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Geordnet
2013-05-02, 05:56 PM
A thread ment to "catch" the derailment of another thread.


For those just arriving now, this conversation started when someone mentioned that a standard D&D tunnel is 5'x8'. I responded that carving this would be a rediculous waste of effort for most tunnels, and that a more reasonable size would be 3'x6' or 4'x6'.

I argued that this would be comfortable for most underground races and livable for humans. But then there were counterarguments about making it comfortable for humans and even large races like ogres...

And so the debate rages on. :smallsigh:



3'x6' is much more reasonable.
You might be fine with that, but I'd be grinding my skull on the ceiling and having to take care not to rub against the walls.
Ceiling, maybe, but only if you're 5'8" or taller. (Taller than the tallest dwarf or elf.) As for width, a human is only 2' wide, so you wouldn't have to be careful unless someone was coming the other way.



Depending on the original usage of the space, I could see smaller tunnels, but most living space is generally sized for the beings using it and taking into account the use to which the space is intended. If it's a tunnel for siege work, a 3'x3' tunnel could be appropriate. Space that was intended for living is generally spaced larger than the beings inhabiting it, for usage/comfort/aesthetic reasons.
3'x6' is all you need for comfort; that's about the size of a hallway in a real-life house.
(And 3'x3' is oddly shaped, even for a siege tunnel; 2'x4' makes more sense.)


With many fantasy races coexisting, if you are talking about a trade settlement, you are probably talking about the largest race that you are concerned with trading with. A Kobold den, not so much. In the end, it really depends on the reason that your dungeon is there, and what it's original purpose was/is.
Right, and 5'x8' is only needed for Large or bigger creatures. Humans are comfortable with 4'x7', Elves with 3'x6', Dwarves with 4'x5', Gnomes and Halflings with 3'x4'.


It would be more like how buildings are made handicap-accessible today, or how ceilings are much higher than necessary.
You'll notice there are still more stairs in buildings than there are ramps and elevators. Also, the ceilings are higher because they're above-ground structures. Building upwards is trivial when there's nothing above you but air.


Public places, commercial establishments, and any place expecting or servicing other races would be built with both large and small races in mind (even larger ranges too, depending on to what extent Tiny and Huge creatures interact with civilization).
Only if they expect to be visited often enough for said space to be worth the effort. It hardly makes sense to spend three months preparing for the half-ogre that might be seen once a year.


For example, if you build a house with furnishings and accommodations only useful to Small sized creatures, you just cut that building off from ~60-70% of the market, and made sure the people living there alienate any medium-size visitors they might have. In a region which is even remotely cosmopolitan (or even where larger races visit with any regularity), such accommodations would be all but necessary.
True, but 3'x6' is not too small for Medium creatures. It is in fact exactly the right size for them. It's too small for Large creatures, like trolls and ogres, in in the majority of cases they would be less than 1% of the market.


Suppose a halfling made friends with a human, and wanted to invite him to his place for tea. Would he rather force the human to hunch over, or allow him to stand comfortably?
Suppose a halfling builder is building a house for halflings. Does he spend twice as much gold to make everything human-sized, or does he size it for halflings?

5'x8' is much bigger than you all think. :smalltongue:

Scow2
2013-05-03, 11:13 AM
I'll jump on this guy's arguments too!
[SPOILER]It would be more like how buildings are made handicap-accessible today, or how ceilings are much higher than necessary. Public places, commercial establishments, and any place expecting or servicing other races would be built with both large and small races in mind (even larger ranges too, depending on to what extent Tiny and Huge creatures interact with civilization).There are no common/civilized races in most settings larger than Medium Sized. Goliaths are rare mountainfolk.


For example, if you build a house with furnishings and accommodations only useful to Small sized creatures, you just cut that building off from ~60-70% of the market, and made sure the people living there alienate any medium-size visitors they might have. In a region which is even remotely cosmopolitan (or even where larger races visit with any regularity), such accommodations would be all but necessary.While if you build one only useful to medium-sized creatures, you alienate the Halfling/Gnome population, because people don't like having to get out ladders just to reach the top shelf.


Suppose a halfling made friends with a human, and wanted to invite him to his place for tea. Would he rather force the human to hunch over, or allow him to stand comfortably?Gandalf says yes, you'd make him hunch-over. It's easy enough to crouch down.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-04, 02:31 PM
Yeah, how these things get built is ultimately a question of local culture and demographics. The Shire, being pretty much exclusively hobbits, is for the most part built for creatures of that size. However, a more diverse area would (barring fantasy racism) try to accommodate more species if there was a market for it.

I make the argument that many dnd games exist within the latter (diverse regions), because of the frequency and ease with which interracial relationships, gatherings, and organizations form there. Adventuring parties are just one of these.

JellyPooga
2013-05-04, 03:25 PM
Hmm...i didn't catch the start of this argument, so apologies if I cover any ground that has been already.

A 3'x6' corridor is a fairly odd sort of dimension. Fairly squat. A Dwarf might feel comfortable with it, but most humans (even a shrimpy 5'4" guy like me!) would feel claustrophobic with the ceiling less than a foot above your head. You might not be scraping your head, but the impression of the low ceiling upon your psyche is far bigger than would be "comfortable" for most. Most ceilings, at least in modern buildings, are 8-9' and some people still complain about having "low ceilings". A 6' ceiling is very low by human standards.

As for race-specific buildings. Why would a halfling or gnome build a double-sized building if he's aiming at the halfling/gnome market? Even in a multicultural society, you're not going to buy a house that's too big. At most, you'd want a recieving room and maybe one spare room to accomodate any "giant" guests and that only if you're being that considerate. I don't think many would be.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-04, 03:42 PM
At most, you'd want a recieving room and maybe one spare room to accomodate any "giant" guests and that only if you're being that considerate. I don't think many would be.

With all the halfbreeds of large-size races, and size-increasing templated creatures running around, you might want higher ceilings, even in your bedroom :smallbiggrin:

Geordnet
2013-05-04, 04:06 PM
Yeah, how these things get built is ultimately a question of local culture and demographics. The Shire, being pretty much exclusively hobbits, is for the most part built for creatures of that size. However, a more diverse area would (barring fantasy racism) try to accommodate more species if there was a market for it.
I never said they wouldn't! Only that making all tunnels oversized so that the tall folk don't feel cramped is a wate of money.

6' is tall enough for all civilized races (in most D&D settings) to not have to bend over while walking. Why need the ceilings be any higher?



A 3'x6' corridor is a fairly odd sort of dimension. Fairly squat. A Dwarf might feel comfortable with it, but most humans (even a shrimpy 5'4" guy like me!) would feel claustrophobic with the ceiling less than a foot above your head. You might not be scraping your head, but the impression of the low ceiling upon your psyche is far bigger than would be "comfortable" for most. Most ceilings, at least in modern buildings, are 8-9' and some people still complain about having "low ceilings". A 6' ceiling is very low by human standards.
Well, there are a few things here. First off, I'm assuming that Dwarves would be more concerned with subterranean comfort than Humans, because Humans usually don't live underground.

