What would our role-playing games be without our game masters? Whether you call them a game master (GM), dungeon master (DM) or something else, these dedicated individuals spend countless hours crafting the worlds we players adventure in. From describing detailed environments to taking on the roles of numerous non-player characters, they set the scene, adapt based on our choices (as unexpected as they may be) and hold the fate of many in their dice-filled hands.
All that hard work deserves some thanks and appreciation every once in a while, and luckily there's a whole day dedicated to just that!
Every year March 4 is recognized as International GM's Appreciation Day. It started 15 years ago in 2002 in an EN World message board post and has been celebrated ever since. It's the perfect time to let your GM know just how much you appreciate everything they do for your game.
While you can do this a number of ways, one way you can let them know how you feel is by giving them a gift. There are many things you can give your GM, but if you're not sure where to start I've come up with a few ideas to help. Here are 12 gifts you should consider giving your GM!
Black Walnut Hero Vault ($35)
If your GM needs a new way to easily carry a few gaming items around, you might want to consider this Wyrmwood Hero Vault. The perfect travel size to easily slip in and out of a bag, they can put a beloved miniature, up to 10 polyhedral dice or other needed materials in the box. It has a magnetic closure to keep everything inside, and you can even customize it with a text or image engraving to make it personal for your GM at an additional price. Wyrmwood offers the Hero Vault in a variety of other woods for cheaper and more expensive prices as well if you don't think black walnut will match your GM's style.
Can a GM ever have too many dice? I don't think so! Make sure they never run out of options with this Pound-O-Dice by Chessex. Each bag contains about 100 dice in different colors and styles. It also includes a full set of polyhedral dice.
Handbag of Holding ($49.99)
The Handbag of Holding from ThinkGeek is the perfect gift for the GM having a hard time carrying everything they need to your game. Not only will it be useful to them on game nights, but it can even come in handy in their daily life too! The bag has more than ten different compartments of varying sizes to help them carry anything they can think of in just the way they want. It can also be carried three different ways depending on their preference. The Handbag of Holding also comes with a d20 zipper pull to close it and a logo plate that will allow your GM to take the spirit of the game with them even when they're using it for other things!
Dragon Distress Twistback Tank ($28)
You can help your DM dress the part when they're at and away from the table with this WeLoveFine tank. The tank has the Dungeons & Dragons logo on the front and a unique twist-back that features hearts that are solid and hearts that have the logo inside them. It won't add anything to your GM's armor class, but it will increase their style score!
Dwarven Forge Catacombs Set 2 ($119)
For those that can spend a little bit more on their GM, consider buying them this Dwarven Forge Catacombs set. It includes 31 pieces such as walls, floors, pillars, doors and items like a sacrificial bowl and sarcophagus. The set even has battery-operated flickering LED lights in the flames of two of the wall pieces and the skull fountain! Your GM will have a lot of fun using this to create a unique environment for your party's next adventure. There's a lot of other sets and pieces you can find at Dwarven Forge as well, so even if this particular set might not be a good fit for your GM you just might find something else worth getting on the Dwarven Forge website!
Game Master Screen (Varies)
Your GM might already have a screen, but do you think it needs an upgrade? If you do, then you might want to consider buying them a brand-new GM screen. If they don't have a screen at all, then you should definitely take a look at what's out there! There are a lot of screens you can choose from. You can purchase customized screens on Etsy such as this wooden option by Plywood Ent that lets you choose a hand burned graphic for each panel and this hardwood option created by HarpsCorp which you can choose the wood and felt color for as well as get engraved. You can go the official route and buy your GM the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition screen or try a brand-new option that your GM can eagerly await arriving in the fall with a screen Wyrmwood recently funded on Kickstarter. The choices are endless so you can find the perfect option for your GM.
Be a Guest GM
Why not let your GM take a break from their duties for a one-shot? Sure, they probably love GMing, but they'd probably also love the chance to be a player and have someone else take on the role of GM for a game. You can see what it's like to be in their shoes and they can let loose as a player for a change! You'll both be able to see what the other can do in these switched roles, which is sure to lead to some epic and potentially hilarious adventures for everyone.
Dice Nail Wraps ($10)
Your GM can always feel like they have the power of dice at their fingertips with these colorful nail wraps by Espionage Cosmetics! The design features a variety of dice in a variety of colors. They can last for up to two weeks so your GM can take their passion for the game wherever they go! It's a great way for them to be fashionable and geeky and surely get compliments from anyone they meet including your fellow players.
Custom Spellbook Game Box ($105+)
If you can afford a slightly higher price tag and want to show your appreciation with a highly customizable gift, then check out Elderwood Academy's spellbook box. You can choose the type of leather, whether or not you want art on the cover, the art's color, the wood base, interior style and more. It will let you create the ideal box for your GM to use. Some options do add to the price so be sure to keep that in mind as you create an epic spellbook for your GM!
The Latest Books (Varies)
Whether it's Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons or another role-playing game, chances are new books are being released regularly to supplement the material already available. These often include new monsters, adventures and more. If your GM is always looking for new characters to throw at you, loves to be up to date on the latest material or likes to have new material to spark their creativity, you can buy them one or more of the latest books that they might not have. You can get them Volo's Guide to Monsters for your D&D campaign or pre-order them a copy of the upcoming Bestiary 6 for Pathfinder to give them something to look forward to. See if you can check their personal collections to get a sense of what books they will appreciate most.
d20 Dice Soap Set ($22)
Does your GM often stress out about creating the best game encounters or put so many hours into the game you don't know if they ever sleep? Then let them know you think they should sit back and relax a bit by getting them some d20 soap! Created by Digital Soaps, this set of two includes a steel ocean rain scented soap and a bronze worn leather scented soap each with a matching d20 inside. They'll still be able to get their game fix but they can take it easy with a relaxing bath or shower too. GMs deserve to be pampered, after all!
20 Sided Dice Geek Tag ($19)
This tag by Badali Jewelry is a good gift for the GM who would love something small and subtle to wear as a fun reminder of the game. The handcrafted sterling silver tag sports a d20 and can be part of a necklace or a keychain, allowing you to choose the option you know your GM would prefer!
How are you showing appreciation for your GM this year? Tell us in the comments!