A Dungeon Master’s Holiday Gift Guide

Photo Credit: Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast

Tis the season for giving and in the world of the tabletop role playing game that’s no exception. As the Dungeon Master it’s your job to give your players an exciting, unforgettable experience in the world of your choosing. For me, it’s Dungeons and Dragons and normally the excitement and the unforgettable memories have to do with near-death experiences and terrifying monsters. That’s not always the case, you could try, if the season calls for it giving them something nice and magical. Here are a few in-game gift ideas for the adventurers in your campaign.

A Bag of Holding

This is an easy one and one that if you’re players don’t already have you should think about slipping it in there somewhere for them to find. A Bag of Holding is a bag that has been enchanted with a pocket dimension so it has way more room than any bag really has any business having. There is a finite space, but in most of my games we ignore it unless it becomes too crazy. When you put something in you can only take it out by thinking of what that idea was reaching your hand in and pulling it out. It helps to protect some of your more valuable items and you don’t have to worry too much about encumbrance or if you can really carry all that treasure your hauling away.

Magic Weapon +1, +2 or +3

The amount of + on this weapon is level dependant. For players level 1-7 a +1 is a good choice. +2 for levels 8-13 and +3 for those higher. This makes players hit more often and a bit harder. You can put it on literally anything to suit your party, it’s a nice easy go to for someone who may be in need of a new weapon. If you’re into homebrewing and creating your own magic items and weapons, put an extra property on there. If the Rogue needs a new dagger maybe it’s a Magic Dagger +2 with advantage on initiative roles. Or a Lute +2 for the Bard with the ability to cast Charm Person once per long rest so they don’t have to use spell slots.

Ioun Stones

Ioun is the Goddess of Knowledge in the Dungeons and Dragons world and these items are very powerful, so keep that in mind when giving one or two of these outs, especially at earlier levels. The biggest draw to Ioun Stones is their ability to increase a characters maximum stat. The Ioun Stone of Leadership for example increases a character’s Charisma score by 2 up to a maximum of 20. It also requires attunement, so that helps to balance it out a bit better as well. There is an Ioun stone for every type of class and every type of player, so while suited for higher level parties there’ something for everyone.

Manuals of Stat Increase

These are similar to the Ioun Stones in that there is one for everyone depending on what the player is looking for. These books are extremely rare and extremely powerful. When a player spends 48 hours reading one of these books in a 6 day time period they permanently increase the corresponding stat. So, if a Druid spends 48 hours in 6 days reading the Tome of Understanding they would gain +2 to Wisdom. The book loses all it’s magic power after someone reads it and is useless until it recharges over the next century.

Bag of Tricks

This one is less powerful when compared to Ioun Stones or Manuals of Stat Increase, but it can be very chaotic and fun. It’s turned the tables in favor of my players quite a few times, but it’s all about chance and won’t always work out as such. There are several bag of tricks in Dungeons and Dragons and as an action someone can reach inside and pull out a ball of fluff and toss it. When it hits the ground they roll a dice to determine what it turns into. It might be a Giant Bear or a simple Owl. I’ve had a player throw out all three fluffs in a day and get three bears, it was a good day for that player. There’s also the chance it’ll be three rats and there goes three wasted turns. All around it’s a very fun item.

Potions and Scrolls

If you don’t want to risk breaking or overpowering any character with a gift, one time use magic items may be the way to go. Any number of potions can be fun to hand out and saved for a rainy day. Or maybe you want to give characters a chance to play with a spell they might one day take for themselves. One use Magic Scrolls are a great way to go and when pulled out at the right time can save the day and make for a great memory.

Dungeons and Dragons and countless other tabletop role-playing games are filled with countless magic items, weapons, armor, scrolls and potions. Take some time to search through your source books or online compendiums, or make your own! Dungeons and Dragons is a game about magic and the more creative you get, the more fun and unforgettable it becomes.


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About The Author

Robbie Landis Host of the CheckpointXP National Show, Other Identity comic book podcast and a Dungeon Master. Robbie Landis has been playing games since Yoshi's Cookie Factory was released on the NES. He enjoys RPGs, APEX Legends and World of Warcraft.

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