(As an aside, I’d like to mention at this point that the number 42 resting on the backs of peasants is a rather apropos coincidence – but I digress)
But going over it, we have given the child collectively from 12 to 72 points of abilities (average 42), bringing it to age 10. This is the moment of decision. For most of the population, the child has effectively reached its full, mature potential. Without further training of some sort, the child will not get any more intelligent, or wise, or strong, etc. If a classic peasant, he or she will get about the business of living, tending the cattle, sowing and reaping the field, etc.
On the other hand, the child may have some opportunity to improve – because of its social class, or through familial connections, or through gaining an apprenticeship and so on. The child may run away and take work in a chain gang, as a hawker, collector of materials, a porter, a street harlot or successful beggar. Any one of these would suggest a greater strength (raw labor), intelligence (the hawker), dexterity (prostitution) and so on. It is the progression from youth along some moderate profession that allows the youth to continue to improve his or her ability stat.
At no time did I state emphatically that a peasant was doomed to remain a peasant from the moment of birth. I made no genetic argument. I said clearly that is it the lack of education that limits the peasant to the suggested stat distribution.
And as such, the offspring of any existing person could establish themselves in any given ‘status,’ depending upon how they are treated from the moment of birth. A peasant child could rise to the level of king – given the necessary training and opportunity – as easily as a king’s bastard child tossed into the wood could find itself raised to be a peasant.
There is the typical story of Oedipus and hundreds of others, where blood tells the tale of how abandonment cannot hide the truth of a great being – but these were tales, after all, told to soothe the egos of the upper class. I think it quite likely that Oedipus, his feet nailed together, should have died exactly he was meant to die. Certainly, most abandoned children do die.
That said, I still leave room open for Oedipus to get lucky and climb the social ladder anyway. The system as designed works both ways.
Now, Carl has asked how I distribute the classes, having determined the number of leveled persons, and to that I answer, loosely. I have sat and thought about it, and made calculations, that I will include here, but with this provisal – I don’t use these figures, except in the widest sense. At no time have I felt limited by the numbers in determining what class of NPC a party may run across. I admit, I don’t give very many of those classes which, by these numbers, do not occur often.
In calculating the likelihood of a specific class, I apply two characteristics. The first is the likelihood of an individual possessing the stats necessary to BE a given class. A cleric needs a wisdom of 9, a paladin needs a charisma of 17 (and other minimums), an assassin needs a strength of 12 and so on. All of these minimums are available in the player’s handbook.
When you calculate the likelihood of a particular individual of adherent status (3d6 for all stats) or better having the necessary stats, you get the following table:
The hardest classes to qualify for are the monk, the paladin and the ranger, in that order. The fighter is slightly harder than the cleric, mage or thief because the Player’s Handbook adds that the fighter must have a constitution of 7 or better, while those other three principal classes have no second required characteristic.
Obviously, there would be people who would qualify for more than one class, but I don’t need to calculate that, since I am only working out the pass/fail ratio for those who wish to be each specific class.
Moving onto the second characteristic. This would be the minimum age for the class in question – and for simplicity, I use the human table for ages. Obviously, I could create a separate age system for every kind of race, but I don’t need the headache – one template works well enough for me.
I have modified the starting ages for character classes in my world from the DMG, but they are approximately the figures the gentle reader would expect. The youngest age each class can be are as follows: cleric (21), druid (23), bard (26), fighter (15), paladin (20), ranger (18), mage (26), illusionist (31), thief (19), assassin (20), monk (24). These are slightly higher than p. 12 of the DMG, but not adversely so.
This presumes that our 10-year-old child starts at once, that he or she has the necessary statistical minimums (or will have them by 15 – see Monday’s post) and that they can keep up the level of work. If they don’t develop those minimums, it is assumed they failed.
Taking each class, and presuming a 15% drop out rate per year for the first ten years, and a 5% drop out rate thereafter, I get a series of numbers which limit the likelihood of classes based upon how long it takes to learn the class. Far fewer mages, therefore, make the cut than fighters, because a mage must keep at the training for 16 years, while the fighter is done after 5.
Admittedly, the drop out rate is fairly ad hoc – and I could mess around with it in a number of ways to produce numbers I’d be happy with. But what I say is fuck it – its my world and I will produce the numbers I want. You reading this can go produce the numbers you want. All I really offer here is a methodology.
All right. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible. Monday’s table gave 215 leveled persons out of a total of 29,092. I calculate the remaining ‘graduates’ for each class by starting each class with the same number of persons and reduce them by the above drop-out rate, and then multiply that number against the class minimums table given above.
So now I have a a different figure for each class, allowing me to compare them to each other. Using Monday’s table for the ratio of leveled persons to non-leveled persons, I can calculate out the number of each class per 100,000 persons: