Space and Time

Space and Time


This thread can be for any issues involving space and time, including mechanics, flavor, measurement units, nomenclature, problems, and so on.


Remove the Creature Size table
Eliminate the table for creature size. Because. Some large creatures have long reach, like giants with giant clubs. Some large creatures dont, like horses, or gelatinous cubes. Some large creatures take up a lot of space, like snakes, or giant eagles with wings spread out, some dont. Some large creatures are slow and ponderous, some are agile. Some are strong, some are weak. And so on. Let all mechanics for monsters of various sizes be found in the statblock. Theyr all different anyway.

The upshot of this is:
• players can pick balanced large races for their character concept
• removing the size table is one less complication to worry about
• the size table doesnt really work anyway

  
Yards?
For now, since Next is going back to “feet”. What about instead going from 5-foot units to 3-foot “yards”.
• Importantly, yards as units allows more nuanced mechanics for weapon reach. 
• Those accustomed to thinking in “squares” can easily substitute “yards”.
• Also metric players can handwave these as “meters”. (1 yard = ∙9 m).
• The D&D tradition has precedent for yards.
• The ancient “cubit” equals often exactly half a meter, and about half a yard. Useful in “kings cubit” settings.
• A yard (36") is equal to about an average pace while walking (30").
• And to me it sounds natural enough to use in the context of mapless encounters.

Wizards, shave and a haircut

The question of yards adds the point that smaller 3-ft units allows more nuanced mechanics for weapon reach. Great swords can reach 2 yd, while some polearms 3 yd, and so on.


Also. Eliminate the table for size categories. Some large creatures have long reach, like giants with giant clubs. Some large creatures dont, like horses, or gelatinous cubes. Some large creatures take up a lot of space, like snakes, or giant eagles with wings spread out, some dont. Some large creatures are slow and ponderous, some are agile. Some are strong, some are weak. And so on. Let all mechanics for monsters of various sizes be found in the statblock. Theyr all different anyway.
• The upshot of this is: removing the size table is one less complication to worry about, the table doesnt really work anyway, ... and then nothing prevents players from picking balanced large races for their character concept.
I like the idea of switching to Yard myself.  It realy is much nicer, and it can be easily converted to meteres or squares as need be.

I aslo agree that the size table was just confusing and uncessary for me.

But what does this have to do with "time"? :P
I'm glad you added the second post, explaining why you wanted to change to Yards.  As it stood, it just seemed like a meaningless flavor change.  You make a good case for why the change would work.  I'm all for any change that buffs the Combat mechanics, which I feel are not treated as well as the Magic mechanics.  I'd like to see more information and peoples opinions on whether this would work well or not.
Hmm... Yards does seem MUCH mor elegant than feet. +1!
Metres would be ideal, but yards are cool with me since they're almost the same. Measurements in feet are annoying.
Hmm... Yards does seem MUCH mor elegant than feet. +1!


Not really. Yards aren't any more (or less) elegant than feet. But based on prior comments from Haldrick in another thread, in response to something I said... far more convenient. So I guess, in that sense, they're more elegant.

Because simplicity is elegant, yes? 

I support this idea.

(My thing is realism in combat, and it seems that one yard is just about right for "maximum" striking distance when unarmed, or armed with a small knife or dagger. Yeah, it's probably a little long for some situations, but close enough to be fudged by a halfway competent DM.) 
Meters and yards kind of don't work either because then you have absurdities like a five meter reach with a long spear.

Just abstracting it to squares worked fine with 3rd and 4th, so I don't see why we can't do that. (If you're not using the grid, then you're probably abstracting ranges anyway, so it wouldn't matter on that front.)
you have a good point, especially with strength. A fat blob can barely stand even though they would weigh close to a thousand pounds. Meanwhile you have people like Thor or Hercules who aren't fat blobs but should be able to lift one. While a giant or dragon might have a high strength, a fattened up cow that never moves might not. Zombies and Vampires might have very high strengths without having to grow in size in order to flip a carriage.
Options are Liberating
Meters and yards kind of don't work either because then you have absurdities like a five meter reach with a long spear.
...




I think the idea is that instead of working in 5 foot increments you work in two yard or two meter increments. You'd then convert reaches and such appropriately, so a long spear would have a three or four yard reach.

