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D&D 5E Dnd World Demographics Excel Tool - Rarity of Classes and Spells


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Is one in a million (roughly) really so many? Remember that some of those will be liches and demiliches. Remember that many will be too far away, tied up in some potentate's court, exploring other planes, or otherwise inaccessible. Roman-era Britain had a population of about 3.5 million: are 3-4 archmages in that area too much?
That is often the paradox of DnD magic, we want it to be rare, and in the mean time we want wizards guild base on school of magic, access to scroll, spells, a lot of opponents to use counterspell against them.
 

Upthread a Roman legion was mentioned. For me, the skirmishers would be levels 1-2, the legionaries level 2-3, centurions level 4-6, and the senior centurions levels 6-8. There would, of course, be the odd exception.
My take on Roman legion is that:
Use the guard template for rookie and light Troop. maybe 10%.
Use the Veteran template, for the... veterans! Maybe 10% too.
Knight or the Hobgoblin captain template are excellent template for a Centurion.
Unfortunately we don’t have any clear template for a professional soldier.
The Hobgoblin with the Martial advantage feature can make a decent regular soldier, but some feel that it could take some beef up.
 

In order to keep the world feeling the way I want it to, I want a ratio like:
100 L 1
30 L 2
10 L 3
3 L 4
1 L 5

And that anyone above level 5 did not get there by a human mortal lifespan of "practice". To break level 5 you need a supernatural excuse. Maybe you can have a bucketload of raw talent and be level 7; but more likely you traded your ability to love to the unseelie for power.

The eldar races (dwarves snd elves) can pull it off with century+ of young, healthy bodies and minds. This will also be limited, probably to around level 11 (with elves capping out more often than dwarves).

However, cheating happens. Being blessed by divine power, magical lineage, crazy magic rituals where you suck the mojo out of other things, or the fantasy equivalent of super hero gamma ray exposure.

Monster wise, the 5e "guard" is roughly "level 1", the veteran/knight is a L5.

Higher level magic requires ancient magic items, including spell scrolls, or slow and costly ritual magic fueled by ley lines.
Personally I prefer keep a world more realistic. Having 1 soldier that achieve the status of veteran would require an exceptional lethality. For world building and mass number I prefer using Bell curve considering that most soldier are moderately competent, with some Less or more competent.

12 L 1
20 L 2
80 L 3
20 L 4
12 L 5
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Personally I prefer keep a world more realistic. Having 1 soldier that achieve the status of veteran would require an exceptional lethality. For world building and mass number I prefer using Bell curve considering that most soldier are moderately competent, with some Less or more competent.

12 L 1
20 L 2
80 L 3
20 L 4
12 L 5
I consider the "guard" to be competent - a trained and skilled soldier - already. Anyone above that is exceptional.

Having 100 guards (L 1), 30 house troops and guard leaders (L 2), 4 elite companions (L 3-4), and 1 knight (L 5) seems reasonable.
 

I consider the "guard" to be competent - a trained and skilled soldier - already. Anyone above that is exceptional.

Having 100 guards (L 1), 30 house troops and guard leaders (L 2), 4 elite companions (L 3-4), and 1 knight (L 5) seems reasonable.
I have a question,
if in your DnD you were redoing a famous medieval battle like Azincourt, where the French army align 12 000 heavy cavalry Noble Knight, what template would you use for them?

For me I wouldn’t bother. Literally I would assume the Knight template for most of them.
They are the elite of a large kingdom, have time to train, money to equip themselves, so they deserve their stats.

As a DM you may have time to flavor up a few of them, may be a dozen at most.
For unique individuals I will apply rules differently, I can flavor up an incompetent Knight, or one of the best among them, so the stats may be of a 3th level fighter for incompetent ones to a 20th level for an exceptional character.
 
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NotAYakk

Legend
France had 17 million people. So 12k is 0.07% of the population.

