What should I buy a nerd? Ten Great Gifts for Nerds

Each year we’ve provided a slew of the absolute best deals for nerds on the net.  This year, we’re going to concentrate our phasers into a refined beam and blast away the other offers on the gaming table, leaving only the cream of the crop.  Sure, we may miss some stuff, but we’ll get the stuff that really matters.  Whether you’re a nerd shopping for yourself, or holiday shopping and looking for gifts for a nerd, you’ll find the top 10 nerd picks right here at NERDTREK.com.


STAR TREK: The Next Generation – Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-Ray (DVD)

We begin our Top 10 Gifts for Nerds with my absolute favorite show of all time and inspiration for this site, STAR TREK: The Next Generation.  When I found out that they were remastering and re-releasing these classics, I nearly had an organism (yes, that’s right… I nearly gave birth to another life form which evolved from drinking too much kombucha and watching TNG over and over again for the past 20 years.)


Lords of Waterdeep (board game)

Who needs Park Place and Boardwalk when you have The Waymoot and The Yawning Portal?  Lords of Waterdeep is like Monopoly on Mountain Dew and jacked up with nerd power.  Although it appears to be overtly complex, after a quick read through of the rules available here, and watching the informative video here, you’ll be completing dangerous missions in the City of Waterdeep in no time!


Midgard Campaign Setting (RPG book)

Wolfgang Baur, Jeff Grubb and Brandon Hodge bring to life a Central European-flavored world of darkness and deep magic for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and AGE System

The first major new worldbook for fantasy roleplaying games since Monte Cook’s Ptolus is out today from Kobold Press. Midgard Campaign Setting is compatible with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and includes an extensive section of rules for Dragon Age RPG. The book is already heavily supported by published adventures and sourcebooks for Pathfinder, AGE and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, including Midgard bestiaries for all three systems.

The world of Midgard has its roots in lead designer and publisher Wolfgang Baur’s own home campaign that began when he was a teenager playing D&D Basic Edition. It has since expanded into a sprawling, serpent- encircled world of heroic adventure through a collaboration with fellow designers Jeff Grubb and Brandon Hodge, and a vibrant, creative community of project patrons.

Read more about the Midgard Campaign Setting here!



Halo 4 (video game)

The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Shipwrecked on a mysterious world, faced with new enemies and deadly technology, the universe will never be the same. Enlist aboard the UNSC Infinity to experience Halo’s original multiplayer and Spartan Ops – episodic fiction-based co-op missions.

Key Features

  • The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends
  • Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4’s Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan IV player progression system.
  • Spartan Ops: Extend your campaign experience in a massive-scale adventure that builds upon the “Halo 4” Campaign. Receive a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE followed by new game play missions, played solo or cooperatively with up to three friends – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game!
  • War Games: Battle the competition in fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies.
  • Track your groups, stats and scores on HaloWaypoint.com
  • Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4’s graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies


Magic: The Gathering – Return to Ravnica (card game)

Magic: The Gathering is still the world’s most popular card game.  This year marked the release of the Return to Ravnica set featuring guilds with dual colored cards.  This has been a very fun set to build decks as there are many powerful combinations to consider and a myriad of possibilities!

Featuring 274 black-bordered cards, including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set, The Return to Ravnica Core Set is available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs.

Additional information about the ten guilds of Ravnica as well as a guild quiz that will help players select a guild to affiliate with can be found at GuildsOfRavnica.com. Fans of Magic: The Gathering on Facebook can join in the action with the Artfight game app, an interactive experience that allows players to earn points for their guild in the quest to control Ravnica.


Wii U (video game console)

The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support high-definition graphics, capable of producing video output up to 1080p, and has 2 GB of memory with half dedicated to the console’s operating system. The console was released in two versions: a “Basic” white-colored version with 8 GB of internal Flash storage; and a “Deluxe” black-colored version with 32 GB of Flash storage, which includes stand and docks. An HDMI cable is included with both versions. The Wii U’s primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen. The touchscreen is used to supplement the main gameplay shown on the television or, with supported games, can allow the player to continue playing games by displaying the main gameplay even when the television is off. In addition to the Wii U GamePad, a more traditional controller, called the Wii U Pro Controller, may be used.

The system is backward compatible with Wii, and Wii U games may support compatibility with Wii peripherals, such as the Wii Remote Plus and the Nunchuk. While it is not backward compatible with Nintendo GameCube discs or peripherals, GameCube titles will become available for purchase and download from Nintendo’s Virtual Console service.

 Read more about the Wii U here!


Rise of the Drow – Trilogy Bundle (RPG adventure books)

This 5 star studded, 500 page adventure for D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder was released this year by Adventureaweek.com to great critical acclaim!

“Adventureaweek.com’s 3-part Rise of the Drow mega-module has set the bar quite high regarding underdark modules!”


