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Table Of Contents

Introduction
About This Book
Why You Need This Book
How to Use This Book
D&D Terminology
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Running a Great Game
Part II: Advanced Dungeon Mastering
Part III: Creating Adventures
Part IV: Building a Campaign
Part V: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Chapter 1
What Is a DM?
So You Want to Be the Dungeon Master?
What Do You Need for Playing?
The Expressions of Dungeon Mastering
DM as rules moderator
DM as narrator
DM as a cast of thousands
DM as player
DM as social director
DM as creator
The Goal of Dungeon Mastering
Chapter 2
Gathering a Game Group
Finding players
Inviting players to the game
Using a Published Adventure
Wizards of the Coast products
Dungeon Magazine
RPGA
Other d20 publishers
Creating Your Own Adventures
Making Preparations before the Game
Establishing the Ground Rules: Gaming Etiquette
Being ready to run the game
Hosting chores
Setting a time limit
Bringing or chipping in for refreshments
Eliminating outside distractions
Taking Charge as Dungeon Master and Running the Game
DM laws
DM basics
Narrating
Running NPCs and monsters
Winging it
Playing through the Game Session
Setting ground rules
Settling in as everyone arrives
Gathering around the game table
Creating and updating characters
Opening with the prologue
Recapping the previous session
Taking on encounters and challenges
Ending a game session
Closing with an epilogue
ᮣUnderstanding D&D as a storytelling experience
Understanding D&D as a Storytelling Experience
The group story concept
An ongoing epic
The DM’s role
Telling Interesting and Exciting Stories
Making a story a D&D story
Choosing an adventure premise
Mastering the Adventure Narration
Directing the adventure
Adding special effects
Playing the nonplayer characters
Bringing the Adventure to Life
Creating fantastic locations
Describing intense battles
Giving the players exciting challenges
Setting up evocative roleplaying encounters
D&D: A Social Experience
Looking at the Game Group
Comparing DMs and Players
Being the DM
Interacting with players
What do you want out of the game?
Increasing the fun quotient
Setting Ground Rules and Expectations
Staying serious or hungering for humor?
Naming characters
Managing multiple characters
Handling no-shows
Adding new players
Dealing with dice
Bringing books
Debating rules
Managing off-topic discussions
Considering computers
Setting the table with miniatures and a battle grid
Making Mistakes and Deciding What to Do with Them
Sharing DM Duties
One campaign, multiple DMs
Multiple campaigns, multiple DMs
Dungeon Master as Teacher
Teaching the basic rules
Showing how to create a character
Relaxing and having fun playing the game
Making Use of Helpful Aids
D&D Basic Game
Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies
Fantastic Locations
Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures
Teaching Key Elements to New Players
Explaining the premise of D&D
Describing the world of D&D
Showing how to use the core mechanic
Explaining what a character can do
Explaining the most important parts of the character sheet
Dungeon Master Preparation
Knowing the players
Knowing your adventure
The Rat Lord’s Lair
Adventure premise
Starting the adventure
Encounter Area 1: The Basement Room
Encounter Area 2: Unfriendly Gang
Encounter Area 3: Lair of the Rat Lord
Making the Adventure Tougher
Choosing the Right Format
The standalone session
The dungeon-of-the-week adventure
The one-shot campaign
The continuing campaign
Keeping Records
The no-records game
The DM binder
Building a Basic Campaign
Linking adventures together
Pacing character advancement
Creating the home base
A Sample Base: Griffonford
The story of Griffonford
Notable NPCs
Adventures near Griffonford
Figuring Out Player Styles
Roleplayers
Power gamers
Handling a problem character
Dealing with a rules lawyer
Speeding up a slow player
Involving the apathetic player
DM Styles: Running the Game You Run Best
Action movie director
Storyteller
Worldbuilder
Puzzlemaker
Connector
Establishing Your Own Style
Setting the Tone
Arbiter or narrator?
On-task or player-paced?
By the book or fast and loose?
Building Your DM Toolbox
Letting the dice decide
Ruling by common sense
DM cheating
Maximizing Imagination
Narrating for all five senses
Mixing the mundane and fantastic
Suspending disbelief
Setting the mood
Showing, not telling
Adding New Rules Elements
Making new options available
Examining new rules elements
