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  • Wraith population, Drone population.

    I did a search beforehand, but I apologize if this has been covered before.

    I always pictured the Wraith population as much higher than the other splats, not even counting Drones. I would go as high as one in 3,000, with about three times as many Drones at any given time (has a Wraith/Drone ratio been given?). Their interaction with normal humans is much less noticeable than that of other Awakened beings. There's the Dictum Mortuum, and the Shroud makes people forget interacting with them. Another thing is that Wraiths have a very well-developed and complex society compared to other splats. It's hard to have that level of organization and stratification with just a handful of souls.

  • #2
    I tend to put the Wraith population at much higher than that, I would put it at 1:20. As for drones, I would say that 3 are created for every 1 wraith, but 90% are soulforged with the first year of existence. I think that around 10% of people become wraiths when they die, but the majority Transcend within the first year, leaving behind the problem cases.

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    • #3
      I have always liked to imagine Stygia as a true megacity with tens of millions of souls. Doing the math, my numbers would not support that but yours definitely would.

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      • #4
        Remember, Stygia is not one location, but dozens, if not hundreds of locations, the conquered Underworlds of thousands of different cultures. While the city of Stygia may have a population of millions, it should just be the center of a global empire with many medium-sized cities.

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        • #5
          For Wraiths (not including Drones), I've always done it by WP. About 1/3 of the population has WP 5 or higher. (Based on the the Delirium chart in Werewolf.) Unless a lot of people with unspent XP dump it into maxing out WP at the moment of death, which might increase that a bit (It's not that expensive to go from WP 4 to 5 or even 3 to 4 to 5). But I wouldn't see it increasing the overall percentage overmuch. 35-40%? That's the pool of potential wraiths.
          • Some of them Transcend (or whatever) immediately are out of the game.
          • Some of them fall to Oblivion immediately and become Specters from the get-go
          • Some may just not manifest, such as those who might not have the raw material for Passions. Not sure what happens to them. Maybe they're the ones who Transcend or part of them. It's just something that seems like that should be there, but not really addressed. So it might not matter. There might be high WP people with exceedingly blah Passions, I guess. Does higher WP = more Passion overall? If so, then low Passions = lower WP and these guys go into the Drone pool.
          At this point it becomes a sort of Drake Equation for the Underworld as you have to hazard guesses as to how many are lost to those factors. That's a complete judgment call. I'd knock off 10% off the total (or so). So, maybe 25%?

          The problem then becomes dealing with the number of dead to apply that percentage against. There's obviously a curve over time where more and more of that population is lost to attrition, starting with 25% of the most recent recently deceased cohort. But you have to apply that against EVERYONE that has died in the area. So we're talking something best modeled by looking at the total area under the curve. You would also have to control for the fact that there is another diminishing factor for figuring out the number in a necropolis of "loss to Stygia" as older wraiths lose their last Fetter.

          To get an actual equation, I'd have to dig up my demographics books. The figure out how to get the appropriate symbols to show up here. So.... no. I don't care THAT much.

          In most places, though, this is going to end up being a significantly LARGE number. Probably larger than 1 wraith: 20 quick

          And it doesn't include the Drones, as I'm not sure what percentage of the 2/3 of the population with WP below 5 become Drones. It's probably based on having at least some modicum of Passions (see above for some flailing on that front). There might be something that would help out in the Orpheus rules, as they very much deal with Blips and Drones and the like in the first book. Where it's apparently not super difficult to help such "barely there" dead folks achieve Transcendence... Which, if equivalently true in WtO, makes the Legions of Stygia seem like even bigger dicks overall. They COULD be helping those Drones go to "heaven" but it's much more useful to turn them into swords and hinges and coins....

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          • #6
            With wraiths, the big complications are whether we include the true underworld or just the skinlands, and whether we count spectres. There are potentially an enormous number of spectres, and if we go to the true underworld, an even bigger number of 'old as hell' wraiths appear.

            I don't recall if we ever got specific demographic figures, but I do know that London in the late 90s saw 1 in 20 emerge as wraiths and had a population of about 1 million wraiths at any given time. So, if decide that 1:7 is our ratio for relatively peaceful, prosperous first world cities that are also major necropoli and hubs of Wraith existence. We can adjust from there for places with more violence, crime, and misery. I'll have to reread the books to see if they offer any more details, but that's what I'd use for my baseline figure - 1:20 if things are good, maybe 1:10 where they aren't, and 1:5 where they're fucking horrifying (e.g. in the middle of a genocide, or a mass terror attack or particularly horrific industrial accident).

            As for how many then get lost to spectres and other hazards, who knows. I'll hopefully have sufficient demographics to be able to give some idea when I complete the Project, but we'll see.

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            • #7
              So, 1:20 seems to be a good baseline for wraith populations, making them comparable to pre-modern human populations. Now, the really relevant question is how many of them are willing and capable of screwing with the Skinlands? If it is 1% of the wraith population, than you have a 1:2,000 number, making wraiths the most common major supernatural entities active in the Skinlands (really capable wraiths, ones with the fourth or fifth level of the Arcanoi capable of interfering with the Skinlands, are probably much rarer).

