Saturday, January 26, 2013

Product Review: NoteBoard (with bonus dungeon)

For $10 I recently purchased a nifty new product called the Noteboard. It is a foldable dry-erase whiteboard that is small enough when folded to fit in a shirt pocket. Below is a test use of it along with comments and a mini dungeon.

The noteboard is basically a bunch of 3 by 5 index cards laminated for use with dry erase markers. One side is blank and the other has three different sets of grid lines (hex, 1 inch square, and centimeter square) printed on it making it suitable for gaming maps or other art/engineering sketch work. It can also work as a calendar since it has 7 panels by 5 panels.

Despite what the picture shows below, the product is white. The color below is due to the light source I was using when I took the picture.

The noteboard folds up into the space of 1 index card stacked about an inch thick. It comes with a cloth carry bag and a marker with an eraser on the end. This ease of portability is a huge positive point in the product's favor. No need to lug around heavy, bulky whiteboards or vinyl battle mats.

To test it I hung it up on a wall using quarter inch Scotch poster hangers, the double sticky sided tabs. Normally I would use a table, but I was not where I could use a table.

As you can see in the picture there are clear gaps between the cards so that the noteboard can be folded up easily. There is lamination in the gaps so have no fear about drawing across these gaps. You won't ruin your table or wall. I recommend if possible using a white background under the noteboard unless having another color peek through is fine for your purposes.

On the negative side I found the eraser that comes with the pen less effective than I would have liked. That may be due to it being lightly tacked to the wall and me being careful not to have it come loose. It does clean off fine with toilet paper or paper towels and it states right on the product itself that for stubborn stains a drop of hand sanitizer works well.

I have not yet tried transporting it folded up with anything drawn on it. That test will wait for another day.

Overall the utility and low price make this a no brainer for a DM that has to haul their stuff around from place to place which would be a huge plus for convention use and for flying when you want small profile light weight items to avoid those checked bag fees.

Here is the link to the product:

In an effort not to waste the test drawing here is a piece of a dungeon to go with the map above.

Dungeon Title - The Cult of Jolokia

Map scale: 1 square = 10'

Room 1 - Flanking the stairs down into this chamber are a pair of floor to ceiling statues of great twisting serpents with human-like heads. To the south double doors bear the fading painting of a screaming face with images of flames inside the mouth.

Room 2 - The walls of this chamber are covered in mosaic tiles depicting many beings contorted in pain, their mouths open with what appears to be flames around their tongues. The floor is covered in a swirling serpent-like pattern with worn pathways from the tread of many feet over the ages.

Two tapestries face each other across the room East to West. The tapestries bear images of a great open mouth, a human headed serpent wrapped around the tongue, with flames stretching the length of the beast.

A door is hidden behind the west tapestry. It can easily be located by looking behind the tapestry or noticed by someone standing next to it on 1-4 on a d6.

The door to the east is locked. Any noise of normal talking volume or above will draw the attention of the naga in room 4 who will come listen at the west door to determine a course of action. If it believes intruders have passed out of room 2 through the east door it will pause for certainty and then enter room two and try to quietly follow the party hoping to ambush them later.

Room 3 - Piled along the walls of this room are piles of enormous snake skins. In the center of the floor there are some tools beside one large snakeskin. Close examination will reveal that work has begun to fashion the snakeskin into part of a garment. Roll a random encounter for the hallway north of this room if the party stops to search.

Room 4 - If not already alerted to intruders, Moruga, a naga will be quietly resting here reading from several long scrolls made from snakeskin.

Room 5 - Three cultists are carefully crushing and grinding peppers to extract juices and create powders. Along the walls are shelves lined with jars and vials of potent mixtures. The air in the room is thick with the scent of the peppers and anyone not used to constant contact with the plant must make a save vs poison or suffer greatly while present and for 1 turn afterward. (intense burning of the eyes and throat, choking, -4 to hit and -4 to AC). Those who save suffer a lesser effect of -2 to hit and AC while present and for 5 rounds after leaving the area.

The cultists will not hesitate to throw powder or juices at the faces of intruders before engaging in hand to hand combat if possible. Anyone hit must save or be blinded and incapacitated for 2d4 turns.

Random encounter tables:
If an encounter is indicated, roll 1d6 on this table to determine the event.

1 - 1d6 cultists and 1 speaker of fire (wizard) arrive.
2 - distant screams and gagging can be heard, roll randomly for perceived direction.
3 - 1 tongue of Jolokia (cleric) and a naga arrive.
4 - a cultist stumbles up, hands on throat, face deep purple, sweating profusely, he or she will make a grab for a water skin and falls down dead (cross this out and replace with option 1 after it happens).
5 - the sound of ringing cymbals can be heard in the distance, roll randomly for perceived direction.
6 - options 1 and 3 together, from different directions if possible.
7 - 2 fangs of Judgement (tougher fighters).
8 - a level appropriate encounter from the normal encounter tables.

All members of the cult will attack with powders or juices first or at opportune times if possible.

------------- Feel free to use this  dungeon however you wish. If you decide to publish it please mention the blog from whence this came.-----------------

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