Imperial vs. Metric


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If it wasn't for D&D, I wouldn't understand any Imperial measurements :)


I'm in the States, and I couldn't care less if the measurements were in feet, meters, cubits, li, or lengths of the tree's shadow at noon. I don't use minis or maps in my game, so exact distance measurements are not useful for me.

They could just as easily use "a square" as a unit of measurement for the mini gamers.

Sovereign Court

It was a pain in the beginning, but you get used to it : somehow it was decided that a square was 1.5 M (IIRC) and everybody went with that.


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http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2mre1?Metrification-of-Pathfinder

And to answer your question, I'm mildly annoyed by short distances, greatly annoyed by weights, volumes and long distances. The foot is the only imperial measurement that I can convert easily to metric in my head, the rest is all over the place and impossible to remember.


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YogoZuno wrote:
If it wasn't for D&D, I wouldn't understand any Imperial measurements :)

I think that if you quizzed a large random sampling of my fellow Americans you would find that many of them don't, either.

I know very few people who know the proper conversion of ounces-->cups-->pints-->quarts-->gallons, and almost NO ONE who can convert those volumetric measurements to their corresponding weights.


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Ballpark, quick-and-dirty approximations for converting numbers:
1 mile = 1.6km; 1 km = 0.6 mi (use 1.5km or 2/3 mi if easier).
3 feet = 1meter.
1 square = 1.5 m
2.5 cm =1 inch
4 liters = 1 gallon
1kg = 2lbs

"Room temperature" = 20 C = 68 F
"Hot weather" = 30 C = 86 F
"Cold weather = 10 C = 50 F
"Freezing" <= 0 C = 32 F
"Boiling" >= 100 C = 212 F
5 degrees C = 9 degrees F (use 1:2 to approximate).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Been seeing a lot of these topics pop up. Is this like the new thing to whine about now? At least it isn't another paladin alignment thread...


Bizbag wrote:


5 degrees C = 9 degrees F (use 1:2 to approximate).

A good breakdown, except for this part.

I find C + 50% + 32 is going to give you a better reading.

Look at your figures:

20 C * 2 = 40, which isn't at all close to 68 F, whereas 20/2 = 10+20+32 = 62, which is kind of close to 68.

Then for the rest...
30 + 15 + 32 = 79 (your result would be 60)
10 + 5 + 32 = 49 (20)
0 + 0 + 32 = 32 (0)
100 + 50 + 32 = 182 (200--this one is closer than mine)

Going the other way, take 86 F, subtract 32 (54) and divide in half (27 C). It's an extra step, but it yields a better correlation.


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F = (C * 9/5) + 32

Also, volumetric measures do not have corresponding weights unless a mass, density, or material is defined.

Grand Lodge

I wouldn't know what any of these measurements would look like without someone telling me, so you could measure distance in parsecs for all the good it would do me.


I've had decades to get used to it, although Fahrenheit to Celsius still gives me trouble.

I don't really mind for fantasy games, because it feels appropriate to a medieval setting to use an archaic system of measurement. If I were running a science fiction game though it would feel strange not to use SI units.

@ Jarl, even with a defined specific density you would also need to specify the local gravity to determine weight.


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yeti1069 wrote:
YogoZuno wrote:
If it wasn't for D&D, I wouldn't understand any Imperial measurements :)

I think that if you quizzed a large random sampling of my fellow Americans you would find that many of them don't, either.

I know very few people who know the proper conversion of ounces-->cups-->pints-->quarts-->gallons, and almost NO ONE who can convert those volumetric measurements to their corresponding weights.

No one can translate volume measurements to weights in any system, without knowing the density of the material in question. A quart (or liter) of water doesn't weigh the same as a quart (or liter) of mercury.


@ mkenner

Truth.


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Jarl wrote:

F = (C * 9/5) + 32

Also, volumetric measures do not have corresponding weights unless a mass, density, or material is defined.

There's usually a standard material. In metric it's always water at a specific temperature and pressure. In imperial it's arbitrary stuff that people wanted to measure when they came up with the units.

An ounce of feathers is a weight. An ounce of silver is a different weight. An ounce of water is a volume.

A quart of flour is not the same volume as a quart of milk.

A mile measured over land is not the same distance as a mile measured over water.

Have fun rolling your san checks.


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Estimating volume to weight is much easier for me in metric since a litre of water weighs 1 Kg at 1g gravity. It's not too hard to estimate that substance X is twice as heavy as water, therefore a litre of it would be 2 Kg. (Or for a more useful volume measurement just multiply by 1000, since a 1000 litres is a cubic meter).


