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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2016 :  09:45:44  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
First off, my question: how do people in the Realms feel about resurrection?

I'm about halfway through reading City of Splendors, and there's a prominent, wealthy young nobleman with plenty of friends with coin that dies, but resurrection is never brought up as an option. It would seem to me that surely his friends or family would be willing to find a willing priest who has sufficient enough favour with his or her deity to be able to cast Raise Dead, and fork out the dragons for said priest to trouble themselves (or even perform a significant quest if a donation to the temple didn't cut it).

This is far from the first time this has come up in an FR novel that I've read, and they never seem to give a good reason for it that satisfies me.

Reasons could include (and by no means are limited to):
  • Refusal: the afterlife is actually awesome, no one wants to come back

  • Superstition: people are afraid to trouble the gods

  • Demanding gods: the gods demanding either too great a quest to be worth people bringing back a friend, or alternatively placing demands on those they resurrect

  • Diamond shortage: 5e rules require diamonds for resurrection - maybe they're a lot rarer in FR (unlikely by Volo's Guide to All Things Magical)

I have mostly explained it to myself and players thus far as a combination of the first two: people preferring to see death as a natural event, the afterlife as a favourable existence, and not wanting to trouble the gods on their behalf for fear of angering them. However, in some cases this doesn't feel like enough, and I was wondering if there's ever been any attempt in the canon to further explain this.

Have there ever been any canon reasons that people don't resurrect each other more frequently, most especially the wealthy and prosperous?

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 11 Oct 2016 :  10:52:33  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I rewrote the economics to make prices more in line with medieval england in the 13th century (a small sword costs 10 sp or thereabouts but a peasant earns coppers per day and uses up half that on living expenses).

A noble earns several gold a month.

However a diamond of several hundred gp in value is a princely gift (i meanly kept magic reagents roughlu similar in price) so even a wealthy noble would think twice about resurrecting a friend.


Thats just one way of explaining it. Also remember in a land where the order of birth is important for succession, the death of an individual can be important in progressing the claim to the next so death changes how wealthy a man is in the eyes of the law. For example this noble was wealthy but on his death all lands and titles passed to someone else. Would you pay for your friend to come back if you knew he could never repay the money.

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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
459 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2016 :  11:38:40  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me reasons are:
-spell itself is not easy (even raise dead) and so there is only a few priests in any given local who can cast it
-cost of the spell and components is high so it further limits who can afford it
-political reasons for casting or not casting a spell are huge for wealthy and powerful who can afford it
-even is casted there is no guarantee that person will come back (trapped soul, god intervention,...)

On the other hand I have waived a soul approval issue - I understand it is a protection for player characters but it makes no sense to me. How would you animate undead then? Also if you are evil character in evil organisation would you accept ressurection by somebody from that organisation?
It would be much more interesting if a good diety demanded that you find that soul in the planes first (or summoned it) and asked it's permision before you can cast the spell.
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2016 :  13:19:42  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have thought about tinkering with the economics myself, but have avoided it in favour of being consistent with published material... it is tempting though.

The lands and titles thing is a good point, I had thought about this in the case of Kings and Queens but had discarded the thought with regards to nobles - but I shouldn't have. There's usually a younger brother or sister in the wings ready to step into their shoes.

For argument's sake, let's assume we're in Waterdeep, a city with many clerics or priests able to cast Raise Dead (there are multiple Lv9+ clerics here in canon).
In 5th edition D&D Adventurer's League, the cost for a Raise Dead spell is 1,250 gp.
In 3rd edition D&D, it's 5,450 gp.
*Neither of these sources is assumed to be true for canon FR, but I'm unable to find a canon FR source.

Even a wealthy merchant (the highest tier short of aristocratic) only spends 4gp a day on his lifestyle, and 1,460 gp in a year.
For me, this means that no sole person outside the noble class can readily afford to pay for a resurrection, in 3rd or 5th edition. Wealthy merchant families and organizations might be able to manage it though.

Nobles however have a lifestyle expense of 10gp/day MINIMUM, meaning the average nobleman spends 3,650gp a year at least just on upkeep. This lines up ok with the kind of coin we see them drop in novels on mundane things - eg. dropping a gold coin as a tip. If we guess at the richest nobles spending 20x as much on daily expenses as the poorest nobles (probably a quite conservative estimate), they're spending 200gp/day, and 73,000gp a year. That's just 5th edition stuff, which may not interest all.

However, in Ed's "Darkness in North Ward" adventure, that he played with some people and uploaded to Youtube, he has a Waterdhavian noble family willing to fork out 100,000 gp for the safe return of a favoured daughter. There's a couple of scenes in Death Masks (also by Ed) where Cazondur (an exceptionally affluent merchant) is spending tens of thousands of gold pieces on paying for some murders, and hundreds of thousands for others - in one case even offering 400,000 gp.

In short, I think the cost could not possibly be a problem for some in Waterdeep. The inheritance thing seems to me to be the best current explanation, perhaps in combination with a healthy dose of not wanting to trouble the gods.

