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Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D Core Rulebook) Hardcover – December 9, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 650 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: D&D Core Rulebook
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (December 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786965622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786965625
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (650 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Over the years, none of the Dungeons and Dragons manuals has changed as much as the Dungeon Master’s Guide. It began as a tome of potent secrets, to be jealously guarded from the feckless eyes of mere players. Were a DM so inclined, he or she could prevent the players from even knowing how their to-hit rolls matched up against armor class to establish the results of a sword-blow or bowshot. Experience point values for monsters, the effects of magic items, even simple rules for movement remained the purview of the game-master.

As the game grew, and more and more options arose for building characters, the basics of play moved into the Player’s Handbook, and the DMG relinquished XP values to the Monster Manual and most of the combat rules to the PHB. In the process, it morphed into a nuts-and-bolts toolbox, starting off with rules on combat management, followed by practical sections covering environmental hazards, towns and villages, NPC generation, NPC character classes, and so on. In both 3E and 4E, it opened with a narrow focus and gradually got wider and wider in scope, with the culminative chapters advising the DM on how to run a campaign and build a world.

The new edition does exactly the opposite, and therein lies its genius.

If there’s one thing that D&D is always about, it’s the experience of stepping out of this world and into another. The fifth edition DMG establishes how important that notion is by putting the world- and cosmos-building chapters up front. Creating a fantastical environment for players to adventure in and journey through is no longer something you eventually get around to by the end of the book; it’s front-and-center as the DM’s first responsibility.
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Format: Hardcover
What can I say? This book rounds out the Holy Trinity (tm) of D&D 5th edition. With this book the DM or Dungeon Master, has everything she needs to tell the stories that the PC's or Player Characters, need to bring this game to life. I predict that this book, and the entire run of 5th edition, will be winning major awards, and this book firmly establishes D&D as a relevant Role Playing Game brand again after the unfortunate disaster that was 4th edition. In summary, the art in this book is fantastic, starting with the great cover. This is the DMG that is everything I've come to expect in a 5e rule book. Following the exceptional job done in the PHB and Monster Manual, I expected nothing less. The full splash color pages are evocative and stunning, and really give you a sense of what D&D is all about. The fantasy worlds and creatures come to life on every page. Everything is fresh, new, and original, and this book rounds out the 3 books that encompass Dungeons and Dragons. My nod to Pathfinder (or as its referred to D&D 3.75): peruse this book and be prepared to return to the loving arms of D&D again...

Now, lets get down to business: To say there are a lot of table in the 5e DMG is an understatement. This book is packed full of tables. Every section has tables to help the DM use the mechanics quickly and easily. All the tables reminded me of the original 1e DMG, whihc was a good thing. Here is the breakdown:

Chapter 1: A World of Your Own
Whether you're a new DM who's never played before or you're a player who hasn't played in a very long time then this chapter provides a great introduction to world-building. If you're an experienced DM and you've played any previous edition of D&D in the last few years you can quickly peruse this section.
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Format: Hardcover
D&D has a long-standing tradition of putting out mediocre DMG's. My favorite example is 2nd edition's "Read through information that was basically copied out of the Player's Handbook, then only refer to this when you need one of the handful of tables unique to this book." 5e's DMG is a trend breaker, and is probably the best one they've put out to date.

If you're a new DM entirely -

This book is perfect for you. You may not agree with everything in it, but it's filled to the brim with advice on how to not only run the game, but also develop a world, build characters, create maps, handle currency, design deities, so on and so on. It has considerations for the different kinds of ways groups like to play the game (the hack and slash group vs. the roleplay group), and suggestions on how to cater to what your group of players may want to see. Most importantly, it emphasizes that your primary objective is having fun. It actively encourages you to change/break rules if you don't think you or your players will enjoy it, and has plenty of variant rules available in case you're not keen on making your own changes.

For actually running the game, it elaborates on a lot of systems skimmed over in the Player's Handbook. It adds new rules you may find to your liking. It gives you a handy system for balancing encounters to make sure you don't accidentally kill your entire party 30 minutes in. Basically everything you could conceive happening in your early sessions is probably covered at some point in the book. It not only explains what to do in X situation, but also covers reasons why X situation might come up in the first place. The whole book is clearly written not only to tell you what to do, but also to help you get into the habit of thinking like a DM.
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