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Mummy Population Trivia

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  • Mummy Population Trivia

    In the Chronicles of Darkness everyone has experienced the supernatural. It permeates the world with occult societies of vampires, of whom there are many, and the Created, of whom there are few. How many, though, do the mummies of Irem number? Well, as many as your campaign needs is the 'right' answer.

    But what's the real answer?


    Mummy Population
    Book of the Deceived (pg. 34) states that there are 42 mummies of the Lost Guild associated with each temakh. That means there are about 294 Deceived mummies. There are seven temakh virtues that each temakh embodies, that their mummies only represent a fraction of. That means for every temakh virtue of a single temakh there are six mummies.

    The same sidebar (Rule 42) also states that this is only the number of Deceived whose creation actually worked, and that the Shan'iatu that created the Arisen performed more consistently. Let's ignore that, though, for the sake of this topic. With similar numbers as the Lost Guild, the Arisen number 1470. That means the Deathless number 1764.

    The core book states the Shuankhsen are less numerous than the Arisen, but also keep in mind that certainly dozens of the 1470 original Arisen have become Shuankhsen themselves through the course of time.

    Mummy Descents
    Sothic Turns cycle in 1461 year intervals. How many mummies are active in between, or how often at least? Including Shuankhsen, can we round up the number of mummies to 2045? If I math'd correctly, then every 1.4 years a mummy wakes up to a Descent. Of course, non-Sothic Descents are of a variable duration, plus each mummy probably wakes up more than once in between Turns.

    So...you know, in the whole world there's probably half a dozen mummies running around at any given time in between Sothic Turns. And there's approximately 2000 mummies maybe

  • #2
    I actually got the impression the bit you're explicitly ignoring "for the sake of the topic" (you're ignoring a major factor to come to a "real" answer? I don't think I understand the rules of this topic) in terms of the Deceived is a large, large number indeed. The Deceived were a tiny Guild in life, to begin with, and in death they are even more in the minority due to the fact that only 42 Mummies per Temakh animated. The Arisen seem to have had a pretty significant success rate thanks to the effort put into their creation.

    Personally, I had the number of about 1,000-2,000 Mummies per Guild in my head, but I honestly have no idea where it came from.

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    • #3
      You know, I actually tried to do the math on this once, factoring in the idea that the Deceived only succeeded with a fraction of their students, and that the Restless Stars were the smallest of the Guilds to begin with.

      I remember someone coming up with the idea that there's something like 1 Mummy for every 800,000 mortals in the modern world, I think that was in RPG.net's "Global War on Mummies" thread (which was all about the idea of the Arisen ignoring a Masquerade and simply laying waste to the world with all the Epic Utterances at their disposal), so that brings us up to something like 9,250 Mummies, both Deathless and Lifeless. If the Shan'iatu made them in batches of 42, which seems likely, it would make sense to me that they would make at least five batches of 42 (one for each Pillar) meaning that each Temakh of the Arisen Guilds made roughly 210 Deathless.

      Multiply that by thirty-five, and you come up with 7,350 Arisen. If the number of Mummies remains constant (and it must, barring temporary deviations such as total destruction of khat, canopic jars, sacred texts, and cult, as the Rite of Return and the Sothic Turn don't permit the number to grow or shrink) then there's probably about 9,250 Mummies in the entire world. Of those 9,250 Mummies, at the First Turn about 1,900 of them were Shuankhsen. That number has undoubtedly grown as time wears on, but the number of mummies remains constant, and does work out to about 1,000-2,000 Deathless per Arisen Guild.

      Personally, I find that makes First Turn Kemet an utterly horrifying place to have been, since you've got about ten thousand small gods starting to walk about. Fortunately, I don't believe they had any Utterances to begin with, just their Affinities, but that still makes them terrifying god-monsters to just about anyone facing off with them.


      My Homebrew Hub

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      • #4
        So I've always used this metric. According to the Book of the Deceived there are a little under 300 Deceived around. Remembering that they are all limited to Snake-Headed decrees, we can speculate that the other guilds have similar numbers in all the decrees, giving them roughly a total of 1500 per guild and roughly 7500 in total. Now, multiplying by values of 42 gives us the number 7770, which is both very close to this rough estimate AND a sacred number on several levels to Irem. So my assumption will always be that there are 7770 mummies in the Deathless camp, minus those who have fallen to Shuankhsen or gone the way of the Heretic. Some people will find that a little high for mummy population, but it works just fine for me. Small enough not to compete with something like vampires in terms of numbers but large enough to have large nomes in key cities around the world. Also, I like the symbolism of 7770.