Has there ever been any mention, in any product, of any laws around inheritance and resurrection? I have combed the So Saith Ed threads with no luck. Anything anyone can contribute would be very welcome!


PS. with regard to the animating dead thing: I never imagined this would require a soul to return to the body, so I don't think that would be a problem. As far as an evil character accepting resurrection from an evil organization: well, maybe he would! "Evil" is a loose term after all, and an evil person might very well have a lot more fun on the material plane than in the afterlife.

Edit: Darkness in North Ward may have even had Ed's noble family offer 100,000 gp EACH to about five or so characters, I can't quite remember the details. Either way it was a lot of dosh.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 11 Oct 2016 13:21:28
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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2887 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2016 :  23:08:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the idea is that the gods ask that whoever's being resurrected should be doing something important/important for them: adventurers fit this by their base identity of being "interesting" for most deities and because it's assumed FR PCs will be part of a church and actively involved in that church. Lots of other people don't meet that criteria, even a bright young noble scion who fell off a roof in North Ward.

Additionally, we do know that some people in the Realms expressly have covenants against being resurrected. The Obarskyr family is forbidden to be resurrected, by I believe their original promise to rule Cormyr. There's a scene in Swords of Eveningstar where Vangerdahast has to tell Tanalasta very quickly why she might need to rule if Azoun IV doesn't come home, and why the current king can't be resurrected if he has died. I suspect it's to prevent absurd longevity and slow calcification in Cormyr, that the human kingdom stay mortal and change as is one of humanity's strengths. I'd also expect the Heralds to ask the same of other rulers as part of their common stewardship: that you must agree to die and pass on your lands and government to a successor, instead of becoming a lich and living for thousands of years.
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sleyvas
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USA
7131 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  01:55:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For actual resurrection it requires at least a 13th level cleric. and therefore the availability becomes an issue. Raise dead is more viable though that can be problematic if for instance someone simply removes an internal organ that is necessary for survival.

However, I think more than anything, the method of the person's death matters (i.e. an accident is one thing, but getting sick and dying might be viewed as a natural death by others).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31231 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  02:44:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's a quote from our Lady Hooded One:

quote:
I’m sure Ed explained this somewhere already: in most places (Waterdeep and Cormyr definitely among them), laws prevent nobles (sometimes royalty are exempt) from being raised. This stops all sorts of power struggles, conflicting claims for lands and money from “back from the dead” claimants or pretenders purporting to be someone dead centuries ago (whom nobody alive today would be able to swear is an impostor), pretenders “rewriting history” by writing diaries, accounts, false wills, documents purporting to be old agreements, and so on.
Over time, the laws are backed up by social custom: if you break it by raising someone, you threaten the social order, and are apt to be shunned, exiled, or no longer treated as noble by anyone. So folk grow up thinking it’s simply not a possibility.
love,
THO


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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  03:52:31  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Wooly, that's exactly the sort of information I was after! Guess my search terms of "resurrection" and "raise dead" missed the mark.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6618 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  05:52:11  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So nobles tend to avoid raising or resurrecting the dead, primarily to maintain social order for the living. And non-nobles could never afford to pay for such services.

As an aside, I think that any noble house with access to raising or resurrection would also have access to lesser magics, so they would need to be utterly incompetent (or the forgery of a pretender would need to be utterly perfect) for them to remain confused about the true identity of their own (allegedly) recently-dead kin. Why not simply speak with dead on the corpse, commune with their deity, use ESP or telepathy or detect lie, or cast any number of other divinations to confirm a person's identity, origins, intentions, and veracity? Especially in a world already populated by so many things like dopplegangers, illusions, vampires, and similar threats.

And yet adventurers routinely arrange to have themselves raised or resurrected from the dead, with little regard for local law or custom.

And adventurers apparently walk around carrying unbelievable fortunes (while wearing gear worth unbelievable fortunes) that would beggar all but the most affluent of nobility. Especially after looting an ancient dungeon or after seizing the hoard of a slain dragon.

I would think that raising or resurrecting the dead shouldn't be an offense to the deities. They are after all the ones who grant their most devoted (highest-level) clerics the power needed to perform such miracles. Why not also be punitive to mortals who dare to contact or visit places like Outer Planar realms which are normally reserved only for souls who've passed into their eternal afterlife?

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 12 Oct 2016 05:53:45
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  07:10:04  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I would think that raising or resurrecting the dead shouldn't be an offense to the deities. They are after all the ones who grant their most devoted (highest-level) clerics the power needed to perform such miracles. Why not also be punitive to mortals who dare to contact or visit places like Outer Planar realms which are normally reserved only for souls who've passed into their eternal afterlife?

Ah, I didn't mean to imply the gods would be angered by it, only that mere mortals might think that to be the case. I don't think it's likely either, I was just trying to explain why raising the dead isn't a more common occurrence.

