Two handouts that should make your life easier
GM screens can be useful tools. They are covered in somewhat useful information, and you can use them to shield your rolls and your miniatures. That said, there are some things that a GM’s screen doesn’t cover. Have you ever been in a game where this happens? :
DM: The blacksmith, a grimy dwarf with a long scar on his face, smiles as he hands you the newly forged sword.
Player: Cool, what’s his name?
DM: Um… (looking around the room), Table…Tablemen…yeah…his name is Tablemen.
Player: Did you just look at the table and name him Tablemen?
DM: Um…roll initiative.
Sound familiar? How about this one?
DM: With a flourish of your sword, you slay the last orc in chamber. What would you like to do?
Player: We search the orcs and the chamber for treasure.
DM: Um… (scrambles for a DMG)…you find something, I’ll roll it later.
Player: But, we could find something that would be useful in the rest of the dungeon.
DM: Fine. (Game comes to a halt for the next ten minutes and any momentum is lost)
These are scenarios that I have encountered multiple times, both as a player and as a GM. In an attempt to prevent scenes like these from happening in the future I have created two handouts that should help. The first is a sheet of names for each of the standard fantasy races(26 names per gender, per race). The second is a list of treasure in order of challenge rating (three entries per CR, 1st-20th).
These handouts aren’t meant to be used during the planning phase of your adventure (you would go through the treasure and names quickly), instead reserve them for those instances when your players ask you the name of an NPC you didn’t deem important enough to warrant a name, and for those time when your players wander into an encounter you didn’t expect (and therefore didn’t roll treasure for).
I hope you find them useful. Print them out, paper clip them inside your GM screen, and never be caught off guard again.