Welcome to the second annual Kingbeast’s Lair gift guide. Just like last year I will be presenting two lists. One is my personal wish list and the second is a selection of products that I think would make great gifts for that geek in your life. This year I will also add a board game entry to the lineup. The boys and I have played a lot of board games over the last year and I think we have found some winners. So for each selection I will limit myself to one RPG, one board game, one anime series or movie, and one fun read.
My Wish List
For the first time I have more board game entries on my Christmas list than RPG entries…and the only RPG entry is the lowest priority item! GASP!
Odyssey: The Complete Game Master’s Guide To Campaign Management by Engine Publishing
Odyssey appears to be the kind of RPG meta-gaming book that I often enjoy. It has a focus for GMs and tends to be broad in scope. In this case it is also written by the fine folks at Gnome Stew including Phil Vecchione. Phil’s book Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide To Session Prep was one of my favorite products of last year so I am hoping that same level of quality coverage will be founds here. You can get copies of Odyssey in softcover format at this URL for $24.95. DriveThruRPG sells copies in PDF format for $11.95 at this URL.
Memoir 44 by Days Of Wonder
As I mentioned earlier this year has seen a ton of board game play at my house and I could not be happier. We have several massive hits around home but probably the biggest is Memoir 44 from Days Of Wonder. The boys and I have collected nearly all of the expansion sets including the massively rare Air Pack and if our Christmas lists get filled then we may have everything. The number one entry on my gift list this year is a second Memoir 44 base set so that we can play Overlord scenarios. The Overlord scenarios use two Memoir 44 boards placed end-to-end to form a really wide battlefield. The boys are really looking forward to giving some of these longer more involved scenarios a try. You can get copies of Memoir 44 at lots of places online and at your FLGS. Here is a link to the Amazon entry where they are selling base sets for $49.48. Expect a longer review of Memoir 44 early next year.
Batman: The Complete Animated Series by DC Comics
I have been a massive fan of this series since it originally aired. Bruce Timm made a name for himself on this series for good reason. The stories are intricate and the animation quality is very high. The voice acting includes consummate professionals in the field. Mark Hammil playing the Joker and Arleen Sorken as Harlequin are off the charts fantastic. I’m such a huge Harley fan. This box set includes the entire run of the show on something like 18 discs. Unfortunately I did not get it in the past so it sells for a fortune unless you want to pick up a bootleg copy on eBay.
For some reason this set is HEAVILY bootlegged. If you do an eBay search on the product you find tons of entries with low starting prices. Upon further investigation the sellers have no other sales and often include very strange buying guidelines. For example, they may have no returns allowed or ask to contact the seller to pay offline (i.e. NOT through eBay). Being a savvy eBay buyer the little hairs on the back of my neck start standing at attention. A quick Google search revealed that this product is HEAVILY bootlegged. Here is a fantastic video that I found that shows how to tell if your copy if a forgery.
100 Bullets: The Deluxe Edition Book Two by Vertigo
In an earlier blog post I reviewed 100 Bullets Deluxe Edition Book One. I think this series is really great so I added the second volume to my list. See that review for all the good reasons why this sucker tops my list of fun reads. You can get copies on Amazon at this URL for $32.04.
Wish List For That Special Person In Your Life
Here are just three of the items on my bookshelf that I think would make great gifts. Note that the first two of these entries have not yet been reviewed on Kingbeast’s Lair.
Champions Complete by Hero Game
Hero has finally put out a condensed version of the Hero System 6th Edition rules that is reminiscent of the old big blue book (i.e. BBB). The format and content of this book is truly amazing. Derek Hiemforth really knocked it out of the park with this homerun product. Immediately upon receiving my copy I had it spiral bound so I could open it next to me when I work on adventures. Every gamer and Hero fan should get a copy. You can pickup copies on Amazon for $30.81 at this URL. For a paltry $20 you can get a copy on DriveThruRPG at this URL.
Ticket To Ride by Days Of Wonder
Ticket To Ride is probably the second most played game in my household right now. It is great fun to play and is simple enough for the boys to play along at full speed. It is also my wife Sermin’s favorite game right now…but don’t play with her…she is a Ticket To Ride shark! We have the 1910 and Africa expansions but really the base game with 1910 are enough to play for quite some time. One of the best board games I have ever played and the winner of the Spiel des Jahres in 2004. Complete board gaming served up on a golden spike. Amazon has copies for $37.29 at this URL.
Samurai Jack Season 1 by Cartoon Network
After Batman: The Animated Series my next favorite animated series is Samurai Jack. With Jack Genndy Tartakovsky created a nearly silent hero that speaks volumes with his actions. The series is cinematic in scope and quality. You can read my review of season 1 in my blog post earlier this year. Although maybe not as great as Season 2 this season put Jack on the map. You can get copies for $16.49 on Amazon at this URL.
All-Star Superman by DC Comics
All-Star Superman does something that I didn’t think was possible. It expands the Superman mythos in a glorious display of words and pictures. Anyone even remotely interested in comics will enjoy reading these personal stories that capture what it means to be the Man Of Steel. You can read my review of the first trade at this URL. Copies can be had at Amazon at this URL for $20.78.
Merry Christmas everyone!