Back in the day, you weren't really a referee if you didn't use a screen of some sort to hide your maps, notes, and sometimes dice rolls from the players in your game. Consequently, I owned a lot of such screens, my favorite being the Dave Trampier-illustrated Dungeon Master's Screen published by TSR. When I started up my Dwimmermount campaign in early 2009, despite my willingness to draw heavily upon my own gaming beginnings, I never once seriously considered using a referee's screen. Part of it was simple practicality: referee's screens traditionally take up a lot of space, space I didn't have to spare at my dining room table, especially when I laid out the dungeon in Hirst Arts blocks. Another part of it was philosophical, for lack of a better word; my refereeing style these days is much more conversational, so a screen between me and the players would be an impediment rather than an aid.
Still, I took great interest in the appearance of the Advanced Labyrinth Lord Screen designed by Shane Mangus. One of the really fascinating things about the old school renaissance is the way that older "technologies," of which the referee's screen is certainly a prime example, are being embraced again and improved upon. I may not use referee's screens myself but that didn't mean I wasn't interested in seeing how someone approached the concept in 2010. You can see what Shane did below, thanks to this cool little embedded Scribd application.
As you can see, Mangus has packed a lot of useful information onto three 8½" by 11" pages. Pretty much all of the tables and charts you'd need in play can be found here, along with others that are helpful but hardly essential. That's something previous screens have done too, but what I like about this one is how easy it is on my aging eyes. I don't find the charts difficult to read and their arrangement is quite logical, so that, for example, all the combat charts are on a single page. It's a small thing, admittedly, but small things are important when considering aids for running a roleplaying game.
The Advanced Labyrinth Lord Screen is, of course, intended for use by referees running Labyrinth Lord campaigns that make use of the Advanced Edition Companion, but it'd work just as well in campaigns that don't make use of the AEC. It's available as a free downloadable PDF (the link is above), so you'll need to print it out for yourself onto sheets of cardboard to use of it as a screen. Of course, you could do like I have and simply print the pages off onto paper and keep them handy as a reference sheets for use at the table. I'm still unlikely to use a referee's screen at my table, but I always have a use for well-done reference sheets and Shane Mangus has produced some of the best I've seen for use with Labyrinth Lord. I'd love to see him make some follow-ups that use a similar format but include things like spell lists or quick monster stats -- a kind of modern day Ready Ref Sheets.
Not that I want to pressure him or anything ...
Presentation: 9 out of 10
Creativity: 7 out of 10
Utility: 7 out of 10
Get This If: You play Labyrinth Lord and want to cut down on the time spent looking for charts while playing.
Don't Get This If: You don't play Labyrinth Lord or possess a photographic memory.