mattjackson wrote:What this secret method? Have a link somewhere?
No, I'm afraid not. The RPG Primer is one of the few things I actually make money from, and about the only RPG product I don't share for free.
But here's a rundown, taken more or less directly from the book:
First of all, the GM should tell the player who is mapping what scale the map should be in. This isn't revealing any secrets to the player, it's just making the game easier to enjoy. Most classic dungeon interiors are drawn at one square equals either five or ten feet.
Now for an example. I introduce the dungeon this way:
This map is in ten foot squares, and it'll be easiest if you start in the middle of the nearest side of the paper. The stairs are ten feet wide and run down to the north twenty feet, then the corridor runs twenty, branch left ten feet to a door, run ten feet to a door.
It sounds a little odd, but it's a very efficient way to describe a dungeon. Here's what the player would draw.
The player has just assumed north is at the top of the map, which is fine. The stairs "run" twenty feet, then the corridor "runs" another twenty. The next instruction is "branch left" which means that the corridor continues onward past the branch. Alternatives would be "crossroads" (the corridor goes four ways), "turns," or "tees" which means it goes left and right but not onwards. Branch, turn, tee, and crossroads always take a space of their own, just as shown.
The rest of the instructions finish out the map as shown. The players decide to try the door to the left, and after they get it open I say:
This room is thirty feet deep and twenty feet wide and extends left.
Here's the result. "Extends left" tells the player how to lay the room out on the map.
How about a more complicated room? When the players open the other door, I say this:
Start from the left side of the door and follow the wall. Run ten feet, turn right, run twenty feet, turn right, run ten feet, half turn left, diagonal one square, half turn right, run ten feet, turn right, run thirty feet and square it off.
Wow, that sounds complicated, but if you follow along step by step you get this strange room: