What proportion of the population are adventurers? - Page 8
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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hriston View Post
    Thank you! What do I win?
    Experience to level!

  2. #72
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    For my campaign, I estimate about 1 in 1,000 individuals ever gain a level in a PC class. Then I assume about 66% die or retire before reaching the next level.
    So in a world with about 200 million people I get at any given time the following

    Tier 1 - 300,000
    Tier 2 - 3,500
    Tier 3 - 13
    Tier 4 - 0

    Tier 4 characters show up about once every 20 generations or so.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmad1977 View Post
    Pretty much just the PCs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    By not playing 5e, a game that has basically no interest in demographics or areas of life that exist outside of the adventure?

    The 5e answer is that NPC's don't use the same rules as PC's.
    This is in fact one of my favorite things about 5e. As my game is focused on the experience for the people at the table I try not to do any world building beyond what the PCs will interact with.

    I find the thread interesting to read, but it won't in anyway effect how I run the game.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    By not playing 5e, a game that has basically no interest in demographics or areas of life that exist outside of the adventure?

    The 5e answer is that NPC's don't use the same rules as PC's.
    Hmm...I was under the impression that the "5E answer" was play the game as you like, so if demographics are important to your setting design, have at it.

    (Actually, that has been the answer in every variation of D&D, as far as I'm concerned)
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  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurius View Post
    Hmm...I was under the impression that the "5E answer" was play the game as you like, so if demographics are important to your setting design, have at it.

    (Actually, that has been the answer in every variation of D&D, as far as I'm concerned)
    Oh I agree, but for each addition the distance between 'as is' and 'as I like it' varies. For 5e on some fronts it would mean a lot more work than some other editions. And probably, on some other fronts it would mean less.

    What I mean is that out of the box 5e doesn't answer the question of "What are ordinary NPCs in the setting like?" with any attempt at systematic or casual realism, and as such the DM would be on his own to build a system if he wanted a systematic answer to that question. So, for example, I'd find myself building rules for non-PC classed NPCs.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by BookBarbarian View Post
    This is in fact one of my favorite things about 5e. As my game is focused on the experience for the people at the table I try not to do any world building beyond what the PCs will interact with.

    I find the thread interesting to read, but it won't in anyway effect how I run the game.
    That's great, but I can explain why it matters to my game and does impact how PC's interact with the world.

    Demographics allow me as the DM to improvise while still mostly wearing my Referee hat with its stance of neutrality, without having to put on my Storyteller hat with its non-neutral goals or at least serving to keep in check the impulses of my Storyteller hat. In other words, without setting myself some guidelines for what NPCs were like, when I found myself stating up an NPC on the fly there would be a temptation to tailor the NPC to the level and abilities of the PCs or to the outcome I wanted to produce. And while that isn't all bad, when you are dealing with improvisation there is a strong temptation to Schrodinger's stat blocks, and that's a form of railroading. So by having an idea regarding average ability scores, average levels, commonality of classes, and indeed what stat block the every persons of the setting has, then when it matters what the abilities of an NPC are, I can import in an appropriate NPC without prejudice.

    So for example, if the rogue wants to con a merchant, then I know I can make decision based on what I a priori established as fair and not based on whether I'm happy with the rogue's player making the decision to con the honest merchant. And if the rogue fails in his con, then I can make a decision on what stats the town watch has based on what I a priori established and not based on whether or not I want the rogue to get away rather than being caught. And my player's eventually come to see me as the sort of DM that gives them a fair shake, and doesn't level up every merchant in the town just because the rogue is now 10th level. And society stays what it is as the PC increases in power and importance, and so leveling up is meaningful, and not just merely fighting level 70 bears with the same chance of success and same difficulty that you had fighting a level 7 bear.

    That's one of the reason world building is meaningful.
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  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    That's great, but I can explain why it matters to my game and does impact how PC's interact with the world.

    Demographics allow me as the DM to improvise while still mostly wearing my Referee hat with its stance of neutrality, without having to put on my Storyteller hat with its non-neutral goals or at least serving to keep in check the impulses of my Storyteller hat. In other words, without setting myself some guidelines for what NPCs were like, when I found myself stating up an NPC on the fly there would be a temptation to tailor the NPC to the level and abilities of the PCs or to the outcome I wanted to produce. And while that isn't all bad, when you are dealing with improvisation there is a strong temptation to Schrodinger's stat blocks, and that's a form of railroading. So by having an idea regarding average ability scores, average levels, commonality of classes, and indeed what stat block the every persons of the setting has, then when it matters what the abilities of an NPC are, I can import in an appropriate NPC without prejudice.

