Impact of Demographics on Mortal Healing

I just looked up something I hadn’t bothered computing before: Restore Life & Limb is 5th level. Class demographics and milieu size combine to make it hard to get.

A “standard” regional map is 600 hexes, 50% wilderness; I’ll assume 25% borderland and 25% civilized.

  • Wilderness: 300hx, 60 families/hex = 18000 families
  • Borderland: 150hx, 180 families/hex = 27000 families
  • Civilized: 150hx, 300 families/hex = 45000 families

Going with 300hx Wilderness / 100hx Borderland / 200hx Civilized only seems to increase population 10%, so adding another city “behind the lines” won’t save you.

It’s not entirely clear when I read the rules, but urban settlements may push the above numbers up 10%. I’m not quite settled on how to handle urban populations, anyhow; I’ll poke that beehive in another post.

On the map there are:

  • 9th level: 450000 / 60000 = 7.5 NPCs
  • 10th level: 450000 / 160000 = 2.8 NPCs
  • 11th level: 450000 / 450000 = 1 NPC

And assumptions on class distribution I think I’ve seen in Autarch materials somewhere are somewhere around:

  • 50% fighter
  • 20% cleric
  • 20% thief
  • 10% mage

You’d better hope that of the 3 clerics of appropriate levels, one is of a compatible religion in a place you can get to safely; remember that the standard region is 180x240 miles and so you’re probably 50 miles (2 days) away from the closest of them.

(Or hope that your Judge is using the Priestess class from the Player’s Companion, in which case you only need a 7th level caster, and there are possibly another 8 candidates. (Math: 10x as many 7th+8th as there are 9th, 1/5th are Clerical, and optimistically assume about half of NPCs in Clerical classes are Priestesses.))

I think all my sandbox designs are a little too far away from a city, and perhaps have too many ongoing religious conflicts, for expected mid-level play.

Tom, your analysis here is largely spot-on. The intent is that Restore Life and Limb is generally not available to most people in most locations of the game world.

The expected pacing of ACKS is very much one where between adventures the PCs have to travel back to civilization if they want to get a Restore Life and Limb. This, combined with the resting period after the spell is cast, and/or recuperating from wounds in general, tends to mean that adventurers go on 1 adventurer per month or so, and means that mid- to high-level adventurers will age 3-5 years over the course of leveling up (4 sessions/level x 8 levels x 1 month/session). That in turn creates time for alchemy, crafting, stronghold building, and so on. This was very deliberate, after bad experiences in 3.5 where PCs could go from 1st to 10th level in a season.

Do note that a 7th level Cleric can cast Restore Life and Limb (he'll get 1 5th level spell per day), so it's not quite as dire as you assume.


D’oh, yep, forgot that ACKS has cleric spell progress faster than mage once they start acquiring it.

I did the math because it seemed in many of the Actual Play reports we get here do have reasonably ready access to Restore Life & Limb, but I suppose that’s because the travel is easily glossed over.

Thanks for the confirmation. Players can rest much easier, there may be as many as 20 people who can restore life & limb for you.

I can’t speak to the others, but my experience was that the travel was terrifying. I was deeply amused when they traveled all the way to Orléans to get restores cast on their henches, and on the return trip back from Orléans, were beaten up badly enough that they had to return to Orléans for more restores.

Of course, nowadays the party cleric can cast it himself, and his top-level henches can, too … so restore is almost humdrum.