Advanced Dungeons & Dragons®

Dungeon Master® Guide

The revised and updated Dungeon Master® Guide for the AD&D® Game.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the 2nd Edition




A Word About Organization

The Fine Art of Being a DM

Chapter 1: Player Character Ability Scores

Giving Players What They Want

Choosing a Character Creation Method

Method I (3d6, In Order):

Method II (3d6 twice, keep desired score):

Method III (3d6, arranged to taste):

Method IV (3d6 twice, arranged to taste):

Method V (4d6, drop lowest, arrange as desired):

Method VI (points plus dice):

Super Characters

Identifying Too-Powerful Characters

Dealing with Too-Powerful Characters

Hopless Characters

Dealing with Hopless Characters

Dealing with Dissatisfied Players

Wishes and Ability Scores

Players with Multiple Characters

Multiple Character Problems

Character Background

Letting Players Do the Work

Problem Backgrounds

Background as Background

Chapter 2: Player Character Races

A Non-Human World

Racial Level Restrictions

Slow Advancement (Optional Rule)

Standard Class and Level Limits DMG

Exceeding Level Limits (Optional Rule)

Creating New Player Character Races

Chapter 3: Player Character Classes

Class, Level, and the Common Man

0-Level Characters

Adventures and Society








Character Classes in Your Campaign

High-Level Characters

Defining "High-Level"

Changing Campiagn Styles

Above 20th Level

Beginning Character Levels

Mixing New and OId Characters

Pre-Rolled Characters

Creating New Character Classes (Optional Rule)

Chapter 4: Alignment

Player Character Alignment

Role-Playing Alignment

NPC Alignment

The Limits of NPC Alignment

Society Alignment

Using Area Alignments

Varying Social Alignment

Alignment of Religions

Alignment of Magical Items

Magical Alignment Changes

Alignment as a World View

Alignments in Conflict

Never-Ending Conflict

Alignment as a Tool

Detecting Alignment


Casting a Spell

Class Abilities

Keeping Players in the Dark

Changing Alignment

Deliberate Change

Unconscious Change

Involuntary Change

Charting the Changes

Effects of Changing Alignment

Chapter 5: Proficiencies (Optional)

Weapon Proficiencies


NPC Proficiencies

Nonweapon Proficiencies

Adding New Proficiencies

Chapter 6: Money and Equipment

Monetary Systems

A Short History of Commerce


Letters of Credit



Types of Coins


Squalid Conditions

Poor Conditions

Middle-Class Conditions

Wealthy Conditions

Draining the Coffers

Expanding the Equipment Lists

Altering Prices

Equipment by Time Period

The Ancient World

The Dark Ages

The Middle Ages

The Renaisssance

Adjusting Equipment Lists

Quality of Equipment

Lock Quality

Horse Quality

Horse Traits

Horse Traits (Optional Rule)

Risks of Horse Buying

Weapon Quality


Armor Made of Unusual Metals (Optional Rule)

Damaging Equipment

Item Saving Throws

Attack Forms

Chapter 7: Magic

Inital Wizard Spells

Player Choice

DM Choice

Player/DM Collaboration

Acquisition of Spells Beyond the 1st Level

Gaining Levels

Copying from Spell Books

Scroll Research

Study with a Mentor

DM Control of Spell Acquisition

Spell Books

All Sizes and Shapes

Spell Book Preparation

Spell Book Cost

How Many Pages in a Spell Book

Expanding the Schools of Magic

Adding New Spells

Expansion Through CampaignDetail

Spell Research

Suggesting a New Spell

Analyzing a Spell

Solving the Problem of a New Spell

Setting a Spell's Level

Determining Spell Components (Optional Rule)

Determining Research Time

The Cost of Spell Research

Adding a New Spell to the Spell Book

Researching Extra Wizard Spells (Optional Rule)

Chapter 8: Experience

The Importance of Experience

Too Little or Too Much?

Constant Goals


Character Survival


Variable Goals

Story Goals

Experience Point Awards

Group Awards

Individual Experience Awards (Optional Rule)

When to Award Experience Points

Effects of Experience

Training (Optional Rule)

Rate of Advancement

Chapter 9: Combat

Creating Vivid Combat Scenes

More Than Just Hack-and-Slash


The Attack Roll

Figuring the To-Hit Number

Modifiers to the Attack Roll

Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers (Optional Rule)

The Various Types of Weapons

Impossible To-Hit Numbers

Calculating THAC0

Combat and Encounters

The Combat Round

What You Can Do in One Round

The Combat Sequence


Standard Initiative Procedure

Initiative Modifiers

Group Initiative (Optional Rule)

Individual Initiative (Optional Rule)

Multiple Attacks and Initiative

Spellcasting and Initiative

Weapon Speed and Initiative (Optional Rule)

Magical Weapon Speeds


Number of Attackers


Weapon Length

Position of Attackers and Attack Rolls

Pole Arms and Weapon Frontage (Optional Rule)

Shields and Weapon Frontage (Optional Rule)

Hitting a Specific Target

Called Shots

Movement in Combat

Movement in Melee

Movement and Missile Combat

Charging and Opponent


Attacking Without Killing

Punching and Wrestling


Weapons in Non-Lethal Combat

Non-Lethal Combat and Creatures

Touch Spells and Combat

Critical Hits (Optional Rule)

Critical Fumbles

Parrying (Optional Rule)

Missile Weapons in Combat


Rate of Fire

Ability Modifiers in Missile Combat

Firing Into a Melee

Taking Cover Against Missile Fire

Grenade-Like Missiles

Boulders as Missile Weapons

Special Attacks

Attacking with Charmed Creatures

Gaze Attacks

Innate Abilities

Breath Weapons

Special Defenses

The Saving Throw

Rolling Saving Throws

Saving Throw Priority

Voluntarily Failing Saving Throws

Ability Checks as Saving Throws

Modifying Saving Throws

Magic Resitance

Effects of Magic Resistance

When Magic Resistance Applies

Successful Magic Resistance Rolls

Turning Undead

Evil Preists and Undead

Immunity to Weapons

Effect of Weapon Hits

Silver Weapons

Creature vs. Creature

Using Immune Monsters in a Campaign


The Role-Playing Solution

Dicing fror Morale

How to Make a Morale Check

Failing a Morale Check

Injury and Death


Special Damage



Energy Drain


Treating Poison Victims

Creating New Poisons

Specific Injuries (Optional Rule)

Is This Injury Necessary?


Natural Healing

Magical Healing

Herbalism and Healing Proficiencies

Character Death

Death from Poison

Death from Massive Damage

Inescapable Death

Raising the Dead

Hovering on Death’s Door (Optional Rule)

Unusual Combat Situations

Siege Damage

Mounted Combat

Mounts—Trained and Untrained

Fighting from Horseback

Being Dismounted

Aerial Combat (Tournament Rule)

Maneuverability Classses



Combat Procdure

Air-to-Ground Combat



Aerial Combat (Optional Rules)


Climbing and Diving


Underwater Combat




Natural and Artifical Light

Obscured Vision



Combat Problems of Surface Dwellers

Underwater Magic

Chapter 10: Treasure and Magical Items

Who Needs Money?

Forms of Treasure

Placement of Treasure

Who's Got the Treasure?

Planned and Random Encounter Treasures

Treasure Tables

Maintaining Balance

Too Little Treasure

Monty Haul Campaigns

Magical Items

Creatures and Magical Items

Buying Magical Items

Magic-Rare or Common?

Researching Magical Items

The Nature of Magical Fabrication

Scrolls and Potions



Creating Other Magical Items

Recharging Magical Items

Destroying Magical Items

Artifacts and Relics (Optional Rules)

Designing an Artifact or Relic

Sample Artifacts and Relics

Chapter 11: Encounters

What is an Encounter?

Planned Encounters



Combining Keys and Triggers

Random Encounters

Should You Use Random Encounters?

Characteristics of Random Encounter Tables

Creating Encounter Tables

The 2-20 Table

The Percentile Table

Dungeon Encounter Tables

Wildernesss Encounter Tables

Special Encounter Tables

Spicing Up Encounter Tables

DMing Encounters

Encounter Checks

Is This Encounter Necessary?

Encounter Size


Encounter Distance

Encounter Reactions

Fixing Things in Play DMG

The Encounter is Too Difficult

The Encounter Gave Away Too Much Treasure

The Encounter Was Too Easy

Chapter 12: NPCs


Medieval Occupations

The Assassin, the Spy, and the Sage





Descriptions of Troop Types

Employing Hirelings

Who Might Be Offended?

Depopulate at Your Own Risk

Securing Permission

Finding the Right People

The Weekly Wage


An NPC Becomes a Henchman

The Player Takes Over

Role-Playing Henchmen

Henchman Bookkeeping

Officals and Social Rank

Titles, Offices, and Positions


Finding a Spellcaster

Convincing the NPC to Help

NPC Magical Items


Walk-On NPCs

Significant NPCs

Other NPC Characteristics


Quick NPCs

Chapter 13: Vision and Light

Effects of Light Sources

Being Seen

Creatures and Light Sources

Light Tricks and Traps


Standard Infravision

Optional Infravision

Other Forms of Sight



Detecting Invisible Creatures

Chapter 14: Time and Movement

Detailed Timekeeping

Preparing a Calendar

Time as a Game-Balancer


Mounted Overland Movement

Advantages of Mounted Movement

Increasing Overland Speed

Care of Animals


Terrain and Vehicles

Terrain Effects and Movement

Darkness and Ice

Terrain Modifiers in Overland Movement

Roads and Trails

Terrain Obstacles and Hindrances

Movement on Water

Ocean Voyaging

Weather and Ship Travel

Aerial Movement

Getting Lost

Just Lost

Hopelessly Lost

Dealing With Lost Characters

Chapter 15: A DM's Miscellany



Concealed and Secret Doors


Other Magical Diseases

The Planes of Existance

The Prime Material Planes

The Ethereal Planes

The Inner Planes

The Astral Plane

The Outer Planes

Appendix 1: Treasure Tables



Ornamental Stones

Semi-Precious Stones

Fancy to Precious

Gems and Jewels

Objects of Art

Appendix 2: Magical Item Tables

Appendix 3: Magical Item Descriptions


Identifying Potions

Combining Potions

Potion Duration

List of Potions


Spell Level of Scroll Spells

Magical Spell Failure

Use of Scroll Spells

Casting Scroll Effects

Protection Scroll Effects

Who Can Use Scroll Spells?

Spell Level Range

Cursed Scrolls


List of Protection Scrolls


List of Rings


Command Words (Optional Rule)

List of Rods


Command Words (Optional Rule)

