Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons and Dragons: Review
The Dungeon Master’s Guide for Dungeons and Dragons (DMG) is one of the core rule books for the 5e version of D&D. In this article we are going to explore what it is and why it’s a tool all dungeon masters (DMs) should have.
What it is
This is a hefty guide that will help DMs with the fundamentals of DMing like learning how to build your own world; creating events and characters to full your world; creating gods of the world; and even creating your own magic items and monsters.
Part 1 of the guide talks about world building and catering your world to the style of play that your table enjoys.
Part 2 of the book is all about creating adventures, characters who the party will mean, the environments they will be traversing, what they can do in between adventures and the treasure they can find. There is a beefy section for treasure and magic items which one of my favourite places to get lost.
Part 3 Goes into details about running the game and how to handle specifics like social interactions, combat, chases and other mechanics that can add depth to the system.
Here too they talk about creating your own monsters, spells and magic items.
The appendixes feature tables that you can use to create random dungeons, encounters and stock the dungeon with treasures.
The DMG is aimed at giving you tools to help you build your world and play the game you want to within the framework of dungeons and dragons 5e.
What it is not
This is not a beginner how to guide for DMs. When you first start out you are going to want to master the basic rules and it is much better to start with the starter set.
Once you get a handle on the basic rules and have run a game or two from level 1 to level 5 or so that’s when you should pick up the DMG. By then you have a grip on the basics of the game and won’t feel utterly overwhelmed with his it all works.
We suggest this progression:
1 Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set
2 Essentials Kit
3 Dungeon Masters Guide, Players Handbook and Monster Manual
Worth noting is that there is no overlap between this guide and either of the other core rule books. You will need both of the other guides in order to run the game effectively so you may as well just get the boxed set.
Who will benefit from it most
From baby DMs to pro DMs will benefit from this guide. It’s the kind of reference tool you can keep coming back to when you want to tweak your game and keep things interesting. You may want to try out the alternate mechanics like how to use downtime or different ways to do initiative.
This guide is fairly important for dungeon masters but it can also be improved which is what the Wizards of the Coast crew are trying to do with the updated rule set due out in 2024.
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