As it stands I find Wooly's quote sufficient to explain, at the very least, the case of the fallen noble in City of Splendors. It's also very helpful overall.

Even for non-nobles, that norm of non-resurrection may have been reinforced over the centuries in tavern tales and works of literature - perhaps even to a point where a hypothetical wealthy philanthropist that desires to raise a slain commoner-hero without inheritance issues would be disinclined to do so. Culture can be a powerful thing. But, that's a minor issue in my eyes, since these cases would be few and far between, and I don't have a problem with resurrection in general.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

And yet adventurers routinely arrange to have themselves raised or resurrected from the dead, with little regard for local law or custom.

And adventurers apparently walk around carrying unbelievable fortunes (while wearing gear worth unbelievable fortunes) that would beggar all but the most affluent of nobility. Especially after looting an ancient dungeon or after seizing the hoard of a slain dragon.

I've always wondered how common adventurers are in canon. They would have a high mortality rate, and I doubt all fellow adventurers would be as giving as the typical PC, and might not pay for their fellow's resurrection, instead opting for a new hire. Thus although there is chance of gaining extreme wealth through adventuring, there is also extreme risk.

I've estimated the adventurer population as about 1/1000, are there any canon figures? I know Gary Gygax allegedly had "classed" individuals as 1/100 people, and I arbitrarily took 1/10 of these as being professional adventurers. I've found 1/1000 fits well with the sort of level/power distribution I like for my settlements, but I'd be very interested to hear what others think.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
459 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  14:00:12  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find it strange that gods provide this option for raising somebody from the death and nobody would use it out of social limits? I agree that there should be reservations and limits about keeping somebody alive longer than normal but what problem is it when crown prince dies in accident during hunt? Why is crown declined the option of raising him back and cover the fuss? Or when king leads his knights in battle and is killed during fight, why they cannot raise him right there and pretend to enemy that nothing has happened? There are canon examples of priests not willing to raise dead (Chauntea's priestess in Shadowdale adventure) and also information about payed insurance to church in case of death.

Also it limits the impact of murder atempts and such as there are options to thwart it even retrospectively. Together with Speak with dead it should drive royal/noble murder prices through the roof...

Edited by - Wrigley on 12 Oct 2016 14:04:18
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6618 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  19:00:40  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

I've always wondered how common adventurers are in canon. They would have a high mortality rate, and I doubt all fellow adventurers would be as giving as the typical PC, and might not pay for their fellow's resurrection, instead opting for a new hire. Thus although there is chance of gaining extreme wealth through adventuring, there is also extreme risk.

I've estimated the adventurer population as about 1/1000, are there any canon figures? I know Gary Gygax allegedly had "classed" individuals as 1/100 people, and I arbitrarily took 1/10 of these as being professional adventurers. I've found 1/1000 fits well with the sort of level/power distribution I like for my settlements, but I'd be very interested to hear what others think.

AD&D "2.5E" Dungeon Master's Option: High-Level Campaigns offers an interesting study of this question.
quote:
Just how rare are high-level characters?

Let's assume, for purposes of this example, that the minimum requirements for an adventurer are an ability score of at least 15 in the prime requisite of one of the four basic character classes (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, or Wisdom), a Constitution score of at least 9, and no other score lower than 8.

About one person in 10 meets these requirements if ability scores are rolled using the standard method of rolling 3d6 once for each ability score. (If your campaign uses an alternate method for rolling or generating ability scores, what you're really doing is ensuring your PCs will fall into this top 10%, non-adventurers are still assumed to use the standard method.)

Now, let's assume that out of every group of adventurers only half will actually make it to the next level (the remainder having died, retired, or simply not yet accumulated enough experience to advance). These assumptions are oversimplifications, of course, but a little arithmetic produces some instructive results:
  • There is only one 10th level character in a population of about 5,000.
  • An 18th level character of any class is truly a one-in-a-million individual.
  • Only about 0.2% (1 in 500) of the population qualifies to be a paladin. Other subclasses with strict ability score requirements (such as bards, rangers, and druids) are equally rare.
Demographics per 1,000,000 population
(0-level = 733,777)
1st level = 133,120
2nd level = 66,560
3rd level = 33,280
4th level = 16,640
5th level = 8,320
6th level = 4,160
7th level = 2,080
8th level = 1,040
9th level = 512
10th level = 256
11th level = 128
12th level = 64
13th level = 32
14th level = 16
15th level = 8
16th level = 4
17th level = 2
18th level = 1


Keep these numbers in mind when creating NPCs for your campaign. Your world not only becomes more believable if it isn't overrun with super characters, but your players have a greater sense of accomplishment when they realize just what they have achieved. Be sure to keep important NPCs alive when possible - it can take a generation to replace a high-level character.

