Category: Dungeon Masters Guild

As It’s a Kind of Magic Week rolls on, today’s Pick is from the Dungeon Masters Guild, where creative gamers can share their ideas for D&D. This is a particularly popular collection of spells focused on the makers, the task-focused, and arcane “scientists” of your 5e fantasy setting.

101 new spells appear in Archetypal Spell Compendium: Artificers & Arcanists, a massive collection of new options for spellcasters including three FOUR new subclasses for artificers, new archetypes for wizards, sorcerers, and clerics, 20 new spells for artificers, 30 or more (sometimes much more!) spells for each major spellcasting class, over a dozen spells each for the paladin and ranger, and more for 5th Edition D&D games set in the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and beyond. These options include not just rules, but detailed descriptions and setting material to help you or your players role-play these new options to the hilt. Click the preview to see the whole table of contents, including lists of all spells.

Now available for $10– a value of 10 cents per spell, +1 free spell! When more  content is added, the price may go up for later purchasers, but early buyers receive all new content for free.

  • New Class Archetypes include: 
    • NEWLY ADDED: The Clockwork Engineer (an Artificer Specialist Archetype). This steampunk artificer uses clockwork devices secreted on his person to perform unexpected attacks and imitate life with inanimate objects.
    • THREE New Artificer Specialists: The arcane sleuth creates the tools that help solve impossible mysteries; eradicators infuse magical symbols with the power to destroy the hated monsters who are their sworn enemies; the prodigy chooses to perfect and enchant his own person rather than relying on any one item.
    • New Cleric Divine Domain: Defier. Disbelieving heretics who are no longer true clerics, drawing their power from elsewhere and disavowing the worship of any deity;
    • New Sorcerous Origin: Shugenja. Called by divine forces and trained in some of the ki powers of monks, these masters of the elements tap into holy forces and balance spiritual forces through their own bodies;
    • New Wizard Arcane Tradition: Guild Wizardry. Members of an arcane order who share resources in pursuit of magical power, these wizards can borrow spells from distant wizards and excel at out-casting other arcanists;
  • 101 new spells include all the spells from the author’s previous products, plus just as many brand new ones. Carry your own hideout anywhere you go with pocket cave; punish any who dare to harm your allies with ray of reprisal; accomplish any task quickly and efficiently with a servant army; burn away flesh and memory alike with lesser chainfire; visiting the fury of hell itself on anyone in your path with Glasya’s stride; and many, many, many more unique and powerful spells.
A content-packed resource for players and DM’s alike, Archetypal Spell Compendium: Artificers & Arcanists opens up new possibilities of power, mysery, wonder, and most of all magic for any D&D 5th Edition game.

If you enjoy this product, please check out other DM’s Guild titles by the same author.

If you think this product could be improved, please Review or at least leave a comment– all input is read and considered, and could show up in a newer version of the product!

Also, enjoy the perfect companion piece to this sourcebook, Forgotten Realms Archetypes II: Champions of Mystery, which features mysterious new factions, wielders of the raw power of legendary spellfire, sorcerous paladins, telepathic spies, rabble-rousing bards, masters of secretive dueling techniques, and more.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

The Dark Ages as only the World of Darkness can express them. Lots of information specifically about domains, how to build them, and how to keep them from disappearing in a wave of terror and death.

Travel the long roads and deep seas in search of power and experience danger, or tackle the wilderness to hunt monsters and face death. Settlements large and small dot the black expanse with the promise of sanctuary, life, and community. These bastions of civilization present cold comfort, when playing host to vampire warlords and sadistic Cainite faiths. Whether led by a Prince, a coordinated belief, or hounded by monsters from without and within — no domain is truly the same as another.

Dark Ages Companion includes:

• Domains scattered across the world, from small fiefdoms to massive cities. Bath, Bjarkarey, Constantinople, Rome, Mogadishu, and Mangaluru each receive coverage.

• Apocrypha including plot hooks, new Paths, and mysteries to explore in your games.

• A how-to guide on building a domain within your chronicle, including events and servants necessary to make a domain as functional or dysfunctional as you wish.

