Age

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The AGE verb gives you information about your character's aging and any age modification that is currently affecting him. Most of the options available are informational, though you may also choose from the natural life cycles that are available for your race.

Age in DragonRealms is a role-playing consideration only. Age does not affect how your character performs in any skill or statistic contest.

The idea that adventurers don't die (permanently) is an OOC fiction, a business decision to accommodate paying customers rather than a fact of Elanthian reality. As far as your character knows, he will eventually grow old and die.

Syntax

Options:

  • AGE: A quick readout of your character's apparent age, life cycle and age modification.
  • AGE CYCLE: Information and options for selecting among the natural life cycles available for your race.
  • AGE INFO: Extended information about aging in DragonRealms.

Age Cycle

Due to the proliferation of magic and other supernatural forces on Elanthia, not every character goes through the conventional life cycle of his race. Some modifications to the life cycle are so common that they are considered natural. You may select from them here.

Options:

  • EMPATHIC LONGEVITY: Many adventurers and the wealthy enjoy longer lives than the average denizen of the Five Provinces. Better living conditions play a part in this, but the greatest effect comes from continual exposure to empathic healing. Characters who enjoy this advantage live approximately a hundred years longer than other members of their species.
  • FIT SENESCENCE: While overexposure to healing often results in entirely slowed aging, that is not the only possibility. Some characters in this situation continue to visibly age like a normal member of their race, but the supernatural aid keeps them at peak fitness regardless of appearances. Like their more fortunate brethren, characters who enjoy fit senescence gain an extra century to their lifespan.

DR-ARMIFER: Please note that Fit Senescence does nothing to your visible age over keeping the Normal life cycle . . . . It's there for story reasons, to distinguish between the RP'd stances of "My PC ages and dies normally" and "my PC wants to be Gandalf when he grows up." Nothing more.

  • NORMAL: The vast majority of people in the Five Provinces cannot afford or don't have access to enough healing magic to affect their life cycle. Even some adventurers find that their bodies are resistant to healing's more subtle therapeutic effects. Characters who work under this life cycle live and die as the Immortals intended.


You may select a life cycle by typing AGE CYCLE [OPTION]. This is meant to be a permanent choice, but you will be allowed to change it once per calendar year. Please see AGE INFO for a more detailed discussion of aging on Elanthia.

Age Info

Gameplay Considerations

To begin, it is important to make a distinction between how aging functions as a gameplay mechanic and how it functions in the fiction of DragonRealms as a role-playing setting.

Simply put, age has no mechanical function. Senescence never hinders your character's skills, and your character will not be deleted when he reaches some cut-off age. Your character can be a thousand years old and will still be available when you want to log in.

This effective immortality is a gameplay consideration only: while DragonRealms is a role-playing game, we recognize not everyone enjoys the same level of immersion in the environment. For our role-players, it's important to realize this is not reflected in the setting. Characters on Elanthia grow up, grow feeble, and then eventually pass on. Magical longevity and immortality exist, but they are rare prizes to be fought for rather than a simple given.

Aging in Elanthia

For the most part, aging on Elanthia works much as you would expect it to. While the life spans of many races differ from the Human norm, none of them is exceptionally odd. Everyone begins life as an infant, matures into adulthood, and then slowly succumbs to senescence. The following list describes how each race differs from the Human norm.

Dwarves

Dwarves can live naturally up to five centuries, though to outsiders they spend much of that time looking old. They appear like a Human in their mid-50s by their 100th birthday. Then their visible aging slows drastically. They are not slowed much by senescence, leaving grey-bearded Dwarves frightfully spry and sturdy.

Dwarves
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 40 15 to 40 young
41 to 100 51 to 100 an adult
100 to 180 100 to 180 mature
181 to 260 181 to 285 patronly/matronly
261 to 340 286 to 390 distinguished
341 to 420 391 to 475 ancient
421 to 500 476 to 600 an elder
501+ 601+ archaic

Elotheans

Elotheans can live to be 350 years old. They mature at a slightly slower pace than Humans. Then their visible aging slows considerably once they reach their physical prime. Unlike Dwarves or Elves, the full weight of senescence eventually claims Elotheans; it is merely delayed.

Elotheans
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 29 15 to 29 young
30 to 49 30 to 49 an adult
50 to 99 50 to 129 in his prime
100 to 149 130 to 209 middle-aged
150 to 199 210 to 269 mature
200 to 229 270 to 304 venerable
230 to 249 305 to 329 elderly
250 to 279 330 to 364 aged
280 to 299 365 to 389 wizened
300 to 329 390 to 424 venerated
330 to 350 425 to 450 one of the Wise
351+ 451+ archaic

Elves

Elves have the same life span as Dwarves but appear much younger. By the end of an Elf's life, he appears to be no older than a Human in his mid-50s. While Elves develop physically and mentally in step with Humans, they are not sexually mature until their 40s. Ancient stories claim that Elves "fade away" with old age, but this is merely an echo of old social conventions rather than biological fact. An Elf who dies of complications of age leaves a corpse.

