I’m a longtime screen fanboy, but since I started writing TT I’ve heard plenty of good reasons not to use one at all. I’m going to play Devil’s advocate for a moment, and say that you shouldn’t use a GMing screen because…

  • It creates a barrier between you and your players, which changes the tone at the table.
  • Screens clutter up the table, particularly if your gaming space isn’t huge.
  • A laptop is a more efficient place to keep all your adventure notes, PC cheat sheets and other GMing tools anyway.
  • A GM’s side table is more useful, and lets you be closer to your battlemap.
  • Two of your players (the ones to either side of you, closest to your screen) will worry that they can see over your screen.

If, like me, you’re also a lifelong screen user, have you ever tried running a game without one? (I have for one-shots, and it was kind of fun.) If you don’t use a screen, why not?