Second, the problem with drawing comparisons with real-life buildings is that most real-life buildings are above ground. On the surface building higher is much easier than it is below ground. Most people would be willing to put up with the shorter ceilings rather than pay through the nose to highten them.



Also, I just thought of a good way to demonstrate the difference: Minecraft.

A 3'x6' tunnel would be analogous to 1x2 in Minecraft, while a 5'x8' is more like a 2x3. Now, try mining out two 40 long tunnels of each (use a stone pick). Then tell me which you'd rather have to dig 400 of? :smalltongue:

Killer Angel
2013-05-05, 05:21 AM
As for race-specific buildings. Why would a halfling or gnome build a double-sized building if he's aiming at the halfling/gnome market? Even in a multicultural society, you're not going to buy a house that's too big. At most, you'd want a recieving room and maybe one spare room to accomodate any "giant" guests and that only if you're being that considerate. I don't think many would be.

But underground races, even if small, do need large tunnels for supplies wagons.

JellyPooga
2013-05-05, 05:57 AM
But underground races, even if small, do need large tunnels for supplies wagons.

Only as far as those supply wagons need to go, though. You're not going to build wagon-sized tunnels to your living quarters! Most tunnels in an underground civilisation of small-folk (of whatever creed) will (or should) be too small for a human to comfortably traverse. Maybe not "scraping your head" small (though it wouldn't be out of the question in some cases; Kobolds and Gnomes perhaps), but certainly small enough that you wouldn't want to spend too much time down there.

Glimbur
2013-05-05, 07:46 AM
As I learned in Dwarf Fortress, sometimes it is more efficient to have a wider tunnel. Otherwise everyone has to move through each other all the time, which is a hassle. Of course, this depends on how heavily traffic'd the area is, but tunnels go both ways.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-05, 11:28 AM
As I learned in Dwarf Fortress, sometimes it is more efficient to have a wider tunnel. Otherwise everyone has to move through each other all the time, which is a hassle. Of course, this depends on how heavily traffic'd the area is, but tunnels go both ways.

If you need any real amount of traffic to quickly go through without hassle, you want your hallway to fit at least two creatures comfortably marching abreast while carrying loads. For heavily-trafficked places, you usually want it to be like 20ft wide.

If you want people to be able to escape quickly and efficiently in case of a fire, you want wide hallways and doors which don't swing into the hallway.

Killer Angel
2013-05-05, 12:30 PM
Only as far as those supply wagons need to go, though. You're not going to build wagon-sized tunnels to your living quarters! Most tunnels in an underground civilisation of small-folk (of whatever creed) will (or should) be too small for a human to comfortably traverse. Maybe not "scraping your head" small (though it wouldn't be out of the question in some cases; Kobolds and Gnomes perhaps), but certainly small enough that you wouldn't want to spend too much time down there.

Absolutely yes. You'll be fine on the "roads" between towns, and on the main streets, but outside 'em, it should be a bottleneck feast.

Knaight
2013-05-05, 01:38 PM
On height: I'm actually inclined towards assuming smaller tunnels, just because digging is a pain. However, the real house analogy doesn't work here - 6 feet floor to ceiling is extremely short for a house. I live in an old house, made for small people and it still manages 8 feet in most places (although there's a beam that is referred to as the six foot person knockout bar), more modern ones tend to be even higher than that.

1337 b4k4
2013-05-05, 01:53 PM
For what it's worth, from what I've been able to dig up on the various European catacombs, the height averages around 7 to 8 ft

Geordnet
2013-05-05, 04:48 PM
If you need any real amount of traffic to quickly go through without hassle, you want your hallway to fit at least two creatures comfortably marching abreast while carrying loads.
That would be 4'-5', then. Even 4' enough to drive a chariot or wagon down. As for two-way cart traffic, it would be easier and safer to make two one-way tunnels than one two-way tunnel.

However, you need to think about every individual tunnel to decide how wide they need to be. Corridors from the living quarters to the main hall usually won't have a ton of stuff moving through them (in both directions at the same time, at least) while corridors connecting the main hall to the workshops will.

And always remember: it takes a lot of effort to widen or heighten a tunnel. And few people want to spend more effort than they need to on something.



For heavily-trafficked places, you usually want it to be like 20ft wide.
:smalleek: You do know that's almost twice as wide as most above-ground roads, right?

Not that it matters, since tunnels that wide would almost always cave in. Maybe the Dwarves could make underground superhighways that wide, but even that would require generational effort.



If you want people to be able to escape quickly and efficiently in case of a fire, you want wide hallways and doors which don't swing into the hallway.
Hm, the fire's actually a good point. Unfortunately there usually isn't a fire code in D&D. :smalltongue:



For what it's worth, from what I've been able to dig up on the various European catacombs, the height averages around 7 to 8 ft
That's a good man-sized tunnel, then. However, most underground creatures are at least 1 foot shorter than men, and I'd imagine they're more comfortable with low ceilings. :smallwink:

Astral Avenger
2013-05-05, 11:05 PM
[snip]
:smalleek: You do know that's almost twice as wide as most above-ground roads, right?
[snip]


You live in an area with very narrow roads then. My neck of the woods, most driveways are 10' wide at minimum, with actual roads around 20' minimum width. of course, alleyways (fairly low traffic) are often just wide enough to get a car through them.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-05, 11:21 PM
:smalleek: You do know that's almost twice as wide as most above-ground roads, right?


That's why I said heavily trafficked. As in "you're expecting countless people and golf-cart sized vehicles rushing through this hall at all hours of day and night", which you could expect in an undergound civilization.

I know that the major train stations I use, and the (admittedly huge) school I attend both have corridors about that wide. Most regular two-lane roads are around 13 feet wide, though.

Geordnet
2013-05-06, 12:11 AM
You live in an area with very narrow roads then. My neck of the woods, most driveways are 10' wide at minimum, with actual roads around 20' minimum width. of course, alleyways (fairly low traffic) are often just wide enough to get a car through them.
I may have been underestimating, but I was counting third-world and old-timey roads.



That's why I said heavily trafficked. As in "you're expecting countless people and golf-cart sized vehicles rushing through this hall at all hours of day and night", which you could expect in an undergound civilization.

I know that the major train stations I use, and the (admittedly huge) school I attend both have corridors about that wide. Most regular two-lane roads are around 13 feet wide, though.
Ok, but this is not what we're talking about. Dungeons which were once the heart of a bustling civilization are the exception, not the norm.

And even then, these sort of pathways wouldn't be called "tunnels" so much as "great halls".

Ashtagon
2013-05-06, 04:32 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane#Lane_width_and_capacity

US road lanes are legally mandated at 12 feet wide for interstates. Across Europe, the narrowest standard lane is 8.2 feet. Double that for two-way traffic, add another 5 feet each side for "foot traffic", and you're looking at a typical width of 26 feet.

