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Deluxe Dungeon Master's Screen: A 4th Edition D&D Accessory Hardcover – February 15, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: 4th Edition D&D
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th Revised edition edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786957433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786957439
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rolf M. Buchner on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My litmus test for a DM screen is pretty easy: Could I have made something of similar quality myself in less than an hour at the same or lower cost? The answer in this case is no, I could not have.

Construction: 9/10

The DM screen is hardy cardstock. It's about 2mm thick and has the same hardness as the D&D hard-bound books. You could hold the surface with one hand and write on it with the other, it's not those floppy screens of old.

The screen is also in landcape mode rather than portrait. This means you can actually see over it to the battle mat. Always handy. :-)

I would have liked to seen some corner reinforcements, as those always get dinged up, but that's kind of a nit.

Content: 10/10

Every major chart I would want. Combat modifiers, common skills, standard DCs chart, Bend Bars/Lift gates chart, damage expressions, status effects. They're all here. Nice. Common diseases and poisons would have been a nice thing to add, but I use them rarely enough that I don't mind grabbing a book for those. Honestly the information on the screen will cover 99% of the things that I would want to look up. If I had this screen yesterday, I wouldn't have had to look up the jumping rules.

Artwork: 5/10

Purely a personal thing. The artwork is nice, but the halfling looks like an anime character and the displacer beast really needs to eat something. Both females on the cover are dressed in skimpy cleavage-baring costumers despite it snowing. Whatever. I didn't buy it for the artwork and it doesn't affect the main functionality of the screen, so I'm not going to knock any stars off for this.

Reviewer Bias: 10/10

For $10, you really can't beat it. I mean, seriously.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Deluxe DM Screen will be very familiar to anyone who purchased the original Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Screen. It is made of the same hardcover material that can stand up to a beating, and retains the wide four-panel layout. For those not familiar with the previous screen, this screen is wide, with enough space to fit multiple sheets of paper comfortably behind it. It is made of a thick cardstock; the same type used for the covers of the hardcover 4th edition books, so it is sturdy and durable.

The real changes over the last screen are apparent when one examines the tables. Without getting into an Essentials vs. Non-Essentials argument, it is worth mentioning that the tables themselves are almost the exact same as the tables found on the flimsy screen in the Dungeon Master's Kit: An Essential Dungeons & Dragons Kit (4th Edition D&D). Therefore, this screen includes all the recent errata and the new Essentials-era take on damage expressions and DCs. There is a swap, however, with cover and concealment rules being replaced with skill challenge guidelines and charging rules. Whether this is a good change or not I suppose depends on the DM, but I personally find it to be for the better. I also much prefer the layout for common skill check DCs as opposed to those found on the original DM screen.

All in all, it amounts to an updated and reorganized take on the original screen, and one worth adding to your collection if you use the most recent take on damage expressions and DCs. It is not a world's difference from the prior screen, but it is large and durable with appropriate and beneficial style, layout, and content changes.
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Format: Misc. Supplies
This is the worst layout for a DM screen ever, in my opinion. They set it up sideways, so the screen is shorter in height and longer in width. It's 2 full 8.5" x 10.75" sheets, plus 2 8.5" x 8.25" sheets, one on each end. So, total size is about 38" wide and 8.5" high, with 3 folds. It has some different tables than you will find on the free screen that came with Dragon Magazine when 3.5 was released, but it's also missing info found on that screen. I was hoping for a 5 or 6 panel screen to really wrap around. I usually have 8.5" x 11" sheets I clip to the screen for adventure specific reference, but with this screen I cannot do that easily either. They included a D20 Modern screen setup the same way, which I have even less use for. Save your $ and make your own.
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Format: Misc. Supplies
Generally my opinion is that a screen is a screen is a screen. However, this screen is actually better than most. I like the landscape, 4-panel format because it means I can see and be seen over the screen, while it still hides my map, my notepad and my dice rolls. It also has a better center of gravity since it is lower and wider, which means it almost never falls over, even when struck by a handful of dice or my marauding 18-month old. That is not a claim that most portrait-oriented screens can make.

Is the screen a black-out room and cone of silence rolled into one? Of course not. If you need the full height of the older-styled 11" screens, this one won't work for you. But really, if you are playing with people who can't keep their eyes off the occasional flash of paper behind the DM's screen, don't blame the screen; get new friends.

For my part, the most important part is that WoTC (a company I don't think much of normally) actually gave some thought to what was on the screen. The inside is well thought out, with useful charts and tables easy to hand. Easily the best part is the full listing of all actions, and whether they are free, standard, or movement equivalent, and whether they provoke an Attack of Opportunity or not. The table with hardness ratings for standard items is also useful for those spur-of-the-moment actions when the PCs want to break down a random door, chop that chest open, or split a table in two.

Normally I wouldn't bother to review a screen, but this one has such an unfairly low rating that I almost feel sorry for it. It's a good product; I use it in every session, it keeps the players' eyes off the important stuff, and it's durable enough that even after 2 years of use it's in quite good shape. If for some reason you don't have a screen already, you could do a lot worse than this one.
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