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So,

On average, how often one could encounter an adventurer in a world the details of which are written below?

The World

Population

  • Roughly 13 people per square kilometer overall, with up to 55 in the biggest cities. (about 15% increase compared to our medieval population)

  • There is noticeably fewer farmers for the reasons I'll explain later.

Geopolitics(?)

  • Most of the population lives in the smaller kingdoms, followed by "empires" (biggest are the size of Holy Roman Empire) and city states.

  • The goverments of most realms is in the hands of one ruler, a ruler with a council, or is an oligarchy.

  • The medieval hierarchy is still a thing, but not as strict, since individuals can go up that ladder quite a lot thanks to magic.

  • There still is quite a lot of land to be discovered/explored (some of these lands are what's called "forgotten realms", no connection to D&D books, which were abandoned due to a curse, long-lasting disease, or some other apocalyptic event that made the land unhabitable).

Technology

  • Technological level is somewhere around 1400s, but with some exceptions from further (sometimes much further) down the line.

  • Examples of what exists or not: Not-so-primitive guns do exist; magical street lamps light the richer city districts at night; banks are a thing; sewers are not a rare sight, even in medium-sized cities.

Magic

  • Theoretically it's everywhere to some extent, and many use it in day-to-day life, but since "with everyone super, no one is", the Magic is a thing of few. (one or two actual witches, sorcerers or priests is the usual for a village)

  • Magic can be measured by how many "normal" peoples' work someone could do, with 40% of the society being "normal" in terms of workforce, 30% being 22.5% more effective, every fifteenth - 52.5% and one in a hundred being able to work more than twice as effective, which puts the productivity of an average person at about 120 percent of a "normal" one. (hence less farmers needed)

Beasts, monsters and other threats

  • Beasts are highly magical individuals of an animal species, which developed abilities to live absurdly long compared to other of thier kind. On average an animal is considered a beast after it reaches a century (scales with the usual lifespan of a particular species). Beasts are significantly more dangerous than non-evolved specimen, but thier aggresion does not rise much, unklike with monsters. Also, all dragons are beasts.

  • Monsters are beings particularly violent and aggresive, but often not as dangerous as beasts. The most common type of monsters are animals possessed by parasitic and/or predatory spirits. Vampires, Demonic , Warped creatures, all fall into that category. And while technically skeletons and zombies are golems, they're too considered as monsters.

  • In the "Other" category there are things like golems, treants, demons and "civilized" threats (bandits and such). Other than undead, which are very prone to being animated by "dark" spirits, golems are a neutral threats, since they usually don't care for organic creatures. On the other hand, treants care very much for thier "herds", and wild ones can be very territorial. As for the last one, one must be the most wary about the most "civilized" individuals, because goblin bandits and raiders (not all are those, after all) are cowardly, and prefer their own skin over gain, unless under a tyrannical ruler.

Apocalyptic events

  • Unpredictability and chaotic nature of magic has a chance of causing such event, which can render the land unusable sometimes even for centuries.

  • Large/powerful settlements have a rather nasty effect of attracting such events more the bigger they are.

Additional notes

  • Individuals and small groups are more respected, due to potential major power difference, and power distribution is very chaotic with magic.

  • Other than trade and surface connections, bigger communities can be quite reserved to outside, since one slip-up of power/information can have devastating consequences.

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    $\begingroup$ None. Your world is unsafe and insecure, because of all this unpredictable magic and "not-so primitive guns". Adventurers are people well prepared to leave their families for a long journey, but only if they can trust, their family will be on safe grounds. Your description sounds like a world in turmoil and chaos. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Dec 22, 2021 at 3:11
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    $\begingroup$ "Adventurers are people well prepared to leave their families for a long journey, but only if they can trust, their family will be on safe grounds" - also known as "the myth of the rational, family man adventurer" ;) $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2021 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ with large cities attracting multitudes of magic use and the problem that magics unpredictability in causing chaos, I'd imagine there would be a strong need to keep such magic users away from population centers and thus they would be forced to live in far flung mage towers to practice their powerful magic without fear of destroying a town accidently $\endgroup$
    – Sonvar
    Dec 22, 2021 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Sonvar that's... an interesting point, I'll keep that in mind for archwizards and other very powerful i individuals :b $\endgroup$
    – acki02
    Dec 22, 2021 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @acki02 im picturing a public backlash once a powerful mage is found operating in the city unlicensed. Since most of your world is in a state of destruction, presumably due to a mages callous use of chaotic magic inside city centers. I am sure the city leaders or public would strongly encourage such mags to move along (lynching said mage) to prevent their city from becoming a wasteland. $\endgroup$
    – Sonvar
    Dec 22, 2021 at 17:25

2 Answers 2

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since you didn't provide a definition of them in your world , so i gonna assume and use dictionary definition (from google rofl)

'a person who enjoys or seeks adventure./a person willing to take risks or use dishonest methods for personal gain.'

with said environment and amount of threats outside the wall in your world, it mostly assures that one who being adventurer looking after themselves (or their crew) out there probably be those with potent Magic

40% normal people - prefer normal peaceful life in the city

30% some magic people - climbing hierarchy in the city as well

potent magic people divided into a spectrum

1% high-end getting nab to lord/ruler side (do you think normal people could rule a region without couple of them or being them???)

9% median - due to your world setting, securing logistics gonna be important, and more magic people will get recruited by the region's ruler or association in the city for escorting cavern/ patrolling trading routes/ unveiling map for land and resource (few of this group with free spirit probably gonna be your mentioned adventurer)

20% low end - either succeed climbing in the hierarchy/ joined the guild for stable salary/life or leave to become an adventurer with the free spirit above (either individually or joining their crew)

so all in all, I would say about ~3-7% get to be an adventurer

how often one could encounter an adventurer

outside the city: nope, the adventurer gang gonna stray off to those "forgotten realms" those encountered on main roads gonna be guard/escort

inside the city: higher chance: finding them near the guild/market/inn (very cliché) your 55 people per square kilometer x 7%, 3-4 of them probably be the adventurer gang your looking for (another cliché, 4 members adventurers party)

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/how often one could encounter an adventurer?/ It depends. The world is big.

How often does one encounter a mercenary in our world? They are out there. The chance of you encountering one depends on where you are and what you are doing. If you yourself are a mercenary you will encounter others of your sort all the time, hired for the same reason that you were. If you live or work in a place mercenaries frequent, looking for work you will probably encounter some regularly. If your job is in a place where would-be mercenaries have other jobs (security, bouncer, blacksmith assistant, mugger, busboy) you may encounter some from time to time but possibly not know that you do.

In the busy city you could encounter an adventurer and not know it. She walks right by you. She does not have a sign on her hat labelling her as an adventurer. But if you are in the Badlands three days ride from the nearest village and see another rider in the distance, she is probably an adventurer like you. Why else would she be out there?

Some places in your world are not full of adventure. My beet farm does not offer much prospect for adventure, even when the cow gets loose and starts eating the beet greens. The orc city which recently fell to a magical disaster has lots of adventure opportunities. There you might encounter a desperate freelancer, overequipped prince (and entourage), a professional full-timer, and a team commissioned and assembled by interested parties. All of these might be considered adventurers. They are all there for the same reasons: easy pickings.

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