The Dungeon Master's Guide is one of three core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Published in 2014, it provides rules for use by the Dungeon Master, including magic item descriptions and a variety of optional rules.
As of 2019, the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide is the most recent.
The 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide is divided into three main sections.
Part 1: Master of Worlds
Part 1 defines worldbuilding, the DM's own personal campaign setting. This contrasts with earlier Dungeon Master's Guide (3.5) (2003), which relegated worldbuilding to its fifth chapter and spent fewer pages on the topic. Part 1 consists of chapters 1 and 2.
Chapter 1, A World of Your Own, advises DMs on creating a world for their campaign to take place in. It details features like deities, maps, settlements, languages, organizations, magic, events, play style and and theme.
Chapter 2, Creating a Multiverse, describes D&D's planar cosmology. It lists many options, including but not limited to the traditional Great Wheel planar layout. References are made to some of the planes from D&D 4th edition (e.g. the Feywild, Shadowfell and Elemental Chaos) as well as the planes of the AD&D to D&D 3rd edition era (e.g. Astral Plane, Inner Planes), with attempts made to syncretize the two worldviews.
Part 2: Master of Adventures
Part 2 details the creation of D&D adventures. It consists of chapters 3 to 7.
Chapter 3, Creating Adventures, advises DMs on inventing D&D adventures, giving various types of adventures (e.g. location-based, event-based) and random tables to decide the plot of adventures. It includes rules for creating balanced combat encounters and deploying random encounters.
Chapter 4, Creating Nonplayer Characters, describes the process of creating NPCs and villains with plausible motivations.
Chapter 5, Adventure Environments, advises on the construction of dungeons and wilderness encounters. It includes rules on traps.
Chapter 6, Between Adventures, describes rules for downtime and recurring living expenses.
Part 3: Master of Rules
Part 3 describes the DM's role as an adjudicator of rules and the use of optional rules and variant rules. This is different to the Dungeon Master's Guide of many earlier editions of the game, which placed rules adjudication at the start of the book. Part 3 consists of chapters 8 and 9.
Chapter 8, Running the Game, describes house rules and the use of dice in deciding the outcome of events. It details additional rules for things like selecting the difficulty class of a check and the use of the inspiration mechanic, overland travel, rolling Charisma checks to affect reaction, damaging objects, tracking initiative and monster hit points, the optional use of miniatures, disease, poison, madness and variant XP systems.
Chapter 9, Dungeon Master's Workshop, introduces variant rules, including dice for proficiency bonus instead of a flat number, removing skill proficiencies, hero points, honor, sanity, firearms, plot points, initiative variants, optional combat actions, massive damage, morale, spell points, and the creation of new monsters, magic items and character options.
Appendix A, Random Dungeons, gives a method of generating random dungeons.
Appendix B, Monster Lists, lists monsters by the terrain in which they are likely to be encountered, and again in order of challenge rating.
Appendix C, Maps, gives some dungeon maps which the DM can use.
Reception and influence
According to Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition is the most successful edition of the game in its history.
As of 2019, Amazon.com rated the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide as 4.6 out of 5 stars.
|Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guides|
|Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) • Dungeon Master's Guide (2e)|
Dungeon Master's Guide (3e) • 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)
|Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition|
|Player's Handbook • Monster Manual • Dungeon Master's Guide • Starter Set • Essentials Kit|
|Acquisitions Incorporated • Eberron: Rising from the Last War • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount • Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes • Mythic Odysseys of Theros • Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide • Tasha's Cauldron of Everything • Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft • Volo's Guide to Monsters • Xanathar's Guide to Everything|
|Elemental Evil Player's Companion • Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio Volume 1 • One Grung Above • Plane Shift: Amonkhet • Plane Shift: Dominaria • Plane Shift: Innistrad • Plane Shift: Ixalan • Plane Shift: Kaladesh • Plane Shift: Zendikar • The Tortle Package • Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron|
|Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus • Candlekeep Mysteries • Curse of Strahd • Ghosts of Saltmarsh • Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden • Out of the Abyss • Princes of the Apocalypse • Storm King's Thunder • Tales from the Yawning Portal • Tomb of Annihilation • Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of the Dragon Queen • The Rise of Tiamat) • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist • Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage|
|The Barber of Silverymoon • Infernal Machine Rebuild • Locathah Rising • The Lost Kenku • Lost Laboratory of Kwalish • Return to the Glory • Six Faces of Death • X Marks the Spot • A Zib For Your Thoughts|
|Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set • Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty|