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

Ixal

Adventurer
Components are only consumed when the spell says they are: The Rules of Spellcasting | Dungeons & Dragons




Yes. It takes one minute.


This is no more difficult than what we assume any NPC necromancer is doing.
A very silly ruling.

Plus several hours of finding the ghouls and travelling to them each and every day without pause, consuming much of your day and when you miss it once those ghouls are gone and you do not have time to search for them as you are busy recasting the spell for the other undead.
 

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Fanaelialae

Legend
You wouldn't, that's what I said.

You don't need it, and it wouldn't even be worth selling because the serfs that need to eat it don't have money.

In short - any economy resembling what we've had in the real world would collapse with high level magic users in the equation.
That actually seems quite unlikely to me. The mage could certainly produce plenty of food for himself.

However, the serfs belong to the local lord. If the mage tries to disrupt the local economy he's likely to draw the ire of that local lord, meaning he's now facing off against the military.

Even if he manages to overthrow the lord, unless he exterminates the serfs they have an interest to produce food and other services to see to their own needs. It doesn't matter if the mage can produce food more cheaply. They have no way to pay for the cheaper food, and they're not going to starve themselves to death. They'll grow their own.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
One downside of this excel is it assumes that the world consists only out of farmers and adventurers.
I think it would be better rename "Specialist rate" to "Adventurer/PC class" rate which would in the low to mid single digit range as you now don't count all the craftsmen etc.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
A very silly ruling.
A core ruling for the entire system.

Otherwise Warlocks would need a 150gp gem with an undead eyeball encased inside for every single casting of Shadow of Moil.

This is different language than, say, Rase Dead which quite plainly states the spell consumes the 500gp diamond.


Undead labor is but one facet of how high level casters blow up our understandings of an economy.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Productivity didn't matter much though. This is a modern concept.
The term might be modern, but take a look at the highland clearances.

There was something more useful than the subsidence farming. So they kicked out the serfs and did it.

Food production was a means to an end, not a source of money. At best you had security because of large stores and maybe some small income (although when you overproduce food who is going to buy it?).
I'm not talking about money. I'm talking about wealth. Coin was rare, but wealth is wealth.

The surplus food you get from farmers is a form of wealth. Ie, not starving, being able to feed your troops, even being able to trade some of it for luxury goods, or supporting people who could trade for it.

It also fed potential troops -- levys -- from the peasants.
Food could neither be stored for long nor traded over long distances (although undead might help with that) except in very specific circumstances. There was no market you could dump food on and make money that way.
Trade of food happens. Piles of preserved foods exist from ancient times, like sauerkraut.

Drying fish for consumption elsewhere, even shipping grain happens. Storing the grain for another season is as old as agriculture.

With water based transport along rivers, it isn't that calorie expensive to ship food down-river. And near-shore ocean or sea trade isn't so dangerous it can't move bulk food.
Taxes too were usually not in food but money and it was the peasants job to earn money for the taxes. That sometimes included selling food in the city, but also spinning, labour and many other sources.
No, the coin economy was much smaller than you think. Almost all taxes where in the form of goods you produced, not coins, for much of history. Like, a share cropper who would keep a share of the food they grew.

The vast, vast majority of the economy was food based. Only a relatively tiny amount wasn't food based. Most of that food was, as noted, used to feed the people growing it; that fraction grew as the population would expand over decades.
Why would these farmers have access to the land in the first place, if they'll only eat the bulk of the harvest? What power over and above the Mage-Lord would be slicing out land and giving it to peasants?
Because 10% is a lot larger than 0%. So you keep serfs to get wealth. (And it wasn't always "give me some of your food", but "work my land and you get to use other land to feed yourself")

If the mage-lord has a way to grow resources on that land that produces even 1/10th as much as the farmer did, it becomes really tempting to just replace the farmer with that source of food.

In history, you are some dude good with a sword, and you have a bunch of other dudes who are good with swords. You are also usually healthier than most people. You have some land. How do you get people to grow food on it?

Keeping slaves is suicidal. You need a lot more troops and the like to keep them from revolting. Instead, you have peasants or serfs or a variety of other farmers and you take a percentage of the food they grow. Well, maybe you have a "you have to give me X food no matter what" every year rule, as accounting for how much food they grow is going to be beyond your organizational ability.

Using that food, you feed your armorer and your troops, who in turn guard the peasants against other warriors.

You do need some trade goods, to pay for the metal in your armor and weapons and the like; not everyone has an iron mine. So you are going to have some non-food taxes. But that might very well not be directly on the serfs.


Taxes for coin was only on land owners. Serfs did not pay it.

