Death due to old age

jasper

Rotten DM
Back in 1E you could die due to old age. Ghost aged you 10 to 40 years. Haste I think aged you 3 years. Before I was told I could not do in Adventure League, I created an age chart. It is base on 1E charts. I made guess from the information in various players handbooks.
Max Age Chart 5E Note "," are use to shown columns.

Max Age

%Dice ,Age Category, Variable
01-10 old, lowest age +d8
11-25 old, highest age -d8
26-60 venerable lowest age +d6
61-90 venerable highest age -d6
91-00 venerable highest age +d10
Under 200 years 1 year interval
Over 200 years 10 year intervals

Race, Old, Venerable
Aarakocra, 25-30, 31-35
Aasimar, 155-160, 160-175
Bugbear, 70-80, 80-90
Deep Gnome, 200-250, 250-300
Dragonborn, 60-80, 80-100
Dwarf, 300-350, 350-400
Elf ,700-750, 750-800
Firbolg, 400-500, 500-600
Genasi, 110-120, 120-130
Gith, 75-100, 100-125
Goblin, 50-60, 60-70
Goliath, 75-100, 100-125
Gnome ,300-350, 350-500
Halfling, 200-250, 250-300
Half Elf, 140-180, 180-220
Half-Orc ,60-75, 75-90
Hobgoblin, 75-100, 100-125
Human ,75-100, 100-125
Kobold, 110-120, 120-130
Kenku, 50-60, 60-70
LizardFolk, 50-60, 60-70
Orc, 40-50, 50-60,
Tabaxi ,75-100, 100-125
Tiefling, 80-110, 110-130
Tortle ,50-60, 60-70
Triton ,180-200, 200-220
Yuan-Ti ,75-100, 100-125

To find final age, roll d12 -1 for months.
Roll d4 -1 for weeks. Roll d6 for days.
2016= 1492 DR Faerun.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Yeah, I don't know why aging was removed. I suppose it was too complex for WotC to deal with..

Here are our house-rules for age, height, and weight. I have been thinking about adding ability modifiers due to age like in the 1E DMG.

1571834457342.png


1571834482898.png


We like the variation for height and weight better than the PHB, and adding the Strength weight really makes sense if you consider that stronger characters should weigh more. Now, if you think of the Strength score as more your ability to apply strength, don't add weight for it.

The rolling maximum rule creates more variation. You can also apply this idea to the rolling minimum to reduce weight for the other end of the spectrum.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Here is an updated age table, with categories and suggested modifiers for when the character reaches a new category. Adjustments should be cumulative.

1571842718117.png


An ancient character would have STR -3, DEX -2, CON -3, INT +3, WIS +3, CHA +2.

When you pass from one category to the next, roll for the Death Factor. If you roll the number, your character will die of natural causes (old age, accident, disease, etc.) in the bracket you just entered.

So, if you roll your age and begin as an Adult, when you enter Middle Age you roll a d10. If you roll a 1-3, you will die naturally sometime in the Middle Age category. When you enter Old, you roll again and this time a roll of 1-7 will indicate death by natural causes (likely old age or an accident).

Of course tweak anything you like. :)
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
I think it was removed because most of the time, dying of old age is not fun. It's not heroic and it's not adventurous. Besides, even when I used aging back in 1E etc, except for magical aging, I never had a character, or knew of one, who died from old age. And, loosing strength or con because the campaign went on wasn't enjoyable.

There are many "realism" things we ignore in D&D because they don't add to the enjoyment or are not worth the bookkeeping. Of course, if they are fun for your table, go for it :)
 
Death through old age is a save or die mechanic, which is essentially absent in 5E except for Power Word: Kill, which has very specific limitations around its casting and is a 9th level spell.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I think it was removed because most of the time, dying of old age is not fun. It's not heroic and it's not adventurous. Besides, even when I used aging back in 1E etc, except for magical aging, I never had a character, or knew of one, who died from old age. And, loosing strength or con because the campaign went on wasn't enjoyable.

