Sunday, April 25, 2021

Trail Blazer Traveller Game Stamp Testing

Trail Blazer Traveller Game Stamp Testing 

I backed the Trail Blazer Fantasy Game Stamps in the past and recently had the opportunity to play test a new set of stamps for the Traveller RPG.  Specifically stamps that are used to map Sub-sectors of space.  



Questions from the Play Test Instructions:

1.) Did you enjoy using the stamps and stencils?

I like the stamps but found the stencils required more skill than I currently have to create a “good” looking effect.  It will take more practice on my part to get to where I feel comfortable using the stencils on my maps.  Right now, it is easier and cleaner in appearance for me to draw my routes by hand and use pre-printed hexes.  I am going to work on the stamps some more next weekend.

2.) Are they a useful tool for mapping a sub-sector?

The look of your stamps is fantastic and really helped me draw my fantasy maps.  I could create good maps with ease and speed.  This makes up for my own lack in artistic ability to draw fantasy maps.  The Traveller maps work similar.  I use either Traveller Map or IOS app sectors to draw and print my maps right now. IOS Sector Map App (see pic below).  The stamps are not quicker, but create a unique looking map.  I plan to use the stamps for my home brew and Trojan Reach campaigns.



3.) Which stamps seem essential, and which (if any) would you omit from a basic set?

First off, I love the LED stamp and would like a larger version of it.  It was a surprise how much I like using it. 

  • LED stamp – Loved it, but I had to change up pens.  I tried using a fine point sharpie first and had to use one of my wife PIGMA MICRON 1 black ink pens to give it sharp edges.  Plus, my old man vision had a hard time seeing what I was marking.  
  • Star Field – I tried it out and didn’t have much use for the stamp.  I even tried to use it with the asteroid stamps and didn’t like how it turned out. 
  • Planets - I like the planet stamps and the idea of using circled and non-circled stamps instead of colors to denote the presence an atmosphere.
  • Bases – I know the difference in the Navy Base vs scout base etc but it may be nice to give some examples in the guide. 
  • System Starburst – I really like this stamp to denote the presence of water or not.  
  • Danger Skull – This is one from the fantasy set that has been really useful in luring my players into danger.  They cannot resist going to the spot on the map with the “Danger” symbol.  I imagine this will be similar in traveler.  I can see not including this in the basic set, due to it not being critical to making your maps.  

In summary, the only stamp that felt out place was the Star Field.  For a basic set you may want to consider the Star Burst, and planets, and bases.  I would add the skull in with a second set or as an extra. 

4.) Were the guides adequate?

I followed the guides example of using solid and hollow version to denote the presence of water and/or atmosphere.  I am an old school Traveller van and had little difficulty using the stamps to align with the generally accepted charting and mapping keys.  It may be useful to provide a “recommend” map key for those that are less familiar with Traveller map symbols.  I have always liked an overabundance of graphic examples to come with instructions.

The stamp guide was very easy to understand and since I was familiar with the fantasy stamps it translated easily into using the new stamps.  

The stencil guide was little more difficult for me to follow.  I had not used your stencils for the fantasy set and it took me awhile to get a handle on how to use the blending tools and stencils.  Even then I had a hard time getting a consistent look on the paper.   I found myself referencing the guide frequently.  

I almost missed the water-based Ink part vs waterproof ones for the stamps.  If you had not mentioned it specifically in Facebook messenger chat, I would have rushed in and used the wrong ink.  I did not read the guide well enough and was eager to jump in and start testing.  The guide is well written and spells it out, I was just in a hurry and didn’t give it the attention it deserved.  

I am going to include pics and some notes that we discussed via Facebook messenger.

My Setup and paper used:

 


   

Pics of my stamping:

  

 





LED Stamps:

 


 

Stencil work:

     



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