# D&D 5EConversion to the metric system - how do YOU do it?

#### cheops

##### First Post
Hey guys! I'm really looking forward to trying out D&D 5e as soon as it's available here in Sweden. One thing that nags me a bit is the use of non-metrics in the system, since I've only DMed swedish games before that always use SI-units.

So... how do you convert D&D to the metric system? Some rough estimates that can be applied? Ways to think about distances and weights? I want to be able to run it TOTM-style, but have a hard time thinking in feet and lbs, especially on the fly.

Thanks

#### Faraer

##### Explorer
If you divide distances in feet by three, that's about the number of metres -- and also the number of paces or strides, which works better than either as an in-world term to use in play. I wouldn't bother thinking much about exact weights, unless your characters carry scales.

#### evileeyore

##### Mrrrph
For distance a rough estimate of 3 feet to a yard and 1 yard=1 meter should suffice (1 mile equals roughly 1.6 kilometers).

For weights I'd use google to convert pounds to kilograms (though that's roughly 1 pound = .45 kilograms).

Uh... liters are 1 gallon to 3.8 liters.

#### The Hitcher

##### Explorer
Yep, 3 ft to 1 metre is close enough, as is 2 lb to 1 kg.

We predominantly use the metric system in Australia, but people do still talk in feet sometimes, so I don't find them much of a problem. Weight in pounds does confuse my brain, but it only rarely comes up.

#### drjones

##### Explorer
If you think about it it does not matter if the conversion is actually accurate so long as it is consistent. You could even say that 1lb = 1kilo. So long as a sword is 5 units and your player can lift 200 units then in either case you can still only lift 40 swords (carefully!). You can get into immersion arguments (but everyone knows a sword isn't 5 kilos!!) but if you do you are taking your fantasy role playing game a little seriously.

For distance you could make 5ft = 1 meter to make the use of battlegrids easy. Tell the players that this is a planet where everyone is rather petite.

#### Tovec

##### Explorer
As a Canadian who was raised on the metric system.... I primarily think in feet and pounds. I have no idea how to help you.

One thing I guess is that I never found feet and pounds to be hugely important. The weight of things is usually for carrying capacity but I've found two systems I like more than that and so that is a non-issue for me. And for distances - well that one is trickier but I don't find it comes up very often either. Except for the movement of people - 30 feet, 25 feet, 20 feet - which can be converted to meters either straight calculator conversion (before play), or by swapping the feet into yards and then to meters as a rough estimate (during play), or by ignoring the issue entirely (keeping as it is?). Especially if going for theatre of the mind, I don't see the problem. I can't visualize 30 feet, 10 yards or 10 meters (and I think primarily in feet and inches) but I know 30 feet is the movement speed of a medium creature, so I use it as a measurement. Otherwise it doesn't really come up too often in TotM.

Be careful if converting to meters and then running a grid, it will mess with things - especially on littler creatures and their distance traveled. For quick conversion 30 feet becomes 10 squares, but 20 feet has to be rounded to 6 or 7 (20/3 = 6 and 2/3) and 25 is just over 8 (8 and 1/3) which doesn't create a nice scale to movements. I don't even want to think what it would look like for straight mathematical conversion.

I wish they did distances in yards though, so much more elegant for this conversion and for visualization (apparently). Even for the sizes of spaces for creatures (my favourite reason).

So, tl/dr - no idea really, sorry. But I wouldn't really worry about trying to convert it.

#### Igor Siqueira

##### First Post
1' = 0.3 m

distance in feet x 3/10 = distance in meters

also 1 square = 1.5m or 5 ft

1 yard = 0.9 m

#### Agamon

As a Canadian who was raised on the metric system.... I primarily think in feet and pounds. I have no idea how to help you.

Heh, me too. Weight and short distances are imperial and everything else is metric. I can do some simple conversions for meters and feet and pounds and kilos, but rarely need to.

