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D&D General Here's What A 5' Square Actually Looks Like

Over on imgur, a user called DoofusDad created a real-life five-foot square to illustrate what it actually looks like.

Over on imgur, a user called DoofusDad created a real-life five-foot square to illustrate what it actually looks like.

Screenshot 2019-09-12 at 23.18.00.png
 

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Celebrim

Legend
It is weird D&D now has no official 1-handed arming sword type weapon though!

It's another nomenclature problem similar to 'chain mail' and 'plate mail' and the whole misunderstanding that led to 'studded leather'. The 'longsword' of D&D was always meant to represent be an arming sword, but the naming conventions got messed up and now they've become conventional.
 

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BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Mother Nature issued us with a pretty inconvenient number of fingers for mathematics, truth be told. If the Revolutionary French had been smart, they would have created a dozenal system rather than a decimal one. (And also done a few other things differently, but that's clearly the most important issue.) A dozenal meter can handle sixths and thirds as easily as fourths and halves, and eighths aren't so bad. It still can't handle sevenths (seven is just a real ornery number), and it loses fifths, but overall it would be a tremendous improvement in usability.

Or if they were feeling ambitious, there's always the Babylonian base-60 system. Look at all the divisors on that bad boy!
I think there’s more to why base 10 is so universally embraced by humans than just the number of fingers we have. If base 12 was really superior, we could just as easily count our knuckles.

If we are want something truly universal we're stuck with binary. ;)
 



IMO:

Shortsword: a sword with a grip that can only be held with one hand, and light enough to match. Can range from long daggers to gladii to medieval arming swords.
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Longsword: a sword with a two-handed grip but still light enough to be wielded (semi)-comfortably in one hand. "Bastard swords" or "hand-and-a-half swords".
DF052_2_l.jpg
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Greatsword: a sword that can only be effectively wielded with two hands. "Two-handed sword".
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
So yes, have no problem with that you can injure someone 1.5 meters away from your body, depending on how far you extend your arms.
Does no one care that that "someone" could be your allied bard or wizard in the next 5-foot-square? Or that some moves would be exceedingly difficult with said bard or wizard also swinging around their lutes and quarterstaves nearby?
 

The Aztecs apparently used a base 20 numeric system, but it's one I still think is still based on fingers.

Also my rapier is a bit longer than many longswords of the hand and a half variety. I choose my blade length of my rapier to be based around the height of my belly button when standing straight.
 

I propose the following solution. Create a new weapon property, “Warding.” When a creature enters the reach of a weapon with the Warding property, it provokes an Attack of Opportunity (and change the wording on the Sentinel Feat to say that you treat all weapons as Warding). Now you can have four categories of weapon length: Reach and Warding, just Reach, just Warding, and neither. Pikes and Lances fall into the first category. Glaives and halberds fall into the second. Longswords, Greatswords, Greataxes, Quarterstaves, and Spears fall into the third.
With that rule, longswords would be in the second category (just Reach), because they can hit someone further away if you try, but they don't generally threaten further away while you're not swinging.

Even then, it adds significant complexity to combat, because now we have to worry about making melee attacks into the second row of enemies. That was something that previously only came up if someone was using a long spear. I don't even remember, off the top of my head, whether the first row can provide cover to the second row when you're dealing with melee attacks.

Ideally, we want the most common weapons that everyone uses to have no special properties, so that we only have to deal with special rules in special situations.
 

S'mon

Legend
IMO:

Shortsword: a sword with a grip that can only be held with one hand, and light enough to match. Can range from long daggers to gladii to medieval arming swords.
ANR7_1_l.jpg
ANV4_2_l.jpg
ANS17_1_l.jpg
DT6151_1_l.jpg
DF033B_2_l.jpg

Longsword: a sword with a two-handed grip but still light enough to be wielded (semi)-comfortably in one hand. "Bastard swords" or "hand-and-a-half swords".
DF052_2_l.jpg
ANH5_2_l.jpg
DF003_2_l.jpg
AC0929_2_l.jpg

Greatsword: a sword that can only be effectively wielded with two hands. "Two-handed sword".
ANT1_2_l.jpg
DT5167BR_2_l.jpg
ANE3_2_l.jpg
DF056_2_l.jpg

But why would a sword designed for 1 handed use be less effective (d6) than 1 handed use of a sword designed for 2 handed use (d8)? I'm fine with machete & cinquedea as d6 weapons, but an arming sword with the same blade length as a bastard sword (small longsword), and better optimised for 1 handed combat, ought to be at least as effective IMO.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
With that rule, longswords would be in the second category (just Reach), because they can hit someone further away if you try, but they don't generally threaten further away while you're not swinging.
Sure, whatever works. Honestly, I’m not convinced longswords need 2 squares of Reach even in a 1 square = 1 meter/yard system. Two squares away in such a system is up to about 6 feet, abs yeah, you could reach that far with a longsword, but that’s definitely not it’s optimal range.

Even then, it adds significant complexity to combat, because now we have to worry about making melee attacks into the second row of enemies. That was something that previously only came up if someone was using a long spear. I don't even remember, off the top of my head, whether the first row can provide cover to the second row when you're dealing with melee attacks.
It can. You have half cover if half of your body is obscured, and another creature is given as a specific example of a source of such obscuration.

Ideally, we want the most common weapons that everyone uses to have no special properties, so that we only have to deal with special rules in special situations.
Eh, I guess.
 

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