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The next DnD Dungeon Master’s Guide adds a starter campaign

Wizards of the Coast designer Chris Perkins sheds light on the next D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide – including what looks like a new, beginner-friendly campaign.

DnD DMs Guide campaign - Wizards of the Coast art of a Lich from the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide cover

In an attempt to make the next generation of Dungeons and Dragons more beginner-friendly, it seems Wizards of the Coast will include a campaign in the next DnD Dungeon Master’s Guide. Senior story designer Chris Perkins explains in a YouTube video from April 18 that the new content is part of efforts to “do more ‘show not tell’ in the DMG”.

By ‘show not tell’, Perkins says he means the following: “We’re going to give you specific examples of the types of things we’re talking about – a specific DnD campaign, for instance”. “The DMG will now contain one that you can basically either copy and emulate or just pick up and use to make your own.” While it’s possible Perkins is talking about an extended example, it sounds like the DMG will include a fully playable adventure rather than a long excerpt of example play.

The Dungeon Master’s Guide is a D&D supplement that aims to teach players how to run their own game. There’s usually at least one book of this kind with each edition, but the 5e DMG has received plenty of criticism in the near-decade since it was first released. “We’re taking the fifth edition DMG, which I don’t think anybody in the universe would say is a ten out of ten – I think the score is something lower than that – and we’re just trying to get it closer to that ten out of ten”, Perkins says.

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The next Dungeon Master’s Guide will be released in 2024 to kick off the era of One D&D. Perkins points out “this is fifth edition” still, so the new rules will be backwards-compatible with existing campaigns and supplements, but it’ll have been updated and (hopefully) upgraded.

As well as a beginner campaign, Perkis also says the ‘adventures’ chapter of the Dungeon Master’s Guide will be reworked “to help DMs really create their own adventures by giving them examples of adventure content”. “This is not published adventures like our big DnD books; this is a new approach.”

The DMG will also be completely restructured. Rather than start with deep dives into worldbuilding, readers will be guided through the basics first. After that, they can find advice on creating their own worlds, lore glossary entries about key D&D history, and a “surprise” chapter further back in the book. Perkins also says the new DMG will absorb helpful elements from 5e supplements like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

The DMG will be released alongside a new Monster Manual, which features more DnD monsters than ever, and a Player’s Handbook that features updated versions of the key DnD classes, DnD races, and DnD backgrounds.