Character Age

So I was thinking about rituals and how Wizards should know more of them/be better at them and I was trying to justify this to myself. My first thought was "my wizard spent years learning the ins and out of magic, he should get some benifit for that." The problem with that is that in D&D ages no longer means anything. In 3.5 even if you rolled really high on the age table you still were in your prime, years away from any side effects.
In fact the only old people I saw were muchkin players who wanted the mental stat boost, most people even found a way to get out of the physical stat penalty.


So, I suggest that Age should start to actually mean something. Maybe -1 to BAB per age catigory, or -1 Fort save, or less spells, reduced move speed, flaws. Something so that growing older is actually a penalty instead of a benifit.

Plus then we can have wizards roll really high on the age table so they are closer to getting old, thus another way to limit their power. Undecided 
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
eh...

No thanks. 

YMMV 

Play whatever the **** you want. Never Point a loaded party at a plot you are not willing to shoot. Arcane Rhetoric. My Blog.

Age much like hair color, eye color, skin color, height, and weight should be pure fluff.  If you want your character to be a preteen or an old geezer it should not matter to your stats in any way.

So bring on the old and the real young all about how you describe it. 

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

Actually, this is ground where I can see a module being a good solution.  I know I wouldn't want to add modifiers for age, but others might.  I just don't want to see them broken in favor of certain classes (like 3.5e was in favor of casters).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Pure fluff thanks: no penalties for roleplaying or mechanical advantages for min-maxing age and weight. And Furthermore I want to choose my non-mechanical physical characteristics. I want to decide whether I play a young Harry Potter wizard, an aged but toughened Fighter, a skinny hobbit or a fat elf. 
Member of Grognards for 4th Edition
I don't think age should matter at character creation. But I do think the aging effects table should come back. If your character ages through a campaign it should affect them. Though MechaPilot is correct that that tends to benefit some at no penalty and penalize others with no benefit. But maybe that's the important question is all the aging effects a benefit or a penalty?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

The thing is I always figured anyone who was good enough at adventuring to get old would have either hit the big score and retired, founded a school, opened a bar or whatever, or have wised up and gotten out of the biz.
No thanks.  I never liked 3.5's age penalty chart.  It just restricts what you can do with your character.  I mean I get what they were going for but hell, this is a fantasy game.  If I want an old man who's still a great fighter then I see no reason to be penalized for it.  Leave age penalties to personal houseruling or maybe as optional rules that don't have to be considered part of the core game.
No thanks. But as a small module in the DMG why not? It doesn't take up much page space.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
Because I'd rather have the page dedicated to expanding the rules for alternate eras to place dnd games in, or more monster creation tips and tricks, or extra traps and poisons, or maybe a chart detailing the prices and requirements for various common and exotic mounts, or maybe a nice shot of a dragon munching on someone.
Because I'd rather have the page dedicated to expanding the rules for alternate eras to place dnd games in, or more monster creation tips and tricks, or extra traps and poisons, or maybe a chart detailing the prices and requirements for various common and exotic mounts, or maybe a nice shot of a dragon munching on someone.



I think you gave me a new lens to filter content. From now on, every time I see a suggestion, I'm gonna ask myself:

"Would you rather see this, or a nice shot of a dragon muching on someone?" 
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
No thanks. But as a small module in the DMG why not? It doesn't take up much page space.


Honestly, that's why I don't want it as an optional module, or at least not a first party one.  It's small, it's incredibly easy to homebrew, and there have been rules for it previously.  I'd much rather devote, say 1-2 pages in the DMG to encouraging DMs to make their own optional modules(and to totally trade them online, hint hint) and giving them some guidelines to making modules and/or converting old rules into 5e, than devote pages upon pages of tiny optional modules, each half a page long, to bring back Controversial Rule X.  
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
I would say just apply skill bonuses and penalties for age rather than stat penalties that might impact on combat.  That way the iconic elderly mage will beneift from higher mental skills and lower physical skills while the seasoned retired warrior's experience in a fight serves him well even if he would struggle more in long-term endurance tests etc.  It would give nominal mechanical benefits/penalties but enough to reflect what you would hope the archetype would be able to achieve.
New Theme: Old
You're old.  Really, gramps.  Why are you adventuring?
Theme Benefit: No Spring Chicken
You're not a strong as you used to be.  As you age, you lose muscle mass at an astounding rate.  Face it, old man, you're not half the adventurer you used to be.
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Strength score or modifier twice and always use the lower result.

Theme Benefit: Where are my pills?
Your health is failing because... you know... you're old.  You have like a half-doen different ailments and your doctor says you're probably going to die from one of them pretty soon.
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Constitution score or modifier twice and always use the lower result.

