Ditching Imperial & Fahrenheit


Playing the Game

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I, like millions of other players from around the world, come from a country where the Metric system is used for measurements. I don't understand Imperial. I suggest putting two values on everything in the game. Keep Imperial if you must, but adding in the exact number is squares afterwards in parenthesis would be absolutely fantastic. Thus, 30ft movement would be: 30ft (6 squares)

As for Fahrenheit, it is the most ridiculous measuring system ever created and doesn't belong in modern society. Please switch everything to Celsius. If you absolutely have to keep it (ugh...), then do something similar to what I suggest above and use parenthesis. It would look as such:
...
Just give me a second. Gotta pull out my calculator because Fahrenheit is so stupid...
-80F (-62C)
140F (60C)


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Unfortunately for many, the US covers ~70% of the population living in english speaking countries.
Which means Imperial is the main system for ~70% of those for which English is the official language (not sure about how many use English PF1 simply because there is no local version).

Now, clearly nobody else uses it (when I first moved here, I ran my games in English but with Metric and it was only confusing for about one session before people started going "ok this makes a lot more sense now"), but I imagine printing it straight into Metric would confuse the Americans more than it would benefit Uk/Canada/Australia, and mixed measurements have been poorly received in the past.

All future releases in other languages (hopefully including yours) are likely going to be exclusively Metric just like PF1. English... we might have to endure it >.>


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I Support this idea to a Point. I understand that the main customer base of Paizo is US based, so using what their main customers are familiar with is absolutely legit.

But the idea to include squares would really ease a lot of work and free up brainspace for me and my Players.

I live in a Country that luckily even offers translations, including Transfer to Meters, but I have to admit it doesn't help much. As 5 ft translate into 1.5 Meters, the calculations are even worse. If we would have squares, It would really ease a lot of calculations. Coming up on the spot with the range for spells and ranged weapons in squares is really annoying.

For temperatures, I am less interested as it simply Comes up less in the game, but it would be great to put them in game Terms as well. There already is high/extreme temperature definde in the environmental section, so simply include what temperature band you are referring to. It's the only rule relevant Thing anyway. So 140 F (high) or something like that.


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Dunno, honestly 9m for short range and 6m for thrown increment never really felt awkward. Yes sure fine, you have to get used to working in multiples of 3 for most things, but it’s decent enough.


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From what I've read there's people in non-English speaking countries who get the English versions of RPGs because it's faster than waiting for translations, the translations are poor, or just for consistency with their other RPGs. Also an English-speaking country you forgot Ediwir is New Zealand... it's OK, we're used to that. There's something like 840 million English speakers worldwide, but PF sales may be more concentrated in the 300-odd million in the US, I don't know. Of course PF developers are very concentrated in the US.

Personally I think just using 1 m squares would look better than 5' squares (which tend to result in unreasonably large rooms and corridors) but Paizo have already said that using metric is not on their radar.


Ireland would also make the list, but I wasn’t trying to list everything :) plus a few dozen countries where English is an official language but not necessarily a native one.

1m squares are awkward because creatures are considered as occupying cubic areas - and very few people are 1m tall. 1,5m is more reasonable as it’s enough space to fit, even if not necessarily stand all the time.


Or you could go with 2 meter squares (about 6 feet). A person could easily defend a 2 meter square without having to move their feet from the center of it, just by swinging their arms around. Give them a meter long sword and they can make attacks into the neighboring areas.

Its not perfect, but it might work better, and make the math easier (divide by 5 is easy enough and then multiply by 2).


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Ediwir wrote:

Ireland would also make the list, but I wasn’t trying to list everything :) plus a few dozen countries where English is an official language but not necessarily a native one.

1m squares are awkward because creatures are considered as occupying cubic areas - and very few people are 1m tall. 1,5m is more reasonable as it’s enough space to fit, even if not necessarily stand all the time.

So, like the US?


Or we could treat it like Bulk and switch to arbitrary meaningless things for both measurements like Brownies and Sharks. ;)

I'm in Canada, which is metric, so I sympathize. That said, they're probably not going to have two measurement systems in the game because it takes up a lot of extra space and doesn't make it easier to read.

This stuff is just part of the frustration with how US-centric things are in the English speaking world. You do get used to it after a while, though, and if you wanted to use metric measurements yourself it wouldn't really change the game much provided everyone was consistent about it.


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Honestly I like the idea of squares. That can be convenient even for US players who don't like metric.
The current system enforces certain level of math that isn't necessary, e.g. having to convert 30' range to squares all the time.
(Or for people not using grid, measure that out with string or something)
Squares really is the fundamental game unit for most players regardless of their personal/cultural alignment to metric/imperial.

Having a one-time definition of squares expressed in both imperial and metric really isn't a big deal.
And I think temperature having dual C/F definition is reasonable because that is even more difficult to intuitively convert.
Although defining bands of temperatures so the numerical measurement isn't necessary for interfacing mechanics is good idea IMHO.


The Sideromancer wrote:
So, like the US?

I see what you mean but I’m afraid not :) after their slight immigration issue a while ago, it’s now the native language of most of the population.


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I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.


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Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.

0º Celsius isn't important everywhere, but when it's important, it's very important. Just ask someone whether they'd rather drive in the rain at 5ºC or at 0ºC.

But, of course, the one true temperature benchmark is used for Kelvin and Rankine. No need for the pesky "degree" notation there.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.

Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?


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FireclawDrake wrote:
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

Sure. But temperature is generally rounded off to the nearest degree. For more general things, its rounded to the nearest 5.

(75 and 80 feel different, whereas in Celcius that would be 24 and 26)


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FireclawDrake wrote:
Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

Decimal points are too metric.


I just realized, the rules mention half-miles (Fog visibility, Travel speeds)
Should miles be dropped? Obviously they are half as precise as needed.

EDIT: OMG... Earthquake spell even mentions a quarter-mile. This needs an intervention, NOW.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:
FireclawDrake wrote:
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

Sure. But temperature is generally rounded off to the nearest degree. For more general things, its rounded to the nearest 5.

(75 and 80 feel different, whereas in Celcius that would be 24 and 26)

It sounds like in typical usage, Celsius is more precise...


Requielle wrote:
Decimal points are too metric.

For the CXXVII'th time, only Roman numerals are acceptable in this game.


It's MMMMDCCXVIII AR, couldn't we have progressed a little?


I think Paizo should grant Imperial Citizenship to anybody willing to fight it's Barbarian enemies.


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Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.

Eh, I do think putting zero at the freezing point of water is definitely better than "I'm just gonna open all my doors in Russian winter and call that zero."

Most people don't need precision in describing temperature, they just need an idea of how hot it is. I know I'm going to be sweating bullets if it's anything over 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside. And if it's over 100 I know I'm not going outside in the day unless i absolutely must.

As noted above, in cases where you actually need precision, (if you have a
Fever comes to mind most readily) that's what decimal points are for.


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FireclawDrake wrote:
Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

Not widely used, for the same reasons you don’t use decimals in Wizarding money.

As for the scales... most people tend to be concerned about a clear knowledge of the likeness of finding ice on the road more than they are worried about icy ammonia, but that might be subjective.

Silver Crusade

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Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.

-40C=-40F

0=Freezing
10=You need a jacket
20=Room temperature
30=Too damn hot
37=Body temperature
40=Are you kidding me?


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https://www.xkcd.com/1982/

Metric measurements as far as weight and distance go are obviously superior to the imperial system. I’m an American citizen and I’ve no clue how many feet there are to a mile or pounds there are to a long ton.

Metric temperature? Much less obviously superior.

But I’d support the switch anyway. Most of the world, having seldom cause to use it, have a hard time intuiting Fahrenheit temperatures. But most Americans learn to think about temperature in Celsius at some point in their lives or other, because that’s what everyone else uses. Seems logical to just ditch Fahrenheit and train kids to think in Celsius from a younger age.


