Dungeon Masters Guide Errata                                 Home Up

Errata for the First and Second prints of the Dungeon Masters Guide in May 1979, and incorporated all at once into the Third print (Revised print, Dec 1979).  These changes originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #35; some additional changes (not listed in that article) have been noted since then, and are included here.  Interestingly, the first correction listed in the article -- Page 13's Aging chart -- was never incorporated into any print of the DMG.

Additionally, one of the artists credited in the pre-revision DMG, Todd Oleck, was replaced by Erol Otus in the Revised print (along with Oleck's sole illustration, on page 40).  The reasons for his replacement are unknown.  (Thanks to Christopher Motta for first noticing this!)

Page 13:  AGING: Middle Aged.

Delete "(or half exceptional rating)". The paragraph should read:

Subtract 1 point of strength and 1 point of constitution; add 1 point of intelligence and 1 point of wisdom

Page 20:  ADDITION

Add the following section before the section entitled ASSASSINS' USE OF POISON:


An assassin receives 100 x.p./level of the character assassinated minus or plus 50 x.p. for every level the assassin is greater or lesser than his or her victim. This is modified by multipliers for the degree of difficulty of the mission‑simple (X 1/2), difficult (X 1), or extraordinary (X 1 1/2).The explanations for difficulty given under SPYING should be used as guidelines here. The experience given above is added to the regular experience earned for killing the victim, as if he or she were a monster. Experience is also given for the fee the assassin is paid.

Therefore, if an 8th level assassin snuck up on and surprised a 10th level magic‑user in the dungeon and successfully assassinated him, the assassin would receive 1,000 x.p. plus another 100 x.p. since the magic‑user was 2 levels higher than he. However, since it was a simple mission, the total 1100 x.p. would be multiplied by 1/2, giving 550 points. This is added to the 2400 x.p. normally received for killing this magic‑user, making a final total of 2950 x.p. earned, exclusive of fees.

Page 26:  Increase Or Decrease Of Worth Beyond Base Value.

On a die roll of 1, the Result should read:

Stone increases to next higher base value; roll again ignoring results above 8. Stones above 5,000 gold piece value progress as follows: 10,000 GP, 25,000 GP, 50,000 GP, 100,000 GP, 250,000 GP, 500,000 GP, and 1,000,000 GP ‑‑ the absolute maximum. No stone may increase beyond 7 places from its initial base value.

On a die roll of 0, the Result should read:

Stone decreases to next lower base value; roll again on this table, ignoring any result below 2, Stones below 10 gold piece value are: 5 GP, 1 GP, 10 SP, 5 SP, and I SP. No stone may decrease beyond 5 places from its initial base value.


Insert the following section just before the section entitled Spells Beyond Those At Start:

Acquisition of Illusionists' Spells

Illusionists do not need the spell read magic or anything like it in pursuit of their profession. All illusionist spell books and scrolls are written in a secret tongue which every apprentice learns from his or her mentor. This arcane and difficult language is common to all phantasmal magics, and is necessary for illusionistic conjuring. When on illusionist gains read magic at the 14th level (along with several other 1st level magic‑user spells), this merely allows him or her to utilize magic‑user scrolls that contain spells different from those on the illusionists' list.

When a 1st level illusionist receives his first level spell book from his master, it contains only three spells (read magic being unnecessary). The DM should require the player's character to roll a d12 on the table of 1st level illusionist spells, rolling three times and ignoring any rolls that result in duplication. If a DM feels his or her campaign is unusually difficult, he or she may allow the player to choose one or even two of these initial spells.

Page 40:  
Demon-summoning art dropped for a smaller undead-wizard battle drawing.

Page 52:  Fly spell.

The first sentence in this paragraph should read:

Fly spell: Utilizing a fly spell takes as much concentration as walking, so most spells could be cost while flying, either while hovering or moving slowly (3" or less).

Page 61:  Surprise.

Replace the last paragraph with the following:

Assume the party of characters comes upon a monster. They have 2 of 6 chances to surprise, and the monster also has 2 in 6. A six‑sided die is rolled for the party, another for the monster. Both sides could be surprised, or either could be surprised. This is shown on the table below:

Page 62:  Surprise

Replace the first table with the following:

Party's                                  Monster's                             Surprise
 Die                                           Die                                   Effect
 3 to 6                                       3 to 6                                 none
   1                                              1                                     both surprised
   2                                              2                                     both surprised
 1 or 2                                       3 to 6                                 party surprised
 3 to 6                                       1 or 2                                 monster surprised
   1                                              2                                     party surprised
   2                                              1                                     monster surprised

Page 71:  Example of Melee.