List of Staves


Command Words (Optional Rule) III

List of Wands

Miscellaneous Magic

Categories of Magical Items

List of Magical Items

Armor and Shields

Magical Weapons

Light Generation

Unknown or Unusual Qualities

List of Magical Weapons

Intelligent Weapons

Intelligent Weapon Alignment

Weapons Abilities

Weapon Ego

Weapons Versus Characters


Table 1: Method I Characters

Table 2: Method II Characters

Table 3: Method III Characters

Table 4: Method IV Characters

Table 5: Method V Characters

Table 6: Method VI Characters

Table 7: Racial Class and Level Limits

Table 8: Prime Requisite Bonuses

Table 9: Maximum Levels for Variant Races

Table 10: 0-Level Hit Points by Title

Table 11: Race

Table 12: Combat Value Used

Table 13: Saving Throw Table Used

Table 14: Hit Dice Per Level

Table 15: Armor Allowed

Table 16: Weapons Allowed

Table 17: Hit Points Per Level Beyond 9th

Table 18: Optional Abilities

Table 19: Thief Average Ability Table

Table 20: Restrictions

Table 21: Base Experience Points

Table 22: Player Character Living Expenses

Table 23: Equipment By Time Period

Table 24: Lock Quality

Table 25: Horse Quality

Table 26: Horse Traits

Table 27: Unusual Metal Armors

Table 28: Hit Points of Items

Table 29: Item Saving Throws

Table 30: Spell Book Capacities

Table 31: Creature Experience Point Values

Table 32: Hit Dice Value Modifiers

Table 33: Common Individual Awards

Table 34: Individual Class Awards

Table 35: Combat Modifiers

Table 36: Weapon Type Vs. Armor Modifiers

Table 37: THAC0 Advancement

Tabel 38: Calculated THAC0S

Table 39: Creature THAC0

Table 40: Standard Modifiers to Initiative

Table 41: Optional Modifiers to Initiative

Table 42: Armor Modifiers for Wrestling

Table 43: Punching and Wrestling Results

Table 44: Cover and Concealment Modifiers

Table 45: Grenade-Like Missile Effects

Table 46: Character Saving Throws

Table 47: Turning Undead

Table 48: Hit Dice Vs. Immunity

Table 49: Morale Ratings

Table 50: Situational Modifiers

Table 51: Poison Strength

Table 52: Structural Saving Throws

Table 53: Mounted Missile Fire

Table 54: 2-20 Encounter Table

Table 55: Dungeon Level

Table 56: Frequency & Chance of Wilderness Encounters

Table 57: Surprise Modifiers

Table 58: Encounter Distance

Table 59: Encounter Reactions

Table 59: Encounter Reactions

Table 60: NPC Professions

Table 61: Fields of Study

Table 62: Sage Modifiers

Table 63: Research Times

Table 64: Military Occupations

Table 65: Common Wages

Table 66: Europeans Titles

Table 67: Oriental Titles

Table 68: Religious Titles

Table 69: NPC Spell Costs

Table 70: General Traits

Table 71: Permanent Morale Modifiers

Table 72: Optional Degrees of Darkness

Table 73: Terrain Effects on Movement

Table 74: Terrain Costs for Overland Movement

Table 75: Terrain Modifiers

Table 76: Boat Movement

Table 77: Ship Types

Table 78: Sailing Movement Modifiers

Table 79: Weather Conditions

Table 80: Aerial Movement Modifiers

Table 81: Chance of Getting Hopelessly Lost

Table 82: Lost Modifiers

Table 83: Chance to Heat Noise by Race

Table 84: Treasure Types

Table 85: Gem Table

Table 86: Gem Variations

Table 87: Objects of Art

Table 88: Magical Items

Table 89: Potions and Oils (D6)

Table 90: Scrolls (D6)

Table 91: Rings (D6)

Table 92: Rods

Table 93: Staves

Table 94: Wands

Table 95: Miscellaneous Magic: Boooks, Librams, Manuals, Tomes

Table 96: Miscellaneous Magic: Jewels, Jewelry, Phylacteries (D6)

Table 97: Miscellaneous Magic: Cloaks and Robes

Table 98: Miscellaneous Magic: Boots, Bracers, Gloves

Table 99: Miscellaneous Magic: Girdles, Hats, Helms

Table 100: Miscellaneous Magic: Bags, Bottles, Pouches, Containers

Table 101: Miscellaneous Magic: Candles, Dusts, Ointments, Incense, and Stones

Table 102: Miscellaneous Magic: Household Items and Tools

Table 103: Miscellaneous Magic: Musical Instruments

Table 104: Miscellaneous Magic: The Weird Stuff

Table 105: Armor Type

Table 106: Armor Class Adjustment

Table 107: Special Armors

Table 108: Weapon Type (D6)

Table 109: Attack Roll Adjustment

Table 110: Special Weapons (D10)

Table 111: Potion Compatibility

Table 112: Spell Failure

Table 113: Weapon Intelligence and Capabilities

Table 114: Weapon Alignment

Table 115: Weapon Primary Abilities

Table 116: Weapon Extradinary Powers

Table 117: Special Purpose Weapons

Table 118: Languages Spoken by Weapon

Table 119: Weapon Ego