For the first part, go here.
In the previous post, I introduced the book, my initial feelings, and covered chapters one and two. This post will be shorter as there is little to nothing that a 3.x DM can use in the following chapters. As stated in my first post, however, that there might be something that a 3.x player would find useful, and I believe that I should cover it for 4e fans as well. We may play different version, but we all love DnD!
This chapter is all about the skill challenges, and offering alternate rules and suggestions on how to run them. The chapter seems well written, and for those who love skill challenges, I’m sure that this portion of the book will come in handy. I really can’t comment on skill challenges since don’t use them in 3.5. There is something that bothers me about them.. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. I would like other people’s opinions on skill challenges and how they utilize them and if they are something worth incorporating in a 3.5 game…
This chapter deals with altering monsters and creating your own. I like the templates and how to create interesting and difficult encounters. I have made it clear that while 4e isn’t my preferred game, that I don’t outright hate it. To me it is a personal choice, like eating meat as opposed to being a vegan (and no this is not a simile that 3.x has more “meat,” than 4e). One thing I will say about 4e that I really enjoy is the monsters (for the most part). I think that monsters are easier to manage with their powers labeled out the way that they are as opposed to 3.x.
Mostly has magic items and rewards are in this chapter, however on page 161 it starts getting into Organizations. How to create them, their motivations, and power struggles, etc. There is very interesting info in these few pages.
The final chapter of the DMG 2 focuses on Paragon campaigns. This is something of a blessing, from what I understand, for 4e players. Many players and DMs complained of lack of adventures or guidance during this stage of play. The ideas, even though for 4e, can serve as inspiration for 3.x DM’s as well.
Final verdict: While chapter one and two are well written and offer the most for a 3.5 DM, I don’t feel that the book is worth the cost for just those two chapters. The first two chapters, I really did enjoy reading, but they do not offer anything revolutionary or novel, to me.
However, I do think that the book would be great for 4e DM’s. It has a fountain of information that will enhance their games, make their lives easier, and offer possible new insights to a blossoming game or starting DM.
What I want: If there is such a thing, by all means comment and let me know.. I am looking for a book on Advanced DMing/DM Theory. I have hopes that the Pathfinder GameMastery Guide will provide deeper insight, but I’m not placing high hopes (this is not a knock against Pathfinder, because I believe that the game is amazing).
I just want a book that really goes in-depth with the intricacies of DMing, out of the normal that seems to now be the staple topics that are covered in the DMG and DMG2. So if you know of such a book, by all means, let me know! Thanks!