There are many "realism" things we ignore in D&D because they don't add to the enjoyment or are not worth the bookkeeping. Of course, if they are fun for your table, go for it :)
Their names are Bob Bola King, and Robin. I forget their pcs names. Bola failed vs a ghost and since he only had his current age but not max age we rolled on the chart. His pc aged 6 days pass his dead due date. Robin was about 10 years. Others during 1E and 2E used the age chart to their advantage since it help with spells know etc.
My campaigns due to moving at most lasted 3 game years.
Son of Serpent in another thread asked for this.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Death through old age is a save or die mechanic, which is essentially absent in 5E except for Power Word: Kill, which has very specific limitations around its casting and is a 9th level spell.
Much as we might like it so, death through old age isn't a save-or-die mechanic.

It's just a die mechanic; with the only variable being how long it takes.

That said, radical and sudden aging is yet another Bad Thing That Can Happen To Characters that, sadly, doesn't any more.
 

dave2008

Hero
An ancient character would have STR -3, DEX -2, CON -3, INT +3, WIS +3, CHA +2.
Apply age changes implies to me that you want some "realism." I am not opposed to that; however, IME, Intelligence, wisdom, charisma to do not continually increase. Nor is it consistent from person to person.

For example, I am more knowledgeable than when I was younger, but I am not smarter (Intelligence) In fact I think I am less so (and I think science backs me up on this). My charisma is a bit better (I was shy as a child), but my Wisdom is relatively flat (I always contended I was a wise child, maybe wise-ass is a better description). However, most old people (upper end of your old and beyond) I know show a reduction in charisma and wisdom (their filter really seems to vanish) as well. So, if you want to model aging I think you should look at all facilities going down, but perhaps at different rates, after middle age.
 

Celebrim

Legend
There are many "realism" things we ignore in D&D because they don't add to the enjoyment or are not worth the bookkeeping. Of course, if they are fun for your table, go for it :)
Certainly true, but one important caveat to this is that part of the reason that magic in 3e blew wide open and lead to the imbalances it did was 3e AD&D was 1e D&D stripped of a lot of its seemingly weird and unfun restrictions on the uses of spellcasting.

For example, when 3e first came out, one of the things that I noticed was they nerfed the heck out of fireball in almost every way except the major intended balancing factor in 1e D&D - it was almost impossible to use successfully in a dungeon without frying your own party. But they also broke 3e Haste wide open by removing its main restriction in 1e AD&D, which is every time you cast it you got closer to perma-death. These little odd ball rules might not have been fun or they might have been, but they didn't exist for no reason. They evolved into existence as a response to problems that had been encountered in play.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
3.x & PF both still had age charts, so it's not like it's been THAT long since we've had the concept.

I just use those tables and any other 3.x ones I can find.

BarbarianBardCleric
RogueFighterDruid
SorcererPaladinMonk
RaceAdulthoodRangerWizard
Human15 years+1d4+1d6+2d6
Dwarf40 years+3d6+5d6+7d6
Elf110 years+4d6+6d6+10d6
Gnome40 years+4d6+6d6+9d6
Half-elf20 years+1d6+2d6+3d6
Half-orc14 years+1d4+1d6+2d6
Halfling20 years+2d4+3d6+4d6
Table: Aging Effects
RaceMiddle Age1Old2Venerable3Maximum Age
Human35 years53 years70 years+2d20 years
Dwarf125 years188 years250 years+2d% years
Elf175 years263 years350 years+4d% years
Gnome100 years150 years200 years+3d% years
Half-elf62 years93 years125 years+3d20 years
Half-orc30 years45 years60 years+2d10 years
Halfling50 years75 years100 years+5d20 years
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Also, maybe, aging and leveling in D&D makes no sense. You can go from 1st to 20th in what, a year? The simulation game can't convey the years of experience it requires over a lifetime to master skills.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Also, maybe, aging and leveling in D&D makes no sense. You can go from 1st to 20th in what, a year? The simulation game can't convey the years of experience it requires over a lifetime to master skills.
I would say that depends entirely on how you play the game at the table and the pace you put PC's through their challenges.

You could go 1-20 in roughly 85 days of adventure as seen in this post by @BlivetWidget if your pace is highe enough in-game.

You could also have years of gameplay and game time where you don't gain a level for months and years of real and game time, but you experience the time at a level "growing" towards your next abilities.

Just depends on the game.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I would say that depends entirely on how you play the game at the table and the pace you put PC's through their challenges.

You could go 1-20 in roughly 85 days of adventure as seen in this post by @BlivetWidget if your pace is highe enough in-game.

