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Dungeon Master's Guide (4th Ed. D&D)
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Dungeon Master's Guide (4th Ed. D&D)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  811 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Roleplaying Game.

The Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting chara
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 6th 2008 by Wizards of the Coast
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Apr 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: game, fantasy
Odd as it may seem, I often read game books for pleasure, even if I may never get to play the game. My wife reads cookbooks the same way. She can taste the food through the text. I can feel the adventure (or not) while reading.
I am playing in a 4E campaign, but not Dungeon Mastering. So I figured I could save the money and just buy the Player's Handbook(s). I have to say the 4E Player's Handbooks are mind numbing to read. They work great as a reference book, but they are all numbers and powers,
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The 4e DMG is quite a good book, offering solid advice to the novice DM. The section on player types and social dynamics is probably the best one for DMs who feel they need the book's permission to do their job, enabling DMs to be a lot more flexible at the table and even allow their players an amount of authorship that I don't recall being explicitly advised in previous editions. It is rounded with the usual sections on monster creation and adaptation, as well as NPC and dungeon creation (inclu ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
So 4th Ed. D&D has taken a lot of flak from those not fond of the system but I think I'll save my likes and dislikes of that edition when (if) I review the 4th Ed. Player's Handbook. Regarding the 4th Ed. Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG) I was pleasantly surprised. While veteran gamers might not get much out of this, I think that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) did a great job of producing an informative book for a new Dungeon Master (DM). I wish some of the older edition DMGs followed this approach ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, amusing, interesting
Great book, so much information, really interesting. I can't wait to read through the 5th Edition version and see what changed in the meantime. Otherwise it was quite interesting, and especially the part about creating your own world inspired a lot of ideas for me.
Rebecca N. McKinnon
I'm not rating this because I have no idea how to, honestly. I started closely reading this guide a while ago, taking extensive notes throughout. At the same time as doing this, I was reading informational articles online and other tabletop nonfiction titles like Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. At this point in my research, I've realized 4th edition is not really the kind of campaign I want to run. This is an awkward realization, as I've spent way ...more
Randy Lander
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
I'm a huge fan of the D&D 4th Edition, but the Dungeon Master's Guide is definitely the weak link in the core rulebook set. In fact, it's mostly an argument for eliminating the DMG in the inevitable 5th edition. There's a lot of good material for the first GM, but as someone who has run tons of games before, seeing "types of players" yet again, or being told to wing it when the rules don't cover something, is not useful information.

The rules section is light as well, with skill challenges in
Mark Austin
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
★ - Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
★★ - Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
★★★ - Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
★★★★ - Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
Eleanor Paul
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am relatively new to D&D, but I done a bit if GMing before. I liked how the book gave templates did creating your own versions of things as well as some if their own. I wish that it had given a more detailed description of how to start a campaign or adventure, and how to get to a certain point in it, however, and that it told you what D&D combat was.
I did enjoy how it left so many details and so much lore open ended. I have had fun, as I think my players will, developing artifacts to
Jacek Litka
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnd-polish_4th
Drugi wydany w Polsce podręcznik z linii wydawniczej czwartej edycji D&D różni się nieco od swojego odpowiednika z edycji poprzecznej. Książka jest cieńsza, ale treściwsza w opisy. Foliał ten miał za zadanie zapoznać Mistrza Podziemi z zasadami obowiązującymi w trakcie sesji tego systemu. Rozwiązań mechanicznych jest tutaj mniej, co nie znaczy, że nie znajdą się tutaj pewne narzędzia dla prowadzących grę.

Wydanie to wypełnione jest po brzegi radami i świetnie nadaje się dla każdego mistrza gr
Lance Schonberg
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: games
Sometimes an easy read and sometimes not. Sometimes an easy system and sometimes not.

Picked up in order to be able to run a campaign for my kids, and it's certainly helped me do that, at least after knocking a bit of the rust off my old GM skills.