Jarl wrote:

F = (C * 9/5) + 32

Also, volumetric measures do not have corresponding weights unless a mass, density, or material is defined.

I meant regarding water, and water-based substances. Wine is close to the same density as water, and although we have alcoholic beverages in the game, if we are assuming a medieval-style world, most of these would be somewhat watered down.

After all, the original basis for the 'gram' was based on the weight of water according to a particular volumetric measurement (1 cubic centimeter). Water, being so plentiful, and handle-able, tends to form a basis for measurement, even if it is, itself, frustratingly fluid in its properties. Pun intended.

Oh, and dividing in half and then adding that result to your starting value is easier than multiplying by 9/5 (or by 9, then dividing by 5), and it comes pretty close.

Liberty's Edge

mkenner wrote:

I've had decades to get used to it, although Fahrenheit to Celsius still gives me trouble.

I don't really mind for fantasy games, because it feels appropriate to a medieval setting to use an archaic system of measurement. If I were running a science fiction game though it would feel strange not to use SI units.

This.

And I am miffed by the difference between the US and English gallon. I think that the gallon used throughout the rules is the US gallon, but nowhere it is defined as such.

As a friend of mine say, "The Founding Fathers hadn't brought with them measurements samples, so they made a new set of measures that approximated the Imperial measures and used the same names. The only exception was a seamstress that had brought with her the tools of his trade, measuring tape included."
;-)


It doesn't bother me per se, but I find it hard to relate to. I can sort of deal with feet, but when rolling character height (which I always do), I find the 12:1 relationship between inches and feet to be unnecessarily stupid.
My concept of a mile is wonky, I think a gallon is about 4 liters, and my only frame of reference for fahrenheit is that it meets celsius at -40 and then everything gets weird, with no nice, round and easily remembered numbers (such as 0 and 100) to link to any easily defined temperatures (water freezes, water boils).

None of this is of course not taking all of you lovely people's quick conversion charts and rules into account. Maybe I should try to remember some of those.


I'm used to it and all but if we're voting I'll vote metric no questions.


I'm canadian, so I've always had to deal with a mish-mash of metric (what we actualy use) and imperial (what americans want us to use). I prefer metric myself, since it's qhat I do all my work in (i'm an engineer) but I'm nonetheless used to talking about height/weight in imperial units. It gets eminently frustrating sometimes, even considering quick conversion charts & the like. A single formalized system is much more efficient than a conversion table (as a few airplane incidents where lazy conversion had caused inssuficiently filled tanks can attest).


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Hey, imperial system totally makes sense!
The problem is not the different system of measurement but how incredibly stupid that system is. I think more US citizens now how many meters are in a kilometer than know how many feet (or yards) are in a mile.

We should make a petition to change all pathfinder measurements to SI units!

Liberty's Edge

williamoak wrote:
I'm canadian, so I've always had to deal with a mish-mash of metric (what we actualy use) and imperial (what americans want us to use). I prefer metric myself, since it's qhat I do all my work in (i'm an engineer) but I'm nonetheless used to talking about height/weight in imperial units. It gets eminently frustrating sometimes, even considering quick conversion charts & the like. A single formalized system is much more efficient than a conversion table (as a few airplane incidents where lazy conversion had caused inssuficiently filled tanks can attest).

A fun (as in all ended well) tale about pounds and kilos, especially for you Canadians: Gimli glider.


That is one of the examples I was thinking of Diego; at least that one didnt end badly.

Hapilly, most american institutions (IE Nasa, and things of similar stature) are switchinghave mostly switched to SI.


At the start of the GURPS book, it has a lovely table with conversions to metric. I love that it has two columns, the first one is a 'close enough for gaming' conversion value like a yard=metre and the second column is the actual conversion value.

Grand Lodge

Stereofm wrote:
It was a pain in the beginning, but you get used to it : somehow it was decided that a square was 1.5 M (IIRC) and everybody went with that.

The first time I saw it was with traveller back around 1979 or so. They used 1.5m squares, because it was close to 5'. Also a 1.5m sided cube is about quarter the volume of a metric ton of liquid hydrogen. So when they measured spaceship size (volume) in "tons", that mapped kinda well to a grid for drawing out deck plans.


