Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Re: Lifecycles

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Lifecycles
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 02:29:08 -0700
From: Russ Taylor
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

On 5/24/99 11:47 AM, Nathanael D. Wentz (ndwentz@TELEBOT.NET) wrote

>This still doesn't answer the essential question: Do elves spend a
>proportionate amount of time in childhood and old age? If not, how much?

>From 1st edition rules (I use their ages):

% of life span (measured as the end of old):
Race Youth Young Mature Middle Old Lifespan
Half-Orc 18% 7% 25% 25% 25% 60 years
Human 14% 8% 22% 22% 33% 90 years
Halfling 15% 8% 24% 23% 30% 144 years
Half-Elf 9% 7% 24% 30% 30% 250 years
Dwarf 10% 5% 29% 29% 29% 350 years
Mt Dwarf 10% 5% 29% 25% 31% 450 years
Gnome 8% 7% 35% 25% 25% 600 years
Drow Elf 6% 6% 38% 25% 25% 800 years
Wood Elf 7% 7% 32% 27% 27% 1100 years
High Elf 8% 6% 31% 27% 27% 1200 years
Gray Elf 10% 7% 27% 23% 33% 1500 years

So what does this tell us? The times are roughly porportionate, but most definitely trend downwards for the longer lived races -- particular for childhood. While an elf may be a child for 100 years, that's still (in most cases) less than half the percentage of the time a human spends as a child. Half-orcs, with their brutally short life span, mature faster than humans, but porportionately slower.

For young adulthood, the times are mostly even -- but dwarves have an edge over the other races, signifying a "rapid" advance to true adulthood for their dour race.

Maturity is nearly identical for the human-blooded races. Elves have a significantly lengthened maturity -- they spend more of their lives free from the ravages of aging, particularly for the fast (for elves) maturing drow, whom spend nearly 2/5ths of their lives "under the hill". Gnomes also spend a long time as mature adults, and live far longer than even the oldest dwarves.

The graying years are roughly equal (when shorter youth is taken into account) for all races except the half-elves and dwarves. Dwarves appear to be an accident of the chart, but it _is- interesting to note that half-elves, after aging at about half the rate of humans post-adolence, spend a prolonged period in middle-age -- their elven blood begins to dominate their human blood as they advance in years.

Finally, in old age, the races are divided into two groups: humans, haflings, mountain dwarves, and gray elves all spend quite a bit longer in old age than they do in middle age. All of them have in common a more "human" approach to old age in my campaign -- an acceptance of age, and higher responsiblity for guiding the young. The other elves, hill dwarves, gnomes, and half-orcs all spend an equal time -- IMC, they have more active old years, and expire the sooner for it.

Not listed (here) are the venerable ages. Only high elves and gray elves are exceptional here -- if they survive old age, they can expect a full 33% higher life span in their venerable years -- evidence of the eternal nature of the purer elven races.

Hope this made for interesting reading :)

Russ Taylor (
CMC Tech Support Manager
"Not many fishies, left in the sea.
Not many fishies, just Londo and me" -- G'Kar

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