Thread: Clutch sizes
View Single Post
Old Sep 1 2010, 11:07 AM   #17
Journeywoman Healer
Anareth's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here and There
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, Ship Series
Now Reading: Girl Genius (read it!)
Default Re: Clutch sizes

Originally Posted by Kath View Post

Option 3 - casualty rates depend on experience. For the first ten years of the Pass, you're very likely to die, and after that you're a wily old sod who just keeps on going, and it's the younger riders who are most likely to die off in 'fall. Those ten years of attrition as the Pass starts... treating everyone the same... (0.85^10) = 20% of the cohort left to die of old age. After those first ten years of the Pass, the death rate for the WHOLE Weyr would go down... but so does the clutch rate as you don't need to replace as many dragons or boost the numbers as much.

I like the last scenario best - it's the only one that gives A'verage and Dragonth even half-way decent odds to living a decent span...
I like #3 as well--there is the line about "there are OLD pilots and there are BOLD pilots but there are no OLD BOLD pilots." The only place where this is less likely than #2 is if the Weyrs don't make a habit of grounding or phasing out the oldest riders as their reflexes slow and old injuries catch up. Dragons have an almost-overpowering instinct to fly thread and riders are as likely as pilots to be subject to the "young whippersnapper, I've been flying since before you were born" type of attitude. There's also the possiblity of a cultural attitude--better to die "in the saddle" fighting thread than sit around in your rocker.

We don't have a lot of examples of these older riders--C'gan's obviously in an unusual situation (there aren't enough dragons of any age) and Leri is riding past the age where it's really sensible, but she's a queen rider flying the lowest-risk part of Threadfighting (and IIRC it's suggested her duty is less flamethrowing than coordinating with the ground crews.) So it's hard to say whether this is because there aren't many old riders or Anne just never shows them.
Anareth is offline   Reply With Quote