So, there’s always an issue for Christmas wherein I want Geek Stuff, but over the years I have largely given up on trying to explain it to, say, my Grandma.
For instance, this year I think the collected Pathfinder RPG books would be just about the perfect gift -they would offer me plenty of entertainment, but they’re low enough on the ‘likeliness of actual use’ and high enough on the cost scale that I don’t think I’ll ever bother to get it myself.
I think the odds of getting it are pretty low, though, unless someone provides me with one of those leafy green presents that fit in an envelope. But then again dealing drugs to buy game books is probably a bad idea.
Anyway, I personally might recommend DnD Essentials as a geek present, at least for geeks with kids. I don’t think I would ever try to introduce my 9 year old daughter to the dailies, at wills, encounters, and Paragon Paths of DnD 4th Edition, but the new DnD Essentials is actually pretty understandable for her.
We have been running through some of the really basic dungeons available in the little boxed set. The cost isn’t too bad for RPG stuff, and it’s been fun to see how amazingly new and epic the whole thing can seem to a little one who hasn’t been immersed in this stuff for over twenty years. (Has it really been that long? Yes, it has. Boo).
One warning, though – in my experience there is a bit of nerdrage over 4th Edition, as summarized in this Penny Arcade. I think I understand the rage, as Essentials really is a toned down version of the FULL 4TH EDITION EXPERIENCE, and some people just do not see the need for such (though, sadly, working as much as I do and having so little game time, I absolutely do).
Ooh, one little potential pitfall: watch out for the DnD Red Box. Although it has a neat choose your own adventure and character generation rules that are pretty simple, it is not actually using the Essentials rules. This threw me off – the Dicehouse got both in at the same time and I assumed they used the same rules (since they were both ‘introductions to DnD and marketed together’), but they actually were completely different rule sets. This caused some confusion when carrying over into a longer term game.