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  1. #1

    Variant Population Rule

    One of the first questions many players have when looking at a new Domain Sheet is "How many people live here?"

    The following is an alternative approach one can use to determine a realm's starting population.

    Step 1. Determine the realm's BIRTHRATE MULTIPLIER based on the population's primary race:

    Dwarf - 7,500
    Elf - 5,000
    Goblin - 15,000
    Halfling - 7,500
    Human - 10,000

    Step 2. Determine the realm's BASE POPULATION.

    The BASE POPULATION of a realm equals the sum total of all province levels multiplied by the realm's BIRTHRATE MULTIPLIER*

    Step 3. Determine the realm's POPULATION DENSITY BONUS.

    The POPULATION DENSITY BONUS of a realm equals the sum total of all province levels divided by the number of provinces, usually rounded to the nearest tenth. (eg. 4.716 = 4.7)

    Step 4. Determine the realm's TOTAL POPULATION


    Example: Medoere has 3 provinces: Alamier (4), Braeme (3), and Caerwil (2). Its population is primarily human, giving it a Birthrate Multiplier of 10,000. The sum total of its provinces is 9 (4+3+2=9), so its Base Population is 90,000 (9 * 10,000 = 90,000). Factoring in Medoere's relative population density is 3 (9/3=3), we can determine its total population is 90,000 x 3 = 270,000.

    Using this equation, we can determine the following realm populations:

    Roesone = 630,000
    Talinie = 468,000
    Avanil = 1,517,000
    Diemed = 874,000
    Cariele = 559,000
    Alamie = 528,000
    Ilien** = 150,000
    Pashacht*** = 36,000
    Ariya = 561,000
    Zikala**** = 500,000

    *The Birthrate Multipliers listed above are strictly based on race. Other factors such as a realm's terrain, culture, and other unique factors are, by default, presumed to be
    abstractly factored into province levels.

    **This method breaks down if used to determine the population of a 1-province realm. Instead, multiply its Province Level by its Birthrate multiplier, then adjust that number up to + or -5,000 based on whatever factors you deem relevant. Then double that number.

    Ilien (7) * 10000 = 70,000 + 5000 (coastal city with no immediate threats) = 75,000 * 2 = 150,000. Approximately half of that number are residents of the City of Ilien, the other half live in small farming or fishing villages, ranches, etc.

    Pashacht (2) * 10,000 = 20,000 - 2,000 (due to nightly attacks by the Banshegh) = 18,000 * 2 = 36,000

    ****0-level provinces are not counted when determining Population Density. Zikala has 11 provinces but 3 of them are level (0). When determining its Population Density, the sum of its province levels (20) is divided by 8, not 11.

    An upcoming post will detail how a realm's Total Population can be used to determine things like: noble population, blooded population, army mustering limits, and more.. I will also detail how this system can be compatible with non-birthright campaign settings.

  2. #2
    Once you have determined a realm's population, it can be used to make a number of useful determinations:

    • The Noble Population of a realm is generally 5% of the Total Population.
    • The average Noble House has 20 family members. This includes the Lord and Lady, their children, the Lord's Aunts, Uncles, their spouses, their children/Lord's cousins, their spouses (but not the their children, if any), Lord's younger siblings, their spouses, Lord's neices and nephews (but not their children, if any), and the Lord's Dowager Mother.
    • The average family of commoners has 8 family members
    • Only 15% of the Noble Houses have a titled Lord. The rest are simply wealthy landowners.
    • Generally, only one half of one percent (.5%) of a realm's Noble Population is blooded.

    So, let's put this into practice. Using Roesone as an example:

    According to my calculations...

    Roesone's total population = 630,000

    It has a Noble Population of 31,500 (5% of 630000 = 31,500)
    There are approximately 1,575 noble families in Roesone (31,500/20 = 1,575)
    There are approximately 236 of titled nobles in Roesone. (1575*.15 = 236)
    There are approximately 158 blooded individuals in Roesone (31500*.005 = 157.5)

    How does this stack up to the Player's Secrets of Roesone? Let's find out.

    According to source material, Roesone has a total population of 75,000 and a noble population of 1500. My calculations are WAY off .. unless you consider these figures as representative of families.

    75,000 * 8 = 600,000 commoners
    1500 * 20 = 30,000 nobles
    600000 + 30000 = 630,000 total

    Another relevant tidbit presented in the Player's Secrets of Roesone are the blooded families presented in the book, which states the following blooded families live in Roesone:
    1. Roesone
    2. Isilverie
    3. Bellamie
    4. Ghoried
    5. Denoered
    6. Biersen
    7. Noelon
    8. Agnelie
    9. Armieden

    That's 9 blooded families, which is 1 more than I calculated.. however, we know that House Roesone is much smaller than the average noble household so having a 9th blooded family makes up for that deficiency.

    Let's do a quick check against the Player's Secrets of Muden.

    According to the source material, there are 259,000 residents of Muden.
    According to my calculations based on the my variant rules, Muden has 2,112,000 residents.

    What happens if we presume the 259,000 population represents households? 259,000*8 = 2,072,000 commoners
    If my calculation is correct, then Muden has 40,000 nobles. (2112000-2072000 = 40000)
    40,000 nobles is only 1% of the population, which is much less than my calculations in Anuire.. however, Brechtur has a much larger middle class and a fewer nobles than Anuire.. so, again, my calculations seem to hold up under at least a BIT of scrutiny.

    While I am the first to admit this variant rule is not perfect. It is, however, easy to make some common sense adjustments. Also, these calculations are best used to determine demographics at the beginning of a campaign. Once the campaign begins, the large increases or decreases caused by province level increases or decreases don't make as much sense.
    Last edited by Magnus Argent; 02-17-2024 at 12:40 AM.

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