• A study on warfare in the Dark Ages period, so combat in your chronicles can gain authenticity and lethality.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

I decided to return to the Dungeon Masters Guild to wrap up 5e Week here on SPOD, and I Picked one of the most popular titles on that site – Heroes of the Orient: Player’s and DM’s CompanionD&D fans have long enjoyed importing mythic, fantastic, and historical elements from cultures of the Pacific Rim and beyond, and the author here decided a strong adaptation of what’s come before to 5e was a great way to use the terms of service for the Dungeon Masters Guild. Good on you, Marc Altfuldisch!

This 75-page handbook contains lore, flavor, and rules for creating adventures in the Orient.

Included are also:

  • 6 new races, a new dwarf subrace and an oriental human variant
    • Nezumi – humanoid rats with 3 subraces
    • Hengeyokai – shapeshifting animals with 10 subraces
    • Spirit Folk – descendants of humans and spirits with 3 subraces
    • Vanara – monkey-like humanoids with prehensile tails
    • Hakuma – humans with oni heritage and 3 subraces
    • Serafu – small lizard-like folk with 4 subraces
  • 2 new classes
    • Kensai – a ki-using warrior with a strong bond to a single weapon (includes 5 archetypes)
      • Blademaster – focuses solely on the blade, capable of moving into battle quickly and taking on many enemies at once
      • Master of the Unseen Hand – bolsters melee prowess with telekinetic powers
      • Samurai – an honorable warrior that focuses on versatile stances
      • Shinobi – specializes in infiltration, misdirection, and utilizes the most maneuvers
      • Villainous Class Option: Ravager – a kensai that has been warped by Taint
    • Shogun – a commander who enables new strategies for his allies (includes 7 archetypes)
      • Crawdad – focuses on martial defense
      • Heron – focuses on mobility
      • Pegasus – focuses on mounted combat
      • Phoenix – focuses on magical defense
      • Spider – focuses on trickery
      • Tiger – focuses martial prowess
      • Wyvern – improves the abilities of the base class without focusing on any one area
  • 27 new archetypes for existing classes
    • Barbarian 
      • Path of Brawn – focuses on rage damage and mobility
    • Bard 
      • College of the Geisha – more expertise and good with enchantment and illusion spells
    • Cleric 
      • Shamanism Domain – gains powers depending on a spirit patron (either ancestral, animal, demonic, or primordial)
      • Shugenja Domain – gains elemental powers, focusing on either air, earth, fire, or water
    • Druid 
      • Circle of Chaos – utilizes the Wild Magic Surge table
      • Circle of Elementalism – casts elemental spells efficiently and summons mephits
      • Circle of the Fey Touched – has several fey powers
    • Fighter
      • Bushi – a warrior of the common people, skilled at combat and versatile through stances
      • Hogo-sha – a protector both in and out of battle
      • Satsugai – a swift and ferocious warrior, foregoing heavy armor to better navigate the field of battle
      • Witch Hunter – specializes in fighting aberrations, fiends, and undead
    • Monk
      • Way of Ancient Symbols – gains magical tattoos, offers a ton of customization
      • Way of Purity – a pacifist monk with shapeshifting and utility
      • Way of Righteous Fury – can enter a Ki Frenzy, much like the barbarian’s rage and the bladesinger’s bladesong
    • Paladin
      • Oath of the Stalwart Defender – focuses on defending himself and his allies
    • Ranger
      • Ishi – inspires his allies on the battlefield
      • Niten Master – focuses on dual wielding
    • Rogue
      • Shadow Spy – a master infiltrator and gatherer of intelligence
      • Skirmisher – emphasizes mobility and ranged attacks
    • Sorcerer
      • Void Disciple – manipulates reality and time
    • Warlock
      • The Great Phoenix – grants the warlock powers from the Fires of Life
      • The Great Sylvan – grants the warlock sylvan powers, becoming one with nature
      • The Great Turtle – grants the warlock protective powers and the ability to transform into water
      • The Great Wyrm – grants the warlock power over lightning and thunder, smiting foes in the patron’s name
      • Seishin Mystic – possessed by a spirit, the seishin mystic has an internal patron, rather than an external one
    • Wizard
      • Wu Jen – focuses on the old elements, choosing between earth, fire, metal, water, or wood
      • Villainous Class Option: Maho-Tsukai – a blood mage with three distinct paths: mage, magus, and necromancer
  • 6 new backgrounds
  • 11 new feats
  • 52 new spells.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

As we delve further with 5e Week, seems only natural we take a look at this mega-bundle of the top stuff from the top creators of the DM’s Guild. In case you missed it, this is where DriveThruRPG and Wizards of the Coast teamed up to let any and all creative folks who love Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition create, present, and sell their best ideas. Enough amazing stuff has been crafted and sold to warrant a top thirty bundle at a rather incredible price.

