Today marks the release of the much-anticipated Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide 2. The final entry in the second series of core rulebooks, DMG2 is hands down the best book released by Wizards of the Coast since the introduction of fourth edition and an essential purchase for anyone who wants to push their D&D game to the next level.
I was lucky enough to get a review copy of the book Monday and I stayed up ’til the wee hours reading it cover-to-cover. The first chapter, called “Group Storytelling,” blew me away. Written by Robin D. Laws, author of the amazing Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering, it deals with the relationships between fantasy gaming and storytelling. The section on cooperative world building had me cackling with glee as I read passages out loud to my wife (she plays in my campaign).
“This is so much fun,” I told her. “You guys are in for some fun next week!” I can hardly wait to try out some of the collaborative exercises with my players and let them have more of a hand in shaping their campaign.
Hit the jump for more on customizing monsters, as well as some fun spoilers from the book!
I’ve also had a great time with the “Customizing Monsters” chapter. You’ve got loads of new monster templates (each PHB2 class gets a template, finally). Monster themes, new to the DMG2, are applied to groups of baddies. They let you flavor your encounters with new specialized powers and skill modifications. Check out the Young Blue Dragon Goblin Ally, a member of the Goblin Allies theme. He’s still familiar as a blue dragon, but gets extra powers (one is Phalanx Soldier, as pictured; can you guess the other?) to fit in thematically with his goblin cohorts.
With chapters on advanced encounters, rewards and adventures, a write-up on the famed city Sigil and a detailed re-examination of the much-maligned skill challenge system, there’s really something for every DM.
Also, check out some additional preview material at these other fine RPG blogs: