Age of characters & NPCs

I am equating Mexico, and my neighboorhood, to populations of human beings, which is exacly the same species that made up the populations of medievial (mythic) Europe. The question at hand had drifted towards what age combatants start practicing their trade, and I was merely siting modern examples to demonstrate how life in the middle ages is not as different from modern man as one may think.


No, that makes them "techologically up to date". I specifically said "in this context", which had nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with social practices.

Countries that allow, even promote children to work in dangerous conditions are not countries that practice "modern" social enlightment regarding child labour laws. Even if they have television in those dangerous modern factories. :wink:

That as may be, but you are still asserting your personal political belief. "modern" = "better/more enlightened". I strongly disagree with that very premise, though I do agree that child labor is bogus. You are denegrigating a foreign people because you find their living conditions distasteful, and that is actually kind of offensive. Me, I don't care so much. I'm just pendatic. And, truth be told, the child labor problem in Guatemala is mild compared to China, the armed child problem is nothing compared to the Middle East. Is China not modern? The mid east, well, maybe that defeats my argument :slight_smile:
No, I'm being a dork :slight_smile:. Look, I feel it is wrong to judge whole nations by the standars of Europeans (I left America out because you would be shocked to know how backwards we can be sometimes, lol :smiley:). It is fair to say practice "x" in country "y" is a bad thing, but to call the whole of "y" unmodern is insulting to those people.

Fair is fair.

The United States of America is not modern in their prison policies, nor are they modern in their public health care policies. And probably several other things.

And, yes, despite their space program, despite Apple and Intel and IBM, despite their military might, despite high-def TV and I-Max, despite the sophistication of the prisons themselves and of the private health care sector, I feel comfortable calling America "not modern". In those two contexts.

There. I have now denigrated my native country as well, at least to the extent that I've denigrated anyone else, if not moreso. And I've judged them based on European standards, which in these two instances are, imo, higher than the US's.

And I don't believe I've "insulted" anyone while doing so, except perhaps the politicians responsible for said current policies.

I'll repeat what I said in my very first post on this topic, and then stick to it: 'And if you want to call me a jingo because I judge child-labor countries "non-modern", I'll take it. "

Now can we get off of pretending this thread is about politics, and back to the topic? Please? (I'm there, regardless.)

At least you aren't one of those Americans who thinks everything American is mighty, just, and grander than anything anywhere else. This coming from an American born to parents who think just that.

There's nothing wrong with pointing out the flaws in society... be it your own or any other. There's no point in getting defensive and telling the other person they need to shut up because of problems in their own society, not if they aren't ignorant to them.

Greens around 16-20, journeymen at 25-30 and veterans at 40 or so, or at least that's what we have in our covenants, but the magi are mostly pretty young, with only one of them being over 30 (we've just started!).

As for guns and children, it does happen in several places, as well as child labor and slavery. In my own country, Brazil, it happens as one travels from the South to the North, especially around the Amazon forest and the poorer areas in the North-East.

As I live in Sao Paulo, I haven't been exposed to that, but that is how it goes with developing and under-developed countries: contrasts upon contrasts.

The problem I have with this statement is that it appears to equate 'Modern', in a positive and 'Progress' type of mindset, with 'Liberal' ( American Definition ). Which is a political statement in and of itself.

Equating modern=civilized=right-thinking-non-savages with -any- political ideology is 'Bad Thing' IMO. I will however grant that some of the emphasis and reading between the lines is my own, not CCH's... so perhaps I'm off-target.

I am not insulted, I just hesitate to use the word "Modern" in the same way as CCH. Mine is actually a linguistic argument, not a political one. It's all good in my neighborhood :smiley:

The distance of history keeps the edge off of the politics, but bogus stuff happened in the past the same as it does today. I think that role playing games can be a sort of educational hobby at times, not just history, but in the realm of anthropology as well.

The age of warriors, in modern as in ancient times, largely depends on the culture of the people as it intersects with the conflict at hand. In WWII, a lot of 16 and 17 year old kids were lying about the age trying to get into the military, and many succeeded. Something I wanted to post in the other thread about violence; I saw an episode of "Band of Brothers" the other day, and the captain was battle scarred with the image of the 14 year old German soldier he had shot.

War is hell.

And I really am on topic. The middle ages is a huge span of history, and even specifically 1220 covers a wide range of territory. In areas that saw heavy combat, boys became men quickly or died. Squires wound up seeing combat at times, as did many youthful members of the peasent innfantry. The mere existence of a peasent infantry in Spain for example told you a little of what life must have been like back then. At age 21, if war is your profession, you are a veteran or you are dead. If war is not your profession, age 21 is not the time to start learning it. If your covenant is right near the borderland, recruiting it's grogs from the pick of men at hand, you are gonna get 19 to 22 year old men with virtues like Warrior, Pussiant (Martial Ability), good physical characteristics and the like. If you pick the skinny and fat old guys, then you are either poor at recruiting or a cheepskate.

Now say you are in France. All the best young warriors have shipped off East or are selling their swords South. You'll probably have some young green guys, but mostly older guys with a balance of skills, and some older guys that are crack veterans. I don't have a single statistic to back that up :slight_smile:. I'm just saying that your warrior grogs can concievible come in all shapes and sizes. I estimate age 25 to be average, 30+ is seasoned, but they can also be older or younger, say 14 to 45?

In that other thread, mention was made of what effects being battle scarred could have, and I was thinking of any numer of Flaws that could emulate this. Depressed (you saw too much), Dutybound (honor is drilled into you), Fear (you just feel edgy around "those" people), Social Handicap (you just can't hang with polite society anymore), Reckless (you've cheated death so many times, what's to fear?), Reclusive (you just want to keep to yourself and deel with it), Transvestite (you were like corporal Klinger, trying to get out of service but it didn't work, and now the habbit stuck); and stuff like that.

If I remember well 16 years old guys were adults in the middle-ages and 14-15 years old girls were wifes in general. But they didn't calculated exactly their age.
I started my companion 18 years old because I wanted the xp.
However I find the age of the starting magi a bit high.

16 year olds were not adults in the middle ages. Girls that age may have been amrried off, but that's a different issue altogether. 16 and younger may have been pressed into military service, but this is more of an exception than a rule. Somewhere in the 20's should be typical for a grog or companion, and older for a magus (30+).

Just my opinion anyway.

Depends. Llewelyn ab Iowerth, a.k.a. Llewelyn the Great, raised an army conquered two cantrefs of Wales the year he turned 14. 14 was the age of majority in 13th century Wales; in England at the same time, majority was at 21.

:slight_smile: You got me there.

A lot depends on the specific time and place. I once read about Spanish peasent knights. Not quite peon infantry, some members of the fueros were wealthy enough to afford armaments and a mount (fuero farmers owned their land, it was an incentive to repolulate devestated areas abandon by the Moors). In particular, I was reading one story (proably apocryphal) of a family who needed the extra money military pay earned, but the father was too old and infirm to fight, so his 17 year old son took up his armaments instead. This was years ago, so I don't recall the source off hand.

So many factors will play a role: culture, location, era, current conditions, and so forth. I suppose the answer is that there is no one single answer :slight_smile:

Yup. Basically, you can play whatever character you want. You can even play a 16-year-old magus in ArM5, if you choose a House that permits an early Apprentice's Gauntlet (Flambeau and, if I recall correctly, Tytalus or Bjornear).

Euh... I fail to see anyone beginning apprenticeship as a 1-year old ???

OtoH, the bjornaer case is special, since you can easily be a magus (at least before the house) at a young age if you've undergone the ritual of 12 years.

The 15 seasons education need not to happen with the 1 season/year speed. It may be quicker if the parens wishes so.

Andrew said "early apprentice gauntlet" not "15-year apprentriceship" :wink:

In fact a full hermetic apprenticeship can be achieved in just under 4 years (plus the time needed for mundane skills) so a 15 year old magus is feasible, but I would say that young magi are frowned upon by some houses after what happened wityh the last apprentice of bonisagus. Fast-tracki9ng apprenticeship places too much power on the hands of someone that has not had time to become used to it and its consequences.

The concept of a 5 year old magus is funny, though :stuck_out_tongue:



Hey, in ArM5 your character gets to keep all the skills he learned when he was a toddler, so 5-year-old magus is the next logical step. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey, never noticed it, but that's right! :laughing:

Greetings, this and the "flat earth myth" in another thread have caused me to register.

Anyways, this comment you make "We all know that life expectancy was generally lower back then, but there were key people of around the 1220 start date that lived to the ripe old ages that we might expect today " touches on something that is very commonly badly misunderstood and horribly presented by just about everyone except specialists.

Now, as starter i can mention that i have spent months helping out a project computerising old records, while they were from the 19th century, the same problem with average age and average life expectency exists there and very roughly to a similar degree as in 13th century.

And that problem is, infant mortality in particular and child mortality in general.
If you disregard infant mortality rate(less than 1 year old), average lifespan for 13th century absolutely skyrockets insanely upwards, if you disregard also child mortality up to 10 years age, that bumps average age a good deal more.

As comparison i can mention that while entering several thousands of persons on computer record, i found quite a healthy number of 100+ year olds, maybe 2 handfuls, 10 and while that might not sound alot if you consider the average age being in the 40s, but you still have around 0.2% of a randomly selected population that are older than 100.
80+ and 90+ year olds wasnt uncommon, 70+ was fairly common and 60+ was NORMAL.

In short, anyone living past their infancy and childhood, where the lack of easy to come by treatment and medical assistance made things all too commonly fatal, could very likely expect to live to an age of 60+, and hoping for 70+ would be nothing unreasonable unless you had a dangerous job.
And almost the same is valid for 13th century, there have even been some claims i have read that life expectancy was better during the high middle ages than during the 19th century.

Also anyone who wants to get a better "feel" for the time might want to try out alternate history book series by Eric Flint/David Weber, "1632", while its clearly in the wrong century, it still deals deathblows to some of the more annyoing myths of how society once was.

Now, over to the other thread about the stupid flat earth myth that was created in a 19th century book about Columbus.
Damned be Washington Irving for that stupid mythcreation!

I absolutely agree with the infant mortality thing. I should have been clearer in my own post. If you factor in the tough early years, then the average life expectancy is lower. But as you say, if you're tough enough to make it through those years you have as good a chance as any to live out your three score and ten.

I'd be surprised if most lived to 70, purely on the basis that many ailments that we can treat today couldn't be effectively treated back then. But I certainly don't buy the "dead by forty" view of medieval lives.

If anyone does have some good census data I'd be interested to see it.