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I have always assumed that for an urban region (including the suburbs) the ratio between vampire and human population was about 1:10k and 1:50k for the biggest, capital cities. The rural region would yield a bigger ratio, about 1:5k-10k. I assumed that on the notion that in the scarcely populated regions vampires that would otherwise be scattered would group together, but in the largest centres the elders would thrive and gather more resources than their lesser peers.

However, I realised that I have never seen an actual passage from the book that describe this. Is there such a passage? Or maybe the vampire to human population ratio has been implied in one of the more obscure sourcebooks?

Also, if for some reason you believe my reasoning is wrong please let me know, though establishing correctness of my claim if there is no canon source is not an objective of this question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wait, there are humans in the World of Darkness setting? \$\endgroup\$ – Cristol.GdM Jul 11 '14 at 17:04
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As a rule of thumb, assume that there is one vampire for every 100,000 mortals. (...) The cities could certainly hold more Kindred, but there are legitimate fears of discovery. (...) Despite this, however, there are currently far too many Kindred for the mortal population to support; the ranks of the anarchs have swelled to unprecendented proportions.

– Vampire: The Masquerade, Second Edition (WW2002), p.31: Overpopulation

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A rough ratio of vampires to mortals has evolved in the last century. Many vampire princes enforce a limit of one vampire per 100,000 mortals, in the interests of keeping the existence of the Kindred a secret. Nonetheless – and particularly in the last few years – some cities exceed this ratio (...) In cities that do not slavishly heed the Masquerade, such as those under Sabbat control, the ratio may soar to two or three times the acceptable level.

– Vampire: The Masquerade, Revised (WW2300), p.29: Cities

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Were you able to find a quotation for V20? I was looking for it, but I have found nothing. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Jul 11 '14 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Flamma I do not have V20, unfortunately. :-o Have you checked its introductory parts thoroughly? \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Jul 11 '14 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the problem with that ratio is it might be designed for cities of millions like NYC, and LA \$\endgroup\$ – xenoterracide Jul 12 '14 at 20:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @xenoterracide Yep, that seems likely indeed, it's designed for metropolises. (But let's keep in mind that the WoD is a twisted reflection of our world, in which metropolises are more common and even bigger, and the wilderness around them is even more forbidding...) As for the populations of small cities: hierarchies can be filled up with... ghouls? Perhaps. Not the real thing, but more likely to serve the Masquerade better. :) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Jul 12 '14 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OpaCitiZen I suspect population densities vary too.. for example I think Austin would support a much higher vampire population because of how the kinds of events that happen here. Austin is a medium sized city, but because we're a music center... anyways I digress, I think I'd take that as a rule of thumb, a metropolis might have 1:500k, a medium sized might be 1:20k, but say a town of only 20K is unlikely to have any (even only 100K might not have any). Basically the danse is a social thing so once theirs one vamp their tends to be more. \$\endgroup\$ – xenoterracide Jul 13 '14 at 16:19
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You are too optimistic compared to books. Vampire: The Masquerade always have been managing 1 vampire every 100k inhabitants, considered a safe number to keep the masquerade. Sabbat cities are usually overpopulated, having 1:50k ratio.

In my experience, these numbers only work well for big cities. When dealing with european cities, for example, these number must be stretched or you won't have a decent population on any. But the canon says 1:100k.

Note that vampires usually don't unlive on rural regions. The small populations make hard to keep secrets away from neighbours, thus the Masquerade risk is too high. Also, werewolves are strong on rural areas.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you provide a passage or a book and a page if you know where to look for? \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Jul 11 '14 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ For example Montreal has a population around 1.5M for the city, closer to 4M for the metro area. Presumably a bit less in 1996, when Montreal by Night was published. I'm going to go ahead and guess that if you add up the NPCs in the book, plus overhead for less important vampires not mentioned, plus the PC party, you get more than 80 :-) So yeah, the rulebook said approx 1:100k for Camarilla cities, but a usable cast list for a game rarely fits in that. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Jessop Jul 11 '14 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @eimyr OpaCitiZen has provided quotations and page numbers. The number has historically been like a magic number that most Vampire fans had in their head (even if you had to ignore it), and usually referred on many books. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Jul 11 '14 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SteveJessop I haven't counted all written vampires in Montreal by Night but, in contrast to NYC BN and Mexico BN, I'm pretty sure those vampires are all they unlive in the city, except for the PCs. I don't they leaved vampires without mention. \$\endgroup\$ – Flamma Jul 11 '14 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Flamma: so you can work out the exact ratio, on the counter-factual assumption that the GM won't invent any characters ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Jessop Jul 11 '14 at 17:12
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Vampire: Dark Ages claim that a city with 5k souls can sustain a descent cast for vampire, however, a number of them would be forced to hunt in nearby villages and settlements. The most convoluted "by night" scenario I ever read had 40 npcs, being 2 of them os a lesser bloodline - which I wouldn't consider using for a game in smaller cities - 3 of them pander/caitiff - which, again, use 1night only shovel heads, not permanent kindreds - 4 of them elders that were added later when the writters realized they needed a plot device for the scenario to make sense - that wouldn't be needed in a less convoluted scenario - and one of them a antediluvian that, franquily, could have enough blood to just not need to feed for months if he so desired. that leaves a minimum amount of 30 well defined NPCs + players for a story to work... assuming every vampire is accounted for. Assuming a standart game of 5 players, that would be 5000/35 around 1 vampire for every 160 mortal IF some of them hunt outside OR count on turists to feed on.

Now, would that make sense in real life? incredibly enough, it would. let's take a look at military organization: a Squad (8 men) was originally divised as the man that share a tent/dormitory/room; a Platoon (3~6 squads men) is the amount of units a man can keep close track and command at any given time; a Company (2~4 plattons) are the men that keep you company, that is, the amount of people you can keep update on how is there life going, what they have being doing, what they like, what they don't, what they think about something etc, and it is somewhere around 120 and 150 people.

As we can see, a working vampire cast is just above the number any individual can keep track of others, that is, just enough so that each isolated vampire wouldn't, necessarily, have someone noticing something weird about them, and that is assuming they go around hunting in nearby villages OR preying on turists (and that is my saving grace for having a chronicle happen in Jackson Hole, nearby villages and turists). Now, there are some factors that shape this numbers, for example, a high violence rate can help cover mass feeding, while a relatively peacefull society would notice any sign of people appearing without a single drop of blood in their veins. similarly, the smaller the city the more likely it will notice weird events, such as an open use of Disciplines, or open warfare between sects. Now, if you are wondering about werewolves, remember that they also have a "masquerade" (the veil, they call it), so, while those unfortunate enough to have to hunt outside would do well to carry some silver on them, it is unlikely that a pack of werewolves try to take down a vampire in downtown, for example. Well, at least openly.

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The above are correct in the given number: 1 Kindred to 100,000 humans, is the default Camarilla number.

But - there is a but.

It ultimately comes down to being a Prince by Prince basis thing, the default being only just that - a default.

And while some Princes will be tight about enforcing the 1:100,00 default, then you look at other examples like the kindred population of Las Vegas:

About two dozen vampires claim permanent residence within the city, but several pass through, seeking easy prey and staying only for a couple of nights.

To give more context: currently Las Vegas has a population only in the 600 thousands, which would suggest just 6 vampires if you're going by the noted blanket rules.

And then, also in Las Vegas, there's the groups of Anarchs and Sabbat who show up there. Then the Giovanni have some activities there, which likely bolsters the official number even further.

This is all much above what the 1:100,000 ratio would suggest and is a clear example of why it cannot be always counted upon to determine a Kindred population.

Other things to take into account, along with the population and ratio, are:

  • What group controls the city? Is there one or are there faction disputes ongoing? Sabbat and Anarch, for instance, will likely result in higher population with how much more freely they sire.
  • What is the leader of that group like? If it's a Camarilla Prince, how strict are they on that ratio and giving the permission to sire?
  • Has anything happened there that might have bolstered it or cut the population recently? For V5, think a recent successful FIRSTLIGHT attack vs a conflict that might result in shovelheads, some of whom could potentially make it past their first night (see the first bullet point about competing factions)
  • What is the city actually like? Numbers are one thing, but a sparse and more quiet city is not going to get away with the same Kindred population as a bustling and dense city would, even if they have the same population: this likely being a factor too, in why Vegas has one as high as it does.
  • If there's any other supernatural beings present - such as Garou or Fera - could certainly have an influence on populations. Some like Anansi might not be bothered unless to do with their manipulations and the Glass Walkers at least seem to largely "you ignore me and don't get out of hand, we ignore you for now" in large cities while they deal with bigger priority Wyrm threats, but this still even in-verse is a consideration.
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It depends which book you are talking about (ratio are different in masquerade and requiem).

I don't remember if it was WOD core-book or an extension but I remember about some kind of chart of ratio depending on which creature you use (only-vampire settings will have higher vampire ratio than one with vampires, werewolves, mages...)

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1:100000 ratio for general Kinred pop, increasing to 1:50000. It's "speculated" in the first chapter of the VTR gamebook, under the picture of the cowboy looking guy reaching into his coat. You definitely are way too optimistic. Hah hah!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, not talking about VtR here. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Jul 11 '14 at 14:47

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