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    Re: Dungeons and Demographics (Score: 1)
    by Samwise ( on Sat, December 03, 2005
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    I didn't say Nosnra's steading was the only one in the Jotens.
    I said it probably accounted for about 1/4 to 1/2 of the resources available to non-agriculturalists (the only people in) the Jotens. A bit excessive, as I note below, but that's why I said someone needs to go counting stuff up for me first.
    Conversely, a hundred such lairs there, along with all the others listed, is would be excessive, unless the dwarves, gnomes, and goblins all got their food from subterranean sources. There are, from a quick count, 46 hexes in the Jotens. A mountainous region should support about 1-5 people per square mile. At 780 square miles per hex, that is 3,900 people per hex at most, more likely just 780.
    A typical (MM 3.5) hill giant lair is 25 hill giants, 9 noncombatant types, 21 dire wolves, 3 ogres, 17 orcs. At 8 times the mass of a human for a hill giant, and 3 times for an ogre, that accounts for the equivalent of 265 people right there, not counting the dire wolves.
    A typical goblin lair is 220 goblins, 220 noncombatants, 13 leads, and a bunch of worgs and dire wolves. That is 453 people for each of those.
    Just one of each per hex and we are at the uppermost limit for hunter gatherers in a typical mountain area, and you want to double the number of hill giants, and multiple the number of goblins by twelve. And then add even more.
    Not a chance.
    As for Nosnra's steading, it is swarming.
    47 hill giants, 2 fire giants, 6 stone giants, 23 "noncombatants", 13 ogres, 53 bugbears, 269 orcs, and a bunch of animals and other monsters. That is, in general, the equivalent of 959 people, at least. The steading sucks all the resources from its entire hex, and part of a neighboring hex. That's pretty hefty.
    And it strongly suggests what I said, that the reason that raiding is so common is because the giants and others commonly and easily exceed the capacity of the local area. They raid or they starve.

    And no, it shouldn't be impossible to clear any area if someone is really determined to do it. The Alleghenies are pretty danged cleared here on earth. All it takes is determination and a few hundred years of hard work.
    Further, it would be pure hyperbole to suggest there is an unlimited number of anything around anywhere. It is poor design to suggest that just because the steading was cleared out that no adventure remained. At the worst, there are humans to fight for control of the land.
    The reason they aren't being cleared out is because humans haven't even filled up the Sheldomar. They have no need to compete with the giants for the mountains, or even a driving need to prevent their periodic incursions. When they do, expect the giants to die out. That's a very common fantasy trope.

    As for how manymembers it takes to sustain a viable human genetic pool, the number is typically given as something like 10,000 to 50,000. It can be a bit less if you don't have to worry about as many genetic defects, but that is pushing things. Whether that applies to other races is of course harder to say. I think all the evidence strongly suggests that giants and the like maintain a viable population base at about a tenth of that, although there numbers are certainly greater in most places.

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    Re: Dungeons and Demographics (Score: 1)
    by Cebrion on Sun, December 04, 2005
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    The numbers in the LGG are not very believable.  

    The Greyhawk lands are veritable wastelands outside of the environs of the main cities.  Of course, it is normal to have a much smaller populaion density outside of city environs, but 10 per square mile is esceptionally low as a total average, especailly if most of the land is habitable.  keoland isn't Iceland.  Forget deserts, just travel the main byways of the average lands of Greyhawk to get that "I'm all alone in this great big world" feeling.  Considering the carnage of the Greyhawk Wars, there would be even fewer people around.  Forutnately, the LGG took some steps to correct the horrific population figures of the 83' boxed set, even considering the postwar population factors.  Even still, all things considered, the population figures are off by an estimated factor of between 4 and 10 as Sam mentioned.

    Yes, 4-10 is a monstrous variance, but much leeway must be taken as other factors such as war, famine, pestilence, cataclysms, etc. must be taken into account for the various lands.  Keoland survived the Greyhawk wars relatively unscathed, and actually increased its population significantly due to refugees from Sterich, Geoff, Bissel, and the Gran March.  The Scarlet Brotherhood troubles really were only a nuisance, and so Keoland actally prospered during the wars(both financially and population-wise) and so would be closer to getting that increase by a factor of 10.  Might we see some Keoish expansionism in the near future?  Methinks it is a very real possibility.  Other lands were not so fortunate.      

    For the record though I'd go with increaseses of between a factor of 4 and 7.  I like a bit of the wasteland feel here and there, but not too much population either-  just enough to kill off in a major campaign catastrophe(the horror!!! >) ) without crippling any land over much.  Habitable land is usually inhabited, but this is not well represented by the current population figures in even the LGG, and that is the main point.        

    Good summary Sam.  It touches on pretty much all of the oddities associated with the population numbers.

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