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              • #8
                i believe it's explicitly states that 5% of people become wraith during peaceful times. more than that during violent times or the black death etc.

                speaking of ratios.. what about the spectre to wraith ratio? i assume there must be more spectres than wraiths right?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mark View Post
                  i believe it's explicitly states that 5% of people become wraith during peaceful times. more than that during violent times or the black death etc.

                  speaking of ratios.. what about the spectre to wraith ratio? i assume there must be more spectres than wraiths right?
                  Where does it state that? Does it give a rational?

                  Not that it solves ANY problems. The primary issue with wraith population is that it is based on some fraction of the TOTAL number of people who have died in a locale (or who have significant emotional attachment at the time of their deaths). That can have pretty much next to nothing to do with current population. It will have as much, if not more, to do with how many people have lived there at what levels of mortality under what conditions and how long a locale has been populated.

                  For example: London may have 8 million people now, but it had 6 million in the 1800's and the mortality was MUCH higher (and grimmer). It lost huge chunks of its population to plague and fire at several points. Plus it's been a settlement of one sort or another for a couple of thousand years (at the very least) with some aspects of all those settlements still around (meaning potential Fetters and, even, Memorium). Basing the wraith population of London on the number of current inhabitants isn't appropos. Compare London to, say, New York City, around the same current population. But it only has 400 years, or so, of history. New York City wouldn't have nearly as many wraiths as London.

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                  • #10
                    London's break down is in Ends of Empire. Some million wraithly residents are specified, of which 1/3rd date to either WW1 (+ Spanish Flu) or WW2, the rest being from all over the timeline. I think it largely serves us as a high-end example - something to compare the largest and oldest cities to - rather than a general one. The ratio of 1 death in 20 becoming a wraith during prosperous times there can however be applied more broadly.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by loomer View Post
                      London's break down is in Ends of Empire. Some million wraithly residents are specified, of which 1/3rd date to either WW1 (+ Spanish Flu) or WW2, the rest being from all over the timeline. I think it largely serves us as a high-end example - something to compare the largest and oldest cities to - rather than a general one. The ratio of 1 death in 20 becoming a wraith during prosperous times there can however be applied more broadly.
                      By which you mean pretty much ALL cities anywhere other than pretty much any city in the Americas? (Since anywhere with regional continuity to pre-Contact times has a hard caesura, with the vast majority of the Native American population going wherever the inhabitants of the Dark Kingdoms of Flint, Gold and Obsidian went...). In general, at least double the wraith populations of these necropoli?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                        Where does it state that? Does it give a rational?

                        Not that it solves ANY problems. The primary issue with wraith population is that it is based on some fraction of the TOTAL number of people who have died in a locale (or who have significant emotional attachment at the time of their deaths). That can have pretty much next to nothing to do with current population. It will have as much, if not more, to do with how many people have lived there at what levels of mortality under what conditions and how long a locale has been populated.

                        For example: London may have 8 million people now, but it had 6 million in the 1800's and the mortality was MUCH higher (and grimmer). It lost huge chunks of its population to plague and fire at several points. Plus it's been a settlement of one sort or another for a couple of thousand years (at the very least) with some aspects of all those settlements still around (meaning potential Fetters and, even, Memorium). Basing the wraith population of London on the number of current inhabitants isn't appropos. Compare London to, say, New York City, around the same current population. But it only has 400 years, or so, of history. New York City wouldn't have nearly as many wraiths as London.


                        i don't remember the actual book but you can find the 5% in peaceful times

                        in whitewolf wiki which generally gets its facts straight

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mark View Post



                          i don't remember the actual book but you can find the 5% in peaceful times

                          in whitewolf wiki which generally gets its facts straight
                          Under what entry? They usually cite which book they are getting their information from.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                            By which you mean pretty much ALL cities anywhere other than pretty much any city in the Americas? (Since anywhere with regional continuity to pre-Contact times has a hard caesura, with the vast majority of the Native American population going wherever the inhabitants of the Dark Kingdoms of Flint, Gold and Obsidian went...). In general, at least double the wraith populations of these necropoli?
                            Not all of them, no. London is a special affair as it's also the oldest organized necropolis and a hub of the wraithly world, so most others won't be as large as it - but it can still serve nicely as our high end estimate.


                            Under what entry? They usually cite which book they are getting their information from.
                            It's in Ends of Empire and probably elsewhere, again with London as the premiere example. In a peaceful, prosperous city without major strife going on, like London in the late 90s, only 1 in 20 become wraiths on death.

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                            • #15
                              Clarification: (regarding request for clarification): What entry in the White Wolf Wikia contains the 1:20 figure for Wraith populations?

                              Alternatively, a more specific idea of where to look in an actual book. I'm not willing to reread an entire book based on a title citation.

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