FireclawDrake wrote:
Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

We do. Adding decimal point to both measures still results in Fahrenheit being almost doubly precise. A good example is average human body temp, which is 98.6 degrees F, but 37 degrees C. (No decimal point there oddly, but who needs to be precise for such an unimportant measure?)


37.0 if you want the precision w.r.t normal body temp.

From what PF seems to suggest air temps are usually rounded to the nearest 5 or 10 F (which would be less precise than Celcius.) Is that wrong? I'm not an American (or from Myanmar or Liberia) so I don't know.

If you ever need to learn physics it's way, way easier in metric BTW. Not a consideration for most but it is real, if not relevant to PF.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Scythia wrote:

We do. Adding decimal point to both measures still results in Fahrenheit being almost doubly precise. A good example is average human body temp, which is 98.6 degrees F, but 37 degrees C. (No decimal point there oddly, but who needs to be precise for such an unimportant measure?)

If you have enough precision to say 98.6, you also have enough precision to say 37.0, that is how significant digits work.


Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
https://www.xkcd.com/1982/

You did that link code backwards.

PCScipio wrote:

-40C=-40F

0=Freezing
10=You need a jacket
20=Room temperature
30=Too damn hot
37=Body temperature
40=Are you kidding me?

Sort of, but not really.

15=Need a (winter) jacket
18=Right temperature for sleeping
20=Room temperature
25=Too damn hot

Liberty's Edge

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Wouln't it make sense for Golarian to have its own Universal Temperature Measurement system?

Why not invent one that is easy to understand?

"Oh man, it's freezing out, what is it, -2 Sol out today?"
"Yeah, it still beats the summer when we get blasted with 110 Sol midday."

Make Hazardous Conditions start below 0, and then again above 100.


Draco18s wrote:
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
https://www.xkcd.com/1982/
You did that link code backwards.

Ah, my bad. Should have been: Relevant xkcd.

Funnily, I'm in both the all one type of socks and the open bananas from the right end camps. It really is easiest to open bananas from the bottom, y'all should try it!


Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
https://www.xkcd.com/1982/
You did that link code backwards.

Ah, my bad. Should have been: Relevant xkcd.

Funnily, I'm in both the all one type of socks and the open bananas from the right end camps. It really is easiest to open bananas from the bottom, y'all should try it!

Yep, the bottom is the easiest. I don't know why people try the short end, though.


I had that coming. -_-

When I think about bananas, I think about them sitting on a countertop or a shelf, in a position that I think of as right side up for a banana.

The short end really is easier, though.


Why is the bottom easier, and why does it matter? There's nothing difficult about breaking off the stem at the top, then pulling the peel off. Especially when they get overripened and delicious.


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So to be clear, the reason to not use Celsius is that we lose precision. In a game where the actual temperature basically never matters, because all you need to know is the prevailing weather conditions unless you're suffering ill effects from extreme hot/cold. IF it's 21.0 or 21.5C makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to gameplay.

We're also talking about this in the same system that tosses precision out the window when it comes to weight in favor of the hilariously imprecise bulk?

The sheer inconsistency is baffling beyond belief.


Tridus wrote:

So to be clear, the reason to not use Celsius is that we lose precision. In a game where the actual temperature basically never matters, because all you need to know is the prevailing weather conditions unless you're suffering ill effects from extreme hot/cold. IF it's 21.0 or 21.5C makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to gameplay.

We're also talking about this in the same system that tosses precision out the window when it comes to weight in favor of the hilariously imprecise bulk?

The sheer inconsistency is baffling beyond belief.

To be clear, the reason Pathfinder uses Fahrenheit is because it’s an American game made by Americans.

The pros and cons of Fahrenheit and Celsius are succinctly summarized in this comic. Precision really isn’t the main draw of Fahrenheit.

But it would be disengenous to say that the main draw of Fahrenheit is anything other than inertia, it’s what people are used to using. If you grew up using it, you’d prefer it too, on account of it coming easier to you.

Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Why is the bottom easier, and why does it matter? There's nothing difficult about breaking off the stem at the top, then pulling the peel off. Especially when they get overripened and delicious.

