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The Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) is a 320-page sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 released in July 2003. It is one of three core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, and provides information to help Dungeon Masters run the game.

It is officially referred to as the Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. It superseded the third edition Dungeon Master's Guide (2000), which was retroactively and unofficially termed by the community Dungeon Master's Guide 3.0.

Official synopsis[]

Realms of inspiration await discovery Weave exciting tales of heroism filled with magic and monsters. Within these pages, you’ll discover the tools and options you need to create detailed worlds and dynamic adventures for your players to experience in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®roleplaying game.


See also: Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0)#Content
This section is incomplete. Please complete this section and remove this {{secstub}} notice.

Ten new prestige classes were added to the Dungeon Master's Guide. Most are republished from earlier D&D 3.0 sourcebooks: the arcane trickster and dragon disciple from Tome and Blood (2001); the duelist from Sword and Fist (2001); and the archmage, hierophant and red wizard from Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1e) (1987). Of the four original prestige classes, three are written to make class options more viable: eldritch knight (multiclass fighter/wizard), mystic theurge (multiclass cleric/ziard), and thaumaturgist (a summon monster specialist). Finally, the horizon walker is a rare terrain specialist.

Development and release[]


See also: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5#Development and release

The book was written by Peter Adkison, Richard Baker, Andy Collins, Monte Cook, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Jonathan Tweet and Skip Williams. Art was provided by Matt Adelsperger, Matt Cavotta, Ed Cox, Craig Cudnohufsky, Scott Fischer, Sherry Floyd, Todd Lockwood, David G. Martin, Raven Mimura, Dawn Murin and Wayne Reynolds.

Work on what became the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 revision began in winter 2001, about a year and a half after the release of the original core rulebooks.[2] Wizards of the Coast initially planned for such a revision to be released in 2004 or 2005.[3]

Rich Redman was placed in charge of the Dungeon Master's Guide revision project. This book received the most reorganization of the three.[2] A major goal of the revision was to make it more suitable to introduce new DMs, since the introductory product Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (3e) (2000) was now out of print.[4] Redman's re-arrangement of the book's chapters was well received internally. However, he was laid off from Wizards of the Coast in September 2002 before the project's completion.[4]

Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel continued Redman's job of re-pricing magic items, many of which had to be changed due to changes in spells that their value was benchmarked against. She also created some items, among them the robe of bones, and developed metamagic rods from their original appearance in Tome and Blood (2001). Item crafting rules were changed to allow the caster to take breaks.[5]

The rules for Intelligent magic weapons were revised. Originally, 15% of melee weapons, 5% of ranged weapons, and 1% of other permanent magic items possessed intelligence. Weapons also had random special abilities, but were priced based on the number, not power, of abilities.[6] In practice, most DMs never rolled for item intelligence. The 3.5 team reduced the rate of intelligent weapons to 1%. Item prices were now based on actual powers. Intelligent items gained their own actions, to feel more like NPCs. The design team tested but scrapped systems which linked special purpose with curses that punished disobedience, and a formula-based Ego system based on the item's power, which was found to be too cumbersome.[7]

The 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide is 64 pages more than the original 3.0 version. Several pieces of art were removed to make room for additional content.[2] Several "variant" sidebars were also cut, and two separate sections on planes were consolidated in Chapter 5. None of the prestige classes or magic items were cut.[8]


Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) was released by Wizards of the Coast in July 2003 for $29.95 US, or $41.95 Canadian.[1]

On May 12, 2015, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $9.99.

It received a free web enhancement, "Building a City".

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) reached the rank of Mithral seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Product page. Wizards.com, via Web Archive.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 D&D Version 3.5 Chat Transcript - Wizards.com (archived), July 15, 2003.
  3. Looking at D&D v. 3.5 - MonteCook.com, Jul 17, 2003.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Group Process of Revising the Dungeon Master's Guide - Wizards.com (archived)
  5. Assassins, Magic Items, and Monsters Design Notes - Wizards.com (archived)
  6. Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0) (2000), p.177,228-231.
  7. Intelligent Items Design Notes - Wizards.com (archived)
  8. Copyfitting Design Notes - Wizards.com (archived)

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guides
Dungeon Masters Guide (1e)Dungeon Master Guide (2e)Dungeon Master Guide (2e revised)
Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0)Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5)Dungeon Master's Guide II (3.5)
Dungeon Master's Guide (4e)Dungeon Master's Guide 2 (4e)
Dungeon Master's Guide (5e)Dungeon Master's Guide (5e revised)
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
Core rules
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster ManualDungeons & Dragons Basic Game
Book of Exalted DeedsCityscapeComplete AdventurerComplete ArcaneComplete ChampionComplete DivineComplete MageComplete PsionicComplete ScoundrelComplete WarriorDraconomiconDragon MagicDrow of the UnderdarkDungeon Master's Guide IIDungeonscapeElder EvilsExpanded Psionics HandbookFiendish Codex I: Hordes of the AbyssFiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine HellsFrostburnHeroes of BattleHeroes of HorrorLibris MortisLords of MadnessMagic Item CompendiumMagic of IncarnumMiniatures HandbookMonster Manual IIIMonster Manual IVMonster Manual VPlanar HandbookPlayer's Handbook IIRaces of DestinyRaces of the DragonRaces of StoneRaces of the WildSandstormSpell CompendiumStormwrackTome of BattleTome of MagicUnearthed ArcanaWeapons of Legacy
Expedition to Castle RavenloftExpedition to the Demonweb PitsExpedition to the Ruins of GreyhawkFantastic Locations: Dragondown GrottoRed Hand of Doom