We've seen a lot of really good holiday gift guides from various gaming blogs, but I wanted to offer one that highlighted some gifts for those on a budget. What follows is a list of 8 great gaming-related gifts that all are under $20, calculated to appeal to a wide range of gaming styles.
1) Flip-Mat ($12.99, Paizo): Perfect to take for convention gaming or for places where space is at a premium, the GameMastery Flip-Mat handles a variety of marker types and is perfect for mapping out encounters and battles. Multiple styles are available.
2) Savage Worlds, Explorer Edition ($9.99, Studio 2 Publishing): This cinematic game system scratches the itch of many gamers in terms of fast, quick game action. At just under $10, 160 pages, and in color, its one of the better bargains for an in-print rules system you're going to find.
3) Gamescience Dice (Various, but generally well under $20): Gamers love dice. Why not get someone the dice equivalent of the BMW? Gamescience dice are durable, precise, full of "character", and are a part of the history of this hobby. Just ask Col. Lou!
4) Labyrinth Lord ($16.15, Amazon): Got a hankering for old-school goodness? Simple, fun, and compact, Labyrinth Lord brings back classic roleplaying, turns the awesome up to 11, and reminds us there's more than one way to game.
5) Classic Traveller Reprint Books 1-3 ($12, QuikLink Interactive): This single volume is a reprint of the basic Classic Traveller books, the most influential and legendary space/sci-fi RPG of all time. If you've never been able to experience Traveller, this is a great starting point at a nice price.
6) Arms Law ($12.00, Iron Crown Enterprises): Replaces any staid, predictable critical hit system with the lively suspense of some truly entertaining critical results! By turns momentum-changing, cheesy, gory, brutal, and hilarious, Arms Law can be used not only with Rolemaster, but contains easy-to-follow rules for being used with a wide range of other gaming systems.
7) Fight On! ($7.50-$10.50, lulu.com): If you still haven't checked out one of the best things to happen to gaming this year, do yourself a favor and do so. Not just for grognards, Fight On! has great articles usable with a wide range of gaming systems written by some of the most talented folks in the hobby.
8) Warcosm Starter Set ($14.95, Precis Intermedia): This easy-to-learn game is one of the best bargains I've seen this year. Hex sheets, 270 counters, and scenarios are all included. Mass your fleets, customize your ships, and lead them all to victory. A tabletop wargame that's perfect for novices but still offers a high degree of customization for the repeat player.
9) Novel Dice Bags ($12, etsy.com): There are many custom dice bag designers out there, but some of the best I've found are at the above link. They're durable, unique, and reasonably priced.
10) Squirrel Attack! (starting at $7.99, HinterWelt): I know, I know. But the Squirrel Attack! series is whimsical, playable fun. Incidentally, author Bill Corrie is now known to my extended gaming group as "Squirrel Man". Great beverage n' pretzel gaming--choose your favorite genre of squirrel fun!
As always, many of these items may also be available for order through your Friendly Local Gaming Store. If you have other bargains, feel free to leave them in the comments, or let us know what you picked up for the gamer or gaming group in your life this year!