Review: D&D’s new Dungeon Master Screen

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Thraxata the Flamefiend takes on five iconic heroes on one side. On the other side, helpful tables and charts are there to help you play D&D.

It’s the Dungeon Master Screen for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Released this week, the screen is a sturdy, four-panel item that I’d highly recommend for any DM running a 5th edition game, which came out last year.

It’s not unlike past DM screens: Thick cardboard panels that help conceal dice rolls, adventures and miniatures that also contains 17 helpful charts.

Charts include several to help come up with NPCs on the fly (characteristics, ideals, names, etc.), conditions (blinded, paralyzed, etc.) and rules covering travel, combat, skills and damage.

As I said, I highly recommend the new DM screen. I can barely remember all the conditions and rules in games I’ve played for years. Having a quick reference that tells me the appropriate number skill difficulty roles or exactly what it means when a player is “restrained” is incredibly helpful.

Two things I love:

The “Something Happens!” event table that can give you an unexpected or surprise occurrence you can come up with on the fly. Roll a d20 and maybe “a tremor shakes the ground” or “someone glimpses the future” or maybe even “someone has to go to the bathroom.”

The other is “Quick Finds.” Roll a d12 and consult the chart for items, treasure or weapons characters may find in a room of a dungeon.

It’s all stuff I’ll use a lot during my next D&D games.

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