I always side with the idea that next time someone invents D&D they get to use whatever measurements are the most popular in their country of origin. Might take a bit before the reset of humanity for such an event but you never know, it could happen.


williamoak wrote:

That is one of the examples I was thinking of Diego; at least that one didnt end badly.

Hapilly, most american institutions (IE Nasa, and things of similar stature) are switching have mostly switched to SI.

One of the last mars vehicles to crash did so because the manufacturer of one of the parts did not convert imperial to metric.

I'll add though my experience in canada and the imperial system has been the same of yours. the funny part is i have no idea /why/ we use imperial for just weight and height.

In regards to PF the system of measurements really doesnt matter. All most players use is 5 ft squares hieght and weight of their character and weight of equiptment. If people have to do something more than that they are doing something wrong.


Eh. I'm not fond of either system, honestly.

The Imperial system works for a medieval setting, though it does have a certain amount of unwieldiness and imprecision in certain areas. Which works perfectly for this kind of game.

Edit: Rant removed. Anguish is right; the real-world aspects of it have nothing to do with the discussion.


Canadian here. Doesn't bother me.

Frankly there's a certain charm to having a medieval era game using an archaic measuring system. That it's reasonably accessible because it's not a completely dead system is a bonus.

That has zero bearing on anything to do with the Real World, which is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pamela Elizabeth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

If the game was invented in France it would be saddled with a lot of french terms even if translated over. (or it would be completely remade the way Steve Jackson did the French RPG InNominee') Pathfinder as well as D+D is an American game.

Additionally you'll generally find that most Europeans aren't as parochial as the average American. Europe has a whole bunch of countries taking up the space that the United States occupies as just one. They get much more practice in dealing with diversities of terminology.


Anguish wrote:

Canadian here. Doesn't bother me.

Frankly there's a certain charm to having a medieval era game using an archaic measuring system. That it's reasonably accessible because it's not a completely dead system is a bonus.

I'll echo that, also speaking as a Canadian.

Immersion is better for me in imperial system.

Can't speak for Anguish but here in Quebec, we still have one foot in the metric system and one foot in the imperial system. Long distances are measure in Km, but short distances (up to 200 ft. or so) however are often measured in feet. Ask someone how tall/heavy they are and they almost certainly will give you an imperial answer, but any large-ish weight/volume will given in Kg or liters. Few people get Fahrenheit; it's Celsius everywhere except for cooking where everything is in Fahrenheit (that and, for some reasons, the ideal water temperature for your outdoors swimming pool). Everything construction/home improvement is irrevocably imperial (I haven't the slightest clue how long a 8' stud is or what the dimension of 4'x8'x 3/4" ply are), but even there volumes are all metric.

This way, we get to confuse both Americans AND Europeans :)


LazarX wrote:
If the game was invented in France it would be saddled with a lot of french terms even if translated over. (or it would be completely remade the way Steve Jackson did the French RPG InNominee') Pathfinder as well as D+D is an American game.

When I designed my own game-system, I opted for the yard as the reference unit. It was the easiest to translate in both systems.


As long as the units are consistent, it doesn't really matter. It's not like I'm actually measuring something, I'm just reading the numbers.

I makes no difference if a square means 5x5ft and my character moves 30ft or if it means 1.5 x 1.5m and my character moves 9m. I'm still able to move 6 squares.

So long as the units are consistent, I don't have to translate from 1 system to another, I'm okay... Distance could be measure in light-years, parsecs or even an imaginary unit ("the village is 3 dragon-flights to the West").

I'd rather the game used the metric system, just like I wish the whole US used it... Just because it's a much better system, at least IMO. But it's more about preference than ease of use for me...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lemmy wrote:

As long as the units are consistent, it doesn't really matter. It's not like I'm actually measuring something, I'm just reading the numbers.

I makes no difference if a square means 5x5ft and my character moves 30ft or if it means 1.5 x 1.5m and my character moves 9m. I'm still able to move 6 squares.

So long as the units are consistent, I don't have to translate from 1 system to another, I'm okay... Distance could be measure in light-years, parsecs or even an imaginary unit ("the village is 3 dragon-flights to the West").

I'd rather the game used the metric system, just like I wish the whole US used it... Just because it's a much better system, at least IMO. But it's more about preference than ease of use for me...

