Tynan Units

Tynan units of measure are the current standard in most parts of Ërdin. The wizards of Tyne developed them out of less rigorous earlier systems and assigned them their current values in relation to certain seemingly-fixed values associated with magical law. The system does not mesh as well as might be desired with the base-10 system of numerals also popularized by Tyne, as the fundamental laws of magic seem to generally favor multiples of six and twelve. A more convenient base-12 system was designed and proposed by the Rakistani goblin mathematician and physicist Shankara Sikdar in 3250, but has not enjoyed widespread acknowledgment or consideration by a populace that has grown accustomed to the Tynan rules.

Note that temperature is not counted among these units, as the most widely used units of temperature (degrees) are neither inventions of Tyne nor associated with any particular known spell values.

Some common Tynan units, and some of their more notable associations with spell values, include the following:


  • Inches. Defined as one-twelfth of a foot. The thickness of walls produced with the spells Wall of Stone and Wall of Iron are always measured with a near-exact integer of inches; the precise number is positively correlated with the level of the caster’s most potent spell (about one inch per two levels). Walls produced with Wall of Ice are similar (about two inches per level). The barred version of the spell Forcecage produces bars exactly half an inch wide, with half-inch gaps between them. Arcane Eyes are almost exactly an inch in diameter. The depth and curvature of a Floating Disk is defined by a base exactly one inch lower than the plane of its rim. The spell Control Water is incapable of reducing a volume of water to a depth of less than one inch. An inch of base metals will block most of the Detect family of divinations (lead is particularly effective, and will block them even in sheets the thickness of a human hair).
  • Feet. The maximum ranges of non-touch spells have been shown to almost universally fall into three set base distances: “close” (25 feet), “medium” (100 feet), and “long” (400 feet). In practice, these maximum ranges are extended by an additional distance that is positively correlated with the level of the caster’s most potent spell (about 5 additional feet per spell level for “close” spells, 20 for “medium”, and 80 for "long).
  • Paces. Six feet, less useful in dealing with magic than the Tyne-standardized foot and inch, but useful for military commanders who desired an anthropic unit that was near to the length of a typical Tynan soldier’s full stride, i.e. the distance covered in two steps. This unit enabled soldiers to quickly approximate distances by walking them.
  • Miles. A thousand paces, or six thousand feet. A mile, unlike a pace, is very useful in magical study; nearly all spells whose effects cover vast distances will turn out to have their precise distances measured in a round number of miles upon close investigation. Examples include the radius of Control Weather (circle of radius 2 miles, centered on caster) and the distance one may travel by Teleport (transports caster 200 miles per level of caster’s most potent spell). Arcane familiars share an empathic bond with their masters that functions as long as they are within exactly one mile or less of one another.


  • Ounces. This is defined as 1/16th of a pound, and coincides with the weight of liquid product that is consistently created by steeping, fermenting, and distilling a single spell into potion form.
  • Pounds. This is defined as 1/100th the weight of the heaviest burden that can be dragged by an Unseen Servant. It is also 1/375th the weight of what seems to be the heaviest burden that can be lifted off the ground using Telekinesis (noted from the failures of numerous ninth-level-capable casters to exceed the limit). Most golems have minimum weight requirements for the sculpting media from which their bodies are crafted, without which the ritual to bind them to a spirit of elemental earth cannot succeed (1000 for a clay golem, 3000 for a stone golem, and 5000 for an iron golem). Many creatures, especially outsiders, are capable of producing an innate Teleport spell effect without the use of learned components, but can bring only 50 pounds of inanimate objects with them.
  • Tons. 2000 pounds.


  • Gallons. This is defined as 1/8th of a cubic foot. It is also half the liquid capacity of a Floating Disk, and six times the amount of water dispelled by a Decanter of Endless Water per second on its lowest setting.
  • Cubic foot. This is defined as the space enclosed by a perfect cube with edges of precisely one foot.


  • Seconds. This is defined as 1/60th of a minute. It is also 1/6th of the length of time required for a mage to cast a Summon Monster spell of any level.
  • Minutes. This is defined as 1/60th of an hour.
  • Hours. This is defined as 1/24th of a day. Arcane casters must sleep or otherwise rest for a minimum of eight hours before preparing new spells.
  • Days. This is defined as 1/6th of a week. Divine casters are unable to receive new spells from their deities until at least one day has passed since they received them last.
  • Weeks. This is defined as 1/5th of a month. Monks who learn the Quivering Palm technique may perform it at a maximum frequency of once per week. A maximum of ten creatures may be magically produced from a Bag of Tricks per week.
  • Months. This is defined as 1/12th of a year. The second-longest possible duration of Polymorph Any Object is one month (the longest is of uncertain duration, but is at least fifty-three years). The duration of the bound slumber variant of a Binding is measured in a precise integer of months positively correlated with the level of the caster’s most potent spell.
  • Years. This is defined as the time required for Fürdel to complete a full cycle through all possible positions within Kafer’s Corkscrew. It is also the duration of the spells Hallow and Unhallow. The duration of the chaining and slumbering variants of a Binding is also measured in a precise integer of years positively correlated with the level of the caster’s most potent spell.

Tynan Units

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