As a regular at the local Dungeons & Dragons Adventurer’s League, I get to play with new Dungeon Masters almost every week. One thing that always fascinates me is each DM’s setup. Some use tablets and some stick staunchly to paper, sure, and some go crazy with the minis. But for me it’s more about what they’re presenting to us players.
One guy made a whole cardboard town for his campaign group. Another tries to keep it moving with a basic Melee Mat and wood chips that can act as enemies and terrain alike. I admire cardboard town guy’s efforts, but I don’t have that kind of time. We all want immersion, but we don’t have that Critical Role money to spend on custom built sets and figures. Fortunately, the ever-growing world of tabletop Kickstarters presents more affordable options.
Mammoth Maps is the latest of my Kickstarter discoveries. Its campaign is ongoing until March 12. The creator aims to deliver a table-sized, rewritable map made of material that will survive spills, constant drawing, and surprise cat invasions.
The key differences between Mammoth Maps and the mats I see most DMs use are size and material. A Mammoth Map is about 3.5 ft x 6.5 ft. They can also be cut to fit whatever table shape you desire. But the Kickstarter page explains that good scissors will be needed, as Mammoth Maps are made with PVC material. This makes it so that even sugary drink spills can be cleaned up with a simple swipe of a damp cloth.
What I find truly interesting about Mammoth Maps is that they promise this durable, spill-proof material on top of the same benefits other maps offer. They’re double-sided, offering your choice of the the forest, gray dungeon floor, sea, and grassland settings seen on most battle mats. They can be drawn on with special included markers, and wiped clean with a wet cloth. And the campaign’s stretch goals are unlocking pages of reusable stickers depicting everything from rocks and trees to entire dungeon floor plans. All in all it looks like a huge upgrade.
However, this is the part where I have to say I haven’t used Mammoth Maps. It’s an in-progress Kickstarter, which means a lot of promises but no actual review because I can’t get the product in my hands. The creator does say that the mats have been playtested, and offers up this photo album as proof. But that’s the nature of Kickstarter. I think I might be willing to take the gamble if it means adding some flair to my Adventurer’s League table.
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