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  • mark
    replied
    the veinous stairs lead to the labyrinth right? if so i have an idea... we'll have to built a wall and i will make the neverborn pay for it. after all they are not sending us their best, no! just rapists and murderers not worth the pathos to redeem.

    first day into my emperorship i seize mortwhights doppelgangers remittance payments and deliver the ultimatum to the malfeans

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  • nothing
    replied
    Ajax I think I see what's going on. Forgive me, perhaps I wasn't clear in my initial post. The ~2 billion isn'tthe current population of the Underworld - it's how many autonomous Wraiths have existed in the Underworld, and it's on the conservative side. (Rereading my initial post, the last sentence does seem to imply that ~2 billion is the current number). I do mention your listed concerns in my initial post, actually:
    Originally posted by nothing View Post
    So the Underworld has seen, conservatively assumed, 5 billion souls pass through it. We don't have metrics and percentages for Transcendence (which I assume would be very small, maybe .5%, the same as Willpower 10 occurring naturally), or being soulforged (which I assume would be much, much higher - frighteningly so), or falling to Oblivion (either by becoming a Shade, or starting as a Mortwright/Haint), and 63% of that 5 billion become Drones, that still leaves ~1,850,000,000.
    The whole exercise was meant to be an answer to the OP about Underworld societies' organization and structure ("[How do] 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." "There's been ~2 billion Wraiths over several millennia. They figured it out.")

    Plus, I thought the "morbidly" was fitting But really,
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
    Which STILL doesn't adequatley address whether the "rule of thumb" of 1 wraith:20 living people is a legitimate figure. It may be the opposite of vampire, where the mandated number of vampires to humans is way to low. The wraith figure is probably too high by a few multiples. Probably more like 1:100 would be a better model.
    Hm. We're having a conflation issue here, that started at the beginning of the thread. I'm not doing maths right now, but someone should run this - maybe something like "Total number of dead in 2015 compared to total number of living in 2015, then 5% of that."

    Aya Tari Yeah, given the Eurocentric view of the source material, and my aversion to big numbers (and maths in general - except those round numbers. Love those averages), I was just trying to conjure up a rough estimate. I guess you could call it "Stygian-bias." Plus I'm not submitting this to peer-review for publication in a trade journal, or even for a grade. Ultimately, it's a fiction, so the Underworld has as many or as few Wraiths as needed - I prefer to have waves and swarms of Spectres, just millions upon millions, and I like to have my Stygia overly crowded to contrast with the few souls inhabiting Skinlands cities, and the desolation and loneliness of the Tempest.

    Originally posted by mark View Post
    otherwise what is there to prevent the various dark kingdoms from literally annexing the labyrinth?
    Malfeans. Neverborn. The corrupting influence of Oblivion itself. I don't think the Dark Kingdoms would "annex" the Labyrinth so much as try to seal it off and forget about it, if there weren't any rank-and-file Spectres.

    Cheers!

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  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by nothing View Post
    Ajax You seem (morbidly?) obsessed with these infant mortality rates. I'll indulge one last time. Ends of Empire says 5% of all persons who die become Wraiths. This includes infants. Buried Secrets says infants, babies, and small children (basically under 5 years), do not become Wraiths. Therefore, infants are included in the 95% of all persons who die that do not become Wraiths. The mother that dies birthing a stillborn has a chance of becoming a Wraith, though the fetus never did. This makes sense with the psychological physics of the Underworld. Even accounting for a 50% average infant mortality rate, we're still talking about numbers in the millions and billions.

    Cheers!
    I'm not morbidly obsessed. I just happen to have a background in demography, paleodemography and epidemiological demography and know that, even with those constraints, your math isn't terribly accurate. The actual equation needed to make that determination includes other factors - some of the numbers overlap and need to be calculated in several times before you reduce the equation. Said equation would be a sum (with a sigma) done the "easy" way and, to get a really good reading on wraith population would take an integral sign.

