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E-book

Dungeon Master For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-05088-0
386 pages
July 2006
Dungeon Master For Dummies (0470050888) cover image
Whether you’ve been a Dungeon Master (DM) before and want to fine-tune your skills or want to get ready and take the plunge, this is the book for you. It gives you the basics on running a great game, info for more advanced dungeon mastering, guidelines for creating adventures, and tips for building a campaign. It shows you how to:
  • Handle all the expressions of DMing: moderator, narrator, a cast of thousands (the nonplayer characters or NPCs), player, social director, and creator
  • Use published adventures and existing campaign worlds or create adventures and campaign worlds of your own
  • Conjure up exciting combat encounters
  • Handle the three types of encounters: challenge, roleplaying, and combat
  • Create your own adventure: The Dungeon Adventure, The Wilderness Adventure. The Event-Based adventure (including how to use flowcharts and timelines), The Randomly Generated Adventure, and the High-Level adventure
  • Create memorable master villains, with nine archetypes ranging from agent provocateur to zealot

To get you off to a fast start, Dungeon Master For Dummies includes:

  • A sample dungeon for practice
  • Ten ready-to-use encounters and ten challenging traps
  • A list of simple adventure premises
  • Mapping tips, including common scales, symbols, and conventions, complete with tables

Authors Bill Slavicsek and Richard Baker wrote the hugely popular Dungeons and Dragons For Dummies. Bill has been a game designer since 1986 and leads the D&D creative team at Wizards of the Coast. Richard is a game developer and the author of the fantasy bestseller Condemnation. They give you the scoop on:

  • Using a DM binder to keep records such as an adventure log, PCs’ character sheets, NPC logs/character sheets, treasure logs, and more
  • Knowing player styles (role players and power games) and common subgroups: hack’n’slasher, wargamer, thinker, impulsive adventurer, explorer, character actor, and watcher
  • Recognizing your style: action movie director, storyteller, worldbuilder, puzzlemaker, or connector
  • Using miniatures, maps, and other game aids
  • Using 21st century technology, such as a Web site or blog, to enhance your game

The book includes a sample adventure, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, that’s the perfect way to foray into DMing. It includes everything you need for a great adventure—except your players. What are you waiting for? There are chambers to be explored, dragons to be slain, maidens to be rescued, gangs of gnoll warriors to be annihilated, worgs to be wiped out, treasures to be discovered, worlds to be conquered….

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Foreword.

Introduction.

Part I: Running a Great Game.

Chapter 1: The Role of the Dungeon Master.

Chapter 2: Preparing for Play.

Chapter 3: Running the Game.

Chapter 4: Narrating the Adventure.

Chapter 5: Dealing with Players.

Chapter 6: Teaching the Game.

Chapter 7: Sample Dungeon: The Rat Lord’s Lair.

Part II: Advanced Dungeon Mastering.

Chapter 8: Running an Ongoing Game.

Chapter 9: Knowing the Players.

Chapter 10: Choosing Your Game Style.

Chapter 11: Creating Excitement at the Game Table.

Chapter 12: Growing Your Game.

Chapter 13: Using Every Available Resource.

Part III: Creating Adventures.

Chapter 14: Tools of the Trade.

Chapter 15: The Dungeon Adventure.

Chapter 16: The Wilderness Adventure.

Chapter 17: The Event-Based Adventure.

Chapter 18: The Randomly Generated Adventure.

Chapter 19: The High-Level Adventure.

Chapter 20: Sample Dungeon: The Necromancer’s Apprentice.

Part IV: Building a Campaign.

Chapter 21: Building a Continuous Story.

Chapter 22: Creating Memorable Villains.

Chapter 23: Bringing the World to Life.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 24: Ten Best Classic Adventures.

Chapter 25: Ten Best Dungeon Magazine Adventures.

Chapter 26: Ten Best 3rd Edition Adventures.

Chapter 27: Ten Challenging Traps.

Chapter 28: Ten Ready-to-Use Encounters.

Chapter 29: Ten Things to Avoid When DMing.

Chapter 30: Ten Things to Do All the Time When DMing.

Index.

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Bill Slavicsek began playing the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS roleplaying game with his friends during his formative teenage years in New York City. This was in 1977, the same year that Star Wars and Sword of Shannara debuted. This trilogy of epic fantasy combined with comic books and horror novels were to forever influence Bill’s outlook on life and entertainment. In 1986, Bill’s hobby became his career when he joined the staff of West End Games. There, as an editor and game designer, Bill worked on a number of board games and roleplaying games, including Ghostbusters, Paranoia, Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, and Torg: Roleplaying the Possibility Wars. Later, Bill went on to use his vast knowledge of the Star Wars films and associated extensions to write two editions of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe for Lucasfilm, Ltd., and published by Del Rey Books.
In 1993, Bill joined the staff of TSR, Inc., then publishers of the DUNGEON & DRAGONS game lines, as a game designer and editor. His design credits for the company include the ALTERNITY Science Fiction Game (which he co-designed with Richard Baker), the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game, the d20 Star Wars Roleplaying Game, the Star Wars Miniatures Game, Urban Arcana, Council of Wyrms, and the EBERRON Campaign Setting.
Since 1997, Bill has been the Director of Roleplaying Games Research and Development for Wizards of the Coast, Inc., the company that now publishes all DUNGEONS & DRAGONS novels and game products. He oversaw the creation of the d20 Roleplaying Game System and the newest edition of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game. Bill leads a talented staff of game designers, developers, and editors who produce award-winning game products for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and other d20 System game lines, including roleplaying game supplements and accessories, adventures and campaign books, and prepainted plastic miniatures.

Richard Baker is an award-winning game designer and a best-selling author. He’s worked on the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game lines since 1991. Rich traces his D&D experience back to 1979, when he began playing the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game as a 7th-grader. He spent a significant amount of his high school and college years playing D&D at every opportunity, and after serving as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy, Rich decided to take a shot at working on the game he grew up playing — and so he joined the staff of TSR, Inc., and became a game designer. Rich’s list of D&D design credits numbers over 50 game products, including the Origins Award-winning BIRTHRIGHT Campaign Setting, the ALTERNITY Science Fiction Roleplaying Game (which he co-designed with Bill Slavicsek), and the newest edition of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game. He has also served as creative director for the ALTERNITY and FORGOTTEN REALMS game lines. As an author, Rich has published eight fantasy and science fiction novels, including City of Ravens, Forsaken House, and the New York Times bestseller Condemnation. Rich is currently employed as a senior game designer at Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and works every day on new products for the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game.

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