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[Dark Eras] Uratha population density in the past

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  • [Dark Eras] Uratha population density in the past

    Something that come up in the topic where I prepare Viking settlement of Uppsala in Sweden as local setting.

    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    With assumed circa 500 people of human population in 800s, even 1 or 2 werewolves seems rather high number. I do not remember if Dark Era Wolf and Raven address this low communities numbers in it compared to supernatural societies? Because 'religious center' with less than 2-3 packs of werewolves in those times seems weird to me.
    In a nutshell, question is simple - How many are werewolves in much smaller communities of previous Eras? With Vinca people settlements of few dozens in Sundered World or Vikings villages up to few hundreds in Wolf and Raven - what would be typical Uratha to human ration in those? Cause I think that some werewolves would live in those communities, or even around them, and those rations would have some 'average' - probably much higher than in modern nights.

    And no, I do not need answers like 'how many story needs' - every time I can change basic numbers how I like, it's just have different repercussions if we have average of one Uratha per 100 people and one of People per 10 000 on the setting like those, on general. One Uratha per 10 000 human would mean there are not any werewolf in whole Sweden at Viking times, for example.

    P.S. CoD modern universe standards from Beast: the Primordial corebook are like 1:200 human is 'touched' by supernatural and 1:8000 is per particular major monster race in city.


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  • #2
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    And no, I do not need answers like 'how many story needs' - every time I can change basic numbers how I like, it's just have different repercussions if we have average of one Uratha per 100 people and one of People per 10 000 on the setting like those, on general. One Uratha per 10 000 human would mean there are not any werewolf in whole Sweden at Viking times, for example.
    Which is appropriate if you don't want werewolves in your story.

    Do you want there to be a lot? Or do you want there to be a little? Do you want them to be a fraction of the human population? Then pick a fraction and go with it.

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    • #3
      Thinking about somehow helpful estimation - One pack per settlement too 1000 humans seems appropriate?

      We should take things like Lunacy in account - more werewolves per human means that they are easily pointed out in herd on their Hunts.


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      • #4
        But alternatively you had more spread out villages sometimes. A werewolf, an entire pack, could life freely a mile away from the village proper, hunting and changing form without care, occasionally coming into town for trade or to check on the Gauntlet. Predator Kings wouldn't even need to do that.

        Werewolves in the town could hunt at night, when everyone's asleep, or across the Gauntlet.

        It's a very good time for opportunistic werewolves.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
          With Vinca people settlements of few dozens in Sundered World or Vikings villages up to few hundreds in Wolf and Raven - what would be typical Uratha to human ration in those?
          Irrelevant, IMO. Number who change per population density doesn't matter. Werewolves tend to find each other. They'll congregate among their own if they can. In Sundered World, they're not hanging out with The People - they're forming packs in Pangaea and living the hunt. In Wolf and Raven, the Uratha have inbuilt societal instincts, a separate language, and access to more of the world than the small humans around them. They leave their little villages, they find each other, form packs, and live wherever they please. The Uratha make the village part of the pack, they don't wait around meekly hoping some humans will approve of them.

          Additionally, how many per 1000 humans is not the question to ask. What are the threats that need to be hunted in an area is the question. A town could have 100,000 people and nothing to hunt - it's not going to have werewolves. A forest could be littered with tiny villages with no more than a dozen humans yet be a hotbed of Shartha shards. The packs in that place are going to outnumber the humans.

          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
          And no, I do not need answers like 'how many story needs'
          It's the best answer you're going to get.
          Last edited by Bunyip; 01-22-2017, 05:57 PM.


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          • #6
            Werewolves and Mages are pretty easy to handle in this regard, just assuming they had larger relative numbers to the human/sleeper population (possibly therefore underlying a human population relatively more aware, or acknowledging their awareness, of the supernatural than in modern days). Humans have a much easier rate of reproduction, so their population over time has grown at a faster rate than those of Werewolves, and a lower rate of Awakenings can be a setting point indicating something like the idea the Abyss is widening or the Seers have been relatively successful in driving humanity away from enlightenment.