So, the 20 foot width mentioned upthread is not unreasonable at all. It would probably have a row of widely spaced columns down the middle to act as a traffic barrier.

Geordnet
2013-05-06, 07:14 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane#Lane_width_and_capacity

US road lanes are legally mandated at 12 feet wide for interstates. Across Europe, the narrowest standard lane is 8.2 feet. Double that for two-way traffic, add another 5 feet each side for "foot traffic", and you're looking at a typical width of 26 feet.

So, the 20 foot width mentioned upthread is not unreasonable at all. It would probably have a row of widely spaced columns down the middle to act as a traffic barrier.
Again, you're looking at modern, above-ground roads. Here's something better to compare:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads

It says the standard width was about 8 feet, and this is for the very best roads at a standard D&D tech level. That's enough to handle two-way cart traffic, especially if the carts are made narrower than usual.

And it'd still be a lot easier to keep from caving in than 20' wide tunnels, even with columns running down the middle. I'd expect such a major 'lowway' to take the form of two 5'x8' tunnels with arched ceilings running parallel to each other about 4' apart, with 3'x6' side tunnels connecting them every 20' or more.

That would certainly be a LOT easier to carve over long distances.

Ashtagon
2013-05-06, 07:34 AM
Again, you're looking at modern, above-ground roads. Here's something better to compare:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads

It says the standard width was about 8 feet, and this is for the very best roads at a standard D&D tech level. That's enough to handle two-way cart traffic, especially if the carts are made narrower than usual.

Last time I checked, standard D&D tech included wall of stone, move earth, shape stone, and a bunch of other spells useful in an engineering context. Romans had nothing comparable to that.

Alejandro
2013-05-06, 08:25 AM
The Hobbit/LOTR gives a pretty good example covering the 'homes/rooms sized for different creatures' question. Bilbo's home in the Shire is sized for hobbits, because only hobbits live there. Gandalf just has to be careful and sit down a lot.

But when the hobbits go to Bree, the innkeeper tells them they have some nice, hobbit sized rooms for them. This is because the Prancing Pony is an inn between hobbit and human lands, so they see mixed traffic and want their money.

Finally, when Bilbo/Frodo visits Rivendell, everything is bigger than he needs (huge beds!) because Rivendell is built just for the (taller) elves that live there.

Zombimode
2013-05-06, 10:20 AM
Last time I checked, standard D&D tech included wall of stone, move earth, shape stone, and a bunch of other spells useful in an engineering context. Romans had nothing comparable to that.

Show me a setting where a very small subset of a group of extremely highly trained and specialized and often egomaniacal people, who are in turn a very small subset of the population at large has nothing better to do with their then building roads, and I show you a setting I have absolutely no interest in playing in.

Knaight
2013-05-06, 10:59 AM
Show me a setting where a very small subset of a group of extremely highly trained and specialized and often egomaniacal people, who are in turn a very small subset of the population at large has nothing better to do with their then building roads, and I show you a setting I have absolutely no interest in playing in.

Them being egomaniacal is itself a setting element, and without that it could work. D&D probably isn't the best vehicle for it, but I have seen cases where this sort of thing makes perfect sense, in settings that do work well. Specifically, there's a setting involving alchemists who can do within-phase matter transformations at constant shape and volume, who can and will transform tons and tons of stone into different, more easily removed solids that are then cleared out by someone else. Between civic duty and the sort of pay that comes attached to these things, it makes perfect sense - particularly for those who aren't really cut out for research and avoid combat.

My point is, you're writing a large concept off a little easily, entirely based on the less than ideal D&D implementation.

Alejandro
2013-05-06, 11:51 AM
Show me a setting where a very small subset of a group of extremely highly trained and specialized and often egomaniacal people, who are in turn a very small subset of the population at large has nothing better to do with their then building roads, and I show you a setting I have absolutely no interest in playing in.

A smart D&D ruler would totally pay some well trained wizards to build roads in his realm for him. Even if they charged a hefty sum for their services, the ruler's gains in ease of trade and movement of troops far exceeds the cost.

Ashtagon
2013-05-06, 12:01 PM
Show me a setting where a very small subset of a group of extremely highly trained and specialized and often egomaniacal people, who are in turn a very small subset of the population at large has nothing better to do with their then building roads, and I show you a setting I have absolutely no interest in playing in.

Actually, this is one of the more mundane jobs that the Gold College has in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay setting. That setting always struck me as a fun one to play in.

Emmerask
2013-05-06, 12:44 PM
A thread ment to "catch" the derailment of another thread.


For those just arriving now, this conversation started when someone mentioned that a standard D&D tunnel is 5'x8'. I responded that carving this would be a rediculous waste of effort for most tunnels, and that a more reasonable size would be 3'x6' or 4'x6'.

I argued that this would be comfortable for most underground races and livable for humans. But then there were counterarguments about making it comfortable for humans and even large races like ogres...

And so the debate rages on. :smallsigh:


Ceiling, maybe, but only if you're 5'8" or taller. (Taller than the tallest dwarf or elf.) As for width, a human is only 2' wide, so you wouldn't have to be careful unless someone was coming the other way.



3'x6' is all you need for comfort; that's about the size of a hallway in a real-life house.
(And 3'x3' is oddly shaped, even for a siege tunnel; 2'x4' makes more sense.)


Right, and 5'x8' is only needed for Large or bigger creatures. Humans are comfortable with 4'x7', Elves with 3'x6', Dwarves with 4'x5', Gnomes and Halflings with 3'x4'.


You'll notice there are still more stairs in buildings than there are ramps and elevators. Also, the ceilings are higher because they're above-ground structures. Building upwards is trivial when there's nothing above you but air.


Only if they expect to be visited often enough for said space to be worth the effort. It hardly makes sense to spend three months preparing for the half-ogre that might be seen once a year.


True, but 3'x6' is not too small for Medium creatures. It is in fact exactly the right size for them. It's too small for Large creatures, like trolls and ogres, in in the majority of cases they would be less than 1% of the market.


Suppose a halfling builder is building a house for halflings. Does he spend twice as much gold to make everything human-sized, or does he size it for halflings?

5'x8' is much bigger than you all think. :smalltongue:


A standard tunnel what?
There is no iso in the d&d world... well at least not in the games I played :smalleek: (maybe in one of those totalitarian lawful good realms though :D)

Overall there is no such thing, tunnels will be build as conditions (the races that live there etc) requires and time permits.

Why would rat people build huge tunnels? So that "big folks" can come in and kill them more easily?!?!

Geordnet
2013-05-07, 12:57 AM
A standard tunnel what?
Like, what you'd find in a dungeon linking rooms, when there's no particular reason for it to be a certain size (like wider or narrower than usual).



A smart D&D ruler would totally pay some well trained wizards to build roads in his realm for him. Even if they charged a hefty sum for their services, the ruler's gains in ease of trade and movement of troops far exceeds the cost.
Ah, but there is still a significant cost either way. The question in this case is "why would the dungeon builders pay more to build tunnels bigger than they need to be?"