    In addition, there are several other factors that aren't taken into account. Like how often the dead "die" (fall to Oblivion, soul-forged,etc ) by percentage at each age cohort. How the Fettered and Fetter-less populations should be calculated, since the factors that reduce population are different on the two populations and there are certain complexities in moving from one population to the other (since age is a important, but not determinative factor). There are also issues related to drone vs. wraith vs. specter (and additional complexities in the possibility of movement between those populations).

    In the end, there are going to be substantially less than the roughly two billion you are positing. Since the above factors don't have answers, it would have to be a ball-park figure, at best, but I'd say, due to all the pressures reducing the population, it's probably, at most, half that, including all the wraiths in the Shadowlands, the Skinlands, Far Shores, etc., all the as-yet un-soul-forged (or jade-ed, ivory-ed, etc.) drones and all the specters (below the Neverborn). Probably more like 1/4 to 1/3.

    Which STILL doesn't adequatley address whether the "rule of thumb" of 1 wraith:20 living people is a legitimate figure. It may be the opposite of vampire, where the mandated number of vampires to humans is way too low. The wraith figure is probably too high by a few multiples. Probably more like 1:100 would be a better model.
    Last edited by Ajax; 08-20-2016, 08:44 PM.

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  • Aya Tari
    replied
    Population measures for prehistory are highly unreliable because of European biases (unfortunately, most of the numbers on the internet still reflect the old European bias). The average population over the past 10,000 years may have been as high as 250 million and, leaving out infant and early child mortality, the average lifespan was probably 50 years, meaning that as many as 5 million people per year would have died. The total population of people who became wraiths over the last 10,000 years may have been as high as 2.5 billion (plus 7.5 billion drones). I would say that 80%-90% of them have transcended, been soulforged, etc, meaning the population would be around 375 million wraiths (with probably an equal number of specters) would be reasonable (meaning that there are some very old and very powerful wraiths in the Underworld).

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  • mark
    replied
    in the case of caine.. he'd be older than 10000 years old. given that this is the minimum age of the antedilluvians.

    given that spectres are not always the most intelligent or logical beings it's reasonable to assume that they outnumber wraiths.

    sort like how in dnd the disorganised demons of the abyss outnumber the devils of the nine hells.

    otherwise what is there to prevent the various dark kingdoms from literally annexing the labyrinth?

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  • nothing
    replied
    Ajax You seem (morbidly?) obsessed with these infant mortality rates. I'll indulge one last time. Ends of Empire says 5% of all persons who die become Wraiths. This includes infants. Buried Secrets says infants, babies, and small children (basically under 5 years), do not become Wraiths. Therefore, infants are included in the 95% of all persons who die that do not become Wraiths. The mother that dies birthing a stillborn has a chance of becoming a Wraith, though the fetus never did. This makes sense with the psychological physics of the Underworld. Even accounting for a 50% average infant mortality rate, we're still talking about numbers in the millions and billions.

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Originally posted by nothing View Post

    I don't, actually, because I'm using averages and estimates to provide general numbers. If you want specifics, you're more than welcome to run the numbers yourself - but keep in mind, the highest estimated infant mortality rate in prehistory is something around 500 per 1000, or a little above - basically, 1 out of every 2. Even the pre-industrial rates only ever peaked about 170 per 1000, which is still negligible, because that's still a part of the larger 95% that don't become Wraiths. Using generalities, it's like this:

    You have 100 people. They die.
    5 of them become Wraiths. 95 of them don't.
    Of that 95, 17 of them are babies.
    This is fine for generalities.

    I'm not doing "There's a hundred people, seventeen of them are babies, five percent of those who die become ghosts, so that means there's a (math vomit) chance of baby ghosts." I also didn't include estimates from wars, famines, natural disasters, and so on. I gave very, very conservative estimates, including pegging the "all dead, ever" to the beginning of agriculture, though in hindsight, I probably should have used the date for the inception of religion as a social institution (which would have been a little later, and given me smaller numbers).

    And having raised a child, infants already have Keening. Oh god, do they.

