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Should artificial aging hurt elves?

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#16 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:30 pm

I also did like the campaigns I ran where demi-humans who were aged artificially were aged relative to their life span. It just kept the game more challenging for them. Truth be told though, I'm not sure which method I prefer - non-relative aging, or relative aging.

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Cole
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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#17 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:15 am

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:AH! Well thanks for keeping it buried! :wink: :lol:

I just could never understand why 2E added that humano-centric nonsense!


It's a 2E thing... fixing things that were never broken in the first place. ~ Long live 1E!
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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#18 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:18 am

garhkal wrote:I've never bought into that whole "they live to 500+, then fade into retreat' crap. To me, they still have a max age like all other races.. SO yes they SHOULD still need the SS roll.
And in fact i much prefer ALL aging attacks/effects, to be graded based on species. So what ages a human 1 year, ages a dwarf or gnome 4, and an elf say 6 years.


Me either! Retreating into a place that others can find just as easy as their original kingdom/area. Total nonsense to me as well. They age, they eventually die like everyone else. :pop:
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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#19 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:04 pm

Cole wrote:

Me either! Retreating into a place that others can find just as easy as their original kingdom/area. Total nonsense to me as well. They age, they eventually die like everyone else.


Well to be fair, Evermeet at least is protected/hidden by:

* A vast, treacherous sea
* A powerful web of illusions cast by a goddess
* A conglomeration of hurricanes, whirlpools and storms
* A teleportation defense
* Dragon turtles
* The elven navy - one of the deadliest known

So first one would have to know that it exists, then figure out where it exists, then figure out how to get past all those defenses.

All that being said, I agree...I never did like the whole "elven decline" thing. I mean, Myth Drannor is kinda cool, but I never cared for the whole elven retreat issue. And I far prefer the 1E method where elves have a definite lifespan (around 1,000 years+) as opposed to the 2E "who knows when they die, but eventually they retreat" or the Birthright "immortal" version.

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#20 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:23 pm

Its CAUSE of all those defenses, that makes me laugh at why the elves are in such 'retreat' on the mainland of fareun. IF they are that godadm powerful, why not take the fight BACK to the humanoids..

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#21 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:47 am

That's the point though. The elves aren't retreating because of humans/humanoids. The way they explained it in Elves of Evermeet, elves eventually reach an age where they become more spiritual and introspective and reclusive. Hence, their journey to the protected, serene island of Evermeet. Then again, the FR Gray Box Set mentions that they decided to retreat to Evermeet in order to abandon the growingly hostile areas of the Realms.

Either way, I've always seen elves as the sort of beings who would prefer to retreat to a secure place rather than engage in continual, all-out war against numerous hostile races.

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#22 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:08 pm

Then why do they have such an offensive focused 'fleet'?

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#23 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:03 pm

Well, we're getting a bunch off topic again, but I'd say that's because they need to defend their island. Again, I'm not overly fond of the "elven retreat" theme. Seems it carried over from Tolkien and became a standard that became entrenched. :(

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#24 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:35 am

I would say that "hurt" is a relative term. Should aging take place? That's how I've always done it, just like every other race. System Shock roll? Yes. Is death possible? Yes. Elves are long-lived but not immortal. As for the 100th level elf wizard taking over everything? Not likely. Not because they couldn't but because they wouldn't want to, not even evil elf wizards. Although I can definitely see an evil elf wizard becoming a lich and therefore somewhat immortal.

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#25 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:11 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:I was thinking about this earlier today. Artificial aging in AD&D requires a system shock roll to survive the stress of the advanced aging effect. If you're hasted, if you see or are touched by a ghost, etc - you age x number of years and you must make a successful system shock roll to survive the trauma. But should this apply to elves? Elves live virtually forever. In 2E, when elves reach anywhere from 350 - 750 years, they simply feel the need to leave the world of man and retreat to elven lands (Evermeet, etc). It doesn't specify maximum age. In 1E, elves are listed with even longer life spans. The Drow clock in at up to 1,000 years, with gray elves reaching 2,000 years old. It says nothing about retreating, so to that does imply maximum age.

So let's say a ghost touches a human and ages him 40 years. That's close to half his expected lifespan. But would aging an elf - who lives to be 1,000 or 2,000 years old - by 40 years really cause enough trauma to require a system shock roll? I can see the case for ruling that they aren't harmed by aging. Now, I have had games where we did relative aging, i.e. a ghost that touches a human and ages him say 20 years would, if the ghost had touched an elf instead, age the elf maybe 200 years, since they live 10 times as long. And I've had games where the aging is absolute - 10 years to 40 years, regardless of race.

But I can see the case for elves not being affected by again. And settings play a role too. In Birthright, elves are immortal. If you can live 10,000 + years, would adding a sudden 10, 20 even 40 years even feel like anything?