Personally I don't have a problem with 5 foot increments, but I can see the argument that switching to yards in the US and meters everywhere else might work well for non-US players. 
Meters and yards kind of don't work either because then you have absurdities like a five meter reach with a long spear.

Just abstracting it to squares worked fine with 3rd and 4th, so I don't see why we can't do that. (If you're not using the grid, then you're probably abstracting ranges anyway, so it wouldn't matter on that front.)


That's less a problem with mechanics and more a problem with unintelligent writing, in my opinion. Three meters for a long spear is perfectly reasonable, with all the attendant problems that come with it. Five meters is actually not unheard of for pikes, but pretty useless for anything other than stopping a cavalry charge. 
I am American, and never practcally used anything besides our broken system of weights and measures until a shorrt time in  college, and I still want meters because I understand its selfish and hindering for the US to have its own system. I'll settle for yards, but please (Devs) say goodbye to the 5-ft increment and give us meter increments by default, especially iin light of the departure from the grid.
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
Heh, the D&D Rulebook can even say, this unit of measurement equals exactly 1 meter. But this same distance became the standard for the “yard” because “coincidentally”, it was the distance from the kings nose to the tip of his outstretched arm.
Meters and yards kind of don't work either because then you have absurdities like a five meter reach with a long spear.



If a longspear is representing a military pike then a reach of about 5m seems pretty normal.

Meters and yards kind of don't work either because then you have absurdities like a five meter reach with a long spear.
...




I think the idea is that instead of working in 5 foot increments you work in two yard or two meter increments. You'd then convert reaches and such appropriately, so a long spear would have a three or four yard reach.

Personally I don't have a problem with 5 foot increments, but I can see the argument that switching to yards in the US and meters everywhere else might work well for non-US players. 

I don't think that is the intention.  The intention is that say a longspear currently has a reach of 10 feet.   So now, it will have a reach of 2 yards, or 6 feet.
1 yard = 1 unit  = the new 5 foot square. 
Yard over 5ft squares? Yes! This would allow greatswords to have a bit of reach over longswords, make things simpler, more detailed, and just, overall better. I love it.

Wizards do this, please.

Otherwise, I have to hash throough all my books making it a houserule. 
Beautiful!!!!

I like this.  Especially with converting it into meters.  Although I am American I think the meter is a much more elegant system due to it translating 1/10 both up and down the scale.


I would add to it that yes you would have 4 range incriments.


In the first I would place Unarmed, Dagger, Short Sword, ETC.


In the second I would place Long Sword on up to Bastard Sword.


In the third you have Greatswords, Short Spears etc.


And finally your Long Spear, Halebard and Pike.



I would also add in a few options either inherent in certain weapons, as a class feature or both.


For Quarterstaves, spears and Bastard Swords I would add text that states you can increase the range of the weapon by 1 increment in exchange for taking a disadvantage on Attack.



This is now officially going to be houseruled into my games.  I hope it gets put into Core as well.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Is there a way to pose a poll on this board? If so, I'd love to see the feedback on "Would you be more or less likely to play D&D Next if units were measured in metric?"

I am predicting only a small percentage (less than 10%) will say "less likely", and 25% or more would say "more likely", and then there'd be a huge group that wouldn't care.
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
If it threw in a disadvantage to attack when closing range against a longer range attacker and a disadvantage to attack when you were toe to toe with someone who's range was two or more less than your own I would be even happier.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

 I would be even happier.

@Valdark: I wouldn't.
That sounds good and all, but that much granularity can cease to be fun.

Two ranges should exist, even in the proposed metric system or yards system. Not four.
Ranged and close quarters combat should each have a keyword because ranged weapon attacks should ignore Defense value, or AC bonuses, whatever, and close combat should be subject to Defense value, or AC bonuses. Note: Spears and other long range Polearm keyword weapons should grant the wielder advantage against unarmed combatants due to range difference.
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
And what is the logic on granting advantage against only unarmed and only with spears/pikes?

Honestly the reach system has been a weak attempt at making pole arms useful enough for players to want to use them.

Converting it as I have described allows for an interplay between the varied ranges which is both simple and useful.

