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  • JRRParker
    started a topic Population and Generation - timeline theory

    Population and Generation - timeline theory

    A recent discussion about the Dark Ages got me thinking about what the generation spread would look like at any given time. Because of that, I looked up what I could find about the historic human population, and what could be extrapolated from it to get a gauge of how the population of vampires would change over time.

    My assumptions: first, the worldwide population of active vampires would follow the 1/100,000 rule. Second, the higher generations are the most likely to embrace, as they are generally the youngest and most likely to expand into new areas and populations. Third, this is an abstraction and is not intended to conform with specific story elements. Just as with economics, the larger picture is much more accurate than looking at individual events. Here goes.

    10,000 BCE - humanity has a population of roughly 4 million, allowing for up to 40 vampires. The 4th generation already outnumbers the third. This far back in pre-history, debates about the meaning of Enoch and the loss of the first or second city are theoretical. Vampires would have lived as veritable gods, as human population was rarely dense enough to cause them significant problems.

    7300 BCE - Humanity now numbers 5 million souls, and the vampire population has grown with it. The 5th generation and 4th generation now have roughly the same number of active vampires, though there are likely fewer than 20 of either generation.

    3800 BCE - Population of the herd has grown to 7.7 million, introducing the possibility to further expand. The 6th generation now matches the 5th for the most populous in vampire society. Vampires of the 7th and 8th generation would not be unheard of in the trade centers around the largest city in the world at the time, Uruk in modern Iraq.

    2800 BCE - Human population doubles in a thousand years, now at roughly 15 million. The 7th generation is the most populous, with more than 50 active vampires. The 7th generation is now more populous than all vampires active when Caine exiled them from Enoch.

    1900 BCE - the human population has again doubled, now boasting 30 million people. More than 100 8th generation vampires now stand as the most populous cadre,

    1000 BCE - 50 million people now inhabit the planet, allowing the vampire population to hit 500 for the first time. The 9th generation nearly matches the 8th in established vampires, and the 10th-11th generation is likely considered thin-blooded. This would be the first time vampires with a blood potency of 1 are embraced.

    500 BCE - in just five hundred years, the human population has again doubled to 100 million. The rapid expansion of the populace means that the 10th and 11th generations taken together outnumber the 9th, though that remains the most populous generation for another century. Babylon stands as the center of civilization, though Alexandria, Carthage, and Xi'an will all rise in the coming centuries as major centers in their own right. Vampire society likely becomes more of a reality at this time, as population centers and trade routes would support multiple broods of different clans across large parts of the planet.

    Year 0 - 170 million humans now live, with both Alexandria and Rome potentially holding populations of 1 million each. This is the last century where the 10th generation is the most populous. The human population will continue to grow modestly for the next millennium, allowing for vampiric population to remain stable with respect to the generational spread. This is a golden age for a society that has yet to see any significant barrier to its growth.

    600 CE - Human population is now 200 million. 2000 vampires exist, much the same as they have for the prior thousand years.

    1200 CE - The 12th generation is now the most populous, matching the default generation of PCs in VtDA. Human population will peak in 1250 at 400 million, though by the end of the century it will be back at 360 million, where it was when the century began. The population percentage by generation looks something like this:

    13th (thin blood) - 2.8%
    12th - 38.3%
    11th - 29.6%
    10th - 14.8%
    9th - 7.4%
    8th - 3.7%
    7th-6th - 2.7%
    5th or lower - 0.8%

    1400 CE - dropping from an all-time high of 443 million just fifty years prior, humanity now stands at 350 million. The loss of nearly 100 million vessels brings about a population crisis. From this standpoint, the Inquisition seems like a foregone conclusion given the sudden loss of so much potential feeding. Odds are that no more than 2000 vampires embraced before this crisis remain alive once it is over. By 1500 CE, more than half of all vampires are likely under a century of age.

    1700 CE - worldwide population rebounded incredibly rapidly, now topping 600 million. Such rapidly expanding domains have allowed the latest generations to flourish; the 13th generation now stands at over 2000 vampires; the entire vampire population 1000 years prior was only 2100. The 12th generation will hang on to its position as the most dominant.

    1850 CE - just after the turn of the century, human population hit 1 billion for the first time and kept rising. By mid-century it hits 1.26 billion, allowing for a similar expansion in vampiric numbers.

    1930 CE - Sometime in the 1920's the population will hit 2 billion, doubling in just 80 years. This is the last decade where the 12th holds the most population, with the 13th exploding during the post-war boom. The first part of the 20th century is also when thin-bloods begin to appear, though infrequently and likely leading very short lives.

    1960 CE - The population is now 3.02 billion, adding a billion people in just 30 years, with more than half of them coming on in the last decade. Thin-blooded vampires are now a reality in most of the larger domains on the planet. The 13th generation now likely has over 15,000 vampires - a staggering number beyond the comprehension of most vampires over the age of an ancilla. At the dawn of the century the planet could only support a total vampire population of 16,500. If all vampires who survived the Inquisition are still alive (which is incredibly unlikely), they would comprise only 6.6% of the total vampire population.

    1990 CE - human population is 5.26 billion, and there are now likely more than 50,000 vampires on planet earth. 22,500 or more of those vampires are 30 years embraced or less, meaning half of vampire population is comprised of neonates. Only 18% of all vampires could be 200 years or more old, with the likely number being closer to half that. 7% of all vampires are likely thin-blooded, causing a panic in Kindred society and a rapid decrease in their numbers.

    2020 CE - Population is likely to hit 8 billion, with 80,000 vampires. Nearly 30,000 vampires are less than 30 years under the fang, with another 22,500 no more than 60. Elders are so vastly outnumbered that the reality of vampire society is going to change, and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

    Thin-Blood - 3.8%
    13th - 49.9%
    12th - 26.8%
    11th - 12.2%
    10th - 4.6%
    9th - 1.7%
    8th-6th - 0.95%
    5th or less - 0.04%

    Breakdown by age:
    Childer (0-15 years) - 42,522 (53.2%)
    Neonate (16-75 years) - 23,741 (29.7%)
    Ancilla (76-250) - 9762 (12.2%)
    Elder (251-1000) - 3225 (4.0%)
    Methuselah (1000+) - 750 (0.94%)





  • Trollroot
    replied
    Originally posted by JRRParker View Post
    The Second generation mostly embraced between 7,000-8,300 BCE, with Set being the lone exception of directly-embraced 3rd generation around 5,000 BCE
    Its a very interesting observation on how generations tend to stop embracing. I think its worth mentioning that it was a common idea on the original board that Set was embraced into the 4th generation and diablerized his way to the 3rd. Several things printed since then seems to add to the circumstantial evidence.

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  • Thoth
    replied
    Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
    Most don't really notice it due to the story-downtime structure of most chronicles, but it's what happens. Months of the same old shit on end, something noteworthy happens maybe a few times a year, once or twice a decade something major goes down. Most of the time shit goes down because vampires have such long stretches of nothing, that grudges and feuds fester until they start fucking with each other just to stave off boredom.
    This is another of those things that seems weird to me. The fluff and setting is more or less geared for most players to be playing Lost Boys coteries, which are little more than a gang with fangs. They stick around the same city and don't amass power so much as just goof around like teenagers, regardless of their actual mental/psychological age. These sorts of vampires would live for grudges and feuds to stave off boredom.

    Since vampires can choose whom to embrace that means that they essentially get to choose what sort of behavioral qualities are added to vampire society. Thus embracing anyone who would be a good fit for the title of Harpy probably wouldn't make the cut. Incompetent socialites who can't do anything other than drink while being stuck up tend to deserve impalement rather than an embrace. But once again, the game needs problems for the players to overcome.

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  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by Thoth View Post

    Very true, though it is interesting that the Masquerade by design doesn't facilitate a harmonious vampiric society...The ship always being on the verge of sinking makes for more interesting games than a ship that is fully functional 90% or more the time.
    Most don't really notice it due to the story-downtime structure of most chronicles, but it's what happens. Months of the same old shit on end, something noteworthy happens maybe a few times a year, once or twice a decade something major goes down. Most of the time shit goes down because vampires have such long stretches of nothing, that grudges and feuds fester until they start fucking with each other just to stave off boredom.