#### Rabbitbait

If I'm using a grid, then 1 square = 1 meter. That means it is actually a slightly different scale but it works and means you don't have too much calculation to do. So for 5e it will mean 5ft=1m. Again, wrong but easier to calculate.

I've never worried too much about weight.

#### Mishihari Lord

##### First Post
10'~=3m, 1 kg~=2 lb. Dunno what else you would need. Or just leave it as is, it'll be educational!

#### Morrus

##### Well, that was fun
Staff member
Just say each 5' square is 1m, and halve all lb weights to get kg. That's really all you'll ever need. Much, much easier than you think it is.

#### Pickles JG

##### First Post
I wish they had gone with a fantasy unit of measurement say Fathoms which are 5-6' or 2m & akso the same size as squares on the grid.

##### Explorer
Snarky answer, I use an online conversion site.
Long ago in the mid-nineties, I wrote a home-brewed heartbreaker for my own personal use having become dis-enchanted with D&D. I decided I wanted to use mini's for tactical situations and I decided to use the metric system as it's base10. It turned out that 3 meter's equals 9.8 feet where 0.8 feet equals 9.6 inches which is roughly 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) shy of 10 feet. Therefore I ended up with 10'x10' dungeon square equaling a 3m X 3m grid on the battle mat, where a typical medium sized humanoid occupies a 1m square with reach into adjacent squares (or two squares in the case of a larger reach style weapon like the ever popular two-handed sword). The whole 5' step grid has never felt right to me and I continue to use the metric system for distance when using a battle mat, but draw my maps using the 10' square.

I usually count:
5 feet = 1.5 m
1 pound = 0.5 kg
1 gallon = 4 l

#### Klaus

##### First Post
Hey guys! I'm really looking forward to trying out D&D 5e as soon as it's available here in Sweden. One thing that nags me a bit is the use of non-metrics in the system, since I've only DMed swedish games before that always use SI-units.

So... how do you convert D&D to the metric system? Some rough estimates that can be applied? Ways to think about distances and weights? I want to be able to run it TOTM-style, but have a hard time thinking in feet and lbs, especially on the fly.

Thanks

These are approximations for ease of calculation:

3 feet = 1 meter
1 mile = 1.5 kilometer
2 pounds = 1 kilogram
1 gallon = 4 liters

D&D maps tend to be divided in 5-foot squares. You can either convert them to be 1.5 meter squares or take a cue from the Star Wars Saga RPG and round up so that each square is 2 meters.

##### 5ever, or until 2024
In many ways 3ft=1m is a better scaling (and I like calling it a pace).

It fits better with oversized minis that have become the norm. Its probably a more natural scaling for melee distances. It gives you more space in cramped interiors, including old school modules, where instead of say a (then 10 foot) square is 2*2 you say it is 3*3, which can makes those a lot more interesting. Things like movement, given the very short round, probably feel more natural...

There are probably some others.

#### Halivar

##### First Post
Oh! Oh! I have a solution! Let's just call it "squares"!

/duck

#### Ruzak

##### First Post
Just make sure you convert spell ranges & areas precisely so they remain realistic.

#### UngeheuerLich

##### Legend
ADnD and 3.5 used the 5ft = 1,5m conversion here in germany.

So 60ft equals 18m darkvision for example.

If you are not raised with those odd scores I would advise you to use 60ft = 20m on the bigger scale and 5ft = 1,5 or 2m on the smaller scale, although I think 2m is a bit much for a person standing around.

But actually, at short distances you can just use 5 feet. It is quite a good old fashioned unit in my opinion (sorry americans) that fits with my imagine of a medieval setting.

#### Thaumaturge

##### Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
But actually, at short distances you can just use 5 feet. It is quite a good old fashioned unit in my opinion (sorry americans) that fits with my imagine of a medieval setting.

No need to apologize. We all agree. We just have a really good LARP going.

Thaumaturge.

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