Saturday, July 2, 2011

Demographics in the City

As part of my work on the City on the Ice-Choked Sea, I'm trying to figure out the general make-up of the city's population, and, particularly, the rarity of classed and leveled characters in the City.

Note that the City is a well-established city with early-industrial technology and an incipient industry; technology should look like something out of the Age of Sail rather the Middle Ages, with Mad Scientists getting into steampunk proper.

First, I'll have to decide how big the City is. Of course Medieval Demographics Made Easy is an excellent reference, but I'm aiming towards something more similar to the Age of Sail (circa 1600-1800) rather than the Middle Ages themselves (that article gives examples from the 1400s). What I have in mind is a population of about 100,000, of which about 70,000 are the relatively new urban working-class formed by newly (last century) disenfranchised peasants. Most new workers live in ramshackle slums around the harbor and the industrial districts, outside of the old city walls. The remainder are mostly urban craftsmen and merchants, with a small nobility (about 1,000 people split into 3-5 major families and numerous lesser houses) and a wealthy merchant class (about 2,000 people split into numerous families). There are also about 3,000 clergy and monks of the New Faith.

A good source of inspiration for the class and level breakdown of the population is this EnWorld thread. However, I feel that with the large amount of mercenaries, guards and thugs attracted by such a fractured, decaying city, there would probably be more Fighters and Specialists in the population than the 1E assumption of %1 classed characters. What I have in mind are about 5% classed characters, of whom 2% are Specialists, 2% Fighters and 1% all the rest of the classes (including level 1 or higher Changelings and Elders - i.e. Elves and Dwarves). So we're talking about circa 2,000 Specialists, 2,000 Fighters and 1,000 other classed characters (200 M-Us, 300 spellcasting Clerics, 400 Changelings and 100 Elders).

As for Changelings and Elders, they should be a minority. Changelings are 5% of the total population, Elders are 1%.

So the class breakdown I'm thinking about is:

Level 0 Normal Men/Women
5,000 Warriors (higher end of HP, usually armed with something - thugs, guards, rank-and-file soldiers and so on)
84,600 Non-Warrior Normal Humans
4,500 Level 0 Changelings
900 Level 0 Elders

1,000 Level 1 Fighters
500 Level 2 Fighters
250 Level 3 Fighters
125 Level 4 Fighters
62 Level 5 Fighters
32 Level 6 Fighters
16 Level 7 Fighters
8 Level 8 Fighters
4 Level 9 Fighters
2 Level 10 Fighters
1 Level 11 Fighter

1,000 Level 1 Specialists
500 Level 2 Specialists
250 Level 3 Specialists
125 Level 4 Specialists
62 Level 5 Specialists
32 Level 6 Specialists
16 Level 7 Specialists
8 Level 8 Specialists
4 Level 9 Specialists
2 Level 10 Specialists
1 Level 11 Specialist

150 Level 1 Clerics
75 Level 2 Clerics
36 Level 3 Clerics
20 Level 4 Clerics
10 Level 5 Clerics
5 level 6 Clerics
3 Level 7 Clerics
1 Level 8 Cleric

100 Level 1 Magic-Users
50 Level 2 Magic-Users
25 Level 3 Magic-Users
15 Level 4 Magic-Users
6 Level 5 Magic-Users
3 Level 6 Magic Users
1 Level 7 Magic-User

Changelings ("Elves")
200 Level 1 Changelings
100 Level 2 Changelings
50 Level 3 Changelings
25 Level 4 Changelings
15 Level 5 Changelings
6 Level 6 Changelings
3 Level 7 Changelings
1 Level 8 Changeling

Elders ("Dwarves")
50 Level 1 Elders
25 Level 2 Elders
15 Level 3 Elders
6 Level 4 Elders
3 Level 5 Elders
1 Level 6 Elder

How much would these numbers (in a 100,000-people city) fit a LotFP campaign?

Also, assuming an ice-age on one hand and higher-than-usual technology (and mammoths as draft animals) on the other hand, how many 24-mile-wide hexes would be necessary to feed a 100,000-resident city?

Input would be welcome.


  1. I think 1 acre per person is a good rule of thumb in times of bounty. During poor conditions (such as in your ice age), I'd to with 2 or 3 acres of land per person. There are 640 acres per sq mile. A 24 mile hex has about 452 sq miles, or 290,000 acres. (call it 300,000). So in bad times, one 24 mile hex should suffice.