Time to spend those Christmas gift cards!

Christmas Day has come and gone…but I’m a firm believer in the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Practically, that means our tree will stay up, the Christmas songs will keep playing, and I’ll still be wearing Christmas t-shirts until January 6th.  Even if you don’t observe all Twelve Days of Christmas, I know you’re still thinking about gifts, because you’ve got gift cards to spend!

I want to help you spend those gift cards.  Here’s how.  I’m going to give you the top seven gamer gifts that I received this year.  Maybe it’ll give you some ideas for your own gift card spending:

The new, new games

This one goes without saying.  I’m sure there are lots of new games out there that you’re interested in.  They’re not just new to you–they’re new games!  Here are the ones I got that you might enjoy:

Star Wars Age of Rebellion: Friends Like These

This adventure sounds perfect for my Star Wars RPG group.  Dubbed “Null Squad,” our team of Rebels tends to enjoy the scummy fringes of the galaxy.  Cassian from Rogue One would fit in well.  Luke Skywalker?  Not so much.

This adventure is designed for experienced PCs and has the players working for the Rebellion in conjunction with mercenaries and criminals.  Exactly the kind of scum my players love to hang out with.

Plus, there’s rules for playing Mandalorian humans.  That’s hard to beat too.  Check it out here.


Star Wars Destiny (Rey Starter Set)

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars Living Card Game by Fantasy Flight Games.  Thus, when I heard FFG was coming out with a new Star Wars card game, I felt nervous.  Would this mean the death knell of the game that I enjoy so much?

Here’s what I know now.  Destiny is a very different game.  First, it’s a CCG.  The Living Card Game model is not based around tracking down rare cards, whereas Destiny is.  Second, Destiny is a much more fast-paced game where you’re not spinning as many plates.  Third, Destiny introduces a little more randomness by using dice to deal damage from your main character cards.  So I’m hoping this will not negatively impact the Star Wars LCG.

Destiny, for me, will probably be a fun, casual game that is easy to introduce to new card gamers.  If you’re new to card gaming and would like to dabble, this might be an easy place to start.  Pick up a copy here.

The new, old game

Of course, there are plenty of older games that you probably would like to have.  Here’s one that I’ve played several times and have really enjoyed:

Betrayal at House on the Hill, 2nd Edition

This game is a ton of fun.  It starts like a Scooby Doo episode with several friends exploring a haunted house.  But eventually one of the friends turns out to be involved in the haunting.  The game includes two books that explain many, many different scenarios that tell the bad guy character and the good guy characters what they need to do to win.  It’s a really fun game with a lot of playability.  Plus, randomized tiles make the house different every time!

A new expansion just came out for the game, which adds more scenarios for the end-game.  All in all, this is a game that I’m convinced you’ll really enjoy.  I know I have!  Check it out here.

The game-enhancing book

It’s always helpful when gamers read books to inspire them.  I received two books in particular that will certainly inspire my gaming:

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
by David Peterson

This graphic novel continues the story of Mouse Guard: Fall 1152.  For the uninitated, the Mouse Guard are the anthropomorphic protectors of the Mouse Territories.  Each season, small teams go out on a patrol to accomplish various tasks for the Guard.

Regardless, I enjoy the Mouse Guard RPG and am currently reading its 2nd Edition.  Not to mention, my three-year-old son loves reading these comics with me.  So it not only enhances my gaming, but gives me a fun connection point with my son.  Do yourself a favor and get one here.


Homeland: The Dark Elf Trilogy Part One by R.A. Salvatore

It’s no surprise to you that I’ve been a bit of a D&D fanatic of late.  This has not slipped past the notice of my family.  So my brother decided to go back and time and pick up this classic from 1990.  I’d never read it and…conveniently…I’ve just started reading D1-2 – Descent Into the Depths of the Earth by Gary Gygax, which first explores drow culture and society.  So this will definitely add to my preparation and background for my future gaming.  Check it out here.

The game history book

Playing at the World by Jon Peterson

Many of my readers recommended this book to me, after writing several posts on Michael Witwer’s biography of Gary Gygax, Empire of Imagination.  First of all, thanks for the tip everybody.  Second, what the ever-living heck?!  This book has 700 pages!  I’m already trying to get through Chernow’s Hamilton. 

Regardless, it appears to be THE ACADEMIC SOURCE on the history of fantasy gaming leading up to tabletop RPGs.  I’m pretty pumped about it.  And, yes, I do plan to read it.  If you’ve got lots of reading time on your hands, here’s your copy.

The handmade surprise

Sorry, you can’t get every gift on eBay or Amazon.  This one goes out thanks to the daughter of T.R. Knight, whom you may know from my podcast or from his blog.  He and I made a trade, since we both had extra copies of some games that the other was interested in.

But included in his package was this remarkably well-crafted and thoughtful gift from his daughter: a handmade dice bag.  At the time, I was totally surprised.  Now, I’m super proud of my new dice bag.  I’ve shown it off to at least fifteen people who have no idea why a person would own a dice bag.  So all that is to say, in the midst of all the gift card spending, take some time and surprise someone else with a thoughtful gift.  It will make your day as much as it makes theirs.

Well, I hope each of you got some great gaming stuff during the holiday season.  Don’t let those gift cards burn too many holes in your pockets!  Happy holidays to you and yours.

Disclosure of Material Connection: the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

3 thoughts on “Time to spend those Christmas gift cards!

  1. Tadd Mencer says:

    If you like the Mouse Guard RPG, you should give “Mice & Mystics” a go. It’s a little too advanced for my 5 year old to really enjoy, but my 11 and 8 year old love it. It was also an easy way to introduce my oldest nephew and his friends to RPGs without having to write a D&D campaign. It’s an RPG in a box.

    Also, anyone who doesn’t understand the necessity of a dice bag doesn’t have enough dice.

    • MadCleric says:

      I too have heard great things about Mice and Mystics. Thanks for the added recc!

      And these people have no dice beyond that in their Monopoly box. lol

  2. Glad you are enjoying the dice bag. My daughter really enjoys making those and is so happy that you like the one she made for you. I feel for those people who just don’t appreciate the utility of a dice bag. I have quite a few and can always use another for dice, game tokens, coins, etc.

    As Tadd said, Mice & Mystics is great. In fact, my family is hoping to finish the base campaign this week. We had set the game aside and moved on to playing D&D but my family and I decided we really want to see how the Mice & Mystics story ends so we can close out that adventure. So, we have set aside D&D to return to finish out the final chapters of the game.

    Another book I HIGHLY recommend now is The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming: Rules Every Gamer Must Live By written by Teri Litorco. The only issue is if the “Don’t be a dick” meme championed by Wil Wheaton bothers you, then you might have an issue with some sections of this book as the author likes to use that as a rallying cry. Otherwise, I recommend this for gamers old and new.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.