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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent 451 View Post
    I don't suppose you have a copy of this that you could share on Google Docs? I'd be quite interested in seeing it if you do.
    I'm afraid the finished thing is not in English, but the essentials are based on this price list:

    http://www.amurgsval.org/feng-shui/prices.html

    All prices are given in silver pennies (d for denarii, 240 to the pound), but of course you can just say 1 penny = 1SP.

    Some examples:

    agricultural labourer 4d/day
    building worker 56d/day
    bread: 0,25-0,5d/lb
    shirt, linen: 43d
    broadsword: 150d
    mail armour: 900d

    Unfortunately, not all of the list is not 1:1 usable as is, as some prices are way off and/or contradictory (such as eggs), and it is composed of several sources from different centuries.

    ---

    Edit:
    if you use the 5:1 gp to xp ratio to determine level progress for NPCs, it's plain nonsense to round down 1.8 to 1 based on the arbitrary scale of 1 week. Just stick to the number as it is. 8GP per week is about 400GP per year which is 80XP if you stick to that ratio, still about 12 years until level 2 (my previous figure of 5 years was wrong), but still you'd be there by your early 30s.

    However, I still haven't seen any source stated that confirms the 5:1 ratio. Especially as PCs tend to gain only about 1-2GP per XP.
    Last edited by Firechanter; 2012-10-12 at 04:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Ashtagon, my friend. I don't understand your point. The DMG lists clearly the number of expected metropolises. Why do you think the ratio of metropolises in real life has any bearing on that? What do you think dismissing my comment with such an offhanded comment adds to the discussion? Did you even notice we are discussing how it relates to D&D, it being in the 3.5 forums and all, and not some kind of geopolitical study? You usually make useful additions to discussions so I'm guessing I must be missing something. Pray tell - what is it?



    Every time I've seen this pointed out, it was someone misreading those guidelines, actually. They are perfectly consistent internally.
    I beleive they were saying that stuff because of this quote:

    Metropolises should be ridiculously rare (if they exist at all) in low fantasy games, anyway.
    You didn't say "according to the DMG". You said "in low fantasy games". They were disagreeing with this and citing examples of RL history (which is as low magic as you can get) where metropolises weren't ridiculously rare. They were trying to point out that not putting metropolises in a low fantasy game because of "realism" was misguided.

    At least that's what I think they were trying to say. They can correct me if I got it wrong.
    Last edited by 123456789blaaa; 2012-10-12 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Class Levels to Populace Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    If you believe that our modern society, with a pretty firm grasp on Science, would be considered "low magic" compared a medieval society is... just down right weird in my opinion...

    " ny sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from Science."
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    Actually, I was referring both to actual medieval societies, which routinely had cities in excess of 50,000 (D&D's "metropolis"). Even ancient cities beat these numbers. Ancient Rome reputedly had a population of 600,000. The world's first 50k+ "metropolis" was Uruk, in about 3100 BC [link]. Wikipedia lists over 50 such cities, although there were certainly more.

    Our views are skewed a bit because we tend to study history of English-language regions more, which in context tends to mean England. London was unusually small, both because England had a very small population by medieval standards, and because London had only quite recently (in historical terms) become a city of any political significance.

    I wasn't considering modern civilisation at all.

    http://www.thefinertimes.com/Middle-Ages/cities-in-the-middle-ages.html

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    Default Re: Class Levels to Populace Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    Edit:
    if you use the 5:1 gp to xp ratio to determine level progress for NPCs, it's plain nonsense to round down 1.8 to 1 based on the arbitrary scale of 1 week. Just stick to the number as it is. 8GP per week is about 400GP per year which is 80XP if you stick to that ratio, still about 12 years until level 2 (my previous figure of 5 years was wrong), but still you'd be there by your early 30s.

    However, I still haven't seen any source stated that confirms the 5:1 ratio. Especially as PCs tend to gain only about 1-2GP per XP.
    IIRC that is the conversion rate given for VoP casters who want to cast spells with costly material components.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk Eclipse View Post
    IIRC that is the conversion rate given for VoP casters who want to cast spells with costly material components.
    It generally also shows up in crafting magic items and similar. For example, a spell that costs N XP to cast adds 5N gold to the component cost.
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    Default Re: Class Levels to Populace Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Actually, I was referring both to actual medieval societies, which routinely had cities in excess of 50,000 (D&D's "metropolis"). Even ancient cities beat these numbers. Ancient Rome reputedly had a population of 600,000. The world's first 50k+ "metropolis" was Uruk, in about 3100 BC [link]. Wikipedia lists over 50 such cities, although there were certainly more.

