I’m not a big one for GM screens. I like having one, but mainly just to obscure my notes and dice; having useful info on it is a “nice to have.” I had a custom one I made of black posterboard I used throughout Second Edition. I’ve been using a 3.5 one for my Pathfinder campaign. I don’t get screens for most game systems; I have a couple others, inevitably, as part of my 1000-item RPG collection but don’t seek them out.
But then today I saw the Pathfinder GM Screen in my local gaming store. “Eh…” I thought. “Is it worth spending money on a screen?” Then I picked it up and thought, “This is a fat package, does it have something else in it I want?” Then I realized the screen itself is super duper well made and the whole centimeter of thickness of the product was just the screen itself. It’s four panels, not of the usual cardstock, but of like hardcover textbook cover stock! It’s not going to fall over, need other items chocking it into place, or the like. I dropped the $15 without compunction. It’s the best made GM screen I’ve ever seen.
They also did a good job of choosing what to put on it; not the “super easy to remember” or “supposed to be used during chargen” stuff, but all the fiddly skill check DCs, attack/AC modifiers, conditions, and object hardness/hit points.
Only one slipup – they have XP awards and treasure values on the screen for some bizarre reason (for those “I’m generating a random dungeon as I go” moments I guess). Could have been used for hampered movement, light sources, combat feats summary, action types/AoOs, something. But despite that, it’s definitely a great buy, and that’s from someone who generally considers screens a rip-off, one step above selling a bundle of blank character sheets.
When I saw it was made of the same material as a Hardcover book, I made the decision to get one. …Though (-ahem-) I only paid $10 on Amazon…
But I really like mine and I’d have paid $15 for it.
Sounds like a good investment to me!
I haven’t played tabletop RPGs in about 20 years, so I’ve grown quite used to using collaborative websites to get my fix of RPGs through the play-by-post format.
I love GMing, but it’s the creative narrative aspects of being a GM that I’ve grown to love most. In fact, I would argue that most players know more about the rules than I do, so tabletop GMing wouldn’t work for me, simply because I would be so out of practice and might even suffer from stage fright.
Mind you, I bet a GM screen would help in having some of the mechanics right in front of you for immediate support. I’ll check Pathfinder’s GM screen out at one of my local gaming stores, but I’m guessing that I won’t buy it.