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  • SarcasticJazzHands
    replied
    In my V20 game, one of the character, a high humanity religious scholar Lasombra antitrbu, has over many years of research and testing created synthetic vitae. The problem with it is that it needs to be distilled inside of a human to give it the spark of nourishment. She hasn't implemented it full scale, because it would necessitate a human farm, and the character is opposed to that. One side benefit of the compound that she created is that it increases the longevity for blood outside of a human body in blood bags/bottles. Not as long as alchemical preservation, but enough to give a good shelf life to the 3 blood points sitting in that wine bottle in the back of a vampire's fridge. Secondarily, it can fortify animal blood to be a longer lasting viable feeding source, so many of the drinks purchased at Elysium are actually half and half animal and human blood.

    The PCs in my game were embraced just after the Civil War. in 1991, between they occupy the following positions; Prince (Toreador), Seneschal (Ventrue), Sheriff (Nosferatu), and Primogen (Brujah, Gangrel and the Lasombra antitribu mentioned about representing caitiff/bloodlines). The prince is the highest generation of the group, and only took power out of fear of what some of the other power players might do. She has kept power by appealing to a vampire's sense of safety, providing the city a refuge of the displaced but the Vampiric citizenry help to ensure the safety of the city as a whole. She's had a few challengers over the years, but through manipulation, guile and some dumb luck she's maintained power. The game is set in the second largest city in Arizona, which the coterie has helped to transform to rival Las Vegas. I have copied some of the historical vampiric events that occurred in Chicago and applied them to Tucson. So the coterie just finished dealing with the Lupine war that too out a third of the city's population, mostly the more recently embraced childer vampires. Speaking of which.. I need to update the play through on here, it has been a while...

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  • Thoth
    replied
    Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
    That said, as someone who's lived in rural and suburban areas most of their life, I'd actually provide a counter-perspective to orthodoxy. Sure, the anonymity of urban cores is of generally greater benefit to vamps. Sure, rural communities are more tightly-knit than urban communities and that represents a series of challenges to feeding, haven maintenance, and remaining hidden urban vamps may not deal with. But, for a vampire that generally has their shit together, the main challenges to the Masquerade aren't in interacting with humans but rather other vampires where fighting over domains, influences, herds, and the like where these micro-Jyhad plays inevitably bring out the worst in each other. Smaller vampire populations spread out over smaller communities is going to yield an environment where they can coexist without stepping on each other's toes too much, and that coexistence will be much more harmonious when the majority of threats are external.
    Very true, though it is interesting that the Masquerade by design doesn't facilitate a harmonious vampiric society. By this I am referring to the fact that while there might be designated hunting grounds in a city, such as its local bars, there isn't just a vampire run building that is full of lobotomized mortals that no one will miss and any vampire in good standing can feed from without worry of being observed or exposed. Sure that sounds a bit dark for a Humanity focused group like the Camarilla, but its not like you can't just use prisoners scheduled for execution or people guilty of horrible crimes. If anything that would technically be more benevolent that the current mortal system of incarceration and execution.

    Personally I feel this is a choice of game design to promote stories and role play rather than decisions made to create a functional vampire society that could go undetected by modern day human society. The ship always being on the verge of sinking makes for more interesting games than a ship that is fully functional 90% or more the time.

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  • Theodrim
    replied
    Trying to cleave to any specific ratio at any time is really a fool's errand; that's not something that can be contextualized or predicted with straight, uniform maths. As others said, it's not about how many vampires a given human population can support but rather how many vampires can exist in a given area while maintaining the Masquerade. That, in itself, isn't necessarily a factor of how many vampires are around, but rather who's there, what their attitudes are, who's in charge, how well they behave themselves, and the amount of resources not directly linked to blood supply (read, influences, domains, subcultures, etc.) to go around. There isn't a magical "well, once this many vampires move in, shit goes down" threshold linked to demographics.

    Complicating this is modern mass communication, the transition from agrarian life to urban life over the course of the Industrial Revolution, the rise of urban sprawl, and the wildly variant degrees of infrastructure quality over the course of the developed and developing world. What works for vampires in Sao Paolo, for example, won't work for vampires in Portland, OR, and vice versa. Hell, what works for vamps in Portland may not even work for vamps in Seattle given the latter's..."challenges"...over the past decade.