Theme Benefit: My back!
You have rheumatoid arthritis and psiatic pain.  Your bones creak, and your hip has been replaced so often you think it may be a mimic.  You walk with a cane and you need orthotics in your shoes.
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Dexterity score or modifier twice and always use the lower result.

Theme Benefit: In my day... wait... what was I saying?
You've become forgetful in your old age.  They have all these newfangled equipment you never botheredto figure out.  In my day, you didn't need Handy Haversacks.  You carried a dragon's horde on your back and you liked it! Nobody looks familiar and when you look in the mirror you are simply reminded that the Grim Reaper is coming to get you if you don't become a lich like the other guys from high school.  Like that Acererak fellow, voted most like to devour your soul.  Wait.  What was I saying?
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Intelligence score or modifier twice and always use the lower result.

Theme Benefit: Speak up!  Where are my glasses?
Your eyes are failing, or so you think your optomoetrist said.  You don't hear so well either.  And food tastes bland and mushy. Yesterday, you found a manticore spike sticking out of your thigh and you couldn't figure out how long it had been there.  When did you last fight a manticore?
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Wisdom score or modifier twice and always use the lower result. 

Theme Benefit: Come over here and give your grandma a kiss!
Face it.  You're gross.  You've got little gangly things hanging off your skin, liver spots, old nubs for teeth, and you smell like mothballs.  Your social skills aren't much better.  You don't understand the way kids today speak, and you're not sure you want to learn.  And they don't particularly seem interested in hearing the story about how much better everything was sixty years ago, and how ungrateful they are. Stupid kids.
Effect: Roll any d20 roll that is modified by your Charisma score or modifier twice and always use the lower result.
I would like age to impact my game. It needs not to be that absolute as in 3.5.

Truth be told, a generic fighter is at his best up to middle age (stronger muscles etc)
                    a generic wizard is at his best after middle age (more experience & wisdom)

So if players are young they gain +2 age bonus on STR, DEX or CON
if they play old they gain +2 on INT, WIS or CHA

Since you are a HERO, you do not gain ability penalties. You make age a more affecting choice that just cosmetics, improoving the roleplaying experience without loosing your combat effectiveness.

I really liked the idea of Pauln6 with bonus/penalties at skills

And guyz, a Human at the age of 85 could be as energetic, as fast as a kid at its 18?

New Theme: Old


Savage Worlds rpg has a hindrance named old. IIRC the major differences were: More skills and reduced mobility.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
I would say just apply skill bonuses and penalties for age rather than stat penalties that might impact on combat.  That way the iconic elderly mage will beneift from higher mental skills and lower physical skills while the seasoned retired warrior's experience in a fight serves him well even if he would struggle more in long-term endurance tests etc.  It would give nominal mechanical benefits/penalties but enough to reflect what you would hope the archetype would be able to achieve.



Yes, if age modifiers are in the game, make them minor AND zero-sum for all characters -- something like this.
I don't mind the idea of adding the "Old" theme, and I don't mind it necessarily as a theme, however I make my players keep religious track of in-game time and age their characters appropriately (i.e. it has taken about 4 years of in-game time to make it to level 5)

So I would like to see the "old" theme auto-applied once a given race surpasses a given age. That being said, players using elves or long lived races generally don't play past the age that their normal human counterparts begin to die off, so realistically getting to "old" age with an elf is not feasible unless you play that sucker with an all elf part in drastically accelerated in-game time.

That being said, at char-gen time, I would like to see options for physically statting out your character, including the random option to be old age. I would include this in my game. One guy in my current game made an old human wizard with a strength of "3" (he rolled a 5, but old age subtracts from strength) So he has to cast "strength" on himself continually, and when that fails, he is propped up by his Myrmidon bodyguard.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson

New Theme: Old
You're old.  Really, gramps.  Why are you adventuring?


Well played.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Aging gets more complicated if you want to create a persistent game world. How do you deal with races that have drastically different lifespans? How do you balance 'immortality' in the case of the elves, with 'shorter lifespan' in the case of the orcs? What keeps longer lived races from accumulating massive numbers of max-level adventurers who live for centuries? (Level limits on demi-humans was an unpopular strategy - can we find a better way?)

What if you want to include aging effects on spells, or monster attacks? How does magical aging work, are there other risks involved, such as a system shock that could kill you outright? How much more powerful should a spell be, if as a drawback it ages the caster? How much less powerful should a monster be in other areas, if it has an aging attack?

Should there be ways to stop or reduce aging, and how reliable should they be if included? How rare should they be? How should they be costed out, how 'expensive' should a potion of longevity be? Are there spells that can reduce aging? If so, how much, and what level should they be?

