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Dungeon Master's Guide 2 (4th Edition D&D) Hardcover – September 15, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Series: 4th Edition D&D
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078695244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786952441
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As anyone who plays RPGs knows at this late date, the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons (or D&D4E) has engendered a lot of controversy in the community by breaking dramatically with the game's past in several key areas, replacing decades-old systems like "Vancian" casting and skill checks with power lists and collaborative skill challenges. Where did these innovations come from? "4E rips off World of Warcraft," say people who in most cases know very little about either. The truth is that a lot of 4E's mechanics and underlying philosophy were heavily influenced by the burgeoning independent RPG movement of recent years, a collection of writers and designers that have worked to stretch the boundaries of what is possible in the world of roleplaying games. Games without dice or any random elements, games without referees or dungeon masters, games without rules...a whole new world of strange delights that Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson could never have foreseen.

Influenced by these innovators, the people who made 4E went under the hood of Dungeons and Dragons and rebuilt it from the ground up. Nothing was sacred. We've seen the result of their efforts in the rules of the system to date, but now, with the release of Dungeon Master's Guide 2, we see the philosophy illustrated, not with rules, but with storytelling techniques that any DM, for *any* system, can profit from. Very little of the advice is specific to 4E, or even to Dungeons and Dragons. It shows you, with examples, how to harness the power of collaborative storytelling, how to enlist your players in worldbuilding and how to tell stories that engage everyone at the table.

Let me share my own story.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very solid book throughout, as much for the advice on techniques and food for thought as the crunchy bits. Which are pretty nice, too, by the way.

The book provides some good alternatives to magic item progression, for those who find that undesirable, and also some good nuts-and-bolts type advice for building traps and skill challenges (as well as a number of sample plug-and-play challenges you can adapt very easily). The Sigil section is very well done; it captures the feel of the old Planescape material without being overwhelming for those who've not had the pleasure of reading about it before. My only complaint with that section is that there's a lot of Cant slipped in, but no centralized place to look it up so you can use it when adventuring there. STill, that's a minor complaint; there's still plenty of resources for that kind of thing on the interwebs.

All in all, an awesome book. Would definitely recommend to any DM who wants to up their game.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The advice from Robin Laws is worth it alone, but when you add on top of that character boons, good skill challenge advice (and errata), and excellent Paragon Tier play breakdowns...well I can't recomend this book enough.

Consider this DMG: Advanced for DM's looking to take their core D&D 4E games beyond the basic game.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a boat load of dungeons and dragons rule books all at the same time. My motivation was not to test play each and every addition. I needed them as a research resource for a campaign world that my team is developing. I can tell you after having read every book from every addition there are not huge differences in 3 and 3.5 five unless you are purest. Most of the artwork is recycled. Version four is where the big differences come into play. All that being said let me state that having been a player for more than thirty five years the quality of the books has remained consistent. I am not a fan of breaking up books into multiple volumes to make more money so buy carefully. If you are a real D&D fan and you are considering a purchase, go for it.
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