I've always preferred the idea of the aging being at least somewhat relative to the maximum age of the caster. While the rules have only made a poor attempt at this (as you pointed out in the limited wish/wish thread), my reasoning is this. I think there are two types of ageing:
1. The attainment of years, ie. how old you are
2. The process of the body becoming more decrepit 'through age'
As they are written, most spells seem to focus on the first meaning. However, based on what I see as the intended effect, that is really just being used as a proxy for affecting the second meaning. That is, the effect of certain powerful spells shouldn't really be about changing the number of years lived, but about having a drastic effect on the body of the caster, drawing on their life force, or similar. When considered this way, just because a race lives longer, their body shouldn't necessarily be more resilient to this kind of 'ageing', because it is irrespective of years lived.

One way to achieve this in the rules, would be to convert 'years aged' to 'percentage of maximum lifespan aged' and do it that way. Since the ageing seems to me to have human-length lives in mind, and the maximum age is somewhere approaching 100 years, I think this creates a reasonable relativity.

Alternatively, maybe the intention was indeed that some spells just shouldn't affect the long-lived races as much. Imbalance isn't necessarily a bad thing, and rules as written certainly allows for a different relationship between races and magic than making everything relative. As a player I'd really be fine with either approach.

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#26 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:37 pm

I've always been a fan of scaling artificial aging based on race.

As to the other (off topic) issue... i'll just leave that one bleeding on the ground rather than address it.
What doesn't kill you just means you made your save... this time...

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#27 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:29 pm

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:I would say that "hurt" is a relative term. Should aging take place? That's how I've always done it, just like every other race. System Shock roll? Yes. Is death possible? Yes. Elves are long-lived but not immortal. As for the 100th level elf wizard taking over everything? Not likely. Not because they couldn't but because they wouldn't want to, not even evil elf wizards. Although I can definitely see an evil elf wizard becoming a lich and therefore somewhat immortal.


the 100 level elf wizard (or any other class) is an impossibility. THere's just not enough XP in the world to get to that level..

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#28 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:18 pm

Lyrwik wrote:

I've always preferred the idea of the aging being at least somewhat relative to the maximum age of the caster.


I've always thought this would be more fair in the big picture. Ghosts for example - their aging effect is because of a supernatural power that causes such damage to the mind and spirit that it physically debilitates you via aging. It's fair to have demi-humans affected equally bad. That's why in some campaigns I've run, we all decided it would be a good thing.

I think there are two types of ageing:
1. The attainment of years, ie. how old you are
2. The process of the body becoming more decrepit 'through age'
As they are written, most spells seem to focus on the first meaning. However, based on what I see as the intended effect, that is really just being used as a proxy for affecting the second meaning. That is, the effect of certain powerful spells shouldn't really be about changing the number of years lived, but about having a drastic effect on the body of the caster, drawing on their life force, or similar. When considered this way, just because a race lives longer, their body shouldn't necessarily be more resilient to this kind of 'ageing', because it is irrespective of years lived.


I have to admit though, the two are closely related. As we gain years, our body loses the cellular memory and the telomeres shorten and we "age". So one is a physical manifestation of the other. But that's why I'm considering whether or not aging should cause a system shock in elves and such. The "aging" they take, if we look at it as the physical manifesting of shortened telomeres, DNA damage, loss of cellular memory, etc, is going to effect them less than it would a human because of their long lives. It would mean they are more resilient, in a sense.

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#29 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:34 pm

Garhkal wrote:

the 100 level elf wizard (or any other class) is an impossibility. THere's just not enough XP in the world to get to that level..


I've never understood this argument. It makes no sense, unless your world has an immutable, fixed number of monsters, magic items, etc. In fact, even then it doesn't make sense.

There will always be more monsters reproducing and therefore new xp being generated. For every orc, dragon, zombie, or umberhulk a wizard slays, there will be dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands more being produced around the world. Then there's xp for casting spells, for researching new spells, for creating new magic items, etc. If we look at the wizard xp progression from 2E, it tops out at 375,000/level, from 18th level on. Extrapolating, with the wizard needing 375,000 for each level above 20th, he would need to gain 375,000 xp x 80 levels (20th + 80 = 100th level). That means 30,000,000 more xp needed.

Now, if it were indeed impossible for a wizard to gain 100th level due to lack of xp in the world, that means there can only a total of (for example) 21 each of rangers, druids, paladins, fighters, thieves,clerics, wizards, etc. at 9th level. What I'm doing is looking at the xp needed for the "impossible" 100th level wizard, then splitting those total xp up amongst the xp requirements for each class, at 9th level, then taking that total and dividing it amongst the classes to hit 9th level. So in the entire campaign world, you can only have 27 characters of each class. If we have any higher level characters, there can be even fewer. Talk about rarity! You'd have one 9th level character of each class per region at best!

In fact, the PHB itself proves how wrong that oft-repeated claim is. One need only look at the druid hierarchy, as described in the PHB.

