Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Screen, You Screen

One of the things I love about RPGs is all the paraphernalia. Of course the polyhedral dice, rattling across tabletops, and on occasion miniatures (though I lack the patience/time to paint my own), but folders, charts, maps and especially screens.

DM screens are a staple of many game systems, and even though I rarely have papers or anything I want to hide from my players, I love those folding cardstock thingummies. One of my favourites of recent years is Green Ronin's Narrator's Screen for True20. It's attractive (without goofy illustrations on the front (although I'll admit, the illos on the old-school screen (at left) impressed twelve-year-old me)), and the design is well-laid-out and it's made from extra-sturdy cardboard so it doesn't get as flabby and useless as some other screens I've made use of over the years.

But as I pointed out a while ago, it lacks at least one basic necessary for smoothly running True20 (damage conditions). And as a screen for running the rambunctious sort of game DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND is meant to be, it's missing a whole pile of stuff.

So I've created a bodgery of a document that you can print off and use to update your True20 Narrator's Screen. It includes tables for the revised rules around Stunts, Reputation, Scenes, Minions and more! Just cut out the little boxes and tape them over the boxes indicated on your Narrator's Screen, and hey presto! You've got your own perfectly-arranged DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND Narrator's Screen.

Download now!


  1. Oh man... I had a brain searing flashback looking at that D&D game screen.

    I *so* had one of those when I was deep into the D&D.

    Where the hell did you find that ?


    So many great memories there...

  3. Mt first DM Screen was the 2e one that came with Terrible Trouble at Tragidore.

    Y'know, DinoPirates could use an illustrated DM screen... ;)

  4. Anonymous4:44 AM

    I'm having some trouble with the download. It keeps telling me that the file isn't found.

    I'm fond of the customized GM Screen thing. The best tool I found for that was the Savage World screen. It seems to be out of stock most places but I eventually found mine here:

    I'm still working on the design for mine for my Mutants & Mastermind's game.

  5. Hi Bill! Sorry about that -- should work now.


  6. I firmly believe in the value of a customizeable GM screen. The one I use most often now is one I threw together after taping some laminated WAR art on the front. I used someone else's homebrew screen on the GM side, but I had two extra pages, so I put some campaign specific junk on there. Namelists in various languages, a collection of tavern names, a small map, who a handful of important people were in each nation, etc.

    Ended up using that stuff all the time. I'd never guessed how handy it would be to have that on the screen.

  7. Man, that is a GOOD IDEA. Maybe the FULL-COLOUR ILLUSTRATED BY CLAUDIO POZAS OFFICIAL DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND screen should include blank spaces where DMs can insert suchlike things...

  8. I wonder how well it would work to have one panel of the GM side be coated with magnetised whiteboard material. So you have several panels with charts etc, and one that you can either scribble notes on with a marker, or clip pages onto fridge-magnet stylez.

    Sure, production costs, blah blah, but think of the sweet!


  9. Magnetic, maybe not. But this is why God gave us Post-It notes.

  10. Anonymous6:18 AM

    I spent the better portion of an afternoon wandering around Home Depot trying to come up with the materials I would need to create a masterpiece of magnetic white board technology. In the end, I went home in defeat. These days I use the screen for lookup stuff and index cards for things that would require notes.