With your description it weakens a system that was already barely useful to begin with. Might as well remove Reach from the game entirely.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Additionally you could use my preposed definition for a series of optional builds that would add or remove advantage to one range subset versus another.

For example.

Stuck like glue
This ability allows you to prevent movement of an opponent when you successfully strike them and end your movement next to them. This lasts until your next turn.
If, however, you are two size categories smaller than the opponent you are instead treated a stuck to them until your next turn. You move with them without spending your movement.
Success is determined by an opposed Str +dex check. Failure means this ability has no effect.

This means a short range fighter who specializes in this area can turn the disadvantage on attacks around on the long range fighter after overcoming the initial disadvantage.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I would add to it that yes you would have 4 range incriments.

In the first I would place Unarmed, Dagger, Short Sword, ETC.


In the second I would place Long Sword on up to Bastard Sword.


In the third you have Greatswords, Short Spears etc.


And finally your Long Spear, Halebard and Pike.




Im tinkering with something like the following.



Normal: attacks (adjacent) yard 1.
• Dagger (blade 0-1 ft)
• Gladius (blade 1-2 ft)
• Sword (blade 2-3 ft) (in the sense of a normal Sword, called a Shortsword opposite a Longsword)

Some reach: attacks yard 1 normally, but attacks yard 2 at a disadvantage.
• Longsword (blade 3-4 ft) (in the sense of a large sword, including Bastard Sword)
• Rapier (blade 3-4 ft)

Needs Reach: attacks yard 1 at a disadvantage, but attacks yard 2 normally.
• Greatsword (blade 4-5 ft) (in the sense of a renaissance huge longsword, like a claymore)

Extended reach: attacks yard 3, attacks yards 1 and 2 at a disadvantage.
• Halebert
• Naganata

I would add to it that yes you would have 4 range incriments.

In the first I would place Unarmed, Dagger, Short Sword, ETC.


In the second I would place Long Sword on up to Bastard Sword.


In the third you have Greatswords, Short Spears etc.


And finally your Long Spear, Halebard and Pike.




Im tinkering with something like the following.



Normal: attacks (adjacent) yard 1.
• Dagger (blade 0-1 ft)
• Gladius (blade 1-2 ft)
• Sword (blade 2-3 ft) (in the sense of a normal Sword, called a Shortsword opposite a Longsword)

Some reach: attacks yard 1 normally, but attacks yard 2 at a disadvantage.
• Longsword (blade 3-4 ft) (in the sense of a large sword, including Bastard Sword)
• Rapier (blade 3-4 ft)

Needs Reach: attacks yard 1 at a disadvantage, but attacks yard 2 normally.
• Greatsword (blade 4-5 ft) (in the sense of a renaissance huge longsword, like a claymore)

Extended reach: attacks yard 3, attacks yards 1 and 2 at a disadvantage.
• Halebert
• Naganata



That is very similiar to what I had in mind.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Yards or metres please WotC!
If using metric or yards means I also have to have 4 melee weapon ranges, I almost don't want. I believe that it makes more sense to keep in having close, and ranged weapons differentiation, with a notation of reach weapons and other special properties to make weapons unique.

@Valdark: It makes more sense probably than some of the proposals I am hearing from you, like ignoring Reach altogether. Reconsidering, it might be best to instead impose Disadvantage on unarmed combatants and others with damn-near adjacen-only waepon reach. It makes sense because think about a person trying to punch you while you hold a polearm or other weapon designed to keep an attacker at bay. Aside from that, Reach is about the only thing a melee weapon can have to stop another melee weapon from getting to you - take that away and I wouldn't cry but I'd miss such weapons not being more useful.

Side note: some defensive weapons are designed for this (main-gauche, anyone?), and could similarly impose Disadvantage on a single adjacent target to make it an interesting combat option; a good option for a rogue who fights alongside a fighter. I think Defensive is probably another missing, yet useful, weapon property.
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
Babyj,

I completely understand your concern on multiple range increments. The idea isn't going to suit everyone but does suit my tastes.

Moving the system to a metric system would make it much easier for me make the conversions to this concept of 4 distinct reaches that allow for a more dynamic combat and greater reason for longer weapons to be used.

