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Author Topic: Fey and sorcerous aging  (Read 13731 times)
Dave Turner
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Posts: 27


« on: March 25, 2003, 06:09:19 AM »

I've perused the "Magical Aging" thread from the sticky post and it didn't quite answer my question, so I'll try to be brief.

I'm quite confused about how the immortality of the Fey and the magical aging of sorcery work together.  I don't have the book with me, so I'm working from memory.  As I recall, aging starts to become a problem when a character reaches 40, which is when rolls to avoid penalties begin to kick in.

How should I determine how old a starting Fey is?  It's safe to assume that they're thousands of years old, but that doesn't quite line up with the table I remember seeing.  Should I give Fey a bunch of "free" years?

For example, a starting human with sorcery might begin at age 30, giving him 10 "free" years of aging before he starts to worry about stat loss.  Should I start a Fey character at age 0, giving him 40 "free" years of aging before worrying about rolls?

Just how exactly do aging and the Fey interact?
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Stephen
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Posts: 172


« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2003, 07:38:13 AM »

I would say this varies depending on your vision of the Fey in your game.  I've always understood the peak of innate physical ability/appearance to be somewhere between 20-25 years old in human terms.  Thus the Fey, who do not decline from this peak once they've reached it regardless of how long they live, would effectively start from the physical equivalent of this age -- consider it equal to 20 if you want to give the Fey an extra 60 months of age-loss to lose, 25 if you want them more on par with most starting human sorcerers.

Of course, since male Fey don't have beards (in MY world, anyway :) ), aging just gives them longer hair and gaunter faces.

Basically, for all sorcerers you have to separate Chronological Age from Effective Physical Age.  The former is how long they've lived in real time; the latter is the current state of health/fitness/liveliness of their physical frame, measured in terms of how an ordinary person's health would be at that age.

The difference between humans and Fey is that, for Fey, only sorcery causes their effective physical age to increase -- as opposed to humans, for whom chronological age and physical age increase together over time.
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Dave Turner
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Posts: 27


« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2003, 09:07:15 AM »

Thanks for the reply, Stephen.

So you suggest starting the Fey out at an Effective Physical Age?  That seems to make sense.  Is this idea one that's supported in the text?  It sounds like what I'll use, but I wonder if there's some tidbit about this in the text that I glossed over?

Actually, your idea of Chronological vs. Effective Age raises one question.  All Fey are sorcerors, which means that they've been using sorcery their entire immortal lives.  How do they survive to the start of the campaign if they've had thousands of years to rack up their Effective Physical Age?  

I guess you could say that the character has led a contemplative life with little stress (and correspondingly small need for sorcery), but doesn't that stretch credibility a bit?  Am I being too literal?
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2003, 09:41:28 AM »

Quote from: Dave Turner

I guess you could say that the character has led a contemplative life with little stress (and correspondingly small need for sorcery), but doesn't that stretch credibility a bit?  Am I being too literal?


Wow...how do YOU make it in life without sorcery? ;-)

Re-read the Fey section in the book, and start any Fey character out with any effective age you want over about, say, 16 years. The only way that the Fey age is through magic, so if You see a 25 year-old elf (effective age), then he's lost about 9 years to magic in his whole life. That's actually quite a bit of casting--centuries worth, even, if he's been careful. The "effective age" of an elf can be very misleading--a 3,000 year old fey could appear 17 years old, while a 200 year old Fey could appear 87 years old, all depending on how they've used their magic.

Jake
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Stephen
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Posts: 172


« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2003, 09:46:08 AM »

Quote from: Dave Turner
So you suggest starting the Fey out at an Effective Physical Age?  That seems to make sense.  Is this idea one that's supported in the text?  It sounds like what I'll use, but I wonder if there's some tidbit about this in the text that I glossed over?


I don't recall if an actual age is specified in the text for Fey... the 20-25 is just my interpretation.

Quote
Actually, your idea of Chronological vs. Effective Age raises one question.  All Fey are sorcerors, which means that they've been using sorcery their entire immortal lives.  How do they survive to the start of the campaign if they've had thousands of years to rack up their Effective Physical Age?  

I guess you could say that the character has led a contemplative life with little stress (and correspondingly small need for sorcery), but doesn't that stretch credibility a bit?  Am I being too literal?


Actually, this is something I've complained about too regarding the aging strictures for magic....

In practice, though, it isn't quite so harsh.  If you keep spells at CTN 5 or below and only use magic when you can bring SAs into play (and remember you can use SAs to boost both casting and aging rolls, not just your Sorcery Pool overall), it's possible to use a quite startling amount of sorcery without racking up more than a year or two agewise.