Creating House Rules
Getting Players Involved in the Game
Crafting good backgrounds
Using character goals
Using 21st century technology to enhance your game
Buying Published Game Material
Understanding what’s out there
Figuring out what you need
Finding Story Inspiration
The real world
Fantasy fiction
Movies and TV
The collision of ideas
Talking with Other Gamers
Joining a game club
Corresponding on the Web
Breaking Down the Parts of a D&D Adventure
The premise
Encounters
The end
Creating Dungeon Maps
Populating a Dungeon
Challenge Ratings
Encounter Level
Rewards
Experience points
Treasure
Designing Your First Dungeon
Plotting the dungeon’s story
Drawing the map
Marking the encounter areas
Making a key
Adding Depth to Dungeon Crawls
Designing a Wilderness Adventure
What is the wilderness?
How to use the wilderness
Wilderness Adventure Outline
ᮣDesigning event-based adventures
Designing Event-Based Adventures
The flowchart
The timeline
Using Flowcharts and Timelines in Dungeons
Using the Random-Generation Tables
Keeping Track of a Random Dungeon
Starting Your Random Dungeon
Base Encounter Level
First room configuration
Generating the Dungeon Map
Rolling a Random Encounter
Generating Random Treasure
Finishing a Random Dungeon
Understanding Why the Game Changes
Mobility magic
The widening attack gap
Save-or-die spells
Divination magic
Specialization
Refining the Challenges
Flight
Invisibility
Invulnerability
Making the Experience Match the Level
Raising the stakes
Wowing the players with the setting
Providing benchmark encounters
The Necromancer’s Apprentice
Arim’s pasture
The Thirsting Wood
House of Roburn
The dungeon below
Concluding the adventure
Building a Campaign
Creating a world
Using context
Building on past events
Finding inspiration
Choosing themes for adventures and campaigns
The Dungeon-of-the-Week Campaign Model
Building on What the Players Give You
Building a World from the Inside Out: Start Small and Add Details
Putting the World Together
Climate and geography
Sites of interest
The Part of Tens
S1–Tomb of Horrors
G1–Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
D1–Descent into the Depths of the Earth
S2–White Plume Mountain
A1–Slave Pits of the Undercity
C1–The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
Q1–Queen of the Demonweb Pits
I3–Pharaoh
I6–Ravenloft
T1–4–The Temple of Elemental Evil
The Age Of Worms Adventure Path
The Shackled City Adventure Path
The Styes
Mad God’s Key
Maure Castle
Tammeraut’s Fate
The Lich-Queen’s Beloved
Tears for Twilight Hollow
Rana Mor
The Harrowing
The Sunless Citadel
Shadows of the Last War
Forge of Fury
Whispers of the Vampire’s Blade
Sons of Gruumsh
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
The Speaker in Dreams
Red Hand of Doom
City of the Spider Queen
Lord of the Iron Fortress
Scything Blade Trap
Symbol
Burning Hands Trap
Portcullis Trap
Teleport Trap
Poison Gas Trap
Dart Trap
Glyph of Warding
Water Trap
Pit Trap
Umber Hulk Ambush (EL 9)
Walking the Plank (EL 3)
Corridor of Webs (EL 2)
Mummy Crypt (EL 7)
Rain of Arrows, Rain of Fire (EL 6)
Dragon’s Den (EL 4)
Minotaur Maze (EL 7)
Grimlock Hunters (EL 3)
Elemental Fundamentals (EL 9)
Shrine of Evil (EL 10)
Don’t Get Attached to Your Villains
Don’t Try to Kill the PCs
Don’t Let the Players Become Too Frustrated
Don’t Compete With Other Entertainment
Don’t Overcomplicate the Encounter
Don’t Play Favorites
Don’t Give the Players Everything . .
Don’t Sit There Like a Lump
Don’t Center the Game on One Player
Be Prepared
Provide Various Challenges
Start Each Session with Action
Look for Opportunities
Exude Drama in Your Descriptions
Use Visual Aids
Be Responsive
Be Consistent
Be Impartial
Have Fun
Index
P. 1
Dungeon Master For Dummies

Dungeon Master For Dummies

Ratings:

3.6

(5)
|Views: 4,522|Likes:
Published by Wiley
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….

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….

More info:

Publish date: Jul 24, 2006
Added to Scribd: Feb 07, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780470050880
List Price: $21.99 Buy Now

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tml_3 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
An excellent resource for getting myself back into Dungeons and Dragons after a 15 year break in which all the rules changed twice (or more!). Mr. Slavicsek has created the first book in the "For Dummies" series that I can recommend without feeling like I'm being condescending.
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