A lot of what's here is very useful for running the game, but a lot of it could have been accomplished in much less space and with clearer language. Obviously an important reference, and you'll have a tough time running the game without it until you fig
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: rpgs, non-fiction, ebooks
The Good:

Excellent for beginners, very clear and precise articulation of the core rules, and helpful tips and tricks are plentiful. Makes DMing very accessible for the uninitiated.

The Bad:

Simplistic, although that is more of a criticism of fourth edition itself rather than this particular manual. Some of the finesse is cut in favor of a streamlined approach.


Recommended for DMs looking to expand into fourth edition campaigns; house rules will likely have to be instated for the finicky, b
Jun 06, 2008 rated it liked it
The DMG has always been the least useful of the core rule books. Even as the main DM, it got a lot less use than the other two, especially for veteran players that don't need the massive amounts of space explaining the function of the DM, and general imagination advice.

This edition though, the DMG actually has a lot of relatively pertinent information. Explanations of ways to use the new combat rules, and so forth. So It seems much more worthwhile, at least, after a quick read through.
Eric Jackson
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gaming
In keeping with the rest of the edition, the rules are big on "telling the story" and light on crunchy, math-based, rules. I'm warming to this as of the DMG which combines the wisdom of many editions worth of campaign management. These rules are vague and that vagueness is liberating. If you drink the Kool-aide and accept that the story is greater than the game then this IS a 5 star book. After 4th edition's pop-rock-video-game, I was thirsty.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
The new DMG lets a DM just be a DM. With all of the core rules held in the Players Handbook, this freed up a lot of space in the DMG, which I think they put to good use. Full of advice for how to run , plan, and build a campaign, it also advises DM's on how to keep the different player types all interested in the game. Add in the advice from the pros, and this book really helps a DM in running and managing a game.
Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it
There really is a lot of good information in this book, and I feel a lot more confident about running a game now that I've read it. Nevertheless, I feel like there should have been a bit... more to it. A whole lot of basic information, but not much actual content. How about a section on traps? Or even a few basic pre-rolled monsters?

This is a recommend for any aspiring DMs...
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really like the new DM Guide for 4th edition. It spends more time on crafting the story and less time on complicated game mechanics and tables of exceptions. It is a much more streamlined game and plays faster like the original Dungeons and Dragons basic game.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, games
I'll stick with 3.5 for now. The advancement in 4.0 is ridiculous. the way my group games, we'd be leveling up twice a session if we tried to go with this. I do think that the younger generation will like this one though. It'll appeal to their shorter attention spans.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: DMs
Good reference book for DMs. While not necessarily essential, it does provide enough input from enough people to help a fledgling DM quickly make the leap to pretty-good DM. Plenty of rich, story-telling fodder.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpg
This book surprised me. Maybe my expectations were low, but it really does help you DM. I'd recommend it for any Dungeon Master.
Jul 29, 2010 added it
Don't normally list a book like this as reading. But I'm reading it cover to cover, so guess that works.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Super informative
Ganglion Bard-barbarian
Dec 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
Pen and paper World of Warcraft.
This doesn't even rate being called a role-playing game. There's nothing in it for directing novices to create stories, only how to read the tables contained within its pages.
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it
They had some interesting tips in here. Worth a look through.
Morbus Iff
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: games
Quite good, actually; stronger than 3E's.
Jakk Makk
Aug 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gaming, fantasy, magic
The most unsuccessful DMG also happens to be the least inspiring.
Kurt Vosper
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
4th edition of the popular game. I thought this addition was much more player friendly than 3...but not as good as 2nd.
Abraham Ray
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
good starter book for 4th ed. dnd dungeonmasters!
Mia Morrison
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
A guide for those running a D&D game - basic rules with a few gaps, but good for the beginner who is wiling to take the time.
Matt Skeels
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
The information to run a game is scattered and piecemeal throughout the whole book. It is not cohesive or structured linearly. Game ideas are randomly inserted making for a haphazard creation.
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