[1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

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shesheyan
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[1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by shesheyan » Sun May 19, 2019 11:51 am

« For purposes of the game distances are basically one-third with respect to spell arid missile range from outdoors to indoors/underground situations. Thus most ranges are shown as inches by means of the symbol “, i.e. l“, etc. Outdoors, 1” equals 10 yards. Indoors 1” equals 10 feet. Such a ratio is justifiable, to some extent, regardless of game considerations. Actual effective range of an arrow shot from a longbow is around 210 yards maximum, in clear light and open terrain. Underground, with little light and low ceilings overhead, a bowshot of 210 feet is about maximum. Archery implies arching arrows. Slings are in this category as are hurled darts and javelins, all arching in flight to achieve distance. Crossbows are a notable exception, but under the visibility conditions of a dungeon setting, a yards to feet conversion is not unreasonable. »

This is a rule that I took for granted and enjoyed. It still makes perfect sense to me, even today. But it disappeared along the way - not sure with which edition (3e?). Do you still use yards for outdoor combat? Do you implement this rule with later editions?
Last edited by shesheyan on Tue May 21, 2019 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon May 20, 2019 2:28 am

2E still used the yards outdoors/feet indoors for the most part, IIRC (although I think it still used yards for missile fire whether indoors or outdoors for some reason); I believe it was 3E that pretty much tossed this out the window, and if I had to take a guess I'd say it had to do with the more definite shift towards being a game where miniatures were a necessary component to play combat.
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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by shesheyan » Tue May 28, 2019 12:24 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:28 am
2E still used the yards outdoors/feet indoors for the most part, IIRC (although I think it still used yards for missile fire whether indoors or outdoors for some reason); I believe it was 3E that pretty much tossed this out the window, and if I had to take a guess I'd say it had to do with the more definite shift towards being a game where miniatures were a necessary component to play combat.
Another reason may have been to limit the power of long range spells outdoors. I remember an instance, in one of my campaigns, were a druid and a wizard character completely destroyed an enemy camp by stand on top of a cliff, in half cover. They cast call lightning and other long range powerful spells. It was awesome to watch but as a DM that had prepared all the stats for the camp it was frustrating.

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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:02 pm

I believe the yards to feet conversion for indoor distances were only for missile fire (arrows, bolts, sling stones, etc.) because indoor settings would limit the ability to arch missiles higher to gain better range. This was not supposed to be the case for spell ranges - their listed ranges in feet or yards never changed due to indoors/outdoors.
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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:46 pm

If you double check the 1E PHB (p. 39 in 9th printing; not sure if it is the same in earlier versions), under "Distance" it is explicitly stated that both missile fire and spells/magic are intended to use yards when determining range outdoors and feet when indoors. It also goes into a bit of detail why this is, as well.

I still haven't gone back to my 3E books to double check if they used that or not (I suppose I could easily check the d20 SRD online as well), but I'm still fairly certain it didn't use yards at all.
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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by Boneguard » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:45 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:46 pm
If you double check the 1E PHB (p. 39 in 9th printing; not sure if it is the same in earlier versions), under "Distance" it is explicitly stated that both missile fire and spells/magic are intended to use yards when determining range outdoors and feet when indoors. It also goes into a bit of detail why this is, as well.
Indeed, and one important point further down that section is that the spells Area of Effect ALWAYS remain in increments of 10 feet. So longer range, but same size basically.
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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by Man in the Funny Hat » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:06 am

Gary could never seem to just say things directly and plainly when he should have. It's a rule that applies only to ranges. Not areas of effect or anything else. He's even got a couple sentences in ALL CAPS trying to shout about, "Don't screw this up!", but he went on about it for FIVE paragraphs. It was, as stated, just being done to acknowledge the more crowded and poorly lit conditions indoors than out. But he couldn't just say that and be done with it.

The 1E game was still being adapted from rules and concepts in tabletop wargaming. Changes in scale were better understood by wargamers at that time, and there he's OVER-explaining the idea to everyone who doesn't already get it. Later editions understood that nobody starting to play the game beginning with newer edition rules was coming from that tabletop wargaming background anymore and a rule that changed the SCALE of range like that, no matter the intent behind it, just led to confusion and abuse. Better to just say, max range is what it is. Give out all distances in feet, as the PC's themselves would measure things, not in a scale value as the players at the table will measure them. The players will understand how X number of feet then gets measured on whatever map or drawing they may be using. Even if that meant it was a range that didn't really fit the environment in-game it was then generally a better understood game rule. If the DM then wanted to apply range limitations due to environment in their campaign then that was left as the concern of that DM and no longer even MENTIONED.

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Re: [1e] Distance : Yards and Feet

Post by shesheyan » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:55 am

Man in the Funny Hat wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:06 am
Gary could never seem to just say things directly and plainly when he should have. It's a rule that applies only to ranges. Not areas of effect or anything else. He's even got a couple sentences in ALL CAPS trying to shout about, "Don't screw this up!", but he went on about it for FIVE paragraphs. It was, as stated, just being done to acknowledge the more crowded and poorly lit conditions indoors than out. But he couldn't just say that and be done with it.

The 1E game was still being adapted from rules and concepts in tabletop wargaming. Changes in scale were better understood by wargamers at that time, and there he's OVER-explaining the idea to everyone who doesn't already get it. Later editions understood that nobody starting to play the game beginning with newer edition rules was coming from that tabletop wargaming background anymore and a rule that changed the SCALE of range like that, no matter the intent behind it, just led to confusion and abuse. Better to just say, max range is what it is. Give out all distances in feet, as the PC's themselves would measure things, not in a scale value as the players at the table will measure them. The players will understand how X number of feet then gets measured on whatever map or drawing they may be using. Even if that meant it was a range that didn't really fit the environment in-game it was then generally a better understood game rule. If the DM then wanted to apply range limitations due to environment in their campaign then that was left as the concern of that DM and no longer even MENTIONED.
:lol: :lol: :lol: Gary did have a very verbose style. Despite that, we got it right and never thought it applied to spell area of effect. ;)

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