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  • Dragonblooded Demographic Calculations

    I was doing a bunch of calculations and estimates re. Dragonblooded demographics, and wanted to post them. Not sure if they’re useful for anything - a bunch of them have to do with secondary schools.
    From the Book: There are 25,000 dbs alive - 10,000 dynasts, 4,000 dynastic outcastes, 1000 patricians and cadets, 10,000 from outside the Realm.
    From the Book: Most of the Real’s Exalted die before their hundredth birthday.
    Assumption: The mean DB lives, as a DB, for roughly 75 years. This is based on the hundredth birthday fact, plus the fact that the tail of long lives is much longer than the tail of short lives. If you think this number should be different, you’ll need to adjust the other numbers to match.
    Assumption: The DB population is stable-ish. The number of DBs who are born and die each year are close to each other, even if the population is slowly growing or shrinking.
    Calculation: The number of DBs born and dying each year must be roughly (total DB population)/(mean lifespan as a DB). That is, 133 Dynasts/year, 53 Realm Outcastes/Year, 13 Other Realm/Year, 133 Other/Year, for 333/year total.
    Alternate Calculation - A pair of DBs is expected to have a child between every 12 and 20 years in the Realm. Using the low end of that to account for older DBs who’ve already have 5 kids, unmarried DBs, infertile DBs or ones in marriages that can’t produce children, etc, that’s an average of 1 child for every 40 DBs every year. A DB of average pedigree can expect half of these children to Exalt, ie 1 exalt per 80 DBs every year. This doesn’t include lost eggs and such, so I’d guess this estimates more like 1/60 overall, which isn’t too far off from the other number.

    I originally was trying to estimate the total number of DBs the Silver Pact is killing. Assuming they account for a third of the deaths of Realm DBs, they’re killing 67 DBs/Year. Which I think implies a relatively small fraction of Lunars are actively involved in the war with the Realm.

    On Secondary Schools:

    From the Book: Secondary School in the Realm lasts 7 years
    Calculation: There are roughly 1400 secondary school aged DBs in the realm - 933 Dynasts, 373 Outcastes, 93 other
    From the Book: No more than a few dozen students are enrolled in the Heptagram at any given time. Hundreds of students are in the House of Bells. The Spiral Academy is the largest in terms of students. Pasiap’s Stair consists of hundreds of students.
    From the Book: Most students are Dragonblooded, but each school does admit some mortal students.
    From the Book: All outcastes must either take the coin or the razor, going to either the House of Wisdom or Pasiap’s Stair

    Rough Estimates - Around 250 DBs in each of the House of Wisdom, The House of Bells, and Pasiap’s Stair, for 30-40 a year. Around 350 DBs in the Spiral Academy, for 50ish a year. Around 60 DBs in the Heptagram for 9-ish a year. Around 240 students in all lesser secondary schools.

  • #2
    That gels. Are Lunars stated to cause a third of Deeb deaths anywhere? I'd be tempted to call them a solid 50%.


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
      That gels. Are Lunars stated to cause a third of Deeb deaths anywhere? I'd be tempted to call them a solid 50%.

      I think it's a pretty good estimate - Creation is a very big place with lots of beings and things for the Exalted to get in trouble with. To say Lunars are perenially to blame for 1/3 of DBs deaths in a Creation full of gods, elementals, demons, fae, behemoths, other exalted & exigents and a bunch of less identifiable but potentially as deadly entities would be mighty impressive indeed, i dare say.

      Even more so if one accounts for the fact that not all Lunars are actively involved in grinding all the self-proclaimed Xogunate successors.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post


        I think it's a pretty good estimate - Creation is a very big place with lots of beings and things for the Exalted to get in trouble with. To say Lunars are perenially to blame for 1/3 of DBs deaths in a Creation full of gods, elementals, demons, fae, behemoths, other exalted & exigents and a bunch of less identifiable but potentially as deadly entities would be mighty impressive indeed, i dare say.

        Even more so if one accounts for the fact that not all Lunars are actively involved in grinding all the self-proclaimed Xogunate successors.

