5E The Mystery of the 5E Dungeon Master's Guide

So the Player's Handbook seems relatively straightforward - it is both the main rulebook with the core rules, and used for character creation and development. Same with the Monster Manual. Nothing new here. But what about the DMG? It seems that it changes the most of the core rulebooks over the editions, and the description from the product page doesn't give us a lot to go on:

Everything a Dungeon Master needs to weave legendary stories for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides the inspiration and the guidance you need to spark your imagination and create worlds of adventure for your players to explore and enjoy.

Inside you’ll find world-building tools, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and much more!
Item Details
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 320
Price: A million dollars


My little joke aside, what more do we know? Does that last sentence ("Inside you'll find...") tell us everything we need to know, making this thread another exercise in speculative futility? Or have their been hints along the way of something else?

Remember, this is 320 pages - a meaty tome for the DMG. Magic items are back, which accounts for a lot, and presumably there will be some modular options ("optional game rules"), but I suppose I'm wondering about the first couple parts - world building, adventure design, etc. And will there be setting info and/or example adventures?

What say you?
 
Take the 4e DMG, add magic items, and you've got 320 pages (or pretty close).

And, actually, they could do worse - the 4e DMG had quite a lot of good stuff for the new(-ish) DM. Certainly, it was better than the 3e version with those endless walls, doors, and floors! :) (And the less said about the 2nd Ed one the better.)
 
Take the 4e DMG, add magic items, and you've got 320 pages (or pretty close).

And, actually, they could do worse - the 4e DMG had quite a lot of good stuff for the new(-ish) DM. Certainly, it was better than the 3e version with those endless walls, doors, and floors! :) (And the less said about the 2nd Ed one the better.)
My favorite part about the 2E DMG was the class designer. I know, it didn't work great, but it was fun and that's exactly the sort of thing I'd like to see more of (and is generally what [MENTION=6688049]DnDPhilmont[/MENTION] is getting at here, I think).
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
My little joke aside, what more do we know? Does that last sentence ("Inside you'll find...") tell us everything we need to know, making this thread another exercise in speculative futility? Or have their been hints along the way of something else?

Remember, this is 320 pages - a meaty tome for the DMG. Magic items are back, which accounts for a lot, and presumably there will be some modular options ("optional game rules"), but I suppose I'm wondering about the first couple parts - world building, adventure design, etc. And will there be setting info and/or example adventures?

What say you?
I'm guessing we'll see ALL the major modular rules and elements in the DMG, none in the PHB (optional stuff like Feats sure, but not tactical rules etc.), which may take up a lot of space.

We know some races will be in there - Warforged, fr'ex. Again could take a lot of space.

Add in magic items and "the usual DMG stuff", and that's probably an easy 320 pages.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
AD&D2 DMG: 192 pages
D&D3.5 DMG: 320 pages
D&D4 DMG: 224 pages

What I'm concerned about regarding the DMG is that it be a useful reference for hard crunch regarding adjudication of the three pillars of the game: Exploration, Combat, and Roleplaying. It should be at least as useful to me in constructing worlds, adventures, and encounters as the PHB is for players constructing characters. Not in a self-help manual way, but in a do-it-yourself guide way.

I'm not interested in chapters entitled "Fictional Positioning: You're Never Gonna Die; You're Gonna Make it if You Try" or "Player Agency: There'll Be No More Screaming But You May Feel a Little Sick." If the Starter Set is really targeting new dungeon masters, put that crap in there.

A third of the book being devoted to magic items seems egregious. I'm not saying it hasn't been done in the past, I'm just saying that it is a lot. It's possible (just possible) that the DMG doesn't need to contain /every/ type of Wondrous Figurine or Quaal's Feather Token.
 

Iosue

Community Supporter
Just a note. Given that Mearls only completed the PHB forward today, and the DMG isn't even finished yet, and the fact that ALL of the core three on Amazon come to an exact 320 pages, I submit that that number is just a placeholder, and we don't quite know how big the books will be.
 

Texicles

Villager
ENWorld said:
You must spread some Experience Points around before giving it to DMZ2112 again.
For two Floyd references in one sentence. Also because I share your desire for a DIY-style DMG.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Just a note. Given that Mearls only completed the PHB forward today, and the DMG isn't even finished yet, and the fact that ALL of the core three on Amazon come to an exact 320 pages, I submit that that number is just a placeholder, and we don't quite know how big the books will be.
I'm not going to get this completely right, so anyone with more publishing experience than I have should step in and correct me.

That said, this is something I don't think a lot of people know, but there's a reason why numbers like 320 and 224 and 192 show up a lot in publishing, and it's because of the way books like this are bound. All of these numbers are divisible by 32, which is the size of a bound section of pages in the book. If a page count goes to, say, 193, and can't be reduced, a new section of pages has to be added and suddenly the designers have 31 more pages to fill.

So while 320 pages might be a placeholder, it's pretty likely that it is accurate, because it can't end up at 315, or 325, or even 321. It will either be 320, 288, or 352.

