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D&D General Changing from 5 ft squares to 1 yard/meter squares

Xeviat

Hero
Hi all. I'd like to workshop an idea that would take a lot of work to implement, but I'd like to play around with the idea and see if there could be some good stuff coming from it. This came up when describing rooms, and having to make rooms significantly larger than 10 by 10 to really work in a dungeon, yet I can easily envision several people cramming into a 10 by 10 room and fighting.

The 5 ft space feels a little big. So, I wanted to see where this idea would go: what if the base scale was changed to 1 yard/1 meter squares?

First advantage: it is more easily metricked, only really requiring mile to kilometer conversions at a certain point. The base 30 speed turns to 10 squares, so that's fine. 25 ft would need to be rounded down to 24 but that's OK.

Obviously, map scales would be thrown out of wack. I make a lot of my own stuff so I'm not concerned about that right now. I just want to explore where it goes. But, maps would convert on a 3 to 5 ratio (a 3 by 3 space on old maps would turn into a 5 by 5 space).

Where I think real interesting things could happen would be in weapon reaches. We could have more nuance between light, one handed, two-handed, and reach weapons. Reach weapons normally had a reach of 10 ft, so cutting that back to 9 feet would be a reach of 3. Light weapons could have a reach of 0 and 1, medium weapons have a reach of 1 and 2, and long weapons have a reach of 2 and 3. Extra rules can be added for getting into reach, giving light weapons a goal of getting in close to deny someone use of their big weapon, while a large weapon user would want to keep someone at a range.

Monster sizes may need to be adjusted. 10, 15, and 20 ft spaces almost line up with 3, 5, and 7 unit sizes.

Can anyone think of any other fun stuff that could be added with a more granular grid?
 

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Xeviat

Hero
Another little advantage is it might make spaces look more accurately sized on a map. I've had times where players have themselves positioned 30 to 60 feet away from allies thinking its not that far, when that's really a long way away if you get out a measuring tape and really think about it.
 


Auramancer

Explorer
Swing a sword around you. Five feet isn't that big.
While true, I think there’s merit in the suggestion of a more granular breakdown of weapon reach and position. I think this point is adequately addressed by 2 meter reach on medium weapons. It could better represent maneuvers to get inside a foe’s reach and grapple or attack unarmed / with a tiny weapon (e.g. dagger).

The primary question is whether it would reduce fun by adding complexity and slow down combat.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I believe the d20 Star Wars game that WotC produced way back when had each square as 1 meter rather than 5 feet. There didn't seem to be any issues about it.

Truth be told, if the game just followed 4E's decision of measuring everything in squares, you could make the size of each square whatever you wanted.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Where I think real interesting things could happen would be in weapon reaches. We could have more nuance between light, one handed, two-handed, and reach weapons. Reach weapons normally had a reach of 10 ft, so cutting that back to 9 feet would be a reach of 3. Light weapons could have a reach of 0 and 1, medium weapons have a reach of 1 and 2, and long weapons have a reach of 2 and 3. Extra rules can be added for getting into reach, giving light weapons a goal of getting in close to deny someone use of their big weapon, while a large weapon user would want to keep someone at a range.
This is the part I'm most interested in.

I'd also give many weapons a couble range, by which I mean that the rapier would be able to lunge out across a square, perhaps as a bonus action as before mak,ing the attack, while a pike might be able to lunge out to 15, etc.
 

Esbee

Dungeon Master at large.
1st Ed uses a scale of 1 Square = 3.3ft, so 3x3 squares is a 10ft area.

The movement rates and such are all geared around this scale, so factoring a per-segment movement rate is simply a matter of dividing your movement rate appropriately. If you're using indoor movements were 1" of movement equals 10ft, 1 segment of movement is your rate divided by 10. (there are 10 segments in a round)

So a human with a base movement of 12" can move 120ft per round, or 12ft per segment. Converting to squares, just divide your core movement rate by 3, and you get your per-segment movement in squares. (4 in the case of a movement rate of 12")

Outdoor movement is base 1 for 1. 1" = 10 yards, so therefore a 12" movement scale means 12 squares per segment of movement.


So if you're converting from a system that's designed around the 5ft grid square, you need to factor in all of the other elements. Just as changing 1E to 5ft squares creates a mathematical disjoint that needs to be addressed, likewise switching to 3.3ft squares from a system designed around 5ft squares will present some hiccups as you've noted.

Converting character movement to movement points is probably the best bet, but because all movement rates in 5e aren't equally divisible by 3 you'll get fractions. Perhaps a fraction equals a half point.... because you'll want any diagonal step to equal 1.5 movement points, so half points will see use.

Formula for movement pts is Base move in feet divided by 3, fractions count as half.

Move of 25ft therefore = 8.5 movement pts. 40ft = 13.5 movement pts etc etc...

On a practical level, 3.3ft square grids eat up a lot of space on your battlemap, so that might not be ideal if you're playing in a smaller space.