        The problem if Lunars are involved in too high a percentage of Deeb deaths - although I'm not sure what the percentage is where this becomes a problem - is that it implies that demographic attrition is probably a better strategy for the Lunars than economic attrition. Like, the book suggests that the Lunars who are committed to the war against the Shogunate and the Realm focus on denying territory and draining resources, so if they instead tried to maximize the number of DBs killed, they could probably have killed a substantially higher number than they did, which would lead to many fewer DBs to fight today. Like, if the Lunars killed 50% and the lifespan is 75 years, then each DB has a 1/150 chance of being killed by a Lunar each year, so if they increased their deadliness by 10%, the Dragonblooded population would decrease by 1/1500 each year, so if the Realm and Shogunate each lasted 750 years, this would lead to a decrease of 1/e - i.e. the Ten Thousand Dragons would be down to 3,679, and the total number of DBs would be under ten thousand. With a 20% increase, the DBs in the world would not even outnumber the Lunars 10 to 1. Given that the economic attrition strategy didn't seem to really be working until the Empress disappeared, it seems like this would have been a better play. Since Lunars can live that long, they would actually be able to see it to fruition.

        But Fangs doesn't really describe the Lunars as considering this possibility - even the Burning Eye, whose plan is to kill the DBs, wants to do it in one fell swoop rather than slowly over time.

        I mean, I can certainly understand why people don't want this kind of thinking to be part of their campaign setting, so you can just ignore it, but it would also be cool if the numbers were such that it doesn't seem to be a viable strategy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post


          The problem if Lunars are involved in too high a percentage of Deeb deaths - although I'm not sure what the percentage is where this becomes a problem - is that it implies that demographic attrition is probably a better strategy for the Lunars than economic attrition.
          I don't think that holds.

          The Empress's plan was to hold the Realm stable with controlled growth. A plan that meant she could casually kill off the legions of a Great House like Tepet and not endanger the Realm as a whole. In 2E, she explicitly fostered boarder wars to keep the legions sharp. The number of Deebs dying to Lunars is something more under the control of the Realm than the Silver Pact: if deaths became too high, they could contract and stop backstabbing each other (well, probably), but deaths need to be high enough to keep the attention of the ambitious on the boarders instead of the capital.

          But, sure, I guess 50% is probably too high, all things considered.

          It's just that... a group of 5 PCs probably kills more DBs in the course of a single story than the rest of the Silver Pact kills in a year.


          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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          • #6
            I think that the DB population attrition strategy, and to a lesser extent all Lunar anti-Realm strategies, suffer from a difference between the values of Lunars as a whole, and any individual lunar.
            From the point of view of the Silver Pact, if a Lunar dies killing a DB, that's a win, since the Lunar will be shortly replaced by another Lunar, so only the specific aptitudes of the dead Lunar are lost, not overall population, while the DB is dead forever, along with all the children they might have had.
            On the other hand, from the point of view of the Lunar who just died, they're dead. It doesn't matter to them that a hundred years from now the Realm might not have the population to keep up the Wyld Hunt, since they won't live to see it.
            I suspect part of why the number of DBs who die to Lunars isn't higher is a lot of Lunars just avoid dealing with the Realm, and the rest prioritize only getting into fights they know they can win, which they can't find all that often.
            PCs, on the other hand, probably get into fights all the time, and possibly die way more often than the typical Lunar.

            (Lunars accounting for a third of Realm DB deaths was me making up a number up that sounded reasonable, the only number I know of is that most DBs die to misadventures or battles before their hundredth birthday. Which presumably includes Lunars as well as gods, demons, elementals, faeries, other DB, mortals, etc. But it does suggest dying of old age is rare.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by autXautY View Post
              I was doing a bunch of calculations and estimates re. Dragonblooded demographics, and wanted to post them. Not sure if they’re useful for anything - a bunch of them have to do with secondary schools.
              From the Book: There are 25,000 dbs alive - 10,000 dynasts, 4,000 dynastic outcastes, 1000 patricians and cadets, 10,000 from outside the Realm.
              From the Book: Most of the Real’s Exalted die before their hundredth birthday.
              Assumption: The mean DB lives, as a DB, for roughly 75 years. This is based on the hundredth birthday fact, plus the fact that the tail of long lives is much longer than the tail of short lives. If you think this number should be different, you’ll need to adjust the other numbers to match.
              Assumption: The DB population is stable-ish. The number of DBs who are born and die each year are close to each other, even if the population is slowly growing or shrinking.
              Calculation: The number of DBs born and dying each year must be roughly (total DB population)/(mean lifespan as a DB). That is, 133 Dynasts/year, 53 Realm Outcastes/Year, 13 Other Realm/Year, 133 Other/Year, for 333/year total.
              Alternate Calculation - A pair of DBs is expected to have a child between every 12 and 20 years in the Realm. Using the low end of that to account for older DBs who’ve already have 5 kids, unmarried DBs, infertile DBs or ones in marriages that can’t produce children, etc, that’s an average of 1 child for every 40 DBs every year. A DB of average pedigree can expect half of these children to Exalt, ie 1 exalt per 80 DBs every year. This doesn’t include lost eggs and such, so I’d guess this estimates more like 1/60 overall, which isn’t too far off from the other number.

