The Best Holiday Gifts for Dungeons & Dragons Players

The Best Holiday Gifts for Dungeons & Dragons Players

Not sure what to get your favorite wizard or warrior for a Christmas or Hanukkah present? You can't go wrong with these treasures.

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Illustration: Wizards of the Coast

The fantasy tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons is nearly 50 years old, but it’s experiencing the biggest boom in its history, with millions of old players returning to the table, and new ones picking up polyhedral dice for the very first time. That means lots of new products—both from the game’s publisher, Hasbro-owned Wizards of the Coast, and from more licensees than you can shake a wand of wonder at.

So many new D&D goodies is treasure worthy of an ancient red dragon, but it can also be intimidating for well-meaning gift givers who want to do right by a dungeon-crawling friend or family member. So we’re here to help.

Within this gift guide you’ll find some of the latest and greatest new Dungeons & Dragons products, as well as some old favorites, all personally vetted by me, the EIC of Gizmodo and io9 and author of the award-winning book Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It (available in paperback, ebook and audiobook and a phenomenal gift itself, of course).

Click through to see the picks for this year’s best D&D gifts!

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Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen Deluxe Edition

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen Deluxe Edition

 Dungeons and Dragons Dragonlance: Shadow of The Dragon Queen Deluxe Edition
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen Deluxe Edition

Dragonlance is one of the most beloved settings in the D&D universe. It was created in the early ‘80s by the husband and wife team of Laura and Tracy Hickman, and expanded into a hugely successful series of fantasy novels and D&D supplements by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. Now Wizards of the Coast is reviving the brand with brand-new products, and you can collect them all in this truly excellent box set.

The deluxe edition includes:

  • A new D&D adventure module, Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, with an exclusive foil cover. It’s a terrific adventure that does a great job putting players inside the legendary War of the Lance, complete with innovative battlefield encounters; it’s the closest D&D has gotten to its war game roots in ages.
  • Warriors of Krynn, a new cooperative mass-battle game designed by Rob Daviau and Stephen Baker. Daviau is the genius behind some of the best board games of the last two decades, including Pandemic Legacy, Cthulhu: Death May Die, and Betrayal at House on the Hill. The game connects to the plot of the Shadow of the Dragon module, so if you want to, when battles come up in the module, you can actually pop over to the board game to play them out, and then take the result back to the RPG. It’s also completely playable on its own, with compelling scenarios and challenges that feel similar to the vibe of Pandemic: Legacy.
  • A code for a digital version of Shadow of the Dragon for D&D Beyond.
  • A Dungeon Master’s screen found only in this deluxe set.
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Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space

A decade ago I attended the very first press event where Wizards of the Coast revealed its plans for what is now known as the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons—an ambitious attempt to pull together 40 years’ worth of rules sets and fandoms into one single system. My first question after the briefing concluded was simple: Are you going to bring back Spelljammer? And in the years since, almost every time I’ve interviewed a D&D designer or WotC executive, I’ve asked them the question: When are you going to bring back Spelljammer?

This year Wizards brought back Spelljammer. And it’s so good!

Spelljammer is a truly unique D&D campaign setting, originally designed by Jeff Grubb and released for the 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules in 1989. It’s a fantastic world where D&D heroes can control vessels that fly through outer space and encounter all kinds of weirdness, ranging from astral elves to pirate flumphs to giant space hamsters. It’s silly and fun and exciting, and the new WotC rules hit all the right notes for both old fans and new visitors to the realm. The “Adventures in Space” box set collects a bunch of cool stuff:

  • The Astral Adventurer’s Guide, a 64-page hardcover book that describes the campaign setting and includes rules for space-based combat, new spells and magic items, and descriptions of spelljamming ships.
  • Boo’s Astral Menagerie, a rulebook meant for for Dungeon Masters that introduces 60 creatures found in the setting.
  • Light of Xaryxis, an adventure for Dungeon Masters for characters of levels 5–8.
  • A double-sided poster map of the Rock of Bral, an asteroid-city that can serve as both an adventure location and a campaign hub.
  • A four-panel Dungeon Master’s screen designed for use with the books in the set.
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WizKids D&D Icons of The Realms: Spelljammer Adventures in Space Collector’s Edition Box