    Our views are skewed a bit because we tend to study history of English-language regions more, which in context tends to mean England. London was unusually small, both because England had a very small population by medieval standards, and because London had only quite recently (in historical terms) become a city of any political significance.

    I wasn't considering modern civilisation at all.

    http://www.thefinertimes.com/Middle-Ages/cities-in-the-middle-ages.html

    No post-medieval technology is needed
    ooo... Fascinating

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    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I beleive they were saying that stuff because of this quote:
    Context, context, context.

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    Default Re: Class Levels to Populace Ratio

    I'd say my level ratio is-

    50% Level 1
    42% Level 2
    5.25% Level 3
    1.6% Level 4
    .1% Level 5
    .045% Level 6
    .005% Level 7

    Probably less than a dozen level eight+ humanoids in the entire world at any given time. About 35% of enemies having PC levels. Maybe one in a thousand is a spellcaster. Magic items are made slowly but since they almost never go away once made, there are enough to go around among the very wealthy or adventurers. Magic items are not made to be predictable so if it isn't a static buff, (+1 to hit/AC/+2 STR,) and isn't a weapon or armor, it probably has a random element to it. (Hence why magic isn't used in most peoples day to day lives.) Some magic items that have cantrip level stuff, (shines a minor light, constantly hums and vibrates, etc.) are actually magic material or ores and so are more common. Lots of 'magic' weapons are explained through superior craftsmanship so even among the party true magic items are rare-ish.

    At any one time, the highest level Wizard in the Government is probably around level eight with maybe a handful of level 5-6s with a high population. The highest level Fighter or Barb. in a kingdom, (gladiator champion, military hero,) is also going to be about level eight. A Druid grove will probably be lead by, you guessed it, a level eight. A General/Veteran captain is typically 4-6.

    Average town guard, rarely/never seen combat, level one to two warrior/level one fighter. Recruit trained in army level one warrior. Nobleman, never seen combat but trained expertly level one fighter. Soldier who has seen combat level two warrior. Sergeant or very veteran soldier, level three warrior. Swap out some warrior levels for fighter if exceptional training or a natural warrior.

    Generally, I keep Bards and the like to about level fourish for some reason.
    The BBEG or highest level humanoid in the world is probably about level fifteen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter
    if you use the 5:1 gp to xp ratio to determine level progress for NPCs, it's plain nonsense to round down 1.8 to 1 based on the arbitrary scale of 1 week. Just stick to the number as it is. 8GP per week is about 400GP per year which is 80XP if you stick to that ratio, still about 12 years until level 2 (my previous figure of 5 years was wrong), but still you'd be there by your early 30s.

    However, I still haven't seen any source stated that confirms the 5:1 ratio. Especially as PCs tend to gain only about 1-2GP per XP.
    1 week isn't arbitrary. the skill check to determine wages is made on either a daily or weekly basis. you get experience for the individual actions, not the total wealth gained over the course of a year. and D&D math says round down unless specifically stated otherwise. so, using the basic wage earning time period: 1 week, and the skill check result of an average professional: 18, assuming he took 10. he will earn 9 GP and 1 XP per week. that takes between 19 and 20 years to gain a level.

    of course, higher wages, and therefore higher Xp gains, are possible. as i pointed out, even using a single assistant boosts you to 10GP and 2XP per week.

    @ 5 to 1 exchange rate. it is mentioned in various places, starting in the player's handbook, where you must pay a spellcaster 5x the XP cost of a spell in GP for spellcasting services. the reverse is used in Vow of poverty to pay for expensive material components, so you pay 1/5 the GP cost of a material component as XP. any time you base XP off of GP, or convert 1 to the other, then this is generally the formula used. the exception, of course, is item creation, which is 25:1.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    1 week isn't arbitrary. the skill check to determine wages is made on either a daily or weekly basis. you get experience for the individual actions, not the total wealth gained over the course of a year. and D&D math says round down unless specifically stated otherwise.
    Yeah, and how convenient that the rule for gold-XP-correlation can't specifically state otherwise, because it doesn't exist, right? The only official rule there is the one for crafting / professional gains by skill checks per week. The weekly generation of XP based on monetary gain is just a model we made up for the purposes of this thread. And if it requires you to constantly lose 45% of your result to rounding, this just shows it's a bad model and needs refinement.
    Last edited by Firechanter; 2012-10-13 at 12:25 PM.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
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    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

