A “Handy” chart on calculating distance



Today I just got struck with the drawin bug and felt like doodling a diagram on how I tend to calculate my distances while running a gridless game. It’s super easy to use, especially when you’re all out of bananas. I hope y’all enjoy this and maybe find it useful. I like to use phrases like “thumbs up”, “rock on”, and “hang loose” as distance markers. My players understand immediately and throw the proper hand gesture to range find. In our gaming vernacular it’s as common as using EASY and HARD.

I use chopsticks in place of a banana for distance
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Newbie Question re: movement

That’s handy. :wink:
That is brilliant. :slight_smile:


Hell yes! Brilliant!


That is such a great idea and fantastic doodles! When I explained the banana rule they just decided they wanted to make a banana template for their benefit.


I definitely love the paper banana. That’s pretty genius


This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.



Heck yes, I like the easy verbiage that makes calling it out part of the fun.
Though, I do have a giant of a man at the table, so everyone will want to use his measurements… I guess he’ll be the standard! :smiley:


Lol yeah, there are a few players with smaller hands at my table so I end up doing most of the distances if the players think they’re close but can’t quite make it with their hand. If I can reach, then it works :slight_smile:


Hell yeah Wunder!!
This is going in my games


I give each player a hot glue stick. They are dirt cheap, can be melted together or cut to make different sizes.

The best thing is that they are bendy, which come in handy when characters are moving around terrain or obstacles.


Sign language for us lumpheads. Great stuff man


I used this for my measuring system at Gary Con, and everyone LOVED it! It really got folks talking about the benefit of more flexible and fast measurements and how they sped the game along. Thanks again so much for this hack!!

Here’s a pic of the last game of the night I ran on Saturday:


No way dude! I’m glad you liked using my method at all, and having it receive positive feedback at Gary Con… That seems like an honor. I have wanted to attend that event for years. I can’t wait to get there one of these times.


Just used this for the first time; we just played with cutouts on my table and hands. Even though we have different sized-hands, the distance is loose and abstracted enough that anyone could use it as a quick “can I do this?” while working their plan.

This is an imminently practical means of measurement.


That is awesome! I’m glad you liked using that style of measurement. I love using it since you don’t have to conform your maps to squares or anything like that, and you don’t need any extra equipment. My box of DM stuff is heavy and clunky enough as it is, though i suppose you could use one of these for uniformity lol.


I just wanted to comment on how cool this is, and how I describe it now.
While banana describes the philosophical tone you should have about measurements, this is the quickest, easy to understand and easy to remember description. I hope core 3.0 includes this.


I would be honored if this got used in the upcoming new edition. Thanks for such a nice compliment! I’m just glad people seem to like my method. I will have to update this with a new graphic soon!


I actually think different sized hands producing slightly different results for “near” and “far” is a good thing! Real people don’t move the same distances in the same amount of time. My 6’6" self has a different “far” than my 5’1" wife. Why make the characters’ movement uniform in distance?

You can get so much more tactical opportunity from characters when it really starts to matter who can get somewhere first. :grin:


This is a fine question. My only reaction is, as a GM I would grant shorter or more exactly, smaller hands, I would grant smaller hands more flexibility. In reality, I don’t think measurements are too important until people start abusing them.

Philosophy I don’t care too much about exact measurements. Aka banana. When it matters most for players to not abuse things. Larger handed people will have an advantage. I don’t know that I care too much, I just need to figure out a way for other players to have advantage in other ways.