Inclusiveness also for metric system users


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Dear Paizo,

I like your policy to include diversity in the game as this represents our society and what is more important, welcomes everyone to the table.

However, I find pretty difficult using the imperial system as I have never used it. It is pretty tricky to keep in mind the different conversion rates (1 inch 2,54 cm; 1 m 3´, 1 mile 1,6 or 1,8 km depending on what type of mile are you using, gallons - liter, pounds - kg, ...) and googling them slows the game.

What about referring to both systems so the rest of the world have it easier?

Regards,
Jon


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As a metric used who doany understand imperial measurements I just don't care about the lack of metric. It isn't even on my radar. Also imperial feels more old timey.

Lantern Lodge

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@Kondenado, as a metric system user, I have to agree with John Lynch 106.
Imperial does feel more old timey. After all it came about organically. Even the terms used in imperial, like pounds, meant different amounts in difference places in real life. Imperial itself is kinda forced to standardise somewhat in the modern age.

Metric is really good in real life, but remember its origin. It came about after a large number of countries decided to standardise units of measurement. To help improve trade, makes life easier for everyone and basically be less confusing.

Since Golarion only uses 1 common system (as far as we know). There isn't a need to have metrics, as everyone is using that one system.
From a system, story and history (in-world Golarion) perspective, there isn't a need.

The more science-based Starfinder on the other hand... lol...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh lord, it would be nice if the USA started using the metric system. We in the rest of the world would appreciate it.


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PF1 experiances for us metric users: For distance and weight the archaic measurements could be taken in stride, but gameplay always ground to a halt when it came to volume, windspeed and temperature. Especially when you had to calculate how many gallons went into a certain number of cubic feet....


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Dear All,

The question here is not about the game, but about the metagame. I mean the characters will use gallons, inches, ..., but as game master is me who needs to tell them for instance how much time they take to reach their destination while traveling and it's me who needs to rule if they can conceal an item, for instance. And it is difficult for me to make it by using the imperial system. This is difficult to everyone that is not from USA/UK.

Additionally I am not speaking about substituting the imperial system but just put in parenthesis the values of non-USA units so it is easier for the rest of the world to visualize.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As I said earlier: 80% of D&D/PF sales is U.S. and the biggest European languages get their translations where measurements are in metric.


Gorbacz wrote:
As I said earlier: 80% of D&D/PF sales is U.S. and the biggest European languages get their translations where measurements are in metric.

I didn't know about that :). I am Spanish myself but as long as all of my players are foreigners (including myself) I have the English books.

Regards,
Jon


Its mostly us brits younger then... like 50? that get screwed by imperial units, cause we dont get conversions, and whipe we hablve a vague concept of distance measurements, we just dont use them for weight, volume etc.


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and those translations are so popular that we use the Englisch version anyway

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
and those translations are so popular that we use the Englisch version anyway

That makes you sit in a rather small box with Russians, Greeks, Nordics and ROW.

Poles don't play Pathfinder because we don't play games that aren't translated into Polish. Hence both PF and 5E are nonexistent and WFRP 2ed reigns supreme.


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See, Autrians don't play games that are clumsily translated into German, because we are capable or reading English and don't have the patience to ignore a lot of the translation errors and weird translation choices.

Also, just because SOME of the products get translated, the vast majority of them doesn't


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Hythlodeus wrote:

See, Autrians don't play games that are clumsily translated into German, because we are capable or reading English and don't have the patience to ignore a lot of the translation errors and weird translation choices.

Also, just because SOME of the products get translated, the vast majority of them doesn't

Pretty much. Most Austrian gamers I know will usually pick up the English versions of titles. One of the local game stores even stocks both, and there is more game variety in the English-language books. My first gaming group here in Austria were entirely Austrians (plus little ole American me), and they told me that they played Pathfinder using English.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:

See, Autrians don't play games that are clumsily translated into German, because we are capable or reading English and don't have the patience to ignore a lot of the translation errors and weird translation choices.

...

Like torch?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
See, Autrians don't play games that are clumsily translated into German, because we are capable or reading English and don't have the patience to ignore a lot of the translation errors and weird translation choices.

Same here in Germany, though we got a very busy translation industry with Feder & Schwert. I own all the books in English and am quite happy that way, as are my players.


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Kondenado wrote:

Dear All,

The question here is not about the game, but about the metagame. I mean the characters will use gallons, inches, ..., but as game master is me who needs to tell them for instance how much time they take to reach their destination while traveling and it's me who needs to rule if they can conceal an item, for instance. And it is difficult for me to make it by using the imperial system. This is difficult to everyone that is not from USA/UK.

