2013-02-15 Players Mapping

How do your players map the dungeon? I used to describe it in detail: “thirty feet down the corridor is a door on the left, and a further ten feet it ends in front of yet another door.” This was cumbersome and frustrating. Then I mapped for my players: “Give me the map and I’ll draw it!” This was slow and broke the flow. As a player, I discovered that I liked mapping as our DM kept talking. The resulting maps were crude, wrong and great fun. Thus, when Youseph Tanha said on Google+ that this has slowly driving him insane, I decided to look for some examples.

My map of a Set temple:


This is what Bruno drew:


Another example. Recently I was running my party through Tower of The Changer by Aos:

(PDF available)

This is what Claudia drew, rotated by 90°:


Looking at the comments left on Youseph’s post, I guess this is very similar to what Joseph Bloch is doing:

I describe the surroundings to the players, but I never give them precise dimensions unless it’s something about 30’ or so. I use vague descriptors such as “the corridor goes a long ways” or “this is a very large rectangular room; the door you came in is near the middle of one of the long sides.” – Joseph Bloch



This is how I drew my maps: http://www.theskyfullofdust.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Map-session-ten.jpg

Usually as the DM was talking and describing stuff; the maps were never completely accurate, but great fun to draw.

Simon Forster 2013-02-15 10:03 UTC

I don’t tend to run dungeon based games these days, but I still like letting my players help out with mapping when it’s needed. Thinking back to a recent CP2020 game, a gun fight in a milsurp store. No guns or weapons easy to grab, any that were about were in highly secure lock boxes. After drawing out the basic dimensions of the room, putting in the doors and the counter, I left the rest up to the players. If it was reasonable that it would be in the store, and they asked, I’d make it so, and let them draw things as they were going along. There was nothing they could put on the map that could really change the game play at all, or massively affect the outcome, but it did give them some opportunities for fun using props that I might not have thought of.

shortymonster 2013-02-15 11:30 UTC

I agree with you, Simon. As a player, I enjoy making (inaccurate) maps.

Shortymonster, back in the days when I was using a battle map, we never thought of adding more stuff as a group.

AlexSchroeder 2013-02-18 08:14 UTC

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