Let’s face some facts: every RPG player needs a guide when starting out. Whether you’re a new Pathfinder player or a budding Dungeon Master gearing up to conduct your first Dungeons & Dragons session, you likely learned your gameplay from somebody else. However, when it comes time to get your facts straight rules-wise, figure out the transition from the theatre of the mind to tabletop, or help mediate a player conflict, occasionally you might need some assistance. Enter The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide by James D’Amato. This 254-page guidebook details many different aspects of the Game Master role that are vital for any role-playing game. We got a free review copy from Adams Media, so let’s take a look inside and see what we think about it!

Ultimate RPG Game Master's Guide Grants Untold Insight [Review]
The front cover of The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide, a book by James D’Amato. Published by Adams Media for Simon & Schuster.
From silvered cover to silvered cover, The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide is a comprehensive compendium of the latest tools for GMs to utilize. The first two chapters cover motivations and myths about becoming a GM. The next chapter deals with player-to-player conflicts, which is a vital thing to include here. These sorts of dramatics can occur quite often and they are the true killer of campaigns, even before scheduling issues.

After that, we see that author James D’Amato has put his entire heart into the book. His passion can be felt through every instruction he’s mentioned and every guideline he has set. From sections such as “The World is a Character” to “Narrative Tension”,  it is clear he’s got his facts together here.

Ultimate RPG Game Master's Guide Grants Untold Insight [Review]
Pages 140 and 141 of The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide by James D’Amato. Image Source: Amazon
The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide is ultimately a showcase of expert tips from a supremely qualified GM. It even includes a few pages worth of appendices for narrative rewards. A table like that is pivotal when Game Masters can’t quite figure out what to give players on the fly who engage in story beats in an exemplary manner.

All in all, The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide shows the toughness of Game Mastery but in a way that seeks to alleviate some of that difficulty a bit. We happily recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to conduct sessions of their favorite RPG systems.

You can pick up The Ultimate RPG Game Master’s Guide for USD 15.99 or CAD 21.99 at any local bookstore or on Simon & Schuster’s website.

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