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    Canonfire :: View topic - NPC level and metrics
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    NPC level and metrics
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 25, 2002
    Posts: 6


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    Sun Mar 24, 2024 1:15 pm  
    NPC level and metrics

    Hello,

    I rull a Urnst campain and i was wondering about the coherence of the NPS levels in the world. To be clear, how many 16+ clerics can be found in this country, the same for mages and so on.
    If in a country like Duchy of Urnst they are 8 or 10 such high level NPCs, as my PCs grow up they become importants, but if they adozen or even hundreds of sur high level NPC ,it is very different. It changes the perception of what you are.
    I can't find informations habout such metrics, for Greyhawk if someone could give some informations/point of view, i appreciate

    Pickwick
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 729
    From: Bronx, NY

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    Mon Mar 25, 2024 12:22 pm  

    There are no Greyhawk specific metrics for the demographics of high-level characters. There are some edition specific guidelines for such on the basis of individual settlements, and others for specific groups as monsters such bandits, pirates, and tribesmen, and others for city guard patrols and the like, but none on a national basis.

    As a general guideline, I would say there are as many as the DM wants to have around.
    If he wants an archmage on every street corner and in hamlet or thorp, along with a retired name level fighter running the inn, then there is one.
    If he only wants those named in products and everywhere else everyone has to make do with a fifth-level magic user unless the PCs wander through, then that is all there are.

    I think it is much better for development to leave such decisions up to individuals and not mandate high-level NPCs by demographic table assignment.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1361
    From: Tennessee, between Ft. Campbell & APSU

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    Wed Mar 27, 2024 9:56 am  
    Re: NPC level and metrics

    pickwick wrote:
    ...I rull a Urnst campain and i was wondering about the coherence of the NPS levels in the world. To be clear, how many 16+ clerics can be found in this country, the same for mages and so on..


    ...Samwise's reply:

    Samwise wrote:
    There are no Greyhawk specific metrics for the demographics of high-level characters...

    As a general guideline, I would say there are as many as the DM wants to have around...

    I think it is much better for development to leave such decisions up to individuals and not mandate high-level NPCs by demographic table assignment.



    1) As Samwise noted, the D&D 3.5 DMG does have a guide for this (pp. 138-139), if you want to check that;

    2) I'd argue that Greyhawk tends to have NPCs at a lower level than some campaigns e.g. Forgotten Realms, where every other milkmaid is a 5th level-something or other, or compare Mordenkainen to Elminster, but, as Samwise notes, it is your campaign. Greyhawk's Level Police aren't going to arrest you ;)

    3) Now, whatever standard you use overall, levels are generally based on XP, which in turn are generally based on surviving challenges. Most Orc tribes tend to have lower level NPCs than average because they face lots of challenges, but tend not to survive them. Other places e.g., Ratik, Irongate, the Yeomanry, Gran March, Sunndi etc. tend to face a lot of combat (a high-XP challenge) and survive. The Urnst states are relatively (relatively) peaceful, but do tend to survive whatever challenges they face. Now, if you give out XPs for money earned (say the 1 XP per 10 gp in the AD&D Dungeoneer's Survival Guide), the Urnst states are more prosperous than the average place in the Flanaess, so would come out well in those terms. Perhaps Urnsters would have higher levels in classes like expert or aristocrat, but slightly lower levels in most of the adventuring classes, like fighter, cleric, etc. Rogues that are actual thieves might do fairly well, too.

    4) Any way this thread could get moved to the main forum page?
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
    Posts: 655
    From: on the way to Bellport

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    Fri Mar 29, 2024 7:15 am  

    pickwick, one reference to inform your decisions as DM is the Glossography of the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set, which on page 17 lists "Rulers of Greyhawk," providing their names, classes, and levels.

    For example, Jeon II is listed as the ruler of the Hold of the Sea Princes (the location of my current campaign) and noted as a level 17 fighter.

    Hence, for my campaign, I've not made another, lesser / regional ruler of the Hold (say the Prince of Port Toli) equal to or higher level than Jeon, who is the most skilled duelist in (and well beyond) the Hold, and I originally made Jeon's court wizard substantially lower in level than him. (He's presently a level 12 wizard, which I think I raised a bit as the PCs' levels increased.)

    Regarding Jeon's court wizard, I also wanted his level to be substantially lower than the closest member of the Circle of Eight (an organization of wizards founded and led by the archmage Mordenkainen, which as a headquarters of sorts in the city of Greyhawk). In various sources, Drawmij is listed as a level 16 wizard, which in AD&D 1e was the minimum level to obtain the title, "Mage." In case the PCs ever met Drawmij, whose secret undersea haven is near the Hold of the Sea Princes, making Jeon's court wizard substantially lower than level 16 seemed like a good idea.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 25, 2002
    Posts: 6


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    Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:59 am  

    Thank you guys for your answers which give me references to help me.
    I'm wondering if i am the first one to have such questions, as a DM it is a question for the relative power of the PCs.
    Is a 16th PC i a country one of the five more powerfull character (i know level is not every thing) or is he one of the hundreds he can meet.
    I chack what's in the 3.5 DM's guide
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