Top positive review
73 people found this helpful
crunchy rules additions, impressive storytelling techniques
on October 8, 2009
I was, at first, leery of the DMG II. What could it possibly have that would make it worthwhile?
The answer: plenty.
Where the first DMG focused on basic tools and techniques for the beginning DM, DMG II focuses on rules, techniques, and help for the experienced DM. The chapter on group storytelling techniques taught an old hand like me a few new tricks, and considering that I've been doing this for 20 some-odd years, that's no mean feat. This chapter alone makes the book worth it. But wait, there's more! We finally get rules for creating traps and minions, rules for running games without magical items, and rules for creating companion characters to fill out missing roles in the party. There is also an entire chapter on designing and running skill challenges, with plenty of detailed examples for DMs who feel mystified by this new mechanic. The monster creation rules have gotten some needed tweaking and streamlining as well.
Add to this new artefacts, new monster templates, ideas for campaign arcs, new terrain, new traps, and a horde of other useful stuff, and the book more than justifies its own existence. The only section that really let me down was the one on sigil. It's been so boiled down that a lot of what made that setting special is gone. Newbies who never saw the original planescape likely won't care, but those of us who knew the old setting know how much got lost in boiling this down to a few score pages.
Overall, though, this is a supplement well-worth your money.