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Dungeon Master's Guide II (3.5)
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Dungeon Master's Guide II (3.5)

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This supplement for the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® game contains a toolbox of timesaving aids and options to help you prepare and run memorable adventures and rich campaigns. Inside are ideas, advice, and ready-made material that will help you become a truly spectacular DM. With gaming advice, NPCs, devious traps, new magic items, and a fully detailed town, Dungeon Master’s Guide™ II helps you keep your players on the edge of their seats.

To use this supplement, a Dungeon Master also needs the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. A player needs only the Player’s Handbook.

Product History
There's a certain amount of pride among DMs. If you've been gaming long enough to consider yourself experienced, it's difficult to step back and be interested in learning techniques to make yourself better - far easier, some think, to stick with your own patterns and your own techniques and not make changes unless a problem crops up.
This is the book that reminds you that's a lousy idea. There aren't many game supplements out there that do this good a job of helping you improve your game.
The Dungeon Master's Guide II (2005) doesn't have an overabundance of crunch and rules. That's not its goal. Instead, this book serves as an inspiration for DMs and as a problem-solving resource when it comes to tweaking and improving campaigns. Reading it is like sitting down with the most experienced DMs you might meet at Gen Con.

Have Problems? The book's first chapter deconstructs what issues you may run into when running your game. There's an in-depth discussion of different play styles, advice on communication, suggestions on troubleshooting problems, and sections on how to reward your players for the type of play you love. Read this chapter, and you aren't going to have your game table flipped in anger unless you're really trying hard.
Adapting Adventures. Many DMs have problems with pacing. In one notable adventure, a 2nd edition group I was once in spent an hour in one round of combat and made it through a whole two rooms during one game session. Chapter 2 discusses pacing, as well as giving advice on how to blatantly steal encounters from... er, that is, adapt published adventures and make them your own. You'll find rules for traps, mobs, crowds, chases, treasure hoards, and a number of archetypal locations like "flooding dungeon."
The Sinister Secret of... Chapter 3 shows in great detail how to build a campaign. After discussing medieval societies and city-building, it puts these rules into play by presenting the city of Saltmarsh (yes, the one from this module). The updated town makes a fine jumping off point for a new campaign.
Building Character. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss NPCs and characters in detail. Rules for contacts and hirelings join new rules for running a business, gaining teamwork benefits, designing PC organizations, and constructing new prestige classes. As you'd expect, a handful of new guilds and organizations are presented as an example.
Never Enough Magic. The book concludes with a discussion of magic items, templates, and artifacts. New rules include signature items, bonded items, and magical locations as treasure.
Overall, the Dungeon Master's Guide II should be right at the top of the list for books that you won't need to pull out and reference every session, but which you should have if you want to make your game noticeably better.
About the Creators. Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Robin D. Laws, David Noonan, and Chris Thomasson are pretty much a who's who of smart, creative, consistently fun game designers. Conveniently, they were also the designers on this book.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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KENNETH S November 19, 2018 8:04 am UTC
This Title does not load properly to Apple Books. Artwork and cover disappear.
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Matt Cavotta, et al.
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File Last Updated:
February 15, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.