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    or, you could hire an assistant for the extra +2 to your check result, and get an even 2 XP per week.

    again. the 5:1 ratio already existed in multiple books, including the PHB.

    the weekly checks for wages also is in the PHB.

    the always round down rule is also in the PHB.

    the only thing not stated in the rules somewhere is getting XP for working at all.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Actually, I was referring both to actual medieval societies, which routinely had cities in excess of 50,000 (D&D's "metropolis"). Even ancient cities beat these numbers. Ancient Rome reputedly had a population of 600,000. The world's first 50k+ "metropolis" was Uruk, in about 3100 BC [link]. Wikipedia lists over 50 such cities, although there were certainly more.
    Here's a map of the Later Middle Ages (1000-1399) according to that Wikipedia site you linked, for what it's worth. I always like visualizations.

    http://goo.gl/maps/WtJJK

    Homogeneous civilization is really a thing of fiction. It really does leave a lot of room, though, for different play styles (a Germanic-style campaign with few or no metropolises ranging to an Indian-style campaign with a lot of urban centres).

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    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    or, you could hire an assistant for the extra +2 to your check result, and get an even 2 XP per week.
    Then there's the question whether the assistant pays for himself, or you have to pay him with the extra money you make.

    again. the 5:1 ratio already existed in multiple books, including the PHB.
    Again, in completely different contexts. In general, some kind of fuel for magic stuff.
    If the 5:1 ratio was anything to go by in terms of level advancement, a level 6 player character should have a total wealth of some 75.000GP.
    Instead, adventurers tend to gain wealth and XP at roughly a 1:1 rate for the first 10 levels.

    1:1 _gain_ for an adventuring career and 5:1 _expense_ for doing magic stuff seem to be the extremes of a scale. Hence, for non-adventuring careers, I'd rather split the difference and assume a 3:1 rate.

    And fwiw, the "always round down" rule exists first and foremost to avoid half-points of damage, half-points of hit points or half-points of modifiers, on scales where it really doesn't matter whether you use a result of 10 or 10,5. It really helps to not just blindly apply a rule, but think about why the rule is there in the first place.
    Last edited by Firechanter; 2012-10-13 at 06:50 PM.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
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    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    According to the same tables that I used to determine the figures I gave above, the DMG says that metropolises should make up 1% of all settlements. ELH agrees, planar metropolises being listed as only appearing at DM discretion.

    Whatever history does or doesn't say doesn't really matter much.

    You are, of course, free to change this for your table if you're the DM, but in that case you're talking about your table rather than the game as it's written. How it's done at your table isn't really relative to the discussion at hand.
    Except he was responding to someone who was talking about metropolises being impossible in a low fantasy setting, not the DMG.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Context, context, context.
    Means your argument just appears bizarre, yes.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2012-10-13 at 06:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Except he was responding to someone who was talking about metropolises being impossible in a low fantasy setting, not the DMG.
    Upon closer inspection, his statement was in adress to a statement of metropolises being rare in a low-fantasy setting. That doesn't make my statement any less true, it just means his statement is in adress to a statement that's also about a change to the system in the books. I don't think anyone considers the default setup a low-magic setting, right?

    That said, I suppose my statement does look a little more antagonistic than I intended. I apologize for any offense.
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    Default Re: Class Levels to Populace Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Except he was responding to someone who was talking about metropolises being impossible in a low fantasy setting, not the DMG.
    Please, reread it carefully. That's all I have to say on this matter.

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    I like Yora's general idea, as well as Nedz's proposal that higher-level characters be reduced in number geometrically. My preferred distribution has a little more than 50% 1st-level characters, with each level above that reduced by half. I have an Excel document that does the math for me. Here are some results.

    Population 10: 6 are 1st level, 3 are 2nd level, 1 is 3rd level.

    Population 100: 53 are 1st level, 25 are 2nd level, 12 are 3rd level, 6 are 4th level, 3 are 5th level, and 1 is 6th level.

    Population 1,000: 506, 250, 125, 62, 31, 15, 7, 3, 1. (highest expected level: 9)

    Population 10,000: 5,005, 2,500, 1,250, 625, 312, 156, 78, 39, 19, 9, 4, 2, 1. (highest expected level: 13)

    With this system, you can expect a single 20th-level character in a population of 1,048,576. In other words, a 20th-level character is literally one-in-a-million.

    Just a side note: Who says big populations have to be all urban? In a medieval setting, quite a lot of people live in small, rural villages. You have to count the whole population, not just the urban part. If a country has a million people (including rural peasants as well as urban burghers), then it should have a 20th-level ruler.
    Last edited by Duke of Urrel; 2012-10-14 at 12:10 AM.

