Clearly, no one is particularly thrilled that I occasionally post statistics on this site. I understand, I suppose, but for me personally I see nothing but world design in numbers like those appearing on the previous post. I see evidence that the general population should be dirt poor; that food and clothes should be a much heavier cost compared to the present, while housing should be much cheaper. I see evidence for how tightly packed a city should be, where a room is no larger than 14 by 12.
I find here the basis on how much of an individual’s wealth should be invested in housewares, art, furniture, clothing and jewelry, as compared to pure coin. In what the cost should be for servants, and in what foods were eaten by people. I have evidence for the weight of a gold coin (much less than the Gygaxian universe), and what goods would be laden upon a caravan.
In short, I get a sense for how the world works, how the tens of thousands of elements begin to fit together, to make sense of what a party is doing in a particular place and time. Who has something to gain by paying pirates to sink not-so-random shipping? How much should it cost to build a castle, what labor is available, and how might their morale be improved? For me, these things are world building.
But yes, boring for most people. Or not particularly worth commentary. Statistics do speak for themselves, I know. But since I’m in love with them, I thought I’d drop a note about how they affect me.
The response to my saying I love them would be, I should think, to assume that I am as boring and staid as statistics are. I must argue, however, that statistics are not staid ... they are pure life rendered comprehensible. They are descriptions of the great mechanism of existence, captured so that they might be applied, to raise monoliths of civilization, to send migrations of peoples hither and thither, or to define the simple daily existence of one small peasant toiling along the edge of a road.
It is in what you can see within the statistics that creativity is born.