Does age affect your ability scores? How much? Does age affect how people react to you? Does it reduce your hitpoints? How do you balance classes that rely on physical abilities with those that don't? When do you start getting old? Can you take mundane steps to lengthen the time you're physically fit? Does age make you more susceptible, or resistant, to things like disease and illusions?

I don't think 'Aging' must necessarily be left to individual DMs. 
Rings of immortality are always "must haves" for a lot of players I know.  They are things players know they must pick up at some point.  I was excited when reading 4e and saw at level 30 something about immortality.  I was under the impression that upon attaining level 30 you can be immortal.  I thought this was awesome, since it's like you've become so powerful that you've moved beyond the mortal coil.  But I sadly didn't read enough, as I now realize that was immortality in some metaphorical way.  I think pretty much every player who gets a character to crazy epic levels assumes the character will live forever at that point.  I go so far as to make available through questing the ability to become immortal, or obtain an item of immortality.  I wouldn't even make the ring of immortality take up a ring slot.  All it does it make them immortal after all.  If no method was available, I'd probably have everybody turning into liches, which is truly no better.
@Master Drow: Unfortunately, I like you, enjoy the sense of (I don't want to call it realism, because that might derail the thread) fleshed out characters.  Characters in which the numbers (and fluff) represent something.  I have found, quite to my disbelief, that the majority of gamers do not want this.  I still can't understand why, but that's the way it is.

But personally, a character's age should represent a great deal more than just understanding rituals.  It should be a bonus to attributes.  No one can say they were wiser at 18 than they were at 50.  And like wise, no one can say they're more agile at 50 than 18.  It's the way the world works, but I guess people don't want to be reminded of it - even if it is logical.

My only question is when does it end: Can I create a 12 year old girl with a 20 strength?  How about a 98 year old non-magical human who has a 20 dexterity?  Both of these could work and be interesting, but for a few of us, they would ruin the immersion. 
@Master Drow: Unfortunately, I like you, enjoy the sense of 

Can I safely assume you meant to say "Unfortunately I, like you, enjoy the sense of" that comma's placement makes all the difference. Wink



I was actually thinking of just making age categories and then suggesting in the fluff text about what age each race reaches those catagories. So the catagories could be Baby, Child, Juvenile, Adult, Middle age, Old, Ancient, Dead, Undead. And then in the elves descriptive text it might say, "Most elves are considered to be Children until the age of 25, and most are considered Juvenile's until well into their 70's." This way you can give some basic guidelines without resitricting the DM/Players to a specific age. So no more, "Hey you turned 36 today, now your strength dropped a point!"

I happen to like the idea of gaining flaws as you get older. Or something like what Wrecan made. So getting older is not just a stat or skill modifier it actually effects your character in some meaningful and fun/interesting way. Like say you reach the Ancient age category, you roll, or pick, or are given by the DM (Dm's choice on which) a flaw. You might get "Senile" where you have a 10% chance to forget something that happened more than 1 minute ago. I could see a lot of fun roleplaying with that. (Imagine a scout with senile, he would just forget what he was doing and instead just wander off into the forest looking for something entirely different.)

Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
I'm really having to think hard on how to respond to this topic without getting banned.  

I think the trend in D&D of nothing bad evar is really sad.   I hate that attitude with a passion hotter than the sun.

I'd much rather have a game with rules that reflect some semblence of reality even if it is a fantasy world reality.  Getting old and getting weaker is reality.  To be honest, the only advantage to aging is that you have experience.  So to me getting bonus intelligence points is silly.  You are better because you are twentieth level.  If you got a 20 year old 3rd level wizard and a 70 year old 3rd level wizard the 20 year old is better objectively.  It's just normal for the 70 year old to be a higher level because he has lived all that time.

Bending and twisting the rules without regard for reality is cheesy to me.  Why even bother? 
i guess if we're bringing realism into the discussion, the wizard should be an elderly, mad vagabond in a dirty bathrobe trailing behind armed guards yelling "MAJIK MISHILE!" while throwing old knucklebones? 
i guess if we're bringing realism into the discussion, the wizard should be an elderly, mad vagabond in a dirty bathrobe trailing behind armed guards yelling "MAJIK MISHILE!" while throwing old knucklebones? 

If you want.

I agree Emerikol, I see the same trend of "Players must never get a negative number". It is really disheartening, if I wanted to play a game where all of my characters were larger than life/heroic all the time then I would play Exhalted with its 20 foot long swords. But in D&D I like simulation and reality mixed in. I find it more fun.
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
My personal preference is to roll hitpoints at first level. So the fighter can start out with 1 hitpoint. I realize that this is not for everyone. I like lethal poisons. Level drains. Magical aging, and system shock rolls for that and resurrection.

