Alex Schroeder raises the question: How much mapping is actually required? He’s not talking about mazes, where the architects include features meant to confuse invaders or lead them into traps or ambush spots. The example he gives is of a fairly linear map with a few branches.
He suggests that this map doesn’t really need to exist at all. The details of the dungeon can be handled entirely with text. I’d agree that a truly linear map with no branches or even one with just one or two side passages could be handled this way.
But some areas should always be mapped, for example one with more than one exit in most of the walls. Even if the area can be described in words, it’s actually easier to understand it with a map. Another example is a room with large furniture, statues, pillars, or anything else that breaks up the floor space. It’s not complicated to describe, but figuring that stuff out with a map is practically instantaneous.
This does lead to some ideas about mapping, but I’ll save those for other posts.
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