In Challenging High Level PCs there was a point about cartography and mapping.
In order to increase the challenge for a high level party, Ethan says:
Backtracking would be more dangerous with the chance of wandering obstacles, reset traps, etc, forcing the party to rely more on the Cartographer skill.
Part of my response to that:
I’ve long felt that the rules around cartography are clear on how things go when maps work , but they’re tragically unclear about how the GM is supposed to handle backtracking without a map. As best as I can tell, you need to apply the Obstacle-to-Obstacle logic from p117 continuously until the players make an active effort to break the cycle and camp.
I’m curious how other people handle it. We all know how maps are supposed to work in the game, but how do you handle backtracking without a map — especially when there’s not necessarily any danger defined along the route (by the original adventure plan or through a twist). How do you approach it?