The drow city of Holoth is a wealthy metropolis of power-hungry drow families, with various houses constantly vying for position and prestige at the expense of each other. House Gullion, one of the more sinister houses, seals a pact with a mysterious race called the Vidre, an agreement which causes a shift Gullion’s way and throws the entire Underworld into utter chaos. Matron Maelora of House Gullion is as devious as they come and has far greater dreams than simple regional conquest; visions from the Spider Goddess give her insight into the expansion of her house and dominance over both the Under and Overworld. Numerous bold moves plant House Gullion in a position of power over the entire region. Now the PCs must make their move and stop the evil Matron Maelora in her play for power, but how will they go about it? How will they ensure their victory?

Also included in “RISE OF THE DROW”:

  • Maps by 3x ENnie award winning cartographer Todd Gamble include: Krelgar Keep, Underworld, City of Embla, Back Road to the City of Holoth and entrance to the Fungi Forest, City of Holoth, Drow Spider Temple, and six maps of the massive Tolgorith Tower.
  • Illustrations by James J Krause, Tim Tyler, Silvano, and many more!
  • The dwarven city of Embla fleshed out in great detail and usable for future games
  • Amazing multi-layered Mushroom Harvesting Mini-Game by Stephen Yeardley with 6 pages of detailed rules on how to run this game for your players!
  • Three main paths for the PCs to explore with downloadable PDFs detailing the layout of each
  • Numerous locations within the drow city of Holoth for use in this adventure as well as your campaign setting
  • The gargantuan “Temple of the Spider Goddess” numbering close to 20 locations, and including a special map by Todd Gamble
  • House Gullion’s home, “Tolgorith Tower” which spans across 6 maps and includes over 30 different locations for your PCs to explore
  • Supplemental histories on each member of House Gullion
  • Multiple ways for the PCs to end the adventure, each with it’s own experience rewards and regional influence
  • New Traps: Ochre Jelly Dust and many more!
  • New Special Ability: Third Eye of Fear
  • New Feats: Fused Weapon Fighting and Colorless Mercantile
  • New Items: Drow Kllellek Paper, Drow Quill, Drow Ink, Giant Green-spored Parasol Mushroom Poison, Fungi Forest Kombucha
  • New Magical Items: Coin of Singing and many more!
  • New Spells: Iceflame, Ironfiber, Fiber Shape
  • New Monsters: Skildpadder, Underworld Giant Skeleton, Albino Bronze Dragon, Petrous, Purple Worm Hatchling, The Ottaakiinni, The Fungiant, Vvor, Mushroom Golem and more!
  • New Class: Titanic Beastmaster
  • New Artifact: the Vidrefacte
  • New Demi-Plane: The Demi-Plane of Venom




Pathfinder Beginner Box (RPG boxed set)

This product won the 2012 ENnie Award for best product, and there’s good reason why.  You get more than just a couple books in this box, in fact it comes so jam packed full of stuff that it’s actually heavier than one would expect.  Paizo really pulled out all the stops on this one, and for that we highly recommend this for ages 8-98.  Anyone new to the Pathfinder RPG, or role-playing games in general will have a blast playing this!

Pathfinder Beginner Box (contents):

  • A 64-page Hero’s Handbook, detailing character creation, spells, equipment, and general rules for playing the game
  • A 96-page Game Master’s Guide packed with adventures, monsters, magical treasures, and advice on how to narrate the game and control the challenges faced by the heroes
  • A complete set of 7 high-impact polyhedral dice
  • More than 80 full-color pawns depicting tons of heroes, monsters, and even a fearsome black dragon
  • Four pregenerated character sheets to throw you right into the action
  • Four blank character sheets to record the statistics and deeds of your custom-made hero
  • A durable, reusable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker

Read more about the Pathfinder Beginner Box here!


Samsung Galaxy SIII (mobile phone)

The Samsung Galaxy S III is a multi-touch, slate-format smartphone running the Android operating system. It is designed, developed, and marketed by Samsung Electronics. It sees additional software features, expanded hardware, and a redesigned physique from its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II. The S III employs an intelligent personal assistant (S Voice), eye-tracking ability, increased storage, and a wireless charging option. Depending on country, the 4.8-inch (120 mm) smartphone comes with different processors and RAM capacity, and 4G LTE support. The device was launched with Android 4.0.4 “Ice Cream Sandwich”, and can be updated to Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean”.

Due to overwhelming demand and a manufacturing problem with the blue version of the phone, there was an extensive shortage of the S III, especially in the United States. Nevertheless, the S III was well-received commercially and critically, with some technology commentators touting it as the “iPhone killer”.  In September 2012, TechRadar ranked it as the No. 1 handset in its constantly-updated list of the 20 best mobile phones,while Stuff magazine likewise ranked it at No. 1 in its list of 10 best smartphones in May 2012. The handset also won the “European Mobile Phone of 2012-2013” award from the European Imaging and Sound Association, as well as T3 magazine’s “Phone of the Year” award for 2012.  It played a major role in boosting Samsung’s record operating profit during the second quarter of 2012.  As of November 2012, the Galaxy S III is part of a high-profile lawsuit between Samsung and Apple.

A Song of Ice and Fire, the Game of Thrones (book/DVD)

I cannot sing enough praise for these books and this HBO mini-series, anyone interested in medieval warfare and fantasy will be blown away by this series.  I recommend the DVDs since it’s easier to dive right in, but if you want to get the story in full, and love to read, by all means… get the books!


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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.