For the Fey as well, it might be feasible to allow some kind of "recovery" from magic-induced aging -- something that takes so much time that PCs can't practically avail themselves of it; perhaps a Fey can phase into an otherworld/faerieland, leaving Weyrth entirely, and regain a year of youth and vitality for every 5-10 years they spend there....  Thus you can have immortal Fey who've used a lot of sorcery, but who can't recover from it without effectively leaving most games for good.  This can basically be dropped into the game as "flavor" text explaining why Fey NPCs can be ancient sorcerers without looking it, but ensuring PCs still have the same strictures and prices without having to make up new rules.
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Stephen
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2003, 10:10:39 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Re-read the Fey section in the book, and start any Fey character out with any effective age you want over about, say, 16 years. The only way that the Fey age is through magic, so if You see a 25 year-old elf (effective age), then he's lost about 9 years to magic in his whole life. That's actually quite a bit of casting--centuries worth, even, if he's been careful.


I'm not sure I'd agree with you there, Jake.... 9 years is only 108 months, or 108 failed dice in Aging Rolls.  You can stretch this to a century, but only by assuming a spellcasting rate of a few low-CTN spells per year with maybe 1 month's aging per real year (if you're lucky) -- and to stretch your lifeforce out even further requires even less use of actual magic.

One of the strongest atmospheric elements about TROS is basically that there is no "casual" magic -- any use of magic should be a startling, rare, unnatural and world-altering act, requiring great passion to use safely if at all.  For human sorcerers this makes sense, but I do have to admit it makes it difficult to reproduce the otherworldly, magic-drenched atmosphere of creatures like the Fey.  Sure, we don't need sorcery at all in our day-to-day lives, but we're not Fey, either!
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Shadeling
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2003, 10:51:29 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Quote from: Dave Turner

I guess you could say that the character has led a contemplative life with little stress (and correspondingly small need for sorcery), but doesn't that stretch credibility a bit?  Am I being too literal?


Wow...how do YOU make it in life without sorcery? ;-)

Re-read the Fey section in the book, and start any Fey character out with any effective age you want over about, say, 16 years. The only way that the Fey age is through magic, so if You see a 25 year-old elf (effective age), then he's lost about 9 years to magic in his whole life. That's actually quite a bit of casting--centuries worth, even, if he's been careful. The "effective age" of an elf can be very misleading--a 3,000 year old fey could appear 17 years old, while a 200 year old Fey could appear 87 years old, all depending on how they've used their magic.

Jake


I thought it says in the Fey section that Fey reach maturity by 6 or 7 years, so wouldn't that effectively give a Fey 33-34 years they can age through sorcery before making aging rolls?
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2003, 11:14:58 AM »

Shadeling-

You're confusing "effective age" with actual age. A Fey reaches and effective young adult/adolescent age after about 6 years of "actual age." Only "effective age" matters in magic, etc.

Stephen-

I've had a fey character go through 4 sessions of regular (but not casual) magic use without aging a day. Formalization, Gestures and dialogue, and SAs all make it easier. Plus, remember that most Fey live in their own court boundries--magical places that undoubtedly act as talismans (granting additional dice) for anything cast by its denizens.

An "adventuring" fey is much more likely to age quickly...but that's why adventuring is dangerous. Fact is, most "adventurers don't die of old age in TROS...

Jake
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Shadeling
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2003, 11:31:43 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Shadeling-

You're confusing "effective age" with actual age. A Fey reaches and effective young adult/adolescent age after about 6 years of "actual age." Only "effective age" matters in magic, etc.

Stephen-

I've had a fey character go through 4 sessions of regular (but not casual) magic use without aging a day. Formalization, Gestures and dialogue, and SAs all make it easier. Plus, remember that most Fey live in their own court boundries--magical places that undoubtedly act as talismans (granting additional dice) for anything cast by its denizens.

An "adventuring" fey is much more likely to age quickly...but that's why adventuring is dangerous. Fact is, most "adventurers don't die of old age in TROS...

Jake


So I was right then? You only count the first 6 years of a Fey's life when aging is added from Sorcery?
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Stephen
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2003, 12:50:53 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
I've had a fey character go through 4 sessions of regular (but not casual) magic use without aging a day.


That does impress me.  How much game time was covered in those sessions?  How frequently did the Fey use magic in those sessions?  How many of those spells had a CTN of 7 or above after the modifiers?  (By the odds I've checked, CTN 7 is basically the breakpoint -- the level at which, unless you can scare up 20 dice or more for your Anti-Aging roll, the odds are almost certain that you'll burn a month or more.)
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2003, 02:08:28 PM »

Think of it this way, Stephen. If you were immortal, and the only way that you could age was by casting spells, how often would you cast spells?