For my own part, I run 1E and use the 3.3ft spacing, and I have a large battlemat and a small one. I use them for 'zoom out' views, where I treat each square as a 10ft area - which is great for laying out the map for players. Then I 'zoom in' by plopping down the smaller mat when we need a close up for combat or more nuanced spacing.
 
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Rabulias

Hero
You can also convert movement to squares - a 30 speed is 6 squares, which becomes 18 feet; 25 speed becomes 5 squares, which becomes 15 feet., etc. - which will not throw off any balance issues regarding how far characters can move.
 


Esbee

Dungeon Master at large.
Except for all those times where 1 square = 10'.....

Well, scale in 1st ed is specifically variable. 1" = 10ft is generally mapping scale for indoors. 1" = 10 yards is outdoor scale.

The ideal use of miniatures and a grid in combat involves a scale 3.3ft squares. Hence why I use two battlemats for 'zooming in' when needed for fighting.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't think switching is a big deal, just convert 5 ft to a yard and be done.

On the other hand, I'd also recommend marking out a 5 ft square on the ground. It's really not that big, especially assuming you're swinging around some sort of weapon.
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
@Xeviat

Funny you should bring this up. I've considered moving to the 1 yard/meter scale instead of 5 feet.

It works out well with speed 30 becoming 10 squares, and 25 would be 8 squares (close enough).

As you mention, reaches would be more variable and monster sizes as well, granularity in both would be good IMO. I agree it would help with weapons, particularly, as you could say using a reach 2-3 weapon while in 0-1 reach would be with disadvantage, etc.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
While true, I think there’s merit in the suggestion of a more granular breakdown of weapon reach and position. I think this point is adequately addressed by 2 meter reach on medium weapons. It could better represent maneuvers to get inside a foe’s reach and grapple or attack unarmed / with a tiny weapon (e.g. dagger).

The primary question is whether it would reduce fun by adding complexity and slow down combat.
This is how combat works in Mythras. So with a sword, you can keep an enemy with a dagger at bay as they can't get within reach. However, if you manage to close the range as the dagger player (through certain special combat effects or by exposing yourself to an attack) you can then get in so close that you can stab your opponent, but he doesn't enough space to use his sword.

Combat in Mythras is indeed slow from the perspective that it's tactically complicated, but it's also the sort of game where you can die very easily, so from that perspective combat can be quite quick.
 

aco175

Legend
I can see problems with weapon reach and those with a longsword or axe to want reach to the next square. Also, polearms would then want 2 square reach. Something to figure out.

My main problem is that I would run out of table space. I can fit a decent grid on my table, but doubling it to allow maneuvering room would cause problems. May not be too legit to some tables though.
 

It depends on what you're looking for. If you want a more granulated distancing by adapting various sizes, this is a good way to do it. It will make it bit messier mechanically, but you can get a lot done this way. If you just want to use a different space size it won't make that much of a difference (I've heard a lot of non-US players already use 1 m per space instead of 5 ft).
 

Hi all. I'd like to workshop an idea that would take a lot of work to implement, but I'd like to play around with the idea and see if there could be some good stuff coming from it. This came up when describing rooms, and having to make rooms significantly larger than 10 by 10 to really work in a dungeon, yet I can easily envision several people cramming into a 10 by 10 room and fighting.

The 5 ft space feels a little big. So, I wanted to see where this idea would go: what if the base scale was changed to 1 yard/1 meter squares?

First advantage: it is more easily metricked, only really requiring mile to kilometer conversions at a certain point. The base 30 speed turns to 10 squares, so that's fine. 25 ft would need to be rounded down to 24 but that's OK.

Obviously, map scales would be thrown out of wack. I make a lot of my own stuff so I'm not concerned about that right now. I just want to explore where it goes. But, maps would convert on a 3 to 5 ratio (a 3 by 3 space on old maps would turn into a 5 by 5 space).

Where I think real interesting things could happen would be in weapon reaches. We could have more nuance between light, one handed, two-handed, and reach weapons. Reach weapons normally had a reach of 10 ft, so cutting that back to 9 feet would be a reach of 3. Light weapons could have a reach of 0 and 1, medium weapons have a reach of 1 and 2, and long weapons have a reach of 2 and 3. Extra rules can be added for getting into reach, giving light weapons a goal of getting in close to deny someone use of their big weapon, while a large weapon user would want to keep someone at a range.

Monster sizes may need to be adjusted. 10, 15, and 20 ft spaces almost line up with 3, 5, and 7 unit sizes.

Can anyone think of any other fun stuff that could be added with a more granular grid?
Im a little confused.

If you changed squares to a meter, then just stop there with a follow up rule of 'A reference in game to 5' for ranges, radius, reach, space or movement is taken to be a reference to 1 meter.'

Lanterns have a max range of 6m instead of 30', and people move 6m (instead of 30') per turn and Fireball has a 4m radius instead of 20', and longbows have a max range of 120m instead of 600'.

This is really just to visualize space isnt it? You achieve that, without busting anything by inadventently giving fireball a radius twice as large.
 

Xeviat

Hero
This is really just to visualize space isnt it? You achieve that, without busting anything by inadventently giving fireball a radius twice as large.