WizKids D&D Icons of The Realms: Spelljammer Adventures in Space Collector’s Edition Box

WizKids D&D Icons of The Realms: Spelljammer Adventures in Space Collector's Edition Box
Photo: WizKids

WizKids D&D Icons of The Realms: Spelljammer Adventures in Space Collector’s Edition Box

Did I mention that I love Spelljammer? It’s full of delightfully weird interstellar creatures, and WizKids’ collector’s box of pre-painted miniatures contains every single mini they released for the set in its Icons of the Realms line—53 figures total, including autognomes, eyemongers, an astral dreadnaught, and a Young Lunar Dragon that’s available only in this collector’s box.

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Gelatinous Cube Collectible Figure

Gelatinous Cube Collectible Figure

Gelatinous Cube Collectible Figure
Photo: Hasbro

Honor Among Thieves Golden Archive Gelatinous Cube Collectible Figure

In March 2023, Paramount Pictures will release Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the first D&D movie in a decade, and quite possibly, the first really good D&D movie ever! Hasbro is already ramping up the merchandise for the flick, and this toy gelatinous cube is an absolute delight. You can stick different action figures inside it!

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Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel

Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel

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Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel

In June, WotC released a new anthology of adventures, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, which is set in the ethereal plane. It’s an anthology book that collects 13 individual adventures for character levels 1-14, each written by a different author, but all of whom collaborated to connect their various writing and create a vivid, fascinating new setting.

Best of all, every single adventure is penned by an author of color. The project was co-led by Ajit George (a D&D vet who wrote for Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft) and Wes Schneider (Senior Game Designer); contributors include Surena Marie, Erin Roberts, and Justice Ramin Arman.

We love that WotC is working hard on diversifying the D&D hobby—but we really love that these authors created a vibrant, personal, multicultural anthology that is both fascinating and fun to play! You can read io9's full coverage of the book here.

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Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt Club Subscription

Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt Club Subscription

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Photo: Amazon/Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt Club Subscription

If you (or the roleplaying game fan in your life) is like me, you’ve already got too many geeky t-shirts clogging up your wardrobe. But I still signed up for the Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt club over a year ago, and have never regretted it.

If you join the club, every month you’ll be charged $18 and sent a new shirt with an exclusive, one-time, officially-licensed D&D design. The shirts are high-quality, and the designs are great, ranging from big portraits of monsters, to memes and jokes, to maps from classic D&D modules. The collection strikes a great balance that will appeal to both new and old players. And you get to do some geeky identity signaling anytime you go out in public!

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Welcome to Dragon Talk

Welcome to Dragon Talk

Welcome to Dragon Talk
Image: University Of Iowa Press

Welcome to Dragon Talk: Inspiring Conversations about Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Love to Play It

Dragon Talk is the official Dungeons & Dragons podcast. It’s hosted by WotC veterans Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble, and features interviews with top D&D designers, artists, streamers, and players. It’s really great, and I frequently recommend it to fellow gamers, even though they haven’t invited me on as a guest since 2014 what the heck Greg and Shelly I thought we were friends.

So fans of the podcast will be delighted to hear that the team has now producted a book inspired by their conversations, Welcome to Dragon Talk. Even if you’ve never heard the show, you’ll enjoy these essays about the game and the insight the authors provide into the inner workings of the D&D brand, and the way the game and its fandom are growing and evolving.

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Figurines of Adorable Power

Figurines of Adorable Power

Ultra Pro Figurines of Adorable Power
Photo: Ultra Pro / Amazon

Ultra Pro Figurines of Adorable Power: Flumph - Giff - Gazer

To be honest, I’ve been a little annoyed at the recent trends in collectable figurines over recent years—curse you, FunkoPops, every single thing doesn’t need a cutesy swollen head! But even I can’t resist Ultra Pro’s Figurines of Adorable Power. These little 3 3/4" vinyl figures depict some of D&D’s iconic monsters in ridiculously sweet poses. How can you not like a little Giff with a blep tongue? In addition to the figures pictured above, Ultra Pro also makes a goblin, black dragon, displacer beast, owlbear, and mimic.