    So for example, if the rogue wants to con a merchant, then I know I can make decision based on what I a priori established as fair and not based on whether I'm happy with the rogue's player making the decision to con the honest merchant. And if the rogue fails in his con, then I can make a decision on what stats the town watch has based on what I a priori established and not based on whether or not I want the rogue to get away rather than being caught. And my player's eventually come to see me as the sort of DM that gives them a fair shake, and doesn't level up every merchant in the town just because the rogue is now 10th level. And society stays what it is as the PC increases in power and importance, and so leveling up is meaningful, and not just merely fighting level 70 bears with the same chance of success and same difficulty that you had fighting a level 7 bear.

    That's one of the reason world building is meaningful.
    Very interesting.

    I avoid Schrodinger statblock by simply grabbing NPC statblocks form the book(s) and using them. I would never consider improving a merchant just because the rogue is a high level. Not just because I think it would be a horrible "gotcha" to the player, but because I am far to lazy to put effort into that NPC.

    Unless there is a really good reason for this merchant to be special he wouldn't even get a statblock. The Rogue would most likely just make some sort of check(s) based on whatever approach they took against a DC I set.

    "Was this merchant an Adventurer?" really isn't a question I would ask myself when considering what the DC is. "How shrewd is this merchant?" certainly is. I feel I can ask myself those kind of questions honestly as a neutral DM without any knowledge of demographics whatsoever.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    Oh I agree, but for each addition the distance between 'as is' and 'as I like it' varies. For 5e on some fronts it would mean a lot more work than some other editions. And probably, on some other fronts it would mean less.

    What I mean is that out of the box 5e doesn't answer the question of "What are ordinary NPCs in the setting like?" with any attempt at systematic or casual realism, and as such the DM would be on his own to build a system if he wanted a systematic answer to that question. So, for example, I'd find myself building rules for non-PC classed NPCs.
    OK, fair enough - and I agree. This is an issue of setting design and to what degree the world exists beyond the active environment of game play. There are two polarities, one being the "Tolkien approach" in which setting design is a creative activity in itself, in some cases even more primary (to the DM) than game play; the other polarity being the "moving set piece" approach in which everything serves the set of game play itself. Most of us fall somewhere in-between, or incorporate elements of both.

  9. #79
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    Statistically insignificant and as plot requires.

  10. #80
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    My point was lost in a level of conceit, which is my using myself as an example ( also breaking a major rule of the intrawebs: When on the internet, Don't talk about your personal life on the internet...).

    So, points of topic:
    Levels vs Experience-
    NPCS not 'leveling up' is absurd. for the purpose of game mechanics, NPCs are not created in the same manner as Player Characters, but they can still represent a nominal level as per their life experiences. This is a function of streamlining the game design, it's easier to manage, but it does not imply that NPCs are not experienced.

    Location and Environment
    Depending on their location, the common NPC in the area may be level 0 (having a little experience, at most a common laborer) and rise as high a rank as possible. How many Champions are out their (a 13+ level fighter stated as an NPC)? How many Priests (5th level spell caster)? how many Cult fanatics ( 4th level Spell caster)? How many Drow Elites? Red Wizards of Thay, of all tiers? Monks of the many brotherhoods? and so on...

    Arguably, the citizenry of a major city is more likely to be tradespeople and merchants; a port city will have sailors and pirates. Theses citizens will probably be mostly fighters and thieves when represented by their stat blocks and available actions, and have a higher percentage of lower tier represented. A remote outpost will likely have more experienced NPCs, adventurers and explorers, and have a higher average tier represented. A place like Thay will have more spellcasters represented, the High Wood will have more elves represented.

    Real World vs Fantasy Setting
    Using real world history to dismiss, or rarefy, spellcasters is arbitrary. One could use Scientists, Doctors, and Engineers as an equivalent representation in the real world, Alchemists, Shamans, Astronomers if you want to use an early time setting instead of modern day.

    With regards, to real world military versus fantasy, it again depends on location and environment, the Italian City States had a higher level of martial training per capita. The Ancient Greeks, and little siblings, the Early Romans, were highly trained on average; the same can be said of many of the 'barbarian' tribes roving across Europe in antiquity.
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