Replace the 4th and 5th paragraphs with the following:

Party A immediately recognizes party B as a group of "evil marauders" they were warned against and moves to attack. First, Arlanni the thief, who had her sling ready (as the player had stated previous to the encounter), fires a shot at Blastum, who is obviously a magic‑user. A sling bullet gains +3 "to hit" vs. no armor. Arlanni would usually need on 11 to hit, but now needs only an 8. She rolls a 5, and misses.

Aggro the fighter rushes forward to attack the nearest opponent, who happens to be Balto, the monk. Balto is wearing no armor, so Aggro needs a base 8 to hit Balto. However, Aggro is using a + 1 hand axe, and furthermore an axe is + 1 to hit vs. no armor, so Aggro's adjusted amount needed to hit is only 6 (or, alternately, the cumulative +2 could be added to whatever he rolls to improve his chances of rolling an 8 or better). Aggro rolls a 14 and hits Balto, but only 1 point of damage is rolled, plus a 1 point bonus from the magic axe (2 points total), and Balto can take 4.

The second sentence in the 8th paragraph should read:

Balto attacks Aggro (who is in AC 2) with his staff.

The third sentence in the 11th paragraph should read:

Arkayn needs a base 17 to hit AC 1, but using a mace vs. AC type 3 gives him a + 1 armor class adjustment, so he really only needs a 16 or better. He rolls a 7 and misses.

Page 73:  Opponent With Weapons Used Normally.

Replace this paragraph with the following:

Opponents With Weapons Used Normally: If the opponent of a grappling, pummeling or overbearing attack has a weapon, the opponent will always strike first unless the attacker has surprise. Any weapon hit does NO damage, but it does indicate that the attacker trying to grapple, pummel or overbear has been fended or driven off, and the attack is unsuccessful. The weapon‑wielder then has the opportunity to strike at the weaponless one "for real", if he or she so chooses. Surprised opponents with weapons have no chance for a fending‑off strike, unless the attacker must use all surprise segments to close to grapple, pummel, or overbear.


The Note below the table should read:

*Note:   Half‑elves use the attack matrix as elves do, while non‑player character half‑orcs use the attack matrix for monsters. Dwarves, elves and gnomes are never lower than 1st level (unlike halflings and humans, which may be of 0 level). Bards fight at their highest level of fighter experience.

Page 116:  Poison.

This paragraph should read:

Poison: Only assassins of 9th or higher level may concoct "potions" of poison -‑ or any other sort of poison, for that matter. Refer to the section on assassins for details of special forms of poison. No laboratory or alchemist is needed, but cost and time are found as if a normal potion was being prepared.

Page 117:  Manufacture of Scrolls.

The table in the 5th paragraph should read, in part:

vellum, per sheet                  8 g.p. and up               ‑5% chance of failure

Page 118:  Fabrication Of Other Magic Items.

Insert the following section just before the section entitled Fabrication Of Magic Items By Charmed Or Enslaved Magic‑Users:

Fabrication Of Magic Items By Illusionists:

Though different spells are employed, the process of fabrication of magic items which illusionists use is not really very different from that used by magic‑users. It is almost exactly similar as regards costs in both time and money. Some processes are also nearly identical, such as the making of scrolls, which may be done at the 7th level and up.

At the 11th level illusionists may be able to create one‑shot or charged magic items, things without a permanent dweomer, such as potions or a wand of illusion, for example. Such items are really merely storehouses of magical energy which can be released in various ways. Like any other spell‑caster, the illusionist must fashion the item out of rare and expensive materials, but instead of using enchant an item to prepare the item to re­ceive its enchantment, the illusionist uses major creation to subtly alter its structure in a magical direction so that it can receive and retain the necessary spells. During the next 16 hours after casting the major creation, the illusionist instills the primary initial dweomers into the item, and if his concentration is interrupted even once during this period, the item instantly fades and forever disappears, like an illusion that has been dispelled.