Heliomance
2013-05-07, 04:53 AM
Show me a setting where a very small subset of a group of extremely highly trained and specialized and often egomaniacal people, who are in turn a very small subset of the population at large has nothing better to do with their then building roads, and I show you a setting I have absolutely no interest in playing in.

A setting where that small subset of people realised that they can do more work than an entire construction crew, and so they can charge through the nose for their services and still undercut the competition.

Emmerask
2013-05-07, 05:15 AM
Like, what you'd find in a dungeon linking rooms, when there's no particular reason for it to be a certain size (like wider or narrower than usual).

It was more a question about why anyone would think that there is such a thing like normed tunnel sizes :smallbiggrin:

Jay R
2013-05-07, 09:08 AM
Remember that the tunnels have two purposes - to allow access to where you live, and to provide defenses. I don't expect dwarves to dig tunnels taller than they need for the benefit of an invading army.

When I designed a dwarf kingdom in a mountain, there was a thirty foot wide, twenty-foot tall corridor leading slowly upward from the footy of the mountain to their market (they were a major producer of metalwork and jewelry). But they also had a giant cylinder (almost exactly thirty foot long, with a nearly twenty-foot diameter) ready to roll down it, as a defense. The door to their market area was known, public, and a horrible way to attack their kingdom.

The only tunnels I've actually been in have been a couple of 19th century gold mines in New Mexico. The tunnels are wide enough for the carts to go through (pushed by hand, on rails) but not much wider. There's room for a person to slip by a cart, but only barely. It wasn't much taller than 6 feet, and yes, it's kind of claustrophobic.

Devils_Advocate
2013-05-07, 04:53 PM
If you want people to be able to escape quickly and efficiently in case of a fire, you want wide hallways and doors which don't swing into the hallway.
Wouldn't it be better to make areas easy to seal? In a stone environment, the concern is smoke rather than the spread of the fire itself, right?


Like, what you'd find in a dungeon linking rooms, when there's no particular reason for it to be a certain size (like wider or narrower than usual).
I'm pretty sure that Emmerask's point was that several reasons for a tunnel's size will always be particular. (If there is no reason for a tunnel of any given size to be there, then no tunnel will be present, of course.)


6' is tall enough for all civilized races (in most D&D settings) to not have to bend over while walking. Why need the ceilings be any higher?
Races do not walk down tunnels; individuals do. ;) If I've done my math right, then 28% of adult male humans are 6' tall or taller, based on the Random Height and Weight Table. So 7' tall if you want to accommodate all humans. And humans are generally assumed to be as common as muck, so their needs are a non-trivial consideration.

(On the other hand, I think it's typical for their prominence to be a historically recent thing, too, so that's something to take into consideration regarding Ancient Catacombs from Before the Age of Man.)

3'x6' is much smaller than you think. :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2013-05-07, 05:55 PM
Wouldn't it be better to make areas easy to seal? In a stone environment, the concern is smoke rather than the spread of the fire itself, right?


1. Doors don't block fire or smoke. If you block the hallway, you doom anyone still inside and impede rescue and recovery efforts.

2. If a door opens such that it obstructs a hallway, that means people in the room are trapped inside by mobs of people trying to evacuate (their mass preventing the door from opening), or the door will block the mobs from evacuating. Also, it's not very convenient or safe to walk down a hall and suddenly have a door swing open into your face :smalltongue:. This is why doors usually open inwards (swinging into the room or building) rather than outwards, especially in places with well-enforced building codes.

Geordnet
2013-05-07, 11:24 PM
It was more a question about why anyone would think that there is such a thing like normed tunnel sizes :smallbiggrin:

Because most GMs aren't going to write a separate height and width for every tunnel, they're going to write down one "average" size and assume all tunnels are that size unless noted otherwise.



So 7' tall if you want to accommodate all humans. And humans are generally assumed to be as common as muck, so their needs are a non-trivial consideration.
7' tall is only necessary if you want to comfortably accommodate all humans. By your own calculations, at least 72% of humans are 6' or shorter. Even if humans are commonplace on the surface, it's reasonable to assume that in a primarily non-human location they'd make up no more than 10% of the traffic. And for anywhere other than a tavern, or other public place where human visitors may be expected, human needs are trivial. Either way, nobody's going to spend 17% more money to accommodate any more than necessary.



3'x6' is much smaller than you think. :smalltongue:
I think it's 2' shorter than the 3'x8' halls in my house; 1' shorter than my 3'x7' doors. :smalltongue:



1. Doors don't block fire or smoke.
Yes they do! :smalltongue:

Air is something we take for granted on the surface, but it's in short supply underground. Aside from a few sealable ventilation shafts, the doors and halls are the only ways for fresh air to reach the fire. The crack under the door is too small for gasses to exchange through fast enough to keep the fire up, and it takes even a very strong fire a lot of time to burn solid oak or pine.


If you block the hallway, you doom anyone still inside and impede rescue and recovery efforts.
Anyone who isn't out in 5-10 minutes is already dead from asphyxiation, and the best way to stop the fire from burning everything is to starve it of oxygen first.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-07, 11:31 PM
Anyone who isn't out in 5-10 minutes is already dead from asphyxiation

Which is why you want people to have a clear, unimpeded path away from the fire.

Ashtagon
2013-05-08, 05:13 AM
Races do not walk down tunnels; individuals do. ;) If I've done my math right, then 28% of adult male humans are 6' tall or taller, based on the Random Height and Weight Table. So 7' tall if you want to accommodate all humans. And humans are generally assumed to be as common as muck, so their needs are a non-trivial consideration.

(On the other hand, I think it's typical for their prominence to be a historically recent thing, too, so that's something to take into consideration regarding Ancient Catacombs from Before the Age of Man.)

3'x6' is much smaller than you think. :smalltongue:

Also, standing height is not a true indication of walking height. A person's head bobs up and down as they walk, thanks to the mechanics of a walking gait. A ceiling that is exactly your height will cause you to either stoop or repeatedly bash your head as you walk.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-08, 09:10 AM
Also, standing height is not a true indication of walking height. A person's head bobs up and down as they walk, thanks to the mechanics of a walking gait. A ceiling that is exactly your height will cause you to either stoop or repeatedly bash your head as you walk.

People also wear big silly hats, helmets, socks, height-increasing footwear (boots and high-heels come to mind), and sometimes carry long pointy things called spears.

Jay R
2013-05-08, 11:23 AM
Doors in a house are not as expensive to build as a tunnel through granite, and are therefore not a valid comparison.

Geordnet
2013-05-08, 03:31 PM
Doors in a house are not as expensive to build as a tunnel through granite, and are therefore not a valid comparison.
You're right; the tunnels should be smaller. :smalltongue:


Also, standing height is not a true indication of walking height. A person's head bobs up and down as they walk, thanks to the mechanics of a walking gait. A ceiling that is exactly your height will cause you to either stoop or repeatedly bash your head as you walk.
I factored that into my calculations. (It's only a few inches, anyways.)

