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Thread: Forget 5', 3.2808399' is where it's at

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    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Post Forget 5', 3.2808399' is where it's at

    A link to a great article discussing grid size and why 1 meter is better than 5' for your grid. Unfortunately he doesn't point out the virtue of the hex, but it is a D&D site so I won't harp on that.

    http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread...6#post16079896

    Interestingly enough two of my favorite systems Hero and GURPS both use meters - Hero uses 2/hex and GURPS 1/hex - and I've always felt that the spacing just "felt right" on maps. Now I know why.
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    I like the idea of using meters and kilometers because they are more useful life skills in Canada.


    Unfortunately I think this guy's argument is really pointless. He scans and presents a couple of maps to show that one size of grid works and another doesn't. He has complete control over the scale of the original scan and can make it show anything he wants. He can place the grids anywhere he wants. There is no 'real world case' presented here. The examples he scanned were scaled to fit publication and then potentially scaled again by him.


    Sigurd

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    Maybe Sigurd is right about the examples used by that guy, but if you consider that I think more than the world's half population uses the metric system (including scientists!) I don't see why I should stick to the imperial system.

    When I started playing AD&D almost 10 years ago I was so frustrated! And when I began to create my own maps I was also at a loss...I still don't know how long is a mile. I mean I know it is 1.6 km, but I have no sense of the distance...I always travel and see signs in km!

    Anyway...I suppose if you want to play traditional fantasy you should use the imperial system (after all Tolkien was English!) Or maybe I should invent my own...which by the way would be exactly the same with the metric!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    I like the idea of using meters and kilometers because they are more useful life skills in Canada.


    Unfortunately I think this guy's argument is really pointless. He scans and presents a couple of maps to show that one size of grid works and another doesn't. He has complete control over the scale of the original scan and can make it show anything he wants. He can place the grids anywhere he wants. There is no 'real world case' presented here. The examples he scanned were scaled to fit publication and then potentially scaled again by him.


    Sigurd
    I have to politely disagree with your assessment. There is a scalebar in the first image to verify that he is drawing the grid to scale and in the others all you have to do is look at the size of the doorways to see that it to is scale. As for the grid anywhere he wants, in the first example you can see he's trying to line it up to maximize its use in both examples and yet fit on the scalebar. Of course you are going to line up the grid to the map. Many people do exactly the opposite when drawing a map and map to the grid. I've already spoken at length about that however. I also don't get your point about scanning. It has a scalebar with obvious units, you can scan that a million times to Tuesday and you aren't going to change the relationship.

    I get the feeling that your argument is coming from suffering with the cognitive dissonance his points are causing.

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Somberlain View Post
    Maybe Sigurd is right about the examples used by that guy, but if you consider that I think more than the world's half population uses the metric system (including scientists!) I don't see why I should stick to the imperial system.

    When I started playing AD&D almost 10 years ago I was so frustrated! And when I began to create my own maps I was also at a loss...I still don't know how long is a mile. I mean I know it is 1.6 km, but I have no sense of the distance...I always travel and see signs in km!

    Anyway...I suppose if you want to play traditional fantasy you should use the imperial system (after all Tolkien was English!) Or maybe I should invent my own...which by the way would be exactly the same with the metric!!!
    Indeed. That is why many other systems have already adopted metric both from a business perspective and ease of usability. In the system I use, Hero, it uses a 2 meter hex, but I'm thinking that a 1 meter hex makes a lot more sense. Of course I'll have to multiple all distances by 2 if I use the grid as my guide but that is pretty much a no brainer.
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    There is a scalebar in the first image to verify that he is drawing the grid to scale and in the others all you have to do is look at the size of the doorways to see that it to is scale.
    So you justify the printed scale bar by the size of the doors. If I use the map I can ignore the scale bar entirely and simply say the doors are probably a meter, or 6 feet. Since we're already talking about 'heroes' not people and the difference between a meter and 5' can be entirely absorbed into the inaccuracies of the map and the game system involved I don't think its a very worthwhile argument.

    Since I never expect to build my game maps I am pretty flexible about reinterpreting them.

