The six-player playmat

Hm. My plans on writing in-depth about event cards, an exhaustive report from ViennaGeddon, and stories on 93/94 tournaments in 2008 appears to take more concentration than my current sleep schedule offer. In this The New Life, some things have to give, and regular blogging is apparently one of them.

So I'm thinking smaller. I can just write something short to clear my head. Show something strange that may have alluded the radars of all but the most crazy collectors. For the deeper I dig into the rabbit holes of old school trinkets, the more strange gems are to be found. Like, scrapped sets and strange playtest cards and mid-90s memorabilia that I can find no good references of elsewhere online.

Today, let's talk about a particular piece of cloth.

Some of you may know that I'm a big fan of them Khalsa-Brain playmats. I wrote a post about them back in 2014. If you are unfamiliar with the mid-90s history of playmats, first of all, I guess congrats on your social life. Second, that post may be click-worthy. Regardless, let's take a quick refresher on Khalsa and Brain's adventures during the cradle years of collectible card games.

Khalsa-Brain first sold their mats - the very first playmats - at DundraCon in early 1994. For that event they had made 100 mats. This first batch had square corners, and was sold together with an Arabian Nights pack for the total price of $10. The mats sold out, quickly became a sought after accessory, and Japji Khalsa and Jeff Brain started to "mass produce" (with pretty big quotation marks) the two-player Spellground and the one-player Spellground Elite. In the mid-90s, these mats were the playmats to have. Perhaps not surprising, as they were pretty much the only playmats, but the quality is still truly impressive by any standard.

The batches made in the first few years are the ones most old school blingers particularly seek. They are on that same "version one" cloth, and those mats sport a dash (-) between "Khalsa" and "Brain" on the printing. Even heavily used ones can command a hefty booty.

If you are one of the odd playmat historians, you might be familiar with "The table". The table was Japji Khalsa's personal mat in those budding days of 93/94; and most probably the first object created for playing Magic on. It is a first prototype Khalsa-Brain mat fixed onto a folding table, hand colored by Jeff Brain. It was locked away in a storage room for twenty years or so, but has resurfaced and is now used as the feature match area at n00bcon.

The best place to play sleeveless Alpha games. 

This is not about that table though. This is about the second coolest playmat.

Japji and Jeff started the first ever Magic convention in 1994; a one-day gathering called ManaFest. ManaFest continued until 2001 when it was merged with another convention, GameCon, to become the still running KublaCon taking place during US Memorial Day weekend.

As the inagural Magic convention was a well appreciated event, Japji and Jeff decided to go for it again and level up Manafest further in 1995. By this time their business creating playmats was up and running, so they decided to try and create two special six-player mats for the various tournament finals. These mats were approximately 4x9 feet in size (3.3 m^2) and had the classic two-player design in the middle, flanked by specially designed one-player spellground art (reworked for two players) on each side.

"I'm not even sure who remember we did these... other than Jeff Brain." -Japji Khalsa

One of these mats was sadly stolen and never seen again. It is presumed that it was cut up. The other one however, was wrapped in plastic and left in a closet for twenty-ish years.

The six-player mat, folded out on the floor.

So if the table mat is the premier place to play a game of one-on-one old school Magic, I can see no better area to play a multiplayer game than on this six-player mat.

If you are coming to n00bcon, feel free to bring an oldschool multiplayer deck with you. After almost a quarter of a century, it is high time to return this shroud to action again.


  1. So - does this mean that 2nd playmat (lol autocorrect wanted to correct to playmate huh- huh) is in your/someone in your immediate surroundings' possession? That'd be a pretty cool oldschool artifact. Alternately it may be used as a blanky to keep the little one happy as hellfire. Good luck with the sleep deprivation

    1. That would be correct :) One was stolen and lost in 1995, the other one was purchased by me from Japji Khalsa a couple of weeks ago.

      For baby blankets, I would reccomend v5 cloth mats; they appear to be a little warmer :P

  2. Your Crazy, what next ? Original art of Flying Carpet ? ;) haha //Jhovalking

    1. Haha :D Hopefully I'm mostly done with strange mats now, but there appears to be no bottom to the Chaos Orb rarities ;) Always something new to search for.

    2. I for one am a fan of playmats. This made me warm inside.


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