The DM’s Screen – Benefit or Burden?

In recent days, the DM’s Screen for D&D 5th Edition has been released and this has brought up some interesting discussions around my tables. Over my D&D career, I’ve played with dozens of Dungeon Masters of both sexes. Some were experienced, some were green, others were comfortable in the big chair, and some were not. Regardless of their disposition, I have found the debate over using, or not using, a DM’s screen to be a topic on which many people have a strong opinion. Some say it’s a prop that allows the DM to separate themselves from the rest of players and thus gives them an air of superiority and mystery; others say that it’s tool the DM can use to keep their notes, numbers, maps, and other various items out of sight and private; and there are others who say the DM’s screen is nothing but an excuse for the DM to fudge rolls, change outcomes on the fly, and cut down on PC-DM interaction. I say that all of these people are correct and for both good and bad reasons.