That one word as a GM fills me with dread. Why create a maze of irrelevant intersections only to have your players deliberate over every decision when all you need them to do is get to the bottom?
And who in their right mind still thinks having their players map the dungeon/maze/where ever on squared paper is conducive to a good gaming experience? Of the many times we’ve tried that there has not been a single occasion where the player mapping hasn’t made a mistake at some point which has completely ruined the map. An intersection wrongly marked or a tunnel 5 squares long instead of 6. I’ve yet to see an aspect of gaming that wastes more time and cause more unnecessary arguments than mapping.
But how do you get around explaining the players locale without it? Bear in mind I very rarely use minatures and hate being limited by using pre-built dungeon cardboard cut-outs.
You could take the route of just giving/selling them a ‘complete’ without any of your encounters or items marked on it. At least that way there is no arguments over layouts but you can’t do that every time. It’s the equivalent of handing your players a bag of holding because they just happen to want to carry every item they have ever looted about with them at all times. It’s far to easy a trap to fall into at the best of times.
Going on past experiences the best way I’ve found to deal with this problem is to first of all stop designing huge dungeons. Unless you are just going to miss out most of the map and just tell the players they have found a way to the secret room you still get a decent level of exploration on small scale tunnels. The other method is to produce several copies of the same map. One with all your notes on it, a blank one without the notes and several copies of the blank one that has for example everything but the opening few rooms blanked out and then one with the next section showing. Use a blank bit of paper and sketch the initial tunnels/rooms until they have discovered most of what’s on the first sectioned map and then replace the scribble with the actual map section. Keep doing this until they end up with the almost completed map in their hands.
It may sound like an awful lot of work but if you limit it to a few map sections it’s the quickest and most accurate way I’ve found yet whilst not boring the players have to death.