Of course, that’s not a particularly useful answer, so here are the “paper napkin” figures that I’ve been using to inform my own world building.
- Roughly 107 billion people have ever lived.
(Population Reference Bureau)
- If Celestials on Earth are Uncommon, Celestial in their own realms are probably Common.
- The Common ratio is 1 celestial:1000 humans.
(Game Master’s Guide)
- Demons probably outnumber Angels 2:1 if you go to the Celestial Realm
(These Demons do not have the same number of Forces on average)
- In the 1300s, when duchies were first being granted and recognized, there was roughly 1 duke for every 300,000 people
- 107,000,000,000 Souls / 1000 Souls per Celestial = 107,000,000 Celestials
- 107,000,000 Celestials * 2 Demons / 3 Celestials = 71,333,333 Demons
- 71,333,333 Demons * 1 Duke / 300,000 Demons = 237 Dukes
So, on a purely rough estimate basis, I’d say that there are probably on the order of 237 Dukes in Hell.
What this means
In Nomine names 19 Demon Princes and hints at the possible existence of others, so on average a Prince can probably count on (or coerce) the services of somewhere between 8 and 13 Dukes.
Some Princes (Fleurity, Kobal, and Lilith) explicitly use fewer Dukes. Others, like Asmodeus and Baal, probably rate well above this average. As a general rule of thumb, I assume that the Princes who share territory come up on the lower end of this average, while those who are sole liege of their Principality probably end up on the higher end.
It also means that I can list out all the Dukes I think should be in the setting and there will still be some wiggle room for someone to come in later and add in more who better fit their own campaign.
Why does it matter?
It really doesn’t. Most games of In Nomine either deal with local politics or princely politics. However, I like the idea of options. By populating the upper courts of the various Demon Princes I get a better idea of how they operate within my own version of the setting and I open up the possibility of ducal politics.
Also, the more fleshed out hell is, the more comfortable I’ll be running a game there (rather than just using it as a “recharge point” for Demon PCs).