[that's as of v.4, by the way...just checked today. Remember this old post from January? Yep, still a crippled fucking product]
ANYway, today I want to write the comparison of the original (AD&D) Dungeon Masters Guide approach to the same subject in order to compare the two, and fortunately for all my readers it will be a blessedly short post, because there's not much to say: the original DMG is sadly lacking in any such information.
And I was pretty surprised at that, but it is what it is. The AD&D DMG provides a lot of information, rules, and guidance for running a game or campaign, but precious little information on actually creating adventures. There's some information in THE CAMPAIGN section ("Setting Things In Motion") in which Gygax tells the reader to design a dungeon with multiple levels of gradually escalating danger/reward. There's a sample dungeon ("The First Dungeon Adventure") that includes both a map and key. There are treasure tables and wandering monster tables and appendices describing TRAPS, TRICKS, and DUNGEON DRESSING...mostly just random tables and ideas. There are things that can be inferred by the reader from other sections of the book, but even the section of the book called THE ADVENTURE provides only additional rules (this is one of those sections meant to be read in parallel to the same section of the PHB) with little real guidance other than making sure you have a well-detailed map. There's nothing like what's found in the DMG5...it's enough to make me wonder how I ever learned to DM the damn game in the first place!
But then I remember that long before I ever picked up a copy of the DMG, I cut my teeth on Moldvay's Basic D&D set, with its step-by-step guidance for DMs and how to create adventures. Using Moldvay's book (and having a copy of B2: The Keep on the Borderlands) gave me information and a ready model to follow. And then, of course, I remember that Gygax's Dungeon Masters Guide is a book for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons...it is not a book for teaching the game but an a guidebook for a DM who wishes to play an advanced version of the fantasy role-playing game called D&D.
And because of that, I'm a little willing to give the author a pass. However, I don't see anything to this effect in the Introduction...in fact, what Gygax writes is:
"There are sections on the development of the campaign milieu, dungeon design, random creation of wilderness and dungeon levels, and the development of non-player characters. In fact, I have attempted to cram everything vital to the game into this book, so that you will be as completely equipped as possible..."I suppose that, if one's game consists solely of delving dungeons in a fantasy world than you will have everything you need within the book. But one would hope for some guidance on adventure design other than how to draw a map on grid paper...the intro itself says there is information on "dungeon design," but I see very little of this, certainly not set out in any particular place/section of the book.
|Required reading for the AD&D DM.|
Disappointing. As I wrote, I consider adventure creation to be the main responsibility of a Dungeon Master. It would be nice to have more than a handful of scattered references strewn haphazardly through more than 200 pages of text.
And that's about all I want to say on the matter. See? Told you this would be short.