Dungeons and Dragons 4: The Dungeon Master’s Guide

The Dungeon Master’s Guide is split into 11 chapters, staring with how to be a DM and running the game, running through the types of encounters, adventures, rewards and campaigns, and finishing up with world building, NPC building, and an example town and adventure.

It’s all pretty similar to what we saw in Third Edition, but as with the Player’s Handbook we lose a lot of the randomness (describing towns rather than tables to create them), and focus more on the nuts and bolts of running a combat game.

The Prestige classes and NPC classes have gone, but there’s a section on designing NPCs in the DM’s toolbox towards the end of the book. There are a lot fewer magic items, only the Artifacts remain, the rest have moved to the Player’s handbook.

The book is a lot easier to read, and easier to find things in, but that may just be because you are searching out obscure tables less often.

In all, it’s a nice evolution of the game, but it’s not a massive shift. The game has become easier to run, but the core books are holding your hand less as a DM, you’l either have to work harder to build your world, or rely more on published sources.

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