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D&D: Five-Foot Squares In Real Life

2 Minute Read
May 9 2021

If you’re wondering how D&D measures up in real life, you’re not alone. Presenting the unsung hero of RPGs, the 5ft. Square in real life.

The humble five-foot square is the real hero of any D&D adventure. At times it is all that stands between you and your friendly wizard’s fireball. Or between you and the rampaging red dragon’s 69 points of damage from their claw-claw-bite routine. Or the 26d6 points of fire damage if you’d been just a hair closer to that big cone of fire–nevermind that heat radiates far beyond the flame that originates it, a humble five foot square can keep you from the worst damage, or make sure that your foes are caught up in the best of yours.

The point I’m making is that without the humble five-foot square, everything else would be chaos and disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence. One redditor out there has taken it upon themselves to immortalize the five-foot square by rereating it in the real world, where its majesty may be safely beheld by all so you can get a sense of just how big those battlemats are. Thank you u/DoofusDad, for illustrating to us all what true heroism looks like.

via Reddit

There it is. Note the clean lines. The modern, open plan of it. It’s the sort of square you could fit in a kitchen or one of those fancy offices where they don’t have chairs and part of your job interview is figuring out what random shape in the office you’re meant to sit on, what you’re meant to rest your drink on safely, and what’s there purely for decoration.

Those cramped quarters suddenly don’t seem so cramped when you get a look at where fighters might be within those five foot squares. And if you’re playing theatre of the mind style combats… now you have an idea of just what kind of abstractions you’re abstracting. Just imagine the kind of creature that takes up four of those–bearing in mind our exemplar here is 6’3″. Suddenly those Ogres seem a LOT bigger and Giants? Forget it, friend. Truly living up to the name!

Happy Adventuring!


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