To map or not to map in Dungeons & Dragons?

In this episode of Dungeon Craft, Professor Dungeon/Master answers a viewer's questions: "How did mapping dungeons become such a staple in D&D? Isn't it disruptive to roleplaying? And how do you handle directions? Is it east and west, or left or right?…Is mapping really necessary?"

In answering these questions, the Prof talks about old school vs. modern 5e D&D, the value of maps (and torches that burn out) in creating tension, when maps are useful tools and when they aren't, and how modern D&D has taken a lot of the high stakes out of the game with things like characters being able to see in the dark, little need for resource management, and death saves.

image: Screengrab