    I'm sure the guy is honest and making a fair argument but he could just as easily be cheating all over the place. DM's have no constraints or tolerances to obey. (That was the point behind my mentioning the various times the map was scanned)

    In most RPGs, regardless of the printed scale, I'd approximate based on the inhabitants and the map use. If his temple was a hobbit temple, the doors might be only 2.5 feet wide. If the temple was for Storm Giants 15 or 18 feet wide. Same map - my squares would adapt it so I (respectfully as well ) think its pretty arbitrary.

    I appreciate the meter thing (and don't disagree) but I think his mapping examples are pretty unconvincing.

    I'm more convinced by the merits of a base 10 system that is easier and more modern.


    Sigurd
    Last edited by Sigurd; 06-12-2008 at 10:21 PM.

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    I always thought that a 5' grid when using a battlemap and mini's was just silly. I know the justification was a 5' area was necessary for "fighting", but a 1m grid seems more natural for spacing minis...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobA View Post
    I always thought that a 5' grid when using a battlemap and mini's was just silly. I know the justification was a 5' area was necessary for "fighting", but a 1m grid seems more natural for spacing minis...

    -Rob A>
    Hmmm...

    Honestly, as a Canadian I can say that I am a mixture of the two. When I am talking about distances, I am loving the metric. We are bombarded with that. I am old enough to remember very early on being taught the imperial system... so I know what an inch and a foot are. Talk to me in meters.... I may be lost. Can I tell you that a room is 3.25 meters x 3.25 meters, or 10' x 10'? I would say the latter.

    OTOH, if we are talking about overland movement, I would be better with meters and kilometers. We just went 500 meters? Sweet. Halk a kilo. That I can get my head around.

    Encounter distance? 3 meters away from my opponent? Wow, now I am getting a little bit confused. (Not really, but now I ACTUALLY have to think.)

    Also, I weight 220 lbs. Don't ask me how many kilos. I have no idea. I am 6'2". No idea in centemeters either.

    So, it is different strokes for the folks.

    As for the blog, it is interesting. I am all for the smaller tactical space, as it makes more sense. 5 feet is a LOT of space to think about. Especially when you tell me that someone cannot occupy the same space as me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalmarjan View Post
    Also, I weight 220 lbs. Don't ask me how many kilos. I have no idea. I am 6'2". No idea in centemeters either.
    heh.. how many "stone" is that???

    Quote Originally Posted by kalmarjan View Post
    As for the blog, it is interesting. I am all for the smaller tactical space, as it makes more sense. 5 feet is a LOT of space to think about. Especially when you tell me that someone cannot occupy the same space as me.

    Sandeman
    I have to disagree. If you think about a man wielding a 3.5 foot (or 1.2 meter) longsword, I would not want to be in the same 5 foot square with him swinging the damn thing!

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  9. #9

    Post 1" = 5' bother me differently

    Aside from being an American, I pretty much follow everything Kalmarjan just stated.

    Regarding 1" = 5' bother me in trying to create interior structure maps and trying to accomodate space for mini's requiring 5' of standing space. If I create a 10 x 10 room, it almost seems I am forced to put any furnishings on one side or the other, to allow a 5' wide space for pc mini's to walk past.

    I've been in restaurants where there's lots of people sitting a tables within a 10 x 10 space, fairly comfortably, far more room than what mini's on bases could possibly fit in that same space.

    I end up creating larger than required rooms to fit my room contents and still allow several minis to be able to move around in.

    The 5' space requirement really cramps my effort to creating realistic interior maps.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalmarjan View Post
    Encounter distance? 3 meters away from my opponent? Wow, now I am getting a little bit confused. (Not really, but now I ACTUALLY have to think.)
    Really? Do you know how big a yard is? There shouldn't be any confusion anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    I have to disagree. If you think about a man wielding a 3.5 foot (or 1.2 meter) longsword, I would not want to be in the same 5 foot square with him swinging the damn thing!

    Joe
    You just made a great argument for going for 1 meter hexes!! Sweet!!

    The man is in one hex, his sword clearly swings through all of the adjacent hexes in his swing arc. One character per hex. If you are in the swing arc you are potentially going to be hit. No arguing about it being a 5' space and being too far away to be hit.
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