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Dungeon Masters Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,456 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Whether you're running a single adventure or masterminding a complete campaign, the Dungeon Masters Guide is the absolute best source for information. There's no need to guess the rules. You'll learn spells, monsters, travel, magic lists and combat rules.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1979 by TSR Inc.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,774)
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Jason Koivu
Many dabbled in D&D, but those who owned the Dungeon Master's Guide were addicts.

This was the book that turned this quirky little game with its odd-shaped dice into a full-fledged obsession. Not only did it show you how to play and referee the game, it provided the tools to generate full-on worlds filled with all manner of monsters, tricky traps and tantalizing treasure. New adventure after new adventure could be created via this book with all of its lists, tables, and charts filled with ev
...more
Matthew Iden
Jul 30, 2012 Matthew Iden rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: RPGer's, video gamers, fantasy reades
It's difficult to explain the impact that D&D had on anyone growing up in the 70's and 80's.

There were no video games, no internet, and radio was the only way to find out about a new band. There was barely cable TV. The only places to expend and exercise an overactive imagination was by reading comics and paperback books (a great option, but not one that filled up 100% of your time...just 90%).

When D&D came along, it's like a hidden release-valve had suddenly been re-discovered and ope
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
High five if you date back to this edition of D&D (or AD&D as these books were called). Back in 1978 I "discovered" D&D. I bought the books, got a basic set of dice and pulled a group together. I've played on and off ever since. I still have this book, and a couple of editions that followed, this one has a place in "fond memory" as the first edition (well actually, I did have the little box set, but we moved on to these quickly...like after one gaming session).

I've played PC, and con
...more
David Sarkies
Got to love the cartoons in this book
1 January 2013

This book gets a high rating purely for nostalgic purposes. Okay it was not the first rulebook that I ever owned, but it was certainly the most used, which sometimes puzzled me because, theoretically, you could get away with running a game without actually having this book, though having this book does make things a lot easier. Look, I'm not sure if I still have mine, but I do remember it fondly, especially the section of the spine at the top t
...more
Ron
Part of the 1st edition set. I have stuck with the 1st edition books when many people I have known have moved on to the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th set because of the basic premise set out in the 1st edition that stated, use every good idea that you have read and make it part of your world. After they lost theeir copyright lawsuit TSR changed it's tune and basically said that if it didn't come to you from them, you were no longer playing the game but something differant.

“You are not entering this worl
...more
John
Gary Gygax died a couple of days ago, and I was reminded of the many happy hours spent imagining that I had escaped the deserts of Idaho for the strange world described by authors I enjoyed at the time: L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter, Fritz Lieber, R. E. Howard, Andre Norton, and many others.

I uncovered this book while clearing out several boxes that were water-damaged. To my surprise, the book is free of mold, showing only the wear of many trips in my backpack.

Though many gamers now object to t
...more
Alessandra
Although I loved playing this game (even with the embarrassingly awkward artwork all over it), I could never have figured it out without more experienced players to explain it to me, who were themselves tutored by other gamers and so on back to Gygax himself. It is so poorly written, so dense and counterintuitive, so badly organized, and so contradictory in places, that there is no way to figure out how to play it from the books themselves.

But man, it was fun.

My original copy of this with the go
...more
Megan
C'mon... who doesn't miss playing D&D all night? :) Besides the fact that I was young, had no mortgage or job worth keeping, blew my entire paycheck on weed & Taco Bell ~ this was a totally kick ass game to play! I'm just sorry I don't have more of these books lying around.
Michael
Apr 28, 2013 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy gamers, gaming historians, nostalgic gamers
Recommended to Michael by: Seth Klein
Shelves: role-playing, fantasy
It’s funny going back and looking at this book now, as I realize how little of it I ever used, read, or even was aware of when I was a fantasy role-player. So far as I can judge, no one outside of Lake Geneva ever took all the rules in this book seriously, and you have to wonder why they even felt the need to publish a lot of it. And yet, this was the Holy Grail of roleplaying guides when I was a kid, and not just among my own age group. I suppose what it comes down to is that in a system like r ...more
Lyn
I played this game and used this book back in the early eighties and have kept the books all this time, sometimes revisiting the dusty tombs on my bookshelves. A couple years ago I became a cool dad because I had these "ancient" texts. The game is still alot of fun, and the kids playing today can take some time away from the video screen and let their true imagination work. Good times!
David Wismer
I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons in University and have played every version from the original D&D to edition 4. It is not the version that makes the game but the DM and the players. My son and I still play once a month with a great group (AD&D 1st edition rules with some house rules thrown in).
Jason
My favorite part of this book - These are NOT rules, only guidelines. How many heated debates happened based on the "guidelines" in this book...lol
Ken
A crucial text for any young dweeb's formative development. Roll deep, playa.
Elliot
Oh yeah!!!
Kim
Mar 12, 2013 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: rpg
This is the "original" and is no longer in print. This book along with its companion The Players Handbook is what got me started into my obsession with pen and paper (p+p) role playing games (rpg). It's an awesome base rule set for starting out in a "classic" fantasy setting, or at least it was back in the 80's, when I began playing. It had a statistical backing that led to believable event outcomes and it wasn't so complex that game play bogged down. The reading style was somewhat dry and the l ...more
jeremiah
This is thick, though not necessarily physically so: very small type written in language that is very hard to read linearly. That said, this tome is absolutely FILLED with bits of gaming wisdom.

