[MUD-Dev] Metric vs. English System of Measurement in Games

Artur Biesiadowski abies at adres.pl
Wed Dec 22 12:11:29 CET 2004

Michael Hartman wrote:

>  1) Weight: Inventory systems where the amount of stuff you can
>  carry depends on weight must clearly decide between pounds and
>  grams (or kilos). This is important for total inventory space as
>  well as for representing the weight of each individual item.

>  2) Range and Area of Effeft: Spells and other ranged attacks that
>  have range must be expressed in either feet or meters generally.

In both these cases, feet/pound or kg/meter is just a unit. As long
as container capacity (including inventory) is given in same units,
it is just a number - so I don't think it gives any problems.

I think you are not taking one thing into account - 'magic' of
English measurement system. In pen and paper rpgs, we have always
used English metrics for fantasy worlds - to add a bit of
difference. Telling that somebody is 1m85cm high sounds like dry
data - while telling that somebody is about 6feet high sounds like
description which can be given by just looking at person, not
measuring it. I don't know if it is a case for majority of
metric-based people, but for some of them, English system can be
actually a benefit for fantasy world. Metric system was not used in
medieval world, which some of worlds try to imitate - bolting it on
top of that looks like kind of conversion at level of game interface
(but going further this way, you could convert gold pieces into

I would suggest taking following route - metric system for
future/modern worlds, english system for medieval/fantasy
ones. Regardless of who plays there.

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