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        • #5
          I can't remember which book it was (I wanna say DC or the Avarice Chronicles) in which a high memory mummy says there are only around a thousand Arisen. Whether this was the original number or all that's left is unclear, but there aren't many more than a thousand, with another few hundred Shuanksen and Deceived.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cleverest of Things View Post
            I can't remember which book it was (I wanna say DC or the Avarice Chronicles) in which a high memory mummy says there are only around a thousand Arisen. Whether this was the original number or all that's left is unclear, but there aren't many more than a thousand, with another few hundred Shuanksen and Deceived.
            Would you be able to find the quote? Quibbling over unreliable narrators aside, that kind of info doesn't mesh well with Deceived. Since we know their numbers pretty precisely, it seems odd that a quarter of all Mummies would be Deceived.

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            • #7
              I'd think if they were going to be any percentage it would be 1/7 of the Deathless. I'll take a peek in the DC book, look through the quotes in the Avarice Chronicle.

              As a side note, the Avarice Chronicle mentions the city of Sybaris, a place where many of the Deceived live. How on earth did I miss that reading through the first time, and why does no one talk about it?


              My Homebrew Hub

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              • #8
                I think the thousand arisen didn't include deceived. I really wish I knew where it was. I know it was relatively obscure, maybe in Dark Eras. It was kinda a shock for me. I wanna say it was spoken in character, but I could be wrong. But I think it was someone wistfully references that there are only a thousand of them in the world. Heck, for all I know, that quote was removed in the revisions.

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                • #9
                  Surprise! The estimate of a thousand is actually in the Ready-made PCs, where a character muses and doubts that there's more than a thousand.

                  I think this is why I like my number of only a couple thousand, as it doesn't grossly inflate that guess

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by reseru View Post
                    Surprise! The estimate of a thousand is actually in the Ready-made PCs, where a character muses and doubts that there's more than a thousand.

                    I think this is why I like my number of only a couple thousand, as it doesn't grossly inflate that guess
                    Huzzah Reseru! I knew it had to be a quote and musing somewhere. I wouldn't go higher than 3000 mummies including Shuanksen, Deceived, and the random Lifeless that are unexplored thus far. I mean, Washington DC was called out as the biggest Necropolis in the USA with, what, 25ish mummies entombed there plus visitors. I have my ChroDC's Metropolis/Gotham urban area was easy to design with only 20 or so tombs. If other massive urban centers are similar, I'd expect reeeeeeally low numbers total. I mean, London probably has more than DC--maybe 30 or 40 permanent residents. I'd expect Cairo and one of the bigger Indian towns to have the most mummies, probably around 50.

                    Having such small numbers per town, regardless, did make it interesting to design--i have a list on a single piece of notebook paper of every mummy in Gotham, plus some of the regular guests from out of town (Sacmis, Ra's al Ghul, etc). A few guildhouses in the nome consist of a "senior" mummy and his 2-3 journeymen/apprentices. It feels very private and intimate, which helped me understand how the Nomes work. These arent the vast conspiracies of Vampires. This is a world where even the entire Metropolis contains only enough people where everyone knows everyone, or at least everyone's cults and cult leaders. Plus, every guild has a different flavor--in Gotham, there are only three Scribes, a mated pair and a sort of vigilantee lawbringer. The largest guild, Maa'kep, only had a Guildmaster, his two "hands", and his father. Small numbers have easy story. After all, the mummies themselves represent elders and masters, while the Cults fill in the empty space where neonates and newly escaped changelings and such would be for the mummies.
                    Last edited by Cleverest of Things; 08-28-2016, 10:58 AM. Reason: Paragraphs

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cleverest of Things View Post
                      I think the thousand arisen didn't include deceived. I really wish I knew where it was. I know it was relatively obscure, maybe in Dark Eras. It was kinda a shock for me. I wanna say it was spoken in character, but I could be wrong. But I think it was someone wistfully references that there are only a thousand of them in the world. Heck, for all I know, that quote was removed in the revisions.
                      I wasn't counting the Deceived in the one thousand number. There's supposed to be about 300 Deceived, who added to 1,000 Arisen would be 1,300. That makes the Deceived about a quarter of all Deathless. Which would mean they're the largest Guild, when they're meant to be the smallest Guild to begin with where not even all those who underwent the Rite rose as Mummies. The Deceived aren't the most reliable narrators either, but I think I'll go with their numbers over the Ready-Made PC.

                      I prefer to hew a little higher than you with my numbers, around the 5,000 Mummy mark, because I feel like that's enough to have a double digit-sized Nome in most of the world's major cities with enough left over to scatter the odd Mummy or two in random locations (like small towns populated entirely by the Mummy's cult, or even Arisen in isolated and sparsely populated areas a bit like Sefet-Qam's Arctic tomb), but 3,000 isn't a bad spot either. In either case I think you preserve the "intimate" feeling you spoke of. My Jakarta setting had, I think, 10 NPC Mummies and 4 PC Mummies at its height, along with 3 PC Deceived.

