Aging Crisis and Aging Points

The quote above is taken from the Forumla for Aging Points thread, and it puzzles me.

I'm yet to have a 5th ed saga last long enough for the PCs to make aging rolls, but my interpretation of the rules was different. I had assumed that an Aging Crisis was crippling for characteritics... that if John has a Quickness +2 and gained 7 aging points from a crisis, it would work thus... 3 aging points would reduce him to Qik +1, the next 2 would reduce him to Qik +0, then next 1 would bring him to Qik -1 and the final 1 would hold over. So the crisis would bring him from Quickness +2 to Quickness -1 (with 1 aging point) in a single unpleasant winter. If he was really unluck and rolled another 13 next year, he would have to assign 15 aging points and his characteristics would be crippled. I wasn't looking forward to this.

dwightmarsh's interpretation is clearly different. The text says "Once a character has a number of Aging Points greater than the absolute value of the Characteristic, the Characteristic drops by one point and all Aging Points are lost." As I look at it, I totally see dwightmarsh's point.

So, have I been thinking about Aging Crisis completely wrong this whole time? (If so, I have some detailed NPCs who I have most been unfair to.) :smiley:

Looks like it.

I´ve been running it like dwightemarsh from the start. It´s not hard to miss the implication of your RAW quote though.

So finally raw is "you get 13 points in quickness so you go from +2 to +1"?

A further thought. Aging points are not decrepitude points (which Hermetic Magic cannot deal with). I have a spell that gives an increase to Communication, up to +5. Stock, cannon spell. I get three aging points, which I put into my Communication stat of +4. I then cast my spell, giving me a +5. Does that reset the aging points to zero?

I just saw this thread after my latest posts on the other thread. I always assumed there are no 'excess' points and that the all get applied. The language in the RAW describes the application of aging points as a transaction, but I think it does this because the 'formula' is much harder to describe. They could have cleared things up with an example.

I think the aging table results where you gain a decrepitude point are pretty straightforward in their interpretation - you really do gain that many aging points and your characteristic my decrease by more than one. Note that all the results that do this also add a Crisis - consistent with the severity of the aging point award. Further I think the intent here is to actually add an decrepitude and not imply to 'accumulate aging points until either you gain a decrepitude or your characteristic decreases'. If you do buy that, then there's an additional question of if the 'excess' points still 'exist' for purposes of calculating decrepitude?

For me I think the language in RAW don't explicitly or implicitly assert that you're supposed to 'stop' applying aging points just because your stat went down.

I would say without any hesitation a big NO. You´re not resetting aging, you´re changing Com.

The text says "Once a character has a number of Aging Points greater than the absolute value of the Characteristic, the Characteristic drops by one point [u]and all Aging Points are lost[/u]."

So for example, someone with 5 aging points total (and a current decrepitude of 1) gets a 13 result on an aging roll:

Ok, so the first sentence says they are going to get 10 aging points. Say they choose their Stamina (+2).

Do they gain only 3 points (enough to drop +2 to +1) and then stop?
Do they gain 3 points for purposes of stamina but 10 points for purposes of decrepitude?
Do they gain 3 and then have to apply the other 7 toward more characteristics?
Do they apply all 10 points into stamina? (3 to get to +1, 2 more to get to 0, 1 more to get to -1, 2 more to get to -2, and 2 more for 10 total)

Are you asserting that the first choice is what's supposed to happen? Why does the table not say instead,

None of the above. They get 10 aging points, which they apply to Stamina, which reduces their Stamina to +1. The rules say that you when you gain a number of aging points greater than the absolute value of the characterstic, that characteristic goes down by one and all the aging points are lost. The rules don't specifically say 1 greater than... just greater than... so 3 aging would reduce a Stamina +2 to +1, so would 4 aging points, 10 aging points, 50 aging points or 100 aging points... because each of those is greater than the absolute value of +2. All aging points are then lost, which means any "excess" is lost once the characteristics is reduced by 1.

I'm not sure how this is 'none of the above'. It seems to me your description is either my option 1 or 2.

So do the 'excess' apply to Decrepitude? If yes that describes my option 2, no? If no that describes my option 1, no?

I think your disagreement is more the order of application.

  • you roll 13 on the Aging table

  • you have a total of 5 Aging points for a Decrepitude of 1

  • you increase your Decrepitude to 2, or 15 Aging points
    {your Decrepitude is adjusted, that part is done}

  • you must apply the new {15 - 5 = 10} Aging points to some characteristic

  • you choose your Stamina 2

  • since you apply more than 2 Aging points, Stamina drops to 1
    {your Stamina is adjusted}

There's no feedback from step 2 to step 1.

Note that you could have started with 11 Aging points overall and 1 Aging point already applied to Stamina and you'd have gotten the same result after rolling 13.

Yup - you're describing option number 2, which is why I was confused by your indication of 'none of the above'.

Doing it this way is unfortunate for me (and is a little inelegant as well) because it involves 'breaking' what was otherwise a convenient relationship between aging points applied to characteristics and aging points applied to decrepitude. That is, I can no longer calculate decrepitude 'xp' by just adding all the accumulated aging points in all characteristic.

I'm still not convinced this is the correct interpretation. I think it all hinges on the meaning of what Direwolf quoted. To quote the section Direwolf was refering to a little more fully:

What I have taken that to mean is this:

What I think you and Direwolf read it as was this:

See the way I see it, they probably came up with this accumulation mechanic that was difficult to express in formulaic terms so it was described in the transaction terms where a 'counter' could be established and 'reset' as prescribed. That is, I think (in my interpretation) that the only reason the word 'lost' appears there is to describe resetting the counter and was not intended to imply that the rest of the points need not be applied. That is, when thinking of this whole thing as a 'counter' mechanic that 'all Aging Points are lost' implies 'accumulated':

I further suspect that this was the original 'new idea' behind aging for 5th ed and that they then had to figure out how to integrate the concept of decrepitude and the 'aging points as XP' idea followed. Now of course in your interpretation there is a particular possible result that would need additional explanation, as you have done here. But there is no such explanation in the book. I mean if 'lost' is to mean 'ignored for one purpose but not for another' - that seems rather significant. So significant (given the possible 'distance' between the two applications on a 13 result) that I'd expect it to be addressed in the text. I take the fact that it isn't addressed as a point in favor of my interpretation - where there is no disparity in applications (all the aging points apply to both uses all the time), which is simpler.

I've seen enough now from different points of view and it seems to me that there are defensible positions for different interpretations, but they all seem to hinge on what the phrase 'all Aging Points are lost' means mechanically. I wonder what interpretation they used for the aging simulations for 'MoH'.

Well, the real question is whether all Aging points are applied at once or one at a time. Compare to Advancement Total to Arts and Abilties which uses the same mechanism. It doesn't look like there's any RAW wording for that since the Advancement Table is presented as-is.

In that DW quote, "greater than" is also very important. Had it read: "a number of Aging Points one point greater than the absolute value of the Characteristic", your alternate reading would have been a perfect match. I find it hard to believe they missed those 2 words to make it crystal clear, which makes me feel the correct interpretation must be different.

Now, tracking lost Aging points is painful enough to accept the weaker interpretation.

See, I think the answer is both. The comparison to the advancement total for arts and abilities is apt and I think they were thinking along those lines. However, because the characteristic doesn't 'advance' the same way and because there is this wrinkle of using absolute value, necessitating this counter type mechanic rather than doing it straight-up like the other mechanics in the system. See I think they saw an appeal to using a similar type mechanic to arts and abilities, but because of other mechanical considerations they couldn't get it to quite work the same way and wound up with something that had to be described differently but still 'felt' similar.

I see what you're getting at about 'greater than'. So my interpretation should change to:

I'm not sure what you mean by your last sentence.

The changes you added there makes no difference to it´s meaning.

There however, you make an extremely drastic change, and as far as i can see, without any good argument for doing it.

RAW as it is, is damaging enough that using your HR would make them severely worse.

I read it as it was written, while i can certainly agree that it´s not entirely hard to misread the mechanics, to read it too fast and miss the full implications of what it DOES say, i do not in any way consider the RAW to be ambigious in this case.

Actually i was just quoting LuciusT´s quote from RAW. :wink:

I'm looking at the rules for Aging, and the tables, and I think I see a solution.

If I'm reading the rules correctly, you actually get two separate Aging Points. One is the one that you apply to your Characteristic. That's the one that resets when you reach the absolute value, and lowers the characteristics due to aging.

The other is the one that goes toward your Decrepitude.

The other thing that I think we're missing, is that for Aging Rolls of 13 and 22+, you get sufficient Aging Points (in any Characteristics to reach the next level in Decrepitude.

Note the "s" at the end of Characteristics.

If your current Decrepitude Score is 1(0), and you roll one of the Crisis results, you would get 10 Aging Points to apply to Characteristics and 10 to apply to your Decrepitude Score. If all of your current Characteristics are 0, with a 2 Int, 2 Sta, and 1 Com, and haven't had any Aging Points applied to your Characteristics, you would have to apply all ten Aging Points to various Characteristics until they're gone. You could apply 1 to Qui, 1 to Dex, and 1 to Str, to bring your Aging Points down to 7 (and all those scores down to -1). Apply 3 to Sta, leaving you with 4 Aging Points to allot and lowering your Sta to 1. Apply 2 to Com, leaving you with 2 Aging Points, and lowering your Com to 0. Apply the last 2 to Int, which leaves your Int at 2(2), but hoping you don't have to apply any further aging points to Int any time soon.

Make sense?

I saw all the same things, including specifically noting that "s." But it doesn't change the argument at all. What if I apply all 10 points to Stamina +2? Have I applied all 10 points to any Characteristics? Yes. The question remains whether they hit it at once or one at a time, as others have mentioned.

There is a separate issue I've discovered that makes the calculation a true problem. Note that the Aging Points are lost. Now consider the following example. Gerascophobia, a Mercurian magus, knows a ritual to raise Stamina by one point up to a maximum of +3. He has already done so, raising it from its initial +1 to its new +3. He ages, eventually gaining 4 Aging Points in Stamina. When he gets the fourth point his Stamina drops to +2 and the Aging Points disappear. Now he uses his ritual to raise his Stamina back to +3. There is no single formulaic way to calculate his score in Stamina as related to his Aging Points applied to it, even by altering his original score based on the new ritual. This is because the order of the events is absolutely critical. For instance, had he received 3 Aging Points prior to any rituals, his Stamina would have dropped to -1. He could then do three rituals to raise it to a +2, and then get one more Aging Point. Or maybe it dropped to -1, he raised it to 0, it dropped to -1 again, and after two more rituals it's back to +1.

So in the end I would just keep track of Aging Points as experience toward Decrepitude and any Aging Points currently being applied to a Characteristic. If a Characteristic drops, don't calculate anything, just lower it by a point and remove the Aging Points applied to it.


That "s" is interesting because it raises the question as to why put an "s" if you always apply all Aging Points to a single Characteristic. But in some cases you could spread 2-3 points in multiple Characteristics without any dropping.

You could use the aging-free Stamina and not the reduced one as the basis of the ritual. That would keep the formula valid. :mrgreen:

Or you could just get the Minor Virtue Unaging and save those 50ish pawns of vis before Decrepitude kills you. In the grand scheme of things, this trick isn't worth worrying over.

+1. That´s how i read it and we always have done it.

Yeah, that one however IS another potential mess.

However, the one thing that contradicts the possibility that the "s" means you have to apply all the points is that there´s nothing saying anything about wether you can apply it as you wish or split this or that way, because without anything like that, well you obviously place all aging points in a single stat, and by the book, once that stat is reduced by one, any and all extra aging points go poof and are removed. And it DOES specifically say that the 13 and 22 results "the player may choose the characteristic", notice that there is NO "s" at the end of that.
Why the "s" is there in the table but contradicted in the text, who knows.

So while it IS ambigious, i think the surrounding parts clearly points towards it being an inconsequential "oopsie" in the table, as otherwise, the only directive given in relation to this is that where the points are placed is a matter of player choice, essentially making the previous plural form irrelevant anyway.

I don't have the book with me at work...
If there are other results that gives more than one point (or even the 13 result could give only 2 or 3 points) it might be that the player might want to spread the points out so that no stat is reduced? Specially for 2 points this could happen rather often if there is no stat currently being reduced by applying 1 point. Since all points then would be kept (no overflow) it would be beneficial (probably) to avoid reducing a stat. If a stat must be reduced anyway, selecting only one and losing the rest of the points is the obvious choice.