              I originally was trying to estimate the total number of DBs the Silver Pact is killing. Assuming they account for a third of the deaths of Realm DBs, they’re killing 67 DBs/Year. Which I think implies a relatively small fraction of Lunars are actively involved in the war with the Realm.

              On Secondary Schools:

              From the Book: Secondary School in the Realm lasts 7 years
              Calculation: There are roughly 1400 secondary school aged DBs in the realm - 933 Dynasts, 373 Outcastes, 93 other
              From the Book: No more than a few dozen students are enrolled in the Heptagram at any given time. Hundreds of students are in the House of Bells. The Spiral Academy is the largest in terms of students. Pasiap’s Stair consists of hundreds of students.
              From the Book: Most students are Dragonblooded, but each school does admit some mortal students.
              From the Book: All outcastes must either take the coin or the razor, going to either the House of Wisdom or Pasiap’s Stair

              Rough Estimates - Around 250 DBs in each of the House of Wisdom, The House of Bells, and Pasiap’s Stair, for 30-40 a year. Around 350 DBs in the Spiral Academy, for 50ish a year. Around 60 DBs in the Heptagram for 9-ish a year. Around 240 students in all lesser secondary schools.
              Idk enough math to actually do anything with this but it’s still really cool, especially knowing exactly how many Dragon-Blooded students are in all the major secondary schools (I always pictured the Heptagram as a harsher grittier and more competitive version of Hogwarts).


              “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                It's just that... a group of 5 PCs probably kills more DBs in the course of a single story than the rest of the Silver Pact kills in a year.
                Sometimes I wonder if people's chronicles ought to be subject to critical evaluation.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                  Sometimes I wonder if people's chronicles ought to be subject to critical evaluation.
                  What do you mean critical evaluation?


                  “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penelope View Post

                    What do you mean critical evaluation?
                    My read is of Isator's post is that it's "Bad Wrong Fun" for Lunars to kill 34 Realm Dragon-Blooded over the course of a story. But that's just my read, I might be being uncharitable.

                    (Certainly Isator's view is supported by the Chapter Fiction, whereby a Lunar coup kills, what, one DB, lets one flee, and holds a third to randsom?)

                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                    Sometimes I wonder if people's chronicles ought to be subject to critical evaluation.
                    My campaign is up on these forums. If you have constructive criticism, I'd love to hear it. It's feeling a little stale to me -- it could be the (Covid mandated) lack of face-to-face, but I'm not enjoying running it.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-29-2020, 06:19 AM.


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      I don't think that holds.

                      The Empress's plan was to hold the Realm stable with controlled growth. A plan that meant she could casually kill off the legions of a Great House like Tepet and not endanger the Realm as a whole. In 2E, she explicitly fostered boarder wars to keep the legions sharp. The number of Deebs dying to Lunars is something more under the control of the Realm than the Silver Pact: if deaths became too high, they could contract and stop backstabbing each other (well, probably), but deaths need to be high enough to keep the attention of the ambitious on the boarders instead of the capital.
                      That's a fair point although I don't yet fully understand it.

                      One way to interpret this is that throughout most of the reign of the Empress, she was quite willing to sacrifice DBs to keep the empire running. Rather than focusing on bleeding the Empire, the Lunars could have been trying to kill DBs, until it got to the point where the Empress felt the need to more carefully safeguard her DBs. At this point, it would be be a lot easier to do the kinds of foment rebellion / attack supply lines / throw sand in the gears of the machinery of empire things we see Lunars doing in their book. So maybe the Lunars have been doing things somewhat out-of-order?