Asheram
2013-05-08, 04:03 PM
Sorry. I don't want to interrupt the conversation but what example would you give as a "standard D&D tunnel"?
Are we talking a mine shaft, an (usually) one-way pathway, a catacomb?

Geordnet
2013-05-08, 06:09 PM
Sorry. I don't want to interrupt the conversation but what example would you give as a "standard D&D tunnel"?
Are we talking a mine shaft, an (usually) one-way pathway, a catacomb?

Well, none specificly. Basically, the original question was about what the width should be when the GM's notes just say "tunnel". Conventionally it's 5' wide because that's the width of one standard tile, and 8' tall; however, I don't think that makes sense from an IC point of view.

My argument was that anything bigger than 3'-4'x6' would need a good reason to be that big, since carving out a tunnel is a laborous and costly endeavor; nobody's going to pay more than they have to.

Jay R
2013-05-08, 10:23 PM
My argument was that anything bigger than 3'-4'x6' would need a good reason to be that big, since carving out a tunnel is a laborous and costly endeavor; nobody's going to pay more than they have to.

You are making the assumption of rational planning. After 37 years of dungeon crawling, I still have zero evidence that the average dungeon was designed by the sane.

TuggyNE
2013-05-08, 10:41 PM
You are making the assumption of rational planning. After 37 years of dungeon crawling, I still have zero evidence that the average dungeon was designed by the sane.

+1 Internets to you, sir. In fact, I'd like to stuff this into my quotebox (right alongside your earlier quote!) :smallbiggrin:

tyckspoon
2013-05-08, 11:00 PM
My argument was that anything bigger than 3'-4'x6' would need a good reason to be that big, since carving out a tunnel is a laborous and costly endeavor; nobody's going to pay more than they have to.

Well, you could be making it with magic. Every spell I can find that would be relevant to digging (from the humble method of making the job easier with Soften Earth and Stone to the very direct approach of blasting out chunks with Disintegrate or Transmute Rock to Mud) operates in multiples of 5 feet, usually in 10 foot squares or cubes. (Also the only official rules I know of for mining out passages- given as a new use of the Profession skill in Races of the Dragon- measure results in.. 5 foot cubes. So it's actually more work to make something that isn't 5 feet wide x some multiple of 5 feet tall, because you automatically dig out these MineCraft-like blocks when you go mining.)

C'nor
2013-05-17, 04:25 AM
Something you're forgetting: They not only need to be able to walk under those ceilings, they need to be able to have a full range of motion.

Since I'm unable to find average data for humans easily, I'm going to go with some rough numbers that should be in the ballpark and say that overhead extension is about 20 inches, or just over an additional foot-and-a-half. Armspan is approximately 70 inches, or almost six feet (which I actually do know; I remember finding that information at one time, in, of all things, a museum exhibit on birds). Shoulder width is also roughly 20 inches.

Anything that's exactly the size of one's armspan or smaller will restrict movement, thereby making it impossible to fight effectively, which for most D&D tunnels is a major concern. Even if it's not, it'll still cause issues, by doing things like making it difficult to carry objects to one side.

Overhead extension is, to some extent, less important in corridors, but it becomes pretty much necessary in living quarters, for reasons such as putting on clothes.

Shoulder width, meanwhile, means you need at least an extra 6, almost seven, inches, assuming you want two people to be able to walk side-by-side. And that's with only 3 inches between them, which is probably the minimum comfortable distance.

You're also neglecting the fact that ceilings are good places to hang lights from, as it will provide pretty much the maximum coverage for that area, and allows one to simply drill a straight shaft above it in order to let smoke escape*. If you want people to not be banging their heads on the lanterns or having to duck down every time they reach one, as well as being blinded by having to stare straight at each of them or be stooped over/cricking their neck by keeping it turned constantly/walking with their eyes closed, you'll either need to widen the corridor so as to allow them to walk past with a safe margin on either side and not be staring at it, or raise the ceiling so it's over their heads.

*Assuming one is relatively near the surface, of course. In lower sections, it's probably more viable to make the shaft turn, then go up through the walls of higher sections until it eventually reaches the surface. Buildup of particulates in the shafts due to smoke, dirt blown in from outside, etc., can be handled by various means, including having one of the duties of the acolytes in a temple be to use Create Water at the outlets for whichever ones are scheduled to be cleaned, and having a team below them to catch the water.

This option is likely the most attractive one in most cases, as the resulting water, while unfit for most consumption, can still be used for hydroponics, or even simply watering plants normally. Also, in Pathfinder, it can be cast as many times a day as necessary, and no matter what system you use, it only requires being at one end of the shaft, rather than having to have access points along the entire thing.

There's also the advantage that as water elementals are, theoretically, capable of changing shape, and can presumably breathe underwater, a 3rd level Cleric can send one in to clear actual blockages after this has been done, should it be necessary for some reason.

Vknight
2013-05-17, 07:57 AM
You are making the assumption of rational planning. After 37 years of dungeon crawling, I still have zero evidence that the average dungeon was designed by the sane.

Adding this to my signature cause it is so true

Its true the rules support, the idea of mining and creating thing in 5', 5', 5' blocks
Though a little silly I love minecraft logic so I don't care if it's silly

Geordnet
2013-05-17, 02:31 PM
Something you're forgetting: They not only need to be able to walk under those ceilings, they need to be able to have a full range of motion.
I was assuming a tunnel which exists merely to walk through, not stand around doing stuff in. :smalltongue:

At most, you might need to be able to squeeze by someone coming the other way; but even a narrow tunnel can have alcoves for that.



Anything that's exactly the size of one's armspan or smaller will restrict movement, thereby making it impossible to fight effectively, which for most D&D tunnels is a major concern.
Tunnels which are hard to fight in favor the defender; which is a reason to make tunnels smaller. :smallamused:



Even if it's not, it'll still cause issues, by doing things like making it difficult to carry objects to one side.
That's why mine carts exist. :smallwink:



Overhead extension is, to some extent, less important in corridors, but it becomes pretty much necessary in living quarters, for reasons such as putting on clothes.
I would think they're doing that in their bedroom, which is another issue entirely.


Shoulder width, meanwhile, means you need at least an extra 6, almost seven, inches, assuming you want two people to be able to walk side-by-side. And that's with only 3 inches between them, which is probably the minimum comfortable distance.
Assuming that the tunnel needs to comfortably hold two people side-by-side. Unless you expect a tunnel to have constant traffic, it probably doesn't.


You're also neglecting the fact that ceilings are good places to hang lights from, as it will provide pretty much the maximum coverage for that area, and allows one to simply drill a straight shaft above it in order to let smoke escape*.
You expect tunnel lights to be standard (or even common) in a pre-electricity society? :smallconfused:

Especially when most underground creatures have darkvision?

Kudaku
2013-05-17, 06:32 PM
The size of a tunnel will change depending on how long it's intended to be in existence, how heavily the tunnel is used, and what the intended use of the tunnel is.

