Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tips & Tricks With Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition Dungeon Master's Guide By Gary Gygax & Mike Carr

Work has had me on the ropes now for weeks with the amount of sewing machine repair overflow. The fact is that steady stream of repair work is a great thing for business. The bad part is trying to meet real world obligations. For many dungeon masters this means facing down our dreaded enemy, dungeon master burnout. One of the ways I've overcome this is to create short convention set style adventures & strung them together in weekly style episodes similar to Nineteen Sixties classic television programs. This was a trick I picked up from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition Dungeon Master's Guide By Gary Gygax & Mike Carr

Now back in March of this past year I covered why my love of the Dungeon Master's Guide by Gary Gygax & Mike Carr has been a favorite of mine over the decades of my time in this hobby.

Let me cover a different part of the overall AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide package for the OSR. The fact is that the book is packed with stats for every monster in the game except the Monster Manual II & the Fiend Folio. For OSR dungeon masters it covers lots of the old favorites. There's also the random Demon Generator that has come in handy more times then I can count. I'm not a dungeon master who doesn't use demons because of the dreaded Satanic Panic. I'm the dungeon master who uses demons because of it! Fire & brimstone can come across the table at the most innocuous places.

For the OSR dungeon master the first edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide is a haunted tool box of awesomeness. It enables the dungeon master to build the worlds that he or she wants with a few dice rolls  Need an artifact for that weird alien world? The Dungeon Master's Guide has you covered in spades. Everything from marshal military systems to dungeon placement is covered & then advice is given on world building 101.
Want to avoid DM burnout? Spend a quiet evening getting back to the point of magic when you entered the table top hobby. For me it was back in '77 in a small cramped kitchen with a bunch of teens & adults exploring the wonders of a dungeon. The place stank of cigarette smoke & the half drained sodas of players trying to get the wonder out of some very odd chits. Dice came later on kids & the skeletons were armed with short swords. My first level magic user died repeatedly that night. We played a combination of original Dungeons & Dragons, The Monster Manual, & other classic resources.

Everything changed in 1979 with the release of the Dungeon Master's Guide for our gaming group. Connecticut had its own gaming stores including a cigar store/hobby shop called

Laraia's. This was where my Dungeon Master's Guide came from earned with mowing the lawns of thirty people. The Summer of '79 was hell on Earth for me and that lawn mower from the Abyss. This book was a rite of passage. It was the same Summer that  I'd met Kathy K. (not her real name) the young lady who gave me my first kiss & was the first female dungeon master I'd ever met. She was a young girl interested in monsters, horses, & Dungeons & Dragons. She was gifted TAG program student  with her own group of players! It was a huge revelation for nine year old me.
David A. Hargrave's Arduin Grimoire would come later that same Summer but that kids is another blog entry.

The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition Dungeon Master's Guide has been my Swiss Army Knife of old school role playing books. Why? Well there are a wide variety of reasons:
  1. It was one of the first codified books that rang with Gary Gygax's voice & vocabulary. The AD&D  DM's Guide was/is a common sense & no nonsense guide for creating your own worlds & everything is at the DM's finger tips. 
  2. There's an implied sense of the military & empire building within the book something I wouldn't encounter until years later in Adventurer, Conqueror, King.
  3. The Dungeon Master's Guide has numerous useful bits & appendixes to make adventures & play better from the random dungeon generator to the harlot table. This is pretty much an NPC one stop shopping guide for generating hordes of characters for player's PC's to interact with. 
  4. Common sense advice that I still turn to even today. On the table top advice for dungeon master's writing their own adventures. 
  5.   Solid resources & random tables that are actually useful during adventure generation.
  6. Iconic artifacts & treasures to really give campaigns goals & substance for your world's campaign backgrounds.
  7. Sweet spot trap placement advice & guidelines, sure this sounds passe  now but its still works. Sometimes the old advice is the best. Because it works each & every time on players.  
  8. School of hard knocks, the dungeon master's guide is original teaching guide for DM's guiding their players through adventures. I've known father's passing on their Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guides to their sons & daughters. 
  9. Urban adventure guide lines are fully outlined in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide. Adventuring in urban environments &  cities is a big challenge & every little bit helps. 
  10. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide is still one of the greatest role playing books ever created. It resonates with Gary Gygax's voice & advice that will live on long after I'm gone.

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