Revisiting an Old Map

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

I ran a campaign a couple of years back.  I was on a very limited budget in terms of time, and was much less versed in map making than I am now.  I needed a map for the game, and didn’t have anything but MS Paint to make it in.  Sadly, that is what I did.  I wasn’t completely happy with it at the time, but at the same time I wasn’t overly disappointed in it.  The game went great and is remembered very fondly, and I’d like to think that the map played a role in that, but looking at it now makes me cringe a bit.  I decided to take a few minutes yesterday to spruce the map up a bit.  I didn’t redo the map, more renovated it a bit.   It limited what I could do, but also preserved the overall look of the original. 

TWO Free Maps!

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

It's a special double edition of our Free Map Monday series!

Like all of our Free Map Maps, these maps are free for your personal use. 

They are devoid of city/town markers, forests, and mountains which leaves you free to add anything you want to the map with ease. 

 Please feel free to leave thoughts on this map or the series of free maps in general in the comments section or email us by clicking on the "Email Us" scroll in the far right hand column.






Reaping in the Money

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

Wow... the Kickstarter is over and the grand total is in...

$3,429,236

That includes a huge rush right at the end to unlock Cthulhu.  Rejoice those who pledged money, and get ready to Reap what you sow.
 


Reaper Kickstarter Set to End

Posted by Labyrinthian in

For those who have been living under a rock, Reaper has a Kickstarter going.  Said Kickstarter was to help usher in an expansion of their Bones line and do so quickly by getting the money up front.  They set a very attainable goal of $30,000, with the usual stretch goals in case they went over. 

Indeed they did go over... they went WAY over.

As of this writing their pledge amount sits at a jaw dropping $3,093,064. As Mike over at 1d8 said, this might be the greatest gaming deal of the century.  A $100 pledge get's you over 200 on their miniatures.  If you want in you better get over there, it ends in less than three hours.

New Free Map and a Bit of News

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

Here is this week's free map for you. Like all of our Free Map Monday Maps, this map is free for your personal use. It is devoid of city/town markers, and mountains which leaves you free to add anything you want to the map with ease.  Please feel free to leave thoughts on this map or the series of free maps in general in the comments section or email us by clicking on the "Email Us" scroll in the far right hand column.

Additionally, Nathan from Banners on the Cheap, which I have discussed previously, emailed me to let me know that they have a new page dedicated to printing RPG maps and Battle mats. They have only a few example maps over there, but the best thing about the site is the ability to print stuff that you upload.  If you are just printing off a map for your own personal use then you should feel free to print up one of our many free maps

Free Map

Posted by Labyrinthian in ,

Here is this week's free map for you.  Like all of our Free Map Monday Maps, this map is free for your personal use. It is devoid of city/town markers, mountains, forests, or anything else which leaves you free to add anything you want to the map with ease. 

Please feel free to leave thoughts on this map or the series of free maps in general in the comments section or email us by clicking on the "Email Us" scroll in the far right hand column.
 
Enjoy!

New Free Map!

Posted by Labyrinthian in , ,

Here is this week's free map for you.  Like all of our Free Map Monday Maps, this map is 100% free for your personal use. It is devoid of city/town markers, mountains, forests, or anything else which leaves you free to add anything you want to the map with ease. 

Please feel free to leave thoughts on this map or the series of free maps in general in the comments section or email us by clicking on the "Email Us" scroll in the far right hand column.
 
Enjoy!

A New Cheap Way to Get an Awesome Map for Your Game

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , ,

Well, at least it’s new to me.  I’ve printed a whole slew of maps for various games over the years, but I’ve never really felt like I got what you could call a great deal.  That’s not to say I’ve never been happy with the Maps that I’ve gotten, just that the happiness has come with a hefty price tag.  However, I think those days may finally be behind me. 

I got an email recently from Nathan over at BannersOnTheCheap.com and he put me onto the idea of trying a map printed in vinyl as an alternative surface to paper.  I was a bit leery of printing on an alternative material, though I could think of several immediate advantages, but since they were looking for someone to review their product and spread the word throughout the RPG community and were willing to comp me a sample map, I saw no reason not to give it a try.

It was the right decision. 

For starters their website is a breeze.  It is a very straightforward process to upload your map, choose a banner size, preview your product, and checkout.  The whole process took about 2 minutes.  I was a little concerned about the shipping time because the free shipping option is 15 days, but the order went out the next day and I had my map in hand in less than a week. 

Already impressed with the speed at which I had received my product I opened the box and unrolled the map.  I had chosen the largest option, determined to test the limits of what these guys could do, so what I unrolled was a four foot by eight foot full color vinyl map.  One thing I had been concerned about was how vivid the colors would be, but as soon as I unrolled it those fears disappeared.  It was on first glance nothing short of beautiful.  The colors all looked true, there was no distortion, and the detail seemed to be there.  I was more even more impressed. 

I showed the map to my wife (a non-gamer) and she was impressed with the result.  I showed it to a local gaming group and they were floored, both with the quality and with the price point (something I’ll get into below).  What struck everyone, my wife included, was the quality of the printing on a durable surface like vinyl.  That’s not to say that everything about the maps were flawless though.  Here is a breakdown of the good and bad of this method versus traditional paper printing at a place like Staples or Walgreens.

The Good
  • ·         The Color
    I printed two very different maps on one banner and then had a friend cut the maps apart.  The two I used were my Caliburn Map and the Southron Marches map.  The two maps, while they are both from the campaign are very different in style and color palette.  The Southron Marches map has very high levels of saturation that I didn’t think BannerOnTheCheap would be able to replicate, but they did.  Both maps displayed very rich colors true to the digital versions.
  • ·         Durability
    One weakness of paper maps is their durability.  They can be easily ruined by tearing, folding, or someone just knocking over a drink, but not so with these vinyl maps.  They are tough and thick, and are capable of shedding water like a duck.  These maps can be reused over and over, and are usable, as far as I can tell, with wet erase markers (don’t use dry erase!).
  • ·         Price
    This is a big one.   When I showed the gamers the map they all wanted to know how much it cost.  A couple of them thought it was a $100 plus product, but the fact is that the price point for this map was under $40.  Under forty bucks for a 4x8 map made of durable vinyl is pretty staggering.  I have had maps printed in the past and paid about $30 for a color map that was un-laminated, pixelated, and a fraction of the size.
  • ·         Size
    Options for larger maps is often limited.   Printing large, especially in color, can be a pain.  But if you want a huge and epic map, say something in a 3x6 or 4x8, then these guys can accommodate you. 
This is a map I had printed and laminated at staples for $30

The Bad
  • ·         Resolution
    Though the images I submitted with in printer resolution (300ppi) some of the smaller and more details items, especially the labeling on the Caliburn map, were blurred.   With these maps I would avoid anything two minute and would also go with maps of higher contrast as they seem to show up better.
  • ·         The Grain
    These maps have a definite grain to them and it affects the final image.  It’s difficult to describe it but if you look at one of the close up images you’ll see what I mean. 
  • ·         Fraying
    There is a slight fraying at the edges, or at least you can see little vinyl fibers on the edge.  The map isn’t coming apart by any means, but whether this would become an issue over years of use I’m not sure.  I haven’t seen any issues yet, but thought it worth mentioning. 

The Verdict
With the glare on this picture you can see the grain.
You can see the fraying I mentioned above.
As I said above I was compared the map I got, but I would have no hesitation, and indeed have every intention of, using BannerOnTheCheap in the future for printing maps for my games.  For battle mats especially, I think these guys produce an ideal product that is durable, customized, and very affordable.  Years ago I bought one the Chessex square grid battle mats.   I’ve used it for over a decade and have no complaints, but given that I paid $35 dollars for it and it is one third the size of the product I received for basically the same price, I think it stands as a testament to what a great deal you can get.  You should really check these guys out.  Have one of our free maps printed through them, or print out some of your own stuff.  I think you’ll be glad you did.  

Note: If you find that you do like the Banners you may also want to check out their sister sites, SignsOnTheCheap and MagnetsOnTheCheap.

Cheap Signs