For me the answer would be as little as possible. Basically it would be like birthday gifts. Let's say I do one spell a year. Let's say I live in a community composed of 365 fey. A village level amount. That's one spell being cast by someone each day. Assuming no great level of threat or something.

And spells can have continuing effects. Let's say only 1 in 365 spells has some permenantly magical effect. That would mean that after 1000 years you'd have your community with 1000 permenant magical enchantments haging around. Or almost three per inhabitant.

That's not "magic soaked"? You can get away with a lot more than that depending on the power of the spells. What's not impressive about the tinyest spell?

When you've got all the time in the world, why rush? Consider that most of our human drives are powered by the notion that we only have a limited time, and need to get things done quickly. Hence why human Sorcerers might take shortcuts. Hey, if it takes only one year off your life to instantly build a house that would have taken you five otherwise, that's a savings of four years.

For an elf it represents the use of a totally limited commodity, and a potential to actually age that otherwise does not exist.

Mike
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Brian Leybourne
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Posts: 1793


« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2003, 02:29:13 PM »

You've hit the nail on the head, Mike.

When time is not an issue, why would you rush anything. In other words, except in the case of an adventuring fey who may have to toss off quick spells in a hurry because there's a tribe of Sslassk running at him, surely all fey who are planning to cast a spell will take the time to design it as a formulised ritual and cast it nice and slowly, with the benefit of symbol drawing, meditation and cooperation with other casters so as to minimise the CTN, maximise the SP and reduce the risk of aging.

Human sorcerers don't do this as much because it's probably as time consuming as the months-of-aging you're preventing, but it's very important when poorly cast spells are the only way you age.

Brian.

(edit: I'm interested in how you see enchantments lasting 1000 years though... that's a lot of successes at Duration: 3... *grin*).
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Brian Leybourne
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RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2003, 02:44:57 PM »

Quote from: Brian Leybourne
In other words, except in the case of an adventuring fey who may have to toss off quick spells in a hurry because there's a tribe of Sslassk running at him, surely all fey who are planning to cast a spell will take the time to design it as a formulised ritual and cast it nice and slowly, with the benefit of symbol drawing, meditation and cooperation with other casters so as to minimise the CTN, maximise the SP and reduce the risk of aging.
All of which, itself, soaks the scene in magic. Sure it's not a spell being cast, but imagne a scene of preparation. Reeks of magic.

Quote
(edit: I'm interested in how you see enchantments lasting 1000 years though... that's a lot of successes at Duration: 3... *grin*).

Good point. But let's say I create a statue of impossible beauty using magic to aid me. The outcome is permenant (well, it might break in 1000 years), and serves as a reminder of magic. Things don't all have to glow to make for a "magic soaked" environment. Think trees that have been magically encouraged to grow in certain directions so as to make for housing or obscurement.

In general, magic needs not to be large, actively visible, or actively being cast at all to be felt. Put 300 fey in one place, and I'll garuntee you that it'll be magic soaked. Unless you're not considering the logical ramifications.

Hell, D&D worlds should all be glowing everywhere all the time with the availability of magic. Continual Light, anyone? It's absurd.

BTW, If you want to be really technical, a human who didn't have aging as a concern would still be expected to die from other causes on average in about 700 years acording to actuarial tables. Probably quite a bit longer without cars (several hundred years). Another timesaver we use because of our short lifespans to the tune of about 40,000 lives each year in America alone.

How often do the Fey reproduce? Are they susceptible to disease?

Mike
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Brian Leybourne
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2003, 02:59:57 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote
(edit: I'm interested in how you see enchantments lasting 1000 years though... that's a lot of successes at Duration: 3... *grin*).


Good point. But let's say I create a statue of impossible beauty using magic to aid me. The outcome is permenant (well, it might break in 1000 years), and serves as a reminder of magic. Things don't all have to glow to make for a "magic soaked" environment. Think trees that have been magically encouraged to grow in certain directions so as to make for housing or obscurement.

In general, magic needs not to be large, actively visible, or actively being cast at all to be felt. Put 300 fey in one place, and I'll garuntee you that it'll be magic soaked. Unless you're not considering the logical ramifications.


Very true. And of course I was forgetting the Imprisonment Vagary, where for the permanent loss of 1-3 SP dice you can make a spell permanent by imprisoning the magic in whatever you cast the spell on. Sure, that SP loss is a high cost, but when you're got a few hundred centuries to earn enough XP to recover them, it's not so much an issue :-)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
dunlaing
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Posts: 308

My name is Bill


« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2003, 03:13:41 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Fact is, most adventurers don't die of old age in TROS...

Jake


That's pretty funny in a thread about the magical aging effects of Sorcery :)
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