## Stop Measuring in Units We Don't Use (Feet and Minutes)

Players don't use feet at the table.  We use squares.  4E admitted to this and you're regressing to the bad old days of having to divide by five.  Much of the world doesn't know what 5 feet means.

Solution: Divide all measurements of distance (speed, range, AoE) by five and call them what we ACTUALLY USE... squares or spaces.  Combat happens on a grid, not with rulers.  If you've used your own products you'd know this.

Minutes, hours and days are pretty meaningless in mechanics.  Combat does not last minutes.  It's not divided into seconds.  It's turns and rounds.  We don't deal in 6 minutes... we deal in scenes and actions.  Days are more of a problem than a benefit as they lead to the five minute work day.  Have powers recharge based on something in the story.

Solution: Use the units of time that we ACTUALLY USE... rounds, turns, scenes, etc.

the_yakk
Joined Dec 1969
Switch to yards (with an explicit note that a yard is about the length of a human stride, or a meter, or half the height of a human).

If you want to convert, 2 yards =~ 5', so it isn't hard to keep the scale of the game almost the same with a search and replace on the rules.

An ability that lets you move xd6 feet further can instead move you xd6/2 yards further.  Dividing by 2 is easy, and gives you a quite similar scale to xd6 feet (well, 50% larger, but that is pretty similar).
cassmi
Joined Dec 1969
Nope. Feet are fine. I've been using the metric system my whole life and I have no problem understanding that 30' equals six squares and that 5' is just above 1,5m. The problem with squares is that it's very 'mechanical' and takes away from the immersion/visualisation aspect. What if the group isn't using a grid? It would be quite silly to tell the players that they take a penalty because they're shooting an arrow at an orc that's "three squares" beyond the range limit of their weapon if they don't even have squares in front of them in the first place. If you use miniatures, why not decide with your group that you will be measuring distances in squares and just not call feet? Dividing by five isn't even math, it's that automatic.
carahue
Joined Dec 1969
This is a roleplaying game and not a board game. Those who want squares can play chess or monopoly.
This is a roleplaying game and not a board game. Those who want squares can play chess or monopoly.

LOL roleplaying has nothing to do with squares, either having them or not. If having squares stops you from roleplaying, then it's you that have a problem and not the game. Would 30'(6 squares) really be too much?

Now I prefer straight feet first, then squares and at the bottom of the list, metric.  However, whatever they pick will not effect my roleplaying.

Having played a lot of Pathfinder Society, I've spent a great deal of time on battlemaps.  I have never had a problem with translating my 30' of movement into six squares.  If you're even sitting down to a game of D&D, you've already committed to doing some math anyway.  In fact, your first action in rolling up a character is adding three numbers together repeatedly.  Heck, at least we're not having to calculate THAC0 anymore!

The pitfall of measuring all ground distances in squares is that it implies that playing on a battlemap is the ONLY acceptable way of playing D&D.  The reason that the use of squares is credited to 4E despite the previous existence of battlemaps is that 4E is the only version to exclusively use squares as a measuring unit.

P.S.  Besides, anything that makes D&D more accessible to Liberians and Burmese is definitely a plus...
Lets call it inchess.. then make them refer to a different game world distance indoors from out doors so it can make so much sense like 1e...

Well somebody mentioned THAC0
 Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly?  Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord) Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairnessReflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character)  At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e. By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one "Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."
cvb
Joined Dec 1969
I'd prefer to use the units the characters would be using, so I can play it from my character's perspective and not just on a table. I can imagine shooting something that's 100 feet away a lot better than 20 squares away. Maybe I'm at an advantage for being American, but come on, I learned your system, you're smart enough to learn mine for the purpose of the game. It uses feet and inches because it's based on a medieval culture. My point is, ever since Dungeons and Dragons split off from Chainmail, this has been a roleplaying game and not just a tactical war game.

I'm with this guy.
What a silly debate...

THIS is what got chosen to be one of the longest threads on the board?

-KW

Doesnt it make you want to make silly posts though!?...
 Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly?  Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord) Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairnessReflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character)  At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e. By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one "Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."
being someone of the world and not the US. the metric system seems to me the way to go.

but because wizards are a US company with a US market it is not going to happen even if we all voted for metric.

That being said, why not paces? standardisation was around in medival times. and for the sticklers, a pace can even be a foot or a fraction of a metre or whatever.

