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What would you want your DM screen to have?


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Razilin

First Post
1) Gatorade/coffee cup holder
2) Pinup for the latest issue of Maxim (so I have something to look at when my players are being stupid and getting nothing accomplished)
3) My Biochemistry notes (so I have something to read when my players are being stupid)

Seriously, though:

Loot generator tables, tables for minor dungeon room details, a shorthand reference list of common Monster Manual creatures (AC, hit points, and primary attack/special ability--oh, and the page number the monster's in!), a generator specifically for coming up with loot in a dragon's hoard, and a list of spell effects/duration/saving throw types.
 

Lord Zardoz

Explorer
- Spot / Listen check modifiers for distance, lighting, and weather.
- Same modifiers for Hide / Move Silently
- Item Hardness , Item HP, and Break DC's for common items / Materials;
- Common situational modifiers to attack rolls and movement (ie: thick mud / water = 2/1 move)
- Ranges for typical missile weapons
- Rules for catching on fire
- Condition summary (ie: Entangled vs Stunned)

END COMMUNICATION
 

Vegepygmy

First Post
Actually, I don't care a whit if there are tables or rules on my screen or not. I never use a screen as a reference, anyway. What I do want is a high-quality screen that won't fall over, won't wear out in less than two decades, and unfolds to at least 4-5 feet. I've been giving some serious thought lately to making my own out of sturdy wood and some nice metal hinges.

Just put some cool artwork on it and be done, I say.
 

Imagicka

Explorer
Greetings...

One of the things that's been on my to-do list for a long long time has been to make a comprehensive DM-Screen Reference. I made one long ago for when I was running Ars Magica on a regular basis. But I don't have those files anymore after a HD crash... along with lots and lots of other goodies.

The first thing that I've been doing, when I haven't been working on the 50 other things I want to get done... is making a list of all the things that other DM screens have.

But while working on it I realized something... everyone wants different things on their screens. Some people have 4-page screens, some people have 6, or 8...

So, I thought of making mix-n-match sort of DM Screen. Something where you can pick the tables you want, and build your own screen. Then when you realize your not using particular tables that much, you can throw them away, or move them to another sheet that you don't use so often.

Such as... my DM screen I have four page-sized screens. But I also have pockets on my screens. (This being a DM-screen I built myself.) So the pockets have slips of paper, extra pencils, markers for the maps, and a pocket for extra dice (though I never need it, being the dice freak I am...)

So... I have four sheets attached to the top of the screen, printed on both sides, upside down from each other. This way I can flip the page up and see what's printed on the backside. Thus giving me access to the pockets, as well as effectively 8 pages of quick information.

The pages I like to keep handy are the following. Though, I like to keep the party sheet, NPC sheet, and monster scratch sheets on a clipboard along with a pad of paper to take notes during the game.

  • Party Sheet - A list of the party members stats, and skills that I tend to roll for them, along with languages known, knowledge skills, ACs, Weapon Stats, Adjusted BABs & Saving Throws
  • NPC Sheet - I usually keep a NPC sheet right next to my Party Sheet. The NPCs they commonly deal with on a regular basis, in case I need their info.
  • Monster Scratch Sheet - This I usually keep on a separate clipboard for when I'm doing combat. I've been known to stand up and walk around when combat is going on. So I have the monsters on a sheet for keeping track of them. and a laser pointer to have the players move the mobs around the battle map.

But here is a list of the tables I'm keeping track of on my DM Screen sheets:
  • Armour Class Modifers - Cover, Conditions
  • Donning Armour
  • Attack Roll Modifers
  • DC to Break or Burst Items
  • Object Hardness & Hit Points
  • Example Opposed Checks
  • Balance DC
  • Bluff DC
  • Climb DC
  • Concentration DC
  • Diplomacy DC
  • Disable Device DC
  • Disguise DC
  • Escape Artist
  • Handle Animal DC
  • Heal DC
  • Jump DC
  • Listen/Spot DC - Again, I combine these two into one skill.
  • Move Silently/Hide DC - I combine these two skills into one.
  • Open Lock DC
  • Ride DC
  • Search DC
  • Sense Motive DC
  • Slight of Hand DC
  • Spellcraft DC
  • Survival DC
  • Swim DC
  • Tumble DC
  • Use Magic Device - Personally, I don't use it in my own game, but I also run games at Gaming Cons, so I have to have it.
  • Use Rope DC
  • Turn Undead
  • Movement & Distance
  • Armour & Sheilds
  • Weapons
  • Weapon Size & Damage
  • Poisons & Diseases
  • Potions & Oils
  • Adventuring Gear
  • Clothing
  • Food, Drink & Lodging
  • Tools & Skill Kits
  • Transport
  • Mounts/Gear
  • Spellcasting/Services
  • Special Substances & Items
  • Influencing NPC Attitude
  • Spot/Listen Encountering Distance Table

    On a different set of sheets I have...
  • NPC Classes - BABs, Saves, HP, #/Feats, Skill Pts, (Adept's: Spells/Day) for the various NPC classes up to the first 10 levels.
  • NPC Gear
  • PC Wealth by Level
  • Monster Advancement Summary
  • Access to Spells
  • Experience & Level-Dependent Benefits
  • Experience Point Awards
  • Treasure
  • Treasure Values per Encounter
  • Treasure per 1000XP
  • Gems
  • Treasures Above 20th Level
  • Condition Summaries
  • Falling Objects
  • Walls
  • Doors
  • Overland Movement Rates - Pretty much the same as Movement & Distance Above
  • Bonus Types

