GM Screen: How much is too much?

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GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by DMMike »

Like the subject says, how much info do you find useful as a GM? What about the sides facing the players? As players, do you find things like equipment lists, xp-level advancement, etc. useful on the outside...or does this just detract from the art? ;)

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Buttmonkey
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Buttmonkey »

I don't use a screen anymore. I keep my notes on a clipboard with some blank sheets of notebook paper on top to track things like monster hit points. I just prefer rolling nearly everything in the open. That said, as a player I have never found data on the "outside" of a screen helpful. Just give me art.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Treebore »

The current CK screen for C&C is my favorite so far. So having a similar set up on both sides of the screen is a solid start.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by alcyone »

As a CK, I have to train myself to use the tables on the screen. I find I keep looking stuff up that is on the screen, because I forget that the screen has the information. What I really should do is just make a screen of page numbers, or tab my books. As a player, I usually have a book, and if I need the book, it's almost always to look up a spell or a class feature, and those don't really fit on the screens. Maybe equipment, but those lists are too small to read.

I still always use a screen, because it's sturdy protection again flying dice, pencils, etc. and buys me time to put the CKG in front of my face if the barrage is really heavy. Also, it hides my maps and notes and monsters (if you don't use a screen, how do you hide your maps and notes and monsters?)

Plus I think screens are awesome.

One thing I always wish was on the screen: which classes/races have which abilities (but not organized by class; organized by the ability). Then, if someone wants to try something that is not in their class description but someone else's, I can quickly see that that is the case. I believe that is not of use to everyone though; most people have simplifications they make to keep it easy or they memorize them.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by finarvyn »

[quote="Buttmonkey"]I don't use a screen anymore. I keep my notes on a clipboard with some blank sheets of notebook paper on top to track things like monster hit points.quote]I'm the exact opposite. My ideal game is one where I don't have the rulebook handy during play but everything I need is on the GM screen, but if the font size is small it's worthless to me. (I don't count a monster book as a rulebook. Too many monsters to fit on a screen.) I do track monster HP on a notebook page, however.

On the player side I prefer artwork.

On the GM side I prefer key tables, etc., like combat charts and saving throw charts. I'm not sure how much this applies to SIEGE-based games, however, since it's more intuitive than old school D&D editions and bases everything on simple equations and target numbers.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by finarvyn »

Aergraith wrote:One thing I always wish was on the screen: which classes/races have which abilities (but not organized by class; organized by the ability). Then, if someone wants to try something that is not in their class description but someone else's, I can quickly see that that is the case. I believe that is not of use to everyone though; most people have simplifications they make to keep it easy or they memorize them.
Great idea! +1 to this.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Treebore »

The reason I like info on the players side of the screen, is simple. There is almost always at least one in any given group who can't even be bothered to remember what their class is able to do.

I would also like page numbers on the screen to make me able to as quickly as possible find the more expanded details of the relevant rules referenced on the screen.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Michael Montalto
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Michael Montalto »

I like using a screen for quick reference, and to hide rolls that I don't want my players to see (adds dramatic effect). That being said, I am in favor of open rolls. I've also found that some of my players will pre-roll a die (say to 19) and then roll a separate die and say "I rolled a 19!". If you can't see their rolls, you have to watch out for things like that.

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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by alcyone »

Michael Montalto wrote: I've also found that some of my players will pre-roll a die (say to 19) and then roll a separate die and say "I rolled a 19!". If you can't see their rolls, you have to watch out for things like that.

-mM
That's really sad. I can't imagine how someone would think that was fun.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Treebore »

Aergraith wrote:
Michael Montalto wrote: I've also found that some of my players will pre-roll a die (say to 19) and then roll a separate die and say "I rolled a 19!". If you can't see their rolls, you have to watch out for things like that.

-mM
That's really sad. I can't imagine how someone would think that was fun.
Agreed, but I still manage to come across quit a few, like at the last convention I was at. I even stood behind one of them and used my fingers to tell the GM what their player actually rolled.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Buttmonkey »

finarvyn wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:I don't use a screen anymore. I keep my notes on a clipboard with some blank sheets of notebook paper on top to track things like monster hit points.quote]I'm the exact opposite. My ideal game is one where I don't have the rulebook handy during play but everything I need is on the GM screen, but if the font size is small it's worthless to me. (I don't count a monster book as a rulebook. Too many monsters to fit on a screen.) I do track monster HP on a notebook page, however.

On the player side I prefer artwork.

On the GM side I prefer key tables, etc., like combat charts and saving throw charts. I'm not sure how much this applies to SIEGE-based games, however, since it's more intuitive than old school D&D editions and bases everything on simple equations and target numbers.
You really don't need data on a screen to run C&C. To-hit and saving throw charts don't apply. I do own the screens and keep them handy at the table if I want to quickly look something up like the area of effect of light sources.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Buttmonkey »

Aergraith wrote:(if you don't use a screen, how do you hide your maps and notes and monsters?)
I use a clipboard. I have my maps at the bottom of the stack with my notes on top of the maps. Then, I put several sheets of notebook paper on top of the stack to track things during the game like monster hit points, duration of spells, etc. I just flip to the bottom of the stack to consult my maps when necessary. The only things the players ever see are the miscellaneous notes on top which aren't helpful. Knowing how much damage a monster has taken doesn't tell it how many hit points the monster has left. Plus, they can track that data on their own if they really want to just by paying attention to what's going on at the table.
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by Arduin »

As a GM for C&C I have found I don't need data on my side. The game is simple to run. I use a screen to just keep notes/maps, etc. secret.

On the player's side I prefer signage like, "I'd turn back if I were you.", "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.", "Alea iacta est ", etc. :shock:
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Re: GM Screen: How much is too much?

Post by tylermo »

I remember telling Stephen that it would be cool to do customized gm screens to suit the preferences of each customer. I think my slogan was "Your screen, your way." ;) There's not enough time in the Dens to bang out that sort of product, but I liked the idea.

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