The primary resource of digging a tunnel isn't monetary cost, it's manpower and hours spent. If you have spare hours and/or manpower, it's not an expense.

If you have a long tunnel that is not important and is rarely used, odds are it will be basic.

If you have a tunnel that is used frequently, people are more likely to make it more spacious and comfortable. Similarly, if a tunnel has been around and in use for a long period of time, the odds are higher that people will put in the extra effort.

If you have a tunnel that links an underwater dock and a warehouse, it is going to be sized for wagons and it probably won't have staircases or tight turns.

I do think your assessment of 6 feet high tunnels is too low for a race of similar height to humans - the ceiling would be spaced to make all members within a reasonable height spread (ie not exceptional) be comfortable. 7 feet is a good start and it would probably be a little higher.

C'nor
2013-05-17, 09:00 PM
I was assuming a tunnel which exists merely to walk through, not stand around doing stuff in. :smalltongue:

At most, you might need to be able to squeeze by someone coming the other way; but even a narrow tunnel can have alcoves for that.

Meh, see below.


Tunnels which are hard to fight in favor the defender; which is a reason to make tunnels smaller. :smallamused:

Unless, say, you're using things like the dwarven Ugrosh. Or the longaxe and longhammer. Also, even if you're using normal weapons, something like an axe or a mace, traditionally dwarven weapons, is going to be much less useful in a smaller tunnel, where you can't swing it properly, than a thrusting sword, which allows the larger opponent the tunnel is theoretically designed to combat to turn sideways, like a fencer, and stab you while you're trying to get enough power into your swings to actually do any damage.


That's why mine carts exist. :smallwink:

You're going to carry your cat in a mine cart? Or that, probably fragile, flask of acid? Good luck with that...


I would think they're doing that in their bedroom, which is another issue entirely.

I did make the point that that would be less important in corridors. That said, it's still important for fighting.


Assuming that the tunnel needs to comfortably hold two people side-by-side. Unless you expect a tunnel to have constant traffic, it probably doesn't.

Not true. if it experiences constant, but low-grade traffic, it's entirely possible that it would still not need that. On the other hand, if it experiences traffic exceedingly rarely, but the traffic is heavy when it does occur, you will need that. Considering that you can't necessarily say how traffic patterns might change over hundreds of years, and tunnels are a bitch to alter once you've already built stuff around them that would get in the way, it's a good idea to always include that capacity when first building it.



You expect tunnel lights to be standard (or even common) in a pre-electricity society? :smallconfused:

Especially when most underground creatures have darkvision?


The subject gains the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness. Darkvision is black and white only but otherwise like normal sight.

Most creatures prefer to, y'know, be able to see color. They also prefer to have more vision than this would provide them. So yes. I do expect tunnel lighting to be common.

If for no other reason, you're underground creatures, but most underground creatures which are playable do not have weaknesses to light. Not only does that imply that they routinely use light, they also have enemies such as the drow who are weak to bright light, and thus that provides an advantage.

Geordnet
2013-05-19, 11:32 AM
Unless, say, you're using things like the dwarven Ugrosh. Or the longaxe and longhammer. Also, even if you're using normal weapons, something like an axe or a mace, traditionally dwarven weapons, is going to be much less useful in a smaller tunnel, where you can't swing it properly, than a thrusting sword, which allows the larger opponent the tunnel is theoretically designed to combat to turn sideways, like a fencer, and stab you while you're trying to get enough power into your swings to actually do any damage.
The defender's being stupid then, because he's trying to kill the attacker using methods that are designed to be used in large spaces.

With a narrow tunnel the best tool for the defender is a broad shield, with which one person can block the entire tunnel. Add a second defender with a short pike stuck through a small gap, and you can hold off dozens of attackers for as long as your endurance holds up.

(You don't actually have to kill the attackers, after all. You just need to delay them, buying your own forces time to counterattack from the flank/rear, prepare the next line of defences, or evacuate, according to the relative strength of the attacker.)


"Traditional Dwarven" just means "what geeks thought were cool at the time", anyways. :smalltongue:



You're going to carry your cat in a mine cart? Or that, probably fragile, flask of acid? Good luck with that...
Why exactly are you carrying something down a tunnel that wasn't designed to handle such loads? :smallconfused:

If something needs to be somewhere, there will be one tunnel capable of bringing it there. Just one. Every other tunnel will be just big enough for whatever is designed to go down it, which we're assuming is a person.



Considering that you can't necessarily say how traffic patterns might change over hundreds of years, and tunnels are a bitch to alter once you've already built stuff around them that would get in the way, it's a good idea to always include that capacity when first building it.
Actually, you can't build stuff that close together underground because all the walls need to be load-bearing. Not that it matters much, why exactly are you squishing a tunnel between two rooms in the first place? Especially given the ability to work in three dimensions? :smallconfused:



Most creatures prefer to, y'know, be able to see color. They also prefer to have more vision than this would provide them.
Most creatures prefer breathing even more, though, and oxygen is in short supply underground. Wood and oil, too. :smalltongue:

It would be much more efficient to use light sparingly, instead of trying to light the halls all the time, even when there's no one around to appreciate it.



If for no other reason, you're underground creatures, but most underground creatures which are playable do not have weaknesses to light. Not only does that imply that they routinely use light, they also have enemies such as the drow who are weak to bright light, and thus that provides an advantage.
The only bright light they're going to get underground is magical light; not torches and definitely not lanterns. So, a large enough settlement would keep around some scrolls and oils of Daylight, but not much beyond that unless we're talking about entire underground cities.

As for other implications, they are very much a matter of interpretation. It seems more likely to me that the lack of light weakness is merely a matter of random chance, since there is no force of natural selection either way. Or, it could be a supernatural product of how much said races have meddled in black magic. Even if it is indicative of a usage of light, this could just mean the race uses light period; compared to the light-vulnerable races which don't use it at all.

Raineh Daze
2013-05-19, 12:03 PM
Most creatures prefer breathing even more, though, and oxygen is in short supply underground. Wood and oil, too.

It would be much more efficient to use light sparingly, instead of trying to light the halls all the time, even when there's no one around to appreciate it.

Assuming D&D, there's a second level Sorcerer/Wizard spell for that (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Continual_Flame). 50 GP but it's permanent.

Geordnet
2013-05-19, 12:37 PM
Assuming D&D, there's a second level Sorcerer/Wizard spell for that (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Continual_Flame). 50 GP but it's permanent.

Well, if you're going to dump that much money on it... :smalltongue:

Not everyone's as rich as an adventurer, you know? 500 SP a pop ain't cheap, and that's not even accounting for the casting cost. (The overall cost would be comparable to decorating the tunnel with suits of armor.)