I don't think my way is better or worse than anyone else's way. My style provides me with a game whose tone I enjoy.

Here's how I categorize lethality in D&D.

1. No death. Characters fail in other ways.
2. Dramatically appropriate. Characters are not allowed to die except when the DM and/or Players decide.
3. When a mistake is made. Characters are only allowed to die if the dice say so, and if the death can be traced to a bad decision.
4. A string of recklessness or bad luck. Characters die when the dice say, generally after several attempts to save oneself, avoid the attack, mitigate the effect, and/or ignoring hints as to the danger or opportunities to investigate that would have provided hints.
5. One bad roll. Character death often left to pure chance with no player input.

I can at least tolerate option 3. I prefer option 4. I don't enjoy option 1 or 2. I don't believe a D&D game or module not intended for tournament use has ever been designed where the DM was intended to use option 5. Yet every argument against lethality holds it up as the norm.
Rings of immortality are always "must haves" for a lot of players I know.  They are things players know they must pick up at some point.  I was excited when reading 4e and saw at level 30 something about immortality.  I was under the impression that upon attaining level 30 you can be immortal.  I thought this was awesome, since it's like you've become so powerful that you've moved beyond the mortal coil.  But I sadly didn't read enough, as I now realize that was immortality in some metaphorical way.


A large proportion of EDs actually end with you becoming immortality. Sometimes as a Lich, sometimes as a deity (or similar).

Some of them are metaphorical immortalities (your name will live for ever) but many are actual "You won't die" immortality. 
I think the trend in D&D of nothing bad evar is really sad.   I hate that attitude with a passion hotter than the sun.


And you know what I hate?  People who paint their opposition with a condescending brush.  Nobody is saying D&D should have "nothing bad evar".  Nobody.  Stop trying to make your points by belittling other people's positions.  It's tiresome and transparent. 
Nobody is saying D&D should have "nothing bad evar".  Nobody.

Should I point out this quote from page 2?
Yes, if age modifiers are in the game, make them minor AND zero-sum for all characters -- something like this.


It seemed to me that Emerikol was well within his right to comment on this idea. The idea that anything that might be a negative to a player should be zero sum, aka no penealty.

So now instead of the character getting a penalty, when it is perfectly reasonable for him to get one, he is also getting a benifit to equalize that penalty. This is exactly what 3.5 did with the gain in mental stats and loss in physical stats and all we got were a bunch of people who gained in mental and never lost in physical which was something that I pointed out in my OP.

The idea of topic was 'Should ageing actually be a negative? And if so could we use it as a balancing factor?' So sure that wizard is still young now but he is only 3 years away from an age penalty, meanwhile that fighter has at least 10 years before he has to worry about growing old. So when that wizard has reach level 15 and has a lot of spells he also has some age penelties that help balance him out.
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
I think the trend in D&D of nothing bad evar is really sad.   I hate that attitude with a passion hotter than the sun.


I'm right there with you, brother.
I think there very much are people who do not ever want anything lastingly bad to happen to a character. I thought that's what Emerikol was saying.

Personally, I'm fine with that. It's not the way I play, but they don't have to play in my games, I don't have to play in theirs.

Age much like hair color, eye color, skin color, height, and weight should be pure fluff.  If you want your character to be a preteen or an old geezer it should not matter to your stats in any way.

So bring on the old and the real young all about how you describe it. 



This.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The idea of topic was 'Should ageing actually be a negative? And if so could we use it as a balancing factor?' So sure that wizard is still young now but he is only 3 years away from an age penalty, meanwhile that fighter has at least 10 years before he has to worry about growing old. So when that wizard has reach level 15 and has a lot of spells he also has some age penelties that help balance him out.


You shouldn't require an outside source (aging penalites, magic items, etc.) to balance out classes.  That's just sloppy design, not that age penalties ever really balanced anything in the past anyway.

And all that is setting aside the incredible difficulty of simulating the negative effects of aging because people age differently.  Does a character with a good diet and a lot of exercise get to stave off the effects of aging for a few years?  Does the barbarian with a diet of beer and red meat have to make heart attack checks every year after 30?

People rightly want different amounts of realism in their games.  That's why aging works as a module.  Let those who have it want it.  Those who don't can leave it be.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I think age should matter in my games. Here's why. Much like an ability score, it's a measure of the physical nature of the character. There are also campaign styles (which I like) that rely on a persistent game world with a continuously updated calendar. Characters retire and inhabit strongholds that become 'safe' adventuring bases. The higher-level characters retired there are available to play when monsters occasionally attack the stronghold, or to fight a high-level threat that comes into the world, while the players who originally played them spend time on other characters elsewhere in the world. Time passes even when the characters aren't being played - the world moves on whether they're on stage or not.

