Bill Owen's Judges Shields
2 tri-panel screens, single sheet
Price sold at:
From Bill Owen: "The yellow
hinged Judges Guild Judges Shield was my greatest contribution to the
D&D world (although greatly dwarfed by Bob's contribution but this is my
little moment). When we started JG it never occurred to us to put
out primarily D&D stuff but when they just 'gave' us the license to
re-work D&D copyrighted material, I dove in with gusto."
From Gary Gygax: "The license arrangement with JG was made by Brian
Blume, not me. He gave them permission to use the TSR copyrighted
works you note. I disapproved of the arrangement, as there was no
TSR quality control."
Bill Owen "Back in the mid 70's D&D Monsters and game charts were
organized in no discernible fashion and scattered over numerous little
booklets. My amazing idea was to recollect all the monsters into,
drum roll, ALPHABETICAL order! And so armed with a Selectric
typewriter I started typing, finding I'd missed some, cut and paste,
then before you could say Jack Robinson had one of the cheapest, most
popular and useful products we ever produced. I also added
handmade (with Prestype, sticky halftone screens and drafting pens) Men
& Monsters Attacking charts plus numerous other useful charts that we
retyped with our trademark Letter Gothic or Manifold type balls.
The other unique aspect was the crenellated 'castle wall' aspect of the
Portrait/Landscape/Portrait yellow cardboard pieces--all for only $1.98.
(You had to tape it together yourself; we knew you could handle it.)
Later when TSR noticed how many we sold of these things (in our royalty
reports to them), they made their own prosaic screen (our calling it a
Judges Shield was more lyrical than a Referee Screen) I was completely
puzzled by how one side of theirs was just artwork--huh? The
players didn't need the reference charts?! Oh well, Woody will
Now anyone can sign a Judges Shield 'Bill Owen' (and my assumption is
that this devalues it) but I have also added my own handmade screen and
a monster chart still in its impervious sheet protector. This
handmade screen was assembled with bookbinding tape (still supple) and
cellophane tape (it has lost any power of attraction) so I cannot vouch
for its condition except to say it's UNIQUE KERAP. And the actual
thermofax copies with white out applied."
Thanks to David
Witts for the scan of the I-8 Precursor sheet.