What proportion of the population are adventurers? - Page 9
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by snickersnax View Post
    As far as fighter levels go:

    I know a lot of martial artists - both eastern and western, many of whom are excellent. I know a lot of street fighters who even in their 40's - 70's are getting into fights. I live in Amish country and every weekend they get together and wrestle. Because it seems so common in real life, I can't imagine fighter training not being a natural part of survival in a world where death is often caused by losing a fight.

    As far as other classes go:

    I live near a spiritualist community and mediumship and healing are not an uncommon pursuits.

    I work as a healer and witness miracles quite often, in a professional capacity many of my colleagues do as well.

    I know many people who study and practice shamanism.

    I know people who have fought bears, survived mass shootings in foreign countries, killed lots of people, won fist fights vs multiple opponents, are expert hunters. Magic IRL is poorly modeled by D&D, but I know many people whose lives are filled with magic. When I start to add up the people in my head who have at least one level and many who I would consider to have 5+ levels It doesn't talk long to be thinking about hundreds of people.

    There are "classes" that I don't see many of, but I don't think that they don't exist; they just aren't in my circle of acquaintances. Rogues fall into that category.
    While I also know many martial artists and military, most I wouldn't consider to have levels in anything. Just as a "Guard" monster has no levels of Fighter or anything else. Although a Priest can cast spells equal to a 5th-level cleric, he has no levels of Cleric.

    IRL, someone who studies religion and practices it doesn't make them a Cleric or Druid. Also, I would like to consider all the people you know who likely wouldn't have any levels in a class. What levels does a cashier have? a car washer? a politician? While you might live in a different type of community, the vast majority of the world is rather mundane IMO. There is nothing wrong with that at all, and many people seem perfectly happy to live mundane lives. Unless a major thing happens to them, they will likely never be adventures.

    Either way, thanks for your input.

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    While I also know many martial artists and military, most I wouldn't consider to have levels in anything. Just as a "Guard" monster has no levels of Fighter or anything else. Although a Priest can cast spells equal to a 5th-level cleric, he has no levels of Cleric.
    5e's division of NPCs and PCs is a game construction to simplify things for the DM. In the real world there are no NPCs. There might be low level or zero level people, but almost everyone has the capacity to improve themselves.

    OTOH, I have a friend who plays a lot of TT games and also fights. When he is in a RL practice fight and attacks he is always thinking that he is rolling dice. In his mind he is calculating his chance of landing shots before he throws them. He's not a bad fighter, but these ideas have level capped him and prevent him from gaining levels. Maybe he's an NPC?

    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    IRL, someone who studies religion and practices it doesn't make them a Cleric or Druid. Also, I would like to consider all the people you know who likely wouldn't have any levels in a class. What levels does a cashier have? a car washer? a politician? While you might live in a different type of community, the vast majority of the world is rather mundane IMO. There is nothing wrong with that at all, and many people seem perfectly happy to live mundane lives. Unless a major thing happens to them, they will likely never be adventures.

    Either way, thanks for your input.
    I guess it depends on whether practicing a religion includes doing exorcisms and laying-of-hands. But you're right the modern world has a lot of jobs that don't translate to adventuring levels, and it also has loads of entertainment to prevent people from pursuing them in their downtime. I think if you search for it though, it's possible to discover that the real world is more magical than you imagine.

    Sometimes I play a game with myself when I go to the store. I try to pick the cashier with the highest number of levels in cashier skills rather than the shortest line. Not only do I often get cashed out quicker, but I get to practice spotting people with skill levels, and have an interaction with a skilled person. When I do it often enough I notice that my ability to spot skilled people improves. OR I might pick the person who looks the happiest and bask in their radiating glow when they greet me in the line, or I might pick the person who looks like they need a kind word and see if I can be the catalyst to shift their mood and help them have a better day.

    One day you might wake up and discover you are meeting people like the Magus of Strovolos, and you didn't even have to travel to Cyprus because they were living in your home town.
    XP Radaceus gave XP for this post

  3. #83
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    There are definitely people with levels in "skills", but that doesn't necessarily give them classes, too. This translates into a higher proficiency bonus, but classes and levels and all the associated features don't apply. A lot of it is just how you view the world and your interpretation. Thanks for your insight.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by BookBarbarian View Post
    Very interesting.