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Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set

Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set

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Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set

Wizards of the Coast has done a great job growing and evolving the rules of 5th edition D&D since it was initially released in 2014. But it can be hard for a player to keep up with all the changes unless they buy every new book when it comes out. This year WotC helped address that by releasing a new rules expansion gift set. The package includes two of the edition’s best-selling (and just best overall, if you ask me) rules books, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. It also has a brand new book, Monsters of the Multiverse, which compiles and updates monsters that originally appeared in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. And it comes with a Dungeon Master’s screen and a classy-looking slip case. Neat!

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Dungeons & Dragons Socks

Dungeons & Dragons Socks

Dungeons & Dragons socks
Photo: Hyp / Amazon

Dungeons and Dragons D&D Men’s Crew Socks 

New socks are every kids’ nightmare holiday gift and every sensible adult’s favorite. What could make a nice pair of socks even better? A freaking dragon on them, that’s what. Hyp’s men’s crew socks (pictured) are just one of the many different themed hosieries you can get these holidays—don’t like the design pictured above? What about these or these?

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Dragons & Treasures: A Young Adventurer’s Guide

Dragons & Treasures: A Young Adventurer’s Guide

Dragons & Treasures (Dungeons & Dragons): A Young Adventurer's Guide
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

Dragons & Treasures: A Young Adventurer’s Guide

The Young Adventurer’s Guides are a series of books that collect and simplify some of D&D’s lore for kids from ages 8 to 12. It’s a clever way to introduce some of the concepts of D&D to people who aren’t ready to play yet, or who might not have access to an actual group that they can play with. The latest release, Dragons & Treasures, is a fun little bestiary that any fantasy-minded kid can enjoy, and a good gateway from a fandom like Harry Potter to fantasy tabletop RPGs.

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D&D Campaign Case: Terrain

D&D Campaign Case: Terrain

D&D Campaign Case: Terrain
Photo: Wizards of the Coast

D&D Campaign Case: Terrain

The D&D player base has exploded in recent years, but thanks to the pandemic, a lot of the newbies have only ever played online, and don’t know how much more fun the game is in person. Two new “campaign case” releases from WotC celebrate the at-the-table experience and offer gameplay aids for those of us who like to use detailed maps and minatures. The Terrain case (pictured above) includes 30 double-sided interlocking 5" × 5" terrain tiles depicting different wilderness and urban settings; five sheets of reusable Adventure Clings with an assortment of wilderness, dungeon and interior features; a 22" × 25.5" double-sided Adventure Grid with Wilderness terrain on one side and Dungeon on the other; a storage folder for the clings; and a storage case with a magnetic closure and rope handle.

The companion D&D Campaign Case: Creatures provides tons of threats to populate all that terrain. It includes 64 weighted plastic discs in three sizes and four colors; 40 medium, 20 large, and four huge sized creature tokens; five sheets of illustrated reusable creature clings; two removable token storage trays; and a storage folder and storage case.

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Kidrobot D&D Phunny Plush

Kidrobot D&D Phunny Plush

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Photo: Kidrobot/ Wizards of the Coast

Kidrobot Phunny Plush: Owlbear - Beholder - Eye Monger 

Let the sad grognards decry the cutsyfication of D&D! I, for one, think the more merch the better. And I looove the idea of tricking some baby into having a demogorgon as their teddy bear, and then having them grow up to become a full-blown chaotic evil mastermind.

Kidrobot’s new D&D plushies aren’t guaranteed to nurture BBEGs, but they are damn cute. Just look at the owlbear, beholder and eye monger above. LOOK AT THEM. They love you and you will love them back. OR ELSE.

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