I'm getting ready to run a new 3.5 D&D campaign set in the World of Greyhawk (I like the setting, and it doesn't require the expenditure of a small fortune for and endless supply of campaign-specific books and suppliments) and I'm going through the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer looking for a good place to get things started. I've run all of my games in this world before, but for some reason, this was the first time a certain disparity caught my attention; regarding the ratio of adventurers to the normal population.
It's been said that that the kind of stats your "typical" adventurer will have (15,14,13,12,10,8) make them less than 1% of the population, so let's go with 0.5%. I've also heard that adventurers are about 1 in a million.
Time to do the math. From the LGG, when you add up to total population numbers froma ll the different nations, the population of the entire continent is 27,846,750. If 0.5% are adventurers, this leaves us with 139,234 PC-caliber people running amok. This seems way-too high. On the other hand, if we go with 1 in a million, we have just 27 such people in the world, which is way too low.
Has anyone actualy done the math top figure out what the percentages are of people with "typical elite" stats are among a poulation where the average distribution is 10,11,10,11,10,11 ? If so, do those numbers give us a "workable" spread of adventurers to the normal populace that doesn't leave it either super-saturated or way-too-low?
Also, the numbers given for populations of nations make no sense, either. One nation has 15 major cities, where the sum of their population is just over 200,000, with the smallest listed city having just 2,300 people. Yet the population listed for the entire nation is over 3.8 million. So either we have over 2000 other towns and villiages with 1000 inhabitants unaccounted for, or there are even more dinky hamlets and shires all over the map or there's an awful lot of hermits out there.