Raineh Daze
2013-05-19, 12:51 PM
Well, what else are you going to do with any rubies you accidentally come across whilst you're digging a home? You could sell them for comparatively little (for an entire economy), or permanent, risk-free lighting.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-19, 01:09 PM
Well, if you're going to dump that much money on it... :smalltongue:

Not everyone's as rich as an adventurer, you know? 500 SP a pop ain't cheap, and that's not even accounting for the casting cost. (The overall cost would be comparable to decorating the tunnel with suits of armor.)

Each torch lasts for one hour, and is 1 copper = 0.01 gold. Someone needs to change these torches every hour (and that someone's labor costs something, even if he isn't being paid), and there are costs associated with smoke production, but we will ignore these for now.

Assuming we can cast the spell directly, Continual Flame is 50 gold and lasts forever.

50/0.01= 5,000. After 5000 hours of illumination, the Continual Flame is more efficient. This is only 208.33 days, less than a year.

If we must buy Everburning Torches at full market price (100gp), they will pay off after 100/0.01=10,000 hours, or 416.67 days


In the long run, as long as we can go for roughly a year or more without needing to replace them (such as from theft or dispelling), continual flames will be more efficient. Additionally, the costs associated with their replacement and storage are much lower, and they do not consume the air. This makes magic fire much more efficient for permanent underground structures.

Sylthia
2013-05-19, 02:49 PM
If the tunnels were made by dwarves, for dwarves, 6 feet would be reasonable, but if there are any human sized characters, 6 feet would be way too short, the average man is about 5'10" in the USA, with shoes and a hat, he's already hitting his head. So about half your male human population wouldn't be able to walk through without bending over.

If you're going by Medieval average heights, subtract about 6 inches or so, but 6 feet was still within the normal range of height.

The width of the tunnels really depends on what the tunnels were used for. If it's old mines or an old dwarven city, you want the tunnels to be wide enough for a cart, preferably two to pass each other in each direction, because unlike an above ground road, one can't simply pull over and wait for the other to pass if two meet each other in the tunnel.

Spacewolf
2013-05-19, 03:14 PM
They might have a small tunnel as an entrance making it easy to defend, would probably still be more logical to have a narrow bridge over a natural chasm since it would make it harder to block. The chasm would also be useful to provide extra air circulation.

Even short surface tunnels would still be at least 2 people across and 6 feet high. The main problem with having a deeper tunnel be this small is your going to run out of air if you try to build a city with interconnecting tunnels.

Plus when you hit territory where canarys would be useful it's going to be at lethal levels for a much greater spread than if you had a wide area for the poisonous or explosive gas to disperse in. In your smaller tunnels you would probably kill everyone quite easily simply by cooking food.

Jay R
2013-05-19, 07:44 PM
Each torch lasts for one hour, and is 1 copper = 0.01 gold.

Torches are essentially free if you live near a forest, have a tar pit in your caverns, and have sufficient peasants to do your bidding.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-19, 07:59 PM
Torches are essentially free if you live near a forest, have a tar pit in your caverns, and have sufficient peasants to do your bidding.

None of those things are free. At best, you can craft torches for 1/3 cost, meaning that it's instead ~600-1200 days before magic fire becomes more efficient.

Geordnet
2013-05-19, 09:06 PM
Well, what else are you going to do with any rubies you accidentally come across whilst you're digging a home? You could sell them for comparatively little (for an entire economy), or permanent, risk-free lighting.
You expect to come across rubies by random chance? :smallconfused:

There's a reason specific mines exist for them. :smalltongue:



In the long run, as long as we can go for roughly a year or more without needing to replace them (such as from theft or dispelling), continual flames will be more efficient. Additionally, the costs associated with their replacement and storage are much lower, and they do not consume the air. This makes magic fire much more efficient for permanent underground structures.
The alternative isn't regular torches, it's no torches at all. And no torches is by far the more cost-efficient choice for races with darkvision (which includes every underground race I can think of).

All you've shown is that when the choice comes to be made between torches and Continual Flames, the latter is more efficient. And one just needs to look at how widely-used LED/florescent lightbulbs are(n't) in real life to see that people will still use the option that's less costly in the short term, even over long periods of time. :smallsigh:


They might have a small tunnel as an entrance making it easy to defend, would probably still be more logical to have a narrow bridge over a natural chasm since it would make it harder to block. The chasm would also be useful to provide extra air circulation.
That isn't exactly a something that's controllable, though.


Even short surface tunnels would still be at least 2 people across and 6 feet high. The main problem with having a deeper tunnel be this small is your going to run out of air if you try to build a city with interconnecting tunnels.
The size of the tunnel won't make air flow less, because the effort that's saved would be used in making more tunnels. In fact, that might be even better for airflow...


Plus when you hit territory where canarys would be useful it's going to be at lethal levels for a much greater spread than if you had a wide area for the poisonous or explosive gas to disperse in.
That never stopped real-life coal miners from digging tunnels this small. :smallamused:


In your smaller tunnels you would probably kill everyone quite easily simply by cooking food.
Forges and Hearths need more ventilation than just tunnels, anyways. They'd probably have direct shafts to the surface.

C'nor
2013-05-19, 09:20 PM
The alternative isn't regular torches, it's no torches at all. And no torches is by far the more cost-efficient choice for races with darkvision (which includes every underground race I can think of).


Yes. If you completely ignore psychology, the fact that even in my plan, which did not account for Continual Flames (or at least assumed no wizards) I had specific shafts for air for the fire/smoke removal, and the fact that with multiple lights, you can probably see farther than the range of darkvision, and with more detail due to it not being black and white - an important thing given the size you insist on making these, as walking past someone going the other way is going to require a fair amount of maneuvering, especially if you're carrying stuff and/or pushing a mine cart - then congratulations. Darkvision is a better option.



Forges and Hearths need more ventilation than just tunnels, anyways. They'd probably have direct shafts to the surface.

Yes, because digging up through the other levels of the city isn't going to cause weak points in the buildings at all. Oh no, the entire city is completely controlled by a council, all of whom are capable architects, and determine where new rooms/buildings can be made, which is impossible without their permission.

And of course, all of them have eidetic memories, so that they can perfectly recall the plans for every level of this place and quickly determine where such new construction won't cause problems.

Geordnet
2013-05-19, 09:27 PM
Yes. If you completely ignore psychology, the fact that even in my plan, which did not account for Continual Flames (or at least assumed no wizards) I had specific shafts for air for the fire/smoke removal, and the fact that with multiple lights, you can probably see farther than the range of darkvision, and with more detail due to it not being black and white - an important thing given the size you insist on making these, as walking past someone going the other way is going to require a fair amount of maneuvering, especially if you're carrying stuff and/or pushing a mine cart - then congratulations. Darkvision is a better option.
Ventilation shafts take even more work than the Continual Flames do, psychology would state that nobody spends that much extra effort when they don't have to, and why are you walking down a cart tunnel in a tightly-controlled mining operation? :smallyuk:

C'nor
2013-05-19, 09:37 PM
...and why are you walking down a cart tunnel in a tightly-controlled mining operation? :smallyuk:

Because it's not a tightly controlled mining operation, it's a city. Kindly quit moving the goalposts. :smallyuk:

Also, Transmute Rock to Mud is a spell available to druids. Seeing as this was going to be moving through various levels of the city, near the interior areas, its range of 100 ft. +10 ft./level is more than enough to be making the shafts.

