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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180411

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
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I have to admit. I am a frugal gamer.
(GM Screens)


You know, I am so cheap, I won't use a GM's Screen. It is just one more thing to buy and really... not that useful.

I have a binder or clip board I work out of.

My GM Journal or my PRBs or Personal Reference Binders have everything that a GM sheet might have... and more.

Yes, The backpack with all those games books (or that pile to my right hand side) are things I might quick reference if I actually need a book ruling. My computer keeps my digital notes and has digital pdfs of the game in question (in most cases). It is in on top of that pile to the right. I tend to never look things up because I study the rules and the special rules that might come up this session in anticipation of the game.

Now if you are prepping sessions the MoonHunter way, scene preparation includes book and page number of any unique rules that will be used for that scene (Ice/ Cold spot rules Pg 392). Ideally I would put a page marker in the book or PRB before the game started.

My troupes tend not to sit in a huge table arrangement when we game at my home or the others. (To be honest, we also tend not to be centered on miniatures or maps). The set up tends to be a living room set up (with some directors chairs or pillows on the floor for overflow). Thus there is no good place to set a screen up.

Even when I have a big table arrangement, I don't use a screen because it blocks the player's view of me. I do more than just blarg description. I tend to emote, to gesture, to act. I can't roleplay things normally, obscured by a screen (Yes, I do use all those actor techniques and my immersion techniques.)

I don't have to hide my die rolls. I could, but I seldom have a need. Nobody feels the need to verify my rolls either. This may just be my troupe, ymmv.

I have never had a problem with players reading or trying to read my GM notes, since 1980 (where my disgraphic handwriting might as well of been a secret code). I assume you have players with enough honor to avoid needing that. (If not, I suggest red film glasses or red acetate and red second prints on the paper with things printed in very light blue ink. )

So, other than making a pretty cover for a binder or things to laminate on the inside of a game binder or on a clipboard, I have found little to no use for a GM's Screen. I frugally avoid them.

[hr][/hr]
Sigh

Okay.​

Some of you have to have them. It is tradition or just the way you GM. Okay. Here is the frugal way to do it. You will need three or four magic boards, six to eight pennies or marker weights. Make sure that these are "extra" magic boards made with page dividers/ protectors and slightly heavier cardboard/stock.

Create your own collection of information for your GM sheet, which might include base initiative, base hit chance, weapon damage, and armor, for all the characters, a master modifier list, difficulties for rolls, and a couple of helpful rule bits. If I used a screen, I would have two (or three) that were standard - used all the time, and one sheet that would be handy either for a session or for a act/ arc of the chronicle. (The stats for the mooks for example, rules for moonlight, spell fumbles, etc).

The Page Dividers/ protectors have that little side tab that lets them be put into binders. The open end of the divider/ protector is always up. The left side and the center board(s) will all have them on the right. Take the right most magic board and trim it off with method and tool you are most comfortable with. You start on the left side. You secure the left most board's tab to the next board to the right. I used hot glue, you can use tape, glue, or the tool of your choice. (No staples.). Let Dry/ Cool. Check to make sure it will fold and unfold without breaking. (Repeat with different methods until it works.)

Take the assembly and place the information sheets in the way you want them. Put two weights at the bottom of each divider/ protector - push them down securely to the bottom corners. (This keeps the screen more secure and makes it less likely to fall over). If you have artwork for the opposite site of the magic board, feel free to insert that.

There you go. A fully customizable GM's Screen on the cheap.

*** *0* ***​

**if you don't mind the expense, you can use 8.5 x11 x.125 (or .25) boards of wood (3 or 4), connected with smallish piano hinges. You can mount magic boards on the inside section and insert your information sheets. Find artwork to fit and print it on paper. You can laminate it on OR mount magic boards on the front and stuff those with the images you want.
 
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