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Dungeon Master's Kit (4e)

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Watermarked PDF
$39.99
$19.99
Description:

If you're a Dungeons & Dragons player looking forward to your first experience as the Dungeon Master, this box contains everything you need to get started, including expert advice on making your game the best it can be. Create monster-infested dungeons, gather your friends, and let the fun begin. In the Dungeons & Dragons world you create, anything is possible—the only limit is your imagination!

Contents:

  • Dungeon Master's Book, containing everything you need to build and run exciting D&D adventures
  • 2 books containing "Reavers of Harkenwold," a ready-to-play two-part adventure

NOTE: This is a digital download product and does not include the double-sided, fold-out battle maps; the 3 sheets of cut-out hero and monster tokens; or the fold-out, four-panel DM's screen that were included in the original physical product.

*****

Product History

If you're planning to be a DM for 4e D&D, this is the product you want to use. The D&D Essentials Dungeon Master's Kit (2010), by James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford, is the boxed set that many people wish that 4e D&D had started off with, instead of the actual DMG; it's a beautifully illustrated, clearly organized, rewritten guide to running 4e D&D. They got this one right.

This PDF includes the main 272-page rulebook from the Dungeon Master's Kit and the adventure booklets, but not the other components of the boxed set such as the monster tokens.

Setting the Scene. Okay, maybe I have a soft spot for DM empowerment, but I was won over quickly when I read that the world-building chapter begins with "It's Your World." Teaching new DMs often means flat-out telling them that they should change things, add things, and take things away from the default setting of D&D. Naturally, the default assumptions of D&D are clearly laid out, from the nature of villages and cities to the outer planes to the presence and nature of Gods. The kit makes it easy for a DM to understand what those basic elements are, all the better for helping her customize her own world.

Running the Game. New DMs are walked through the role of the Dungeon Master step by step. This instruction includes narration and adjudication, handling exploration, how to read monster statistics, how skill checks work, and how to improvise.

The chapter on running combat encounters is clear and precise, laying out how encounters work and what the DM's job is while running them. D&D has fairly complex combat, and that's one of its joys; with the advice and organization in this chapter, running combat becomes significantly easier and more fun.

Visualizing the Game. I want to call out the superior art and layout design in this book. For new players in particular, being able to visualize and imagine the world they’re playing in is critical. The D&D Essentials line has taken this truism to heart. In every piece of art, from cartography to combat diagrams to the vibrant and action-filled illustrations, the magical tone and feel of the game comes through. Just looking at the book will give a browser an idea of what it feels like to play and run D&D, and that's a pretty impressive achievement.

Overall, this is the PDF that you give to new players and new DMs. The Essentials line makes D&D easier and possibly more fun to run; the Dungeon Master's Kit is an excellent entry in this line.

About the Creators. James Wyatt is a former United Methodist minister who, as an Origins and ENnie Award-winning novelist and game designer, has written and co-authored numerous D&D publications since 2000.

Jeremy Crawford is a developer for D&D whose design and development credits include all the books in the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials line, alongside the Player's Handbooks 1, 2, and 3.</i>

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to kevin.kulp@gmail.com.

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Reviews/Ratings (0)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
VĂ­ctor O November 29, 2013 9:44 pm UTC
While it is a disappointment to see the physical DM Kit now gone forever from stores, what you pay for when making this purchase is one of the best adventures ever made for 4e. "Reavers of Harkenwold" is tough, well organized and long enough to keep your players busy for months.

Token sheets would have been welcome, though, since they depicted every character in the adventure, and the maps are awesome and can be used for everything else you have in mind in upcoming adventures. This is a bit of short sight from WotC, but we're getting used to that.

Bottom line: buy this if you want a great adventure. The DM's book is just... useful.
Customer avatar
Evan L November 23, 2013 8:37 pm UTC
Wish I could review this without purchasing seeing as how I already own the hard copy, but here goes...

The price may seem steep for a digital volume, but consider two things: 1) you not only get the book, but two full adventures (two parts of one larger, that is) and 2) you're getting the best 4E DMG there is. Yes, all the rules you need to run seamless combat are in the Rules Compendium, but 4E evangelists are always hard-pressed to get across the fact that combat is not the only part of this edition. Remember that the Essentials line is built for beginners and while the math part is important, the story part is the most important and arguably the most difficult part to teach. That is where the DMK book shines compared to the rest of the 4E resources.

Of course, people are entitled to disagree, but the DMK's teaching method is vastly superior to the original 4E DMG and considering it's not available separately (marked not for resale), this digital version falls at the same price as...See more
Customer avatar
Don B November 21, 2013 4:32 am UTC
I'm at a loss as to why this is $19.99. It's way too expensive for this product. The D&D Essentials Dungeon Master's Book is an okay product, but not worth twenty dollars. Ever since I bought it (the actual box) two years ago, I've only referenced it two or three times. Now it sits unused. Everything you need to run a game is in the Rules Compendium which is half the cost and has ten times the useful content. I think the digital D&D Essentials Dungeon Master's Book should be no more than $5 or $6 given the dearth of useful content and negligible value it gives to D&D 4E.
Customer avatar
Andrew K November 19, 2013 4:27 pm UTC
To anyone making decisions on what to scan, and how to present it is reading this: if the product contained the missing items, I would happily buy it for $10. At twice the price with bits missing, I have no interest.
Customer avatar
Jeb B November 20, 2013 12:44 am UTC
I'm not sure I'd buy it, but I second Andrew K's disappointment. Why were those left out? Surely they weren't any harder to scan than the books...
Customer avatar
Tony M November 19, 2013 12:53 pm UTC
I guess someone might want to buy this, with 5th Edition less than 8 months away...
Customer avatar
Tony M November 19, 2013 1:00 pm UTC
Also, 8 pages longer than the Rules Compendium from the same line, yet almost double the price?

I think not baby puppy...
Customer avatar
Giorgos L November 19, 2013 6:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I intend to continue playing the 4th edition, so I could buy it (I already have the printed material) but with all the things missing and the high price, I guess not...
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Product Information
Copper seller
Author(s)
Pages
330
ISBN
978-0786956302
Publisher Stock #
WTC 244640000
File Size:
5.7 MB
Format
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
November 19, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on November 19, 2013.
Publisher Info
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Publisher Average Rating