Today’s Daily D4 was suggested by Jade and the it struck me as odd that we haven’t talked about the topic already.
If you look at a picture of an ongoing RPG or walk in and spot one going on at a table in a friendly local gaming store you’ll probably see one of the participants hidden behind a barrier known as a GM screen. Some of them are even made to work with specific games in some cases providing quick reference charts that can be used to ease the pressure for immediate rulings on the GM. There are a few schools of thought on whether or not using a GM screen is beneficial to your campaign. Some GMs find them to be cumbersome and think that the barrier between them and the players is detrimental to the game, others find them to be a helpful tool and use the free space to keep their notes, minis, and dice out of sight. Personally I can see both side of the argument. Whenever I’m running a game with new players, or one where I’m planning to use a lot of minis I like using my screen for two reasons. It has a nice visual impact that draws the eye and it allows me to keep my plans secret if I have a specific mini that I want to spring on the party.