Age rolls, to see if they slip into the next age category, bring these retired characters back into the spotlight every once in a while, giving players the opportunity to decide whether to bring them out for a new adventure, maybe go looking for a potion of longevity, if they're willing to take the risk. Age that has bite also adds a sense of urgency - if you want that character to be of significant use, you need to use him before he gets too old.

Of course, if I want to run such a campaign, I need to do something about those pesky demi-humans, with their really long lives. If they live for a thousand years, they will just eventually end up level 300 or whatever. Unless they have... (dare I say it?) level limits. *gasp*

I'd actually prefer not to use level limits. In the campaign I'm planning, if 5e doesn't work out, I'm going to simply roll ages for all the characters as if they're human. The longer-lived ones, when they reach the age of death, will simply go away. Elves will head into the West, Dwarves will retire deep under the Mountain, Halflings will die of massive coronaries, falling face first into a pudding.
I didn't particularly care for the aging rules from previous editions and was happy there were none in 4E. Age should be pure fluff, nothing more.
@Master Drow: Unfortunately, I like you, enjoy the sense of 

Can I safely assume you meant to say "Unfortunately I, like you, enjoy the sense of" that comma's placement makes all the difference. Wink



I was actually thinking of just making age categories and then suggesting in the fluff text about what age each race reaches those catagories. So the catagories could be Baby, Child, Juvenile, Adult, Middle age, Old, Ancient, Dead, Undead. And then in the elves descriptive text it might say, "Most elves are considered to be Children until the age of 25, and most are considered Juvenile's until well into their 70's." This way you can give some basic guidelines without resitricting the DM/Players to a specific age. So no more, "Hey you turned 36 today, now your strength dropped a point!"

I happen to like the idea of gaining flaws as you get older. Or something like what Wrecan made. So getting older is not just a stat or skill modifier it actually effects your character in some meaningful and fun/interesting way. Like say you reach the Ancient age category, you roll, or pick, or are given by the DM (Dm's choice on which) a flaw. You might get "Senile" where you have a 10% chance to forget something that happened more than 1 minute ago. I could see a lot of fun roleplaying with that. (Imagine a scout with senile, he would just forget what he was doing and instead just wander off into the forest looking for something entirely different.)




Master Drow,
You may safely assume, and in fact, I would prefer it.  Laughing  When I popped back on the thread and read what I wrote, I immediately said oops. 

And all that is setting aside the incredible difficulty of simulating the negative effects of aging because people age differently.  Does a character with a good diet and a lot of exercise get to stave off the effects of aging for a few years?  Does the barbarian with a diet of beer and red meat have to make heart attack checks every year after 30?


That is why I like the flaws idea. If you have a character that drinks himself to sleep every night after 20 years he might develop liver desiease. The idea with flaws is that there are a bunch for the DM to choose from so he can assign the one that he thinks is apporpriate to the character. If he can't decide on one the player could always roll randomly.

Also by giving age catagories instead exact age dates the DM can adjust the when the character would go up an age catagory. 
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]

And all that is setting aside the incredible difficulty of simulating the negative effects of aging because people age differently.  Does a character with a good diet and a lot of exercise get to stave off the effects of aging for a few years?  Does the barbarian with a diet of beer and red meat have to make heart attack checks every year after 30?


That is why I like the flaws idea. If you have a character that drinks himself to sleep every night after 20 years he might develop liver desiease. The idea with flaws is that there are a bunch for the DM to choose from so he can assign the one that he thinks is apporpriate to the character. If he can't decide on one the player could always roll randomly.


I don't like the DM telling me "This is the list of things that are wrong with your character."  It is my opinion that any flaw system should make it up to the players to choose them (and should be entirely optional as well); they are the ones who will have to RP them, afterall.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

First off the DM could choose or the player could roll randomly.

And we both know that if we allow players to choose they will be all about what they can use and abuse not actually the possibility of some negative. Which is the whole purpose here. 
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
First off the DM could choose or the player could roll randomly.

And we both know that if we allow players to choose they will be all about what they can use and abuse not actually the possibility of some negative. Which is the whole purpose here. 


You do know how to fix that don't you?

The flaws grant no benefit until after the downside is felt.  None of this X flaw gives you Y points to buy benefits with rules BS.  If a flaw either has no upside, or doesn't manifest an upside until after the downside hits, then only people who want to RP them will take them.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.