I think that even most Europeans would argue on the other hand having King Arthur and his knights talk in terms of kilometers instead of miles would change the basic flavor of the setting. The metric system is after all, the product of a modern, scientific, INDUSTRIAL, society. If the Imperial system sounds medieval to you... that's because.... it was. :)

Silver Crusade

I use both systems pretty often (as an American) and I would definitely prefer if America would switch over to Metric. In Pathfinder though I definitely prefer imperial units for flavor. But then, if I didn't know them as well as I do I can see me getting pretty agitated by it at times. Though I'd probably learn it in the end.


LazarX wrote:
I think that even most Europeans would argue on the other hand having King Arthur and his knights talk in terms of kilometers instead of miles would change the basic flavor of the setting. The metric system is after all, the product of a modern, scientific, INDUSTRIAL, society. If the Imperial system sounds medieval to you... that's because.... it was. :)

Like I said, I don't really care about which system is used... As long as game is consistent. And it is. It could simply use "squares" instead of feet and meters, and I'd be okay.

That said, PF doesn't do King Arthur style of fantasy very well past 5th level or so... Personally, using the metric system wouldn't change the flavor for me. I've used non-american D&D books before, and using meters instead of feet never interfered with neither flavor nor mechanics.


Mojorat wrote:
In regards to PF the system of measurements really doesnt matter. All most players use is 5 ft squares hieght and weight of their character and weight of equiptment. If people have to do something more than that they are doing something wrong.

Something wrong? You mean your group doesn't design and build engineering projects in game? That's just weird.

Liberty's Edge

Mojorat wrote:
williamoak wrote:

That is one of the examples I was thinking of Diego; at least that one didnt end badly.

Hapilly, most american institutions (IE Nasa, and things of similar stature) are switching have mostly switched to SI.

One of the last mars vehicles to crash did so because the manufacturer of one of the parts did not convert imperial to metric.

I'll add though my experience in canada and the imperial system has been the same of yours. the funny part is i have no idea /why/ we use imperial for just weight and height.

In regards to PF the system of measurements really doesnt matter. All most players use is 5 ft squares hieght and weight of their character and weight of equiptment. If people have to do something more than that they are doing something wrong.

Another little fun fact: European countries use inches for TV and computer screen measurements. And inches are still used in plumbing measurements, but not for official use, i.e. you install a pipe with a 5/8" diameter, but you call it a 16 mm pipe in the plant scheme. Way to generate confusion.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Mojorat wrote:
williamoak wrote:

That is one of the examples I was thinking of Diego; at least that one didnt end badly.

Hapilly, most american institutions (IE Nasa, and things of similar stature) are switching have mostly switched to SI.

One of the last mars vehicles to crash did so because the manufacturer of one of the parts did not convert imperial to metric.

I'll add though my experience in canada and the imperial system has been the same of yours. the funny part is i have no idea /why/ we use imperial for just weight and height.

In regards to PF the system of measurements really doesnt matter. All most players use is 5 ft squares hieght and weight of their character and weight of equiptment. If people have to do something more than that they are doing something wrong.

Another little fun fact: European countries use inches for TV and computer screen measurements. And inches are still used in plumbing measurements, but not for official use, i.e. you install a pipe with a 5/8" diameter, but you call it a 16 mm pipe in the plant scheme. Way to generate confusion.

The plumbing is because of the same reasons why the U.S. is stuck on a 60 volt measurement (at least, I think it's volts) and why the U.S. still uses old copper wire systems for parts of the telephone and power grid: Legacy systems.

Basically, it's cheaper to simply stick with adding onto an old legacy system that still works than taking apart an entire city/region/nation to try to upgrade the system. Especially since parts of the system might be a hundred years old or better and potentially protected historical sites.

I did once see an estimate for upgrading the entire telephone grid for the U.S. It was equal to our current national debt... and had a lot of overly optimistic assumptions built in.

The TVs? Blame the U.S. for that.


Pamela Elizabeth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

I'm used to using feet fot measurements in D&D/PF and such.

What annoys me more is when someone shows up with a translated rulebook and we suddenly have to use the translated values.

I just know what a 15ft cone looks like for example. but I have to start calculating what a 4.5 metres cone looks like (the same).


It always amazes me when people say imperial measurements feel better for a medieval setting. I don't know if it's because I grew up using only metric, but measuring breaking immersion never even crossed my head or my players', and we don't feel like it's wrong for knights and mages to speak metric or celcius or anything.


Pamela Elizabeth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

As a French-Canadian who plays D&D in English since 3e, I couldn't care less about the metric system and thus always use the imperial system. Even in real life I usually employ the imperial system, except for speed and temperature.