This collection of Fifth Edition D&D material includes titles selected from among the top thirty bestselling community authors who have published their work on DM’s Guild. And to sweeten the deal, with the permission of those authors, it’s all been marked down to 84% off the cover prices!

Players and Dungeon Masters alike, no matter what the setting, are sure to find something useful inside — whether it’s new class options, feats, and magic items, or new monsters, rules, and adventures.

Get the best of the best now, just $9.95, only for a short time, available only on DMsGuild.com!

Here’s just a handful of the items in this thing –

    

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Day Two of 5e Week here at SPOD (that’s “Sean’s Pick of the Day”) features one of the most famous villains in all of D&D history. This just-released bundle features the entire Adventurer’s League run of the 5e campaign that centers on the dark-bound lands of Barovia and an ancient horror that defies normal adventuring expectations.

(From the Wizards of the Coast press release) –

Written in collaboration with Tracy and Laura Hickman, the authors of the original Ravenloft adventure published in 1983, Curse of Strahd pits players against the vampire Strahd von Zarovich…

“Revisiting the land of Barovia with the creators of the original Ravenloft adventure has been a highlight of my professional career,” said Chris Perkins, principal story designer at Wizards of the Coast. “Tracy and Laura Hickman created a timeless villain whose faults reflect the darkest traits of humanity. I can’t begin to describe what it’s like to walk through the halls of Castle Ravenloft with its creators as your guides.”

Heroes from the Forgotten Realms and other D&D worlds can easily be drawn into Strahd’s cursed land. Once there, they must contend with the horrors of Barovia. Its people are melancholy, misshapen and grotesque, living in fear of the wolves and other creatures that serve Strahd’s evil will. The only hope for the trapped adventurers is to heed the warnings of a mysterious fortune-teller named Madam Eva. Drawing random cards from her tarroka deck, she directs adventurers to search Strahd’s domain for artifacts and allies to help the master of Castle Ravenloft. That is, before he orchestrates your demise for his amusement and feasts on your terror.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today’s Pick takes us back (after much too long, I admit) to the realm of the Dungeon Masters Guild (the sister site to DriveThruRPG that is a showcase for all things D&D, including fan creations). One interesting development in recent years is the desire to make “the little guys” of the D&D world a far-greater threat than most players care to allow for. This adventure is all about making heroes respect kobolds… or die from the lack of it.

From the creator of platinum best seller Journey Through the Center of the Underdark comes the next level of action – Killer Kobolds! – A high octane, edge of your seat, seat of your pants, run and gun thrill ride for your 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons game.

(You’re reading that with that movie trailer guy’s voice in your head, right? Ok good. On with the pitch…)

Life was peaceful in the pleasant village of Thornyfoot… until the Kobolds of nearby Crag Canyon started kidnapping their kids! Now the distraught villagers turn to a rag tag group of adventurers, who just happened to be having a drink at the local inn, to save the day. 

Do your heroes have what it takes, the right stuff, the metal, the intestinal fortitude, to fend off the Kobold Hunting Drakes, face the Kobold Commandos, take down the Kobold Air Cavalry and yes… defeat the Kobold Covergirl with the Gun? Will they climb the treacherous canyon, survive the forest gauntlet, storm the fortified keep, raid the dastardly dungeon and thwart the big bad evil nefarious kobold plot? Or will they die a horrible, brutal, violent, traumatic, explosive death?

There’s only one way to find out.

Killer Kobolds! Action just leveled up.