            The hard one is vampires, because their numbers relative to humanity leads to some serious problems with the survivability of the Kindred without overwhelming humanity as their prey.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              But alternatively you had more spread out villages sometimes. A werewolf, an entire pack, could life freely a mile away from the village proper, hunting and changing form without care, occasionally coming into town for trade or to check on the Gauntlet. Predator Kings wouldn't even need to do that.

              Werewolves in the town could hunt at night, when everyone's asleep, or across the Gauntlet.

              It's a very good time for opportunistic werewolves.
              Okay, let's roll with this. I have in mind Viking era Uppsala in 800s in mind, assumed to be 500 mortals in it ( it probably was much lower in reality at that time ). Uppsala is 'religion center' of that era, with most biggest sacrifices being then. As Norsemans are politeists, they religion much more resonate with Shadow Realm and by this make dynamic Spirits-Humans relation - i.e. Uppsala should be one very important place for Uratha to look over in that time. What number of packs will not seem as too much in region compared to 500 humans in nearby? I assume at least one pack of Iron Masters living inside community, and really worshiping Aesir gods with mortals. But having pnlu one pack watching over this kind of center places seems wrong. Easily I can see Hunters in Darkness and Predator Kings fighting in the woods nearby, but what about Bone Shadows that should look over many spirits created with mortals ceremonies or Storm Lords wanting to have eye over local nobility and Ridden priests? This number of packs seems very high compared to 500 humans - with each pack being 4-5 Uratha, on 500 humans in settelment, we would have like 25 werewolves, at least.


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              • #8
                Bunyip, Glamourweaver just got me more helpful answer.

                Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                Werewolves and Mages are pretty easy to handle in this regard, just assuming they had larger relative numbers to the human/sleeper population (possibly therefore underlying a human population relatively more aware, or acknowledging their awareness, of the supernatural than in modern days). Humans have a much easier rate of reproduction, so their population over time has grown at a faster rate than those of Werewolves, and a lower rate of Awakenings can be a setting point indicating something like the idea the Abyss is widening or the Seers have been relatively successful in driving humanity away from enlightenment.

                The hard one is vampires, because their numbers relative to humanity leads to some serious problems with the survivability of the Kindred without overwhelming humanity as their prey.
                Mages and Werewolves to mortals ratio could be even 1:10, without breaking Lunacy and Veil? As this comes from my analyzis of Uppsala, made above.

                As to vampires - it's very simple. Their existance is tied to cities - i.e. very large settelemnts. Untill cities are over 10 000 mortal each, typicaly, there is only 2 vampires in region - Elder and his Child ( if any ). More would simply end in vampire hunts.
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-23-2017, 02:14 AM.


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                • #9
                  Maybe it's a religious center because it's lorded over by Fire Touched or Bone Shadows. They could be ruling the entire place. Realistically, at that point, what are people going to do? How many people can obtain pure silver and make a usable weapon out of it, without werewolves knowing? They have long range communication, they have spirit allies, they have magical powers, enhanced senses and sheer physical might. Even if their winning charm couldn't subdue the masses, they could use an iron claw.

                  But the important thing is the story. What's your game about, what do you want to happen in it? What are the players doing? Did you want to go for a standard Forsaken 'good guys' and Pure 'bad guys outside of town' thing, or try one of the many variations possible, as evidenced in the setting books?

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                  • #10
                    Seidmadr made great posts on this subject in other topic - I think they are good to be shared here, to shed light on the density problem.

                    Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                    As I said, I'm no expert in early middle ages agrarian demographics, but I did what anyone would do in this situation: I googled!
                    I found this site, which talks about fantasy setting realism. I assume it's based on historical fact. But even if it isn't, it's a decent number to base things on.

