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Orc life cycle

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Lextius

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« on: <01-26-12/1712:29> »
Is it really the case that orcs:

1) Give birth in clutches, ranging from between 2-8 (presumably with an average of 4)?

2) Reach full maturity by 12-13 (biologically compared to a human 18-20 year old)?

3) Have a natural lifespan of 35ish years?

I recall reading some of these numbers in various places across various editions and I want to be certain.

ArkangelWinter

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« Reply #1 on: <01-26-12/1722:56> »
That's fairly right on. SR4A lists most of that in the chapter on metatypes.  The only reason they dont overpopulate other metatypes is their high mortality rate, as a disproportionate number of orks are SINless, homeless, lack proper medical care, or are involved in high-risk lifestyles. Someone on the forum once suggested they've got the same amount of life on 'em as humans, but they burn it up faster.

Lextius

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« Reply #2 on: <01-26-12/1835:13> »
That's a terrifying prospect, though. 

With a full maturity at 13 that suggests sexual maturity somewhat earlier- say 9 or 10.  Let's assume that most orks are, as you say, poor a and sinless.  Let's further imagine that the ork population acts like poor, inner-city communities do in the real world.

I want to begin by saying that we know what the most hellish nightmares on earth look like today, and they all exist in Africa.  Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Angola- these are places where the local zoning commission has "Mass Grave" as one of their options.  These places have a mortality rate of 20 to 30 per thousand per year.

I don't have my Seattle book in front of me but if I recall the Seattle metroplex is something like 4 million.  16% of that is orks (or 640,000).  Let's further assume that that population is remaining stagnant as a percentage.  All we need to do is figure out growth of the other metahuman populations, and the birthrate of orks, and we'll get the mortality rate.

On the conservative side, let's say that there's a 1% annual change in the Seattle metroplex.  That's a little under the global average today.  It's also trivially small when compared to the Ork community...

The birthrate of orcs is necessarily going to be absurdly high- the same social and societal pressures that affect other, less fecund races are going to be felt by a young ork girl.  The odds of her being educated or having access to contraceptives or abortion is going to be considerably low considering we are told the sinless and poor rarely have access to public schooling or free medical care.  So a single teenage pregnancy is likely to produce 4 kids.  A teenage pregnancy occurs for an ork at 10 years old.  By the time a conservative human is just becoming sexually active it is possible that the ork girl who was born next to her in the hospital is a grandmother of 16.

So what does this translate to in terms of birthrate?  Because of the short gestation period and early sexual maturity it is an apples to oranges comparison, but regardless it's going to be high.  Taking the birth rate of, say, inner-city Baltimore and quadrupling it accounts for the increased "litter", but not the early sexual maturity.  Really we should take that number and multiply it by 5 or 6.  Baltimore City health suggests about 60 births per 1000 women (or 30 births per thousand people, I suppose) per year.  Crank that up by ork standards, and that's between 120 and 180 births per 1000 per year.

The mortality rate among the ork community isn't high.  It isn't that they "burn out faster".  The mortality rate needs to be somewhere in the 80 to 150 per 1000 per year.  The dumpsters and gutters of the slums have to be filled with ork babies, the streets need to be littered with the diseased and rotting corpses of ork children and adults.  A meta-human tragedy five times the scale of the ethnic cleansing and civil wars of modern day Africa happen literally every year in the any community with an ork population of any size.

There is no place short of Normandy, circa 1944 that has mortality rates that high.  ...actually only 1 in 13 people died charging the beaches at Normandy.  You are way more likely to live to 20 if, once a year, you engage in an assault on the shores of France, then if you are born an ork in Shadowrun.

My only point is that these numbers cannot be true, or if they are then all of Shadowrun occurs against a backdrop that requires all of society to ignore a Holocaust-scale tragedy occurring two blocks over and thirty stories down.
« Last Edit: <01-26-12/1836:51> by Lextius »

CanRay

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« Reply #3 on: <01-26-12/1843:57> »
*Cough*  Dystopia.  Sounds about right to me.