Suppose we use "knight", a L5 equivalent roughly. Using my 100 30 10 3 1, that is 1/144 of the people whobare guard" quality or better. So 12,000*144 is 1.8 million people, or 10% of the population being guard or better.

If we say that only the better 1/3 of knights are L 5 and the rest are L3/4, we drop it to 3% of France has the combat capabilities of "guard" or better.
 

Stalker0

Legend
That is often the paradox of DnD magic, we want it to be rare, and in the mean time we want wizards guild base on school of magic, access to scroll, spells, a lot of opponents to use counterspell against them.
This was part of what the excel tried to show. It’s interesting how few high level characters there are in a world if you assume most people are subsistence farmers. The idea of a 10th level character is already very rare...the idea of a party of them is basically unheard of!

It highlights just how insanely special a party of characters would be in many worlds.
 


This was part of what the excel tried to show. It’s interesting how few high level characters there are in a world if you assume most people are subsistence farmers. The idea of a 10th level character is already very rare...the idea of a party of them is basically unheard of!

It highlights just how insanely special a party of characters would be in many worlds.
So maybe add some parameters to tweak those thing.
Or see the problems by the other way. How many wizard of level 5, 9, 17 would make a large city an interesting place and somehow realistic for a Party in search of arcanes secrets?

On an rapid thinking, a large city, 25 000, known for Arcane,
25 wizards level 5+
5 wizard level 9+
2 ArchMage, probably in competition, each of them having most of the lowest wizard on their supervision.
 
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ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
If you think too hard about this, you realize that a 14th level wizard can, with some planning and preparation, function as an elite-level instantaneous travel service (at very little cost to themselves) between cities, a service that would be in high demand, somewhat costly, and would probably make any national scale economy look a lot more like a post-industrial society than we might think looking at sourcebook covers.
 

If you think too hard about this, you realize that a 14th level wizard can, with some planning and preparation, function as an elite-level instantaneous travel service (at very little cost to themselves) between cities, a service that would be in high demand, somewhat costly, and would probably make any national scale economy look a lot more like a post-industrial society than we might think looking at sourcebook covers.
That look interesting for a fantasy world.
 


Well, that's before we even get into the whole undead-as-labor thing.
Or labor done by construct, enslaved elemental, hired fey.
We can imagine a dozen of archmage trying to open a portal beyond outer planes,
or a council of high priest trying to contact an ancient god,
or a group a valorous Knight start a crusade to go kill once for all a Demon Prince,
High level NPC can have silly ideas, get killed and start up some cataclysm that PC will try to resolve!
 

Quartz

Hero
If you think too hard about this, you realize that a 14th level wizard can, with some planning and preparation, function as an elite-level instantaneous travel service (at very little cost to themselves) between cities, a service that would be in high demand, somewhat costly, and would probably make any national scale economy look a lot more like a post-industrial society than we might think looking at sourcebook covers.

This is explored in the Navigators of Kulthea / Shadow World.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
This is an often ignored part of world building. Even in medieval (fantasy) societies there would be much more high level characters than most players/GMs expect.
And don't forget that those people will often not be spread out the country but clustered around certain cities or areas.

So even there the PCs are not as special as some believe.
And it gets even worse in Sci-fantasy settings when the number of farmers go down a lot and you have a structured schooling system which makes advancement in "learning" classes much more common.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Or labor done by construct, enslaved elemental, hired fey.
We can imagine a dozen of archmage trying to open a portal beyond outer planes,
or a council of high priest trying to contact an ancient god,
or a group a valorous Knight start a crusade to go kill once for all a Demon Prince,
High level NPC can have silly ideas, get killed and start up some cataclysm that PC will try to resolve!
Wrong focus.

If undead or constructs are essentially infinite sources of labor, the living people that manage to be serfs are the lucky ones. Most of them are destitute.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Wrong focus.

If undead or constructs are essentially infinite sources of labor, the living people that manage to be serfs are the lucky ones. Most of them are destitute.
If constructs can create new constructs, then everyone can have their own labor force.
 


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