D&D General The 10' hallway default. How? Why?

Sacrosanct

Legend
10' is a pretty good distance. The other thread about a 5ft square helps put things in context of the actual scale. Which makes me wonder, "How did the 10' wide hallway become the default size?" That's an incredibly wide hallway, and real life tunnels and dungeons and castles don't even come close to being that wide. Especially odd to consider when the builders of D&D tunnels and hallways are small goblins or kobolds.

And yet, pretty much every dungeon passage and castle hallway in early D&D is 10' wide and 10' tall.
 

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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
It's kind of weird you know.
In a game called Dungeons & Dragons, people tend to extremely underestimate the impact of dungeon design on combat.
 


Tony Vargas

Legend
"How did the 10' wide hallway become the default size?" real life tunnels and dungeons and castles don't even come close to being that wide.
I'd always assumed because the default indoor scale was 1" = 10' so when you sit down with your graph paper to design a dungeon you use 10' as the unit, and it's most convenient to draw rooms & corridors along the lines.

1" = 5' has always been much closer to the nominal 25mm (more like 30+) scale D&D figures have always used. Was it 3e or late 2e that finally got around to adopting that?
 

I've always wondered... perhaps 10ft hallways are an added remnant of architectural scale and the graph paper that was available at the time? i.e. 1/4" graph paper also fits a common architectural scale of 1":40'
 

1" = 5' has always been much closer to the nominal 25mm (more like 30+) scale D&D figures have always used. Was it 3e or late 2e that finally got around to adopting that?
I don't think so. I mean my old lead cast minis from OD&D certainly were not 25mm scale. When we switched to 25mm (3E) those figures were noticeable larger. But I suspect someone around here will know for certain what the old scale was.
 

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