Although to my mind the Realms setting is already overrun with super characters, it seems you can hardly swing your axe anymore without inadvertently elbowing some local high-level NPC, hero, tyrant, archmage, lich, chosen, or god. This seems especially true in the city descriptions, the overall population numbers and rosters of high-level NPCs (along with large contingents of nameless soldiers and guardsmen and militia who have a range of character levels) are wildly variable and don't collectively fall into any neat categories. I'm willing to allow that adventurers are naturally drawn to cities (thus away from whatever non-city areas they came from) so the published "demographics" for cities in the Realms aren't truly representative of the entire Realms.

You may notice the numerical errors in the Demographics table. And how does 133,120/1,000,000 equal 10%? These aren't my math errors, they're WotC's "little arithmetic" errors. But the bad math (and, I think, some flawed assumptions) don't substantially change or diminish the "instructive results" this table provides.

You may also notice that based on these numbers roughly 1 in 4 people in the general population is (or was) an adventurer - which actually seems more or less consistent with what I've seen in the Realms but still rather excessive overall. Adventurers are supposedly extraordinary individuals, heroic adventurers supposedly even more so. I would argue that simply possessing good ability scores is not enough to become an adventurer, there will always be many "0-level" people with extraordinary strength or intelligence (or whatever) yet who lack whatever intangible qualities impel others to achieve (high-level) greatness.

I find your numbers (Gygax's numbers?) more agreeable. Although I'd think that more than 1 in 10 people would be "classed", especially when you consider how many people in the pseudo-Medieval (or pseudo-Renaissance) Realms setting will likely become associated with fighters or priests. How many farmers are veterans of some (recent or long-ago) campaign against a belligerent city-state or orcish horde? How many coin merchants learned numeracy and literacy while serving as young acolytes for the temple? How many craftsmen received rudimentary training in some small magic when hired to manufacture a special item for the local wizard? How many street vendors, household servants, or courtesans opportunistically develop a variety of "thief" skills early in their careers? I would argue that perhaps 3 or 4 in every 10 people might have a class, and many more if the campaign allows a variety of optional "NPC-only" classes and subclasses (like scribes, alchemists, sages, heralds, etc). And I agree that only a small percentage of these, perhaps about 1 in 20 or even just 1 in 100, would then become "professional" adventurers (which works out to between roughly 3 and 20 adventurers per 1,000 people). Plus, as we all know (and can even affirm on the flawed Demographics table above), only a small fraction of these "professional" adventurers will survive and succeed long enough to attain higher levels - in fact, many of them will die (in an astonishing variety of incompetent, comical, tragic, or horrible ways) on their very first foray into real adventure.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 12 Oct 2016 21:42:30
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31231 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  21:21:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I find it strange that gods provide this option for raising somebody from the death and nobody would use it out of social limits? I agree that there should be reservations and limits about keeping somebody alive longer than normal but what problem is it when crown prince dies in accident during hunt? Why is crown declined the option of raising him back and cover the fuss? Or when king leads his knights in battle and is killed during fight, why they cannot raise him right there and pretend to enemy that nothing has happened?



Because inheritance of titles, land, and wealth involves the death of the previous holder. And with royalty, that can get particularly tricky... What if the prince has a younger brother? If there's even a reasonable doubt that the prince hasn't stayed alive the entire time, then there is potential for ignoring his claim to crown and throne in favor of the younger brother who is known to have never died. Even if the crown prince is hale and hearty, if he died, he lost his position in the line of inheritance. It doesn't matter that he's alive again, his title was passed on at the moment of his death.

So if you make a practice of letting royals die, then people can trust that the crown is rightfully passed on. If that trust isn't there, you've got potential for a civil war.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 13 Oct 2016 01:26:36
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 12 Oct 2016 :  22:00:54  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Plus, in medieval times (or a related fantasy milieu) it was usually a relative that 'helped' along with that death. The last thing they would want is someone brought back.

@Ayrik - While I agree the numbers seem a tad high for adventurers-per-citizen, I would imagine those numbers really only pertain to the larger settlements. Also, those aren't PC's; most of them probably quit after the first level or two - made just enough to buy themselves a tavern, farm, or some other business and 'be respectable'. Very few NPC's progress beyond levels 4-5, and those few hold positions of authority, usually.

Only crazy PC's risk their entire lives on treasure-seeking. With adventuring, its not a matter of 'if' you get killed, but 'when'. Most normal folk would have a certain goal in mind, and when they have enough to meet that goal, retire. So we are not talking about a setting full of 'supermen' here.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 12 Oct 2016 22:03:48
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  03:01:59  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With regards to the number of classed individuals in any population, the calculation is also going to vary widely between edition. For example, 5th edition seems to prefer NPCs to not have classes (at least thus far), which messes with calculations a bit. To keep things consistent for my own game, I still imagine them as classed individuals in 5th edition, and just modify the stat blocks a bit. That AD&D 2.5e thing is interesting, but I'm not positive it's a great idea to have population demographics revolving around the 3d6 ability score generation system (or any stat generation system, really). Not totally opposed to it, either - for instance I compare IQ and intelligence on bell curves to get an idea of what a 7 intelligence means in play. Relating to Markustay's comment, there's also the matter of their numbers are for settlements, or for wider population figures (for instance, are Waterdeep's classed individuals counted per city population, or the wider region population number given in the 3e FRCS, that with the city summer population works out to almost 2 million?