Beginning at 14th level an illusionist may attempt to make items with a truly permanent dweomer, such as a + 1 dagger or a ring of protection, for example. This entails a similar process to the one described above. The crucial difference is that after a major creation spell has been used to adjust the material object, an alter reality must be cast to fix it permanently in place and make it able to contain a permanent magic. Thus, with a great expense in time, money and preparation, major creation, alter reality and true sight spells, and an unflawed gem worth not less than 10,000 g.p., an illusionist might be able to create a gem of seeing.

The basic thing to remember if details are in question is that illusionists are a sub‑class of magic‑users, and except for what has been outlined above, what applies to magic‑users applies to illusionists as well.

Page 119:   Deleted potions artwork.

Page 123:  TABLE (III.E.) 2.

This table should read, in part:

86‑91    Dust of Disappearance                         2,000            8,000
92         Dust of Sneezing and Choking               ---               1,000

Page 125:  POTIONS (III.A.)

The second paragraph should read:

Unless otherwise stated, the effects of a potion will last for 4 complete turns plus 1‑4 additional turns (d4). If half of a potion is quaffed, the effects will last one‑half as long in some cases. Potions take effect 2‑5 segments after they are imbibed.

Page 134:  Staff of Striking.

Replace this paragraph with the following:

Staff of Striking: This oaken staff is the equivalent of a +3 magic weapon. (if weapon vs. armor type adjustment is made, the staff of striking is always treated as the most favorable weapon type vs. any armor.) It causes 4‑9 (d6+3) points of damage when a hit is scored. This expends a charge. If 2 charges are expended, bonus damage is doubled (d6+6); if 3 charges ore expended, bonus damage is tripled (d6+9). No more than 3 charges can be expended per strike. The staff can be recharged.

Page 145:  Girdle of Giant Strength.

The Rock Hurling table should read as follows:

                  Weight                                       Base               Rock            Bend Bars/
Type       Allowance            Range            Damage             Wt**             Lift Gates

Hill             +4,500                  8"                   1-6                    140                   50%
Stone         +5,000                 16"                  1-12                  198                   60%
Frost          +6,000                 10"                  1-8                    156                   70%
Fire            +7,500                 12"                  1-8                    170                   80%
Cloud         +9,000                 14"                  1-10                   184                  90%
Storm        +12,000                16"                  1-12                   212                 100%

Page 149:  Jewel of Flawlessness.

This paragraph should read as follows:

Jewel of Flawlessness: This magical gem appears to be a very fine stone of some sort, but if magic is detected for, its dweomer will be noted. When a jewel of flawlessness is placed with other gems, it increases the likeli­hood of their being more valuable by 100%, i.e., the chance for each stone going up in value increases from I in 10 to 2 in 10. The jewel has from 10‑100 facets, and whenever a gem increases in value because of the magic of the jewel of flawlessness (a roll of 2 on d10), 1 of these facets disappears. When all are gone, the jewel is a spherical stone of no value.

Page 167:  Table 3.: Sword Primary Abilities.

This table should read:

Table 3.: Sword Primary Abilities

Roll      Ability

01‑11   detect "elevator"/shifting rooms/walls in a 1" radius
12‑22   detect sloping passages in a 1" radius
23‑33   detect traps of large size in a 1" radius
34‑44   detect evil/good in a 1" radius
45‑55   detect precious metals, kind, and amount in a 2" radius
56‑66   detect gems, kind, and number in a 1/2" radius
67‑77   detect magic in a 1" radius
78‑82   detect secret doors in a 1/2" radius
83‑87   detect invisible objects in a 1" radius
88‑92   locate object in a 12" radius
93‑98   roll twice on this table ignoring scores of 93 to 00
99‑00   roll on the Extraordinary Power Table instead

Page 169:  Mace of Disruption.

Replace this paragraph with the following:

Mace of Disruption appears to be a +1 mace, but it has a neutral good alignment, and any evil character touching it will take 5‑20 points of damage due to the powerful enchantments laid upon the weapon. If a mace of disruption strikes any undead creature or evil creature from one of the lower planes it functions similarly to a cleric turning undead (see ATTACK MATRICES). The mace causes such creatures to roll on matrix Ill., MATRIX FOR CLERICS AFFECTING UNDEAD, as if the wielder were 12th level, and if the creature struck scores equal to or below the number shown, it is disrupted and slain. Thus, skeletons, zombies, ghouls, shadows, and wights ore instantly blasted out of existence, as are ghosts and even wraiths; and mummies have only a 20% chance, spectres 35%, vampires 50%, ghosts 65%, liches 80%, and other affected evil creatures 95% chance of saving. Even if these saving throws are effective, the mace of disruption scores double damage upon opponents of this sort, i.e., 2 X bonus and 2 X dice.