Later taxes where not, for the most part, on serfs, but aimed at trade goods. Imports, exports, sacks of wool, and movable property.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
If the mage-lord has a way to grow resources on that land that produces even 1/10th as much as the farmer did, it becomes really tempting to just replace the farmer with that source of food.
Yep, which was where I was going.

A Mage-Lord might even have vassal Petty Mage-Lords (Mage-Lordlets? Mage-Lords serving a Mage-Baron? Stick the word "Mage" before pretty much every title in whatever peerage system you prefer, only Clerics, Druids, and Bards can play this game, too) doing the day-to-day oversight of the land and you get something a lot like the feudal systems we are familiar with, although, again, without very many serfs.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Undead labor is but one facet of how high level casters blow up our understandings of an economy.
I think the problem is more your understanding of medieval and renaissance economy than undead.

There is another problem with using undead, especially ones enthralled by Create Undead. How general can the commands you give them be? Sure you can order them to harvest all the fields they have sown, but does that involve also the threshing and all the other steps needed to make the grain ready for milling? Does the order to mill the grain also include filling sacks with flour and storing them in your granary?
So the one casting create undead every day must also know a lot about agriculture to give the correct commands.

The term might be modern, but take a look at the highland clearances.
I am unfamiliar with them. I will look into them.

Edit: From what I read the increased income was not because the land was used more efficently or for some higher paying product, but because by law the people the serfs were replaced with had to pay higher rent.
I'm not talking about money. I'm talking about wealth. Coin was rare, but wealth is wealth.

The surplus food you get from farmers is a form of wealth. Ie, not starving, being able to feed your troops, even being able to trade some of it for luxury goods, or supporting people who could trade for it.

It also fed potential troops -- levys -- from the peasants.
Apart from ancient Egypt and Japan with their Koku I know of no place where food was used as actual wealth. Sure, you were wealthy if you had enough food, but commercially food was of limited value. It was hard to transport in bulk and temporary as it rots away. So when you have enough food more of it is of little value which is why nobility wanted farmers to join the coin based economy to tax them in coin instead of food (actually they were paying rent, not taxes)
Often taxing in coin came first and thus forcing the serfs to earn coin in some way.
Trade of food happens. Piles of preserved foods exist from ancient times, like sauerkraut.

Drying fish for consumption elsewhere, even shipping grain happens. Storing the grain for another season is as old as agriculture.

With water based transport along rivers, it isn't that calorie expensive to ship food down-river. And near-shore ocean or sea trade isn't so dangerous it can't move bulk food.
Trade of food was very limited. The amount of food you could preserve was low as it required special crops or other items that were only produced in low quantities. Also, don't confuse modern conservation methods with what was available in the middle ages. Without air tight containers sauerkraut can't be stored for years.
Most food in the western world like grain rotted away over a single year making long term storage in meaningful quantities impossible.

Transportation was another issue as food are bulk goods unless we are talking about luxury goods for the elite. Thus only doable with access to rivers and the ocean for both the source and destination and because of the criticality of food when you need it it required safe trade routes. Thus large scale food trade was not usually done by merchants but by the state which ordered the transportation of it. See how Rome was fed by Egyptian grain.

No, the coin economy was much smaller than you think. Almost all taxes where in the form of goods you produced, not coins, for much of history. Like, a share cropper who would keep a share of the food they grew.
Food was taken when nothing else was available, but it was a hassle for the nobles once their stores were filled because transporting it was problematic and you had trouble dividing it in the case of livestock. So whenever possible taxes were taken in coin, produced goods or labour.

The vast, vast majority of the economy was food based. Only a relatively tiny amount wasn't food based. Most of that food was, as noted, used to feed the people growing it; that fraction grew as the population would expand over decades.

Because 10% is a lot larger than 0%. So you keep serfs to get wealth. (And it wasn't always "give me some of your food", but "work my land and you get to use other land to feed yourself")
No, the economy was not food based. Food was not money. Growing food was a necessity and was mostly done for the farmers own need plus a little bit extra to give away or trade for coin so you could pay taxes (most villages had a closed economy which dependent on sharing with those in need with the expectation that this was repaid in kind of you are needing something)
If the mage-lord has a way to grow resources on that land that produces even 1/10th as much as the farmer did, it becomes really tempting to just replace the farmer with that source of food.
Not really as food is not wealth when you have much more than you need. You usually can't trade it away in bulk, people will not work only for food so its on its own not enough for payment for specialists and it rots away.

