1. NomNomKing123
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    NomNomKing123 New Member

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    Calculating Distance

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by NomNomKing123, Mar 20, 2016.

    In my WIP fantasy novel, i am having trouble fitting together the distances. I need to find out how long it would take a character to get from point A to point B.

    Obviously, there are many variables in trying to figure this out, such as:

    Terrain (Is the land hilly, flat, filled with trees or barren)
    Mode of transport (Walking, marching with soldiers, horseback riding)
    Urgency (Does the character REALLY need to get there, or can they take their time somewhat)

    For my example, a character takes out from a city on horseback at approx. 9:00 and he doesn't get home until about 7:00 at night. He is on the road for about 10 hours and has to cross two bridges over small rivers. The land my character crosses through is hilly but he stays along the coast where it is flat and close to sea level.

    At an average horse riding pace, how many american miles is a 10 hour ride.

    I haven't created alternate systems of measurement for my story (if i even will) but if i do i could just convert it using google.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know the answer, but wanted to suggest that a simple conversion may not work, because a horse can presumably go a good deal faster for a half-hour ride followed by a rest, versus a sustained ten-hour ride.

    (Tremors: "Here's the plan. We don't even stop. Ride like hell. Tonight we keep right on going. We'll walk the horses.")
     
  3. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    It depends on the pace: i.e., how fast the horse is going in mph. Here's an easy way to figure things (using old D&D mechanics and Wikipedia):

    Base movement rate: Walking (2-4 mph); marching (3 mph), running (4-6 mph), forced march (6 mph), riding (4 mph walk, 8 mph trot, 10-17 canter, 25-30 mph full gallop)
    Terrain: Provides a modifier to the pace. Hills: x1/2; trees: x3/4.

    So, you'd be going around 40 miles. (BTW, thanks for asking this question - I would've had to do the research myself at some point, and now I have it.)
     
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  4. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Small practical matter - - if you do this very often you will kill the horse, just like people they need time to eat and sleep, plus bearing a rider is hard work. If all they get is pasture, a horse will need 12 to 16 hours a day to eat. That time can be reduced by supplementing with grain, but they horse will still need to do a fair bit of grazing to maintain good digestive health.

    On a trail ride, 20 miles a day is considered making good progress.
     
  5. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I think as a general rule, no one will raise much question if you just write "they pushed their mounts really hard and made good time" in high fantasy novels. At least, from my experience, no one really complains that much when it happens in stories like A Song of Ice and Fire and other similar works.
     
  6. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    True, that. No one's going to be measuring the map in the front of the book and wondering "How the hell did they get there so fast?" unless they cross a thousands miles in a week. As long as it sounds good, and as long as it isn't plot-specific, you don't have to be precise.
     

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