dice.



Getting into homebrew? (Build-your-own-world systems)

Genesys: Uses the same system as Star Wars, which encourages a balancing act between positive and negative dice.
Savage Worlds: A perfect middle ground between character moments and mechanical clarity, this system emphasizes speed of play and reduced preparation while still making fun, interesting characters. It received the 2003 Origin Gamers' Choice Award for best role-playing game.
Fate: A tabletop roleplaying game about proactive, capable people who lead dramatic lives, Fate emphasizes the importance of character personalities and histories over complicated mechanics. Simple but deep, Fate uses special dice that have +, -, or nothing.
Cypher: Featuring intuitive character creation, fast-paced gameplay, and a uniquely GM-friendly design, this system uses 20-sided dice and has ideas for fantasy, science fiction, and beyond!

Other fun RPGs worth noting


No Thank you Evil!: Aimed at players 5 years and up, the rules are simple and scalable for age. Plus, everything you need comes in the box!





Paranoia: Paranoia is a game of dark humor that occasionally — or frequently, depending on the group — veers into absurdity. Players aren’t allowed to know the full rules, nor are GMs expected to strictly follow them. This is great for a one-shot of silliness and fun! (And again, everything comes in the box!)