View Full Version : Variant Aging Rules (PEACH)

2006-08-29, 03:06 AM
Aging isn't terribly burdensome in most campaigns, but in some cases, it may actually come up. One thing I've never really liked about the rules for aging was the fact that you have a set age where you just die. People don't usually die because they just hit some point in their internal calendar and everything shuts down. Instead, it's more of a gradual deterioration over time.

So here's how I'm thinking it'd work. You have venerable, which has accrued you a total penalty of -6 to all of your physical stats. Instead of a character just kicking the bucket, why not keep increasing age categories?

By the point you reach venerable, you've been progressing at a fairly set amount of years for the next age progression. Let's take the human for example, they tend to progress every ninteen years-1 for each age category after reaching maturity. By the time you hit venerable, I'd say your body's likelier to deteriorate. So in this case, let's start bumping up the decrease in years by one for each expanded age group. the progression. It'd look a little something like this:

Maturity: 16 years old
Middle-Aged: 35 years old (19 years after maturity)
Aging (I'll be changing the descriptors a bit): 53 years old (18 years after middle-aged)
Old: 70 years old (17 years after Aging)
At this point, let's say the body is breaking down faster now.
Very Old: 85 years old (15 years after Old)
Venerable: 92 years old (12 years after Venerable)
Ancient: 100 years old (8 years after Venerable)
Shouldn't be Alive: 103 years old (3 years after Ancient)

With the increased age categories come penalties accruing at the normal rate. Thus, by the time you're Ancient, you have -21 to all of your physical stats. Also, eliminate the fact that aging cannot bring you to 0. Should that point be reached, your body is considered to have broken down to the point where you are bedridden and cannot move any longer. When your constitution hits 0 (assuming a disease or whatever doesn't carry you off first), you have died.

Now, in the case of the Monk and Druid Timeless Body, we resolve this in a different fashion.

One would be to make them effectively immortal. They aren't aging anymore. They aren't breaking down, and characters that high a level are hard to come by. High level Druids and Monks do not die until they are slain. If this is the case, I'd probably give Timeless Body to anybody who reaches Epic Level, or make it an available Epic Feat, probably with Expanded Lifespan as a prerequisite.

The other alternative is to track the constitution loss, but not apply it. When the Monk or Druid has lost enough constitution to die, the internal wear and tear has finally reached its apex, and the character's body can no longer continue to go on.

Anyway, just something I got an idea about looking over other people's posts in the aging thread. Any thoughts?

2006-08-29, 03:57 PM
I give it a thumbs up. This makes much more sense than people over Venerable just kicking the bucket on a random birthdays because "their time is up." Also, I vote for the alternative solution for Timeless Body. The class feature was never intended to make people immortal or even to extend their lifespans very far beyond normal.
Kudos on a good system.

2006-08-29, 04:13 PM
Yeah, I like the system, but i would also like to see something for improved mental capacites that are near equal for all races, since it seems to imply that elves are reatrded, and opnly get along with intellegent races because they have more time to figure stuff out

2006-08-29, 07:54 PM
I liked the way it was handled in some 2 ed book I came across: first of all, aging gave much more penalties than bonuses. Having better spot and listen as you age? You wish. Second, different races not only had different onsets of the various age categories, but different effects. Elves, in a tolkien-esque fashion, suffered much less from aging (statwise) than humans did. As it was put "there is no such a thing as a naturally senile elf." They'd lose relatively little dexterity, and somewhat more constitution and strength. Dwarves, on the other hand, became less nimble, but lost relatively little of their fortitude. Humans, generally, had it worst. Heck, there was actually one reason not to play a human :) . I haven't seen anything better.

Otherwise, this has potential... Another option for the "timeless" feature is just to extend the life period and lessen the penalties. The individual is long-lived and mostly unscathed by the onset of age, but it does show a little bit, and they do die - eventually. Do not forget that healthy humans sometimes do live past their 100th year, and in a world where healing magic is common, this should not be atypical.Maybe once characters enter venerable age, just consider every dice they have (d10s for humans) another age category. At maximum age, every year (or two, three or five, choose) you becomes another category. I think something like that happened to Dragons in twilight, see the Draconomicon on that matter: they age slowly, but when age does catch up to them, they crumble in years.