Closed, since this answer answers pretty much everything

I have a vinyl mat and a water-soluble pen, this allows me to have any dungeon imaginable to put my figurines into. My problem is: how and when do i draw the dungeon?

If a draw the whole dungeon out at the start of the mission players can guess where encounters and treasure will be and if i want a maze-like section, they can already see the exit. This encourages meta-gaming where the players know the layout of the dungeon but the characters do not. (Of course, in the case where one character has a map this is no problem.)

How can i avoid this? I thought maybe draw based on the characters' line of sight, however i don't want to stop play every time the party enters a new room or turns a corner...

As a side note, the mat is double-sided with squares on one side and hexes on the other. I prefer drawing outdoor scenes on the hexes, while town/dungeon scenes are using squares. With an outdoor scene, is drawing going to be any different? for one, the characters can see farther...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there something this question doesn't (ahem) cover? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 18 '16 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ [Related] How best to progressively reveal the layout of a location to players? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 18 '16 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Thanks for the edit. Also, isn't this technically a duplicate? If you want i can close the question... \$\endgroup\$ – Aric Aug 18 '16 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AricFowler It might be a duplicate, but I have refrained from using the blunt instrument of my super-closevote and no-one else has so far voted on a duplicate. Do one of those linked questions in particular fit your question's problem like a glove and have answers that solve your problem? If so, let us know which and we can link them together! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 18 '16 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie An adjustment to the question might be in order... I am trying to find a system of deciding when to reveal new parts of the dungeon and i guess that doesnt fit the other linked questions much \$\endgroup\$ – Aric Aug 18 '16 at 15:29

If you dont want to stop every time to draw, based on player sight, I would suggest you to draw the entire dungeon and lay some paper or cardboard over your dungeon.

It will be hard for you player to guess what's under but they can still guess "there is a cardboard here so there must be a secret room!"

There is no perfect solution. Personally I prefer to draw when my player reach a new room. Maybe you can position yourself closer to the map so that when you draw, it is easier for you to do so.

  • \$\begingroup\$ maybe split the dungeon into sections... If there is only one way to get to a section of the dungeon, then wait for the characters to get to that bottleneck before drawing the rest? \$\endgroup\$ – Aric Aug 18 '16 at 15:14

I typically draw out rooms as players come to them. It doesn't take that much time really (the real pain is redrawing the map every session as I use the same tiles for that game as other games).

I use a set of interlocking dry erase dungeon tiles. In theory, I could draw out the next section of the map while the players are on the previous one, but in practice I just set them up as a 9x9 grid and reposition/redraw as necessary.

Your real question, however, seems to be how to deal with metagaming. I have a couple players who are questionable in terms of metagaming, and the only solution I've found is to turn their "genre savyness" on its ear by subverting expectations. If you draw out the whole map, hide empty spaces under paper as well as secret rooms. They will waste a ton of time staring at an empty wall (and be sure when the session is over to reveal that area "accidentally" so they know you are hiding blank spaces as well as real hidden areas).

One thing I do to keep track of certain things (when enemy reinforcements are coming, when some event will occur, etc) is to have a die sitting in front of me that I count down on. One of my players noticed and started doing things like delaying his action when the die reached 1 fairly regularly. So now, I have a die like that up in every encounter, most of the time meaning nothing (often I roll it 2-3 rounds in, smile, consult my notes, and set it in front of me).

It isn't so much you want to punish your players for metagaming (I try to believe that most don't do it on purpose) but you are trying to train them away from it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I love the die idea, counting down haha. I am definitely going to try that and start playing mind games with them! \$\endgroup\$ – Aric Aug 19 '16 at 7:58

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