Replace the last paragraph with the following:

Greater monsters on higher levels will have their numbers reduced by 1 for each level of the dungeon above their assigned level, subject to a minimum number of 1. Example: 1‑3 shadows are normally encountered on the 4th level of the dungeon; as shadows are fourth level monsters, a maximum of 2 can be encountered on the 3rd dungeon level, and but 1 on the 2nd level. (Fourth level monsters cannot be encountered on the 1st level of the dungeon.) Hydras, for instance, will have fewer heads, while creatures with attendants will have fewer or none at all on the lesser‑numbered levels.

Pages 177-179:   Banding added to Random Monster charts.

Pages 184-185:  Temperature And Sub‑Tropical Conditions, Uninhabited/Wilderness Areas.

Plain should read, in part:

Bull/Cattle, wild                                06-09

Scrub should read, in part:

Humanoid*                                       26‑32
Jackal**                                           33‑34
Ki‑rin/Lammasu/Shedu                        35
Leprechaun/Brownie                            -‑
Leucrotta                                            -‑
Lion                                                 36‑40

Mountains should read, in part:

Troll                                                 73‑78

Page 212:  stirge.

Special Attacks should read:

attack as 4 hit dice monster, drain blood (1‑4)


This table should read, in part:

  Hit Dice

      1                     66‑00                  Rat, giant                1/2


Add the following table after the first Monster Summoning VI:

Monster Summoning VII

Dice Score        Monster Summoned

  01‑03               Chimera (couatl)
  04‑06               Demon, succubus
  07‑09               Demon, type I
  10‑12               Demon, type II
  13‑15               Demon, type III
  16‑18               Devil, barbed
  19‑21               Devil, bone
  22‑23               Devil, horned
  24‑26               Ettin
  27‑29               Giant, fire
  30‑32               Giant, frost
  33‑35               Giant, hill
  36‑38               Giant, stone
  39‑41               Gorgon
  42‑43               Groaning spirit
  44‑46               Hydra, 10 heads
  47‑49               Hydra, pyro‑, 8 heads
  50‑52               Intellect devourer
  53‑55               Invisible stalker
  56‑58               Lamia
  59‑61               Lizard, fire
  62‑64               Mind flayer
  65‑67               Mummy
  68‑70               Naga, spirit
  71‑73               Neo‑otyugh
  74‑76               Night hag
  77‑79               Roper (shedu)
  80‑82               Shambling mound
  83‑85               Slug, giant
  86‑88               Spectre
  89‑91               Sphinx, hieraco‑ (andro‑)
  92‑94               Umber hulk
  95‑97               Will‑o‑wisp
  98‑00               Xorn

Replace the second Monster Summoning VI table with the following:

Monster Summoning VI

Dice Score             Monster Summoned

              Fresh or Salt
      01‑33                Octopus, giant
      34‑00                Snake, sea, giant

Add the following table after the second Monster Summoning VI:

Monster Summoning VII

Dice Score              Monster Summoned

      01‑20                 Morkoth
      21‑00                 Naga, water

01‑15                 Morkoth
      16‑70                 Ray, manta
      71‑00                 Squid, giant


