Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Chlen-hide Noteboard

Photo copyright 2013 John Everett Till

We purchased a Noteboard this weekend, and thought we'd let the Chlen give it a try. The photo above shows one of Tekumel's Chlen beasts. These great lumbering creatures are six-legged ceratopsian reptiles that are used for land-based transportation on Tekumel. They are slow and poop a lot, which I suppose creates work for street and road cleaning clans who in turn no doubt double as the clans that sell fertilizer to the agricultural clans.

I emphasized the Chlen's carting Aspects up above, but because Tekumel is also metal poor, Chlen hide also plays a critically important role as a raw material for the manufacture of weapons and armor. Specialist clans know how to peel and treat the Chlen's armored hide to make these weapons. The formulae and processes involved are craft secrets of these clans.


Noteboard may be the first office supply product specifically marketed to gamers. It's an uber-foldable dry erase laminated whiteboard. You can write on either side. One is side blank, and the other has three different grids: a sq. inch (divided into 16ths of an inch), sq. cm (divided into 10ths), and a hexagon (1").

Unlike many laminated maps (such as Paizo's) Noteboard lies fairly flat.  The fact that it is so highly hinged and sectioned probably helps with that. Unlike many maps, Noteboard also readily remembers how it folds up for storage; which is very convenient and increases its portability. Noteboard, marker, and pouch can easily fit in a pocket.

Noteboard comes with a small dry erase marker, with an eraser on the cap. The marker is a bit shorter than desirable, and the eraser works well, but can be dislodged if you try to clean it (the eraser). Dry erasing with the eraser will leave a residue on the board. I was readily able to remove this with a wet napkin.

My only complaint, which I have also heard from others, is that the material used for pouch actually resists your efforts to slide Noteboard back into the pouch. A pencil pouch would probably accommodate one or more Noteboards and a few extra dry erase markers.

I will probably buy at least one more of these. I'd like to cut one up for use as Aspect cards/Zone cards, as well as for use as a more modular dungeon mapping tool, allowing one to reveal index card sized areas of a dungeon or other terrain feature section by section.

I've seen a few gamers snicker about the product. It looks different from a traditional dry erase game mat. It's flimsy and foldy in all directions, and creaks a bit when you are handling it. I don't use miniatures very often, but I like having a game board that is this compact.

All-in-all, a great portable product.

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