Additionally I am not speaking about substituting the imperial system but just put in parenthesis the values of non-USA units so it is easier for the rest of the world to visualize.

LOL Well you got your wish in one part of the game. You can always use bulk!!! It conforms to NO standard so you're making it all up as you go! ;)

Just use distance bulk, size bulk, ect... The game doesn't care if you're off by 100%.


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Endure Elements lost its temperature rating in Fahrenheit, but the section on temperature is still entirely in Fahrenheit. Given that 'heat' and 'extreme heat' are now game terms, including temperatures in Celsius in that one small section on p341 really shouldn't be a big ask.


Elegos wrote:
Its mostly us brits younger then... like 50? that get screwed by imperial units, cause we dont get conversions, and whipe we hablve a vague concept of distance measurements, we just dont use them for weight, volume etc.

As an Australian, I feel your pain.


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Kondenado wrote:

Dear Paizo,

I like your policy to include diversity in the game as this represents our society and what is more important, welcomes everyone to the table.

However, I find pretty difficult using the imperial system as I have never used it. It is pretty tricky to keep in mind the different conversion rates (1 inch 2,54 cm; 1 m 3´, 1 mile 1,6 or 1,8 km depending on what type of mile are you using, gallons - liter, pounds - kg, ...) and googling them slows the game.

What about referring to both systems so the rest of the world have it easier?

Regards,
Jon

Hi there

I'm a metric user myself (Danish) - here's what we do:

ONE SQUARE = 1.50 m That's 5 feet.

ONE MILE = 1.50 Km.

ONE Lbs = 0.50 Kg

ONE INCH = 2.50 cm.

It's easy and what's even better, it doesn't matter that much, except when you want to get a real life idea about sizes, weight and so on.

Inclusiveness is is about serious social issues - not about us metric users. We are not oppressed - we have metrics!

Good Gaming to You:-)


I agree with Kondenado. Most of the time, I use French translated material. But that one time I played using an English book (Dragonfall)... yuck. I had to translate every measure into metric, because nobody was able to imagine how tall was the dragon-like construct. Or how high was the roof.

Same problem with Fahrenheit.


I learned some Imperial for the sole purpose of RPG's. I translate imperials values to metric using rough numbers, when I describe rooms or landscape as a DM.
A pound is about ½kg, 30 feet is about 10 meters. It's not correct, but good enough for fantasy.

I like the abstraction of Bulk. It limits the fighter to not run around with 20 sword because it's not above his carry limit.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yeah, 1-dimensional linear conversions (weight, length, and so on) are a learned estimate in my games.

Everything else (2- or 3-dimensional units like areas in square feet, volumes and such, or non-linears like Fahrenheit to Celsius) I don't have the slightest idea and need the conversion app on my mobile.


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Kondenado wrote:

Dear All,

The question here is not about the game, but about the metagame. I mean the characters will use gallons, inches, ..., but as game master is me who needs to tell them for instance how much time they take to reach their destination while traveling and it's me who needs to rule if they can conceal an item, for instance. And it is difficult for me to make it by using the imperial system. This is difficult to everyone that is not from USA/UK.

Additionally I am not speaking about substituting the imperial system but just put in parenthesis the values of non-USA units so it is easier for the rest of the world to visualize.

As I said before as a non-USA/UK person: I just don't care.


Why did you feel the need to post that?


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Kondenado wrote:

Dear All,

The question here is not about the game, but about the metagame.

You are absolutely right, one thing is the units used by characters and another the units for describing the game. As an example, Farenheit temperature was certainly not something used in the middle ages. It is used simply because Americans use that, not for any other reason.

Paizo could define a system of measurement for Golarion, and use a partial metric for the rules, but they will not do that.

The problem with the imperial units is that they are often a mess. This is an excerpt from the 3.0 "create water" spell:

Create Water

Effect: Up to 2 gallons of water/level

Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. One cubic foot of water contains roughly 8 gallons and weighs about 60 pounds.

In the metric system, the entire sentence above would be omitted. Capacity and volume is the same thing, and everybody knows that 1 liter of water weights 1kg. "4 liters/level" would be a good enough description.

You are however, completely out of luck if you think designers would ever publish an english version of the rules using the metric system, or even part of it. There is a higher chance of a 20km asteroid hitting Earth, than that.

First of all, Americans tend to ignore the outside world, and expect everybody else to adapt. Second, the difference between the two systems is VERY deep.