The 5-feet increment unit works well for both ToTM and TV, i don't see it go soon.

Its easy enought to convert and i have observed that many hardcore map users generally use the term ''square'' anyway, when moving or calling ranges.

I have a player who still use the 5-foot step when shifting in 4E games.  And his Rogue backstab peole when he use sneak attack. He also says attack of opportunity instead of opportunity attack etc... The human nature is that many people just stick to calling things as they are used to...

I'd like too see your proof and data that many people stick to calling things as they are. Your small circle of friends is hardly equivalent to the gaming community as a whole. Pardon me if it take this with a grain of salt ;)
Plaguescarred
Joined May 2009
21411 Posts
I'd like too see your proof and data that many people stick to calling things as they are. Your small circle of friends is hardly equivalent to the gaming community as a whole. Pardon me if it take this with a grain of salt ;)

You are free to do so, but I wasn't saying the gaming community as a whole was neither

Yan

I vote for cubits and furlongs...
Rastapopoulos
Joined Jan 2013
1594 Posts

First of all, grids and miniatures are and have always been optional for Tabletop RPGs, at least for D&D.
Making the game based on grids is just wrong.

D&D is about letting your imagination fly.
If I throw a fireball of 20ft radius inside a 50ft-wide room I need not a grid to imagine how much of that room will be affected.

Combat with grids and miniatures is much slower and restrained by rules than when you play without them, and although I understand the appeal of this kind of gameplay for many people, there's plenty out there who like better to play the good ol' "dice, paper and imagination" only.

Second...

Dude, D&D requires some basic math... if you can't translate your 5ft measures into squares while playing miniatures then I strongly suggest you look for another sort of entertainment.
Telwar
Joined Dec 1969
I'd like them to have only three durations for spells/effects:

Turn  (as in, until end of this or next)
Fight
Day

I.e. sorta like 4e, because the minute, 10 minute, and hour/level durations from earlier editions were annoying, especially the shorter ones.
Thealas
Joined Dec 1969
Please just no to the OP request. D&D is roleplaying games we need more immersion not less by distancing it further away from what we use I.e. feet, minutes and all those things the OP seems to dislike.
Definitely prefer feet (either as feet or yards) to squares but would prefer if they just listed both in most cases like so:

Range: 25' (5 squares/hexes/etc.)

I do like the idea of yards, but it's not very backward compatible.

However, I definitely do NOT like using minutes, especially when spell durations are fairly arbitrary as they currently seem in DDN. I'm not going to be tracking 37 minute spiderwalks or 17 1/3 minutes invisibilities when we're trying to quest. The annoying thing about those is that, you're basically just telling the DM to arbitrate a spell duration once it's out of combat, and that's not really fair for the player.  Again though, I'd like to see both, just have it be a bit more standardized. Say: 1 round (6 seconds), 1 encounter (1-10 minutes), 1 scene (10-60 minutes/<1 hour), or 1 day (24 hours). Heck you could even throw in 1/2 day and week for good measure.
kestralb
Joined Dec 1969
I very much sympathise with the OP.
I don't use feet or minutes much in my game nearly as much as squares/rounds, and I don't find that that breaks "immersion" at all.  No more so than writing down "15 strength" instead of "strong enough to bench press 200lbs." =P  Usually "breaks immersion" is just a way of saying "something I'm not used to".  For one person multiplying by 5 to find feet breaks immersion, for another deviding by 5 to find squares does the same.

But for that very reason, in the interest of keeping the system as flexable as possible for different playstyles and uses of the rules, I think it's appropriate that the feet/yards and hours/minutes/seconds are the officially given units.  These "real world" units are universal in their meaning and don't depend on any one rule system, so whether you're using the standard 5 foot grid or or some custom hexogon-grid or just TotM you can easily convert these distances and times for use at your own table.

So yeah, I'll just be deviding by 5 to find the range or a spell, but I don't mind doing it.  It may break my "immersion" a bit at first, but only until I get used to it.  And I think that it's honestly the best decision for the devs to make in this case.
mvincent
Joined Dec 1969
Please just no to the OP request. D&D is roleplaying games we need more immersion not less by distancing it further away from what we use I.e. feet, minutes and all those things the OP seems to dislike.