When I stated that you might as well remove Reach as a mechanic I was specifically stating that by having no advantage mechanically meant that Reach no longer has a point in being in the game to begin with.

I don't want to see this happen. It was not in any way meant to be a suggestion.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Regarding size tables, I completely agree. All your points are spot on.

Regarding yards, I actually thought about this as well, particularly because a yard is close enough to a meter to not really care about the differences. A foot is 1/3 of a yard anyway, and anyone who uses imperial shouldn't have any trouble converting 1 2/3 yards into 5', while a metric person can just think 1.66 meters.
Regarding size tables, I completely agree. All your points are spot on.

Regarding yards, I actually thought about this as well, particularly because a yard is close enough to a meter to not really care about the differences. A foot is 1/3 of a yard anyway, and anyone who uses imperial shouldn't have any trouble converting 1 2/3 yards into 5', while a metric person can just think 1.66 meters.



If you reverse this and say that everything is in meters you do come up with a cleaner system when using longer distances.  Everything is like gp it is in increments of 10.  This makes calculation very simple and concise for everyone.

Instead of doing the yards to miles conversion when changing from close to overland measurements you go from meters to kilometers.  Easier to relate quickly to all players regardless of where you are from.

If your player visualizes a meter being exactly a yard and a kilometer being exactly a mile, although the math is not spot on, the in game result is exactly the same.  As long as the game uses a metric base there will be 0 need for conversion. 

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

You have to understand that being "Natural" or "Logical" alot of time needs to take a backseat for simplicity. 5 feet is pretty close to being a good hustling pace, and is much more logical than a attacking something 6 yards away >.> But the reason that 5 feet is being used, and will continue to be used, is that it makes the math easy. Having everything easily divisible by 5 means less calculation which leads to faster and easier combat/gameplay. And THAT is much more valuable than being more natural.
My two copper.
If using metric or yards means I also have to have 4 melee weapon ranges, I almost don't want. I believe that it makes more sense to keep in having close, and ranged weapons differentiation, with a notation of reach weapons and other special properties to make weapons unique.

@Valdark: It makes more sense probably than some of the proposals I am hearing from you, like ignoring Reach altogether. Reconsidering, it might be best to instead impose Disadvantage on unarmed combatants and others with damn-near adjacen-only waepon reach. It makes sense because think about a person trying to punch you while you hold a polearm or other weapon designed to keep an attacker at bay. Aside from that, Reach is about the only thing a melee weapon can have to stop another melee weapon from getting to you - take that away and I wouldn't cry but I'd miss such weapons not being more useful.

Side note: some defensive weapons are designed for this (main-gauche, anyone?), and could similarly impose Disadvantage on a single adjacent target to make it an interesting combat option; a good option for a rogue who fights alongside a fighter. I think Defensive is probably another missing, yet useful, weapon property.

I sympathize. For me, I want an “optimal” gaming system. The most diversity with the simplest mechanics possible.


The weapon ranges can probably reduce to three definitions:
Normal (arms length): This weapon attacks an adjacent yard, yard 1, normally.
• Some reach: This weapon attacks yard 1 normally, but can reach yard 2 at a disadvantage.
Reach: This weapon attacks some yard at reach normally, but then attacks a closer yard (inside the guard) at a disadvantage.

Notice, the phrases “the second yard” and “yard 2” are synonymous and interchangeable. Likewise, the phrases “the first yard”, “yard 1”, and “the adjacent yard” are.
 
In this way, a weapon can list the reach distance:
• Greatsword (reach 2)
• Halberd (reach 3)

And so on. The rules are clear enough. Its about as simple as the 4e reach rules, but allows slightly more nuance.

These rules for reach seem to make reach weapons more balanced. Also, with these definitions, any reach weapon is more-or-less equivalent to a polearm. I can see a DM disallowing polearms as suitable personal weapons, since their effectiveness usually depends on military formations. So, in this case, the reach rules in play would be even simpler.
   

You have to understand that being "Natural" or "Logical" alot of time needs to take a backseat for simplicity. 5 feet is pretty close to being a good hustling pace, and is much more logical than a attacking something 6 yards away >.> But the reason that 5 feet is being used, and will continue to be used, is that it makes the math easy. Having everything easily divisible by 5 means less calculation which leads to faster and easier combat/gameplay. And THAT is much more valuable than being more natural.



