DMG Content/Advice Wish List


In most every edition of D&D, I have used the DMG very little. Mostly for the treasure tables and magic items. Make this book earn the money we pay. If it's advice, you'll probably read it once. That is better suited to online articles. Just make sure the book is very good at pointing you to the right place online. FWIW, I should use the bulk of the book more than once. A third of the book on creating your own game elements (classes, races, spells, etc.), a third of the book on world-building with examples that can be pulled and ready for use, a third of the book for NPCs showing how to make them useful and memorable plus plenty of examples across the levels, a third of the book for crafting story including instant hooks and plot element tables, a third of the book for treasure and magic items.
You seem to forget that the DMG isn't for just old timers who know how to GM. It's also for newbies who are just learning to game. As well as DMs who may know how to make NPCs but not know how to make the game fun, etc etc.

Piecing it off to online articles means that the majority of people will not see it.

log in or register to remove this ad


First Post
You seem to forget that the DMG isn't for just old timers who know how to GM. It's also for newbies who are just learning to game. As well as DMs who may know how to make NPCs but not know how to make the game fun, etc etc.

Piecing it off to online articles means that the majority of people will not see it.

I did say that the DMG should generously point to online articles. Articles, however, don't belong in a reference book IMO. If 80% of the book is read-once, I'll feel I was suckered into buying it just to get the magic item tables.


I think the solution would be to release 'D&D for Newbies' as a module of 5e and then we'd be all set.

DMG should be about things that the DM needs to have to run the game (treasure tables, encounter tables, several sample plot hooks, rules on non-combat situations, a rule to avoid killing players too often etc.) and not about introducing newbies.

I used my 3e DMG for point buy, wealth tables and magic item tables. That was all.


First Post
I think they should come out with 4 starter books, the PHB, the DMG, a full on magic item compendium with a full set of treasure tables (this will reduce redundancy later) and a monster manual with random monster tables and a means for creating your own monsters.

All that said the DMG should focus more on world building, charts and tables for world building, dungeon building and tables for that as well as lots of examples for building dungeons with stories and legends behind them. I think vs older editions that showed an example of play they should take a very small dungeon and show an example game that shows how the entire game is played out using a few example encounters. I'd like to see better rules for handling illusions along with some examples. There should also be lots of examples of encounter tables and how to build your own encounter tables.


First Post
Random tables. Procedural generation of not just treasure, but dungeons, houses, towns, kingdoms, NPC personalities and interactions, plot hooks, gods, worlds, and geography.

Rules for things the PCs might do, but don't belong in the PHB. Kingdom management, founding towns, gladiator matches, archery competitions, trial processes, mass combat, etc.

Effect of fantastical elements on world building, like how teleport may affect trade, how flying spells and mounts affect wars on a tactical or strategic scale, whether land rights extend to the shadow or ethereal planes, is murder still murder after you cast raise dead, how about accidental manslaughter...


You can never have enough random tables (and for those that like them, i strongly recommend you check the GM Tools section of my websie. Been adding to these over 4 editions with ideas tabulated from many sources).

Honestly, I would like something on how each thing is done (creating encounters, NPCs, forests, cities, races, magic items, whatever), some examples and then random tables for generating your own!

Of course, if you don't like generating things randomly, then use the tables to peruse for ideas, but I really miss things like random magic item charts. (I even made the 4E Treasure Parcels into random charts - rather than you get all 10 of these parcels - I rolled a random one each time...and added other possibilities like alchemical items, boons, simple advancement of MI PC already has, quintessence (or whatever bottled magic was called), etc).


Steeliest of the dragons
PAGE 1: [paraphrasing since I don't recall the exact wording but the quotes basically say something like the follow]

[EDIT] Found the Gygax quote, in [MENTION=98256]kitcik[/MENTION]'s sig. haha. Thanks for that. Still paraphrasing for the second one, though. [/EDIT]
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." --E.G.G.

"...D&D is not so much a game of rules as rule suggestions." --Monte Cook
(or was it Moldvay?...or Mike Mearls?...someone with an "M" in their name)

Chapter 1: "Rule 0, DM Fiat & Common Sense"

Chapter 2: "Tips, Tricks and Tools of the Trade" (general DMing advice for a variety of issues)

Chapter 3: "Story Development, Plot Hooks & How to generate a campaign"

Chapter 4: "Encounters: Combat and Non-combat. How to make them. How to run them."

Chapter 5: "How to run Combat" (every possible piece and option. With a cool example "Group of sample PCs whose names all start with A versus Group of sample PCs whose names all start with B" :p to illustrate everything.)

Chapter 6: "Dungeon Delving: Tricks & Traps" (how to generate your own dungeon, Traps, puzzles, tips for making an engaging environment, "Dungeon Dressing" tables)

Chapter 7: "World-building from the ground up." (including generating pantheons, religions, different government systems and how they function)

Chapter 8: "Equipment, Movement & Encumbrance: (tables, tables tables: mundane items, adventuring equipment, weapons, armors, mounts, boats/carts/vehicles, everything AND the kitchen sink. Sample/suggested prices, weights, how much a character of Strength X can carry, etc.)

Chapter 9: "Treasure: How much? Where to put it? And When?" (more tables, tables, tables for random generation, "treasure parcel" guidelines, options for alternative types of treasure.)

Chapter 10: "Magic Items...All of 'em." (descriptions, tables, tables and more tables, Guidelines for generating your own! including cursed and intelligent items and artifacts)
Last edited:


First Post
I forgot to mention that as a general issue I'd like to see a heavier emphasis on urban adventures and wilderness, not just dungeoneering. In 3e DMG the ratio is about 1 : 2 : 6. Present all three in equal detail, please!

Planar is maybe the fourth major setting type, but I'd like to see the planes in general feel more epic, so they could be in Epic Level Handbook or equivalent. The DMG can cover the basics of shadow, ethereal and astral, if needed.

3.5 DMG: dungeoneering pages 57-85 (29), wilderness 86-97 (12), urban 98-102 (5), planes 147-168 (22!).


First Post
One thing I really loved from older editions was examples of play. I had them all nearly memorized for a long time. I would like to see that again, but not if it means leaving out something else useful and not if means a more expensive book.

An Advertisement