Killer Kobolds is designed for a party of four to eight characters of levels 8 through 12, but could readily be tweaked to accommodate parties of lesser or greater strength. Intentionally set in an entirely generic small village in need, Killer Kobolds can be easily dropped into any Dungeons and Dragons setting. The content within could readily be worked in to your Tyranny of Dragons, Elemental Evil, Rage of Demons or Storm King’s Thunder campaign – heck, the guy writing this ran it between the first and second half of Out of the Abyss. Piece of cake.

Featuring original art by Glen Cooper, a gorgeous (as always) cover by Dean Spencer, and original thrills, spills and chills galore, Killer Kobolds should provide 10 to 15 hours of outstanding dice rolling excitement.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

I don’t know if all of my 5e readers know this, but the slew of official adventures coming out of WotC’s Adventurers League, normally only available to play at conventions, are being released via the Dungeon Masters GuildShawn Merwin kindly let me know about this one –

“Previously only available at conventions, this adventure is now for sale on the DM’s Guild. It is the first Adventurers League adventure in the Storm King’s Thunder storyline. The adventure consists of 5 mini-adventures for 1st and 2nd level characters. Each mini-adventure is meant to be playable in 60-90 minutes, and it both introduces players to the Storm King’s Thunder storyline and acts as an introduction for players new to D&D.”

A famous relic hunter seeks adventurers to help her find caches of treasure hidden by the now-defeated followers of the Cult of the Dragon.

Her maps and notes may lead the way to great wealth—or a terrible death.

And do other parties have designs on the treasure as well?

What a very cool time to be a gaming fan! Seriously, let me date myself here – I started with the first boxed set (1977, the John Eric Holmes version, with the David C. Sutherland III cover). There were no computers in the home (I think we had our “Pong” TV game then, maybe); computers were those huge, elaborate things that NASA and major corporations had stored in rooms.

Now? Now we have serious conversations about the Singularity and what our laptop may be plotting with our phone and tablet…

Regardless, these incredible tools also provide us the change to play online, at great distances, or even right at the table, but with amazing electronic applications that massively enhance the experience. Fantasy Grounds is arguably the premiere such electronic tool set for gaming, and now you have it available for your D&D 5e gaming needs.

(The description below comes from the D&D Complete Core Class Pack; this link, and the link for the image, goes to the full category page.)

In Dungeons & Dragons, a class is the primary definition of what your character can do. In this module, you get all twelve core classes converted for play in Fantasy Grounds. You get the class description, special features, spells and abilities used by your class and general character customization options such as equipment and feats.

Players purchasing this module can use it to create characters offline and bring those characters into games with any Dungeon Master (DM). Dungeon Masters who own this product can allow players to access it while they are connected to the DM by using the sharing option built into Fantasy Grounds. The players will no longer have access to the reference material upon disconnecting from the DM unless they also own the module.

This Module Includes everything from the individual class packs and the character customization pack in one complete module.

  • 328 fantasy character portraits taken from various official D&D sources
  • A custom theme derived in the same style as the Player’s Handbook
  • All Races from the Player’s Handbook that can be dragged to your character sheet
  • Random tables for rolling background bonds, flaws, ideals, origins, etc.
  • A list of all feats from the Player’s Handbook, organized alphabetically and searchable, that can be dragged to a character for ease of reference during play
  • Equipment tables containing items that can be dragged to character sheets, treasure parcels or NPCs for ease of reference, encumbrance calculations and ease of disbursement. The searchable lists contain all items listed in the Player’s Handbook (Adventuring Gear, Tools, Armor, Weapons, Mounts, Tack and Harness, Vehicles.)
  • Draggable weapons that auto-enter the inventory, weight, attack type (melee, ranged, thrown) and the damage (with damage type.)
  • Reference material and artwork which is not specific to any one particular character class
  • All spells from the D&D Player’s Handbook, ready to drag and drop to your character sheet
  • The class description from the Player’s Handbook for all 12 core classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, warlock and wizard
  • Details and features from levels 1-20 for all core classes
  • Automatic addition of new class features when you drag the class link to your character’s level summary

Requirements: This content requires an active subscription or license of Fantasy Grounds and an account on the forums at www.fantasygrounds.com to download and use this product.

