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Old 03-01-2021, 09:43 PM   #1
Greg 1
 
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Default [DF] How long do the different races live?

How long do you think the natural lifespan is of the various PC races in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy?

I know that there is no right answer here and that I can do whatever the hell I want, but I'm interested in how you see the races.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:53 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

The baseline is Humans of course and even if they avoid all other problems they start having to make Aging rolls at 50. At TL3 they get no bonus and the average human will start at HT 10.

That's 10 rolls for each Attribute between 50 and 60 with a chance of failure that starts at 50% and gets steadily worse as they lose HT pts.

I could do the math for you but it's probably even worse than you'd expect and I'd assume at least 7 pts lost from each Attribute before age 60 and the average human just didn't make it that far.

If you add in all deaths from external causes the average age of humans will be even worse of course.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

DF skips 'fluff-traits' (for the assumed campaign-type/time-scale) like Unaging and Extended lifespan.

It is up to the GM/group to decide how long the races live f.ex. If 'aging attacks' exist then all the races are assumed to be about equally vulnerable to them though.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

The correct answer for the aging, but still serious adventurer, is indefinitely.
He's Very Fit with HT 16, and even with no Longevity (which I assume is not available in the setting) he doesn't fail rolls that often, and 3 months of dungeon delving are more than enough to regain any lost points.

Which is why you don't mess with the Old Man in the corner by the fireplace.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

As this is DF, and the Dungeon Fantasy genre is based in large part off Tolkien's writings, I believe we can make a few assumptions:

Humans live 70 years on average before complications of old age catch up to them. Dwarves live about ten times that, while Elves tend to live indefinitely - or over a millennium if you want really old Elves rather than timeless Elves. Halflings average about 100 years. Orcs and Goblins are the "live fast, fight hard, die young, leave dirty underwear" types, so I can see them having shorter life spans, averaging 30 to 40 years, though "civilized" Orcs may live as long as their Human cousins. (If using Warcraft tropes, Goblins may also have a tendency to blow themselves up, leading to a shorter average life span.) YMMV, of course.

Other races, I'm not quite sure of honestly.
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Old 03-02-2021, 02:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

Not DF specific but I was always fascinated by the age cycles of fantasy races. Let's go with a "vanilla high elf": if you put his old age at 650 years and then scale back all his age cycle by ten, then you have a lot of very funny scenarios:

- Baby Elf needs someone to change his/her diapers for more than 30 years... That's a nightmare scenario worst of any great horror out there.
- Child Elf will swing from seesaws for about 70 years, are there enough trees for that?
- Teenager elf is expected at sit for at least 70 years in high school (or its setting relative) and I let you sink in that nightmare.

Yeah I know that there was something like "early maturation" that was a band-aid to justify this concept, but that opens another can of worms on the feasibility of that kind of societies: your body is adult at 18 but nobody takes you seriously for another 200 years... That's a ready recipe for social disaster.

TL/DR version: fantasy species makes no sense, always blame Tolkien for that and the some more.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

There's a setting where no one knows the age limit of goblins because they always die from actions (often their own). I can easily see that being true in DF where people are more likely to die from monster attacks, evil necromancers, and giant stone golems under their villages than old age.

I think officially speaking age doesn't matter because age damage is dealt relatively instead of directly, but I don't recall the page number for that.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
There's a setting where no one knows the age limit of goblins because they always die from actions (often their own). I can easily see that being true in DF where people are more likely to die from monster attacks, evil necromancers, and giant stone golems under their villages than old age.

I think officially speaking age doesn't matter because age damage is dealt relatively instead of directly, but I don't recall the page number for that.
I think that is a good point for elves et. al. Maybe they are all unaging, but practically speaking they live a median age to 35. Dying either to war, hunting accidents, super-diseases, magical disasters, dragon-attacks, etc.

If humans in a medieval setting were unaging you probably wouldn't see most people live terribly long. There might be the rare ruler who ruled for 300 years, immediately followed by a dozen guys who ruled for less than a decade before getting poisoned, executed, or just dying to smallpox along with most of the population.

In that situation you'd still see the normal age-groups, except that you'd have a rare few scholars, craftsmen, wizards, or elven rulers hiding in marble palaces. But the regular people generally aren't incredibly old.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
If humans in a medieval setting were unaging you probably wouldn't see most people live terribly long. There might be the rare ruler who ruled for 300 years, immediately followed by a dozen guys who ruled for less than a decade before getting poisoned, executed, or just dying to smallpox along with most of the population.

In that situation you'd still see the normal age-groups, except that you'd have a rare few scholars, craftsmen, wizards, or elven rulers hiding in marble palaces. But the regular people generally aren't incredibly old.
In both Roman and medieval times if you made it to early adulthood you had a decent chance of making it to old age. If you made it past child-bearing and military age, you had quite good odds of dying old.

Now, even with modern late-teens/young-adult death rates random bad luck will give a half-life of somewhere in the 150-200 year range (depending on the exact rate chosen), so multi-hundred year lifespans would be rare, but medieval unaging people would result in a fair number of people seeing their first century, though as they'd never leave young adulthood, death by childbirth and violence would stay high. On the other hand, unaging people would possibly be somewhat slower to resort to lethal violence.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] How long do the different races live?

I dont think there is a hard fast answer because it depends on the world building and the "back story" of the race in question.

I have a world running right now where Humans are "normal", Dwarves have extended life2, and longevity (they tend to be tribal and have less children), Elves have extended life5 (no longevity) they can be overly careful about endangering their long life. I only have 1 race that is shorter lived and its pretty much a halfling analog.

I did it cause I can, and it fits into what I want in my world. The real question you need to answer for yourself is how does that advantage change the behavior of the race the PC? How does it alter your game? Extended life and longevity dont mean anything, unless they mean something. I mean a char with Magery0 (like they paid points for it) in a world where there is no magic, whats the point? If Extended life is just a hedge against drain life attacks then why bother just leave the advantage out and make the drain less lethal.

I have run and played in worlds that use the tolkien 'rules', I have run and played in worlds that specifically don't (the elves didnt have any extended life but they were elves in all other aspects). I have run players without telling them they were 'halflings' at char creation and then let them encounter humans for the first time after they got used to the world as a halfling.

Rarely has the difference in life expectancy resulted in PC differences in play, once they have decided to become adventurers. Long lived races would probably need a different motivation to become an "Adventure", risking that long life, but thats for the GM and the PC to deal with.

I am convinced that Extended Life is as cheap as it is, because other than informing the backstory of a PC and his society, it really doesnt alter game play much at all. If I had extended life and I knew it, I doubt very seriously that I would become an adventurer at all without some pretty compelling motivation(s).
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