You could also have years of gameplay and game time where you don't gain a level for months and years of real and game time, but you experience the time at a level "growing" towards your next abilities.

Just depends on the game.
That's true, but I do wonder how many DMs run their games with months or years between levels? Running any of the official modules, this would be nigh impossible. In a homebrew, you could cultivate it however you want.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
That's true, but I do wonder how many DMs run their games with months or years between levels? Running any of the official modules, this would be nigh impossible. In a homebrew, you could cultivate it however you want.
Depends on the DM's and tables I guess. Many of those I play with just take the published modules and expand them with more time, they spread out the pacing of the encounters and timelines to more slow-burn type stuff... shrug at least the ones we've done from official adventures.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Well I don't use XP at all, I gave that up in 3e and transitioned to milestones. That certainly helps to some extent, but the nature of the stories are immediate and subsequent, in that plot points immediately follow the last one, without huge gaps of time in between with no explanation. You know I'm fine with that, I don't play D&D to simulate real life, but it's easy to make comparisons sometimes :)

But @Salthorae that's an interesting approach, to purposely build in time as passing, something I haven't really thought of before. That would also work well with the subsystem of having to train to level up.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
Apply age changes implies to me that you want some "realism." I am not opposed to that; however, IME, Intelligence, wisdom, charisma to do not continually increase. Nor is it consistent from person to person.

For example, I am more knowledgeable than when I was younger, but I am not smarter (Intelligence) In fact I think I am less so (and I think science backs me up on this). My charisma is a bit better (I was shy as a child), but my Wisdom is relatively flat (I always contended I was a wise child, maybe wise-ass is a better description). However, most old people (upper end of your old and beyond) I know show a reduction in charisma and wisdom (their filter really seems to vanish) as well. So, if you want to model aging I think you should look at all facilities going down, but perhaps at different rates, after middle age.
Yeah, I thought about that too and initially had a more complex variant. I never fleshed it out completely, but it was basically the idea that you rolled a d6-3 and added that to INT, for example. You could roll well, and add to INT, or roll badly, and lose some INT. You just never know what biology will do to you.

Each ability score would have its own roll, like maybe d6-4 for STR (you are more likely to lose it than gain it, but gaining it is still possible...).

If you want them all to go down, maybe do d4-4. At best, it doesn't drop. At worst, you could lose up to 3 points.

Anyway, you can play around with the idea if you like it.
 

dave2008

Hero
That's true, but I do wonder how many DMs run their games with months or years between levels? Running any of the official modules, this would be nigh impossible. In a homebrew, you could cultivate it however you want.
I can’t speak for others, but in one of my groups we have had the same campaign since 5e started and they are only 14th level now and it has taken them about 10 yrs (in game time) to get that far. That pace is actually fast for me as a rule of thumb I say it takes 1 yr to level up (quicker at lower levels and longer at high levels).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That's true, but I do wonder how many DMs run their games with months or years between levels? Running any of the official modules, this would be nigh impossible. In a homebrew, you could cultivate it however you want.
Yes, the flaw there is with the official modules, and by extension the game design they're written to suit.

Problem is, the best answer is some sort of downtime mechanic (either enforced by the DM or done voluntarily by the players/PCs); and particularly in 5e that runs smack up against a very big problem: to make the resting rules work properly the party have to be somehow encouraged or forced to keep going beyond when they'd otherwise stop for the day (see the ongoing 5MWD thread), and the best way to do that is in-fiction time pressure.

Hard to have in-fiction time pressure and lots of downtime running side-along without it feeling very contrived.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I can’t speak for others, but in one of my groups we have had the same campaign since 5e started and they are only 14th level now and it has taken them about 10 yrs (in game time) to get that far. That pace is actually fast for me as a rule of thumb I say it takes 1 yr to level up (quicker at lower levels and longer at high levels).
So how does that work in actual play? Are you 1st level for months of real time before reaching 2nd? Do the players enjoy the slow leveling? I think it is cool that the game can do that, but it seems contradictory to the rules that encourage fast leveling (which I ignore myself). I wouldn't mind if players were stuck at 3rd level for a long, long time, but they like the sense of progression and getting better. For that matter, I wouldn't mind ending D&D at 9th after a long progression, and leave all the high level stuff alone.
 

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