" If you haven't been picking up the supplements, then get this book right now. If you have been getting the supplements, ask yourself how up to date you want to be. "
Title: Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 by Wizards of the Coast
Format: A revised core book for Dungeons and Dragons
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: Let's see, it's been about three, three and a half years since 3rd edition hit our homes, and our D&D lives have been much the happier for it. Streamlining and simplifying the ancient artifact of Vecna that was the AD&D Adv system, even this awesome new start had its niggling problems. Well don't worry, here to soothe that one sore tooth of aching +1 is the 3.5 edition rules. Revisions a plenty, and a few extras, Wizards wants you to buy the DM's Guide all over again. The big question: Is it worth it? Read on, my friends.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Drama: Here's the thing about Dungeons and Dragons. It's your job to make the story and the drama. The rulebooks are just here to point out how your vision works. It's up to you to make the actual sets, props, and bit parts. The rulebooks just flick the light switch and turn on everything plugged into the wall. The DM's guide, however, does have a few ideas on a script you might want to use. Most of what this book will do is walk you through a few ideas, and help you develop what is hopefully already bouncing around in your skull. And really, that's what D&D is all about. 3 out of 5
Layout and Presentation: There's a comprehensive table of contents at the start of the book, and from there it's all laid out sensibly. They've moved some things around from the last version. You'll find character information further to the back. Replete with more prestige classes (mostly collected from the supplements that have come out). The artwork is generally good, and most of it is the same. They do provide some nifty little visual aids for you in the back. 3.5 out of 5
Playability: There's not really a whole lot different from this book to the last one. The biggest thing to note are the myriad of tiny rule changes (although those are mostly found in the players) in 3.5. The DM's guide brings you most of the same things you were getting before plus a large sampling of things found in various supplements. If you've been playing with just the original core books, this is definitely a great purchase for that reason alone. This is not to say that there is no new content in the book. New magical items (which is why we're all getting this book, after all), new traps and rules for traps, a whole bunch of new minutiae, there's plenty reason for getting this book. Over all, it's all just as playable as its predecessor, and shouldn't give you any trouble playing. 4 out of 5
Desired Content: I did mention new magical items right? There are a couple of prestige classes in here that you might not recognize. Basically, if you haven't already got the DM's guide (and why the hell not?), then this is an awesome buy. The same goes if you haven't been buying every supplement to come out for 3rd ed. If, however, you have been buying every supplement to roll out the door… well maybe you need them all in a convenient package. As far as what you may or may not have wished was in here, well they've updated the rules. And the updates are for the best. 4 out of 5
|Well, it's like I just said: if you haven't been picking up the supplements, then get this book right now. If you have been getting the supplements, ask yourself how up to date you want to be. The rule changes are good, and clean up some little problems that have been hanging around. It also collects a lot of information that you might otherwise have to buy a bunch of secondary supplements to get a hold of. Final Verdict on whether this is a screw job or not: Not.|
The Good: It collects information from a bunch of smaller places, a bunch of new stuff.
The Bad: It's also got a lot of the same information…
The Overall Ugly: Look, it's D&D, just take the chance to get your hands on a new magical item list and new prestige classes and be happy for whatever bonus you get.
What it's Worth: Market price.