Some reads:

Back to the excel
For fun I did a calculation for a "science fantasy" setting with a modest 4 billion and "only" a 70% specialist rate. The results were interesting with thousands of level 18+ characters and millions of level 5s.
Most people who write science fantasy fail to comprehend the sheer scale even a single earth like planet has, let alone multiple ones.

Now imagine how many high level characters a planet like Coruscant with a population of trillions according to some star wars books would have.
 
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ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I think the problem is more your understanding of medieval and renaissance economy than undead.
Given that you didn't know how spell components work, it isn't that.

Serfs had a niche because their labor was relatively cheap and there was not a more efficient way to use the land. Undead are that more efficient method, and if they are a possibility, nobody needs to build "feeding the serfs" into their economic plan any longer.

None of what you think you know about a medieval economy applies because the technology level (that is: magic) is vastly different. The pressures and level of technologies that allowed for a niche for share cropping are no longer the state of the art - undead and/or construct labor with a handful of specialist supervisors is a lot more like modern day mechanized land use than land use in pre-Renaissance Europe or other pre-industrual societies.

And the fact there isn't as much a sentence about that in any of the core rulebooks means WotC hasn't given a moment's thought to the economic impacts of a high density of magic users.
 
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But magical labor won’t change human nature, so we would still have the rich, the poor, the Elite.
DM should not take too much time to make a bullet proof wording building on social, economic, military perspective. It may simply take too much time or make the setting unfriendly to play.
If you want to introduce undead labor, just do it, add some explanations and impacts and let player have fun.
 

I think the problem is more your understanding of medieval and renaissance economy than undead.

There is another problem with using undead, especially ones enthralled by Create Undead. How general can the commands you give them be? Sure you can order them to harvest all the fields they have sown, but does that involve also the threshing and all the other steps needed to make the grain ready for milling? Does the order to mill the grain also include filling sacks with flour and storing them in your granary?
So the one casting create undead every day must also know a lot about agriculture to give the correct commands.


I am unfamiliar with them. I will look into them.

Edit: From what I read the increased income was not because the land was used more efficently or for some higher paying product, but because by law the people the serfs were replaced with had to pay higher rent.

Apart from ancient Egypt and Japan with their Koku I know of no place where food was used as actual wealth. Sure, you were wealthy if you had enough food, but commercially food was of limited value. It was hard to transport in bulk and temporary as it rots away. So when you have enough food more of it is of little value which is why nobility wanted farmers to join the coin based economy to tax them in coin instead of food (actually they were paying rent, not taxes)
Often taxing in coin came first and thus forcing the serfs to earn coin in some way.

Trade of food was very limited. The amount of food you could preserve was low as it required special crops or other items that were only produced in low quantities. Also, don't confuse modern conservation methods with what was available in the middle ages. Without air tight containers sauerkraut can't be stored for years.
Most food in the western world like grain rotted away over a single year making long term storage in meaningful quantities impossible.

Transportation was another issue as food are bulk goods unless we are talking about luxury goods for the elite. Thus only doable with access to rivers and the ocean for both the source and destination and because of the criticality of food when you need it it required safe trade routes. Thus large scale food trade was not usually done by merchants but by the state which ordered the transportation of it. See how Rome was fed by Egyptian grain.


Food was taken when nothing else was available, but it was a hassle for the nobles once their stores were filled because transporting it was problematic and you had trouble dividing it in the case of livestock. So whenever possible taxes were taken in coin, produced goods or labour.


No, the economy was not food based. Food was not money. Growing food was a necessity and was mostly done for the farmers own need plus a little bit extra to give away or trade for coin so you could pay taxes (most villages had a closed economy which dependent on sharing with those in need with the expectation that this was repaid in kind of you are needing something)

Not really as food is not wealth when you have much more than you need. You usually can't trade it away in bulk, people will not work only for food so its on its own not enough for payment for specialists and it rots away.

Some reads:

Back to the excel
For fun I did a calculation for a "science fantasy" setting with a modest 4 billion and "only" a 70% specialist rate. The results were interesting with thousands of level 18+ characters and millions of level 5s.
Most people who write science fantasy fail to comprehend the sheer scale even a single earth like planet has, let alone multiple ones.

Now imagine how many high level characters a planet like Coruscant with a population of trillions according to some star wars books would have.
Star wars is a good example for our debate. You just start thinking of the implication of... and you stop! Either in despair or because you are laughing too much!

I read once, that when Lucas produce the first film, they try a demo of a space fight with the Xwings vs Tfighter, they made it hyper realistic with ship coming from every direction.
It was a flop, they finally used fighter formation of WW2 in very conventional formation to allow viewer to understand something.

It is the same thing with world building, you may add magic and some silly perspective, but overall you go back to conventional situation.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The argument is interesting but completely off topic. I’d ask you all to take the labor discussion to its own thread
Thing is, the discussion isn't perhaps quite as off-topic as you think: if fewer people within a population are needed as everyday labour that means there's more people available to go out adventuring (or soldiering, etc.) and gain levels...or die trying...which would tend to skew your chart a bit particularly at very low level.
 

Thing is, the discussion isn't perhaps quite as off-topic as you think: if fewer people within a population are needed as everyday labour that means there's more people available to go out adventuring (or soldiering, etc.) and gain levels...or die trying...which would tend to skew your chart a bit particularly at very low level.
I’m not sure that the level of technology or magic change the percentage of people willing to risk their live and go adventuring.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I’m not sure that the level of technology or magic change the percentage of people willing to risk their live and go adventuring.
I disagree, at least to some extent: any labourer who was looking to do more with his-her life but previously couldn't, now could.

At a very rough guess I'd say this would expand the adventuring population by somewhere between 25% and 100% provided there's enough adventures out there to support that many. It'd also make more people available for soldiering (another way to gain levels, if much more slowly) and other pursuits including - for some - magical study.
 

I disagree, at least to some extent: any labourer who was looking to do more with his-her life but previously couldn't, now could.

At a very rough guess I'd say this would expand the adventuring population by somewhere between 25% and 100% provided there's enough adventures out there to support that many. It'd also make more people available for soldiering (another way to gain levels, if much more slowly) and other pursuits including - for some - magical study.
Also disagree.
Life risking Adventuring might appeal 1/1000 or even less people. Doubling that number won’t change society that much. Having an easier life won’t help find life risking adventuring appealing. In fact people will favor a good job with good social rewards over risky adventures. Harsh life produce more adventurers and criminals than easy life.
The other question is how much technology reduce harsh life? You can live a harsh life with a smart phone, and even driving a Tesla. Harsh life may be more impact by culture than technology.
 
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ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I’m not sure that the level of technology or magic change the percentage of people willing to risk their live and go adventuring.
If the tech/magic reduces the chances of them settling into a quiet life (because all the quiet life jobs are taken), then more of them will take up adventuring (and banditry).

Frankly, it means adventuring parties ought to be bumping in to rival parties all the time, and if nothing else can create an excellent source of time constraints - because if they move too slowly a rival group will collect the loot.
 


If the tech/magic reduces the chances of them settling into a quiet life (because all the quiet life jobs are taken), then more of them will take up adventuring (and banditry).

Frankly, it means adventuring parties ought to be bumping in to rival parties all the time, and if nothing else can create an excellent source of time constraints - because if they move too slowly a rival group will collect the loot.
It´s the Star Trek vs Star Wars paradox. In one setting technology produce a better humanity, in the other it´s pretty much as today or even worse. Is quiet life really related to technology/magic?
 

Frankly, modeling the rules of XP gain as laws of physics results in a ridiculous world, and not required for this spreadsheet to be reasonable.
Shhhh, That model is a kind of sacred cow that originated from Gygax era I guess.
You should treat her with respect!
 

Very interesting. But to me one of the base assumptions is... wrong. This sheet again (like all the ones for previous editions) assume that specialists have class levels. Which pretty much goes against a core 5E assumption.

In my worlds; kings, sages, soldiers, generals, etc do not have levels. They might have traits and abilities from various classes, but I don't build them with levels as a PC would. For one, hit points would be totally inconsistent with challenge ratings and usability. In my worlds, only the PCs and a few other groups of adventurers do I build with levels. Everything else is built as an NPC, often using the examples from sources and then adjusted with HP, AC, items, and abilities/traits.
 

Very interesting. But to me one of the base assumptions is... wrong. This sheet again (like all the ones for previous editions) assume that specialists have class levels. Which pretty much goes against a core 5E assumption.

In my worlds; kings, sages, soldiers, generals, etc do not have levels. They might have traits and abilities from various classes, but I don't build them with levels as a PC would. For one, hit points would be totally inconsistent with challenge ratings and usability. In my worlds, only the PCs and a few other groups of adventurers do I build with levels. Everything else is built as an NPC, often using the examples from sources and then adjusted with HP, AC, items, and abilities/traits.
The concept of having a class for every intelligent creature is a concept that was very very popular in DnD 3.5.
They even produce a class for the commoner!
The match with xp, the models that reduce each level number by 2, having 100 level 1, 50 level 2, were also very popular at those time.
Since 4ed these modeling has been give up by designers, but is still very popular and hard to contest.
 

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