Okay, I have a mountain of background material to write for my upcoming game, and two reviews to post on Spiderfan, so this is going to be brief. I received the new 4e Dungeon Master’s Screen in the post this morning, and I felt moved to say something about it.
There, glad I got that off my chest. You see, I normally buy the official GM’s screens because I’m a bit of a completest. I have the original 3.0 screen, the 3.5 version that came with Dragon Magazine, the 3.5 “deluxe” version as well as one for the Forgotten Realms and one for the Eberron settings. I’m used all the screens as a barrier to conceal my wild cheating, but I’ve seldom read the stuff that was written on them.
I feel that this screen will be something different. There’s some truly useful stuff plastered on the inside of this screen, notably a full list of all the conditions from PHB1 p277. That is really going to speed up play. Plus the Experience Point Rewards, and Damage by Level tables makes it much easier to come up with encounters on the fly without referring back to the PHB or the DMG. I whole-heartedly approve – but that’s not the reason I love this screen.
There’s a beautiful picture on the player’s side, a dark and moody dungeon filled with all manner of iconic nasties; and it’s given the widescreen treatment thanks to the landscape printing of the screen. But that’s not the reason I love this screen.
I love it because it’s thick. We’re talking thick-as-a-Scrabble-board thick. Every GM’s screen I’ve had up to now has just been a laminated piece of cardboard, this is more… so much more. I set this screen up on a table it’s not going to snap back to its original shape, folding itself neatly up, spilling my dice on the floor and revealing my notes to the players. That’s why it’s awesome. Well done Wizards of the Coast.
Right, I’m off to look at my new Dungeon Master’s Screen some more. Once I get a couple of projects out of the way, I’ll be adding a great deal more to this blog, so bear with me a little while longer. In the meantime, I’ve extended the list of 4e releases all the way out to August 2009.