Players who think in feet, rather than meters, can see 3 yards as about 10 feet.


In terms of simplicity, nothing is simpler than meters. 
Regarding size tables, I completely agree. All your points are spot on.

Regarding yards, I actually thought about this as well, particularly because a yard is close enough to a meter to not really care about the differences. A foot is 1/3 of a yard anyway, and anyone who uses imperial shouldn't have any trouble converting 1 2/3 yards into 5', while a metric person can just think 1.66 meters.



If you reverse this and say that everything is in meters you do come up with a cleaner system when using longer distances.  Everything is like gp it is in increments of 10.  This makes calculation very simple and concise for everyone.

Instead of doing the yards to miles conversion when changing from close to overland measurements you go from meters to kilometers.  Easier to relate quickly to all players regardless of where you are from.

If your player visualizes a meter being exactly a yard and a kilometer being exactly a mile, although the math is not spot on, the in game result is exactly the same.  As long as the game uses a metric base there will be 0 need for conversion.


When, in the core of the D&D game, has it ever become necessary to exactly adjudicate a distance of more than about 100' (or 30m)? By the time you need to measure anything in miles (or kilometers; it doesn't matter) you don't need an easy conversion. It's just not necessary under the mechanics, IMNSHO.

In combat, however, a yard has three, far less granular consitutent units, and 36 more granular units. One foot makes a difference in combat. One inch, or on centimeter, does not. I suppose you can say "one third" or ".5 meter," but that isn't any cleaner than "one foot." It just makes more logical sense to those who use the metric system. Either one is preferable to a system build around five foot blocks.

You have to understand that being "Natural" or "Logical" alot of time needs to take a backseat for simplicity. 5 feet is pretty close to being a good hustling pace, and is much more logical than a attacking something 6 yards away >.> But the reason that 5 feet is being used, and will continue to be used, is that it makes the math easy. Having everything easily divisible by 5 means less calculation which leads to faster and easier combat/gameplay. And THAT is much more valuable than being more natural.


Five feet isn't that logical. One yard or meter is much closer to an average stride, and for purposes of movement either makes vastly more sense. Five feet, in fact, isn't even the base unit; it's the foot in this case. And it is no more difficult to talk in multiples of yards (which have three useful constituent parts for certain tasks) or meters than it is to talk about multiples of five feet.
But the reason that 5 feet is being used, and will continue to be used, is that it makes the math easy. Having everything easily divisible by 5 means less calculation which leads to faster and easier combat/gameplay.

Rescaling the game around yard and meter means everything is divisible by one.
Regarding size tables, I completely agree. All your points are spot on.

Regarding yards, I actually thought about this as well, particularly because a yard is close enough to a meter to not really care about the differences. A foot is 1/3 of a yard anyway, and anyone who uses imperial shouldn't have any trouble converting 1 2/3 yards into 5', while a metric person can just think 1.66 meters.



If you reverse this and say that everything is in meters you do come up with a cleaner system when using longer distances.  Everything is like gp it is in increments of 10.  This makes calculation very simple and concise for everyone.

Instead of doing the yards to miles conversion when changing from close to overland measurements you go from meters to kilometers.  Easier to relate quickly to all players regardless of where you are from.

If your player visualizes a meter being exactly a yard and a kilometer being exactly a mile, although the math is not spot on, the in game result is exactly the same.  As long as the game uses a metric base there will be 0 need for conversion. 




If you use a metric base you'll be doing something like 30cm/foot, and there will be quite a bit of conversion, which won't be pleasant. If you use an imperial base you can treat each foot over multiples of 3 as .33 or .66.
This is something I use for my own games. It may be of interest to others.

I put together this system for ranges in a Legend & Lore thread. Its purpose is to make gridless - and mapless - encounters as friendly as possible. But it has a number of other benefits too. The system refers to reallife gun ranges and uses metric. But here I handwave the meter with its equivalent yard.

Part of making combat gridless is creating powers that simplify space.



Haldriks Gun Range System

Heh. Here is my “Haldriks Gun Range System”.

