RPGaDay – Day 14: Favourite RPG Accessory
Short Answer: GM Screens.
Long Answer: It might sound like a cop-out answer, but I really do appreciate good GM Screens. Not for their ability to hide secret notes – terrible handwriting already takes care of that – but for the charts, rules summaries, and handy reminders printed on them.
Nobody likes thumbing through a rulebook mid-game to confirm a rule or special ability. Having the most common, or useful, rules sitting in front of me speeds things up considerably. Plus, most screens feature great artwork on the player side, which can help players get a feel for a setting and into the right sort of mood.
Not all GM screens are equal. Most have the panels attached by their long edges (portrait style). This makes each panel feel like a normal page, but does have the problem of making the rather high. This doesn’t worry most people, but if you’re especially short or sitting oddly at your table, you might have issues seeing your players.
More recently, there has been a move to landscape style panels, connected on the short edges. This has minimal effect on how it displays the screen content, but takes up a lot less vertical space between the GM and the players. If you’re not trying to hide your game notes and dice rolls, this is a great option.
If you want to get really fancy, you can even get a GM screen with a dice tower built into it. Is it necessary? No? Does it look damn impressive? Absolutely.