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Dungeon Master's Guide: v. 2 (Dungeons & Dragons) Hardcover – 15 Sep 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (15 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078695244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786952441
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 1.7 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
DMG2 contains a great deal of useful stuff, particularly for more experienced DMs or playing groups.

The first chapter is about Group Storytelling, in which the DM and the players work together on a more co-operative level than a typical D&D adventure. This has enormous potential, but would require a fairly experienced group.

The second chapter is probably the most useful. It explains methods for making your encounters more exciting, discussing motivations, objectives, pacing, terrain, movement, traps, and at the end includes a sample encounter that demonstrates all these different elements brought together. One of the main highlights of this chapter are the "Terrain Powers", which are attacks, much like the PC use, which can be engineered by using the terrain you put in the encounter. So having a chandelier fall and inflicting a burst attack or swaying a rope bridge and knocking your enemies off. All fantastic stuff which generates dozens of ideas.

The third chapter focuses on skill challenges. I would say that in order to run a proper skill challenge, this chapter is essential. The DMG1 is a first introduction to this new 4th Edition idea, and you really need the DMG2 (published after WotC understood the concept more clearly) to really make Skill Challenges an effective part of your game.

The fourth chapter deals with customizing monsters, including more elite and class templates. However the real gold in this chapter are the "Monster Themes". These are a collection of about a dozen different themes you can use to add flavour to your encounters, such as Lolth's Chosen or Orcus Cult. There are a list of powers that you can add to monsters to give them the sense they come from this particular theme. Very flavoursome and very simple.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some very handy stuff like companion rules, an indepth treatment of the shift to Paragon tier and mechanical discussion of traps and hazards, but it has a lot of "fluff" on what people want out of roleplaying - for a new or novice GM that's probably quite handy but if you're hitting Paragon even as a "first time DM" you'll likely know what your players want anyway. Not exactly wasted space, but unlikely to benefit most buyers except for casual interest.
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Format: Hardcover
Out of 2nd and 3rd edition DMGs I have found this one the most useful. The information is more like a collection of wisdom than a hard rules book. I found it to have less charts than previous DMGs.
The DMG2 is also much more useful than 3.x DMG2 in that it has a whole mini-setting (sigil/planescape) set out in it geared towards paragon level characters. This, in addition to the extra skill challenge guidance and options makes it a useful buy. It is by no means essential but I have found it helpful despite DMing for 14-odd years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This manual is part of the core D&D ruleset so it's a must have, it comes with an awesome printing and paper quality which make it last for several years even if it's used frequently.
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