Just live in your AR world where everything is sunshine and rainbows, John Q. Wageslave, everyone is happy.  Now, back to your 8-8/6-day a week job.
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Lextius

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« Reply #4 on: <01-26-12/1919:43> »
In order for there to be a dystopian society there first needs to be a society.  What marks all of the nations which have mortality rates upwards of 20 per 1000 is the distinct lack of society.  They are places ruled by mobs, violence, illegal activity, and general anarchy.  Swaziland, a country with about 1/3 to 1/5 of the mortality rate I've suggested occurs in the ork slums, has about 20 times higher crime than a first world "high" crime rate- the U.S. has an abnormally high murder rate as a country at 5 per 100,000.  Swaziland is pushing 100 per 100,000.  The same ratio is true for rape, assault, burglary and theft.  Bounce that up for Ork numbers and you end up with 500 murders with 100,000.  1 out of every 200 orks dies due to murder (that's not including other forms of homicide).

What is also noteworthy about these nations in Africa is that they are not subject to easy border limits.  It isn't possible to say that neighbors of Lesotho or Swaziland can maintain relatively safe lifestyle with neighbors like these.  Criminality spreads, and thus it is no surprise that the problems which plague the most violent, corrupt nations on earth infect their neighbors.

Yet we are supposed to believe in Shadowrun that half a million orks are five times more brutal, lawless, and vicious than the worst humanity has to offer, yet they confine themselves to their slums? 

Now it may be that Seattle is in fact constantly besieged by its ghettos and slums, with armed perimeters willing to shoot orks on sight as they try to enter the nicer parts of town.  I think that's probably something that is farther than Shadowrun has been willing to go in the past.  Is it really the case that giant walls separate the poor from...well, not the rich, mind you.  If I live like a Squatter there's nothing in the theme suggesting I live in a place 5 times worse than modern day Liberia- there aren't people driving cars with human skulls hanging off the mirrors.  Beheadings aren't happening the streets.  No, walls (big walls) must be separating poor orks, who live like animals, and the rest of humanity's poor.

It's hard to give these numbers their appropriate weight, really.  Five times worse than a place where a 13 year old is more likely to have been raped multiple times than know how to read?  Five times worse than a place where ritualistic murder and cannibalism is still practiced?  Five times worse than a place where the police extort protection money through torture and murder?  What does that place even look like? 

Zilfer

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« Reply #5 on: <01-26-12/1948:59> »
In order for there to be a dystopian society there first needs to be a society.  What marks all of the nations which have mortality rates upwards of 20 per 1000 is the distinct lack of society.  They are places ruled by mobs, violence, illegal activity, and general anarchy.  Swaziland, a country with about 1/3 to 1/5 of the mortality rate I've suggested occurs in the ork slums, has about 20 times higher crime than a first world "high" crime rate- the U.S. has an abnormally high murder rate as a country at 5 per 100,000.  Swaziland is pushing 100 per 100,000.  The same ratio is true for rape, assault, burglary and theft.  Bounce that up for Ork numbers and you end up with 500 murders with 100,000.  1 out of every 200 orks dies due to murder (that's not including other forms of homicide).

What is also noteworthy about these nations in Africa is that they are not subject to easy border limits.  It isn't possible to say that neighbors of Lesotho or Swaziland can maintain relatively safe lifestyle with neighbors like these.  Criminality spreads, and thus it is no surprise that the problems which plague the most violent, corrupt nations on earth infect their neighbors.

Yet we are supposed to believe in Shadowrun that half a million orks are five times more brutal, lawless, and vicious than the worst humanity has to offer, yet they confine themselves to their slums? 

Now it may be that Seattle is in fact constantly besieged by its ghettos and slums, with armed perimeters willing to shoot orks on sight as they try to enter the nicer parts of town.  I think that's probably something that is farther than Shadowrun has been willing to go in the past.  Is it really the case that giant walls separate the poor from...well, not the rich, mind you.  If I live like a Squatter there's nothing in the theme suggesting I live in a place 5 times worse than modern day Liberia- there aren't people driving cars with human skulls hanging off the mirrors.  Beheadings aren't happening the streets.  No, walls (big walls) must be separating poor orks, who live like animals, and the rest of humanity's poor.

