Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taking a Census: 4th Edition Style - Part II

Welcome back!  Last time, I detailed a system whereby you can easily generate demographic population statistics for various settlements in 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons®.  This system seemed to spark some interest and Phil Cooper over at Barely Readable Diary quickly developed an online tool that uses the math I came up.  The tool is awesome and easy to use.  Go bookmark that now and I'll wait.

All set?  Awesome, right?  Thanks, Phil! 

Now then.  As I mentioned in the previous post, 10% of the entire generated population will be made up of adventuring types.  These are the folks that have a tendency to make trouble for heroes and townsfolk alike.  A DM could easily take this number and simply stat out those individuals that are needed for the adventure.  However, I decided that it might be easier to break out this number based on the roles of characters as defined by the 4e rules.  Those four types are:  Controllers, Defenders, Leaders, and Strikers.  I used a pretty simple percentage breakdown for determining how the population of adventurers breaks out:

Strikers are 40% of the adventurer population.  Strikers are like the gunfighters of the Old West.  They are made up of Rogues, Rangers, and the odd Sorcerer and others.  Most are looking for an opportunity or are just passing through.

Defenders are 30% of the adventurer population.  Defenders are usually sell-swords (Fighters) who are looking for their next pay check.

Leaders are 20% of the adventurer population.  Warlords looking for conscripts, traveling Bards, and Clerics make up this group.

Controllers are 10% of the adventurer population.  The skills of most controllers such as Wizards and Druids are harder to come by, and so they're not encountered as often as other types.

From here, it's really up to the DM as to what classes make up these roles.  There are so many classes now, that it's more practical to use roles to describe this segment of the population instead of classes.  That way, regardless of what classes occupy your campaign setting, you can still find the generator useful.

Here's an example of how the entire population tables split out.  The example is a random Hamlet:

Adult Population: 429
Children: 172

Townsfolk: 386

Producers 270
Craftsmen 39
Scholars 19
Traders 19
Teamsters 15
Militia 19
Dignitaries 4


Adventurers: 43

Controllers 4
Defenders 13
Leaders 9
Strikers 17
Total: 43

Grand Total Inhabitants: 601

At this point, I'll tip my hat to Phil Cooper once again and see if he can incorporate this data into the web app he's developed.  Hopefully, with a couple clicks of the mouse, you can generate the population of a given settlement in no time at all!

When I return next time, I'll wrap up this topic with a bit on just how far you need to take defining who lives in the town and for what reasons.  There might be some crunchy monster bits (well, so to speak) on that one, so stay tuned.

Until next time...

Game excellently with one another.


  1. Phil Cooper1:53 PM

    I've updated the web tool to include these adventurer rules:

    Thanks for all the great ideas posted here :)

  2. R.M. Walker1:59 PM

    Thank you for jumping on this and developing the web page. Hopefully, it will be some help to some folks out there dealing with their demographic issues.

    Also, glad you're enjoying the site. Thanks, much!