    Cheers!
    Look at a standard population distribution, or even better an actuarial table for a pre-industrial society. A HUGE chunk of the total numbers of human deaths have been of infants (though there is some lack of specificity in what that means.... how young is too young to be "wraith eligible"?) What you need to do is take that ~100 billion and knock off an appropriate percentage of the population who were never more than infants. THEN you have to take that 100% and take out an appropriate % for the number of people who were infants and therefore "wraith eligible" to begin with. You can use the pre-industrial demographic model for that too, as the industrial & modern models are just blips, so it's more than 17%.

    The you can apply your model and get a more accurate read. The number will be substantially lower.

    All of which seems like it's just math for math's sake, (And why not? Math is fun!) BUT, like most endeavors, it does illuminate other questions. How does falling to Oblivion (death for the dead) affect the overall numbers? Etc.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by nothing View Post

    Yeah, again - very conservative estimates. Given the wonkiness of the World of Darkness' prehistory, I decided to go with about ~8000 BCE, the start of agriculture. The best line of demarcation would be when the Shroud fell - but that's just listed as "around the third maelstrom" (not the Third Great, because that would mean the Shroud didn't come into existence until the 1600's). Looking at other gamelines for inspiration, even Changeling's Sundering doesn't begin until about ~1000 BCE, much too late, as Charon came around ~1400 BCE, and the Shroud was already in place. Werewolf's Impergium and Vampire's Enoch both use "prehistoric" in their description, but detail agricultural societies. Using real-world sources, specifically the Epic of Gilgamesh, there was something Shroud-like in place in ~2100 BCE, since ghosts didn't regularly mingle with humans, and Enkidu had to find an "entrance" to the Underworld. Like most things White Wolf, the Shroud is probably tied to the Great Flood myth.

    Cheers!
    I think Caine is pegged at about 10,000 years old. As is the Lady of Fate in EoE. As the two oldest surviving (sort of) humans, that means your 8,000BC figure is about right.

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  • nothing
    replied
    Originally posted by loomer View Post
    Wraiths have been popping up since before 48,000BC so pegging it to the beginning of agriculture definitely doesn't work.
    Yeah, again - very conservative estimates. Given the wonkiness of the World of Darkness' prehistory, I decided to go with about ~8000 BCE, the start of agriculture. The best line of demarcation would be when the Shroud fell - but that's just listed as "around the third maelstrom" (not the Third Great, because that would mean the Shroud didn't come into existence until the 1600's). Looking at other gamelines for inspiration, even Changeling's Sundering doesn't begin until about ~1000 BCE, much too late, as Charon came around ~1400 BCE, and the Shroud was already in place. Werewolf's Impergium and Vampire's Enoch both use "prehistoric" in their description, but detail agricultural societies. Using real-world sources, specifically the Epic of Gilgamesh, there was something Shroud-like in place in ~2100 BCE, since ghosts didn't regularly mingle with humans, and Enkidu had to find an "entrance" to the Underworld. Like most things White Wolf, the Shroud is probably tied to the Great Flood myth.

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • loomer
    replied
    Wraiths have been popping up since before 48,000BC so pegging it to the beginning of agriculture definitely doesn't work.

    Leave a comment:


  • nothing
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
    Then you need to factor that in at the start of your calculations, because the mortality rates you are citing don't take the demographic profile of infant mortality into account. Pre-industrial infant (and child) mortality was pretty unimaginable to modern people. In essence, the population figures you are STARTING with need to be reduced by infant mortality before you start applying your calculations. Speaking as someone who had to master paleodemography to get my Master's degree, the way you've done it, most wraiths and specters are babies. Because most of the humans that have ever lived died in infancy.

    As to whether babies would fall under the 5 WP limit and those wraith babies are drones or whether babies are so willful they get full on wraith status is a judgment call. (Keening anyone?)
    I don't, actually, because I'm using averages and estimates to provide general numbers. If you want specifics, you're more than welcome to run the numbers yourself - but keep in mind, the highest estimated infant mortality rate in prehistory is something around 500 per 1000, or a little above - basically, 1 out of every 2. Even the pre-industrial rates only ever peaked about 170 per 1000, which is still negligible, because that's still a part of the larger 95% that don't become Wraiths. Using generalities, it's like this:

    You have 100 people. They die.
    5 of them become Wraiths. 95 of them don't.
    Of that 95, 17 of them are babies.
    This is fine for generalities.