The stem is the toughest part of the banana! It’s faster and more efficient to squeeze off the brown knobby thing at the bottom (top?). Of course, the main draw of this, too, is habit; I would always mangle the fruit trying to get the stem off as a kid, so I took to attacking them from the other side. Now it’s what I have years of practice doing. You might not find it as easy, I don’t know.

Might as well try it to see how it works! :D


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Temperature is something that due to the two systems in place, really needs to be expressed in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. I've recently been travelling in North America, and I still can't easily tell whether setting a thermostat to 68 is reasonable. And I get blank looks when I remark how tomorrow's going to be 15.

A clause that comes up in any scenario using the Environment rules:

"Fortunately the weather is not as cold now, but during the night the temperature still drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.)."

Players have a really hard time relating to what "40 degrees Fahrenheit" actually means.


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Mekkis wrote:

Temperature is something that due to the two systems in place, really needs to be expressed in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. I've recently been travelling in North America, and I still can't easily tell whether setting a thermostat to 68 is reasonable. And I get blank looks when I remark how tomorrow's going to be 15.

A clause that comes up in any scenario using the Environment rules:

"Fortunately the weather is not as cold now, but during the night the temperature still drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.)."

Players have a really hard time relating to what "40 degrees Fahrenheit" actually means.

Ignoring the precise math, "subtract 30 and divide by 2" gets you reasonably close to the Celcius numbers (40F is 5C (actually 4.4), 68F is 19C (actually 20), 15C is 60F (actually 59)).

Wish that'd been taught to me in school (only just did the approximation of both numbers now, ones that I can work with in my head) rather than the exact formula (because who multiplies by five ninths?).


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My favorite thing from this whole post is people saying 85 F, around 30 C, is too hot. That is the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. 85 F is like perfect weather. When it's regularly 115F, 46 C, where I live you realize people don't know real heat.

Carry on lol.


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No point being rude about other people’s temperature acclimation, it’s largely out of an individual’s control. If you’re from a hotter part of the world, you’d prolly be pretty miserable in the wintertime where I’m at, on account of not being accustomed to it.


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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
No point being rude about other people’s temperature acclimation, it’s largely out of an individual’s control. If you’re from a hotter part of the world, you’d prolly be pretty miserable in the wintertime where I’m at, on account of not being accustomed to it.

Yep. I'm always miserable in what the weather folks on TV like to call "Beautiful" weather. Give me the chill, and the damp, and the gloom any day. A nice"Dreary" autumn is my perfect tank top and shorts weather. That's going to be different from people in other areas, and even just people with other preferences, and that's fine.

As mentioned above, the most important thing for the game seems to be defining when you've got new levels of environmental effects. Add me to the camp who thinks that eschewing precise temperature altogether and just saying "The temperature is extreme heat", or whatever, would probably be more useful.


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LittleMissNaga wrote:
I'm always miserable in what the weather folks on TV like to call "Beautiful" weather. Give me the chill, and the damp, and the gloom any day. A nice"Dreary" autumn is my perfect tank top and shorts weather.

Same for me. 10C/50F is my ideal room temperature.

These meat things we're walking around in are kind of haphazardly thrown together, so it's pretty hard to standardize stuff for them.


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Rameth wrote:

My favorite thing from this whole post is people saying 85 F, around 30 C, is too hot. That is the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. 85 F is like perfect weather. When it's regularly 115F, 46 C, where I live you realize people don't know real heat.

Carry on lol.

Meanwhile, it's 8C/46F here and I'm outside without a jacket because that's a warm fall day. :D

85F is where I hit my "go back inside because doing stuff outside is not fun" threshold. But that's probably because my body needs to be able to handle shoveling snow when it's -25C/-13F out. Everyone has a comfortable range, but where it is tends to vary wildly due to local adaptation. :)


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I run a lot warmer than other folks around me and have an issue with breezes on my skin (I hate feeling a draft, regardless of its relative temperature to the still air), so I crank the AC temp down a few degrees and wear a long sleeve shirt.

