The Gamemaster Handbook was published in final format as "Release 5.1". This was provided as sixteen ZIP archives of WordPerfect format files. This same edition of the book was released in RTF and PostScript formats as well as in ASCII text format. Numerous prior editions of the book exist in various formats. A later single ZIP archive gathered all WordPerfect files and two GIF files (intended for full-page printing) of the cover and frontispiece into a single download.
The Gamemaster Handbook was intended to provide a generic, universal framework for gaming in nearly any genre but retains much of the fantasy genre with which it originally was designed.
The handbook includes a section on converting other gaming system characters and statistics into The Guide to Adventure format. It also includes methods for managing campaigns and how to use Cards to randomize events. A variety of special types of damage is considered. Materials also include a Bestiary, an herbal guide, magical equipment, and a notes and rules on siege warfare. The bulk of the manual, however, details the complex combat round and how it proceeds.