I tried to calculate classed individuals in Waterdeep for my own game, actually in relation to my initial question - I wanted to know how many clerics able to cast raise dead, resurrection, or even true resurrection, might be around. I then wanted to be able to take that calculation and apply it to other settlements.

I took the Gygax figure of 1% of people having classes, which also correlates with 3rd edition figures for the PC classes. I then split these up by individual class, based on what I thought was appropriate (my own interpretation of city-based class distribution):
38% fighters, 23% rogues, 14% clerics, 7% wizards, 5% paladins, 5% rangers, 2% bards, 2% sorcerers, 1% druids, 1% barbarians, 1% monks, 1% warlocks
This was in part based around Ed Greenwood's figure for 1/2700 people being wizards. By these numbers, 1/1428 people in any settlement are wizards - I take a higher number because I assume some people with talent for the Art come to the settlements for their training.

I then sorted them by level tier, taking the listed NPCs for Waterdeep in the 3e City of Splendors sourcebook as a template. I figured about 10 individuals in Waterdeep of level 17 or greater was appropriate according to the book, and I subsequently played with the numbers until I got figures I liked. I also asssumed that some powerful NPCs migrate to Waterdeep from other places. This is what I came up with:
Tier 1 (Lv1-4): 75% of classed individuals (0.75% of settlement population)
Tier 2 (Lv5-10): 21.9% of classed individuals (.219% of settlement population)
Tier 3 (Lv11-16): 2.73% of classed individuals (.0273% of settlement population)
Tier 4 (Lv17+): 0.37% of classed individuals (.0037% of settlement population)

I took Waterdeep's average city population as 250,000: closer to the local winter population than the peak summer population which is mostly non-locals.
This gives us 9 individuals of Lv17+ living in Waterdeep. I then split the Tiers up by individual levels and classes to give a table distribution of how many people of which classes and levels were present.

Long story short, by this I have, in my Waterdeep:
1 cleric capable of the true resurrection spell (the Sunrise Lord of the Spires of the Morning)
+5 clerics capable of the resurrection spell (clerics of Selune, Tymora, Oghma, Gond, Umberlee)
+16 clerics capable of the raise dead spell (other assorted faiths)

Do people think that this is an appropriate amount of clerics for a city like Waterdeep? I'm interested in any takes at all on my analysis.... oops I'm late for a meeting

Edit: 1 in 10 of these classed individuals puts "adventurer" as their job on the census (making them .1% of the total population, or 1/1000).
Edit 2: "census" was a joke

Edit 3: This system assumes that not all people who can fight have to be fighters (or any PC class). As an example, in 3rd edition, nearly all the City Watch are of the warrior NPC class rather than a PC class (again, according to the City of Splendors sourcebook). This is why the classed population can be as low as 1/100. Yonder baker might be a tough cookie, having in his youth been amongst those recruited to fight in the High Guard sent to Dragonspear, and then later as an established baker defending his shopfront from sahuagin in the Deepwater war, but he's no Fighter - just a more powerful "warrior" in 3e terms (though I would be careful about assigning warrior "levels", I personally prefer to think of different warriors in terms of CR, similar to 5e).

I do personally find fighter vs warrior a relatively arbitrary distinction to make, but separating out "PC classes" vs "NPC classes" can be helpful for determining things like who can cast resurrection in any settlement, and it can also be an indicator of who has the potential for true power. I think the 1e Gygax quote was something along the lines of "1 in 100 people have the potential to gain levels", which I think this approach stays true to.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 13 Oct 2016 05:04:25
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
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Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  15:46:34  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I find it strange that gods provide this option for raising somebody from the death and nobody would use it out of social limits? I agree that there should be reservations and limits about keeping somebody alive longer than normal but what problem is it when crown prince dies in accident during hunt? Why is crown declined the option of raising him back and cover the fuss? Or when king leads his knights in battle and is killed during fight, why they cannot raise him right there and pretend to enemy that nothing has happened?



Because inheritance of titles, land, and wealth involves the death of the previous holder. And with royalty, that can get particularly tricky... What if the prince has a younger brother? If there's even a reasonable doubt that the prince hasn't stayed alive the entire time, then there is potential for ignoring his claim to crown and throne in favor of the younger brother who is known to have never died. Even if the crown prince is hale and hearty, if he died, he lost his position in the line of inheritance. It doesn't matter that he's alive again, his title was passed on at the moment of his death.

So if you make a practice of letting royals die, then people can trust that the crown is rightfully passed on. If that trust isn't there, you've got potential for a civil war.



I find it really odd to put value in regards to succession to ressurections. I agree that from point of view of possible successor you want them left for dead but if you look at it from broader perspective of society you want to keep able nobles in their position as it is best for the realm. As I have already said there should be politics involved in descision to raise somebody to keep it interesting but strictly not using it seems unreasonable.