It's hard to give these numbers their appropriate weight, really.  Five times worse than a place where a 13 year old is more likely to have been raped multiple times than know how to read?  Five times worse than a place where ritualistic murder and cannibalism is still practiced?  Five times worse than a place where the police extort protection money through torture and murder?  What does that place even look like?


Are you taking into the account that Magic can easily wipe out 10 people with just a flip of the wrist? Or there are predators/Infected that could also decrease the surpluss population. I mean I picture the ghouls of the city "chewing" down quite a bit of the population. Who do they hit? Obviously the poorer people, the easier targets. It really depends on what you think the setting is however. XD

I mean if there are shadowrun's everyday on the scale of some of them innocent bystanders are dying daily. XD

For example, how often my mage has casted a F12 Lightning ball(now F14) that's 24 meter diameter.... which if I shot that into a crowd.... god help them.

I see your general point that the mortality is probably high, though if you look at the gaming system, it's no wonder mortality can be high. Just a simple lucky roll, can kill ya. XD


EDIT: Also curious, the SINless Orks you talk about they have no rights right? I'm wondering if some serial killers don't show up just killing Sinless. <.< I mean they have no rights you can do whatever you want to them right? That's how it was described in the law enforcement part of the book, that you could wind up dead. You also get the feeling that almost everyone packs a gun it seems. Though we are focusing on the criminal world of it so no duh.

So would Raping or killing a Sinless really be a crime? What if it's a past time to some people in the world.... i'm rather unsure of this topic..... obviously they have gangs protecting people in places like this but still, i don't think too many people care about them.
« Last Edit: <01-26-12/1954:35> by Zilfer »
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Serious Paul

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« Reply #6 on: <01-26-12/2112:17> »
I've always contended that the percentage of Ork's as a portion of the population would be a lot higher than as listed. But there's a lot of wonkiness in Shadowrun when it comes to population statistics.

CitizenJoe

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« Reply #7 on: <01-26-12/2115:19> »
Your external forces should be affecting all races, not just the orks.  It doesn't matter how big your lightning ball is, you're going to kill a proportionate number of other races so the population rate is still going to be the problem.

What bugs me is that Orks are definitively tougher, so why do they have a higher mortality rate? 

I've seen reports that say that the 'litters' of babies is a lie, propaganda put out by Humanis Policlub.

Mirikon

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« Reply #8 on: <01-26-12/2126:01> »
It's hard to give these numbers their appropriate weight, really.  Five times worse than a place where a 13 year old is more likely to have been raped multiple times than know how to read?  Five times worse than a place where ritualistic murder and cannibalism is still practiced?  Five times worse than a place where the police extort protection money through torture and murder?  What does that place even look like? 

OK, a few points you've overlooked.

1) 'Society' doesn't mean that the world suddenly gets nicer to you. In fact, in many ways, it just finds new ways to screw you than just 'survival of the fittest'.
2) Don't forget disease, malnutrition, and wild paracritter attacks in those mortality rates.
3) The orks stay in places like the Barrens or the Underground because at least then the predators they face (both critters and metahuman) don't include the police discriminating against them because of their metatype or lack of SIN.
4) Walls aren't necessary to keep the orks and other SINless in certain areas. When the police catch them, they will typically take their stuff, beat them, and toss them back where they came from, if they're lucky. And walking onto extraterritorial grounds can get you shot.
5) And in the places you mentioned, they don't have a very efficient, wide spread organlegging operation like Tamanous, ghouls and other Infected that have to feed on metahumans in order to survive, rats the size of dobermans, toxic spirits, bug spirits, trees that eat people... I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Yes, being SINless in a sprawl means things are very, very bad for you, and every day could be your last.

EDIT: Also curious, the SINless Orks you talk about they have no rights right? I'm wondering if some serial killers don't show up just killing Sinless. <.< I mean they have no rights you can do whatever you want to them right? That's how it was described in the law enforcement part of the book, that you could wind up dead. You also get the feeling that almost everyone packs a gun it seems. Though we are focusing on the criminal world of it so no duh.

So would Raping or killing a Sinless really be a crime? What if it's a past time to some people in the world.... i'm rather unsure of this topic..... obviously they have gangs protecting people in places like this but still, i don't think too many people care about them.

