Dungeon Mastery
by Stephen Schubert

So many great ideas and concepts are presented in Dungeon Master's Guide II that finding only ten good reasons to get it is nearly impossible! But read on for just a few of the reasons you'll want to pick up this book.

10. Plug and Play NPCs:Dungeon Master's Guide II offers pregenerated NPCs like you've never seen them before. You'll find page after page of sample NPCs ready to run in your campaign -- all presented in our new and improved NPC stat block format. Cleverly divided into offense, defense, and other sections, this format is faster and easier to work with than previous ones. Use one section when it's your turn, another when it's the PCs' turn, and a third to rule them all and in the darkness bind them . . . or something like that.

9. No Prestige Classes: What sourcebook would be complete without prestige classes? This one! But Dungeon Master's Guide II does provide a framework and advice for designing prestige classes especially to fit your game.

8. Stuff That Isn't Stuff: Don't want to give your PCs more stuff? Use a magical location to reward them instead. Or, if you prefer standard magic gear, try some of the new items and variants presented in these pages. And at the top end of the curve, Dungeon Master's Guide II presents several new artifacts, plus rules and advice on including artifacts in a campaign.

7. Tools: Encounter tables, terrain types, locations, new magic items -- the Dungeon Master's Guide II is chock full of new tools for your DM toolbox.

6. Illustrate Your World:Dungeon Master's Guide II teaches you how to build a campaign from the ground up. The world-building section covers not only the geography, politics, and other "concrete" elements of the campaign world itself, but also the plot, story, and behind-the-scenes elements that really make it shine.

5. Miniatures: Most DMs have built up quite a collection of metal or prepainted plastic miniatures for use in their D&D games. Using these miniatures in your game might be a no-brainer, but Dungeon Master's Guide II presents some helpful tips on integrating them more cleverly. In its pages you'll find tips on using miniatures warbands as encounters, suggested ways of presenting uniform terrain on a battle map, and how to use terrain appropriately for an encounter.

4. Adventures: Throughout the book, you'll find hints and seeds for potential adventures, ranging from the motivations of a random NPC to the discovery of magical locations. In fact, little snippets to spark your imagination can be found on nearly every page.

3. DM Advice: The first Dungeon Master's Guide provided rules, but part of Dungeon Master's Guide II is dedicated to helping you run your game. Chapter 1 explains how to recognize the play styles of your players and also discusses particularly common problems that all DMs face.

2. Sinister Secrets: One of the best ways to start a campaign is to place the PCs in a well-developed and detailed town. Dungeon Master's Guide II revisits the stomping grounds of many old-school gamers by providing a detailed description of the town of Saltmarsh -- including NPCs and a keyed map. Better still, adventure hooks are provided for all the locations within the town.

1. The Best Reason: The single best reason to take this book home is that no matter what style of campaign you run, or how well you understand the D&D rules, you can find something in this book to make your game better.

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