The fourth edition Dungeon Master's Guide is the DM's guide I've wanted to read since I was a kid. Unlike previous editions, which were filled with all kinds of stat blocks and very little information on actually running a game, the 4E DMG could also be called The Art of Dungeon Mastering, because that's pretty much what it is.
I mention this because I just saw a new release from Wizards that is another one of those "Where have you been all my life?" releases:
Dungeon Delve has been released! Dungeon Delve is designed for groups looking for an exciting night of monster-slaying without the prep time. It contains dozens of self-contained easy-to-run mini-dungeons, or “delves,” each one crafted for a few hours of game-play.The book includes delves for 1st- to 30th-level characters, and features dozens of iconic monsters for the heroes to battle. Dungeon Masters can run these delves as one-shot adventures or weave them into their campaign.
We all love a nice long campaign that starts in The Dales, and five years later lands us all at Baldur's Gate before we head to the Outer Planes to battle the gods themselves, but sometimes you just want to grab your sword, head into the nearest hole in the ground, and whack as many Kobolds as you can, you know?
One of the great strengths of 4E, in my opinion, is that it lends itself perfectly to this type of instagaming, while it also supports the longer campaigns we all grew up loving to play. I really wish more of my fellow gamer geeks would understand this, instead of treating it as a failing or a reason to dismiss 4E without even playing it. I think it's awesome that Wizards has released a book that contains a ton of pre-built dungeons that can be run as one-shots and finished in an evening, because it means more people will get to play more often. As much as I love gaming, I've pretty much given up on ever being able to have a weekly D&D group again; I just don't have the time. Quick one-and-dones, as my friend calls them, are perfect for guys like me who love gaming and want to play, but can't commit to something on a regular basis.