Imagine we had a cure for HIV or something and decided not to use it because it is not cool.
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Seravin
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Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  16:00:59  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can think of a few instances in the novels where a character suggests "let's get a priest and raise them" and then another character says "no, it was her last wish that she remain dead" and they just let it go. I think the default for a person who dies an unnatural death (murder especially!) would be to get them raised if there is means to do so available; but a naturally caused death or suicide should remain dead baring a rule like the royal lineage.

In the novels of course, I think one must take contrivance and artistic license and treat deaths sometimes just like they are on earth, irreversible tragedies.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  16:15:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigley

I find it strange that gods provide this option for raising somebody from the death and nobody would use it out of social limits? I agree that there should be reservations and limits about keeping somebody alive longer than normal but what problem is it when crown prince dies in accident during hunt? Why is crown declined the option of raising him back and cover the fuss? Or when king leads his knights in battle and is killed during fight, why they cannot raise him right there and pretend to enemy that nothing has happened?



Because inheritance of titles, land, and wealth involves the death of the previous holder. And with royalty, that can get particularly tricky... What if the prince has a younger brother? If there's even a reasonable doubt that the prince hasn't stayed alive the entire time, then there is potential for ignoring his claim to crown and throne in favor of the younger brother who is known to have never died. Even if the crown prince is hale and hearty, if he died, he lost his position in the line of inheritance. It doesn't matter that he's alive again, his title was passed on at the moment of his death.

So if you make a practice of letting royals die, then people can trust that the crown is rightfully passed on. If that trust isn't there, you've got potential for a civil war.



I find it really odd to put value in regards to succession to ressurections. I agree that from point of view of possible successor you want them left for dead but if you look at it from broader perspective of society you want to keep able nobles in their position as it is best for the realm. As I have already said there should be politics involved in descision to raise somebody to keep it interesting but strictly not using it seems unreasonable.

Imagine we had a cure for HIV or something and decided not to use it because it is not cool.



That is not at all the same thing. It's not even an apples and oranges comparison; it's more like apples and anvils.

Look at what happens, legally speaking, at the moment of someone's death: everything they own or stand to inherit now belongs to the next in line. It's an instant thing. There's no "let's let the body cool off, first" or "all titles are held in abeyance for 30 days" thing or anything like that. You die, boom, everything you had or were is now your son's. (Or your brother's, if you didn't have a son).

And if you were married, your spouse is now free to marry another.

But if that dead noble suddenly pops back up, who does his stuff belong to? It's already been passed on to someone else and can't pass on again until that person dies. That formerly dead noble is now officially a nobody. He's not going to take that kindly... Of course, if he demands his title and wealth back from his son, the son is not going to take that kindly... Relatives are going to choose sides, likely based on how they'll benefit. And it's likely that the family will be torn apart by this.

And if any time has passed, the dead guy's widow may now be married to someone else. Having her previously dead husband pop back up is going to be way problematic.

Now, make the dead person a royal, and this all goes up in scale, dramatically. Now civil war is a very real possibility...

And civil war, from the broader perspective of society, is not a good thing.

Letting the dead stay dead, even when there is an alternative, is the better option for society. It's easier, legally speaking, and prevents the problems that have already been enumerated by myself and in THO's quote. Sure, there are scenarios where raising a dead noble or royal would be a good idea, but 99% of the time, it's better to leave them dead.

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Wrigley
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Czech Republic
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Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  16:29:47  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am not sure how it works in USA but here in EU there is a huge amount of administration behind each death and it takes usualy several months to get all done and finaly be handed the inherritance There might be some legal problems but if somebody awakes after he is proclaimed dead he is not going to loose everything. I thing that in most civilised areas you burry our relative before you start fighing over herretige so there is usualy enough time to cast a raise dead in those few days when you can. Ressurection is much more costly and normaly wouldn't be used I think. If you mean raising somebody after years he spet dead yes that might be a big problem with lot of things but it is very specific situation.

Another modern example would be resuscitation once your heart stops. Normaly you would be proclaimed dead but due to miracle of modern science you can live again in moment. Shouldn't we stop this as it really messes with successions and all kinds of legal problems? (jut kidding)
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 13 Oct 2016 :  19:04:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats a good train of thought; I never put much thought myself into all this - I just assume PC's are 'special', and already have 'the gods favor', if you will. Thus, the gods would be far more likely to allow their resurrection.

However, if one were to allow NPCs to resurrect, than also allowing for a certain amount of time for inheritance would seem like a reasonable way to handle things legally. Each country could have a different rule in regards to such things - anywhere from a week to a month sounds about right. Thus, if the rule in Waterdeep is '30 days', and someone is resurrected within that time period, than no problem (except maybe for the greedy relatives waiting to get their hands on the money). If the person is resurrected 35 days later, then they are out of luck and own nothing, and no-one owes them a thing (I would assume here that debts are also transferred upon death - it wouldn't be right to take away a person's stuff, but still say they owed so-and-so a bunch of money). In fact, this might be a great way for some noble in financial difficulties to 'duck out' of his responsibilities (and maybe have a secret 'stash' somewhere to fall back on).

