- Series: Star Wars Accessory
- Paperback: 8 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (February 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786918330
- ISBN-13: 978-0786918331
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,663,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gamemaster Screen (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) Paperback – February 1, 2001
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Those days, it seems are long gone. Modern games (especially the D20 system) require less and less charts, graphs and tables to run. The "new-wave" games are slick, streamlined, and make sure that very little of the storytelling experience is slowed down by chunky rules and the flipping of pages. Thusly, there are fewer instances where a GM needs to glance at charts.
Nonetheless, it is indeed helpful to have a screen to secure the GM's "secret notes" from the all-prying eyes of her greedy players. In this respect, the Star Wars screen is alright, but not "awesome".
It, like the game itself, is very similar to the D&D screen. In fact, most of the charts are SW versions of D&D charts. For instance, the Fundamental Actions in Combat chart is the exact same chart as on the D&D screen, but instead of the column that lists "5-foot step?" (allowed), it reads: "2-meter step?" (allowed), with "yes" or "no" listed for each action.
The SW screen also lacked any of the important Force- and Starship- tables. I was dissapointed to find that Vitality-point costs and starship size modifiers were not present on this screen (luckily I typed up the tables myself a few weeks before I purchased the screen).
The main saving grace for my four-star rating was the presence of the "Multiple Ranged Attacks" table, taken straight from the Combat section of the rulebook. This, I have found, I have used more than any of the other charts on the screen. The artwork on the "players side" captures the feel of Star Wars, with a non-disjointed picture that combines the front and back covers of the rulebook (you can actually see Anakin and Darth's faces colliding together) as well as several pictures of the example PC's from Invasion of Theed and the Rulebook.
In conclusion, I'd have to say that the screen is not a bad screen, it's just not an excellent screen. Using the D&D version didn't slow down play at all, if you simply convert the movement distances from standard to metric in your mind. The Multiple actions chart is by far the most useful, but just in case, keep your rulebook close at hand for starship- and force- related actions. Nonetheless, lets face it, it looks cool to have the right screen for your game, anyway.
This is a decent screen, has lots of charts that we prefer not to memorize (cover and concealment, in particular), and is lacking others (starship combat especially). Pretty much all this has already been mentioned in other reviews.
The reason it only gets three stars from me is that I am using the Expanded and Revised Rule Book, so some of the charts are outdated. Fortunately, after a few minutes of pencil marking the screen, I had it fully updated, so it wasn't a big deal. But, be aware before you buy it. If you have the Revised Core Rulebook, be sure to crosscheck before you just accept the screen. Of course, as a GM it's up to you if you prefer the Revised rules...
I, however, have simply taken a folder and photocopied the information I know I frequently refer to from the Core Rulebook. I've even drawn a cool scene on the outer side. The screen I've made works better for me than the screen from Wizards does.
However, the GM screen doesn't exactly cost a fortune. If you'd rather buy one than go through the work to make one, I wouldn't call it unwise.