Aquam: Base Individual amounts in volume

From recent discussions in the thread [url]] about the Form of Aquam, I thought I'd make some calculations about what the colourful descriptions like "a pool 5 paces (15 feet) across and 2 paces deep at the centre".

All my calculations will be in metric, but I'll use conversions with more precision than my usual quick-and-dirty method, plus I'll use Pi on a scientific calculator rather than just "3" like when calculation in my head.
I also assume the pool has a sloping bottom, so I calculate volume as a cylinder with half the given depth as the average height of the object, that should be close enough.

So, a pace is apparently 1 yard since 5 paces is 15 feet.

Water: "a pool 5 paces (15 feet) across and 2 paces deep at the center" is 15012 liters

Naturally occurring liquids (fruit juice, olive oil by examples) is 1/10th that of water, so 1501 liters, or "2 paces across, 1 pace deep at the center" giving 1200 liters, numbers are a little off here

Processed liquids (e.g. beer, wine) is 1/100th that of water, so 150 liters, or "a pool 1 pace across, half a pace deep at the center" giving 150 liters

Corrosive or dangerous liquids is 1/1000th that of water, so 15 liters, or " a pool a foot across and six inches deep at the center" giving 5,6 liters, numbers are off here, If calculated without a sloping bottom, so the height of cylinder is 6 inches I get 11 liters.

Poisons is "a single dose"

Anyway, that's the number I get, which should be close enough for Mythic Europe

A pace is 75 cm long. Ars Magica usually makes rough unit conversions for the sake of simplicity.

It is a little bit less of what you calculated, but again, for the sake of simplicity, it is a good approximation.


An AM pace is approximately 1 yard for players in the US and approximately 1 meter for players in most of the rest of the world.

Of course, it could be argued that the entire history of House Tremere is little more than an ongoing defense of the Roman pace, first against the Greeks who corrupted the Roman pace and then House Diedne, who used the Welsh pace. Perhaps the ultimate defeat of House Diedne lies in their inferior magics, based on the smaller pace.



Christian and Ken are correct.

Look, even, at the very site you referenced. What does the site suggest "pace" might mean here? It doesn't say 75 cm. It says it might be around 75 cm (or 76.2 cm), or it could be double that. But it could also be 148 cm because of Roman influence, or it could be 2.5 Greek feet (roughly somewhere between 74 and 81 cm) since the physics is based on Greek natural philosophy. As funny as I find Ken's Tremere comment, it's probably not Welsh paces. The site also says it could be something less formal, like the surveyor's pace. Probably most importantly, it points out that paces began as informal units, and we are playing nearly a millennium ago.

So how do we know what sort of formal or informal system ArM5 uses? Well, it tells us. It tells us a pace is 3 feet. They could have said 15 feet is 6 paces, matching the 2.5 feet/pace, but they didn't. It's nice that we're using "pace," which is less standardized for more people so everyone can switch between 1 pace = 1 yard and 1 pace = 1 meter to make the units comfortable, and no one will really care too much.

The real question is not how long a pace is, but how many tankards to a cubic pace.


And whether we are talking about the tankard of Sigismund II or that of Ranalf the Unready.

Or perhaps we should first get a handle on the number of quaffs to the tankard, since that is the underlying measure of Aquam...




The real measure of Aquam is the dribble, which is precisely the amount of ooze emanating from the body of Guorna that falls off in its own droplet, thereby becoming Aquam.