And any authors reading that just now probably raised an eyebrow... that is a great plot hook, if I do say so myself.

Now going back to my previous assumption - that PC's are 'special'. Here's the thing - MANY nobles - especially males - WERE adventures in their youth. Take Azoun for instance. Going by my past assumption, than he should qualify for resurrection despite being an NPC. However, than the rules about inheritance kick-in. I would add a caveat into those rules that say "if ALL surviving immediate family decide the resurrection should occur, than it may take place" (because in Azoun's case, his daughters didn't want his job, and they loved their father).

Now lets throw a monkey-wrench into all this, shall we? What if the person dies, and they revert to a doppleganger? Than there would be a certain legal obligation to determine at exactly what point in time they were replaced, in order to determine inheritance. For example, suppose the deceased had an older son who had died the previous year. His younger son is now in line for the inheritance. But if the doppleganger had been around for more than a year (and the real person was dead this whole time), than the older son should have inherited, which means HIS spouse and children should now be the full inheritors, not the younger son (who would be the brother-in-law/uncle to those people). Once again, great fodder for a short story or even a plot device in a novel.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Oct 2016 03:03:24
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  00:06:36  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think several of those ideas pertain more to resurrections that are postponed for longer periods of time than a year or so. A powerful priest can resurrect someone dead for centuries. So what would happen if we decided to resurrect, say, Abraham Lincoln tomorrow?

As far as Azoun goes, there are specific laws in Cormyr that prohibit the resurrection of a monarch... I think they were mentioned in the Cormyr Novel, but it might have been Beyond the High Road. If memory serves they are the result of the complex foundations of the nation: a deal with dragons, and a subsequent deal with humans.

As far as property, I'd say that anyone actively seeking the resurrection of someone would not begrudge them their old property - as long as it is still around (not lost, or sold to fund the res. etc.)

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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  01:43:19  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of the main benefits of the laws and social customs that apply to nobles mentioned by Wooly is that they fit in well with established canon. I can think of at least a couple of cases from the last two FR novels I've read, where people that can afford to resurrect their very good friends don't. And that's not raising them within hours of the event, let alone within a 10 or 30 day period. Although the "cool-down period" idea definitely has some charm, it would go against what's happened. That said, they could be interesting laws for regions other than Waterdeep or Cormyr, as there wouldn't be canon to contradict there.

As far as Wrigley's points go, I think they're good ones, and perhaps that kind of situation would be the case in some more enlightened societies. However, I don't think it's necessary that Waterdeep and Cormyr's laws on noble resurrections have to be GOOD laws for EVERYBODY. It's possible these laws were enacted long ago with a specific political goal in mind - for instance perhaps they were signed into law by the youngest scion of the richest noble family in the land, who also happens to be plotting the deaths of his older brothers and sisters. Or perhaps a group of noble elders argued for the laws when they realised all their eldest-born were idiots. Then, over centuries, the laws also became social custom.

If you think they're bad laws, you can use that to your advantage. Perhaps in your campaign there would be a great deal of opposition to these laws, and perhaps an influential group of nobles are trying to get these laws repealed! However, there would also be opposition to that movement, for the kinds of reasons that Wooly describes - fear of strife and civil war for one.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 14 Oct 2016 01:44:43
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George Krashos
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Australia
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Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  01:52:22  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let's be clear, some of the discussion here appears to be conflating the "in game" ability to raise the dead with the "in campaign" ability to raise the dead. The former is a construct created to make sure people don't spit the dummy if their favourite PC gets roasted by a dragon - it gives them an out as a player. The latter is governed not by the rules of the game (which are irrelevant in a campaign context as long as the DM and the players are on the same page re how their game is to be run) but by the demands and expectations of the playing experience. So saying things like "I find it strange that the gods provide for this option ..." isn't quite right. The rules provide for this option but it is the campaign that determines whether that option is available. I'll get back in my box now.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Markustay
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USA
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Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  03:57:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very good point.

I've always wondered at how hard it must be to write novels based on a world that is also based on a set of game rules. There are just too many times when you need to ignore those rules for the sake of the story (and a setting is a story).

Because if characters can always be brought back, death becomes meaningless, as does 'risk', which is how we become engaged. How are we supposed to care about the characters and what they do, when there is almost zero risk involved?

