Saturday, January 24, 2015

Silly Game-World Measurements

Inspired by a throwaway line from andi jones about measuring mileage "as the stirge flies."

Gaming measurements

Inch: 10 feet or yards, depending on the presence of a roof overhead. A 10-foot pole, however, is never measured in inches.

Hexes: In game worlds powered by GURPS, all people count things by hexes. "Well, we've got a nice studio updown that measures 11 hexes by 10 hexes."

Half-Moves: As in, "How much is that in half moves?" Used mainly in D&D-inspired worlds in my experience.

Full-Move: As in, "He's like 3 1/2 Full Moves away. I'll never get to him on time."

You'd think with the very standard sizes of some gear, new in-game measures would emerge:

Poles: A measurement, like the inch, of 10-foot lengths.

Rope: A standard unit of length consisting of 5 poles. Rope is only sold in coils of 1 standard rope length.

All of these distances multiply by a factor of three aboveground, if you're running AD&D, which means a standard rope can't reach 1 aboveground rope. Or maybe they get bigger too.

What did I miss? What would you add?


  1. When we first began playing AD&D in Middle School, we through two-handed swords were the coolest because they were *six* feet long - much taller than we were. Inevitably, that became a measure. "This dining room is beautiful. Are those cathedral ceilings?" "Yes, ma'am, almost 3 two-handed swords high." We tended to gravitate to all round numbers that were quintessentially D&D somehow.. The shallow end of the pool is one halfling deep. Others included equating one unit of monetary measure with an equal value in goods, not other coins; in our group, 1 Gold Piece = 200 Torches.


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