[D&D] Just how big is a 5x5 ft. square in combat?


Rune Priest
In my teens, I spent a few years as a member of a medieval re-enactment group, primarily doing one handed sword or sword and shield displays at summer fairs and the like. The fighting style we used was in no way authentic, it was based on sabre fencing IIRC, designed to look flashy and meet the public's expectations of what sword fighting looked like.

From that experience, a 5x5 square would be the very minimum you could actually fight in, and that would restrict the types of move you could make (2.5 ft of sword on the end of 3 ft of arm leaves a 5 ft box really easily). It would be like fencers on a piste, you'd have to fight forwards and back (well, as far as the 10 ft of depth gives you, which isn't much).

A 10x10 square (20x10 fight space) would leave you plenty of room to actually maneuver, but you would also end up going around and round, so if you were trying to block access to an area that would be different.

All of this is my musings on a one handed sword, a 2-hander really needs more room as the videos show, and a dagger fight is more or less at home in confined spaces.


The Guvnor
Staff member
It's an arbitrary ground scale. It could be just 6 squares or hexes for humans, 5 for hobbits and dwarfs etc.