Geordnet
2013-05-19, 09:55 PM
Because it's not a tightly controlled mining operation, it's a city. Kindly quit moving the goalposts. :smallyuk:
Um, I thought we were talking about a random tunnel out in a dungeon somewhere, not a city. :smallconfused:

And whatever the operation is, it's bound to be tightly controlled because once again, space is at a premium.



Also, Transmute Rock to Mud is a spell available to druids. Seeing as this was going to be moving through various levels of the city, near the interior areas, its range of 100 ft. +10 ft./level is more than enough to be making the shafts.
And, when you factor in its spellcasting cost, how does that compare to Continual Flames? :smalltongue:

Sylthia
2013-05-19, 11:39 PM
It would seem odd to have a large underground city, and not have some sort of mining operation. From an economic standpoint, they have to have some way to support themselves. And cities usually form for some sort of commerce reason.

Slipperychicken
2013-05-20, 01:06 AM
The alternative isn't regular torches, it's no torches at all. And no torches is by far the more cost-efficient choice for races with darkvision (which includes every underground race I can think of).


Suppose these people wish to see farther than 30ft in front of their faces? Perhaps they have large spaces like underground cities they must navigate. Perhaps they wish to enjoy the beauty of colors other than black and white. Perhaps their preferred beasts of burden do not possess Darkvision or similar abilities.

Perhaps they need to give fast-moving characters (messengers, those fleeing disaster) more than 30ft of warning before crashing into walls, obstacles, and people.

If they're in an underground city, Darkvision barely lets you see across the street (even 60ft darkvision is quite limiting), allows thugs and criminals the chance to lurk unseen simply by staying 60ft away from people, and heaven forbid you want to find someone in a crowd, or locate a stall in a bustling market square.



All you've shown is that when the choice comes to be made between torches and Continual Flames, the latter is more efficient. And one just needs to look at how widely-used LED/florescent lightbulbs are(n't) in real life to see that people will still use the option that's less costly in the short term, even over long periods of time. :smallsigh:


My family gave fluorescent bulbs a chance for a while. They are cheaper and better for the environment, and we recognize that, but we dropped them because they simply weren't bright enough. They took so long to turn on, and were so dim (I could barely read by squinting in that pitiful illumination), that it was annoying and not worth it.

Geordnet
2013-05-20, 02:31 AM
Suppose these people wish to see farther than 30ft in front of their faces? Perhaps they have large spaces like underground cities they must navigate. Perhaps they wish to enjoy the beauty of colors other than black and white. Perhaps their preferred beasts of burden do not possess Darkvision or similar abilities.
Then they carry a personal lantern.

It's sure cheaper than lining the halls with them, and the burden is placed on private individuals instead of on the collective whole.



Perhaps they need to give fast-moving characters (messengers, those fleeing disaster) more than 30ft of warning before crashing into walls, obstacles, and people.
What the heck is going 20+ mph* down there? :smalleek:
*30 ft/s



If they're in an underground city, Darkvision barely lets you see across the street (even 60ft darkvision is quite limiting), allows thugs and criminals the chance to lurk unseen simply by staying 60ft away from people, and heaven forbid you want to find someone in a crowd, or locate a stall in a bustling market square.
Okay, large crowded areas are nowhere near what we're supposed to be talking about, which is to say random tunnels in dungeons. In that sort of situation, of course you're going to have lighting. But that's not what I've been talking about at all.



My family gave fluorescent bulbs a chance for a while. They are cheaper and better for the environment, and we recognize that, but we dropped them because they simply weren't bright enough. They took so long to turn on, and were so dim (I could barely read by squinting in that pitiful illumination), that it was annoying and not worth it.
The last LED lightbulb I bought was actually much brighter than the one it replaced, will last ~15 times as long, and I calculated the break-even point at about two years. So, yeah it's a valid example. :smalltongue:

Slipperychicken
2013-05-20, 11:44 AM
What the heck is going 20+ mph* down there? :smalleek:
*30 ft/s


Obviously, the Kobold or Drow version of Paul Revere would need to rush through the warren crying out "The adventurers are coming! The adventurers are coming!", or otherwise swiftly alert people to danger. If there's an emergency situation like an impending cave-in, fire, attacking monsters, or magical disaster, that news needs to reach people ASAP, and people will ride their mounts at full tilt out of there.

Higher-ups need their orders quickly delivered in a crisis, and it may be important to see things more than 30ft out, like you might place torches at an entrance important points so that thieves and intruders can't skulk about unseen in the dark.

I see everburning torches functioning like street lights, used to make sure people can use the roads safely and with a minimum of incident, and so people can find their front doors in the dark.

Geordnet
2013-05-20, 06:15 PM
Obviously, the Kobold or Drow version of Paul Revere would need to rush through the warren crying out "The adventurers are coming! The adventurers are coming!", or otherwise swiftly alert people to danger. If there's an emergency situation like an impending cave-in, fire, attacking monsters, or magical disaster, that news needs to reach people ASAP, and people will ride their mounts at full tilt out of there.
Mounts underground? :smallconfused:

Why don't they just use horns? Or dedicated cart tunnels? :smalltongue:

Anyways, you still seem to be stuck on "underground city" mode. That's an entirely different matter from what we're talking about, which is just random tunnels. Anything that big is going to be following it's own set of rules.

C'nor
2013-05-21, 03:43 AM
It would seem odd to have a large underground city, and not have some sort of mining operation. From an economic standpoint, they have to have some way to support themselves. And cities usually form for some sort of commerce reason.

A rothe farming community, which is also responsible for producing much of the feed for the area, due to the fact that the optimal materials have better growing conditions there than they do in most of the region, due to seepage from an above-ground river and several springs in the area providing a ready source of water and nutrients.

It's also famed for the quality of the local mushroom wines, and exports them to neighboring areas as luxury items.

It was first founded due to an exploratory party coming upon a set of natural caverns there, and noting the potential for use, but has since been expanded into a bustling city, complete with large access tunnels from many communities, and multiple stockyards.

In other words, a large self-sustaining community with a good reason for being where it is, and no mines at all.

Sylthia
2013-05-21, 04:20 PM
A rothe farming community, which is also responsible for producing much of the feed for the area, due to the fact that the optimal materials have better growing conditions there than they do in most of the region, due to seepage from an above-ground river and several springs in the area providing a ready source of water and nutrients.

It's also famed for the quality of the local mushroom wines, and exports them to neighboring areas as luxury items.

It was first founded due to an exploratory party coming upon a set of natural caverns there, and noting the potential for use, but has since been expanded into a bustling city, complete with large access tunnels from many communities, and multiple stockyards.

In other words, a large self-sustaining community with a good reason for being where it is, and no mines at all.

Not out of the question, just the exception to the rule.