D&D 5E Simple Rules for Aging (+)

Peter BOSCO'S

Adventurer
Personality Traits "You youngsters need to get off of my lawn." and “Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Ideal "I need to take a nap." Bond "I love my nice soft bed in my nice, quiet, restful cottage." Flaw - "I'm getting too old for this [excrement]." And I'm done.
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
In which case you've run aground before you've left the dock.

The baseline assumption is that (most) adventurers are doing so while at the peak of their combined physical and mental prowess - they're as good and healthy and robust as they're ever gonna get, and have enough mental capacity to get by and then some.
Realistically speaking, that might be true. But as far as the game mechanics are concerned, the 45, 60, or 75 y/o characters we play are those that managed to keep a high physical and mental prowess late in their life.

I aim to make a houserule where the 20 y/o, the 30 y/o, the 45 y/o, and the 60 y/o (etc) all have the same combined physical and mental prowess, but distributed differently. Not unlike a halfling and a goliath are mechanically equivalent despite the great size discrepancy, with humans somewhere in between.
 


Horwath

Legend
I have a variant exhaust system:

It gives -1 to all d20 rolls(saves, checks, attacks), -1 to AC, -1 to DC's and -5ft speed per exhaustion level(min of 5ft speed)

At every age category above adult: let's say middle age 40, old age 60, venerable 80, you can get:
+1 permanent exhaustion level,

and for bonus;

Option A: +1 to your proficiency bonus. This is plain and simple. You get to stay on equal with young people in everything you trained in, little better even with expertise. Just a little slower and more close to death via exhaustion(pretty realistic)

Or,

Option B: you get a bonus feat(or two). Depending how much you value a permanent exhaustion level to keep somewhat of balance.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
A relatively simple system for starting ages I saw someone suggest recently was basically to have the player select at character creation whether the PC is Youthful, Mature, or Aging. Note that this was for a simpler version of D&D without a full skill system. I think it might have also been in a context of a rule where every time you fail a death save, your death save value permanently goes up by 1.

Youthful characters get a base death save of 8+ and +10% to earned experience.

Mature characters get a base death save of 10+ and to choose a professional career they had before adventuring. They get one pricy/valuable item or set of gear related to that profession (could be a horse, a small smithy or workshop, or the like) and are assumed competent and knowledgeable in relation to their profession. So they can use those skills and knowledges during play.

Aging characters get a base death save of 12+, the professional career stuff, and a useful NPC relative or servant. The equivalent of a henchman or sidekick character.

As for aging during the game, I'm a bit leery of setting any arbitrary break points. I think what Pendragon does is pretty good. IIRC every year after the character turns 35 you make a check* to see if any of your ability scores degrade. It's a 2d6 table, IIRC. More extreme rolls result in more stats going down. Once you know how many are degrading, randomize which ones and they each decrease by 1. Of course, you can also increase ability scores by training in the winter phase in that system, so you can offset decrepitude, albeit at the cost of not putting those advancement points elsewhere.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Realistically speaking, that might be true. But as far as the game mechanics are concerned, the 45, 60, or 75 y/o characters we play are those that managed to keep a high physical and mental prowess late in their life.

I aim to make a houserule where the 20 y/o, the 30 y/o, the 45 y/o, and the 60 y/o (etc) all have the same combined physical and mental prowess, but distributed differently. Not unlike a halfling and a goliath are mechanically equivalent despite the great size discrepancy, with humans somewhere in between.
Ah. If you're a fan of what I bolded then we're probably not going to find much common ground here. Hope you find a solution that works for you! :)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
So while people usually use Aging to stack penalties in characters, but here's one that's the opposite:

I often find myself referring to other hobbies and careers I used to do but no longer. Maybe an older character can gain the ability to use a skill as if they were proficient or even has expertise in that they don't have due to things they did back in the day, kind of like the past life stuff the Deva had.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
Ah. If you're a fan of what I bolded then we're probably not going to find much common ground here. Hope you find a solution that works for you! :)
I'm not much of a fan of halflings being as physically strong as a goliath. I do appreciate that the halfling race is balanced against the goliath race however, and that's what I aim for with this houserule. Youth, maturity, and old age do not need to be the same, but I do want them balanced against each other.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Youth, maturity, and old age do not need to be the same, but I do want them balanced against each other.
Which is why I suggested a +1 ASI for a -1 ASI at each point age changes. This way they are all balanced against each other and it allows players to shift their focus as the character ages. A PC might become wiser, but lose strength, for example.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Though in that case, you'll find aging physical characters making poor life decisions in order to keep their Strength!
 

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