A good Dungeon Master screen is a DM's best friend. Not only does a screen hide valuable information from players (that could otherwise ruin a carefully planned gaming session), it also serves as a resource for useful information while showcasing artwork to help set the mood of an adventure.
Screen Or No Screen?
Not every DM uses a Dungeon Master screen. Some believe that all dice rolls, etc. should be made in the open. That's perfectly fine, but as a player and DM I feel that a screen adds to the sense of wonder and mystery of a game. Dice rolls notwithstanding, I typically keep notes and maps that I don't want my players to be privy to. A DM has to keep secrets, and a Dungeon Master screen helps in this endeavor.
The Best Dungeon Master Screen
I've used many DM screens throughout the years, but my absolute favorite is the Master's Tome -- a completely customizable 4-panel screen. I like this Dungeon Master screen so much, that we started selling it here on Dark Elf Dice.
We carry the screen in three colors: black, brown, and red (I personally have a red one). Beside the color, there is no difference between the screens. Each has 8 pockets that fit a regular sized piece of paper. I keep my notes, maps, and reference materials on the side that faces me, and I put artwork, notes, and other useful information on the outside for my players (the Master's Tome comes with 4 art and 4 game mechanic inserts if you want to use them).
As an added bonus, the screen's customizable pockets are waterproof and notes can be taken with a dry erase marker (I find this useful when I'm keeping track of a monster's hit points).
If all this isn't cool enough, what I think is brilliant is that the screen can be changed completely between campaigns or even entire games (I use the same screen for D&D and Pathfinder -- just switch out the papers and I'm all set).
So what do you think about DM screens? Do you use one in your campaign? If so, what have you found to be the best Dungeon Master screen? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Until next time, fellow travelers! Keep rolling crits and live your best life ever.