The BECMI edition of the original Dungeons & Dragons is regarded very highly by many gaming enthusiasts and historians as the best presentation of the D&D experience. Created by the illustrious Frank Mentzer, it’s called “BECMI” due to the various releases in the series – the Basic sets – the Player’s Manual and the DM’s Rulebook – followed by the Expert Set, the Companion Set, the Master Set (the focus of today’s Pick), and the Immortal Set. As you can guess, this scheme was set up to graduate folks’ campaigns from initial adventures all the way to godhood. If you are an Old School enthusiast or just someone who wants to see how folks really played it back in the day, this is an excellent series of PDFs to grab.

At last, the cycle is complete. Players and Dungeon Masters alike may experience the wonder of reaching for the ultimate levels of mortal might with the D&D Master Set.

In the Basic Set you learned to crawl through dungeons and defeat the minions of evil. In the Expert Set you set out on wanderings through the wilderness. In the Companion Set you climbed to the pinnacle of success and founded kingdoms, conquered wild lands, and battled barbarian hordes. Now, in the Master Set, you can soar across the sky and into the pages of legend.

These books are written for the experienced D&D player. The Master Player’s Book expands on the known abilities of characters with new skills and spells. The Dungeon Masters Book features three sections that have become a standard for each rules set: New Procedures, Monsters, and Magical Treasures, all designed with the Master Level characters in mind.

Now, you are only limited by your imagination. Answer the clarion call to adventure; the lands of legend await!

Product History (Excerpts)

The D&D Master Rules Set (1985), by Frank Mentzer, is the fourth volume in Mentzer’s BECMI rules series. It was published in June 1985.

Origins (I): Moving Toward BECMI. The BECMI line was a strongly themed and carefully constructed series of boxes for the third edition of Basic D&D (1983-1991). The Basic Rules (1983) focused on dungeon exploration for levels 1-3, the Expert Rules (1983) introduced wilderness exploration for levels 4-14, and the Companion Rules debuted kingdom building for levels 15-25. Now the Master Rules finished the collection with a march to immortality for levels 26-36.

Origins (II): Developers & Designers. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, developers and revisers didn’t get a lot of credit at TSR. Prior to the release of the Master Rules, the Basic D&D books all said “by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson”, despite the fact that they’d only created the original OD&D (1974) system and none of the text in the continuing line of Basic D&D games. Thus the “B/X” series said that it was “edited” by Tom Moldvay, David “Zeb” Cook, and Steve Marsh, while the new BECMI series similarly gave Frank Mentzer a mere “revised” credit for the Basic Rules and Expert Rules. He got a full byline in the Companion Rules, but it was under a “Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson” byline.

The Master Rules were even more an original work by Frank Mentzer than the books that came before it, but this time he was dropped back to a “compiled by” credit. Surprisingly, the main credit goes only to Gary Gygax, with no reference to Dave Arneson. It was a curious omission of one of the two creators of D&D when a more accurate byline would have highlighted Mentzer’s name alone. Mentzer explains: “TSR had enough problems between Gygax & Arneson, no sense giving me grounds to add my name to the list. However, the further it went, the greater the amount I ‘compiled’ from my own ideas; there’s very very little in Masters and nearly nothing in Immortals that had ever appeared before.”

There were probably other political reasons for how the credits appeared, including: the attempt to move aware from credit (and royalties) to Arneson, who hadn’t worked on the game in years; and a push to put Gygax’s name forward in a year when TSR badly needed the attention and sales that might result.

What a Difference an Edition Makes. The Companion Rules had been an innovative and ground-breaking expansion of the D&D game, the first of its sort in several years. Meanwhile, the Master Rules came out the same month as Unearthed Arcana and unfortunately loses out in comparison. Where Unearthed Arcana was a groundbreaking expansion for AD&D, the Master Rules was a more simplistic continuation of the Basic D&D books that came before it; it expands classes, spell, and weapons to the ultimate levels of mortal D&D, but it’s evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Light of the Universe, at long, long last I can replace one of the most important and beloved books I ever had in my gaming collection!

Folks, I cannot say enough about how amazing this book – written and designed by the amazing Richard Baker – is, or how important it was to my early career as a game designer and a world builder. I am not even a little bit hesitant to declare that my own Shaintar setting would be nowhere near as complete and detailed and effective without the vital tools and information I got from this book.

