... has ended.
For most of my gaming life I have passionately loved DM screens. Passionately. Like in a sick I so love you and you frakking scare the crap out of me but I can't get enough of you Amy Winehouse kind of way. Like most of the women I date. But I digress ...
I loved them for the artwork (both awesome and terrible), the charts, the time saved flipping through books. Screens have also been My Great Wall of Authority that protected my session notes and die rolls and scribbles and minis-waiting-to-pounce from the prying eyes of sniveling greedy players. Little in gaming could compare to the dire bloodlust and manic glee I felt while attaching tall wooden skewers to the screen folds and hanging sawed-off miniature heads from them as I mwah-ha-ha'ed my way through TPK after TPK ...What? Oh like I'm the only one who did that! Pfft, wussies.
Anyway, DM screens have been a part of my tabletop experience since ... well since I can remember playing RPGs.
But something happened numerous years ago. I stopped using a screen when I ran games. I'm not quite sure when or why I decided to run games "naked and exposed" but I did. All my rolls were visible. There was nothing hidden from the players, except the occasional "secret" die roll I made by simply covering it with my hand. My typed and handwritten notes were right there in the open (I did keep dungeon maps covered with a book or my home-made "DM Screen". See below).
And I found the experience exhilarating. So much so that I can't imagine ever going back to using a DM screen.
How about you folks? Do you still use screens? Shun them? Dress them up and make kinky videos with them? Have you changed your preference for using screens (like me) over the years?
These days I use a two-page sheet printed (double-sided on cardstock and laminated) with all the tables and charts I commonly reference while running games. I like it because it allows me to look up stuff quickly and serves double-duty as a map "cover upper". I offer it up here in 2nd edition AD&D format.