Sunday, July 17, 2011

DM Screens and Hanging Tags!

The Dungeon Master screen is a pretty iconic piece of D&D paraphernalia. Whenever any layman thinks of 'Dungeons & Dragons', its something that comes to mind almost immediately (along with polyhedrons, capes, and wizard hats).

It's a useful tool containing dozens of tables of information, ready to use.

So why do I never use the tables on mine?

Oh I use my DM screen for every single game. I love it. Though when I use mine it really serves only two purposes:

1) Hides my dice rolls, so I can fib about when I roll twenties (I've yet to kill any of my players).

2) Hanging Tags!

I'm not the first DM to use 'hanging tags', but I think I'm the most enthusiastic about them. For me, it's the easiest way to keep track of all of my player's stats, as well as the monsters and the initiative order. I'm not a huge fan of other 'Initiative Tracker' products available, mostly because they cost money, while hanging tags are cheap as free.

They also allow me to indulge in drawing my player's characters, as well as a menagerie of monsters, something I love doing. My art isn't great, but its fun and definitely serviceable for the game.

So in the comments, let me know what you think:

Do you use a DM screen? If so, why? And do you actually make use of its many tables and blocks of stats?

Also, am I alone in my love of hanging tags?


  1. I use hanging tags too (to represent the initiative order and conditions) but I use screen's tables too :-)

  2. I use an old 3E DM screen because I like the art, and use the haning tags. I like the idea of drawing pictures on them, I just don't have the prep time! Now that my players are used to the tags for initiative order, they love it. I also write down monster defenses so they can see them (after 1 attack made on the target). I did a few sessions without the screen to open up the playing area, and the players insisted on the tags, so I just placed the folded pieces of paper on the table.