## Kill the 5' increment with fire

Kill the 5' increment.  But don't move back to squares.

Go with yards.

You have a movement speed of 5 yards per round (or whatever).  Standing up costs 1 yard of movement.  Every yard you move through difficult terrain costs an extra yard of movement.  Medium sized creatures take up one square yard of space, roughly.

Yards, for people not from the USA, are about as long as a meter.  (1 yard is about 0.9 meters)  It is also about as long as a reasonable stride length (ie, you can approximate how far something is in yards by counting steps).

Am I crazy?  Probably.
Not sure how this changes anything besudes feet becoming yards.
The game designers would have to pull together new math and calculations for Rate of Travel...since the change is significant but not halved from current calculations.
nathanos
Joined Dec 1969
Why not meters, then? Makes conversions to rate of travel much easier.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
zammm
Joined Dec 1969
Why? You didn't explain that part--why change over to yards?

Why not meters, then? Makes conversions to rate of travel much easier.

I like this reason, though.

shardey
Joined Dec 1969
I find it unnecessary to change terminology. People are used to 5' increments.

Kinda like some people are used to feet and others are urging them to move to meters..

Using a meter increment instead of 5ft increments is mathematically quicker. If your speed is 6m, you move 6 spaces on the battle mat. If your speed is 30ft, you divide 30 by 5 ... and then move 6 spaces.

Using metric instead of imperial measurements is also mathematically quicker. We write numbers in decimal and everyone finds it easier to divide and multiply by multiples of 10 as a result. If we wrote numbers in hexadecimal, I would probably be suggesting a measurement system that uses multiples of 16 instead of 10. The programmers among you will understand that multiplying or dividing by a constant to convert between unit types is generally a few orders of magnitude faster than looking up arbitrary values in a table to do so.

Shardey - You say you find it unnecessary to change terminology. That's fine, why then do you find it necessary to change editions? If you stay with 4th or 3rd or whichever old edition you like best, you won't have to contend with change. I could make the same argument about any change between any editions, classes, races, feats, anything.

In 3rd edition they had Attacks of Opportunity, then in 4th they had Opportunity Attacks. In 3rd edition the top three ability scores were Str, Dex, Con, then in 4th they changed the order to Str, Con, Dex. In both of these cases is was "unnecessary" to make such trivial changes, but both offered advantages over not changing. Opportunity Attacks is faster and easier to say (even if only marginally) and the ability rearrangement was to line up with the 4th edition Defences list.

If anyone can think of even a single reason to stay with either imperial measurements or 5ft increments instead of yard increments, I'd love to hear it.
Kalranya
Joined Dec 1969
It would greatly amuse me if someone wrote an RPG with a math backbone in hexadecimal. Or octal.

And by the way, this whole feet vs. yards vs. meters vs. attoparsecs vs. light-nanoseconds vs. Smoots thing is why I like squares. How big is a square? Who cares! Use whatever you're comfortable with!
ksorkrax
Joined Dec 1969
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />And by the way, this whole feet vs. yards vs. meters vs. attoparsecs vs. light-nanoseconds vs. Smoots thing is why I like squares. How big is a square? Who cares! Use whatever you're comfortable with!

+1.
Squares rule.
It would greatly ammuse you, yes ... but you probably wouldn't play it.

The main reason we need to define the size of a square is for the transition between descriptive roleplaying and playing on the battle grid. If I describe a coridoor that is 20ft wide then we fight someone in it and I draw it as 2 squares wide, people tend to not like the idea that two guards can completely block that 20ft wide area. If you just drew the room and never told anyone how wide it was, you wouldn't need to define a size.
the_yakk
Joined Dec 1969
Not meters, because the terms used in a fantasy "pseudo historical" RPG shouldn't evoke modernity.  That is the only reason to use yards over meters, honestly, but I find it compelling.  (And, at the level of accuracy of the game, they are interchangable)

Not squares, for the same reason.

I can think of two good reason to stay with 5' squares.  First, because people are used to it, and D&D next is about evoking familiarity with older D&D versions.  Second, because weapons with a 1 yard reach, people taking up 1 yard by 1 yard, and the like aren't reasonable.

But the awkwardness of the rules, which pretend as if it is talking in feet but almost always taking in 5' increments, just grates at me.
stuu
Joined Dec 1969

The biggest drawbacks I see are maps and miniature scaling. All the maps, tiles and minis made with 1”=5’ scale might not work with the new scale.

