There are two key rules to organising and running a good tabletop roleplay game. Firstly, keep all commonly used information close at hand. Secondly, keep your plans hidden away until they're needed. This double-pack of screens does both. The first screen is for use with Dungeons and Dragons, and is based on the 3.5 edition of the rules. The screen is a four-part fold out, making it shorter and wider than normal. You get more space to hide things away, and can peer over the top easily to watch the game itself. The real usefullness of the screen is with the charts on the Dungeon Master's side. Almost every stat and skill is referenced here, reducing the amount of time spent on looking up facts and rules. Included in this edition are page references for the Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's Guide, allowing you to find information in more detail easily. Finally, the combat information included will ensure that your game runs smoothly whatever the players (or you) try to do. The second screen is for use with the D20 Modern game system. This screen is the same shape as the Dungeons and Dragons one, and includes similar information on the DM's side. Page number references for each chart and table have also been included. The Thrown Explosives and Burst Radius charts will be incredibly useful in a game when anything can (and usually does) happen. If you're just starting out with your own Dungeons and Dragons or D20 Modern campaign, this pack of screens is highly recommended as a quick reference guide. If you're an experienced DM, this set will complement your existing collection of D&D 3.5 or D20 Modern books well.
I was previously borrowing another players copy of the original DM screen but picked this up when I saw the revised info. They've done a good job of putting in things you might want at the table too often to look up easily. Skill difficulty by level is great for winging skill checks, and there's a great table of conditions which is handy.
For example, when I dropped my players from a few hundred feet ont a rural villiage, the warlock wanted to know if teleports obeyed newtons first law. That last sentence possibly made me the nerdiest guy on the planet but PRESSING ON, I decided that when your teleporting with magic Mr Newton has definately left the building, but it would take a little extra magical shenanigans to override the laws of physics; one "Hard" DC arcana check later and the warlock had made an impressive entance believing I had prepared a skill challenge for the whole thing. Then he was kidnapped by Asmodeus but that's another story.
Anyway back to the topic at hand, I'd recommend getting this for any newish DM out there, or any expert who doesn't like to look things up if they can make them up. My friendly local gaming store (in the UK) has had problms getting hold of these from their supplier too so Amazon seems like a good place to get it.
The updated DM screen contains corrected DC charts for skills and challenges as well as providing a concise summary of the important finicky rules which if you had to look up each time would slow the game down. The artwork is nice and the product is thick and durable. It does it's job - like it says on the tin it's a screen with some DM charts. However it is not expensive and after the core books and possibly a module/campaign setting any budding 4E dm should get this.
A bunch of us decided to pick up our old D&D games while bringing in a few new players. So I set about digging out our old stuff and looking for additional volumes on Amazon and eBay to bulk our kit back up.
I ended up coming across 2 possibilities for the screen. My Dad had always wanted a proper one and back in the day had built his own as he needed them, but I wanted to really go all out. For this Youtube was invaluable. The 2 main screens you can get today are both from 4th Edition, one bought by itself and one included with the Dungeon Masters kit. There were more than a few video reviews showing the two; the 'included-in-kit' one has far darker artwork displaying a scene of Drow ('Dark Elves' for beginners) in an Underdark-type setting.
Personally, I was leaning toward this one at first as a darker artwork, I felt, might aid the atmosphere a little better with the limited lighting we deliberately use around the gaming table. But the actual board itself is far less well constructed and more plastic-y which can make it hard to position correctly without putting questionable pressure on the creases that separate the four panels of the screen. This, combined with the material used, was worrying as you would shorten the life of the product - which is already shorter than its counterpart.
The 'bought separately' screen (the one you're looking at) was ultimately my choice as it is far better made - the creases carefully cut to allow movement without sacrificing lifespan - is thicker, and a great, great deal more robust. The image on the outside (despite the artwork displayed above) is the same as what you can find reviewed on Youtube; a snowy enviroment during a fantastic-looking fantasy battle between monsters and a group of adventurers. Though not as dark as the other, it simply made more sense to buy this one and, when the lights are down, doesn't mess with the atmosphere the way I had worried it would - in fact it looked great.
