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Dungeon Master's Kit (4e)


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!


  • 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.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Jose Z July 18, 2022 3:38 am UTC
POD please with the missing items
Customer avatar
Chris B November 29, 2021 4:15 pm UTC
Still no tokens or map. Come on guys. You sorted it for the Monster Vault. You can sort it out here too.
Customer avatar
Tony C November 27, 2020 11:06 am UTC
Just checking to see if monster tokens have been added to this product since 2016.
Customer avatar
James S November 27, 2020 5:36 pm UTC
No tokens, no maps.
Customer avatar
Eric T April 10, 2016 4:00 am UTC
Not including the tokens and the maps means no purchase from me, especially for this price (even for the discounted $19.99 price).

4E virtually demands maps and tokens. The creators of the DMK knew this, and they included them--really nice ones, too. Putting them here for download would make this a worthy $20 purchase. Instead, this is only worth half of that for the adventure.
Customer avatar
Thomas K September 29, 2015 8:44 pm UTC
It baffles me why they would not include the tokens and maps here.

The cost to create the original art has already been paid, and transferring them to PDF would be a matter of copying from their printer's files.

This is exactly what I've been forced to pay other companies for in order to make my VTT game online more immersive.

I would gladly pay for this content just to have the superior artwork for use in my VTT.

As it is, I will not buy this until the tokens and maps are added in.
Customer avatar
Jeremy H January 27, 2015 12:58 pm UTC
I'm interested but the price is still too high.

Also, it would be awesome if you guys made the DDI Character Builder available for purchase on here. I mean, you're no longer producing new content for 4e right? So why should a subscription still be necessary to access the builder. Dunno, just my $0.02.
Customer avatar
Anne T January 11, 2015 10:38 am UTC
I was hoping that this would make for a decent substitution, given that the physical kit itself is only available at ridiculous prices in the aftermarket, but as it's missing maps and tokens and yet is still roughly the price one would have originally paid on Amazon for the hardcopy, I can't say I'll be picking this one up...
Customer avatar
Víctor 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
James 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
Γιώργος ? November 19, 2013 6:10 pm UTC
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...
Customer avatar
Martin W January 16, 2017 10:13 pm UTC
The adventure is also quite good, actually... but it really should include the monster tokens. That's the real disappointment.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on November 19, 2013.