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                      • #12
                        True, I did love the Jakarta APs ^^ and you're right, its still a pretty small number. Also, from an IC perspective, any given mummy is likely to forget a lot of places that mummies were tucked away. I can imagine lost tombs of 20-30 sleeping mummies scattered across the glove, lost to time, their cultures and cults having fallen since the last sothic turn. Not to mention how many dozens of mummies are burried deep in the Sahara's sands, too deep to escape even during a sothic turn (In our game, we call such a state Hom'dai, from the Mummy movies). I loved Sefet Qam, so I tend to think there are a lot of mummies hidden in Siberia and Northern Canada/Alaska. Having a bigger number does make cities each more important. It was odd thinking most cities have 1-2 members per Guild. Having all major cities hover around 15-20 seems to be more fair, and have less favoritism. Ironically, in Gotham, the Deceived outnumber every other guild, so localization is important for setting flavor.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cleverest of Things View Post
                          True, I did love the Jakarta APs ^^ and you're right, its still a pretty small number. Also, from an IC perspective, any given mummy is likely to forget a lot of places that mummies were tucked away. I can imagine lost tombs of 20-30 sleeping mummies scattered across the glove, lost to time, their cultures and cults having fallen since the last sothic turn. Not to mention how many dozens of mummies are burried deep in the Sahara's sands, too deep to escape even during a sothic turn (In our game, we call such a state Hom'dai, from the Mummy movies). I loved Sefet Qam, so I tend to think there are a lot of mummies hidden in Siberia and Northern Canada/Alaska. Having a bigger number does make cities each more important. It was odd thinking most cities have 1-2 members per Guild. Having all major cities hover around 15-20 seems to be more fair, and have less favoritism. Ironically, in Gotham, the Deceived outnumber every other guild, so localization is important for setting flavor.
                          When your numbers are so small it would be pretty easy for strange outliers to happen. Deceived being the most common isn't unheard of. There was the town of Sybaris (I think?) from the Avarice Chronicles that was a town of dozens of Deceived. Which is a truly terrifying thought.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cleverest of Things View Post
                            Huzzah Reseru! I knew it had to be a quote and musing somewhere. I wouldn't go higher than 3000 mummies including Shuanksen, Deceived, and the random Lifeless that are unexplored thus far. I mean, Washington DC was called out as the biggest Necropolis in the USA with, what, 25ish mummies entombed there plus visitors. I have my ChroDC's Metropolis/Gotham urban area was easy to design with only 20 or so tombs. If other massive urban centers are similar, I'd expect reeeeeeally low numbers total. I mean, London probably has more than DC--maybe 30 or 40 permanent residents. I'd expect Cairo and one of the bigger Indian towns to have the most mummies, probably around 50.

                            Having such small numbers per town, regardless, did make it interesting to design--i have a list on a single piece of notebook paper of every mummy in Gotham, plus some of the regular guests from out of town (Sacmis, Ra's al Ghul, etc). A few guildhouses in the nome consist of a "senior" mummy and his 2-3 journeymen/apprentices. It feels very private and intimate, which helped me understand how the Nomes work. These arent the vast conspiracies of Vampires. This is a world where even the entire Metropolis contains only enough people where everyone knows everyone, or at least everyone's cults and cult leaders. Plus, every guild has a different flavor--in Gotham, there are only three Scribes, a mated pair and a sort of vigilantee lawbringer. The largest guild, Maa'kep, only had a Guildmaster, his two "hands", and his father. Small numbers have easy story. After all, the mummies themselves represent elders and masters, while the Cults fill in the empty space where neonates and newly escaped changelings and such would be for the mummies.

                            I try to remember for my part that Mummies by their nature are the epicenter of a hidden network regardless of how large or small, since their cults are needed to properly resurrect them. As such a meeting of mummies in my games tends to be presented with the same kind of respect and circumstance that I'd treat a council of elder vampires like the prince and primogen. Mummies aren't the bottom feeders of their society even if they are low tier in the ranks of their guilds. Each of them has their own agenda and responsibility and I try to give them the feeling of respect and terror their station deserves.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nothri View Post
                              I try to remember for my part that Mummies by their nature are the epicenter of a hidden network regardless of how large or small, since their cults are needed to properly resurrect them. As such a meeting of mummies in my games tends to be presented with the same kind of respect and circumstance that I'd treat a council of elder vampires like the prince and primogen. Mummies aren't the bottom feeders of their society even if they are low tier in the ranks of their guilds. Each of them has their own agenda and responsibility and I try to give them the feeling of respect and terror their station deserves.
                              Probably-salient: I distinctly remember part of the development process for Mummy including a sticky-note that simply read "Fuck it, you start off as the Prince."


                              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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