Last Updated:  170401…200704

I use Mystara as the basis of my campaign world. Overall population of the Grand Duchy is about 621,400 people, including 537,800 humans, 41,900 demi-humans, 36,050 humanoids, and 5,650 other creatures (taking into account only the races who are represented by not less than 100 members in the country). When the PCs seek assistance (such as finding a cleric of high enough level to cast Raise Dead), how many people in the Kingdom are leveled characters to aid them?

Using the framework provided by the DMG, on average 1 in 100 of the human (and half-orc) general population are suitable for level advancement (other races have an incidence of 1 in 50). The base NPC population is defined as 44% Fighter, 20% Cleric, 20% MU, 15% Thief, and 1% Monk, or:
35.2% Fighters
17% Clerics
17% Magic-users
12.5% Thieves
4.4% Paladins
4.4% Rangers
3% Druids
3% Illusionists
2.5% Assassins
1% Monks

Assuming a baseline 600,000 pop, 1 in 100 is leveled, or 6,000 people have levels in the kingdom. Assuming level ratios roughly match experience points (XP), the number at each level would halve, so:

3,000 are level 1
1,500 are level 2
750 are level 3
375 are level 4
188 are level 5
94 are level 6
47 are level 7
24 are level 8
12 are level 9
6 are level 10
3 are level 11
2 are level 12
1 are level 13

Reversing that math, for our 600,000 population:
1 in 200 are level 1
1 in 400 are level 2
1 in 800 are level 3
1 in 1,600 are level 4
1 in 3,200 are level 5
1 in 6,400 are level 6
1 in 12,800 are level 7
1 in 25,000 are level 8
1 in 50,000 are level 9
1 in 100,000 are level 10
1 in 200,000 are level 11
1 in 400,000 are level 12
1 in 800,000 are level 13 (Note of our 600,000 population)

Out of 6,000 leveled people:

2,640 fighters, (264 rangers, 264 paladins)
1,200 clerics (200 druids)
1,200 magic users (200 illusionists)
900 thieves (150 assassins)
60 monks

So there are 94 people (approximately 100) in all of Karameikos that are level 6:

44 fighters (including 4 rangers and 4 paladins)
20 clerics (of which 3 are druids)
20 magic users (of which 3 are illusionists)
15 Thieves (of which there are 2 assassins)
1 Monk

If factoring in the actual class XP tables instead of just level, you get a slightly different ratio (although it doesn’t start to change until 3rd level, and doesn’t change much after that). Taking into account the XP tables, for the approximately 100 people in Karameikos that are level 6:

43 fighters (5 rangers and 5 paladins included)
20 clerics (of which 4 are druids)
20 magic users (of which 4 are illusionists)
15 Thieves (of which there are 3 assassins)
1 Monk

So the level 9 cleric the party is seeking? Well, there are 12 level 9 NPCs (and they aren’t all necessarily good guys!):

3.17 level 9 fighters
1.53 level 9 clerics
1.53  level 9 magic users
1.125 level 9 thieves
.4 level 9 paladins
.4 level 9 rangers
.27 level 9 druids
.27 level 9 illusionists
.225 level 9 assassins
.09 level 9 monks

The numbers above for 1 in 100 are for leveled characters in general, and aren’t quite right at the higher levels (not enough monks and druids, for example). Most of those leveled NPCs will be in a situation where they are currently satisfied with their lot in life. When considering henchmen, on average only 1 in 10 of those leveled NPCs are interested in offers of employment. In areas of active adventuring, that could be as favorable as 1 in 2. In a settled and staid area that incidence could be as low as 1 in 50.

These population numbers normally shouldn’t include those that are actively adventuring (which would include the PCs). Those of high level would, likely, concentrate in cities except for those who are reclusive (clerics in town, MUs out of town except where there’s a school or something, for example).


Author: Rick

A DM for *mumble* years, I've been playing AD&D since junior high. I've currently got two separate campaigns running, both in Mystara. I've been told when they handed out hobbies, I stood in the short lines. I actively cycle tour, kayak, play board games, read, develop home automation software, play Stars!, volunteer with the International and National American Red Cross, and work on a never-ending stream of home repairs. In my wake I've left paintball, medieval full-contact combat (SCA), computer gaming, Heroclix, and kite construction.

4 thoughts on “Population”

  1. I really like this piece.
    Thank you for doing the brainwork. I’ve used your math and it worked really well for my campaign.
    One question re: the second paragraph: where in the DMG is the 1:100 info? I’ve scoured my book and can’t find the dang thing.
    Thanks again,

  2. _ One thing to remember, is that in the “most important”, cities/polis, high levels are like to gravitate their like actors to New York and LA. Also, centers of interest for the various classes; schools and renowned monasteries n suchlike.

    1. I think you’ll find that’s not true for the worlds defined by TSR. Seems like every village has someone of disproportionately high level for the locale.

      Even a school is likely to have only at most a few high-level NPCs, and their students.

      A fantasy world isn’t the modern world. High- level PCs in many respects are motivated to not be in the metropoli.

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