Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, columnist Scott Thorne offers advice on gifts for roleplayers.

Well, the holiday season is coming upon us, and a most peculiar one it promises to be with the supply chain disrupted and the weaknesses of the JIT system (see "Unraveling the Supply Chain?").  The annual gift-giving season will likely start earlier than usual, as many outlets are warning consumers that there will be shortages of gift items this year.  This might create a self-fulfilling prophecy and a FOMO run on stores for gift items.  That said, here are some notable items in the RPG category that will make great gifts this fall:

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons: Everyone loves dragons.  It is in the games very name, Dungeons & Dragons so, assuming you sell RPGs,  Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a no-brainer to stock for this winter (see "'D&D Fizban's Treasury of Dragons'").  The major problem with suggesting it to people as a gift is that avid D&D players will likely purchase it as soon as it comes out; so it will likely be a good gift for the younger player who doesn't have $50 to drop on the book.

Strixhaven Curriculum of Chaos: Similar to Fizban’s Treasury, Strixhaven Curriculum of Chaos will be another in-demand book by players, albeit not as much as Fizban’s because Fizban’s has dragons and is a long time part of D&D lore(see " 'Strixhaven' Campus ").  Strixhaven is a very recent introduction to the Magic: The Gathering mythos and has no D&D presence at all.  If you are looking to buy one of the two for a gift, go for this one as avid D&D players will likely buy Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons first, and put off Strixhaven for later.

Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set:  However, if you want to get the D&D player in your life something they certainly will not have, pre-order and pre-pay for a copy of the Rules Expansion Gift Set (see "'D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set'").  Originally scheduled to release in time for Christmas, supply chain problems have caused Wizards of the Coast to push the release until January so no one will have a copy in time for the holidays.  Customers can preorder a copy at the local FLGS then pass along the receipt with a nice holiday card, and the recipient will be quite happy.

Looking for something non-D&D and a bit off the beaten RPG path?  Take a look at Green Ronin’s Blue Rose, a romantic fantasy RPG that uses the company’s True 20 system.  Also, take a look at Tim Hutchings’ Thousand Year Old Vampire, a beautifully designed solo RPG; or Thirsty Sword Lesbians from Evil Hat Productions (see "Evil Hat's 'Thirsty Sword Lesbians RPG'").  Both are small press RPGs that have gotten lots of attention and are available to stock in-store from Indie Press Revolution.

All of the books should be in stock through distribution currently.  Once you've chosen some books to feature as book items, make sure to carry plenty of dice sets.  Dice are always welcome in the stocking.

For all of the ICv2 Gifts Week articles on 2021 holiday merchandising, see "ICv2 Gifts Week 2021."

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of