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    What is that sort of structure of growth/distribution called anyway?

    It seems like it would have a name and it feels vaguely pyramidish to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    I like Yora's general idea, as well as Nedz's proposal that higher-level characters be reduced in number geometrically. My preferred distribution has a little more than 50% 1st-level characters, with each level above that reduced by half. I have an Excel document that does the math for me. Here are some results.

    Population 10: 6 are 1st level, 3 are 2nd level, 1 is 3rd level.

    Population 100: 53 are 1st level, 25 are 2nd level, 12 are 3rd level, 6 are 4th level, 3 are 5th level, and 1 is 6th level.

    Population 1,000: 506, 250, 125, 62, 31, 15, 7, 3, 1. (highest expected level: 9)

    Population 10,000: 5,005, 2,500, 1,250, 625, 312, 156, 78, 39, 19, 9, 4, 2, 1. (highest expected level: 13)

    With this system, you can expect a single 20th-level character in a population of 1,048,576. In other words, a 20th-level character is literally one-in-a-million.

    Just a side note: Who says big populations have to be all urban? In a medieval setting, quite a lot of people live in small, rural villages. You have to count the whole population, not just the urban part. If a country has a million people (including rural peasants as well as urban burghers), then it should have a 20th-level ruler.
    I went by the metropolis numbers since it offered the biggest sampling of people. I didn't actually confirm if the smaller communities followed the same trend. The fact that community modifiers drop as the population goes down reduces the level of the highest level casters and in turn both the number and level of lower level casters, it's probably at least somewhat similar. I suppose I really should check that though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    What is that sort of structure of growth/distribution called anyway?

    It seems like it would have a name and it feels vaguely pyramidish to me.
    I don't know the name for it. Maybe there's a term that demographers use. I like a mathematically simple system that reflects attrition at higher levels, because this seems only natural. It's hard to advance to high level, and a certain number of people who try get killed trying. Many people prefer to stop while they're ahead.

    Or look at it another way: How many peasants and craftspeople does it take to support the lifestyle of one 20th-level ruler, with all the arcane, divine, and military defenses this monarch requires? You've got to have lots of farmers, miners, and skilled craftspeople at the bottom to produce the tools and infrastructure that a few powerful rulers need to buy (or steal) to stay at the top.

    Sure, we can't let things get too realistic, or we spoil the fun. But a little realism makes for interesting problems, which can be a great source of adventures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    The fact that community modifiers drop as the population goes down reduces the level of the highest level casters and in turn both the number and level of lower level casters, it's probably at least somewhat similar.
    Agreed. Of course, you never know where individual spellcasters will be found. They may have urban connections and supply lines even if they live some distance away from big cities, which surely some prefer to do. Magic is something like the Internet it enables some spellcasters to work from the suburbs.

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    The DMG city-tables cease to be useful the moment you add any classes, or probably any races, that aren't in the PHB. Also their idea of city size is absurdly low even for the medieval setting, unless you're going for "right after the Black Plague" or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    The DMG city-tables cease to be useful the moment you add any classes, or probably any races, that aren't in the PHB. Also their idea of city size is absurdly low even for the medieval setting, unless you're going for "right after the Black Plague" or something.
    I can't speak to their accuracy in relation to medieval european population centers, but they hardly become useless by adding other classes to the game.

    You can simply pick an appropriately sized die based on whichever of the PHB classes the new class most resembles in role and roll that with the community modifier do determine highest level and lower level members of that class. This will have no effect on anything but a small decrease of the distribution of commoners in any but the smallest communities. Alternately, have the new class replace the class it most closely resembles when rolling up a particular settlement if it's either a particularly small settlement or if you want to make that community stand out from a more standard community.

    For races, simply replace one of the races on the table or, if you're willing to do a little extra work, divide the population a bit further.

    The tables for randomly generating populace, npc's, treasure, and encounters were meant as starting points. Tweaking them is not only okay, but encouraged, particularly for treasure and encounter tables. They were never intended to be used to determine all of the details of every npc that's ever seen in a campaign.