In short, the World Builder’s Guidebook was, by far, the single most important and beloved D&D book I ever owned. If you don’t add this to your digital library, there will always be a terrible hole where it’s missing. Game Masters and would-be world designers especially take heed!

Admit it. . . you’ve always wanted to design your own fantasy world. But the job was just too big and complicated, so you either quit in frustration or didn’t start at all.

Get out your pencils and markers, because it’s time to make that dream come true! From the first steps of picking a campaign book to the final details of crafting a kingdom or city, World Builder’s Guidebook leads you stage by stage through the process of creating your own, unique campaign world. Build a world modeled after your favorite movies or books, detail a portion of an existing world, or create your own fantasy world from scratch!

Some of the features you’ll find in the World Builder’s Guidebook include:

  • An introduction to the art of world building
  • Guidelines and random tables for creating continents, kingdoms, societies, local areas, towns and cities, ecologies, pantheons, histories, and sites of interest
  • A pad of 32 copyable forms, mapping paper, and hex sheets?an indispensable set of tools for your world-building efforts!

You’re the master architect of an entire world. What are you going to build?

Product History

“World Builder’s Guidebook” (1996), by Richard Baker, is a GM’s book on creating fantasy worlds. It was published in October 1996.

Origins (I): The Generic Books. The AD&D 2e (1989-2000) era was all about TSR’s many settings. However, TSR also published the occasional setting-generic book; by the mid ’90s they were marking this line with a black-bordered cover.

In 1994, a new line of generic books appeared intended to help GMs fill out their worlds. “City Sites” (1994) and its successors featured fully detailed location for use in any world. “World Builder’s Guidebook” took the next step by allowing GMs to actually create whole worlds.

Origins (II): Building Worlds. TSR encouraged building worlds from its earliest days. In fact, they didn’t produce their own setting until the release of The World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting (1980) because they figured people would want to create their own. Meanwhile, TSR was publishing books like the “Dungeon Geomorphs” (1976-1977, 1981) and the “Monster and Treasure Assortments” (1977-1978, 1980) to encourage the creativity of their players.

Prior to the release of the “World Builder’s Guidebook” (1996), TSR’s most notable creative release was the “Dungeon Master’s Design Kit” (1988), but that focused on encounters and adventures. World building had to wait for the “World Builder’s Guidebook” eight years later. The result was unlike most other GM’s advice books for fantasy games. With its focus on the creation of a physically-correct, holistic world, the “World Builder’s Guidebook” had more in common with science-fiction world building releases like GDW’s World Builder’s Handbook (1989) and World Tamer’s Handbook (1993) for their Traveller RPG (1977+). This offered an interesting new twist on fantasy world design.

Exploring a New Setting. “World Builder’s Guidebook” doesn’t explore any existing D&D world; it instead gives GMs the opportunity to create something new. And that might be something very new: the options it offers allow for the creation of worlds quite unlike the official D&D worlds of the ’90s.

To start with, much like those Traveller supplements, “World Builder’s Guidebook” begins with a polyhedral world map, giving GMs the ability to lay out an entire globe. This was almost unknown for D&D’s fantasy worlds, with the exception of Basic D&D’s Known World. The “World Builder’s Guidebook” also includes some very nuts & bolts game systems for determining populations, geographies, and even climates. This was more simulationistic than most of the D&D worlds — though The World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983) offered a rare weather system that was comparable.

However, one final element of the “World Builder’s Guidebook” was more in tune with D&D’s worlds of the ’90s. The “Guidebook” suggests starting creation with unusual setting ideas and also encourages twisting standard elements like the traditional D&D races. Here, one can see the influence of settings like Dark Sun (1991), one of the most twisted and unique settings during the generally innovative setting design of the ’90s.

Future History. The “Dungeon Builder’s Guidebook” (1998) was an explicit sequel to this book.

About the Creators. Baker had been writing for TSR since 1992, focusing on the Dark Sun and Birthright lines. This was one of his last books for D&D until the ’00s, because he was about to dive into the Alternity (1997, 1998) line.