In the metric system you know that there are length, weight, time... and multiples. That's it.
In the imperial, every scope, every type of measure, every scale has its own label. Beer? pint. Milk? Quarter. Fuel? Gallon. Small length? Inch. Bigger? Foot. Football field? Yard.

This conceptual difference becomes rooted in your brain. You go to the USA, tell the taxi driver to move a few yards, and he looks at you as you are mad. They only knows feet, within the scope of "moving the car on the road". I did not say meters (heaven forbid) but yards. Don't even get me started on cookery recipes, it looks like science fiction: "cups" "teaspoons" "measure" because you cannot simply use weight (too complicated with pounds/ounces).

Do you really think that you'll ever see Celsius temperature on your PHB when even NASA tells you that sun temperature is measured in Farenheit? Not going to happen.


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Our group comes from the metric part of the world.

Still for PF we couldn't care less.

1 square 1 a square on the grid. 5 feet are one square for ranged combat. No benefit from calculating this into metric.

Same for weight, just add numbers and compare to carrying capacity.

Rounds go in seconds so that's the same.

To me that's all you need.


chillblame wrote:
Oh lord, it would be nice if the USA started using the metric system. We in the rest of the world would appreciate it.

As a US citizen (and an engineer), I would wholeheartedly appreciate this move. The metric system is so much easier to use.

I remember one major issue with switching that I learned about was plumbing. Everything is made to imperial specs, and there's not a good way to make a standard metric analog for replacing parts (which I call shenanigans on, you could do a fraction of a millimeter, but whatever).


As an american, I only really learned the metric system because Hero System (an american RPG) used it. I prefer metric in general for precision, but for a fantasy game it isn't very important.

In one of my side-projects I am considering including a simple estimations table for metric-system users.


As a Canadian, I can say that I'm only familiar with the Imperial units that I know the metric conversions for, despite the large amount of cultural leakage from the US. A foot only exists as 12*2.54cm, ºF are only 9/5ºC+32, a pound is only .47? kg (I forgot the last digit). Volume and force are basically undefined unless I have something on hand that measures using them. They might as well be Klingon units, I'll have to look them up either way.

Edit: somebody mentioned plumbing. I was recently working with pneumatic tubes, so I now have a new reference point. 1/4 inch is just slightly bigger than 6mm, because we can't use the old imperial stuff with the new stuff from a German company.


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Arakhor wrote:
Why did you feel the need to post that?

Because the OP is posting in such a manner that it could be construed he is speaking on behalf of all metric users. So I want to make sure it is abundantly clear that not all metric users are as hung up on this issue as the OP and that some of us simply don't care that imperial measurements are used in their fantasy RPG.

The title of this thread implies this a serious issue for metric users. It's not. It's a serious issue for a small group of nerds. But that's about it.

Second of all he's trying to leverage Paizo's inclusiveness policy in order to pressure them into conceding to his "request". As a metric user, I am not excluded in ANY way from playing this game because it uses feet rather than meters.

Then he makes a suggestion that would be a horrendous waste of space. So as a purchaser of Pathfinder I do care that Paizo doesn't listen such a terrible suggestion. And I make sure that the OP's pleas are counterpointed by another metric user saying it's a non-issue.

Having made my point, I likely won't participate any further unless someone directs something towards me or posts in a manner that I believe could be seen as speaking for me.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
It's a serious issue for a small group of nerds.

We're posting on a RPG messageboard...we ARE a small group of nerds


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Hythlodeus wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
It's a serious issue for a small group of nerds.
We're posting on a RPG messageboard...we ARE a small group of nerds

That's why I didn't have to qualify my statement or provide any supportive evidence. It speaks for itself ;) However it's a serious issue for a subset of a small group of nerds ;)


Kondenado wrote:
What about referring to both systems so the rest of the world have it easier?

How about a tiny conversion table in the index so you can change it into whatever form you want? Or the interwebs can do that automatically by putting it into a search engine. In milliseconds I found out that 157 yards is 143.561 meters. All that without taking up pages of the book by doubling the space for each and every measurement. It's something I have to do with foreign films, books, games and such. I'll never get used to kilometers/hour for instance.

PS: if you're looking for a game that lists both, Rifts is your game. They are old school though, with literal copy and pasting...


Fahrenheit is used because the planet is covered in salt water, not fresh water.

In Michigan where I live, for example, this matters because when the temp outside reaches 0, it means salt no longer melts the ice on the roads, and it's easier for places like schools to know what days to call off because they don't want to endanger kids on icy roads in buses.


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No, Fahrenheit is used because Paizo is an American company, not because of any fanciful ideas about it being more "natural" or anything like that.