    That said, as someone who's lived in rural and suburban areas most of their life, I'd actually provide a counter-perspective to orthodoxy. Sure, the anonymity of urban cores is of generally greater benefit to vamps. Sure, rural communities are more tightly-knit than urban communities and that represents a series of challenges to feeding, haven maintenance, and remaining hidden urban vamps may not deal with. But, for a vampire that generally has their shit together, the main challenges to the Masquerade aren't in interacting with humans but rather other vampires where fighting over domains, influences, herds, and the like where these micro-Jyhad plays inevitably bring out the worst in each other. Smaller vampire populations spread out over smaller communities is going to yield an environment where they can coexist without stepping on each other's toes too much, and that coexistence will be much more harmonious when the majority of threats are external.

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    We know just in the dark ages they went with one cainite per 1000 mortals for a comfortable population. We also know from lore passed by the most ancient draculers that the 2nd city had hundreds of draculers, but there’s was a society unseen possibly until Carthage, and was more a pulpy setting rather then a real world one.

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  • RadioFreeDeath
    replied
    I like these numbers enough that I will probably use the 2020 numbers to model my npcs setup when designing cities. For a metro area I will probably use a 1:50k ratio although 95% of america lives in a metro or suburban area, I need a few more for the city I picked.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    In an urban environment, people are much more likely to be atomized and lack the strong social bonds with nearby friends, family, and neighbors. People are more likely to be lost in the crowd. Your neighbors are much less likely to interact with you or know you. In rural areas, there are much stronger social bonds with the nearby community. Neighbors are much more likely to know you and notice if people go missing or are acting strange and investigate. Smaller communities are much more likely to be closely knit. They are much more likely to notice things like Bob is acting strange than Bob's neighbors in the cities do. So it isn't even a matter of littering the streets and fields with corpses. It's preventing people from investigating and interfering in general.

    There are limits to blood bonds and mental Disciplines. And blood bonds and mental disciplines change how people act. This is something that often gets handwaved for the sake of convenience, but should be part of the setting. even if you are able to control the entire community outright because it is small enough, other people are going to notice when they visit for trade, travel, to share news, or look up old friends and family.

    It is certainly possible for a single vampire, old and experienced enough to have the relevant powers, to set themselves up in a rural community. What is much less likely is that there are enough of them to do so. And to refrain from killing anyone, you need a very large herd to control. Which means taking over a significant number of the community. And of course, if a single vampire is able to do that in an rural area, they can't afford to have another vampire nearby who is going to screw it up for them. Only in the large cities can a vampire tolerate other vampires near them as competitors.

    So while it could be a workable strategy for a relatively few vampires spread far from each other, it is not a sound basis for vampires as a whole to colonize the rural areas. If you allow that, you have a completely different style of game setting. It is certainly not sustainable with the setting's Lupines especially the further back in time you go.

    Again, this isn't to say some vampires don't live in the rural areas or can't make it work. Just that it is very different life, more risky, and occurs at a much lower ratio. You can certainly change that, but you're creating a very different setting since it must have different assumptions.

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  • Up-to-Eleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    That is just a general rule, not an iron clad one. But urban environments provide anonymity, high crime, mortal influence to take over, ample victims, and lots of places to hide. All useful things to vampires. Rural areas make it much harder - they notice if people go missing, especially if it is more than one. And of course there could be lupines. It is much harder to feed with impunity. You can argue how bad it is precisely in different areas, but rural areas can safely support a much lower number of vampires.
    I've never been clear on why people focus on this. It would be much more sensible for a vampire to use the blood bond, or Mental Disaplines if they have them, to control a stable herd and not kill anyone wouldn't it? It would be easier to hide surely?

