7 gift ideas for your holiday nerdDecember 10, 2023
The holidays are a happy time, full of magic, joy, and cheer. Except when it comes to buying gifts. Buying gifts can be a nightmare.
If you have a nerdy partner, family member, or friend for whom you need to purchase a holiday gift, why not consider the following? These are in no particular order.
1 – Marvel Multiverse RPG Core Rule Book
Let’s start at the beginning. A roleplaying game is one where a person creates a fantastic hero or villain-type character, that responds to scenarios created by another player, called the game master, storyteller, or narrator. They’ll say, “you see a door, what do you do?” and then the player will decide how to proceed. Maybe their character is strong and they’ll break it down, or their character is very smart, and they’ll check if it’s locked first…
Roleplaying games are engaging opportunities to tell stories with friends.
The Marvel Multiverse RPG was published this year. It’s similar in concept to Dungeons & Dragons, except instead of armor and dragons, you have armor and Hulks.
This book is everything a new player would need to get started: it has all the rules for running and playing in a game, has characters people can play including their favourites from the Marvel Universe like Thor, Black Panther, or Captain America, as well as rules for creating their own unique heroes constrained only by their imaginations (and some rules of course…)
The best thing about the Marvel Multiverse RPG is that it’s a very accessible game. Meaning, it’s very easy to pick up and learn, even if you’re not an experienced RPG player. The rules are straightforward and use dice (six-sided ones, like from Monopoly) that you almost certainly have lying around in a drawer somewhere. It may seem intimidating at first because the book is thick, but everyone will understand the rules quickly.
A great gift for a comic book fan and rpg player alike.
2 – Baldur’s Gate 3
If the nerd in your life loves fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, or video games, chances are they already own (and are 500 hours into) Baldur’s Gate 3. However, in the off-chance they don’t, it’s definitely worth while.
It’s one of the best-reviewed games of all time, recently winning game of the year at the Game Awards, and is a sprawling and epic RPG. With strong replayability, this one is a great choice. It’s available on PC (through Steam), PS5, and it just released for Xbox One.
A great gift for gamers, fantasy lovers, and RPG players – IMPORTANT – this game is for mature audiences only. It includes violence and sexual content that is inappropriate for a younger audience. This is a game for your adult nerds only.
3 – LEGO
If you don’t have kids, or an adult fan of Lego (AFOL) in your life, you may not know that Lego has become cool again. There’s a whole online community dedicated to sharing Lego news, building ideas, rumours, and more.
The cool thing about Lego as a gift is two-fold; maybe three-fold, depending on your perspective. 1) Building it is fun and there’s a real sense of accomplishment. It’s an afternoon (or afternoons, depending on the set you chose) of enjoyment and depending on the set, you can build it as a team. 2) There are so many fandoms you can choose from that will meet every nerd’s need: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, Space, Castles…I didn’t list a specific set to buy, because the choices are endless. 3) They look COOL displayed. If you have a neat Lego set in your home, people will talk about it. But, if this starts a lifelong love of Lego, space for display can become a problem (hence this being a cool thing, only depending on your perspective!).
A fun gift that can satisfy nerds of various stripes. Pop into a Lego store and you’re almost certain to see something your neerd would enjoy.
4 – A personalized Funko Pop
Chances are you may have a more than a few Funko Pop Vinyls in your house already. Celebrating properties from across the spectrum, Funko has licenses to produce figures and bobbleheads from nearly all your favourite shows and games. Their license category has expanded by one: to you.
Funko has introduced the option to build fully customizable figures that you personalize yourself! It’s actually pretty amazing. The process was previously limited to Funko’s in-person flagship locations, but has expanded online (sorry non-US friends, they aren’t shipping outside of the USA ATM).
You’re able to build body types, hair styes, facial hair, hats, clothing and accessories (see my lightsabre in the picture above) and even add pets for a modest charge. According to their site there are millions of “Pop!tions” to explore, so they encourage you to play around before finalizing.
Really, at $30, it isn’t a bad price for what you’re getting – I very much appreciated the thoughtfulness (and accuracy) of my Pop figure. It does take 7 to 10 business days, so don’t dawdle if this is an option that you’re keen on.
Good for a wide variety of nerds AND the person who has everything does NOT likely have this!
5 – The Deck of Many Things Set (read the first paragraph first)
This is the latest expansion set for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, where friends sit around a table and slay imaginary monsters. Similar in theme to the Marvel game mentioned above, this one is fantasy-themed (Lord of the Rings style.) A note: the physical set of The Deck of Many Things will not be available until January 5th. So if you need to gift this to someone before 2024, and a placeholder doesn’t work for you, this isn’t the right gift to purchase.
However, there is a digital/physical gift set available on D&D’s website that would give your person access to the digital tools on D&D Beyond, with the physical set to follow in early January, so it’s not all bad. They can still use the stuff, it’s just not available physically for a while.
Many Dungeons & Dragons players both love and fear the Deck of Many Things. It is a powerful artifact that is essentially a deck of cards, but each has a powerful and unique effect: some offer treasure, others offer death, but the temptation is real…
The set is beautifully designed and would fit very well on any luxury gaming table, and the book itself is a useful tool as well. It’s a fun way to spice up a D&D campaign, and your person’s going to be able to show off – ’cause most of their friends are going to be using lame playing cards for their Deck of Many Things.
A good gift for a D&D fan, but if you purchase the digital/physical gift set directly from D&D, your person will get access to the digital content on D&D Beyond now, and the physical set in early January.
6 – Retro puzzles
Look, I know “retro puzzles” aren’t exactly a link to something you can purchase, but there seems to be more than a few on Amazon, and in a quick google search I found the puzzle depicted, a D&D themed one, classic horror movie posters, retro DC comic characters and more. So there is no doubt you can find what your person loves.
The nice thing about a puzzle, particularly one of about 1,000 pieces, or especially 500, is it’s something you/they can do as a group activity in an evening or two. It’s something everyone can do together. The puzzle, even more than the Lego, is a holiday activity you can share. If you’re looking for a new holiday tradition, this one could be a lot of fun.
AND, if you didn’t know – most larger cities actually have a puzzling community, and you might be able to trade your puzzles, once finished, for others. I had no idea this was a thing until I went to a puzzle swap myself. Most people were interested in trading, not selling. So if you buy one, in theory, you can keep trading it every year. Check your local message boards and meetups to see if there’s a puzzle exchange near you.
Good for anyone – and a great excuse to gather and work as a team.
7 – Board Game Table Topper
Most nerds who play boardgames or RPGs dream of owning a custom game table – I am not alone.
However, these types of tables can start at $3,000 and go up from there. Let’s be honest: it’s a dream for a reason. However, recently companies have been selling a portable table topper (pictured here is one I found on Amazon) that can work in a similar way that you use on an existing table. Mileage may vary on this type of product, so I would highly encourage you to read the reviews on this type of product before purchasing.
After all, even if it’s cheaper, it still should work for it’s intended purpose!
For any board game, rpg, or even playing card nerd who would benefit from a smooth, defined surface for their games.
Hope you enjoyed this holiday list! All the best to you and yours this season.
We are not an affiliate of any of these products and are not compensated for any purchases you may make. We just think this stuff is cool.
Header image courtesy of flaticon.com