Publication:Dungeon Masters Guide (1e)
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The original Dungeon Masters Guide (sic) was written by Gary Gygax, and published by TSR in 1979 as a 232-page hardcover with a cover by David C. Sutherland III. The 1983 printing featured a new cover by Jeff Easley.
Like other volumes of Dungeons & Dragons handbooks, the Dungeon Master's Guide has gone through several versions through the years. The original edition was written by Gary Gygax and edited by Mike Carr, who also wrote the foreword. The original cover art was by D. A. Trampier, and interior illustrations were provided by David C. Sutherland III, Trampier, Darlene Pekul, Will McLean, David S. LaForce, and Erol Otus.
The first edition Dungeon Masters Guide covered all the essential rules for the Dungeon Master: creating and maintaining player characters and managing non-player characters, handling combat, and running adventures and multi-session campaigns. The book also included descriptions of magic items and treasure, random monster encounters, and statistics for the basic monsters and creatures of the game.
The Dungeon Master's Guide contains scores of tables and charts for figuring damage and resolving encounters in a typical adventure, tables and rules for creating characters, and lists of the various abilities of the different classes of characters.
One supplement to the Guide was the Dungeon Master's Screen: two heavy-duty tri-fold boards with the most frequently used tables printed on them for easy reference. The 1979 second edition of the screen describes its purpose as "useful for shielding maps and other game materials from the players when placed upright, and also provide[s] instant reference to the charts and tables most commonly used during play." The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition screen came packaged with a brief adventure; later editions of that screen, and screens produced for later editions, have instead included character sheets and general reference booklets.
A feature of the first edition Dungeon Masters Guide was the random dungeon generator. The generator allowed the Dungeon Master, by the rolling of dice, to generate a dungeon adventure "on the fly". A dungeon complete with passageways, rooms, treasure, monsters, and other encounters could easily and randomly be constructed as the player progressed. It could be used with several people or a single player. The generator was not included in the subsequent editions of the Dungeon Master's Guide.
The original Dungeon Masters Guide was reviewed by Don Turnbull in issue #16 of the magazine White Dwarf (December 1979/January 1980). Turnbull commented mostly on the size of the book, "I would say that only the most severe critic could point at a minor omission, let alone a serious one."
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