Assuming one Grand Druid (15th) (the highest ranking druid - only 1 per setting), he needs 3,000,000 xp alone. Then there are the Great Druids (14th level). Great Druids need 1,500,000 xp and they rule "regions" of the world. Assuming an earth-sized world with 7 continents and a few large islands and/or remote areas (i.e. Greenland), we can assume there would need to be 10 Great Druids (one per continent, plus 3 remote areas or large, non-continental islands). Keep in mind, the rules describe regions as much smaller, so each country would probably have at least 1, but I'll use 10 total in the world as a minimalist approach. That's another 15,000,000 xp needed. So just for the Grand Druid and 10 Great Druids, we need 18,000,000 xp in the world. The Grand Druid is served by 9 Druids. Three of them are Arch Druids, so that's 900,000 xp (3 x 300,000). Now we're up to 18,300,000 xp needed. There are 6 other druids serving the Grand Druid, all ranging from 7th to 11th level. So let's set 2 of them at 7th level, the others being one each at 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th level. That's another 545,000 xp needed, so now we're up to 18,845,000 xp needed. The Great Druid has 3 11th-level druids under him, so that's another 600,000 xp, for a total of 19,445,000 xp needed. Arch Druids are 12th level, and there can only be 3 per geographical region. Let's again assume 7 continents plus 3 other large areas (in reality, there would be many more, but I'm going super minimalist to highlight the absurdity). That's 30 Arch Druids x 300,000 xp = 9,000,000 more xp, for a total of 28,445,000 xp. Each of these 30 Arch Druids are served by 3 10th-level druids. That's 90 10th level druids, who would need 11,250,000 xp, so now we are up to 39,695,000 xp - far more than a single wizard needs to hit 100th level.

That's just for the minimal sized druidical hierarchy of an earth-sized world!

And that does not take into account the numerous 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level druids out there, or all the 10th and 11th level druids out there, who would be in addition to the ones I counted in above. And then we have hierophant druids. Each of these result from a Grand Druid earning an additional 500,000 xp, then stepping down. So to go from a 15th level Grand Druid to a 16th level Hierophant Druid takes 500,000 xp. To go from a 16th level Hierophant Druid to a 17th level one takes another 500,000 xp, etc. So every 2 levels a Hierophant goes up requires another 1,000,000 xp. Assuming there is only 1 Hierophant druid (16th) in the entire game world, that brings us up to 40,195,000 xp. I hate math, so let's just say all the other 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level druids combined needed only a total of 9,805,000 xp to exist, That brings our planetary total of xp just to have a minimalist druid hierarchy to 50,000,000 xp. Almost double what the "impossible" 100th level wizard needs.

Now what about all the rangers, fighters, paladins, wizards, thieves, monks, bards, etc? A single 9th level ranger on each continent and major non-continent area would result in another 3 million xp needed. One paladin per continent, etc would take yet another 3 million xp. That's another 6 million xp. I'm tired of doing math, but realistically even with a minimum number of relatively low level and just a few rare higher level characters of each class, you're talking about many times the number of xp needed for even 1 single 100th level wizard.

So if there are not enough xp in a campaign world to support the existence of a 100th level wizard, then there are also not enough xp in that world to support even a minimalist druidic hierarchy as described in the PHB, even if those druids were the only classed/leveled characters in the entire world (i.e. no wizards, no fighters, no thieves, etc).

I don't know who it was who originated that myth about "not enough xp in the game", but they should have done the math first, so I didn't have to.

And it's all your fault for making me do this math, Garkal, because you didn't bother to do the math either! :P You trying to punish me? :lol: :wink:

[Note: Sigh. I forgot to add in the 3,750,000 xp needed for the wizard to hit 20th level :roll: , so that adds onto the 30,000,000 more needed for the wizard to gain 80 levels and hit 100th. So the actual grand total would be 33,750,000. Doesn't change the point, but I wanted to correct the math. Minor difference at best.]

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Re: Should artificial aging hurt elves?

Post#30 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:33 am

With all that math, I forgot to add another important point.

So, in a typical AD&D world, the planet can be any size. Assuming even an earth-sized planet as I explained in my last post, the argument for not enough xp for a wizard to hit 100th level does not hold water. But we also need to consider that in any AD&D campaign, you're not limited to one world. You can go from the Forgotten Realms (Abeir Toril) to Greyhawk (Oerth). One planet (sphere) to another. Alternate worlds. Entire alternate universes. And then there are the planes. Each elemental plane is infinitely large, and filled with challenges and monsters to generate xp. In the Outer Planes, in the Abyss alone there are an infinite number of infinitely large levels, each with an infinite number of demons. If every demon in the Abyss was worth 0.0005 xp, there would still be literally an infinite number of xp available. In fact, the number of xp would be infinity raised to the power of infinity. That's more than enough to raise every D&D and AD&D character that's ever been created by every player of every edition from OD&D thru 5E to 500th level and above, and there would still be an infinite number of xp left.

It's really puzzling me now. How did anyone ever come up with the idea that there are not enough xp for a character to reach a particular level (the first person to posit the claim, I mean)? Where did this meme originate? I remember an argument like this at DF long ago, and I remember shaking my head but not adding much to it. I probably should have.

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