The printed cards arrived along with some other things for proofing. The immediate question was, would they pass the pencil and pen test?
Overall, they are pretty decent, as good quality as should be expected for something like this. The printing of the light grays is a little bit too light, but that’s a calibration issue between design and production, and that’s what print proofs are for. The more important question is the glossiness of the coating, and how well they can be written on.
Since these are intended for note-keeping, it is important that these can be written on. By themselves, they are nothing, really. So, how did they do?
The bad news, first of all, is that they are not at all suitable for use with pencils. I didn’t test it extensively, but the mechanical pencil I tried first did nothing other than creasing the surface a bit, the same as if I had been using a nail to mark it. So erasable doesn’t figure, since they can’t be written on with a pencil in the first place. If your writing implement of choice is a pencil, these cards are not what you want.
Then I tried pens. I used four different pens on the test card (left, above). “But, I only see two sets of words, Rodger,” you’re saying, now. And that’s right. The Sharpies (both a Fine Point and an Ultra Fine) were perfectly adequate for marking these, and that’s what I used on the other cards shown, as well. The other two pens I used, a Flair Medium and a Micron 02 both wiped off completely (like a dry erase, almost), even after sitting on the card for a few minutes. So maybe there is some erasability, after all.
That could be a good thing, or a bad thing, though.
If you are using the card to keep track of something like charges used, or hit points received, you could probably re-use the card a couple times. The testing I did was to leave the ink on it for about 10 minutes before seeing if it would wipe off with a finger. After a few times doing this, it might not be as resilient as the first time. That’s not how they are intended to be used, so I wouldn’t want to count on them performing like that over and over. But they’re cheap enough you could use one for a while, and then, if it got messed up, just start a new one to replace it.
These will be coming to the Atherwyck House store at DriveThru RPG