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All you need to run a Dungeons & Dragons game is your imagination, some dice, and this book. The Dungeon Master’s Guide teaches you how to how to run D&D adventures for your players— how to invent monsters for them to fight, mysteries for them to solve, and fantasy worlds for them to explore.
“[The Dungeon Master’s Guide is] the one book to rule them all, the most comprehensive and powerful set of resources needed to run a game of D&D. . .”
—Charlie Hall, Polygon.com
“D&D acolytes are everywhere…Tech workers from Silicon Valley to Brooklyn have long-running campaigns, and the showrunners and the novelist behind ‘Game of Thrones’ have all been Dungeon Masters.”—Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker
• The Dungeon Master’s Guide is one of the three main Dungeons & Dragons books, along with the Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual. It’s a reference used by the Dungeon Master (the game’s narrator) to create adventures—to run Dungeons & Dragons games and fill them with characters and stories.
• The Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) is full of tools to help you immerse players in the game. What’s the demon lord’s secret weakness? Are the orcish invaders a criminal enterprise, or traitorous allies? Dozens of tables throughout the book help inspire your decisions and keep the game flowing smoothly.
• In the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), even the tables tell tales. A legendary sword takes five decades to craft. Who created it, and why? A tavern-crawling gnome has an eye twitch. How did she get it, and when? In every detail is an architecture for narrative—and the Dungeon Master’s Guide has all the tools you need to flesh it out with ease.
• In Dungeons & Dragons, you and your friends coauthor your own legend. Guided by a Dungeon Master, you create characters and play their roles in a story, rolling dice and navigating maps as you unfold a tale as limitless as your imagination.
• Dungeons & Dragons is the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Created in 1974, D&D transformed gaming culture by blending traditional fantasy with miniatures and wargaming.
From the Publisher
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Entertain and Inspire Your Players
It’s good to be the Dungeon Master! Not only do you get to tell fantastic stories about heroes, villains, monsters, and magic, but you also get to create the world in which these stories live. Whether you’re running a D&D game already or you think it’s something you want to try, this book is for you.
Inside you’ll find world-building advice, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and many other tools to help you be a great Dungeon Master.
Master of Worlds
Build Your World
From city maps to magical systems, the Dungeon Master’s Guide will help you color in a rich, engaging world for your players to explore.
You’ll also get a Dungeon Masters-only tour of the D&D multiverse, discovering what adventurers may encounter in each plane and effects they may experience there.
Tell a Good Story
Learn how to craft compelling plots and balanced combat encounters.
The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides a multitude of suggestions for how to kick off your campaign with a thrilling introduction, complicate matters with moral quandaries, and end it all in an epic finale.
Whether it’s fresh level 1 characters picking a bar fight or a level 20 party battling a dragon god—guidelines are also provided to help you craft level-appropriate encounters that are as easy or deadly as you want them to be.
Master of Adventures
Create Unforgettable Characters
Inventing non-player characters on the fly is a tricky task. In this book you’ll find tables for quickly creating distinctive characters—from memorable quirks to personal ideals and intriguing family secrets. You’ll also find tips on creating the perfect villain, with ideas for dark schemes, key weaknesses, and even special class options.
Discover Legendary Treasures
Some adventurers seek more than just glory. The Dungeon Master’s Guide is where you’ll discover D&D’s most coveted treasures. Sentient weapons and bags of holding lie amongst glittering jewels and magic rings.
Objects have backstories too! Consider lists of suggested origins, histories, and special properties that will make your items truly awe-inspiring finds.
Master of Rules
Master the Rules
As the game’s referee, a Dungeon Master needs to not only know the rules but know how to make quick judgment calls when players do something unexpected—and they will!
This book provides DMs with rules and advice for running all three pillars of a Dungeons & Dragons game—exploration, social interaction, and combat.
Create Your Own
Get tips and blueprints for creating your own monsters, NPC stat blocks, spells, magic items, and character options. Optional rules are also included for DMs looking to add a few twists to their campaign, with rules for coping with horrors, using firearms, figuring out alien technology, and more.
Playing Dungeons & Dragons
Become an Adventurer
Adventurers come in all shapes and sizes. Find one that’s fun for you.
An elvish cleric, driven from society for trespassing on tradition. A dwarven paladin, atoning for an ignominious past. The Player’s Handbook provides the skeleton for your characters. Flesh them out however you choose.
Join the Party
D&D brings people together and forges new friendships. Silly moments spawn inside jokes; moving battles leave treasured memories—whether in the heat of battle, embroiled in social intrigue, or solving clever puzzles, your party has your back.
Choose Your Own Path
The woods are growing dark. Behind a mass of ivy, you see the stones of a crumbling castle. What do you do?
In D&D, your options are limitless. Because the Dungeon Master, as narrator of your tale, can improvise in reaction to any choice you make, what happens next is entirely flexible. Do you dare go on?