    I avoid Schrodinger statblock by simply grabbing NPC statblocks form the book(s) and using them.
    And that is a good approach. When a system provides NPC statblocks like that, what it's really doing is filling in demographic details - this is what average persons with a given job look like. The only thing really missing from having a complete demographic system is an idea of roughly how common a particular type of NPC is - for example, how many NPCs with the Merchant statblock are in a typical town of 500 people. Quite often, rather than giving lists, a system effectively provides the answer to that through examples of play. That is, the system will provide some sort of supplement (often an adventure supplement or module) with a small sample town and a collection of NPCs that inhabit it.

    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.
    Demographics let you get away not having NPC stat blocks, or having only bare minimums of stat blocks. For example, you can just say, "There is a blacksmith named Bob Black..." and focus on the sort of things that are important to play, if anything, about Bob without having to spend the time to develop a statblock for him. Interactions with Bob Black, can then be governed by pulling in a standard statblock, perhaps making some minimal adjustment (Bob you decide has 16 STR, since smiths are stronger than average merchants and Bob is burly), whether Bob is now trying to brain the PC's with a hammer, or the PC's are haggling with Bob over the price of shoeing a horse, you can assign attack ratings and DC to player charisma checks as they come up, rather than trying to figure this out in the middle of the game or wasting time developing stat blocks you don't need.

    If the system provides you these standard stat blocks and you are happy with them, then great. Otherwise, you develop your own over time. Get in a barroom brawl with a sailor? Pull in the standard sailor stat block you used five sessions ago when the PCs were fighting pirates.

    1e AD&D was really good about this, so that for example you could reasonably list a sandbox encounter of "Orc Tribe: 46 warriors", and have enough detail to improvise the encounter, or heck roll a random orc warband on an encounter table and be up and running with a full encounter in moments.
    Last edited by Celebrim; Thursday, 30th May, 2019 at 06:00 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
    Experience to level!
    Unfortunately, I'm a level-0 commoner with no use for XP.
    Laugh Parmandur laughed with this post

  6. #86
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    It is going to be a relatively small number of adventurers depending on the events, location, and cultural atmosphere. However, I like to know the numbers behind the scenes as it were. To remain consistent in my own campaign world. It may not seem like much for some, but I know it is something my players would notice. And call out to me, either at the table or after.

    So example. My players are currently in the province of Westermont. An island off the coast of the Empire proper. It is frontier land. As far as the Empire is concerned. As such the people are more rugged, and have to deal with more dangers in fauna, flora, and indigenous tribes. I would say that here, there is many more other 'adventurers' than further east, to the main land. That may be subject to change however.

    Which leads to events. While the players have been isolated from 'world' news, a war of succession is just breaking out. No real battles just yet. A skirmish and various houses and governors scrambling to pick sides and figure out their power-base. I suspect, that as time goes on, this will lead to a marked increase in adventurers. With the rule of law being harder to maintain in once peaceful lands, there will be much for them to do. Especially with bandits and mercenaries about.

    This points to another of my thoughts. There are nation-states that are vassals to this larger Empire. Not fully inducted, but still somewhat subservient. Not all of them are likely to sit on their hands. The Island nation of Jace for one. Their culture is steeped in the warrior's way. They live to make war and reave. Will their many mercenary companies sell themselves out? Will the nation try and throw off the shackles of vassalage? Depending, they may add even more to the count of adventurers running around.

    It is an interesting topic to say the least. At least from my perspective as an avid fan of world building.

  7. #87
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    In my current game, The proportion of adventurers would be about equal to the number of prospectors in the Klondike at the height of the Yukon Gold Rush.