                      Of course the death of the Empress has rendered that kind of long-term strategic maneuvering moot in the present day, if it ever was viable.

                      I think the Shogunate was supposed to have more internal wars than the Realm - that would have been a very fertile opportunity for Lunars to try to manipulate these wars to kill as many DBs as possible.

                      It's just that... a group of 5 PCs probably kills more DBs in the course of a single story than the rest of the Silver Pact kills in a year.
                      Wait, how many are you killing per story? Isn't a story like 5 sessions?

                      But I agree you could kill 67 Realm DBs in a campaign (14 fights against a circle of 5, or 3 per Essence level) and a campaign without time skips often takes about a year.

                      If you're going up against DBs from Essence 1 to Essence 5 in a year-long campaign, your PCs are almost certainly a substantial contributor to the Creation-wide Dragonblooded death rate.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
                        So maybe the Lunars have been doing things somewhat out-of-order?
                        I think AutXAutY probably has the right of it: it's nice to look at the cold-math of killing the ten-thousand strong army of elemental super-soldiers, but it's a different matter when you're the one given the rusty spear and told to rip the enemy's throat out with your teeth.

                        It's a lot easier to convince recruits to, you know, not march into a meat-grinder with promises of "some of you may die, but that's a price I'm willing to pay" and instead convince them to be more subtle and enjoy their thousands-of-year long lifespans and godlike powers.

                        (Meanwhile, the more bloodthirsty elders are writing long blog posts on how it doesn't matter if a young Lunar dies if they stop a Deeb from breeding, and why doesn't anyone listen to their tactical brilliance! In the First Age we respected our elders!)

                        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
                        Wait, how many are you killing per story? Isn't a story like 5 sessions?

                        But I agree you could kill 67 Realm DBs in a campaign (14 fights against a circle of 5, or 3 per Essence level) and a campaign without time skips often takes about a year.

                        If you're going up against DBs from Essence 1 to Essence 5 in a year-long campaign, your PCs are almost certainly a substantial contributor to the Creation-wide Dragonblooded death rate.
                        Huh. I've been screwing my players it seems (my stories are 10-15 sessions).

                        I was working 67 dead Realm DBs meant 34 killed by PCs and 33 killed by NPCs. Circle of 5 Lunars, two DBs per PC for a challenging fight, three challenging fights per story (one every five sessions), plus 4 random DBs who get assassinated/worfed/"Do you know who I am?"/"I ate them."

                        That math might not hold. I've not run a Lunars game in 3E yet.


                        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                          I think that the DB population attrition strategy, and to a lesser extent all Lunar anti-Realm strategies, suffer from a difference between the values of Lunars as a whole, and any individual lunar.
                          From the point of view of the Silver Pact, if a Lunar dies killing a DB, that's a win, since the Lunar will be shortly replaced by another Lunar, so only the specific aptitudes of the dead Lunar are lost, not overall population, while the DB is dead forever, along with all the children they might have had.
                          On the other hand, from the point of view of the Lunar who just died, they're dead. It doesn't matter to them that a hundred years from now the Realm might not have the population to keep up the Wyld Hunt, since they won't live to see it.
                          I suspect part of why the number of DBs who die to Lunars isn't higher is a lot of Lunars just avoid dealing with the Realm, and the rest prioritize only getting into fights they know they can win, which they can't find all that often.
                          PCs, on the other hand, probably get into fights all the time, and possibly die way more often than the typical Lunar.
                          This is the approach intended by the dev team, yes.


