There is perhaps no more important player in Dungeons & Dragons than the Dungeon Master. If you don’t have a DM, you have no game. But finding a good DM can be hard – and there’s a pretty big investment necessary to get all of the things a DM needs to run a good session (much less a good campaign).
If you’re one of those lucky players who has a great DM, it’s always worth remembering them when gift-giving opportunities come around. Maybe it’s their birthday, or the campaign-iversary, or the holidays they celebrate. Whatever the occasion, you might be in the market for the best gifts for Dungeon Masters – and perhaps stumped what a DM really needs.
As a dungeon master myself, I feel qualified to say exactly what gifts for Dungeon Masters would make me happy – and will probably please the god of your D&D world, aka your DM. Without further ado, here are the best gifts for Dungeon Masters of any level.
(P.S. If you’re confused by any of the acronyms in this post, be sure to check my D&D glossary to learn all the terms you need to know!)
1. D&D Sourcebooks
Dungeon masters are constantly looking to improve their knowledge of the game, so new or updated rulebooks would be a great gift. While your DM probably already has the Player’s Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide, you could always surprise them with a new sourcebook for a campaign they’ve been talking about – or that the whole party is excited to play someday.
To narrow down your search, there’s perhaps no better contender than The Curse of Strahd with a Tarokka Deck to accompany the sourcebook. Strahd is one of the most immersive campaigns that a DM can run – and it’s a great opportunity for the DM to kill everyone if that’s a secret wish you know they’ve always harbored. (Let’s be real: every DM simultaneously never wants to kill anyone and also wonders if they ever truly could!)
2. Dice Set
DM, player, newbie: you can literally never go wrong by gifting dice.
Dice are a crucial element of the game, and most dungeon masters like to have multiple sets of dice to choose from. A new set of dice – or a dice bag or dice tray to keep them all organized – is a great gift, especially if your DM is pretty new, doesn’t have many dice, or doesn’t have a way to keep them organized.
Miniatures are a fun way to bring battles to life on the tabletop; most DMs love this aspect of their role, so having minis for their own characters and NPCs is a great way to add to their experience of the game.
You might wonder: what mini(s) does my DM need? There are lots of sets out there, but a good set of standard monstrosities, evil humanoids, or generic NPCs is always welcome on the battle map.
Here are some good options:
- This 40-pack has 10 different characters/creatures and is good for more unusual NPCs and possible villains
- This 38-pack has loads of good evil humanoids to play with, including goblins, trolls, and lots in between.
- For more NPC options, this 58-pack of “townsfolk” is a good option for filling out a mini collection
4. Custom or Customizable DM Screen
Maybe your DM is playing with a pre-fab or flimsy DM screen they got as part of the Starter Set or Essentials Kit; maybe they have a makeshift screen just to keep some things hidden from you players.
In any case, every DM deserves an amazing DM screen. You can opt for a beautiful pre-made one, have one custom-made, or get one that’s customizable by the DM.
- This one is quite affordable, and has nice clear pockets where your DM can slide in resource pages they need while leading a session.
- This wooden screen is a nice upgrade for your DM – it comes in several different colors and designs depending on what you think your DM might like.
- If you want to splurge for your DM (or are chipping in with your campaign to buy a present), this wooden screen can be personalized and takes your DM up to Mercer-level.
5. Map Making Supplies
While D&D Digital is on its way and digital play has become more common after a few years of not being able to play together, some DMs truly love the art of map-making – we all secretly want to be the Ultimate DM aka Matt Mercer with his mind-blowing maps.
If your DM is pretty new, they definitely need a good large grid; there are lots of options out there, but I love playing on this one from Melee Mats.
There are lots of different map-making supplies you might buy as a gift for your Dungeon Master, depending on their style of map-making. You could also buy other props to augment their maps, such as trees, wagons, campfires, boulders, etc.
6. Gaming Accessories
If you’re looking for other accessories to buy for the DM who has it all, there are many gaming accessories available for D&D, such as spell cards, initiative trackers, and condition markers. Any of these accessories could make great gifts for Dungeon Masters who are harder to shop for.
7. Gift Card
If you’re totally stumped on what to buy as a gift for your amazing DM who pours everything into giving you the best game sessions possible, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to their local game store (that stocks D&D goodies, of course).
Game stores are like Disneyland for DMs: it’s where we can go physically interact with anything we might want to add to our game experience. It goes way beyond the online shopping experience where you buy something, wait for it to arrive, and hope it’s good quality – plus something your DM doesn’t have and loves.
Best of all, a gift card to their local game store helps support the local game store economy – which is definitely threatened by big online retailers. You can feel good knowing you’ve helped a local business and made your DM less likely to slaughter the whole party while you sleep.
Can you think of any other great gifts for Dungeon Masters, or do you have questions about these ones? Let me know in the comments below!