Reallife gun ranges seem amazingly convenient for narrative descriptions. I organize these ranges into magnitudes of ten.



Ranges
• Melee
• Close (Very Short)
• Short
• Long
• Reach

  
Melee range: 0 to 1 yard
(upto arms reach), aka hand-to-hand.

Close range: 1 to 10 yards
(upto about one room), aka very-short range.

Note, most “close-quarter” combats  happen within “close” range. Indoors, they occur between 2 and 4 yards on average, and outdoors, most police situations occur between 5 and 7 yards on average. All of this is within close range.

Short range: 10 to 100 yards
(upto about one city block)

Long range: 100 to 1000 yards
(upto about ten city blocks, 1 km, a thousand yards is about six-tenths of a mile).

Note, long is the range of sniper rifles.

Reach: “Reach” ranges reach farther into part of the next range category. They equal 3 times the upper limit of the range.

• Melee reach: upto 3 yards (thus overlapping some of close range, 1 to 10 yards).
• Close reach: upto 30 yards (thus overlapping some of short range, 10 to 100 yards).
• Short reach: upto 300 yards (thus overlapping some of long range, 100 to 1000 yards).
• Long reach: upto 3000 yards 



Melee or Close Encounters
With regard to most D&D combat encounters, the targets are either right next to the attacker “in melee range” (upto 1 yard away), or else somewhere in the room “in close range” (upto 10 yards away).

Short Range 
Indoors, exceptionally large rooms (like auditoriums, great halls, and so on that are more than 10 yards in length) may be “in short range” if the targets are at the opposite end of the room. Otherwise the entire neighborhood is likely to be witin short range. So it is seldom necessary to keep track of long range. Outdoors, combat tends to be within close range, but combatants can often become aware of each other while at short range, and then close in. In open spaces that are obscured by hills, trees, night, or so on, it is reasonable to assume hostiles are at short range when checking for surprise.

Close Reach  
Altogether, virtually all D&D encounters take place within “close reach”, that is within 30 yards.


It is easy to keep track of these magnitudes of distances narratively: Melee, Close, Short, plus Reach whenever its extra far.
 


Shoot: The story can describe someone who “shoots” a “shot at close range”. This can be an arrow or a single-target spell that attacks a target at close range (within 10 yards).

Blast: Here a “blast” refers more naturally to an explosion, with a radius diameter. For example, the Sleep spell “shoots” within “close reach” (upto 30 yards), and on impact “blasts” a “melee-reach” radius (upto 3-yard radius). So Fireball Wizards can really be “blaster casters”.

Spray: Here a “spray” refers to a cone (or a 4e adjacent-blast) that expands from the point of origin outward in one direction. It can be a spray of fire or a spray of bullets (from a sling of course). The Burning Hands spell sprays fire within melee reach (3 yards).


 
Players can refer to the range names (melee, close, short, and long) or by the distances (with 1, 10, 100, and 1000 yards, respectively). Whichever they feel more comfortable. But either way, it helps to stick with these ballpark distances in order to keep track of the distances in as friendly a way as possible. And as consistently as possible to start getting a better sense when comparing distances.
Nice, Dragonlance 5th Age had something like that too. Personal Range (grappling), Melee Range, Thrown Weapon Range, Projectile Weapon Range, Artillery Range and Visual Range.

Splitting some of the ranges up might make sense as well, like putting in Dueling Range before Melee Range, and perhaps a couple thrown and projectile ranges.
The range weapons can simplify as follows in yards:


Close 10 / Close Reach 30
• Rock, Dagger, Hammer, Handaxe, Spear, Sling, Hand Crossbow

Short 100 / Short Reach 300
• Longbow (Self Bow), Shortbow (Composite Bow), Heavy Crossbow, Light Crossbow


Note: A crossbow can shoot about as far as a longbow (if not farther). The “shortbow” is actually the same thing as a “composite bow”, made out of a composition of wood, horn, and sinew (tendon fibers), lamenated together. Thus the composite bow can be smaller, easier to shoot from horseback, and still reach about as far as a longbow. The composite bow is most effective at about 60 yards, but can reach over 500 yards (without any accuracy). The longbow is a self bow, generally made out of a single piece of wood, often from the yew tree.
 
