I can’t remember if I ever read the DMG all the way through when I first got it as a kid. Logic would say that I would have. It had to be an exciting thing, getting this tome. I just don’t remember it. I certainly never made a study of it. I’d say more than half my handwaved houserules came out of my not wanting to look shit up (the rest because, well, I thought a lot of stuff about the rules sucked). So I never came anywhere near to mastering the “official” rules of AD&D 1st ed.
Well, I have kind of decided to make a cover to cover reading of it. For one thing, I want to weed out some of my more arbitrary houserulings (many of which are just in my head and fuzzy sometimes) and get back to being a wee bit more by the book. This is something I should maybe have done when I started the group 4 years ago. In contrast to the many noobs I introduced to the game back in the 90’s (in the 80’s most of my players wanted to be experts), these guys were fairly seasoned players, and in at least one case knew the DMG much better than I did. So I had to sometimes fight tooth and nail with players over some of my “lazy” changes. So for sure to not have to go through that struggle again, and some other reasons, I am going to get more familiar with things in the tome. So I thought a cover to cover read would help. Even if I'm not as excited about it as when I was a kid, and its more like work.
After around a week I am not all that far into it. 30 pages or so. But in that short amount of time I remembered how disorganized the book is. One page I’m reading about spells, the next henchmen and homestead upkeep, and back again. Maybe this will, at the very least, make me more educated on what all is in this book I’ve had several copies of for well over 30 years. More thoughts to come.
And a happy Christmas to you!