I think it helps visualize space, but it also allows for granularity in weapon reaches. A greatsword could be given a greater reach than a dagger in such a system, and that might be neat.

To all the people saying "swing a weapon around", I'm very much aware. When I'm swinging a weapon around, I can control an area around me, attacking people that move into that space. That space isn't a 15 ft square as it is for a medium creature with 5 ft reach. 15 ft is bigger than many bedrooms. Take a second and stand in thr middle of a 15 by 15 ft square. Can you make an attack of opportunity on someone who runs through any of that space?

Switching to yard squares, a medium creature would control a 9 ft square. This is still big, but considering I have a three foot long arm and were talking about me swinging a three foot weapon, sure I can control a 9 ft circle.

Also, use hexes!
 

auburn2

Adventurer
Hi all. I'd like to workshop an idea that would take a lot of work to implement, but I'd like to play around with the idea and see if there could be some good stuff coming from it. This came up when describing rooms, and having to make rooms significantly larger than 10 by 10 to really work in a dungeon, yet I can easily envision several people cramming into a 10 by 10 room and fighting.

The 5 ft space feels a little big. So, I wanted to see where this idea would go: what if the base scale was changed to 1 yard/1 meter squares?

First advantage: it is more easily metricked, only really requiring mile to kilometer conversions at a certain point. The base 30 speed turns to 10 squares, so that's fine. 25 ft would need to be rounded down to 24 but that's OK.

Obviously, map scales would be thrown out of wack. I make a lot of my own stuff so I'm not concerned about that right now. I just want to explore where it goes. But, maps would convert on a 3 to 5 ratio (a 3 by 3 space on old maps would turn into a 5 by 5 space).

Where I think real interesting things could happen would be in weapon reaches. We could have more nuance between light, one handed, two-handed, and reach weapons. Reach weapons normally had a reach of 10 ft, so cutting that back to 9 feet would be a reach of 3. Light weapons could have a reach of 0 and 1, medium weapons have a reach of 1 and 2, and long weapons have a reach of 2 and 3. Extra rules can be added for getting into reach, giving light weapons a goal of getting in close to deny someone use of their big weapon, while a large weapon user would want to keep someone at a range.

Monster sizes may need to be adjusted. 10, 15, and 20 ft spaces almost line up with 3, 5, and 7 unit sizes.

Can anyone think of any other fun stuff that could be added with a more granular grid?
I don't really agree with that, you can squeeze a lot of people into a 10x10 room, but 4 people fighting with swords in a 10x10 room is pretty cramped and they are going to be bumping into each other all the time, and I can't really imagine 4 people with swords fighting effectively in a 6x6 room (2 yards by 2 yards).

I think the reach rules you sight make sense logically, but are a lot to keep track of, particularly with reactions, and I think they would detract from the game overall instead of making it better.

Finally under the current rules 5 feet is the area a medium character controls and occupies, but he does not fill it and others can move through the space if you permit them to or if they use overun or tumble. If you go to 1 yard 1 yard squares I think you would need to change this, especially if you are talking about 2 dragon born in full armor trying to move past each other in a 3 foot wide area.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Pretty sure every map and rule coming out of WotC is designed for Meters, and they just handwave a Meter as about five feet.
 

Hi all. I'd like to workshop an idea that would take a lot of work to implement, but I'd like to play around with the idea and see if there could be some good stuff coming from it. This came up when describing rooms, and having to make rooms significantly larger than 10 by 10 to really work in a dungeon, yet I can easily envision several people cramming into a 10 by 10 room and fighting.

The 5 ft space feels a little big. So, I wanted to see where this idea would go: what if the base scale was changed to 1 yard/1 meter squares?

First advantage: it is more easily metricked, only really requiring mile to kilometer conversions at a certain point. The base 30 speed turns to 10 squares, so that's fine. 25 ft would need to be rounded down to 24 but that's OK.

Obviously, map scales would be thrown out of wack. I make a lot of my own stuff so I'm not concerned about that right now. I just want to explore where it goes. But, maps would convert on a 3 to 5 ratio (a 3 by 3 space on old maps would turn into a 5 by 5 space).

Where I think real interesting things could happen would be in weapon reaches. We could have more nuance between light, one handed, two-handed, and reach weapons. Reach weapons normally had a reach of 10 ft, so cutting that back to 9 feet would be a reach of 3. Light weapons could have a reach of 0 and 1, medium weapons have a reach of 1 and 2, and long weapons have a reach of 2 and 3. Extra rules can be added for getting into reach, giving light weapons a goal of getting in close to deny someone use of their big weapon, while a large weapon user would want to keep someone at a range.

Monster sizes may need to be adjusted. 10, 15, and 20 ft spaces almost line up with 3, 5, and 7 unit sizes.

Can anyone think of any other fun stuff that could be added with a more granular grid?
Its an interesting idea. Formation fighting, even if there are only five of you is effective, and three foot is about the space you would occupy when doing so. Weapons and space around you would indeed need some adjustment, as would your ability to shift spaces while engaged with someone.
 

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