6/20/2014

Frugal GM Review: Noteboard

Frugal GM Review: Noteboard
One of the more unusual items I came across at the Origins Game Fair was a little portable noteboard aptly called Noteboard. It didn't stand out much at the Pro Fantasy (Campaign Cartographer) booth, but I quickly recognized it as an old item on my mental "check it out when you can" list. I remember some brouhaha when it first came out...whenever that was. These days it probably would have made it to a Kickstarter.

Anyway, the Noteboard was much cooler than I recalled. My only complaint is I wish it was a bit bigger.....ok, a lot bigger. Instead of 35" by 15" I wish it was 35" x 30". Everything else about it is cooler than expected. Basically this is an easily folded whiteboard surface that is gridded (and how!) on one side and pure white on the other. This isn't a series of notecards pushed up together like it might look like at first glance. Instead it is a whole sheet that has been strategically die cut and then laminated on both sides in such a fashion as to allow the whole thing to fold up to 3" x 5" x .75". The die cut is important because it makes the grids possible.


Example of the Noteboard in use
The "front" of the Noteboard is marked up with 1" squares, 1" hexes, and  1 cm squares. To make things even more interesting, the squares are accurately marked in 1/16" and 1 mm increments (for the appropriate squares). The hexes are also broken down into triangles, which is a must for me.

You can use dry or wet erase markers (a dry-erase marker is provided) and there is enough room in the accompanying carrying pouch to toss your markers in. Now I didn't think this was a huge deal, but the pouch itself doubles as a dry-erase eraser.

I found the Noteboard easy to use and it cleaned up well. I really liked how I could go ahead and fold it up to whatever size I needed. Now many of you might think this just an OK product, but if you have to travel to play/run as much as I do you'll appreciate the compactness of this product. In the past I've had to fold my battlemats for transport (granted I had huge battlemats) and rushed to un-fold them at my destination hoping they wouldn't get ruined. Being able to pop a $12 Noteboard or two in my gaming bag is going to be great (even better when I actually get that second Noteboard). As-is I'm making a small travel GM kit for grab-n-go gaming and this will be a permanent fixture for that kit.

Frugal GM 4 Star Review: Noteboard
Overall I'd rate it 4 1/2 stars, but since I only go in 1 star increments I'll have to call it good with 4 stars.