When the first set of fifth-edition Dungeons & Dragons basic rules arrived, I created dungeon master screen inserts. I put these pages in my mini screen from Hammerdog Games. Others have attached them to screens of their own creation. As I have used my screen, I noticed that I never reference some panels, and that some questions still often lead me to the books. Based on experience, I revised my screen inserts.
The new PDF includes all the pages in the old set, but adds some new pages, and tweaks the old pages. Choose which pages to use.
I never looked at my screen’s list of skills and tool proficiencies, so I replaced this panel. Instead, I added an insert for encounter building. When I improvise an encounter, I typically reference the Experience Thresholds by Character Level table. This table helps me avoid creating an easier or harder fight than I want. Also, the table offers a handy guide for awarding experience for non-combat encounters.
My screen will also lose the insert for movement types. I don’t need a whole page to tell me that slower forms of movement cost an extra foot for each foot moved.
I still wanted the table of typical difficulty classes and the jump distances, so I copied those items to a new panel. This replacement adds the effects of cover and the DCs for tracking and concentration checks.
Everyone knows you can use an action to cast or attack, right? In place of these obvious entries, the table of Actions in Combat adds rules for grappling and shoving .
Finally, my existing screen had no rules facing the players, only pictures. I yanked one of the pictures and added the table that shows experience points needed to level. I hope players stop asking me how many points they need to level up.
I also updated my initiative tents for fifth edition. The player tent loses the insight score and adds a place for armor class. The monster tent replaces the various defenses with the three most common saving throws. On the player-facing side, I added a big box for armor class. Sometimes, I speed combat by marking the AC where everyone can see. You can set these tents on the table or hang them atop your DM screen. For more on using the tents, see “Everything I know about tracking initiative.”