DR-ARMIFER: They cannot reproduce until much later (at least 40, usually in their 100s), because Elves suck at this whole propagation thing. If evolution is involved, Elves are in serious danger of becoming a failed species.

Elves
Normal Longevity Elves See Others See
0 to 17 0 to 17 a child a child
18 to 60 18 to 60 young young
61 to 134 61 to 154 an adult young
135 to 208 155 to 248 mature an adult
209 to 281 249 to 336 patronly/matronly in his prime
282 to 354 337 to 424 distinguished in his prime
355 to 427 425 to 512 ancient mature
428 to 500 513 to 600 an elder mature
501+ 601+ archaic mature

Gnomes

Gnomes are another long-lived race, sometimes living to 300 years. Like Elotheans, Gnomish longevity drags out senescence without substantially deviating from the Human norm.

Gnomes
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 30 15 to 30 young
31 to 59 31 to 89 an adult
60 to 88 90 to 148 mature
89 to 116 149 to 186 patronly/matronly
117 to 144 187 to 224 distinguished
145 to 172 225 to 262 ancient
173 to 200 263 to 300 an elder
201+ 301+ archaic

Gor'Togs

Gor'Togs have a minor edge over Humans in longevity, sometimes living to the age of 115. They develop and succumb to senescence at a steady clip, devoid of the rapid growth spurts or periods of slow visible age common to other races.

Gor'Togs
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 young
21 to 34 21 to 34 an adult
35 to 44 35 to 57 in his prime
45 to 54 58 to 80 middle-aged
55 to 64 81 to 103 mature
65 to 74 104 to 126 venerable
75 to 84 127 to 148 elderly
85 to 94 149 to 170 aged
95 to 104 171 to 192 wizened
105 to 115 193 to 215 ancient
116+ 216+ archaic

Halflings

Halflings share the Human life expectancy of up to 100 years, though they age remarkably well. A Halfling in his early 30s can still look much like a Human teenager, and Halfling senescence never quite catches up. Halflings have no more years than a Human, but they're better equipped to enjoy them.

Halflings
Normal Longevity Halflings See Others See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a kneebiter a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 a tartsnatcher young
21 to 34 21 to 34 a whippersnapper young
35 to 44 35 to 64 a daydreamer an adult
45 to 53 65 to 94 a hairyfoot in his prime
54 to 62 95 to 112 a pipesmoker/a longbraids middle-aged
63 to 70 113 to 130 a porchsitter mature
71 to 77 131 to 148 a grayroot venerable
78 to 86 149 to 166 a grayhair elderly
87 to 93 167 to 184 a talespinner aged
94 to 100 185 to 200 a naptaker wizened
101+ 201+ archaic archaic

Humans

While Humans are below the average for longevity, Simutronics uses the "Human norm" as the standard for development and senescence, since it is the one that players and staff are most familiar with. Humans on Elanthia can live naturally up to 100 years old.

Humans
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 young
21 to 34 21 to 34 an adult
35 to 44 35 to 64 in his prime
45 to 53 65 to 94 middle-aged
54 to 62 95 to 112 mature
63 to 70 113 to 130 venerable
71 to 77 131 to 148 elderly
78 to 86 149 to 166 aged
87 to 93 167 to 184 wizened
94 to 100 185 to 200 ancient
101+ 201+ archaic

Kaldar

Kaldar live longer and develop slightly more slowly than the Human norm, living up to 135 years. Other than their development's being a touch slower, they develop and decline in the same pattern as Humans.

Kaldar
Normal Longevity People See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child
15 to 25 15 to 25 young
26 to 44 26 to 44 an adult
45 to 59 45 to 80 in his prime
60 to 70 81 to 116 middle-aged
71 to 81 117 to 136 mature
82 to 92 137 to 156 venerable
93 to 103 157 to 176 elderly
104 to 114 177 to 196 aged
115 to 125 197 to 216 wizened
126 to 135 217 to 235 ancient
136+ 236+ archaic

Prydaen

Prydaen develop and age along the Human norm, though outside observers often have trouble gauging a Prydaen's age. This typically makes Prydaen appear younger than they are, though only in the sense that outsiders cannot pinpoint the signs of aging until they become prominent.

Prydaen
Normal Longevity Prydaen See Others See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a tail-chaser a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 a mouse-catcher young
21 to 34 21 to 34 a moth-stalker young
35 to 44 35 to 64 a bird-hunter young
45 to 53 65 to 94 a hyena-stalker young
54 to 62 95 to 112 a wind-catcher young
63 to 70 113 to 130 a shadow-prowler elderly
71 to 77 131 to 148 a sun-lounger elderly
78 to 86 149 to 166 a scar-bearer elderly
87 to 93 167 to 184 a dream-stalker elderly
94 to 100 185 to 200 ancient elderly
101+ 201+ archaic elderly

Rakash

The Rakash are the only playable race with a life span shorter than Humans, living no more than 90 years. Except for their decreased life span, they develop and suffer senescence along the Human norm. (When Rakash are in moonskin, it is difficult for outside observers to estimate their age.)