That’s a pretty big deal for people who have collected maps and minis throughout the years.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />And by the way, this whole feet vs. yards vs. meters vs. attoparsecs vs. light-nanoseconds vs. Smoots thing is why I like squares. How big is a square? Who cares! Use whatever you're comfortable with!

+1.
Squares rule.

+2.
I sure do love me some squares...
tlantl
Joined Dec 1969
Can't!

My five foot increments are fire proof.
The_Yakk - I can see where you're coming from with the "historical" thing, but I don't think it adds that much to the game to be worth needing an arbitrary conversion table to get from feet to yards to miles instead of the straightforward mathematics involved with the metric system.

I'd make the argument that if we want to not change a rule because people are familiar with it and that's how it worked in older editions, then making a new edition seems less meaningful.

With regard to the scale (1m ~ 3ft, not 5), I'd rather imagine a stationary creature on the battle grid as someone evading and defending within a 1m square area than the same thing in an almost 2m square. A 1m square still leaves room for the character to reasonably fight without giving them too much room for manoeuvring that doesn't actually have any effect on movement or positioning or targeting or anything gameplay related.
Ahglock
Joined Aug 2007
883 Posts
The_Yakk - I can see where you're coming from with the "historical" thing, but I don't think it adds that much to the game to be worth needing an arbitrary conversion table to get from feet to yards to miles instead of the straightforward mathematics involved with the metric system.

I'd make the argument that if we want to not change a rule because people are familiar with it and that's how it worked in older editions, then making a new edition seems less meaningful.

With regard to the scale (1m ~ 3ft, not 5), I'd rather imagine a stationary creature on the battle grid as someone evading and defending within a 1m square area than the same thing in an almost 2m square. A 1m square still leaves room for the character to reasonably fight without giving them too much room for manoeuvring that doesn't actually have any effect on movement or positioning or targeting or anything gameplay related.

While I'd have no problem if we converted to meters I think the idea that it is easier in practice is kind of off.  I'm not saying that it would be just as easy to do the math of yards to miles as it is meters to kilometers, just that the math never comes up.  Once you are talking 6 meter movement or whatever the math will be the same in practice since all the distances will be things less than the next step up, counting 25 meters is just as easy as 25 yards.  Once you get to long range movements you are no longer using or talking about 6 meter movements but overland movement rates of 5 KM per hour or whatever.

nukunuku
Joined Dec 1969

As mentioned, keeping a distance measurement - as opposed to calling it "squares" - is necessary to smooth the difference between grid and non-grid play.

If 5' was to be replaced by anything, it would be meters:  the entire world (except the US) knows what a meter is, and honestly we pretty much do, too.  (Historically flavored or no.)  However, I agree that this is unlikely.  As mentioned, it's somewhere between keeping the "feel" from previous editions and the gobs of existing adventures / accessories / supplements that all exist in feet that would need some updating.  Of course, it's not like you can't take that 20' coridor and just say it's 4 meters instead (even though it'd be 6 if you were actually measuring).

On the whole, however, I will say that of all the things worth arguing about for 5.0, I find this to be about last on the list.

nathanos
Joined Dec 1969
If you want historical accuracy, a similar distance, etc, then use the fathom.

If you want a smoother gaming experience, the meter.

If you want a purer gaming experience, the square.

The square I find the most difficult, as it requires translation if you aren't using a grid, and adds further complication. The 5' increment is fairly easy to use, but that's at least in part due to having used it for so long.

The meter is super easy (I came to love it when the SW:RPG picked it up, and my group tends to play Dark Heresy and WHFRP more than dnd since 4th came out, so we use it the most).

Overall this is such an unimportant issue, though, that I can't believe a thread would have such an (/sunglasses) inflammatory title.

'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'

On the whole, however, I will say that of all the things worth arguing about for 5.0, I find this to be about last on the list.

I have no problem with this sitting last in the last. Just put it into the list and make me happy.

1 yard = 1 meter = 1 square ftw.

[<()>]Proud Brazilian. Typos are free bonuses.

Kalranya
Joined Dec 1969
It would greatly ammuse you, yes ... but you probably wouldn't play it.

I play Continuum. Nothing scares me.

The main reason we need to define the size of a square is for the transition between descriptive roleplaying and playing on the battle grid. If I describe a coridoor that is 20ft wide then we fight someone in it and I draw it as 2 squares wide, people tend to not like the idea that two guards can completely block that 20ft wide area. If you just drew the room and never told anyone how wide it was, you wouldn't need to define a size.