Then stack on top of that the fact that I like to be a comfortable 75F or so when in bed and needing the weight of a good comforter atop me, I need the room to be around 63-65F in order to suck away enough heat (gently through the blanket and mattress: no breezes!) that I don't bake myself. And oh yeah, I hate it when my skin touches skin on another part of my body: a lack of airflow results in a sweaty sheen and sticking to myself, which is just uncomfortable as all getout, so I have to wear leggings of some kind at night (I use a pair of long underwear that's pretty lightweight), which further contributes to overheating.

So for a number of years now I've had a window AC unit in my bedroom in addition to central air.

And I'm a light sleeping ("light sleeper" is not a perk!) night owl (curse the daystar and easterward facing windows!)

My meatbag is a mess.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Wouln't it make sense for Golarian to have its own Universal Temperature Measurement system?

Why not invent one that is easy to understand?

"Oh man, it's freezing out, what is it, -2 Sol out today?"
"Yeah, it still beats the summer when we get blasted with 110 Sol midday."

Make Hazardous Conditions start below 0, and then again above 100.

I like this! Measure distances with squares and temperature with Sols.


Movement and Distance should be in squares. Tactical Square Movement and Overland Square Movement.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I liked the idea of 2m squares because it meant diagonals could be 3m and gosh that'd make the math a bit easier.

Temperatures should just be described in bands rather than temperatures.

I think then you can do a definition in both temperatures once in the book and in adventures you just refer to the temperature band where it's relevant to character penalties or bonuses.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I liked the idea of 2m squares because it meant diagonals could be 3m and gosh that'd make the math a bit easier.

Temperatures should just be described in bands rather than temperatures.

I think then you can do a definition in both temperatures once in the book and in adventures you just refer to the temperature band where it's relevant to character penalties or bonuses.

That's a good idea for temperature! They could even combine your idea with Themetricsystem's Sol idea and have something like:

+3 Sols = Death from exposure in ?? minutes / ?? rounds.
+2 Sols = Stifling. Access to water and shade a necessity. Severe negatives to something game-related.
+1 Sol = Uncomfortably hot. Minor negatives to something game-related, probably endurance
0 Sols = Comfortable.
-1 Sol = Uncomfortably cold. Minor negatives to something game-related, probably endurance.
-2 Sols = Freezing. Need winter clothing and shelter. Severe negatives to something game-related.
-3 Sols = Death from exposure in ?? minutes / ?? rounds.

Then players know exactly what happens to characters in extreme weather, and racial abilities for the Arctic Elf (I personally think it should be Mountain Dwarf) and Desert Dwarf (I personally think it should be Desert or Aquatic Elf) could have easier-to-understand descriptions, such as: "Ignore extreme weather penalties of -1 and -2 Sols."


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1of1 wrote:
LittleMissNaga wrote:
I'm always miserable in what the weather folks on TV like to call "Beautiful" weather. Give me the chill, and the damp, and the gloom any day. A nice"Dreary" autumn is my perfect tank top and shorts weather.

Same for me. 10C/50F is my ideal room temperature.

These meat things we're walking around in are kind of haphazardly thrown together, so it's pretty hard to standardize stuff for them.

Yeah. My whole group, being from a somewhat-colder climate than the one the Paizo office is situated in, tends to have a laugh whenever we convert the Fahrenheit and remember what sorts of weather the rules consider to be extreme cold.

I wear my summer clothes in ranges of weather that seasoned fantasy adventurers (who are presumably much tougher than me) could freeze to death in, apparently. It makes me chuckle.


I don't see a problem with putting both Imperial and Metric into the rules. It doesn't take up a lot of space. I'm used to Imperial, but Metric alone wouldn't mess me up.

I could see why a person might prefer Imperial for historical reasons. That is, its a game in a pseudo, semi-medieval setting and the units of the time were Imperial. That said, nobody is asking for historical units of money, so I suspect the semi-historical audience is probably playing something like Chivalry and Sorcery or perhaps Pendragon.

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