Did I explain that without making a total ass of myself?
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
What I'm concerned about regarding the DMG is that it be a useful reference for hard crunch regarding adjudication of the three pillars of the game: Exploration, Combat, and Roleplaying. It should be at least as useful to me in constructing worlds, adventures, and encounters as the PHB is for players constructing characters. Not in a self-help manual way, but in a do-it-yourself guide way.
Is there a meaningful, hard difference between a self-help manual and a do-it-yourself guide? Honest question - the only ones I've really read related to fitness and there seemed to be considerably crossover between the two.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Is there a meaningful, hard difference between a self-help manual and a do-it-yourself guide? Honest question - the only ones I've really read related to fitness and there seemed to be considerably crossover between the two.
Let's say my toilet has a leak (true story, actually). The DIY guide gives me step-by-step instructions on removing the tank and replacing the gaskets, and gives me some advice regarding water conservation upgrades I might want to make while I have the toilet disassembled.

The self-help manual tells me to take a deep breath and remember to be grateful that I have a toilet at all.

I don't mean to be flip -- I suffer from an anxiety disorder, and I have derived great personal peace from books that have told me to take a deep breath and be grateful (maybe not in so few words). But all the inner peace in the world isn't going to stop my toilet dripping like a torture chamber of politely indeterminate Asian origin.

By the same token, all the well-intentioned advice in the world isn't going to help me when I need to quickly generate dungeon dressing for a room off the beaten path that my PCs have decided to search top-to-bottom, or when I need to know what the development team has playtested with regard to Constitution saving throw DCs versus poisons of various lethality, or when I need a guideline for an appropriate end-of-quest treasure reward to a party of seven 4th-level PCs.

A campaign is no less complicated a thing than a character, so why should the tools available to me for its construction be any less load-bearing than those provided to players? We don't load the PHB down with roleplaying advice until /after/ all the races, classes, ability scores, feats, skills, equipment, and spells are properly tabulated and organized. All I ask is the same consideration.
 

exile

Villager
The DMG will probably be a little of both (do-it-yourself guide and self-help manual); and, in my mind, that's a good thing. I don't think the construction of a campaign setting, campaign, or adventure can be so quantified; it is more art than science. Individual encounters, on the other hand, should be able to be constructed in a very scientific, formulaic way, but even they should be able to benefit from a bit of artistry/panache.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
The DMG will probably be a little of both (do-it-yourself guide and self-help manual); and, in my mind, that's a good thing. I don't think the construction of a campaign setting, campaign, or adventure can be so quantified; it is more art than science. Individual encounters, on the other hand, should be able to be constructed in a very scientific, formulaic way, but even they should be able to benefit from a bit of artistry/panache.
I can handle the art; I've been arting for (sweet Jebus) 23 years. Bring me dat science.
 

GX.Sigma

Villager
Mike said on Twitter a while ago that the DMG won't have much DM advice, since it'll be aimed at people who are already expert DMs. New DMs are the target audience for the starter set (and I guess some mysterious in-between step).
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
DMZ2112;6304398Did I explain that without making a total ass of myself?[/QUOTE said:
Yes, you did! It has more to do with the sheets fed into a printer which cover 16 pages (times two for both sides), though.

Also the number of pages usually is set before the whole stuff is ready. The authors are just given a number of words to aim for which in turn corresponds to the number of pages in the product. Typesetting and layout provide you with some wiggle room, though.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
Mike said on Twitter a while ago that the DMG won't have much DM advice, since it'll be aimed at people who are already expert DMs. New DMs are the target audience for the starter set (and I guess some mysterious in-between step).
I hope the mysterious in-between step is a sharp whack with a stout stick. Gotta keep those noobs in line.
 

HobbitFan

Villager
I'm confused by what product is being marketed to what group.
How can the starter set be marketed to DMs primarily? What is the intro product for players?
So the DMs guide will be for expereinced DMs only and assume that they bought the starter? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Shouldn't the DMs guide be written for BOTH experienced Dms and new ones?
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I'm confused by what product is being marketed to what group.
How can the starter set be marketed to DMs primarily? What is the intro product for players?
You can't play D&D without a dungeon master. If a player buys the Starter Set he has two choices: become a dungeon master, or find a dungeon master.

Game stores everywhere will be littered with the smoldering bodies of the failed. It will be glorious.

Shouldn't the DMs guide be written for BOTH experienced Dms and new ones?
To become a dungeon master is to be forged in a white-hot crucible. One does not forge steel over a candle.
 

GX.Sigma

Villager
I'm confused by what product is being marketed to what group.
How can the starter set be marketed to DMs primarily? What is the intro product for players?
I think the philosophy is that there doesn't need to be an intro product for players. All you need to play D&D is a DM with an adventure to run.

Though there will be that 15% of the PHB as a free PDF, as an intermediate step for players who want to make their own basic characters (I'm assuming there will be a similar thing for the MM and DMG for intermediate DMs).
 

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