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KOBOLD Guide to GamemasteringClick to magnify

KOBOLD Guide to Gamemastering

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Decades of GMing Experience at Your Fingertips!

Kobold Press builds on its excellent track record with another great release—new and provocative.
—Mike Mearls

Whether it’s advice from grognards who were running games at the dawn of RPGs, or suggestions from the new generation of game designers, these 21 essays by experts are here to help you improve your GMing skills and create fun, amazing, memorable campaigns that’ll be talked about for years.

In this book, master GMs and storytellers give you advice about solo campaigns, shy players, cell phones, and making rulings on the fly. Are you unprepared for the game you’re running half an hour from now? Did you accidentally kill all the PCs? Do you want to run a game for kids? Did the plot take a sudden turn and the PCs have gone into uncharted territory? We’ve got you covered.

Complete with discussions on highlighting player strengths, tips for new and veteran GMs, and character romances, you’ll find useful advice about making your game more welcoming, more engaging, and more fun.

Featuring essays by Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, David “Zeb” Cook, Frank Mentzer, Shanna Germain, Monica Valentinelli, Steve Winter, and many other game professionals.

Praise for Prior Design Guides

“Highly recommended for gaming nerds everywhere.”


“If you’re an aspiring pro this book is a must. If you’re a rules hacker like me, this stuff is solid gold.”
— Berin Kinsman, UncleBear Media

“An amazing collection — from some of the best designers and writers creating role-playing game material today.”

— Brian Fitzpatrick,

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (2)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Keith E April 30, 2017 6:49 pm UTC
Seriously rethink your preview please. I thought six pages would would really entice me. Title page, other titles page, two BLANK pages, list of contributors and a drawing of a kobold. A sample or two of actual essay content would have been appreciated.
Customer avatar
Wolfgang B May 01, 2017 5:53 pm UTC
Thanks for that feedback, Keith! The blanks in the book were used for pagination reasons in the print edition, and you are right, they make no sense in PDF.

We've uploaded a new PDF version without the blanks, and updated the preview. Should be visible here in a few minutes (once the DT servers catch up).

Oh, and the full TOC is available on the Kobold store as well (which supports that sort of preview).
Customer avatar
Keith E May 02, 2017 5:29 am UTC
Thank you! After looking at the new preview I purchased it immediately. Great work!
Customer avatar
David B April 21, 2017 4:57 pm UTC
Is it just me, or does the DM in the cover art look like Matt Mercer?
Customer avatar
Christopher S June 26, 2018 4:25 am UTC
Look like? Dude I straight up hope he got a cut for that. That's certainly a depiction of him.
Customer avatar
Colin C April 21, 2017 2:21 pm UTC
Does this book offer any real meaningful advice to veteran Game Masters that have been keeping up to date on best practices from the late 90s to presant day? Assume I've played every major indy title that's come out.

Or is this guide aimed at noob Game Master that have no idea what they're doing and lack any best practices.
Customer avatar
Wolfgang B April 21, 2017 4:39 pm UTC
Great question! This volume covers the gamut from "Advice for New GMs" to particular issues like cell phones or GMing for kids and to "Advice for Veteran GMs" (by SlyFlourish AKA Mike Shea). If you are GMing constantly and have for decades, it will (naturally) have less new topics, though to be fair getting advice from long-time gamemasters and designers like Frank "Red Box D&D" Mentzer or Zeb "Planescape" Cook or Steve Winter is likely to put a new light on at least a few topics.

The complete Table of Contents is available at the Kobold Press store:
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Platinum seller
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File Last Updated:
May 01, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on April 18, 2017.