Both screens contain the same information too.
We've always preferred the 1st and 2nd Edition stuff for the imaginative focus, what with the mess that was 3rd and the board game-esque setup that can accompany 4th, but that's Hasbro for you. Still, the stats on the inside are mostly universal and the few that are more 4th Edition specific (one or two small tables amidst around a dozen others) can easily be ignored if you don't use them - or used as space to tape self-made info boxes onto as the surface is nicely laminated - and, if 4th edition is your thing, it will work perfectly.
All in all, the product turned out much better than I could have hoped. A few of the newbies to our group are alumni of 3rd Edition, 4th and even Pathfinder which is awesome, and they're all rather impressed with how useful the board is (though a little less so for Pathfinder, obviously), I guess most of them were just using the manuals for cover before now, lol.
If you're looking for a screen, I wholeheartedly recommend this one, and if you're starting out and planning to buy the DM kit, I still advise you to pick this screen up as well. It's not that expensive (I'm certainly not rolling in the money) and you'll find, with one weighed against the other, that you'll prefer using this one to the other every time.
It was also nice to see my Dad's eyes light up when he saw it. He went on about it for days, bringing it up every now and again, which made me smile.
This screen is just as functional as the previous version and the one in the DMKit. Four landscape pieces of card with numbers on one side and a piccy on the other. Keeps the players from seeing what I'm doing and hides a multitude of cheating from them...
Whether the charts are of any use to you or not is the selling point, I 'spose.
In ye olde-days I used to just Close My Book and then Open It Again when I needed; but these days its useful, or even necessary, to have the two-page spread of an encounter open in front of you. Sellotaping boxes together is so old-hat.
Well, it *is* useful for more than player/adventure obfuscation. I find that I use the "combat status" section often during play. This screen has a couple of extras over the original 4E screen. The other section I find I use is the "Skill DCs by Level", which is the fully expanded version from Essentials onwards, so slightly easier on the PCs than the original edition.
Not really worth it if you already have a 4e screen. Definitely worth it if you don't.
I could justify it 'cos I'm starting to DM a second group soon and reducing the movement of books etc from one venue to another is high on my priority list...
I've had this for I dunno, about a year now. Physically, it's high production quality. Visually, the art is quite striking and interesting. Functionally, it does the job of obscuring the DM's area and has tables of pretty much everything a DM would need to reference on a regular basis (such as recommended skill check DCs by level). The only drawback is that the tables are for 4th edition, which I've grown disillusioned with. There's a 5th edition version of this coming in early 2015; if you're not in a rush and you're not committed to playing 4th edition, then you might wanna consider waiting for that one. If you're intent on playing 4e, however, this is a high-quality product and does everything you could reasonably want it to.
I own the 4e screen that they released first and also the one that came in the essencials DM's set, recentley I purchaced this one too. This one is by far the best.It has the updated info on the inside, some nice stuff on that was missing from the first screen and also has much cooler heroic artwork on the out side.
If you own the old screen this one is still worth purchasing as its pretty cheep cost wise looks great, is made of quality material(unlike the essensials DM box screen) and lets be honnest the more screens you have the more space you have to hide stuff from the party:)
I purchased this for two reasons. Firstly to conceal my notes and dice roles from my players, and secondly to have all the info on the screen close at hand.Quality wise the screen seems very durable and well produced.I wont go into detail on the stats etc printed on the screen as if you are going to buy one you pretty much know whats on it, but suffice it to say the info should be up to date.Got this screen for around £6 so cheap as chips.Pretty much essential if you are or want to be a DM.
Well its been a long, long time since I played or DM'd a D&D game , 2nd ed in the early 80's so I though hey new edition kids expressed an interest so thought this screen would be useful.
The game is a brand new game so yes as a quick reference guide this is a very usefull tool and good for hiding those dice rolls. The screen also is very nicely ilustrated(I'm a succor for pictures and maps) an essential? proberly not, useful definatley.