    I'm not doing "There's a hundred people, seventeen of them are babies, five percent of those who die become ghosts, so that means there's a (math vomit) chance of baby ghosts." I also didn't include estimates from wars, famines, natural disasters, and so on. I gave very, very conservative estimates, including pegging the "all dead, ever" to the beginning of agriculture, though in hindsight, I probably should have used the date for the inception of religion as a social institution (which would have been a little later, and given me smaller numbers).

    And having raised a child, infants already have Keening. Oh god, do they.

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajax
    replied
    Then you need to factor that in at the start of your calculations, because the mortality rates you are citing don't take the demographic profile of infant mortality into account. Pre-industrial infant (and child) mortality was pretty unimaginable to modern people. In essence, the population figures you are STARTING with need to be reduced by infant mortality before you start applying your calculations. Speaking as someone who had to master paleodemography to get my Master's degree, the way you've done it, most wraiths and specters are babies. Because most of the humans that have ever lived died in infancy.

    As to whether babies would fall under the 5 WP limit and those wraith babies are drones or whether babies are so willful they get full on wraith status is a judgment call. (Keening anyone?)

    Leave a comment:


  • nothing
    replied
    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
    Considering the amount of those numbers from infant mortality, you are positing a Shadowlands hip deep in dead babies.
    Ha! The image of having to wade through babies like an amusement park ball pit to get anything done... But no, pretty sure infant mortality falls under the 95% that don't become Wraiths.

    Cheers!

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  • Ajax
    replied
    Considering the amount of those numbers from infant mortality, you are positing a Shadowlands hip deep in dead babies.

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  • nothing
    replied
    We actually have the numbers and we can hack together the data to get rough estimates. Ends of Empire says ~5% of people become Wraiths during peacetime, the lowest Willpower needed to become an Enfant rather than a Drone is 5 as per character creation rules, the Fog chart lists a breakdown of Willpower ratings by percent of population. We can then safely assume that persons with Willpower rated from 1 to 4 become Drones upon death, which gives a total of 63% of that initial ~5%. So a little over half of people that cross over become Drones.

    To put it quick and dirty: 100 people die; 5 of them become Wraiths; of those 5, 3 are Drones. 2 Wraiths/3 Drones for every 100 - again, during peacetime.

    As for Spectres, I would guess that Mortwrights and Haints are rare during times of relative peace, so rare as to be outliers. Wartime would see a substantial increase in their numbers specifically, however.

    Now to play with some numbers: an estimated ~150,000 people die per day in 2016. Not all of that is going to be under what could be considered peaceful circumstances, but let's just run with the numbers we have (and those other circumstances can account for the outliers). 5% of ~150,000 is ~7,500. That's our total estimate of new Wraiths per day. Then 63% of that are drones, so ~4725 new Drones every day, and ~2775 new Enfants every day. That's world-wide, of course. But still. Those are no small numbers when you start looking at the long-term - it's ~19,425 new Wraiths a week, ~1,010,100 new Wraiths a year, and ~33,075 Drones per week, ~1,719,900 Drones per year.

    Now, let's get into some really interesting stuff. Let's apply that 5% metric to all the people that ever lived (and not the currently-living). That's 5% of an estimated 100 billion. So the Underworld has seen, conservatively assumed, 5 billion souls pass through it. We don't have metrics and percentages for Transcendence (which I assume would be very small, maybe .5%, the same as Willpower 10 occurring naturally), or being soulforged (which I assume would be much, much higher - frighteningly so), or falling to Oblivion (either by becoming a Shade, or starting as a Mortwright/Haint), and 63% of that 5 billion become Drones, that still leaves ~1,850,000,000.

    One billion, eight-hundred and fifty-million Wraiths.

    If even a quarter of that are Stygian, that puts the Kingdom of Iron population at 462,500,000. To give it some context, that would put Stygia behind China and India, making it the third-largest nation by population.

    Cheers!

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