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                          • #14
                            So to start we have:

                            1,400 DBs as students
                            1,000 in position as satrap + garrison commander
                            1,900 in mainline army forces

                            For the navy the numbers we have is that the second smallest fleet is the Merchent Fleet at just under 1,000 ships, and the Water fleet is by far the largest. So let's say something like

                            800 Earth
                            950 Merchant
                            1,200 Fire
                            1,200 Wood
                            1,300 Air
                            1,600 Water

                            We total 7,050 ships. Each of these carrying 25-100-500 soldiers on their three sizes about. We'll say the breakdown goes like this

                            Earth/Fire/Wood/Merchant fleets will have 1% heaviest vessels, 15% heavy vessels (4,150 vessels total)
                            Air fleet 3% heaviest, 20% heavy (1,300 vessels total)
                            Water fleet 5% heaviest, 50% heavy since they're vastly more large blue water ships (1,600 vessels total)


                            We get 80,500 troops on the heaviest vessels, 168,200 troops on heavy ships, 130,000 on light ships, totaling 378,700 marines, not counting sailors in the navy. So with well over a quarter of a million troops and something similar to that number in sailors how many Dragonblooded are actually in the navy? Well for about the same number of legionaires there's over 1,500 dragonblooded, but given as the navy is comprised of mostly one house, with some scions from other houses and V'Neef being over represented there maybe 1,000? Remembering here that those dragonblooded are both commanding marine forces and captaining ships, and directing fleet maneuvers, logistics work, etc.

                            BUT that's actually just the imperial forces. It doesn't count house navies, or house paramilitary forces. Maybe slightly less than 1 in 10 are paramilitary, so boost that by 10%

                            That's now

                            1,400 DBs as students
                            1,000 in position as satrap + garrison coommander
                            2,090 in mainline army forces
                            1,100 in marine forces

                            That's now 5,590 dragonblooded. What we have left to fill are magistrates, dedicated All-Seeing-Eye agents, senators and their aides, and prefects and governors of prefectures and dominions on the Blessed Isle. There's also the entire Immaculate Order, including the five breaths, temples, missions, directional missions, and the Palace Sublime itself. Plus the various business owners for everything that the Realm might care to dabble in. In addition to that there's the Thousand Scales ministries for managing money both internally and externally, laws, law enforcement, public works, communication networks, heredity, sorcery, measurements, and human resources. Along with that the various sorcerous societies in the Realm, official artifacers, teachers, entertainers, architects, artists, physicians, writers, and more.

                            Also only about half of the Realm's dynasts are gainfully employed in the first place, so we have something like 1,000-2,000 to do all that in. The rest just live off their government stipend and go around doing personal projects and adventuring and stuff. It's entirely possible that when you add up all the Dragonblooded that should be in the Realm you'll end up with a number a fair bit higher than the supposed total. That that that's really critical,


                            It also just feels a bit weird that a full 1 in 5 Dynasts are full time professional warriors of some kind, but maybe that's just their culture and the effects that would have.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                              I think that the DB population attrition strategy, and to a lesser extent all Lunar anti-Realm strategies, suffer from a difference between the values of Lunars as a whole, and any individual lunar.
                              From the point of view of the Silver Pact, if a Lunar dies killing a DB, that's a win, since the Lunar will be shortly replaced by another Lunar, so only the specific aptitudes of the dead Lunar are lost, not overall population, while the DB is dead forever, along with all the children they might have had.
                              On the other hand, from the point of view of the Lunar who just died, they're dead. It doesn't matter to them that a hundred years from now the Realm might not have the population to keep up the Wyld Hunt, since they won't live to see it.
                              I suspect part of why the number of DBs who die to Lunars isn't higher is a lot of Lunars just avoid dealing with the Realm, and the rest prioritize only getting into fights they know they can win, which they can't find all that often.
                              Sure, but you can imagine Lunars advising each other to kill DBs rather than let them get away, to attack wandering Dragonblooded mercenaries rather than trying to overthrow satrapies, and similar strategic adjustments that don't necessarily put one at (much) more risk.

                              You could imagine Lunars keeping tallies of the number of DBs they've killed and competing with each other over it.

                              There are tools that societies can use to push their members in the direction of doing something that benefits the society as a whole (the DBs have many such tools). The Lunars don't really appear to be doing this stuff in Fangs at the Gate - they do offer advice and maybe social pressure, but it's more in the direction of waging economic warfare against the Realm. (Although I wonder if some of Sha'a Oka's adherents justify their direct confrontational approach with this kind of argument, rather than by caring about the Caul itself.)

                              But I guess I agree that such social tools wouldn't necessarily appear.
                              Last edited by habitableexoplanet; 12-28-2020, 07:57 PM.

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