In Pathfinder, well, it still boggles me why doesn't the French version of the game just use the imperial system, since it's almost part of the original rules, especially when using maps. There's also that the French version is horribly translated, but that's beside the point.


It's not like the measurements in the game are particularly good or accurate anyway. Just ignore the imperial bits if you need to make your game feel a different way.

May I suggest:

Flarb- Unit of length equal to one side of a tactical map square.
Flarbi- 1/5 of a Flarb, used to replace the word "foot" in game text.
Flirbi- 1/12 of a Flarbi, used to replace the word "inch" in game text.
Flirb- 1056x of a Flarb, used to replace the word "mile" in game text.

Flub- Amount of liquid that fits into a standard waterskin.
Floob- 2x of a Flub, used to replace the word "gallon" in game text.

Fleebi- Weight of a game coin.
Fleb- 50x of a Fleebi, used to replace the word "pound" in game text.
Fleeb- 1/16 of a Fleb, used to replace the word "ounce*" in game text.

That seems much simpler...

*does this word ever appear in game text?


LazarX wrote:
I think that even most Europeans would argue on the other hand having King Arthur and his knights talk in terms of kilometers instead of miles would change the basic flavor of the setting. The metric system is after all, the product of a modern, scientific, INDUSTRIAL, society. If the Imperial system sounds medieval to you... that's because.... it was. :)

As I said before, it's not what the scale is but how practical it is to use. King Arthur would probably have used a roman mile, which is not only shorter than a regular mile (both today's and probably every mile england used in the last milennia) but also measures exactly 5000 (roman) feet. 1 mile = 1000 paces, 1 pace = 5 feet. See? That's a translation I can roll with. 5th and 10th, a natural way to measure for a being with 2x5 fingers. Round numbers is what it's all about. For Pathfinder use, since 1 pace is a exactly a 5-feet step (with roman feet), or 1 square, there are exactly 1000 roman squares in 1 roman mile. In 1 imperial (aka statute) mile? 1056 squares.

On a related topic: The Fahrenheit scale was invented 1714 - not exactly medieval. I consider the Fahrenheit scale to be stupid because it uses fixpoints I never use in my ordinary life. I don't care how cold a winter in Danzig 300 years ago was, but boiling and freezing water is something a encounter pretty much daily. A relativly hot shower/bath? Exactly halfway, 50°C. Good t-shirt weather? 1/4th the difference, or 25°C. Normal temperatur for baking? Twice the difference, or 200°C. Nice round easy-to-remember points of reference I encounter often.


Pamela Elizabeth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

I went looking for a new game system last year. I found Pathfinder, I was interested. I noted they had electronic only versions of the manuals etc. So I asked if they had metric, and if not why not?

The reaction I received put me off purchasing the system.

I use metric. I understand Metric.
I understand imperial measures to a degree.
I don't understand imperial weights.
I don't understand Fahrenheit.

To clarify when I say I don't understand, I mean I can't at a glance implicitly know what it is. I have to think about it. As opposed to Metric Weights and Celsius.

In today's day and age, there is no excuse for not supporting metric, every major nation in the world except for the US is now metric.(Yes even the UK)

So long story short. Yes I was annoyed, but I was more annoyed by the reactionary attitudes I received on these forums, and the lack of official comment on it.


Woolfe wrote:
Pamela Elizabeth wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are players outside the United States annoyed by having all the measurements in feet, pounds, etc., or are there 'translated' resources available? Or do you guys just not care?

I went looking for a new game system last year. I found Pathfinder, I was interested. I noted they had electronic only versions of the manuals etc. So I asked if they had metric, and if not why not?

The reaction I received put me off purchasing the system.

I use metric. I understand Metric.
I understand imperial measures to a degree.
I don't understand imperial weights.
I don't understand Fahrenheit.

To clarify when I say I don't understand, I mean I can't at a glance implicitly know what it is. I have to think about it. As opposed to Metric Weights and Celsius.

In today's day and age, there is no excuse for not supporting metric, every major nation in the world except for the US is now metric.(Yes even the UK)

So long story short. Yes I was annoyed, but I was more annoyed by the reactionary attitudes I received on these forums, and the lack of official comment on it.

Congrats on necroing a thread, and the only major nation in the world other than America is China, and maybe Russia if you want to be generous. Every other nation is nearly irrelevant.