    DM's Magic Reference Sheet
  • Metamagic Level Costs
  • Spell Saving Throw Equation
  • Spell Resistance Equation
  • Definations of AntiMagick, Counterspell, Dispel Magic
  • Detect Spells
  • Use Magic Device Checks
  • Concentration Checks
  • Spellcraft Checks
  • Scrolls & Wands Quick Info
  • Magic Schools & Subschools
  • Bardic Knowledge
  • MetaPsionic Level Costs
  • Psionic Combat Equation
  • Psion Power Points per Day
  • Autohypnosis Checks
  • Stabilize Self Check
  • Psion Displays & Alternates
  • Magic Item Creation Time & Costs
  • Psicrystal Special Abilities
  • Familiar Special Abilities
  • Magic Items - Weapons, Armor & Shields
  • Potions - Favourites
  • Rings/Wonderous Items - Favourites

    Player's Reference Sheet
  • List of Actions - Combat actions and blurbs about their rules
  • Attack Roll Modifiers - Conditions
  • Armour Class Modifiers - Conditions
  • Light Sources & Illumination
  • Healing

    Hmm... I just thought of something...
  • Movement Modifiers (I don't know if I have a table for this, like terrain and squeezing...)

As for Crothian's beer. They make a great dice rolling tower. You throw the dice in the top... and they roll out the bottom and collect in a little moat. I think we could design something that's a round stone tower that can be a combined dice-roller/beer holder. Just twist-turn-lift and there's your beer. Should be able to keep the beer nice and cool too!
 

Random Axe

Explorer
Holy cow, Imagicka, what a list!

But seriously folks. I thought of one more important thing I would want on my screen, while on my way to work this morning.

A table of a Ranger's Tracking DCs or results.
And a list of hp's restorable by Heal Light, Heal Moderate, Heal Serious, Heal Egregious, and Heal Chestsucking Wounds. :]
 

Firebeetle

Explorer
Imagicka said:
Greetings...

One of the things that's been on my to-do list for a long long time has been to make a comprehensive DM-Screen Reference. I made one long ago for when I was running Ars Magica on a regular basis. But I don't have those files anymore after a HD crash... along with lots and lots of other goodies.

The first thing that I've been doing, when I haven't been working on the 50 other things I want to get done... is making a list of all the things that other DM screens have.

But while working on it I realized something... everyone wants different things on their screens. Some people have 4-page screens, some people have 6, or 8...

So, I thought of making mix-n-match sort of DM Screen. Something where you can pick the tables you want, and build your own screen. Then when you realize your not using particular tables that much, you can throw them away, or move them to another sheet that you don't use so often.

(snip)

Funny you should say that.

I'm working on a DM Screen PDF project. It will have predone pages of different tables grouped by commonality and color coded as such. It will also have the tables as images you can cut and paste into a document and make your own tables. Copius advice will be given on making your own screens.

All of this is terrific help, especially your list Imagicka. If I use your suggestion I'll send you a copy.

If you are interested in my e-publishing ventures, I haven't named my company yet (see post coming soon), but plan on summer releases of products that will focus on game aids. My first three products will be initiative cards that are business card stock friendly, highly usable table tents, and 4x6 cards holding commonly referenced rules. Future products I'm developing include the DIY DM Screen, a customizable player sheet complete with rules reference, and monster sheets with the "new stat block" and description with boxes to mark hp loss, ability damage, conditions, etc.
 

Imagicka

Explorer
Firebeetle said:
Funny you should say that.

I'm working on a DM Screen PDF project. It will have predone pages of different tables grouped by commonality and color coded as such. It will also have the tables as images you can cut and paste into a document and make your own tables. Copius advice will be given on making your own screens.

All of this is terrific help, especially your list Imagicka. If I use your suggestion I'll send you a copy.

If you are interested in my e-publishing ventures, I haven't named my company yet (see post coming soon), but plan on summer releases of products that will focus on game aids. My first three products will be initiative cards that are business card stock friendly, highly usable table tents, and 4x6 cards holding commonly referenced rules. Future products I'm developing include the DIY DM Screen, a customizable player sheet complete with rules reference, and monster sheets with the "new stat block" and description with boxes to mark hp loss, ability damage, conditions, etc.
Well, if you need any help with it... I'll be happy to throw whatever I can your way.

Since I posted my message, I've been fiddling with the various screen setups I have and trying to encorporate all the information into one file. Right now, I'm working in MS Word and plan to switch it over to PDF later.

I think it's a little easier to build the tables in Word and then switch it all over to PDF. This way, if I miss anything, editing isn't going to be that much of a hassle. Where as in PDF it's very much a hassle. I had my character-party sheet a copy of some guy's work in PDF where each of the 8 characters had their own block, nicely colour-coded. So, when I wanted to resize everything... I didn't have the original design that this guy made it in.

I might remake the party-sheet in a black-&-white version in MS Word... but what I liked about PDF was the fact that I could create a Drop-Down box for the skills. This way, when I'm filling out the forms of all the player's information, I could select the relivant skills. After all, the Fighter isn't going to have Open Lock, Appraise and such... so those are skills that I don't need to worry about for that character.

What I would like to know is how I can transfer data from say... Excel to the Form-Fields in PDF. This way I could autopopulate information for each character sheet.
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
All the formulae (equations) for spell's DC and SR.

Skill Synergy and Opposed Skill Checks tables.

Turning and Grappling flowcharts.

Diplomacy and Bluff reaction tables.

Skill and related Ability chart.
 

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