How many people would die per day?

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Big Mac
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How many people would die per day?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:26 am

I've been thinking about the logistics of death in Ghostwalk. People die, come back as ghosts and can get resurrected...or can move onto the True Afterlife (assuming they get The Calling).

Does anyone know of a way to estimate the background number of people that would die every day in a campaign setting?

Does anyone know of a way to estimate the higher peaks that a war, famine or plague might cause?

Finally, does anyone know of a way to estimate the number of ghosts that might get resurrected per day or the number that might get pulled off to the True Afterlife by The Calling?

In theory, if people kept dying, but never moved onto the True Afterlife the city of Manifest would get more and more crowded with ghosts over time, but I am going to assume that does not happen, because I am looking for numbers to "make Ghostwalk work" rather than numbers to "tear it down".

I am going to assume that Sean K Reynolds and Monte Cook designed the The Calling to cancel out the number of people coming in, so that the population of ghosts over time was more or less stable. I am going to assume that if you have a plague, famine or war that the population of Manifest would rapidly rise, but that, over a period of time, poor ghosts would gain enough XP to level up enough that if they have not bought a resurrection for themselves, they would be forced to move onto the True Afterlife and the population would start to fall back towards normal levels.

I'm not sure how slow commoner ghosts might level up, and if they could save up enough gold pieces before The Calling got them, but I'm figuring that if I can work out the maths for commoners coming in, and the average time for a commoner to level up to 2nd level, then that would be the time taken for 1st level commoners to exit Manifest via natural causes.

I'm guessing the same sort of logic would cover ghost NPCs that are above 1st level, but that the higher the starting level each ghost would have, the more time it would have in Manifest to either buy a resurrection spell or avoid The Calling. I am assuming that all of this is stable (when there are no wars, famines or plagues) and that there would be some sort of spread of ghosts of various levels. I am assuming that ghosts with levels of standard classes would need to be younger than ghosts with high levels of standard class levels, because living longer would cause ghost NPCs to gain NPCs and move closer towards the point where The Calling got them.

I don't have those numbers or proportions, and sadly, while there are stats for the population of everywhere except Manfest, I can't find any population figures for Manifest itself, but I figure that it might be possible to look at some sort of medieval documentation and see what sort of death rates were happening in the real world...or in different parts of the real world, and then to try to use that to work out a potential range for the number of ghosts living in Manifest.

I've heard of some sources for looking up medieval demographics to estimate the number of people doing specific jobs in cities, towns or villages, but does anyone know of any sources for working out how many people would be born or how many people would die per day?

And are there any real-world sources for the various causes of deaths, as that might help work out percentage tables for use with the Faces of Death rules on pages 11-12?
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Re: How many people would die per day?

Post by TBeholder » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:57 pm

Assuming it's in dynamic equilibrium and disregarding fluctuations?
(average dead / day) = (average born / day) = (Total population of the area in question) / (average life expectancy [days])
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Re: How many people would die per day?

Post by night_druid » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:32 pm

Well, I can imagine in a medieval society, a depressing number of ghosts will be children. Child mortality rates were atrocious; it might even be a situation where the majority of ghosts are going to not be adults. Probably along with a disproportionate number of women (who died in childbirth). It might make for a different gaming experience, but a depressing one (depending on the GM).
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Re: How many people would die per day?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:22 pm

TBeholder wrote:Assuming it's in dynamic equilibrium and disregarding fluctuations?
(average dead / day) = (average born / day) = (Total population of the area in question) / (average life expectancy [days])
That sounds like the equation I need to use, but I'm not sure where to get the numbers from.
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Re: How many people would die per day?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:32 pm

night_druid wrote:Well, I can imagine in a medieval society, a depressing number of ghosts will be children. Child mortality rates were atrocious; it might even be a situation where the majority of ghosts are going to not be adults.
They might get sucked through by The Calling. When ghosts get more XP for being dead than they get for being alive (i.e when they level up and get as many ghost levels as living levels) they are then unable to resist The Calling any more.

In 3e D&D every NPC gets at least one level, whereas in 2e there were 0 level humans. If you were retro-converting Ghostwalk to 2e, that would make it easier, as the kids would all vanish. But I'm guessing they would wander around for a bit and either get restored to life or they would learn a few skills and move on.

Babies would probably move straight on. Animals can't resist The Calling and if people have not gained the ability to speak, they probably have a lot less chance of resisting The Calling...or even thinking to resist it. It would pull them and they would just go with it.
night_druid wrote:Probably along with a disproportionate number of women (who died in childbirth). It might make for a different gaming experience, but a depressing one (depending on the GM).
A lot of the ghosts carry their death with them and are a bit grim.

I guess that mothers might try to rescue their babies and get them restored to life. Or they might go onto the afterlife to look after stillborn babies. Or they might get themselves brought back to life to carry on looking after the rest of their family (or to get on with whatever they were planning to do after giving birth).

A high mortality rate from childbirth, in a place where you can come back from the dead without loosing levels, might not seem so big a risk. Perhaps expectant mothers might save up for the cost of being brought back from the dead. Or maybe they might pay a midwife an insurance premium that includes the cost of being restored to life.

But having more women in Manifest could be fun.
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