If you wanted to know why Paizo doesn't support metric: wordcount. As others have said, most people don't mind it that much, so the profit would be minimal. It's not worth it to give metric translations of every imperial unit. And Pathfinder is an American game, so no, you won't be able to convince Paizo or, more importantly, a good chunk of their customers to replace imperial with metric.


Ipslore the Red wrote:


Congrats on necroing a thread,

My pleasure

Ipslore the Red wrote:
and the only major nation in the world other than America is China, and maybe Russia if you want to be generous. Every other nation is nearly irrelevant.

Actually china does use metric, they metrificated in 1925, and Russia was 1918. Like many metric western systems there are still residual usage of their original system in general use.

And I like how you write off the second largest market Paizo has for Pathfinder (EUROPE) as irrelevant. LOL as I said it was the reactionary attitude to having multiple versions.

Ipslore the Red wrote:
If you wanted to know why Paizo doesn't support metric: wordcount. As others have said, most people don't mind it that much, so the profit would be minimal. It's not worth it to give metric translations of every imperial unit. And Pathfinder is an American game, so no, you won't be able to convince Paizo or, more importantly, a good chunk of their customers to replace imperial with metric.

Oh no they can't do that its not worth it!

Really, where are you stats and figures that support your statement? Direct me to the US vs Rest of world sales figures. Direct me to the sales data that shows the difference in sales of a metric vs an imperial system. You can't can you. So how exactly do you know that it is not worth it.

Also just to repeat what I said earlier, I initially was looking at the electronic version, so physical publishing costs don't apply to the same degree there.
Also you are aware the German version is in Metric already. So all the conversion work is already done. Its literally just the wordcount. Which is only an issue because Paizo made a decision to hold their published books so that things don't change pages. A noble yet shortsighted idea.

Liberty's Edge

Woolfe wrote:


Ipslore the Red wrote:
and the only major nation in the world other than America is China, and maybe Russia if you want to be generous. Every other nation is nearly irrelevant.

Actually china does use metric, they metrificated in 1925, and Russia was 1918. Like many metric western systems there are still residual usage of their original system in general use.

And I like how you write off the second largest market Paizo has for Pathfinder (EUROPE) as irrelevant. LOL as I said it was the reactionary attitude to having multiple versions.

He isn't speaking about the adoption of the metric system or the market share, he is speaking about the US and China being the only powers worth of notice in the world.

He even has some basis for that position, the only problem is that the US power has degraded a lot in the last 20 years.

Woolfe wrote:


And I like how you write off the second largest market Paizo has for Pathfinder (EUROPE) as irrelevant. LOL as I said it was the reactionary attitude to having multiple versions.

If Pathfinder follow other games trend probably Germany is the non English native country with the largest market share, and there is a good number of countries where German is a common second language.

- * -

Using the feet measurement is ingrained in the game and changing that could generate difficulties, a 1,5 meter step is awkward, a 4,5 meter cone or 6 meter sphere are a bit unwieldy and the conversion is easy.
Inches too, you round them to 2,5 cm and you go from there.

Lbs are so/so, you can approximate to a decent degree and work with fractions/multipliers for the other measurement.

On the other hand the Fahrenheit system and the volume measurement are horrible.

For anyone that isn't used to the Fahrenheit the system is hard to translate. Awkward reference points (freezing point of brine? unless you live near a sea in a cold climate you don't have an intuitive reference to that, human body temperature is a bit better but still variable), and a difference of 1 F° is almost meaningless. 1 C° is almost double that and a difference of 1 C° hard to notice without a thermometer.

When we speak of a gallon we are speaking of a imperial, US or dry gallon? And why we use a measurement system with a 3,7 liter unit? 1 liter is a minimum water ration in a moderate climate. Both the US and the UK have the quarter, 1/4 of a gallon, that "curiously" is a measure close to a liter.

Scarab Sages

Living in the UK, we generally use both imperial and metric in every day use, imperial tends to be used for bigger measurements, and metric for smaller ones.

For example, we measure distance and speed in miles / miles per hour, height generally in feet and weight in stones, pounds and ounces. We measure food in litres and kilograms, and medicines as well (which is why you can often spot a health professional as they'll know their weight and height in kilograms / meters as you have to use them to convert medicines safely)

Would Pathfinder's appeal benefit from a metric system? Maybe in the translated versions, but most English speaking countries have inherited the UK's measurement conventions.

As for the inherent benefits of the metric system, scientifically they're superior as the definitions are inter-related and built from the ground up, but I'll be damned if I give up my pint for a half-litre...

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