Item                                  Encumbrance in gold pieces

Backpack                                    20
Belt                                              3
Belt pouch, large                          10
                 small                           5
Book, large metal‑bound              200
Boots, hard                                  60
          soft                                   30
Bottles, flagons                            60
Bow, composite long                    80
        composite short                   50
        long                                   100
        short                                   50
Caltrop                                        50
Candle                                          5
Chest, large solid iron               1000-5000
          small solid iron                 200-500 
          small wooden                   100-250
          large wooden                    500-1500
Clothes (1 set)                             30
Cord, 10'                                       2
Crossbow, heavy                          80
                light                             50
Crystal ball, base and wrapping    150
Flask, empty                                 7
          full                                     20  
Gem                                           1-5
Grapnel                                       100
Hand tool                                      10
Helm                                            45
Helm, great                                  100
Holy water, potion bottles               25
Horn                                             50
Jewelry, large                                50
             small                              1-5
Lantern                                         60
Mirror                                             5
Musical instrument*                      350
Pole, 10'                                      100
Purse                                              1
Quiver                                           30
Rations, iron                                  75
             standard                          200
Robe or cloak, folded                      50
                      worn                        25
Rod                                               60
Rope, 50'                                       75
Sack, large                                    20
         small                                     5
Saddle, light horse                        250  
            heavy horse                      500
Saddlebag                                    150
Saddle blanket (pad)                       20
Scroll case, bone or ivory                50
                  leather                         25
Spike                                            10
Staff                                             100
Tapestry (very small to huge)       50-1000+
Tinderbox                                        2
Torch                                             25
Wand, bone or ivory case                60
          box                                      80
          leather case                         30
Waterskin or wineskin, empty           5
                                  full               50

* Musical instruments include only large and bulky instruments such as lutes and drums.

The maximum weight a normal‑strength person can carry and still move is 1500 g.p. (150#).

Certain items are not included when figuring encumbrance. These include:

      material components (unless large and bulky).
      any helm but great helm, if the character has any armor.
      one set of clothing.
      thieves' picks and tools.

Many other things will be bought or found, but it is impossible to list them all here. The encumbrance of most items not on this list may be inferred by comparison with objects similar to them; thus a decanter of endless water will encumber as much as a bottle or flagon. In some cases no equivalent may be found on the table; such instances require the judge to decide.

Many people looking at the table will say, "But a scroll doesn't weigh two pounds!" The encumbrance figure should not be taken as the weight of the object ‑ it is the combined weight and relative bulkiness of the item. These factors together will determine how much a figure can carry.

As an example, Dimwall the magic‑user and Drudge the fighter have prepared for a dungeon expedition. Dimwall, besides his normal clothing, has strapped on a belt with a large pouch on it. Into this and his robe, he tucks his material components (minimal encumbrance). He also places in his pouch a potion bottle, a mirror, some garlic and belladonna, and his tinderbox. At his right side hangs a dagger and sheath and four more daggers are on a bandolier slung across his chest. Over all these belts, he puts his backpack. In his pack goes a hand axe (for chopping, not fighting), 3 flasks of oil, a candle, 3 small sacks, 1 large sock, and 7 torches. Lashed in a bundle to the pack is 50' of rope. At his left side, hanging from his belt, are a leather scroll case and his purse, filled with 20 gold pieces. He holds a staff in his right hand and a torch in his left. He is now ready to travel, with a total encumbrance of 689 g.p.

Meanwhile, his companion, Drudge, has strapped on his splint armor. He wears 2 belts around his waist; his longsword hangs from one. On the other belt he places his quiver with 40 bolts, a cocking hook, and a dagger. He slips on his backpack, already loaded with 10 spikes, one week's iron rations, and a flask of oil. To the bottom of the pack he has strapped 50' of rope. Hanging on the rear of the pack is his heavy crossbow. Around his neck he wears a holy symbol. Finally, he straps his large shield on his left arm, fits his helmet, and takes his lantern, ready to go with a total encumbrance of 1117 g.p.

During their adventures, Dimwall and Drudge find 800 gold pieces in a troll's treasure horde. Dimwall can carry 400 gold pieces in his large sack and another 300 gold pieces in his small sacks. Dimwall leaves his torches and staff, since he must have his hands free. Then he fastens a small sack to his belt and, using two hands, carries the large sack over his shoulder. Drudge eats part of his iron rations and throws the rest away, along with his spikes and oil. He places the remaining bags in the bottom of his pack and then pours the loose coins on top of them. Encumbrance for Dimwall is now 889 gold pieces and 1222 gold pieces for Drudge.

As they leave, Dimwall and Drudge meet the troll. There is little time to react, so Drudge must quickly drop his lantern (possibly putting it out) and attack. As he does this, Dimwall must drop the large sock (probably scattering coins about), unsling his pack, and start digging for his oil. By the time he finds it, the troll may have killed them both!

Appendix P added ("Creating a Party on the Spur of the Moment").

Added a catalog page and four quick-reference pages to the end.

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