So here is what I've come up with – a small-scale grid where one square abstractly represents the amount of distance a party can cover per turn of exploration or one round of flight/pursuit. So instead of a traditional scale of one (quarter-inch) square equals ten feet, this gives a smaller scale of one (one-inch) square equals roughly 90 feet.
The small white circles are doors, the up-arrows are stairways up and the down-arrows are stairways down. All other details about the room would be noted in the key, including precise dimensions (e.g. 20' x 50', 30' x 30', whatever). In other words just because the rooms appear the same size on the abstracted map doesn't mean they are.
There are several benefits I can see with this:
- It's easier for me to make than a detailed large-scale grid map (I'm really bad at that).
- It's easier for FTF in-play draw-by-hand mapping for the player(s) – especially with every square being labeled, and without the need to draw the rooms in detail.
- The fact that every square is labeled means I can key everything easily, and re-key as things change without having to erase/add in things on the map.
- It should be easier to ensure that things like stairways line up from level to level.
- Counting turns spent exploring might be easier (one square equals one turn -- I'm thinking I might actually put tick marks in the squares themselves, including multiple tick marks if PCs spend time looking about a given room).
- I think it will pair well with my abstract battle board adaptation.
Now I just have to take it out for a spin. Definitely with Brie, and maybe with +Ken H and +Tim Shorts on Wednesdays, since we're no strangers to "theater-of-the-mind" play there either.