September 3rd, 2011

Voodoo Dolly
  • tashiro


Age. Not something talked about much in roleplaying games, and dealt with even less. In D&D, you have age categories, and you suffer some minor attribute slide from it, but I think only Ars Magica really addressed the idea that over time you were going to get worse, not better.

The thing is, aging makes sense. A person only progresses so far, then the aches and pains of age begin to catch up and hinder them. Yes, some people are very spry and have excellent focus in their old age, but physically, how many people are just as good, or better than they were at the prime of their life? Then you need to look at the life of an 'adventurer'. Someone who constantly risks their lives, who suffers horrible wounds, and are not living in the most secure and healthy of places.

Aging, I think, is the anti-power creep. It is the thing that keeps characters human. Sure, you get more skilled, but can your body keep up with what you're going through? Look at MMA fighters. They're usually only in the business for about five to ten years, and then they start to fade. You can actually watch a person's skills decline as they go through more and more fights. The body wears down, the skills begin to slack a little, and then they have a stream of losses and they're gone.

You'll also notice that MMA fighters look like they're aging faster than anyone else does. They're physically fit, but they're burning themselves out much faster than normal people do. I would think adventurers would suffer from this too. An adventurer (Shadowrunner, Hero, what-have-you) probably only has ten years, perhaps fifteen, before their profession begins to seriously mess with them.

So, for my current RPG, I'm looking into aging, injury, and how it slows a character down.
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