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Fanbase Press’ *Shop Small* Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Tabletop Games

In yet another unprecedented year, deciding on gifts for friends and family is likely to be the last thing on your mind this holiday season.  In order to help those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, this year Fanbase Press is focusing ONLY on the must-play tabletop games recommendations which may be purchased from small businesses and independent creators.  Games make great gifts for the geeks in your life, especially for the holidays where the requisite number of players is usually right around the corner.

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Midnight Showings
Recommended by Barbra Dillon

If you’re a fan of roleplaying games and horror movies, this is the game for you!  Midnight Showings is a recently released, horror-themed RPG created by indie game designers Philip Hirzel, Jason Haddox, and Kyle Young. 

According to Hirzel, “We wanted a session of Midnight Showings to emulate watching your favorite horror movie. As a tabletop roleplaying game, there is a game master (Director) and players (Actors) who use theater of the mind and dice rolls to tell an improvised narrative. The Director sets the story while the Actors decide what course it takes depending on who their character is and how they would react. It’s a collaborative story you and your friends are telling each other, which is what I love about the medium.  Our main goal was simplicity without sacrificing depth; easy enough to pick up the rules in a trial by fire, but balanced enough that your rolls still have weight to them.  You can still do nameless faceless horror with Midnight Showings, but you could just as easily remake Friday the 13th or The Witch with it.”

Price: $20.00
Click here to purchase through DriveThruRPG.

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Dungeons on the Go
Recommended by Barbra Dillon

With everyone isolated due to the pandemic, gathering together for a game of Dungeons & Dragons has been a challenge.  Luckily, Dungeons on the Go is here to provide you with everything that you need to start your own *virtual* D&D game!

Dungeon Master Erik Cheski has played Dungeons & Dragons (and many other tabletop RPGs) for nearly 20 years, and he has made it his mission to bring his wealth of experience and imagination to teach new players of all ages how to enjoy fantasy roleplaying games.  With Dungeons on the Go, Erik will DM your D&D game (5th edition) for private and corporate events, supplying the requisite minis, maps, dice, and pencils, as well as sourcebooks and other supplies to help make the game more interesting. For newer players, Erik also provides pre-generated characters. The only thing that you may wish to supply yourself is a notebook or sheets of paper to write events/clues down and characters if you are interested.

Price: Varies depending on services requested.
Click here to learn more.

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Recommended by Barbra Dillon


For ages 8+, Imaginhero is like Pokémon for positive mental health. The game uses superhero narratives to teach healthy emotional responses to stressful situations.

The gameplay is designed to help develop emotional intelligence and empathy. Each superpower is based on an underlying visualization that promotes positive thinking, and each villain represents an unhealthy response to an overwhelming emotion. It is based on widely-used, well-evidenced, therapeutic approaches used in cognitive behavioral therapy.

As part of the pre-order sale, they are donating decks to children in foster care. There are over 420,000 children in foster care in this country, and 25% of them experience PTSD. This is a rate comparable to that of U.S. war veterans.

Imaginhero was created by Cards for Calm, a family run company who has been making mental health therapy tools since 2016. Their first product has gone on to sell over 19,000 decks worldwide and is used by counselors, therapists, and educators to help people find better ways of dealing with anxiety.

Price: Varies depending on rewards tier.
Click here to pre-order on Kickstarter.


The Geeky Parent Guide is a semi-monthly editorial series by Fanbase Press Senior Contributor (and father of two) Travis Lakata that will help parents and other caregivers to safely and positively navigate various avenues of pop culture with their children.

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Rat-A-Tat Cat
Recommended by Travis Lakata

This is a game that any and all ages can tackle where each player has to get rid of high point-valued rats in favor of cats with lower points. The object of this game is to finish with the fewest amount of points compared to the other players, but the trick is that you don’t see all of your cards at the start.

This is a great game to play with kids, because they will want to see how quickly they can knock on the table, saying, “rat-a-tat cat,” hoping they have the fewest points in their hand. Rat-A-Tat Cat is such an easy game that it makes replay a cinch, while its fast pace will have you wondering when exactly you’ll have your last turn to get rid of those pesky rats.

Price: $11.99
You can purchase online through Gamewright or they also provide you with the option to find a store near you!

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Go Nuts for Donuts!
Recommended by Travis Lakata

If you or your family enjoy donuts in any form, this game will give you fun advantages (or disadvantages) attached to delightful cards you can select from the pile. Each player will have to carefully choose which cards they want, because if someone else wants it, you’re out of luck.

Go Nuts for Donuts! is a great game to introduce your kids to a little more strategy, because they’ll have to choose which cards will be worth going for, as there are bonus points for extras, while penalties for not having enough. You’ll gather your sugary delights, hopefully avoiding too many negative points, all in the hopes of collecting enough points by the end to win the game.

Price: $14.99
You can purchase online through Gamewright or they also provide you with the option to find a store near you!




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