Early D&D is a maze game. Ok, that’s a tad reductive, not least because early D&D is a number of different game systems bolted together, including a tactical skirmish game, a resource management game, a hex exploration game, etc. D&D is also, of course, a framework to improvise outside of the rules and to generate collaborative stories. Most importantly: D&D is whatever works for you.
Still, if we’re being honest, it’s a maze game. Players go down into a maze (designed by the DM), avoid (or disarm) traps, and avoid (or fight, or parlay with) monsters in order to recover treasure. That’s the game. D&D’s preponderance, in earlier editions, for cartographical tricks and traps such as sloping corridors, teleporters, and spinning rooms doesn’t make sense unless D&D is a maze game.[Read more…]