$1,329
pledged of $9,000pledged of $9,000 goal
26
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, August 27 2013 12:34 PM UTC +00:00
$1,329
pledged of $9,000pledged of $9,000 goal
26
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, August 27 2013 12:34 PM UTC +00:00

About

First Things First!

Yes, you can write on them.

The surface has a protective coating on it, making the maps wet-erase safe. We don't recommend leaving the ink on for weeks in between games, but we let various colors of wet-erase markers dry thoroughly and they all washed off perfectly clean.

Getting Down To Business

Why Maps?

Earlier this year Richard was working as the graphics guy for a pic-to-canvas company, and one day the print shop needed to test some new inks. They asked him for something to print, and the only file he had of the right size was a ship layout design for Traveller. They made the print, and put it in his hands, he looked at it - and a light bulb went off in his head. ::Blink-blink:: "Holy [bleep]!" ... and Rat's Mats was born.

Role playing games are the chance to immerse yourself in a character in another world and escape reality for a while, like starring in your own movie (shhh, don't tell your friends - they all think they're the star!) Some players paint miniatures to represent their character, some wear their cloak to game night or insist on being called by their character's name during the game and won't answer to their own. We put a lot of energy into making our characters real - but what about the world we're playing in? Doesn't it deserve the chance to be alive and vivid and as tangible as possible?

What makes these maps so special?

Our maps are printed on 100% cotton canvas, using a giclee process that injects museum-quality inks right into the fabric. The colors are bright and lively, and a light polymer coating allows them to be wet-erase safe - as well as cola/gatorade/pizza safe. They're light and portable, but resilient enough to last a lifetime. Your grandkids can play with these maps someday! Each one can be used on its own in a wide variety of adventures, or combine them into one large map that allows players to prowl the town looking for whatever sort of troublesome traps you've set.

The graphics below are marked with square grid pattern (1 inch = 5 feet), but we'll be sending a survey to all our backers after the project ends, asking which maps you want to receive, and you'll be able to select either square or hex grid at that time.

Introducing: Swamp Set #1:

This first set is comprised of four maps - three 12"x24" and one 12"x12" - which fit together to create a tiny coastal trading post frequented by some very rough characters. The designs aren't quite final yet - they're still being tweaked and edited - but here are their current incarnations:

The Ship:

The Dock:

The Tavern/Inn (shown here as two, but printed side-by-side - see full layout below):

Downstairs
Downstairs
Upstairs
Upstairs

The Warehouse:

Put them all together, and you'll get something like this:

The Bigger Picture

Who are you people? 

Richard is an illustrator, graphic artist, and web designer who's been planning, running, and playing RPGs since high school. Robin's a nerdy non-gamer who jumped into this project because it's a chance to make color-coded Excel sheets with links and formulas. Also she's Richard's wife, and works in accounting, and this will be their third business together. He's the creative one and she's the "numbers lady" (trying hard to resist making a Mad Men reference here...)

What happens next??

First, we watch anxiously for this project to reach our funding goal. Next, we'll release a series of stretch goals we've already planned and are really excited about!

When the final numbers are in we'll submit the printing order and get your rewards to you as quickly as we possibly can.

With the funding that remains after your rewards are complete, we plan to bump up our website from Really Basic to Pretty Spiffy, as well as do some marketing both online and directly to game stores.

Then... we'll start working on the next set, tentatively titled "Shady Dock City Block," which includes a proper city dock, a dark alley, an apothecary/spell shop, and lots more!

We're Kicking It Forward!
We're Kicking It Forward!

Risks and challenges

Our maps will be printed locally, by a well-known pic-to-canvas company that happens to be based nearby. This eliminates the possibility of shipping or customs delays. We've confirmed solid production time estimates with the shop, and fully expect to have product within six weeks from the date our project is funded. That said, production issues can happen, machinery breaks down, or someone passes around a bad case of the flu and the printshop falls behind - these are things we have to consider possible delays. We promise to keep our backers in the loop and notify you of any change in schedule as fulfillment progresses. Shipping will be first class USPS, and once that package leaves our hands we will no longer be in control of its fate.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    For a pledge of any amount you will receive a giant slice of virtual gratitude pie - and everyone likes pie, right? In addition, we will do the happy chicken dance around the office for a full minute in your honor (un-videotaped - you'll just have to trust us!)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    PDF adventure, "Down in the Bayou", written as a companion to Rat's Mats' Swamp Set and designed to be played using the 3.0/3.5 rules for D&D and Pathfinder. Can be played without the maps, of course - though we like to think they add a little something to the experience!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PDF adventure plus one Swamp Set map of your choice.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    PDF adventure plus two Swamp Set maps of your choice

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    PDF adventure and complete set of Swamp Set maps.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    One custom 12"x24" game map based on your sketch and/or description, with opportunity to view rough drafts and make changes before final product is printed. Want to send your players to an ice cave maze? A mer-people village? A space station? Here's your chance! Just one catch - if we like your design, we retain the right to market it beginning 12 months after delivery.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Custom map just like the one above- except you retain all rights, forever. We'll never print another one, or tell anyone what you asked for, or even admit to knowing you if you don't want us to. (Richard might put it in his portfolio, but only with your permission.)

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Funding period

- (28 days)