I've never actually been able to pick this up and read it from start to finish due to the dry, rambling language used. I've skimmed through it though more times than I can count, going over some sections more than others.

This combination of reading difficulty mixed with my only being able to skim the mat
...more
Dan
The degree to which this book changed my life in my mid-teens cannot be easily quantified. I was a Star Wars/comic book/fantasy novel geek already... Dungeons & Dragons was the single seismic event which signaled an enormous lifestyle change -- a graduation of sorts from geek to arch-geek. Over the course of finding people with whom to play, I managed to get myself branded both evil and possibly a warlock... no, seriously. The few folks I did play with in the early days got it, and we had a ...more
Gabe
Mar 27, 2014 Gabe added it
It's good
Vali
I grew up in the heyday of role-playing games. People who played Dungeons & Dragons have always gotten a bad rap as nerds. And it's simply not fair. For one thing, growing up in a Detroit ghetto in a disfunctional family, this game kept me out of a lot more trouble than I could've gotten into. And for another most important reason, AD&D set the standard and paved the way for the concept of "leveling up". All video gamers have book-and-dice role playing games to thank.
Duane Ballenger
Reads a bit like stereo instructions, but considering its historical significance, and the fact that it is indeed instructions……I loved it! I've played Dungeons & Dragons on and off for 25 years (long time nerd here), and have only ever played AD&D second edition. This first edition stuff is worth a try now. Seems like it would be very raw, almost like "frontier" game play, if there could be such a thing!
Ivan
I wish I had had more folks to play this with when I was a kid. I tried to get my nieces and nephews interested but it just wasn't the right time though I was told our treks through the woods playing it in real life without the dice was still pretty fun. I know of at least one other that still plays the computer variants so something must have stuck!
Chris
Once you get past the nostalgia, there isn't much here. Yes, Gygax invented the genre, but that's like insisting on gaming with a Commodore 64; it was great at the time, but why insist on being stuck 20 years in the past? Good for someone interested in the history and development of gaming, but other than historical interest, not much to see.
Stuart
Full disclosure: Never really played AD&D except for a few ill-fated attempts in 5th grade. It's amazing how personalities can clash, especially with an incompetent DM. But it was still pretty cool to read these books.
Nika
they were always telling me as a child to not look in this book. So I did. Later I found out this book was rare to have. A bit over my head but I tryed.
Clayton Bye
As someone who spent decades as a dungeon master, I can say this book made my life so much easier and the game much more fun for everyone involved.
Cimuchowski
My book has a different cover; a wizard opening a set of double doors.

Again, not enough game management info.
Scott
Oct 06, 2009 Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: rpg
I really like the newer editions of D&D but this book is still fun and evocative after all these years.
Iain Watson
Dungeon Master's Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, First Edition Revised) by Gary Gygax (1979)
Woo
The motherlode, center of the role-playing universe and eternal spring of yummy goodness.
Tim
Nov 25, 2008 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any gamers
Shelves: leisure
IMO, this is the ONLY version of Dungeons and Dragons that counts....after only OD & D.
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38822
Ernest Gary Gygax was an American writer and game designer, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson in 1974, and co-founding the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with Don Kaye in 1973.

After leaving TSR, Gygax continued to author role-playing game titles independently, including another gaming system called Lejendary
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More about Gary Gygax...

Other Books in the Series

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Monster Manual (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2009)
  • Players Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook)
  • Deities & Demigods: Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes from Myth and Legend (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2013)
  • Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Fiend Folio
  • Monster Manual II (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2016)
  • Unearthed Arcana (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2017)
  • Oriental Adventures (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2019)
  • Wilderness Survival Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2020)
  • Manual of the Planes (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons )
Players Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook) Monster Manual (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2009) Unearthed Arcana (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2017) Monster Manual II (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2016) Oriental Adventures (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)

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