I don't think there are school buses on Golarion anyway


Having lived many years in the UK and the USA, I am used to on-the-fly conversions between Imperial and Metric (close enough for jazz), and in the UK we also measure weight in Stone, hilarious.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
I don't think there are school buses on Golarion anyway

It has grenades, flamethrowers and machine guns... And spaceships with android pods and killbots... I'm sure if you look long enough, you'll find a school bus. ;)


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The translated versions are in metric (and use the rough conversion @GRuzom described). That said, plenty of players still buy English versions even when a translated version is available for their language.

I've played a D&D campaign in English a dozen years ago, and the hardest part wasn't the foreign language (I'm French), but the unfamiliar units.

Also, the explanation in Create Water is necessary as written because US gallons and Imperial (UK) gallons aren't the same size (due to the UK redefining some units after the US gained independence), so confusion could arise between English speakers from different countries.


For those who don't care about the metric system and are fine with the imperial system : would it bother you if there were both systems ? Like "Create water : 1 gallon/lvl / 1 liter/lvl" ? (genuine question, no judgment. I'm just trying to find a middle ground here)

This way, everyone can use the system they want, and it won't take that much space.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Having lived many years in the UK and the USA, I am used to on-the-fly conversions between Imperial and Metric (close enough for jazz), and in the UK we also measure weight in Stone, hilarious.

Ugh, yes. Having to divide all the monster weights by 14 to get an "real" weight is not particularly fun.


Arakhor wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Having lived many years in the UK and the USA, I am used to on-the-fly conversions between Imperial and Metric (close enough for jazz), and in the UK we also measure weight in Stone, hilarious.
Ugh, yes. Having to divide all the monster weights by 14 to get an "real" weight is not particularly fun.

Now we get to multiply by a random multiplier of 5-10 pounds. ;)

Honestly, I'd rather have stones than bulk as I can at least get an actual real life conversion to actual measurements.


Shouldn't there be a Golarian system? 12 glicknorks equals 2 absalometers, etc?


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Ronnam wrote:
Shouldn't there be a Golarian system? 12 glicknorks equals 2 absalometers, etc?

Isn't that bulk?


Gorbacz wrote:
As I said earlier: 80% of D&D/PF sales is U.S. and the biggest European languages get their translations where measurements are in metric.

Are you implying that metric-users are a minority ?

I don´t even want to every rule with metric numbers, just a text box showing an official conversion at the end of the book would work for me. Half the people consider 5 feets = 1,5 meters and the other half consider 5 feet = 2 meters.


I'm against using the metric system for Pathfinder as the metric system seems to be based on real world measurements that may not be true on Golarion.

For instance, Earth's meter is one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator.

Can we be certain that this would be the case on Golarion? Is Golarion Earth-sized?

Also, would characters in game think in meters? What would be their in world reason for doing so? Feet, yards, miles, gallons, etc... seem like they'd be more natural, to me.

Of course, a group of adventurer's did make it to Earth to face off with Rasputin... So, perhaps, it makes perfect sense to have the metric system as a unit of measurement as there is some connection of Earth to Golarion.

Hmmm... Perhaps, meters make perfect sense if Golarionlings are travelling to Earth and back?


Draco Bahamut wrote:
Are you implying that metric-users are a minority ?

Are you implying that metric users aren't a minority of the sales that aren't translated into another language? Or a minority of the people making the game?

Draco Bahamut wrote:
I don´t even want to every rule with metric numbers, just a text box showing an official conversion at the end of the book would work for me. Half the people consider 5 feets = 1,5 meters and the other half consider 5 feet = 2 meters.

Does the book REALLY need to have a conversion when real life has one that is super easy to use. Type 'feet to meters' into your search engine and it does the work for you.

5'=1.524 meters so round that however you wish. Or you could just check a foreign language book and see how many meters it gets translated to.


Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:
Also, would characters in game think in meters? What would be their in world reason for doing so? Feet, yards, miles, gallons, etc... seem like they'd be more natural, to me.

Characters would think in whatever units they grew up with (just like players), which would be neither metric nor US units, but Golarion-specific units (possibly ancestry-specific* or regional units). Using real-world units is a translation convention for the players' convenience (just like characters speaking in Common translates as players speaking their common language).

* After all, there's no reason for elves and gnomes to use the same units, absent a worldwide standardization effort.


We get the Bulk system instead of pounds, it's a good start. Now if feet could go away and be replaced with squares in the final game, that would be ideal.

In the grand scheme of things this isn't that big a deal though.


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Ugh? Squares? I don't think we need any further resemblance to 4th Edition.

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