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Dragonblooded Demographic Calculations

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  • #16
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    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.

    If nearly all the non-Dynasts are gainfully employed, quite a lot in the military, that would help a bit. Assuming the "half" figure refers to those not in school, we have 4500 gainfully employed Dynasts and 3500 non-Dynasts, or 8,000 total. We have a little under 4,000 left.

    Let's try:

    150 magistrates
    150 dedicated All-Seeing-Eye agents
    200 senators and their aides
    200 prefects and governors of prefectures and dominions on the Blessed Isle.
    1500 in the Immaculate Order
    350 in the Thousand Scales - about 40 to each ministry you mentioned
    100 dedicated sorcerers
    150 dedicated teachers
    100 entertainers
    100 architects
    100 artists
    150 physicians
    50 writers
    800 business owners and others

    It's certainly tight no matter how you slice it.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

      My read 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 it's a read supported by the Chapter Fiction, whereby a Lunar coup kills, what, one DB, lets one flee, and holds a third to randsom?)



      My campaign is up on these forums. If you have constructive critacism, 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.
      I totally agree with your read. Mass slaughter of Dragon-Blooded by Celestial Exalted is (in my opinion) not supported by either the letter or the spirit of the setting.


      “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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      • #18
        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post

        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.
        I think that it's hard for the Silver Pact to develop serious social tools, when they have to start well into a person's life. The Realm can have social pushes towards group-supporting activities partially because this culture is spread to Dynasts from birth onwards.
        Also, Dynasts are way denser than Lunars. There are 10,000 Dynasts in the Realm, and 5000 other DBs. Most Dynasts are in a city with multiple other Dragonblooded, and many are in places like the Imperial City with tons of Dragonblooded. Add in school friends, previous co-workers, parents, and such and a Dynast's social circle may be primarily dragon blooded.
        On the other hand, it seems like a Lunar who lives in an area dense with Lunars has maybe 5 other lunars nearby, and plenty of Lunars live somewhere there are no other Lunars. It's hard to develop a culture that pushes people to behave in the interests of the Silver Pact over their own when they talk to another lunar only every few months.

        Also, the every time a Lunar who really believes in risking their lives to kill DBs puts their money where their mouth is, their next incarnation may very well disagree. Ideologies that encourage their members to risk their lives always have a retention problem.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
          It's certainly tight no matter how you slice it.
          Yeah, the Order especially is a big one. It includes everyone from the Mouth of Peace, to wandering itinerant monks, to the guys holed up in mountains for decades practicing the same kick 10,000 times to perfection. I think it's probably the largest single organization in the whole world?

          Also the Thousand Scales is massive. I mentioned a few ministries but there are literally hundreds, some of them small enough that they probably don't have any exalts in them, but others contain several. By virtue of having every satrap in it the Wise and Knowledgeable Advisors off Foreign Tributaries has hundreds.

          It's at least close enough not to be ridiculous though. It's not like there's supposed to be 1,000 dragonblooded in the Realm or anything.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by autXautY View Post
            On the other hand, it seems like a Lunar who lives in an area dense with Lunars has maybe 5 other lunars nearby, and plenty of Lunars live somewhere there are no other Lunars. It's hard to develop a culture that pushes people to behave in the interests of the Silver Pact over their own when they talk to another lunar only every few months.
            I like the way Fangs at the Gate depicts Ma-Ha-Suchi's house. You've got the guy at the centre who made a big name for himself by very prominently conducting operations against the enemy, surrounded by a mix of people impressed with that legend, enamoured with his own striking personality, and just in proximity and using it opportunistically (but where he's the one there that sees potential to be cultivated).

            You could probably mix in somebody who's drawn more by the general culture in the Tangle, which necessitates paying tribute to the Lunar at the top of the thing.

            I imagine members of the Silver Pact often prefer a playbook of conflating the interests of the association with the interests of the individual, and pointing out that some personal needs trump others at any given time. The needs of the Pact over your own is the kind of thing to lean on sparingly except in cases of the really dedicated believers (or people with a personality inclined to throw themselves behind a cause).

            Looking at shahan-ya descriptions, I think for a lot of Lunars it's a bit like being Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon fostered in the same house, where there's a strong personal connection even without seeing one another for years. The Silver Pact is really ultimately seeing all of these small but deep relationships (that overlap with one another at the margins) from a distance. It's like a gas; solid molecules, fluid connections between them, but that lets it conform to several situations.

            And Lunars can do some impressive things with Charisma.

            And Manipulation. I see people suggest the Silver Pact doesn't represent the best interests of an individual Lunar, but perhaps without considering characters whose idea of what their own best interests are can be guided by the presentation of others. I think there are errors any time people assume that characters in Exalted know what's good for them.

            Lunar councils might be infrequent, but events like that can still be made memorable enough to leave strong impressions and guiding ideas; a bit like attending conventions for pop culture or niche interests. You can't make as intricate a culture from that as a Great House, but such a thing is not necessary for the common interests of the Silver Pact.

            Thinking about it now, I find there's something to be said for the idea that it's not necessary for the Silver Pact to require hard means of inclining people to engage in violence in their own perceived interests if one assumes that most folks in Creation are already hovering just below that threshold.

            And, well... look at something like peasant uprisings on the Blessed Isle. Not erupting so frequently to grind Realm productivity to a halt, and yet apparently it's not a huge push for people to get into them when they happen. Take any given person like that and give them the power of Exaltation, and where might they go with it?


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

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              Thinking about it now, I find there's something to be said for the idea that it's not necessary for the Silver Pact to require hard means of inclining people to engage in violence in their own perceived interests if one assumes that most folks in Creation are already hovering just below that threshold.

              And, well... look at something like peasant uprisings on the Blessed Isle. Not erupting so frequently to grind Realm productivity to a halt, and yet apparently it's not a huge push for people to get into them when they happen. Take any given person like that and give them the power of Exaltation, and where might they go with it?
              I'm sorry, what's the thrust here? That Lunars should be killing more DBs?


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

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                I'm sorry, what's the thrust here? That Lunars should be killing more DBs?
                That it doesn't take a huge amount of indoctrination to make them engage in activity that kills whatever number of people, because they don't have to be conditioned out of a lifestyle totally averse to violence.


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

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                • #23
                  I kind of feel like you might have worked backwards. Given the rate at which new DBs are produced, it should be possible to derive the mean DB lifespan such that the population remains stable.

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