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  • Malkavian87
    replied
    The Storyteller's Handbook does claim that the 1 in 100.000 ratio is the global average. It just also happens to be the ratio Camarilla domains try to stick to.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    The 1:100,000 is modern average for metropolitan areas (the major city + suburbs, though the suburbs themselves aren't actually populated unless they have an urban density (not single family homes). So that is not a general average for a country or world as a whole. Some vampires exist in rural areas, lots of Gangrel and some others like Nosferatu, but it is much more dangerous. In 1800, the US population was over 90% rural. In 1900 it was 60%. In 1920, 50%. In 1950, 40%. In 1990, 25%. Today it is around 20%.

    So besides the total population, it is also important to know around the percentage living specifically in urban areas.

    That is just a general rule, not an iron clad one. But urban environments provide anonymity, high crime, mortal influence to take over, ample victims, and lots of places to hide. All useful things to vampires. Rural areas make it much harder - they notice if people go missing, especially if it is more than one. And of course there could be lupines. It is much harder to feed with impunity. You can argue how bad it is precisely in different areas, but rural areas can safely support a much lower number of vampires.

    At height of the Roman Empire, urban population reached around 25-30%. And Rome was heavily urbanized for its time. Europe wouldn't reach that again until the 19th century. In the Middle Ages, urban population is probably only around 5% of the population (and most of that is marked towards much smaller towns, so the figure we should be looking at is around 3%). So whatever average ratiio you use, you should be removing a large population amount from your equation. Or at least compensating for it.

    And of course, those urban figures vary by region. Sub-Saharan Africa was even less urbanized. While the Middle East was much more urbanized.

    Ultimately, the book's ratio is not based on anything "real". It was created to use as a guideline to keep the vampire population of any given chronicle to be manageable and make it easy for the ST. For most games, you probably want something between 20-100 vampires. So that's what you are getting, and the game works back from that to create a ratio. And then use whatever flavor text to explain why it changes.

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  • Malkavian87
    replied
    1 vampire for every 100.000 mortals are the global average for the Modern Nights. I'm pretty sure it's stated somewhere outright in a DA book that the Dark Ages number was closer to 1 vampire for every 1000 mortals. The huge difference being explained by on the one hand vampire populations completely collapsing with the Anarch Revolt + Inquisition and human populations rising spectacularly between the Middle Ages and the 1990s.

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  • JRRParker
    replied
    I think that the fluff informs the numbers, though. It has been shown that vampires who reach a certain age just stop embracing, likely because they have become so alien and paranoid that the idea of adding a vampire of nearly their own power stratum is anathema to them.

    Caine stopped embracing prior to 10,000 BCE and had between 3-8(?) childer depending on how one reads the Book of Nod, embrace of Osiris, etc.

    The Second generation mostly embraced between 7,000-8,300 BCE, with Set being the lone exception of directly-embraced 3rd generation around 5,000 BCE

    After Lazarus is embraced in 30 CE there are next to no direct embraces of 4th generation vampires, aside from two who diablerized their sires. The embrace of Gratiano de Veronese by Lasombra in 1130 CE is the last recorded embrace by an Antediluvian, as most Tremere and Giovanni 4th generation vampires achieve their blood potency through amaranth.

    From this we can extrapolate that the 5th generation ceased to be embraced sometime in the 15th century - aside from an incredibly odd one off here or there - in the wake of the Inquisition. There would be a corresponding drop off in 6th generation embraces as the 5th grew increasingly old and paranoid. In my mind the embrace of new 6th generation vampires would have mostly ceased prior to the 20th century, with 7th generation embraces being incredibly uncommon after WWII.

    My opinion on this is that the fluff gives guides to the mechanical world building. Sure, a 5th generation prince can embrace a handful of relatively powerful 6th generation childer who would crush other fledglings and neonates due to their blood potency. Soon after that they would all likely fall to the fangs of his enemies, as a 7th generation elder would find a 6th generation fledgling little more than a video game power up. Now said prince has to deal with even more powerful enemies than before, which is why that is not the first resort of every prince in the Camarilla.

    Procreation also seems to be presented as a byproduct of humanity. Vampires embrace out of love, out of guilt, loneliness, or boredom. As their humanity slips, these feelings have less and less hold on a Kindred, thus they are far less likely to embrace. Procreation is therefor the purview of the young and those with high humanity.

    Again, that's how I run and think about it, and I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

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