SINless do have rights, just limited rights. So yes, killing or raping SINless is a crime. It just isn't a crime that the police are going to put a high priority in investigating until a rich person gets involved. Which is why, when Bull's daughter was killed by the copycat Mayan Cutter, he got runners to track the guy down.

What bugs me is that Orks are definitively tougher, so why do they have a higher mortality rate? 

Because Orks tend to live in nastier places, with worse medical care, than people of other metatypes.
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CitizenJoe

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« Reply #9 on: <01-26-12/2135:34> »
You mean like Redmond Barrens where humans outnumber metas 2 to 1 or more?  Or even Puyallup where it is an even mix of humans and metas?

The 'fact' that they live in poor conditions is an environmental factor, not a genetic one.

CanRay

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« Reply #10 on: <01-26-12/2253:08> »
I just thought of something.

Statistics are made up of SINners, and ignore the SINless.

Which means that he Ork Ages are for the ones that range from good, decent jobs, to the ones on welfare.  SINless orks probably live even shorter natural lives!!!
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JustADude

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« Reply #11 on: <01-26-12/2332:54> »
I just thought of something.

Statistics are made up of SINners, and ignore the SINless.

Which means that he Ork Ages are for the ones that range from good, decent jobs, to the ones on welfare.  SINless orks probably live even shorter natural lives!!!

Actually, I don't think so for the stuff in SR4A. IIRC it actually mentions somewhere that the numbers are dragged down by Orks poor living conditions.
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CitizenJoe

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« Reply #12 on: <01-27-12/0508:02> »
I just thought of something.

Statistics are made up of SINners, and ignore the SINless.

Which means that he Ork Ages are for the ones that range from good, decent jobs, to the ones on welfare.  SINless orks probably live even shorter natural lives!!!

Actually, I don't think so for the stuff in SR4A. IIRC it actually mentions somewhere that the numbers are dragged down by Orks poor living conditions.
I've got news for you.  90% of everyone is living in poor living conditions.  Why aren't their numbers depressed?  What about all the Cascade Orks?  Yes, some of them are working mines, but for the most part, their living conditions are way better in the mountains than people living in downtown Seattle.  Don't get me started on the valleys and thermal inversions trapping all the pollutants in the industrial part of town.

If you're going to try using economic forces, instead focus on the upper end.  The VERY few very wealthy people are living forever, thus dragging their racial average up.

JustADude

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« Reply #13 on: <01-27-12/0622:18> »
If you're going to try using economic forces, instead focus on the upper end.  The VERY few very wealthy people are living forever, thus dragging their racial average up.

Dude, seriously, have you ever even heard of the phrase "statistically significant factor"? The very, very few Orks rich enough to do such a thing would be too small a number to affect the statistical average by more than a couple days.

Besides, there's the SINless who live in the slums, which is most SINless, and then there's the ones who live in the Barrens. It's the difference between East L.A., where things are a big steaming heap of drek, and a war-torn South American hellhole, where things like sterile medical treatment, antibiotics, vaccinations, or anything approaching proper nutrition are almost unheard of.

Go look at the Runner's Companion, p156, and read the difference between the "Street" and "Squatter" entries, let alone the Barrens entry and the Low entry, which is where the book says the "typical" area of a Sprawl.

In the 19th century, before modern healthcare, rich families had an infant mortality rate of 80-100 per thousand. In the slums infant deaths were closer to 300 per thousand. Given that Barrens families would probably have nearly as little to work with, medically speaking, as 19th century slum-dwellers, 25-30% or more of all Ork deaths being younger than the age of 5 would not be unlikely.
« Last Edit: <01-27-12/0706:17> by JustADude »
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Mirikon

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« Reply #14 on: <01-27-12/0639:16> »
In the 19th century, before modern healthcare, rich families had an infant mortality rate of 80-100 per thousand. In the slums infant deaths were closer to 300 per thousand. Given that Barrens families would probably have nearly as little to work with, medically speaking, as 19th century slum-dwellers, 25%-30% of all Ork deaths being younger than the age of 5 would not be unlikely.
And that was before things like Ghouls wanted to eat you.
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