D&D 5E Conversion to the metric system - how do YOU do it?


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.

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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.


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.

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.

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