                    It talks about how the minimum for a well developed middle ages kingdom would be 30 people per square mile, and that this is ( Viking Sweden ) in land with bad condition. Considering that Sweden was FAR from well developed, but that it was about as nice as one could get in Sweden back in those days, in the area we are talking about, it seems about fair.

                    And a day's walk is, according to Wikipedia, 20 miles. So thus, the radius around Uppsala that is relevant, is one days walk back and forth. 10 miles. That gives us about 300 square miles to work with. And thus we should have about 9000 people living in that area, if that site is correct.

                    So there you are!
                    Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                    Also take into consideration that adoption was a big deal. You wouldn't have to actually be born into a family to be considered a part of it.

                    If I were to run a Werewolf game, I'd set up a farmstead, where everyone was a member of the pack. The werewolves run things, wolfbloods are in the know, and humans handle the chores. Reasonable wolfbloods get adopted into the family, to fit in.
                    Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                    Sorry for double-posting here, but I came to a realization: There will be a relatively higher ratio of werewolves to humans in harsh conditions, such as Scandinavia. Winter won't be NEARLY as big a problem for them as for regular humans.
                    They will have fur, which will aid fantastically in humanity's long-standing endeavour not to freeze to death, and the enhanced senses of a wolf will make hunting for game a relative breeze.

                    The best thing about this latter is that the Werewolf can help the entire community with it. Bringing in a moose in the end of February would be a godsend to an entire farm.
                    Seeing how area of being 9000 populations around only 100 humans in Old Uppsala was kind of eye opener to me. And then comparing those 30-40 nearby Uratha do not seems as that much compared to scattered humanity in period.

                    So in those early Middle Ages everyone stick to their own farm if they did not need to go. And Uratha packs can be those 'families with traditions'. And Uratha would their families life saviors, if family would have one.


                    Bonus: Storm Lords in Viking Scandinavia.
                    Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                    Why should there?
                    Stoic acceptance of hardship is a virtue, and you have to consider the harsh climate up here. It used to kill people. Storm Lords are those who face that head on. They would be respected, honoured.

                    That relative elevation of peasants would rather mean that Storm Lords wouldn't be connected with nobility any more than it would the common man.
                    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-24-2017, 12:56 AM.


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                    • #11
                      I found that the supplement called Ghost Towns had an excellent write up for towns in the Wild West which can be converted to Viking cities. Most towns had maybe one or two werewolves, with another one on the fringes. It was enough to keep them with a presence in the major towns, but without feeling that they are overpopulating the place.

                      Plus...another feature that I find with Werewolf second edition is that you can have a lot of packs, but not so many werewolves because a pack can include (or even be made entirely of) wolf blooded and humans. So a "pack" can consist of only one or two, or zero, werewolves but have more wolf blooded and humans. That way it has a presence without going overboard with the supernatural aspect.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by maryshelly View Post
                        Plus...another feature that I find with Werewolf second edition is that you can have a lot of packs, but not so many werewolves because a pack can include (or even be made entirely of) wolf blooded and humans. So a "pack" can consist of only one or two, or zero, werewolves but have more wolf blooded and humans. That way it has a presence without going overboard with the supernatural aspect.
                        That's a fair option, but one should stay open to the possibility that a setting is not just a population of humans with x werewolves added in, where x is however many you could cram in before people started noticing. Some areas are going to have histories, they're going to have strangely large populations, or strangely small ones. Some areas are going to have such a rich Uratha history that every human is going to have been touched by them at some point.

                        If you just take a certain ratio of human to werewolf and use it across the board you're limiting what's possible with the setting. It's something you can get a lot of fun out of, and sometimes it's right for the story, I'm not saying otherwise, but there's no reason to close oneself off to further possibilities because of a number.
                        Last edited by nofather; 01-26-2017, 08:31 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Really the question to ask yourself- How many werewolves does Luna want?

                          She is credited with choosing who gets to be a werewolf and who doesn't, after all.

                          Of course, being the patron deity of madness, her whims might not make much sense to anyone else.

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