What is the best gift for an old school DnD geek?
December 2, 2010 7:33 PM   Subscribe

What is the perfect gift for a hardcore, old school Dungeons and Dragons nerd, and where can it be purchased?

I'd like to purchase a really special gift for someone who is a huge 1980's Dungeons and Dragons fan. I've thought about books, modules, and checked out things for sale on Ebay and other online stores, but I'm hoping to find something unique or really obscure that a true geek would appreciate. Something more akin to an RPG collectible/piece of art/original? Any suggestion from those with a deep knowledge of things like the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, I would enjoy your input. Thank you.
posted by EvilPRGuy to Shopping (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The Dungeons and Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game is one hell of a collectible. Here's one for about $42.
posted by griphus at 7:41 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

A nice print from Larry Elmore? Perhaps one with some nice cheesy T&A if it's a male recipient. I'd frame it.

Some old TSR modules, perhaps. I'd trawl ebay for a coherent set of Dark Sun or Ravenloft adventures. How about a set of Forgotten Realms trading cards? Perhaps a very early Player's Handbook, or even more amusing to flip through, a Monster Manual with redonkulous art.

Just check the logos to make sure everything is old... apparently Wizards is releasing some old settings under 4th edition, so avoid anything with this logo. Go for stuff with "TSR" or "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons."

(also, a +9 ogre slaying knife)
posted by mostlybecky at 7:53 PM on December 2, 2010

Dice are always good. Unusual ones, better.

(No affiliation or endorsement)

Miniatures are grand.

And of course, Unicorn Pegasus Kittehs:
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:54 PM on December 2, 2010

along with whatever awesome thing you pick out - include a jumbo D20. these are nerd pleasers. when i bought one, i put it in the stocking instead of an orange.
posted by nadawi at 7:58 PM on December 2, 2010

Oh, yeah, that 1st Ed. Monster Manual mostlybecky links to is comedy gold. Here's a look inside with SomethingAwful.
posted by griphus at 8:06 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

EvilPRGuy: Can you give us a sense of how much you want to spend? You want something like this, which isn't for sale, but you may be able to find something like it.
posted by The Bellman at 8:08 PM on December 2, 2010

Here's a look inside with SomethingAwful.

Gods they've gone downhill. There's no "A" in first edition. Sheesh.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:14 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: These are all really helpful answers, exactly the type of different ideas I was hoping for. Thank you. Electronic game, set of Ravenloft modules and a jumbo die are all very spot on.

@TheBellman That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I have some idea of the crazy prices of art through my job, but I would be willing to shell out $300 USD. I know that is a small amount for original art, but I have hope that interesting things might exist in a low-ish price range in the RPG world. I could be totally off base too. Is something less lovely, but still that cool in existence?
posted by EvilPRGuy at 8:18 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: @griphus Wow. That is truly comedy gold, thank you.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 8:20 PM on December 2, 2010

half price books. go there and look for the old good stuff. cheap and very rewarding.
posted by zombieApoc at 8:22 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: I don't know that $300 will buy much original art that is actually associated with AD&D's early years, though there is plenty of fantasy themed art for that.

Having said that, you might want to look at one very specific ebay seller: Frank Mentzer. (http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=extsr). Frank was one of the very early creators of D&D content and one of the first employees of what was then TSR (now WOTC) which published AD&D. He was also the auctioneer, for many years, at the world's largest gaming collectibles auction at GenCon. His ebay auctions often include very cool stuff and he's an extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy seller. Check him out. I don't know if he responds to requests through his ebay page, but he has an awful lot of stuff, and if you were looking for some art and had some money to spend you might drop him a line that way and see what happens.
posted by The Bellman at 8:30 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: @The Bellman Thank you, that is exactly the weird hookup I would have never found on my own.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 8:41 PM on December 2, 2010

3d6 in solid iron?

(Disclaimer: the artist is a friend of mine)
posted by novalis_dt at 8:48 PM on December 2, 2010

My pleasure. Let me know how it works out.
posted by The Bellman at 9:05 PM on December 2, 2010

Excellent call, Bellman. Seconding that Frank Mentzer is a good dude. And in fact, he's still one of the auctioneers at Gen Con - saw him there this past summer, in fact. Back when Gen Con was held in Milwaukee, I once crashed at his place for the con. The guy had a big collection even then (this was over 15 years ago). I can't imagine anyone knows more than he does - the most obscure stuff will come up for bid during the Gen Con auction and he'll say, "Oh yeah, this was a great game"... and you know he means it.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:33 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the truly excellent geeky answers. I have some fantastic ideas I wouldn't have thought of myself without your help. May your THAC0 be low if you happen to celebrate a holiday this month, or not.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 5:57 PM on December 3, 2010

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