Should the metric system be avoided when referring D&D 3.5?

Sorry to bring up something on meta after asking my first question on this site, but I'm somewhat puzzled at metric units being forcefully translated to feet and inches in my question: How to leave a battle in D&D 3.5?

This was done under the assumption that D&D uses only feet and inches. I've seen foreign translations of the D20 documents using metric units though.

I understand that american readers are more comfortable with feet than with meters; is this reason enough to edit out references to the metric system?

• can you edit to post an example of such a thing happening? – Tritium21 Apr 23 '15 at 6:29
• @Tritium21 This is the question in question. – SevenSidedDie Apr 23 '15 at 6:46
• No need to apologise! Coming here to meta with your concern was exactly the right thing to do. Welcome. :) – SevenSidedDie Apr 23 '15 at 15:28
• @SevenSidedDie thanks; and thank you for your answer! – user22511 Apr 28 '15 at 10:25

Sorry, I made that edit and it wasn't intended to be quite as forceful as it appears it felt to you.

There is no rule about this, no. I can only offer my reasoning, and see if that seems reasonable to you:

Since English is the language of this Stack, the English editions of games are almost always the authoritative reference. In English editions of D&D, measurements are exclusively in Imperial units such as feet (and rarely, yards and inches). Using the unit that's common to English editions of the game decreases the chance that people writing answers will misunderstand the measurement and answer incorrectly.

That's all I was thinking at the time: the foot is the standard unit in English D&D discussion, so converting to feet eliminates a source of error.

Probably what would have been less forceful an edit, while also adding clarity, would have been for me to just add the distance in feet or even just squares after the distance in metres, so that it said "~50 meters (~150 feet)" or "~50 meters (~30 squares)".

So no, we don't have a policy about this, and the edit was well-meaning but perhaps not ideal. You are very welcome to revert it using the edit history view (click "edited [time] ago") or make a new edit to use both measurements side-by-side, whichever you think would be most useful.

The English language publication of D&D uses feet and inches.

So, all players of the English language version, regardless of their country's usual system of measurement, use the measurement system that the rules use.

I can't comment on any other translations of the rules, as I haven't seen them.

• Actually, at least in my group, while the rules says "feet" (for example 5e is not yet translated) we will translate that to meters, because we just cannot think in feet. "He is at the treeline." "Can I hit him with a fireball?" "How far does that go?" "uh... xyz feet" "Don't know, how many meters are that?" – nvoigt Apr 29 '15 at 17:33
• @nvoigt Yes, but if you're asking a rules question outside your group (eg, on StackExchange) I assume you're going to quote the rules and ask in feet? – Adeptus May 4 '15 at 6:19
• If I know the english version to use feet, I will. Problem is, how would I know. I certainly don't buy all my RPG books twice (localized & english) just to be able to ask questions on the internet. – nvoigt May 4 '15 at 6:24