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Based on your clarification, that its taking 30-45 seconds to describe rooms to the player mapping them out, I have to state my first impression... You are not the problem. If your players can't stay focused for 30-45 seconds as you describe the room their characters are in... the rooms their characters might fight and even die in... that's their flaw. ...


1

When I’m the mapper, I use the box-and-lines method that JPicasso mentioned. When I’m DM... I’ve had players who don’t do well with only verbal descriptions. They need visual aids. So, I’ve had to adjust. I use Encounter Elements or Dwarven Forge Game Tiles (just the basic ones) or Blue Dungeon Tiles to quickly show the general layout of the area the PCs ...


0

This isn't a great answer, but I don't have the rep to add a comment, and I feel like the idea could contribute to someone else creating a good solution . . . Make a multi-layered physical map with a semi-opaque substance like wax paper? Do a detailed map, then loosely trace the outline of the detailed map on the successive layers of paper. The top layer ...


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In the time before time, there was a text-based video game called "Zork". Every solution I found to zork was mapped with boxes and lines connecting these areas. Examples Here This makes for a great quick and dirty mapping style for the player characters to employ. You get the basics of the room and how it relates to other areas. Players can take quick ...


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In almost every D&D game I played, the standard was "The Dwarf is mapping." Yup, an NPC, usually. If not, we assumed the Character was mapping without having the Player go through the act. It worked for us.


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when I describe even the simplest room dimensions and exits to the party's mapper, the other players lose interest. Why are you giving verbal descriptions rather than simply giving them a map? If it's because it's a secret (or, rather, the accuracy of the details is dependent on a skill check - if it were a secret you wouldn't be giving anything at all), ...


13

Drop formal mapping by the players from the game, if the process of mapping in details is getting in the way of fun. OSR games do not mean you have to sacrifice your fun, and though it is realistically "old school" to get out the graph paper and describe the turns of every wall to the designated mapper, it is equally accurate (at least from the early 1980s ...


1

The group I play with has tested multiple methodes for maps. Pre-drawn maps Important locations that will probably be visited can be prepared in advance. This way it takes no time to get the map ready. If you explain each room as they enter, you split the explaining time up with suspense, exploring and possibly combat. Bonus tricks: You can tape the ...


49

This answer is rooted deeply in the principles of the specific Old School playstyle that the question is about, and which loosely define the OSR movement. By making mapping a part of play, you can both increase engagement with the mapping, make the time spent mapping less separate and more overlapping with the “interesting” things, and decrease the absolute ...


6

In nearly every game I've played, we've solved this problem by having the DM draw the map for the players. Sometimes the map is much larger than the battle mat. The solution we use is to have an exploration map -- basically a blank white piece of paper on which the DM draws the map freehand -- and then, when combat happens, the DM draws the room(s) ...



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