Levels in the nation | justifying corpse production in the south continent
Demographics of levelled characters
First, my assumptions: (some of these are non-canonical)
1. The first problem I found was that the DMG gives you suggestions for how to roll up levelled characters based on a *community* rather than a *nation*. I wanted to extrapolate -- but to do so requires knowing how many thorpes and metropolises there'd be in a given population. So for this, I used the percentages shown in the DMG for the various sizes of communities and used these as a baseline for what proportion of a general population would belong to that type of community. So 10% of the world's population lives in thorpes, 20% in hamlets, etc., all the way up to 1% in metropolises. Now, the DMG would seem to imply from its table that the precentage shown would be the proportion of *communties* rather than populations ... but I preferred looking at it as percentage of population (otherwise an already urban-rich environment would become even more dominated by cities and towns). I found this result to be satisfying. Individual nations may vary of course (the Domain of Greyhawk, for example, has one big metropolis (pop. 70,000), 4 large towns and a collection of villages, etc. to fill in its total 160,000 population -- this obviously breaks the rules by having almost *half* its population living in a metropolis).
2. You know how in the DMG you roll for the highest level of a given class and then you keep halving the level and doubling the number? Well, I found it hard from their examples to see whether they were rounding level down ... it appeared as though they weren't ... but it was inconsistent as I remember (I'm describing all this from memory here). So I assumed a round-down in my calculations.
3. I am experimenting with phasing out the NPC classes from the DMG. My main reasons for this are a) because I don't like how they skew power levels .... not being as powerful as PC classes, and b) because I don't think the class concepts fit well in high levels (with some exceptions). What's with the 13th level commoners? It just doesn't work for me ... so as a replacement, I'm using a kind of zero-level character ("Warrior1" level of power with standard hit points, apprentice-level abilities, starting-kit-level equipment and 20 points worth of stats) in addition to using the 1st level commoner (as is with 15 points in stats) for something below zero-level (-1th level?). Anyways, for purposes of these stats, there are no high-level NPC classed characters. High level warriors have been folded into the ranks of high level fighters, other high-level NPCs have just been dropped, and 1st level NPC classes (warrior, adept, aristocrat, expert) have been made generically into zero-level characters and finally 1st level commoners have remained as such. Sorry this is so confusing and might also seem arbitrary ... but I wasn't thinking at first of presenting this publicly -- now that I am it seems ever so more complicated. But anyway... (BTW, I've brought up some of my ideas on disliking high level NPC class types before and generally found most folks on the NG disagreed with me and found they had a perfectly legit and enjoyable role to play in the game. I see the POV and so just bear with me and maybe "imagine in" the missing NPC classers once I get to the distributions... Thank you for your patience.)
4. I took an arbitrary 25% of the population and figure while it may qualify for nothing more than Commoner status, they should really be considered "non-combatants" with essentially no stats -- no skills or ability to attack or defend. These being the very old, the very young, the very disabled.
Okay, SO ... once I took the above assumptions in hand and plugged in the numbers, here's what I got for percentages:
1 person in 2,000,000 people is a 20th level character.
1 person in 10,000 people is a 10th level character.
99.99995% of all adventurers die or retire before reaching 20th level.