D&D does an extremely poor job of modeling how fights actually work. Always has. I remain convinced that all the people blathering on about "realism" and verisimilitude have never actually had someone attack them with a sword. Can two guards block a 20-ft. corridor? That depends: how many attackers? what are the guards armed with? what are the attackers armed with? how desperate are the guards? how desperate are the attackers?

Also, who's to say a pair of guards can't block a 20-ft. hallway in D&D? The game has no real benchmarks for comparison with how things "really" work (see above), so the only thing that matters is whether or not the game is internally consistent.

Not meters, because the terms used in a fantasy "pseudo historical" RPG shouldn't evoke modernity.  That is the only reason to use yards over meters, honestly, but I find it compelling.  (And, at the level of accuracy of the game, they are interchangable)

You find it more compelling. Some of us would rather use a system that makes sense and is easier to calculate in our heads.

Pop quiz:

1. How many yards in a mile?

2. If the party's overland speed is 16 miles per day, how fast are they moving in feet per round?

3. Did you have to look up the answer to question 1? Did you need a calculator to answer question 2?

4. How many meters in a kilometer?

5. If the party's overland speed is 26 km per day, how fast are they moving in meters per round?

6. Did you have to look up the answer to question 4? Did you need a calculator to answer question 5?

I can think of two good reason to stay with 5' squares.  First, because people are used to it, and D&D next is about evoking familiarity with older D&D versions.

I think that's a terrible reason. In fact, I think "evoking familiarity with older D&D versions" is the worst possible thing WotC could be doing with this game.

Second, because weapons with a 1 yard reach, people taking up 1 yard by 1 yard, and the like aren't reasonable.

Not reasonable in what way? Because the "translation" of those figures in your head doesn't make any sense, or beause you think those figures are too large, or because you think those figures are too small?

But the awkwardness of the rules, which pretend as if it is talking in feet but almost always taking in 5' increments, just grates at me.

And this, right here, is the best reason I can think of to just list things in squares.

The biggest drawbacks I see are maps and miniature scaling. All the maps, tiles and minis made with 1”=5’ scale might not work with the new scale.

D&D combat is so heavily abstracted anyway that it doesn't matter at all so long as the scaling is somewhat close. To be mostly correct to the extant map scale, it should be 1.6 yards or 1.5 meters, but both of those render values and calculations that are a bit messy.

I think the cleaner answer is to "round up" the square size to 6 feet, which for practical use in-game is translatable to 2 yards or 2 meters. Not only is this scale a slightly better representation of the space a swordsman needs to operate correctly, but it's easier to calculate on the fly too.

That’s a pretty big deal for people who have collected maps and minis throughout the years.

I have thousands of minis, dozens of maps, and a crate of dungeon tiles the size of a small child. I have no objections to altering the scale of the game; in fact I would encourage it. Your statement is false.

The_Yakk - I can see where you're coming from with the "historical" thing, but I don't think it adds that much to the game to be worth needing an arbitrary conversion table to get from feet to yards to miles instead of the straightforward mathematics involved with the metric system.

Agreed. This, for the record, is the same reason the scientific world thinks in metric.

I'd make the argument that if we want to not change a rule because people are familiar with it and that's how it worked in older editions, then making a new edition seems less meaningful.

Agreed. If people want to play an old edition of D&D, then let them go play an old edition of D&D. I want to play a new edition of D&D, thanks.

With regard to the scale (1m ~ 3ft, not 5), I'd rather imagine a stationary creature on the battle grid as someone evading and defending within a 1m square area than the same thing in an almost 2m square. A 1m square still leaves room for the character to reasonably fight without giving them too much room for manoeuvring that doesn't actually have any effect on movement or positioning or targeting or anything gameplay related.

Except that's not true. A 2m square actually makes more sense than 1m or 5 ft, insofar as tracking combat positions by squares makes any sense at all (hint: they don't).

As mentioned, keeping a distance measurement - as opposed to calling it "squares" - is necessary to smooth the difference between grid and non-grid play.

You are correct. I argue that the distance measure is not intrinsically relevant to gameplay and should be left to the group's preference.

On the whole, however, I will say that of all the things worth arguing about for 5.0, I find this to be about last on the list.

As a player who wants a game that makes sense and is easy to play on a grid more than a game that "feels" like something, I disagree.