    Although that's the population of the city district with the main entrance to the megadungeon ( kinda like Delver's Square in Ptolus, but different). Outside that district, the number of adventurers is essentially zero, or more accurately: unimportant.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    And that is a good approach. When a system provides NPC statblocks like that, what it's really doing is filling in demographic details - this is what average persons with a given job look like. The only thing really missing from having a complete demographic system is an idea of roughly how common a particular type of NPC is - for example, how many NPCs with the Merchant statblock are in a typical town of 500 people. Quite often, rather than giving lists, a system effectively provides the answer to that through examples of play. That is, the system will provide some sort of supplement (often an adventure supplement or module) with a small sample town and a collection of NPCs that inhabit it.
    Very good point. I do heavily rely on those descriptions and layouts in adventures and other supplements. Very much relying on someone else's knowledge of demographics.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radaceus View Post
    In my case, I dropped out of highschool ( note, I did have high marks, it's a longer story..), did 8 years in the Bering Sea, got my GED in the mean time, as well as learned several aspects of the building industry on my off seasons, which I parlayed into my next chapter as a carpenter and builder...etc. and so on...
    But I digress,

    In my travels, which includes living on three continents, I've toiled next to all manner of folk, and your blanket textbook assessment above is, in my humble opinion, inaccurate. Many 'skilled' people that I have had the honor of working beside had no degrees, little in the way of education; they learned their trades by application, not in a classroom. And this has been the way of the worker since time immemorial.
    Yes, I said education *and* training. You don't need to be highly "educated" (in degrees) to be skilled. You do have to be trained. You are. The worker in the middle ages would not have had the opportunity to travel, learn, and gain skills like you did. He would have been stuck in the same locale, doing largely the same job his father did. The possibility of running off to the city and learning something new being a fairly low order probability. That's my point.

    *edit* I was, in short, not claiming formal education, as the only route to skills. I have been trained in a number of areas not covered by my college education... the options for that training are largely a result of modern society. High mobility, technology, literacy, and the acceptance of "strangers" (i.e. somebody you did not grow up with), among other factors of modern life make training / skills much more available.
    Last edited by R_Chance; Sunday, 2nd June, 2019 at 09:08 PM.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Chance View Post
    Yes, I said education *and* training. You don't need to be highly "educated" (in degrees) to be skilled. You do have to be trained. You are. The worker in the middle ages would not have had the opportunity to travel, learn, and gain skills like you did. He would have been stuck in the same locale, doing largely the same job his father did. The possibility of running off to the city and learning something new being a fairly low order probability. That's my point.

    *edit* I was, in short, not claiming formal education, as the only route to skills. I have been trained in a number of areas not covered by my college education... the options for that training are largely a result of modern society. High mobility, technology, literacy, and the acceptance of "strangers" (i.e. somebody you did not grow up with), among other factors of modern life make training / skills much more available.
    I think you are vastly underestimating the cosmopolitan nature of the Middle Ages.

    First, in the Middle Ages they organized a continental wide network of scholars, operating under the auspices of the Catholic Church and using church Latin as a common language to unite people of diverse backgrounds.

    Secondly, the Middle Ages had continental wide trade undertaken by cosmopolitan merchants, that shipped wool, flax, copper, silver, indigo, tin, iron, marble, lace, buttons, silk and any number of other things pretty much every where. Even small villages could be consuming material produced half a continent away.

    Thirdly, the Middle Ages had an important class of highly skilled itinerant labors engaged in the construction of castles and cathedrals, which would pack up their shops and go wherever there was work, and whose work in stone, lead, and glass was as good as any the world has ever known from any era. They outdid the ancients in stone and glass, and they are not surpassed in craftsmanship since.

    Consider also that there were professional mercenaries that would operate all over the European continent and beyond, and in this period a not insignificant number of people who would journey to the Holy Land on crusade or pilgrimage (which at the time, they didn't really separate into two different things).

    While it would be true that the vast majority of people in the middle ages would never go more than eight miles from home, I don't think that is proof that the level of craftsmanship in the middle ages was low. What would be true about most peoples knowledge is that it was very narrow. You might only receiving training from your father (or if an apprentice, someone's father), but it was a refinement of centuries of understanding of whatever trade your teacher practiced.

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