Welcome to the first ever At-will gift guide! As you guess, your humble editor-in-chief gamefiend is a , you know….a bit of junkie when it comes to games in general and 4e specifically. I thought it would be fun to share the best ideas for gifts for 4e gamers considering all that has come my way in the last few years of running this site.
So here it is, three tiers of gift giving, present over thirty levels. The tiers are not representative of price or quality. They are being used this year to measure experience towards 4e in general.
Heroic Tier is for new players or extremely lapsed D&D players. What do you get someone who hasn’t played in a long time and wants to get into the game, or someone who is curious but has never played the game?
We got you covered.
So, this is not specifically D&D, but D&D is not the game you want to play with children between four and seven. What Enrique Bertran provides is a great introduction that is simple but covers key concepts of fantasy roleplaying that is accessible for young children. I felt it should be included for all of you with tykes.
The Red Box is not by any means a complete D&D experience; it is however a great introduction. If you’ve got someone in your life looking to get into D&D for the first time, the red box is a greeat value to get them started. You get maps and all the tokens you need to play, and a clever choose your own adventure-style character creation process guides you through making your first character and introducing you to the rules.
After a new player gets an intro to D&D, there are a million different questions that follow up. How do I build character type X? How do I fulfill a role well within a team? The Player’s Strategy guide provides great answers for all of these questions, without bogging the players down in extra rules. The book explains the rules that already are there, provided context to the rules that players don’t often get except by playing a lot.
4e has a lot of conditions to track over the course of a combat and a session. It’s helpful to have reminders of what’s happened to what characters, and Gale Force Nine’s Dungeon Master’s Token Set fits the bill nicely. Each of the plastic tokens can be written on with dry-erase markers and cover all the basic statuses which can fit around a miniature’s base.
All the tokens come in an attractive felt-lined wooden box that can fit other tokens and materials for gaming. I like the boxes and tokens so much on this I have two sets! It’s a great way to start a new DM off on the hobby.
Maybe you’ve heard of Sly Flourish? A new DM would do well to take Michael Shea’s advice.Experienced dungeon masters can learn from this book too, but I recommend it for new DMs as they can never really have too much good advice. And good advice aplenty is in this book.
Gale Force Nine makes tokens for DMs but they also make class-based tokens. It’s great for new players to have their own personal set of tokens to use for their favorite class; of special note are the “invisible” figure, the mount token, and the dry-erase resource tracking block. Each class-based set gives your ranger, wizard, cleric exactly what they need during a game.
There’s more than one way to kill a goblin and more than one way to track status in a 4e game. Using Dapper Devil’s trays you can take status tokens off the combat map and unto stylish trays. It’s really a matter of preference whether you like these or Gale Force Nine’s offerings; either way, you can hardly go wrong with these at your table.
The essentials books are, uh…essential, for getting lapsed players back into 4e. In my experience players who are new to D&D generally can go right into the Player’s Handbook and beyond, but those with a lot of experience with older versions of D&D transition much easier by playing with these books. The builds presented are simplified and given much more style and direction up front than standard D&D classes, but all classes are compatible with the other rules of the game. Both new and old D&D gamers can use these books, but I really recommend it for gamers with that old-school experience.
Put down that Monster Manual! If you are stocking up a fledgling DM, or getting into the game yourself, go directly to the Monster Vault. It is an incredible value, coming with an adventure, ten sheets of token and monsters updated with additional story text and new stats for iconic D&D monsters. Definitely worth grabbing.
Castle Ravenloft isn’t full 4e D&D rules, but it is a fast-paced and fun “4e Lite”. Fight the vampire Count Strahd as you explore his castle in many different scenarios. You can use this as a much gentler dip in the full D&D pool before the Red Box even, or you can use it as a diversion; something to play when the group can’t get together in full but you still want to get some taste of 4e.
And there it is, the first part of the Gift Guide! Paragon Tier will cover products for 4e gamers with more experience. I hope you enjoyed thus far, and make sure to recommend anything you like in the comments or (preferably) in the contact us section!
- First Impressions of Arcane Power.
- Gargantuan Inspiration in Small Form: The Kobold Quarterly Guide to Game Design, Volume Three.
- 4e tools from Playwrite