A couple of days ago, while reviewing the dungeon for my next D&D game (well ahead of time, and it was a good idea), I spotted a huge inconsistency between the maps of level 1 (mostly explored) and 2 (the PCs only saw a couple of rooms). Of course I had to redraw part of level 2, which required a larger sheet of paper, which of course needed to be filled.

I kept most of the layout of level 2, but added a bunch of (mostly) empty rooms. Which gives a more consistent feel to level 2.



So this is the third evening I spend basically redrawing a whole dungeon level to fix an error I'm quite sure my players wouldn't have spotted anyway. And this will probably require a new version of level 3 as well.

I'm actually quite pleased with the new version, but I'm not fond of changing an existing map after the PCs have entered the place, even though the changes are purely cosmetic.

How would you handle this kind of situation?


@nono how about in game logic: all is not right with this dungeon. Rooms and walls actuality are moving ... Have you noticed that weird rumbling under their feet, yet?

@wandererbill This wouldn't work in this particular part of this particular dungeon, but it's a good option. In fact, should the players choose to explore the lower levels, this kind of things will definitely happen, more often as they get deeper.

@nono @wandererbill That would mean giving up on one of the main appeals of exploratory game play (discovering and synthesizing) but if it can be done in order to highlight other appeals of the gameplay, it can be worth it. Or, if there is a method to the madness that they can eventually figure out and grok, like the original Hunt the Wumpus or the weirdo elephant/camel style living dungeons in Breath of the Wild, that can also work.

@nono I tell them. Last session, one of my players, @Halo, said “You know you don’t need to tell us these things?” and maybe he’s right. My thinking, and I said as much at the time, is that I get that it sucks to hear that your DM messed up when she did (or that the module writer did). But that also means that you can rely that I didn’t make any changes when I don’t say anything.

It’s what’s not there that makes what’s there what it is.


@Sandra @nono I belive I was more concerned about the potential of revealing that there is something special with a certain area, like "why did DM just said she changed stuff in here, lets search for secret doors and traps"

@Halo @nono

Aaah! That’s great to know. Thank you for clarifying!

Although don’t worry. You’re still missing plenty of stuff. And I also sometimes overly describe completely empty areas to get you to spend ticks and resources there. My pokerface technique isn’t just about stoneface but also some active bluffing.♥

All part of my job as secret keeper!

@nono Let me also clarify that making all kinds of changes well ahead of time is fine. It’s only once they’ve started doing stuff there (and/or decided to try to get there) that you need to lock in, and if you change what’s been locked in, tell.

@Sandra Of course. Not so easy to define "well ahead of time", of course; I could very well have made the same changes 5 sessions ago with the exact same consequences (or lack thereof).

I understand your point though, and thank you for your long reply.

@nono Thank you for the prompt, I’ve been meaning to write about this and now I finally got the opportunity.

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