Rakash
Normal Longevity Rakash See Others See
(Human)
Others See
(Moonskin)
0 to 14 0 to 14 a cub a child a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 an underdog young young
21 to 32 21 to 32 a cub-herder an adult young
33 to 41 33 to 61 a pack hunter in his prime young
42 to 48 62 to 90 a pack beta middle-aged young
49 to 55 91 to 107 a pack alpha mature young
56 to 62 108 to 124 a den watcher venerable elderly
63 to 69 125 to 141 a a grizzled elder elderly elderly
70 to 76 142 to 158 a pack historian aged elderly
77 to 83 159 to 174 a forerunner wizened elderly
84 to 90 175 to 190 ancient ancient elderly
91+ 191+ archaic archaic elderly

S'Kra Mur

S'Kra Mur develop and age in step with the Human norm. However, like the other bestial races, their age is often hard for other races to discern.

S'Kra Mur
Normal Longevity S'Kra Mur See Others See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 young young
21 to 34 21 to 34 an adult young
35 to 44 35 to 64 in his prime young
45 to 53 65 to 94 middle-aged young
54 to 62 95 to 112 mature young
63 to 70 113 to 130 venerable elderly
71 to 77 131 to 148 elderly elderly
78 to 86 149 to 166 aged elderly
87 to 93 167 to 184 wizened elderly
94 to 100 185 to 200 ancient elderly
101+ 201+ archaic elderly

Longevity and Immortality

With rare exceptions, everyone on Elanthia dies. Immortality is so rare and prized that it is regarded as a divine attribute: the gods of the Five Provinces are, after all, the Immortals. However, unnatural longevity that stops short of immortality is accessible to the wealthy.

The most common form of longevity is supernatural healing. Alchemical herbs, empathic powers and necromantic healing magic all combat the complications of senescence. The aches, pains, and diseases that shorten the lives of most people can be avoided if you can afford it, allowing anyone with the means to live a full, healthy life.

When supernatural healing is employed frequently (seen among adventurers and the truly rich), this can even extend the subject's life span beyond its normal limits -- but only to a point. The first axiom of Life magic is "Life cannot defeat life," referring to the inability of Life magic to disrupt the cycle of life and death on a metaphysical level. Empathic and alchemical solutions can extend a character's life for about a hundred years before the natural cycle refuses to be delayed further.

Necromancy, unbound by this restriction, provides powerful alternatives. Necromantic life extension can keep someone alive for centuries and is the classic choice for magicians who decide to meet the Immortals on their own terms. However, even necromancy can only push a body so far before death is unavoidable. True agelessness is reserved for liches: powerful Necromancers who turn their talents inward and become self-animating undead. Some Necromancers speak of Transcendence, a living immortality stolen from the gods, but no one has come forward to prove that it exists.

Grimly, necromancy provides the only source of reliable and potent life extension on Elanthia. Most Necromancers start their descent into blasphemy and madness by chasing the dream of eternal life.

The final option rests in the gods themselves, but it is never a sure bet. The Immortals have the ability to keep someone on Elanthia for as long as she proves useful, but the supplicant never has any say in the matter. For each tale as there are of ageless champions serving the gods through the millennia, there is one of a luckless, formerly blessed man who falls dead the moment his divinely appointed task is completed.

Nature of Age Shifting

Empaths can make a character appear to be older or younger (one year at a time). Age shifting only affects a character's apparent age. His actual age and date of birth (as displayed in INFO) remain unchanged.

Those characters whose ages were shifted before the June 18 update retained the cosmetic effects of their shifts, but their ages and dates of birth were restored to their actual, original values.

The fact that the old shifting mechanics worked on birthdays was just a kludge. Shifting was never intended as an OOC way to get the date you wanted to be born on.

DR-ARMIFER: Even if SHIFT AGE was not strictly cosmetic, it still cannot conceivably alter your character's birthday. It does not make your PC's father have sex with your PC's mother a day earlier. This was simply a hack from the original system creator who, for what I assume were excellent and pressing reasons, could not handle it in a more nuanced manner.


DR-ARMIFER: I think there's a tremendous IC/OOC disconnect going on here. SHIFT is not some OOC thing you do to get "the date you wanted to be born on." It is an IC, hideously forbidden act that Empaths can do to torment your character's body into some form it originally did not have. If it is part of your character's RP to lie about having underwent it, that's definitely something that falls outside both my business and the immediate concern of what I am doing.

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