Dividing the Population

I’ve been thinking for a long time about how to split up populations. There are many possibilities: race, class, faction, alignment, level, profession (distinctly different from faction), and so on.

In D&D 3.x these appear to be handled pretty inconsistently.


Before delving too deeply into solutions, let’s think a bit about what has come before.

Demographics in D&D 3.x

Racial demographics are handled by determining the degree of racial mix in the community.  Taken from the D&D 3e Dungeon Master’s Guide (I think the 3.5 DMG is slightly different, but it’s upstairs).

Isolated Mixed Integrated
96% human 79% human 37% human
2% halfling 9% halfling 20% halfling
1% elf 5% elf 18% elf
1% other races 3% dwarf 10% dwarf
2% gnome 7% gnome
1% half-elf 5% half-elf
1% half-orc 3% half-orc

Of course, there are allowances for communities of other races.  An ‘elven city’ wouldn’t be populated mostly by humans (oh, but it might!  See below), so ‘elves’ move to the top entry by integration, humans are put in second place, then everything else settles down.

On the other hand, classes are determined by first finding the highest level character for each class, the calculating a ‘tree’ of lower-level characters of that class until you get to first level.  Then you take whatever’s left of the community and divide that up by NPC class (91% commoners, 5% warriors, 3% experts, 0.5% aristocrats and 0.5% adepts), all first level.

There aren’t particular guidelines for determining faction or profession, and alignment is kind of iffy as well, having a single table for ‘power centre’ alignment but not much else.

This really isn’t to my taste.  Too many pieces to remember, tables that are inconsistent, and I have decided in my advancing age that I no longer much care about single-digit percentage differences in application.

In analysis I might care, and you’ll see some fractional percentages soon, but in actual application I don’t want to bother.

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Yay! OSR Stuff from Lulu

NOD 1 Cover

NOD 1 Cover

Lulu loves me!

… or at least is willing to make out with my credit card from time to time.

I just got a package in the mail today containing:

… I could have sworn I also ordered Adventures on Gothic Earth hardcover, but I don’t see it in my order history.  I’ll probably include it in my next NOD order.

I’ve also got Blood & Treasure – Treasure Keeper’s Tome coming.  It’s already shipped.

So I guess I’d better get reading.  I’ll be in my bunk.

Kickstarter: Kaidan Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

A few weeks ago I mentioned the Kaidan Campaign Setting (for Pathfinder) in my Links of the Week.

This is a setting based on Japanese myth.  Not the friendly happy kind that gave us Totoro, but the kind that would have people locking their doors and following ritual to stay alive.

A few excerpts from a recent project update:

More like Ravenloft than any other setting, Kaidan is a spiritual trap. You can arrive into the setting via ship at sea and no other means,but if you die in the setting, your spirit can never leave, but be forever bound to an endless, cursed reincarnation cycle.

In exploring the concept of Buddhism, there is the Great Wheel of Life, 6 Buddhist hells where those who’ve failed to achieve enlightenment are doomed to travel. In Kaidan, this is the cursed reincarnation cycle which houses the 4 social castes, the yokai caste and Jigoku(the true hell).

I’ve skipped some of the mechanical element described.  This is where it gets more interesting:

The mundane part of Kaidan can best be defined as a military dictatorship and police state, under an undead Shogun, in the name of an eternal child emperor (also undead). Founded on a divine curse uttered centuries ago upon the suicide of entire imperial house, all the nobility, provincial daimyo, ministers of the imperial court and the senior members of the office of the Shogunate, including the Shogun himself, are undead. They are eternally bound to the “heaven”noble caste, and none may enter upon reincarnation. They exist to maintain the status quo, as required by the ancient curse, and not mad necromancers of the normal sort.

This does not bode well… and the haunts are unusually troublesome, compared to baseline D&D and Pathfinder:

Undead, ghosts and haunts are prevalent in Kaidan, perhaps more so than any other supernatural encounter. No matter the CR, each is an individual with a thorough background and agenda that become clues and plothooks, more than simple encounters. Haunts and ghosts are always connected, sometimes with an associated curse, and often no easy means of laying to rest. Laying a ghost or haunt to rest becomes typical in the setting, as the ramifications for not doing so can be dire.

Ghosts are not simply incorporeal undead that can age or wither you if you don’t smash them with magic, they require more specific means to deal with permanently.

The project plan calls for The Gamemaster’s Guide to Kaidan first ($4000 goal met), expanded to 200 pages ($7000, not yet).  The third-tier goal is the Complete Player’s Guide to Kaidan (at $12,250).  What I really want is the next one, the Kaidan Bestiary, which will be created at $14,050 and expanded as the project is backed further.

The project closes in three weeks, so there’s still lots of time to back it (I think Steve picked a crazy-long project time and it lost momentum), so I’ll try giving it a bit of a boost.

I want that bestiary.

Kaidan Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

Kaidan Campaign Setting (PFRPG)