Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's The Little Things That Matter

The good news is: it seems that I am able to resume my monthly schedule.

The bad news is: That means that I'm going to have to start coming up with some actual content here.

While some of the bigger ideas are flowing, one thing I'm realizing is that some little things still need settling before things can begin taking shape.

15 second melee round: While it allowed for finer detail than OD&D's 1-minute combat round, other games have since eclipsed it. D&D 3.x used a 6 second combat round, the D6 System uses a 5 second round, and World of Darkness uses a 3 second round. GURPS takes the cake with a 1-second round.

I'm sure there's a contingent out there that doesn't care. As long as the round is long enough for them to do their thing, they're okay. But the ability to convert an abstract unit, like a round, into a real unit, like minutes and seconds, does have its uses.

The Metric System: Palladium started publishing back in the '80's, when there was a push to convert the country to the metric system. We tried it for a while, but never fully made the move to metric. So apparently Palladium's style guide is frozen to the time when "dual-statting" measurements was the (experimental) standard. (Yes, I know the food industry loves the metric system. That way, they can get people panicked over grams of fat who don't have a solid idea of what a gram is.)

Do any Palladium players care about the metric system? I do seem to recall a push toward the metric system in science-fiction games in this same period. It was likely an attempt to create a more "scientific" feel to the game. Most of them were games I'd never play anyway, so it's hard to say.


  1. Yeah, for me the dual-statted metric measurements are one of those little niggling pet peeves of the Palladium writing style. I don't mind them in the stat blocks, but the fact they show up whenever any sort of distance is mentioned, even in casual passing, just strikes me as absurd and unnecessary. One or the other, I say; a conversion table can always be printed in the back.

  2. I did have someone point out that non-US gamers appreciate the metric conversions, but it's something that can easily be handled by a table in the core book, rather than wasting reams of paper by printing excess information.

  3. Me, being from Europe, I do love mentric conversion everywhere, as I don't have to be always making calculations or consulting conversion tables and I can play straigh from the stats blocks in the book. Please keep metric conversion! :)

  4. There's always the option of going whole-hog metric and not use imperial units at all.

  5. I think I would use dual-stats in the stat blocks and have a conversation table in the core rule book. Failing that, I would just go completely metric.