Each week through December, we’re giving you a few ideas for the nerd on your shopping list who stubbornly has everything. Think of it like an advent calendar of geekiness. Only less chocolatey and not as punctual.
The fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons has streamlined the venerable tabletop roleplaying game’s labyrinthine rules, making it easier for former players who have “grown up” and now have jobs and families to get their old buddies together once in a while to slay a dragon or two.
The three core rulesbooks — the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide — are also available separately, and the gift set presents no greater value — aside from the handsome slipcase, that is. Also, new for the holidays are deluxe editions of each book, sold separately for $75 apiece, with foil covers and recently updated corrections to the new rules.
BOOKS: Star Wars — The Clone Wars Visual Guide ($20)
This companion to the movie and animated series from DK Publishing uses striking images and quick-hit facts to guide fans of all ages through the familiar yet new universe of the CGI series. It teases episodes that haven’t aired yet without giving too many secrets away. The best action and scenery from the movie and the new series leap off the sweeping layout of its colorful coffee-table-book pages. For a full-color hardcover book, it’s a great value at $19.99. Read more about it, including an interview with author Jason Fry.
DVDs: Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series ($100)
British comedian Catherine Tate joins the cast of Doctor Who after appearing ever so briefly in the 2006 Christmas special “The Runaway Bride.” Her character, Donna Noble, is crass and common as they come, but she quickly teaches the Doctor (David Tennant) that he needs someone by his side as he travels through space and time in his TARDIS — even if only to hold him back when he goes too far. This season sees a visit to Pompeii, a memorable meeting with Agatha Christie, the return of the misunderstood, tentacle-faced Ood from season two and a star-studded season finale that changes everything. Oh, and the Doctor gives birth!