    Also, for determining races a bit more randomly, the tables for randomly creating npc's starting on page 110 can make a good starting point. They include almost all of the PC races in the MM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    Agreed. Of course, you never know where individual spellcasters will be found. They may have urban connections and supply lines even if they live some distance away from big cities, which surely some prefer to do. Magic is something like the Internet it enables some spellcasters to work from the suburbs.
    In fact, the 3.0 table did include a chance for small communities to have a high level spellcaster there. I think this was dropped for 3.5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    In fact, the 3.0 table did include a chance for small communities to have a high level spellcaster there. I think this was dropped for 3.5.
    This was indeed passed off to the DM. Probably because he'd have to come up with some excuse for why that (randomly generated) high level wizard lived just outside of a thorp when some smart-ass player asked about it anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    According to the same tables that I used to determine the figures I gave above, the DMG says that metropolises should make up 1% of all settlements. ELH agrees, planar metropolises being listed as only appearing at DM discretion.
    I don't think the point of the random city table was to say that only 1% of cities are metropoli, but rather that there's only a 1% chance that a random city is a metropolis. Which makes sense; if the players are just heading in no particular direction, the odds they'll stumble into a major city are pretty slim. If a major city does exist, it should have a word-of-mouth effect on its surroundings, so the players are more likely to be going there specifically, thus obviating the need for the table. The table produces mostly small (but not usually teeny-tiny) villages because that's most likely to be what you need to come up with in a big hurry, using a table.

    (This is probably also more or less the logic behind random encounter tables, though it's flawed nonetheless; you don't need a table to tell you to produce the obvious result, so the tables skew a bit strange in order to provide surprise, since if you didn't want surprise you probably wouldn't resort to the table. Though certainly the books could have made this clearer.)

    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    note that the math here is estimated a bit, but it's close enough to work. the problem, of course, comes with the fact, that elves, dwarves, and gnomes should probably always get to much higher levels in their lifetime, simply because they live so much longer.
    If you want to avoid this (and thereby annoy Vaarsuvius), you can simply rule that the rate is determined not in absolute years but in percentage of lifespan. So races that live 5x as long as humans earn XP at 20% of the rate.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-10-21 at 11:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    If you want to avoid this (and thereby annoy Vaarsuvius), you can simply rule that the rate is determined not in absolute years but in percentage of lifespan. So races that live 5x as long as humans earn XP at 20% of the rate.
    imc, dwarves don't have racial bonuses to any craft skills. Instead, their reputation for excellent craftsmanship is based on the fact that the longer dwarven lifetime means they have that much extra time to level up. A typical human master weapon-smith is probably level 3 (albeit levels in the expert class). A dwarf of that level is still considered an apprentice, and with the extra years at his disposal, can reasonably expect to reach level 6 in a non-adventuring career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I don't think the point of the random city table was to say that only 1% of cities are metropoli, but rather that there's only a 1% chance that a random city is a metropolis. Which makes sense; if the players are just heading in no particular direction, the odds they'll stumble into a major city are pretty slim. If a major city does exist, it should have a word-of-mouth effect on its surroundings, so the players are more likely to be going there specifically, thus obviating the need for the table. The table produces mostly small (but not usually teeny-tiny) villages because that's most likely to be what you need to come up with in a big hurry, using a table.

    (This is probably also more or less the logic behind random encounter tables, though it's flawed nonetheless; you don't need a table to tell you to produce the obvious result, so the tables skew a bit strange in order to provide surprise, since if you didn't want surprise you probably wouldn't resort to the table. Though certainly the books could have made this clearer.)
    That's pure conjecture.

    If there's a 1% probability of finding a thing amongst other similar things, it's because 1% of the pile is that specific thing. That's just how probability works.

    If 3% of all settlements are metropolis sized cities, then the odds that any randomly selected settlement is a metropolis is 3%.

    Unless a DM seeds nearly all of the settlements in his game world, the tables percentages shoudn't just be outright ignored like that, IMO.

    Besides, if that table's taken to be not accurate, then there is no way to determine the ratio of <class X> to overall population. It becomes a matter of pure DM fiat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    If there's a 1% probability of finding a thing amongst other similar things, it's because 1% of the pile is that specific thing. That's just how probability works.
    But if most of the things of that sort are already pulled out of the pile...look, imagine you have a pile of 100 books, 99 of them are various browns or blacks or blues or grays, and one of them is neon-orange. Does that mean 1% of all books everywhere are neon-orange? Maybe, or maybe it just means that when the owner of a pile of books looks at it, searching for a specific book, he is far more likely to find that book, pull it out and put it in a special place if it's neon-orange, and thus stands out from its surroundings.

