On Google Plus, Paolo asked if the 5E DMG is worth buying.
I can only speak for myself, but (paging through it again right now) this is what I got out of it.
- Campaign events section is good (can’t think right now if I have seen anything better anywhere else along these lines).
- Cosmology is okay (but about the same as every other D&D cosmology summary). The 4E DMG might actually be the strongest in this area.
- Adventure generator is okay (but Matt’s Tome of Adventure Design is better).
- NPC generator is okay (but Courtney’s On the NPC is better).
- Villain generator is good.
- 10 pages of alternative rules is good.
- The monster creation guidelines is a wasted opportunity for a generator.
- Random dungeon generator looks approximately equivalent to the one in the AD&D DMG (which you can download for free from WotC’s web site). I haven’t used the 5E one yet.
- Placing all the writing, story, and plot oriented books in the inspirational reading was a strange choice. For me, such are irrelevant to tabletop roleplaying. Get a copy of Apocalypse World and read the principles there (play to find out what happens, etc).
- The actual directions regarding what a referee does in prep and in play seem somewhat muddled and poorly organized.
The wizards cabinet picture on page 215 is maybe one of my favorite RPG book illustrations and manages to both have super slick production values and be amazingly atmospheric. I wish the whole book looked this way. Page 262 is notably good also and feels a bit like a slightly more polished relative of Poag’s stuff. There are a few other good illustrations, but in general I find the art disappointing.
I consider the emphasis on rulings to be a good thing for a new referee, but if you are already somewhat experienced that does not matter so much.
I think it’s probably worth buying for the historical value alone, to see where the mainstream game is going and has gone. Also if you are playing anything approaching official 5E (which I am still interested in trying), especially for things like the magic items.
Oh, also the binding is glued rather than stitched, which is unacceptable for a book with a $50 sticker price, especially one that might be used heavily. This is what happens to books with glued bindings (image credit to Gloomtrain‘s Majordomo, Mateo). WotC, if you are reading, I would replace my current set of 5E core books with premium editions were they to have real bindings.