The game is different animal - no-one is really trying to save a princess, or a kingdom, or stop some evil god. In the game, those are just 'collateral damage' (or side-effects). In the game, all you are really doing is trying to acquire 'phat lewtz' and level-up. Who you rob and kill makes little difference. But that wouldn't make for an interesting story (except maybe a Swords & Sorcery one, a'la Conan, or Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser... and even then, the authors always throw in a little bit more plot to make it work).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 14 Oct 2016 04:08:23
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KanzenAU
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Australia
758 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  06:33:05  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just taking it back to the question of availability via the "how many clerics in Waterdeep can cast raise dead" case study, I went back and had a look at the old sources, and counted up the listed clerics I could find. I collected this from the temple/churches sections of the Waterdeep 2e and 3e sourcebooks. I never played 2e, so if I get stuff wrong, let me know. The lists don't include clerics based in Skullport or Undermountain.

2e Waterdeep:
0 clerics capable of casting true resurrection
+4 clerics capable of casting resurrection (Selune, Sune, Tymora, Hoar)
+5 clerics capable of casting raise dead (Oghma, Cyric, Tyr, Lathander, Milil)
= minimum of 9 Waterdeep clerics capable of raising the dead

3e Waterdeep:
1 cleric capable of casting true resurrection (Naneatha Suaril of Selune)
+10 clerics capable of casting resurrection (Cyric, Gond, Hoar, Lathander x2, Oghma, Shar, Tymora, Tyr, Umberlee)
+4 clerics capable of casting raise dead (Loviatar x2, Talona, Talos)
= minimum of 15 Waterdeep clerics capable of raising the dead

This information isn't exhaustive: it would be a minimum amount of clerics/priests around, not the maximum. This is made especially obvious in 3e, where the major temples usually are said to have factions of clerics, but only the higher level ones are listed. For instance, I would guess that 3e would have a lot more than 4 clerics of Lv9-12. There's also stuff missing (a book can only hold so much), like information on the clergy of Sune, that was established in 2e.

In my post above, I set out my own idea for class demographics and the cleric population in 1491:
1 cleric capable of the true resurrection spell (Selune)
+5 clerics capable of the resurrection spell (clerics of Lathander, Tymora, Sune, Gond, Umberlee)*
+16 clerics capable of the raise dead spell
= total of 22 Waterdeep clerics capable of raising the dead
*The clerics of which specific gods have been edited

Lesser priests of Waterdeep:
+65 clerics capable of Lv3 cleric spells
+263 clerics capable of Lv1 cleric spells
=350** TOTAL clerics in Waterdeep on average throughout the year
**Interpreted strictly by population, this number would be halved in winter, and multiplied by about 2.5x in the peak of summer.

At a 250,000 average population, that's 0.14% being clerics, or 1 in every 715 people. This is slightly more than the amount recommended in Medieval Demographics Made Easy (1/1000-1/1200), but I think that fits for the deity-heavy Forgotten Realms. Those of these clerics that work in the temples would be assisted by many acolytes, without deity-blessed powers (aka the acolyte background in 5e, or clergymen in Medieval Demographics Made Easy).

How do others manage the availability of clerics in their own campaigns?
Any analysis on my own methodology (a few posts above) is very welcome.

Edit: Added my interpretation of lower level and total cleric numbers.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 14 Oct 2016 07:25:19
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sleyvas
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USA
7131 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2016 :  13:59:55  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

So nobles tend to avoid raising or resurrecting the dead, primarily to maintain social order for the living. And non-nobles could never afford to pay for such services.

As an aside, I think that any noble house with access to raising or resurrection would also have access to lesser magics, so they would need to be utterly incompetent (or the forgery of a pretender would need to be utterly perfect) for them to remain confused about the true identity of their own (allegedly) recently-dead kin. Why not simply speak with dead on the corpse, commune with their deity, use ESP or telepathy or detect lie, or cast any number of other divinations to confirm a person's identity, origins, intentions, and veracity? Especially in a world already populated by so many things like dopplegangers, illusions, vampires, and similar threats.

And yet adventurers routinely arrange to have themselves raised or resurrected from the dead, with little regard for local law or custom.

And adventurers apparently walk around carrying unbelievable fortunes (while wearing gear worth unbelievable fortunes) that would beggar all but the most affluent of nobility. Especially after looting an ancient dungeon or after seizing the hoard of a slain dragon.

I would think that raising or resurrecting the dead shouldn't be an offense to the deities. They are after all the ones who grant their most devoted (highest-level) clerics the power needed to perform such miracles. Why not also be punitive to mortals who dare to contact or visit places like Outer Planar realms which are normally reserved only for souls who've passed into their eternal afterlife?




And thus you see why in many of the campaigns I used to run, a "random" encounter of red wizards who are fully prepped with defensive spells who have never even met the adventurers just show up and try to kill the characters (and quickly teleport off with a dead character if they take one out, strip the body of all magic, chop off its head, pull its heart and lungs out, remove its sexual organs if its that b!tch"the Daeronness"). They are a roaming treasure hoard with a lot fewer defenses than a dungeon. Even if you don't take them all out and walk off with the items of one or two of them, its a great haul. Throw in that these red wizards often didn't appear in red robes.... and players often want to blame the Zhents or the Cult of the Dragon or some other group.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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