    If 3% of all settlements are metropolis sized cities, then the odds that any randomly selected settlement is a metropolis is 3%.
    Again, no. If you know that Waterdeep is five miles to the west, and instead you go northeast and the GM needs to roll up a city because he hasn't mapped that direction, then he's not going to leave out the 1% metropolis chance because Waterdeep exists. Special campaign locations do NOT require a random roll! You use a random roll when you need someplace that the players could not have been specifically looking for because you never mentioned it - and metropoli, by default, tend to be important enough to mention specifically in your campaign intro or the rumors of passing NPCs. So you have less need to roll up metropoli, regardless of how many exist.

    Unless a DM seeds nearly all of the settlements in his game world, the tables percentages shoudn't just be outright ignored like that, IMO.
    Well, I disagree with that opinion. I see nothing saying the table is meant to be representative of the entire world, only of poorly-fleshed-out sections of it.

    Besides, if that table's taken to be not accurate, then there is no way to determine the ratio of <class X> to overall population. It becomes a matter of pure DM fiat.
    I'm perfectly fine with that; it should be DM fiat, because whether the game is high-magic or low-magic, and similar decisions, are worldbuilding choices that the GM is better off making without dice. Dice are for deciding situations like "my players need a CLW, so I'll roll up a random divine spellcaster - 60% chance it's a cleric, 40% it's a druid". Deciding that a divine spellcaster exists in the first place, however, is more of a plot thing - does the plot allow for them to get healed, or are they meant to go into their next fight still battle-damaged? The same is true on a geopolitical scale; you decide "this nation is ruled by arcane spellcasters, so lots of them exist but they're all high-level because they have the best equipment and training". Leaving that up to dice is at best "acceptible", if you have no opinion; a table should represent an average default, but not be considered binding on what stories you're able to tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    But if most of the things of that sort are already pulled out of the pile...look, imagine you have a pile of 100 books, 99 of them are various browns or blacks or blues or grays, and one of them is neon-orange. Does that mean 1% of all books everywhere are neon-orange? Maybe, or maybe it just means that when the owner of a pile of books looks at it, searching for a specific book, he is far more likely to find that book, pull it out and put it in a special place if it's neon-orange, and thus stands out from its surroundings.



    Again, no. If you know that Waterdeep is five miles to the west, and instead you go northeast and the GM needs to roll up a city because he hasn't mapped that direction, then he's not going to leave out the 1% metropolis chance because Waterdeep exists. Special campaign locations do NOT require a random roll! You use a random roll when you need someplace that the players could not have been specifically looking for because you never mentioned it - and metropoli, by default, tend to be important enough to mention specifically in your campaign intro or the rumors of passing NPCs. So you have less need to roll up metropoli, regardless of how many exist.



    Well, I disagree with that opinion. I see nothing saying the table is meant to be representative of the entire world, only of poorly-fleshed-out sections of it.



    I'm perfectly fine with that; it should be DM fiat, because whether the game is high-magic or low-magic, and similar decisions, are worldbuilding choices that the GM is better off making without dice. Dice are for deciding situations like "my players need a CLW, so I'll roll up a random divine spellcaster - 60% chance it's a cleric, 40% it's a druid". Deciding that a divine spellcaster exists in the first place, however, is more of a plot thing - does the plot allow for them to get healed, or are they meant to go into their next fight still battle-damaged? The same is true on a geopolitical scale; you decide "this nation is ruled by arcane spellcasters, so lots of them exist but they're all high-level because they have the best equipment and training". Leaving that up to dice is at best "acceptible", if you have no opinion; a table should represent an average default, but not be considered binding on what stories you're able to tell.
    I tend to prefer keeping DM fiat to a bare minimum. If you have as broad a selection of supplements as 3.5 has, there's very, very little you can't do with RAW. Some tweaks are absolutely necessary for the game to function and I'm perfectly comfortable making those, but otherwise I don't want to have a houserule come back to bite me because I didn't think of every possible ramification.

    If the random determination tables are utterly meaningless, which is what you're trying to make them, conciously or not, then the OP's question becomes unanswerable, and this whole thread becomes moot.

    Besides, the chapter in question is for building campaign worlds. Using published campaign settings makes it largely moot anyway.

    Btw, flaw in your book example. 100 is nowhere near a big enough sample of all books for it to mean anything at all about the percentages of all books. Likewise, your settings DM-seeded settlements probably don't make up the greater portion of all the settlements in your game world unless you have a rediculously tiny game world. The rest would have to be either built as you go or randomly determined. If you don't actually place or determine any significant number of settlements beyond where your campaign takes place, then your world is incomplete and the ratio of <class X> to people is undeterminable until you do.
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