Celebrate International Game Master’s Day in style with these gifts

Friday, March 4, 2022 marks the 20th annual International Gamemaster Day. Founded by member ENWorld Forums in 2002this is our chance every year to generously praise and pay attention to the hardworking people who make the dice in your Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu and other tabletop role-playing games. Dungeon Masters, Storytellers, Masters of Ceremonies, Keepers, whatever you want to call them, today is the day you can show them your love, or at least come up with a fun year-end gift.

What can players do to celebrate their GM? From experience, it would be nice if you could just show up on time and be ready to play for once in your life. Maybe this week you can buy a pizza or – even better – something else. except pizza. But hey, everyone loves gifts, right? The more thoughtful, the better.

Places like DriveThruRPG there are sales, of course. I’m sure you can find a new collection or even a whole new system to explore together. But if you’re looking for something a little more creative, here are three stories from the Polygon team about how they showcased their admiration for the man behind the screen.

Custom thumbnails

Over the past seven years or so, I’ve had the pleasure of playing Green Ronin’s Dragon Age setting with a group of great people led by a great gamemaster. At that time, we tried to express our gratitude as often as possible.

One of our players orders our annual holiday cards featuring our characters. Another regularly commissions us with HeroForge mini-heroes that celebrate new looks for our characters or important events – and recently she sent our master a whole set of his favorite NPCs. we are not use them, mind you. God forbid. No, we play through Roll20, which also offers some nice gift subscriptions.

More recently, as we knew our next story would take us to the still largely unexplored Dragon Age land of Tevinter, for which he would have to do a lot more from scratch than usual. We gave our Master a visual guide to ancient Rome for the middle class to flip through for inspiration. And because of the many times he made us care about history so much that we choked on it, we bought him a real classic: a mug that says “PLAYER’S TEARS”. — Susana Polo

Character art

I’m a big fan of ordering art as a thank you to GM and the players who make up the campaign. You can find many talented artists online; I spent some time just following the ones I like on social media, discovering the ones whose style I like, and then keeping an eye on when they open up for commissions. Then when the time is right, I will strike.

Sometimes I even draw my own gift art, although I am an amateur and not a professional. It’s nice to create not only player characters, but also especially memorable or likable NPCs. After all, they are all part of the adventure.

Recently, after a long game set in an alternate Marvel universe, I even had a gang commissioned by a wonderful artist in the style of tarot cards.

The memory of terrible dice rolls fades with time, but good art remains forever. And no – it does not require NFT. — Cass Marshall

Bones, snacks and more

Third, I’ll share the idea that art commissions are a great gift of appreciation for GMs and everyone else in the game. If you type “commissions open” or “commission list” on Twitter or Tumblr, you’ll find hundreds of artists ready to turn your character descriptions into cool images. That exalted the game I’ve played for the past five years has done this a few times. This is a great way to help other people visualize your characters and create new online avatars for them if you play through Discord, Roll20 or other online systems.

But for more gifts from GM rather than company-wide gifts: keeping track of new material for some of the more commercial games can be expensive. Donating to buy your GM the latest handbook, or filling out his back catalog with a previous one he doesn’t have yet, is always a good way to support him. Services like D&D Beyond and DriveThruRPG even have the ability to apply a digital book to someone else’s account at checkout.

There are the usual gaming equipment like dice, fancy screens or notepads, miniatures, maps and markers, and all that sort of thing. A lot of it depends on what game you’re playing and if there are materials they use a lot or could use more. Especially unusual novelty bones can also be a fun one-time gift. Just go to Twitter or Etsy and dig around with keywords like “resin”, “hand-fill” and “custom bones” which are a great way to narrow things down.

And I don’t know a single gamer who doesn’t love unusual snacks. There are a million cheap options on regular mail order services like Amazon. If you are good with commercial packaged cookies, Variety from grandma this is a rather ridiculous deal, although I personally prefer Cakebeats, which are more or less redesigned versions of petit fours. If you want to go a little more upscale, create a personalized snack mix for someone on Nuts.com or a snack box on a site like Sugarwish.com, which allows you to get some really specific information about personal tastes.

The best gift I have ever received as a grandmaster was when one of my players in Lady Blackbird The campaign, which I have been running since 2016, has designed for all of us the same t-shirts with the names of all the characters in the classic Helvetica Names List style. It’s pretty cheap and easy to make through Etsy, Zazzle, CafePress, etc. Group t-shirts are a bit of a trite idea, but they do acknowledge that a particularly special game can feel like a small, private club.

If you don’t have a lot of money to play right now, here’s a special, customizable GM free gift: if your GM is in charge of game planning, consider taking on that responsibility for a while. Maybe it’s just the people I play with, but navigating through the players’ schedule and getting the next game on the calendar can be such a chore, especially when you’re on many games at the same time and people have a tight schedule. Simply reducing your GM’s schedule can be a huge boon – and essentially gives him more free time, which right now seems like one of the best gifts you can offer people.

Finally, I asked my exalted group what they would recommend for GM gifts. Our GM noted that many gamers listen to podcasts from the actual game, and if your GM has a favorite, you can always check if that podcast has paid shoutouts or if there’s a “name the NPC” sponsorship deal where you throw them some money. to bring this name into the game – it can be the name of your GM or the name of a characteristic character.

Another player gave me perhaps the best advice: “I’ll be a squishy and say that sincere gratitude in itself is a wonderful gift. DMing is a labor of love, but a labor nonetheless, and it’s always nice to be acknowledged. Oh, and it would be nice to offer to run something for your DM to play with for a change!” — Tasha Robinson


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