Basically, the medieval world has close range weapons (throwing), and short range weapons (shooting).

It seems best to make spells either close or short, likewise.
This is something I use for my own games. It may be of interest to others.

I put together this system for ranges in a Legend & Lore thread. Its purpose is to make gridless - and mapless - encounters as friendly as possible. But it has a number of other benefits too. The system refers to reallife gun ranges and uses metric. But here I handwave the meter with its equivalent yard.

Part of making combat gridless is creating powers that simplify space.



Haldriks Gun Range System

Heh. Here is my “Haldriks Gun Range System”.

Reallife gun ranges seem amazingly convenient for narrative descriptions. I organize these ranges into magnitudes of ten.



Ranges
• Melee
• Close (Very Short)
• Short
• Long
• Reach

  
Melee range: 0 to 1 yard
(upto arms reach), aka hand-to-hand.

Close range: 1 to 10 yards
(upto about one room), aka very-short range.

Note, most “close-quarter” combats  happen within “close” range. Indoors, they occur between 2 and 4 yards on average, and outdoors, most police situations occur between 5 and 7 yards on average. All of this is within close range.

Short range: 10 to 100 yards
(upto about one city block)

Long range: 100 to 1000 yards
(upto about ten city blocks, 1 km, a thousand yards is about six-tenths of a mile).

Note, long is the range of sniper rifles.

Reach: “Reach” ranges reach farther into part of the next range category. They equal 3 times the upper limit of the range.

• Melee reach: upto 3 yards (thus overlapping some of close range, 1 to 10 yards).
• Close reach: upto 30 yards (thus overlapping some of short range, 10 to 100 yards).
• Short reach: upto 300 yards (thus overlapping some of long range, 100 to 1000 yards).
• Long reach: upto 3000 yards 



Melee or Close Encounters
With regard to most D&D combat encounters, the targets are either right next to the attacker “in melee range” (upto 1 yard away), or else somewhere in the room “in close range” (upto 10 yards away).

Short Range 
Indoors, exceptionally large rooms (like auditoriums, great halls, and so on that are more than 10 yards in length) may be “in short range” if the targets are at the opposite end of the room. Otherwise the entire neighborhood is likely to be witin short range. So it is seldom necessary to keep track of long range. Outdoors, combat tends to be within close range, but combatants can often become aware of each other while at short range, and then close in. In open spaces that are obscured by hills, trees, night, or so on, it is reasonable to assume hostiles are at short range when checking for surprise.

Close Reach  
Altogether, virtually all D&D encounters take place within “close reach”, that is within 30 yards.


It is easy to keep track of these magnitudes of distances narratively: Melee, Close, Short, plus Reach whenever its extra far.
 


Shoot: The story can describe someone who “shoots” a “shot at close range”. This can be an arrow or a single-target spell that attacks a target at close range (within 10 yards).

Blast: Here a “blast” refers more naturally to an explosion, with a radius diameter. For example, the Sleep spell “shoots” within “close reach” (upto 30 yards), and on impact “blasts” a “melee-reach” radius (upto 3-yard radius). So Fireball Wizards can really be “blaster casters”.

Spray: Here a “spray” refers to a cone (or a 4e adjacent-blast) that expands from the point of origin outward in one direction. It can be a spray of fire or a spray of bullets (from a sling of course). The Burning Hands spell sprays fire within melee reach (3 yards).


 
Players can refer to the range names (melee, close, short, and long) or by the distances (with 1, 10, 100, and 1000 yards, respectively). Whichever they feel more comfortable. But either way, it helps to stick with these ballpark distances in order to keep track of the distances in as friendly a way as possible. And as consistently as possible to start getting a better sense when comparing distances.



@Haldrik

I think this is elegant and effective. I going to try this in my next playtest session. I also completely agree with the size table being unneccesary.
Everytime I read this thread it just makes more and more sense.  If this is not at least an optional Module, I am using as a home-rule regardless.  Or insisting on it, beware DM's!
I appreciate the endorsements, Koenarvs and LupusRegalis. The simple distances have been very helpful in my games. Its so easy for the DM to adjudicate things.
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