Well said. I agree completely.

scald
Joined Dec 1969
I hardly see the problem. Using feet and minutes is fine. Do you want to use squares? Divide by 5 for squares. Want to use turns instead of minutes? Divide the amount of seconds by 6. It's very very very simple.
Xuub
Joined Dec 1969
A few years ago I bought an adventure module that was an ebook.  It had a button.  If you clicked the button it conveted all the stat blocks to either d20, Savage Worlds, and some other games.  It would be great if D&D Next could embrace technology and really use it to solve issues like this.  If you want feet and minutes, Click the button.  If you want squares, or meters, or whatever, click a button.  This could also work for other modular rules.

Living outside the US, I would like to have centimeters, meters, kilometers instead of inches, feet and miles of course. After all, that's how the entire world does things. I could also live with squares if they represented something in meters.
But I understand that a lot of US players are either unwilling or unable to change the way they calculate distances because they have no way of getting a feel for it in the country they live in. Maybe most americans do not leave their own country and therefore have no way of knowing anything else.
Also, WotC is an american company that produces a US game for the US market. I guess I wouldn't want americans coming over here to my home country Germany and telling us how to brew beer. Thinking about this as I write, there is a difference, though: german beer is appreciated around the world as far as I know, while feet and inches are not? Is that so, I am not sure. And who am I as a german to tell others how they should calculate distances?
Anyways, I do not expect the return of the SW Saga Edition or d20 Modern 2m-squares and I can live with it. Having to calculate feet and inches into cm and meters is a good brain exercise.

That said, "minutes" really should be changed IMO. Especially because "minute" represents "until the end of the encounter" 95% of the time. So why not be honest and say what it really means?
But I also do not think we will see a return of the "until the end of the encounter" either because that probably is considered too gamey by those who do not like 4E and 3e Bo9S, people WotC seeks to win back in general. And maybe too many people are simply unwilling or unable to state when an encounter is over. It definetely is less simulationist, which some people do not like.
And I can live with that, too.

Next really has many other more important issues to fix.
cvb
Joined Dec 1969
I hardly see the problem. Using feet and minutes is fine. Do you want to use squares? Divide by 5 for squares. Want to use turns instead of minutes? Divide the amount of seconds by 6. It's very very very simple.

But, but...  MATH.  He'd have to do MATH!  Horror of HORRORS!

Yeah, I have little sympathy for the OP.  I can handle any measuring system that's at least vaguely based in the real world.
Imo, movement and distance and similar "complexity" shouldn`t have to be part of a gridless combat system. Sometimes I even run combat in 4e as skill challanges, maybe something inspired by that mechanic or a simple, fast and narrative form of combat should exist in Next as an optional rule or something!
scald
Joined Dec 1969
Living outside the US, I would like to have centimeters, meters, kilometers instead of inches, feet and miles of course. After all, that's how the entire world does things. I could also live with squares if they represented something in meters.
But I understand that a lot of US players are either unwilling or unable to change the way they calculate distances because they have no way of getting a feel for it in the country they live in. Maybe most americans do not leave their own country and therefore have no way of knowing anything else.
Also, WotC is an american company that produces a US game for the US market. I guess I wouldn't want americans coming over here to my home country Germany and telling us how to brew beer. Thinking about this as I write, there is a difference, though: german beer is appreciated around the world as far as I know, while feet and inches are not? Is that so, I am not sure. And who am I as a german to tell others how they should calculate distances?
Anyways, I do not expect the return of the SW Saga Edition or d20 Modern 2m-squares and I can live with it. Having to calculate feet and inches into cm and meters is a good brain exercise.

That said, "minutes" really should be changed IMO. Especially because "minute" represents "until the end of the encounter" 95% of the time. So why not be honest and say what it really means?
But I also do not think we will see a return of the "until the end of the encounter" either because that probably is considered too gamey by those who do not like 4E and 3e Bo9S, people WotC seeks to win back in general. And maybe too many people are simply unwilling or unable to state when an encounter is over. It definetely is less simulationist, which some people do not like.
And I can live with that, too.

Next really has many other more important issues to fix.

A square is about 1.5 meters. Though that's not a very nice number to use. As for the "minutes" duration it's a bad idea to use "end of encounter". Because when you're using the spell out of combat you need something that's easy to keep track of. You automatically know roughly how much you can accomplish in a minute or 10 minutes. If you need to use it in combat then you can use elementary school mathematics to find out that it lasts 10 turns. That might be until the end of the encounter for most, but there is an occasional encounter that lasts for longer.