Average life span of a magus


I was doing some aging rolls for the Bjornaer in the covenant my wife is growing up in, and that got me thinking about how long the "typical" magus would be expected to live.

Now, of course, this is going to fluctuate wildly. But if you had a less important magus and you just wanted a range of lifespan for a rule of thumb, what would you use?

I did a search, and there were some discussions about non-magus lifespan (which was very interesting), but I didn't see one for magi.

Project Redcap talks about 3 additional decades (not figuring in warping).

Any rough guidelines? Thanks!

There was a article in subrosa #14 about the Demographic of The Order of Hermes over 8-9 pages. Sadly I'm not able to shorten the info to be reasonable for a post in this forum.
Info how you can buy old subrosa issues can be found here: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/sub-rosa-issue-19-arrives/11172/1
(hopeful someone else can give you a answer outside of this article but for me its the only source I have regarding this)

This was done a few yeas ago by my husband:


it gives the median death age of a Magus as 150.


Wow, I'm really going to need to dig into that thread.

Thank you both, and thank you Bob's husband!

I intend to dig into the Sub Rosa's at some point, but I still have several hundred to spend on AM books, heh.

For what it's worth, the average age of a magus written up with full stats in the canon is 60 years post-Gauntlet, so somewhere in their 80s, and the oldest magi written up are two 197 year old Ex Miscellanea.

l would add that the 5th edition line assumes, explicitly or implicitly, in a number of places that magi may live about 120 years after gauntlet (with a few living longer, perhaps significantly so, and of course many living less).

For example, a rule-of-thumb from the corebook is that Art scores should be capped at roughly 10 + years-after-gauntlet/4, and that across the Order they are capped at about 40 (i.e. 10+120/4). Elsewhere, it's mentioned that magi are expected to gain about 2 points of warping per year, and do not survive much beyond warping 10 (which would be reached after 137.5 years). House Guernicus in HoH:TL is assumed to have about 1 apprentice every 8 magi: since apprenticeship lasts 15 years, magushood-after-apprenticeship should last, on average, at least 15x8=120 years (or the house population would plummet) and not that much more (or the house population would explode).

So, I'd eyeball lifespan of magi (including pre-gauntlet years) at roughly 150 years, though magi living 200 years or more are neither unheard of, nor hard to create "by the rules".

I am pretty sure Dama, the Merinita of Provencal and the Praeco, is the oldest, at 193? (In Faith & Flame) Ophilio of Mercere, a gifted Mercere in that tribunal, is 172.

I don't know where the two Ex Misc would be, but I am pretty sure those are two of the oldest.

Hitting 193 took a bit of skill gymnastics, involving Faerie Magic and Magic Theory, mainly due to the amount of vis one can use in a season.

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Magi 150 years or older:

Dama of Merinita - 193 (and appears as a handsome early 60s)
Stourtitus of Verditius - 175
Artoud of Criamon - 175
Ophilio of Mercere - 172
Conan Derg - 172
Venia of Tytalus - 165 (and looks 107)
Milvia of Bonisagus - 164
Ausculator of Guernicus - 162
Caecilius of Bonisagus - 160
Schadrit Ex Miscellanea - 160
Eule of Jerbiton - 160
Faisgia of Merinita - 157
Celeres of Bonisagus - 150
Geirlaug of Flabeau - 150

Published 5th Edition Tribunal book magi only. Some of these are approximations.

The average age of published magi is between 60 and 78, varying a lot between Tribunals. Thebes has the highest average of published 5th Edition Tribunals.

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Given how it's characterised, I suspect the Greater Alps tribunal has the greatest concentration of old magi, but that's 3rd edition.

Interesting that there's only one Primus on that list, and that's Verditius where primushood is by hermetic descent.

except that Sanctuary of Ice : The greater Alps Tribunal is au 4th edition book. It's impossible to make average age for this tribunal/extension since only a very few magi had their age in their description

That average age range really surprised me. Apparently magi get themselves killed off young.

I'm sorry. You're right. 193, and it's not Ex Misc, it's Merenita. Bartholomew of Merenita, who has full stats in Mythic Lineage, is ALSO 193 and also Merenita. It was enough of a weird coincidence that I thought about making them somehow connected.

Probably at least in part due to Strong Faerie Blood, which only requires LR to start at age 50 (instead of 35) and gives a -3 to Aging rolls. That accounts for a 15-year lifespan increase.

I know in one game I have (where we might just find out due to the way it is structured) one magus has a longevity potion that provides a +21 bonus to aging rolls, in addition to the covenant having a +2 healthy feature, plus another +2 for the magus lifestyle in the covenant...
so it all comes down to how well he will avoid warping.

Am I missing something? Because it seems to me that the controlling factor is Twilight, not Warping. In theory, there's no maximum Warping score, if I understand this correctly. You could have a Warping score of 15, and still be alive, as long as you manage to avoid a Twilight episode. Even then, a Warping Score of 10+ starts at Final Twilight on the chart, but a good roll can still go "below" that, yes?

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Don't forget that merinita have the becoming, which can put an outright stop to the aging process, forever, without any warping.

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If you are both young enough and powerful enough to achieve this. For Dama, she would need to beat 193-3+5 = 163, or so. She's an extreme case, but in general older magi seem unlikely to Become.

... unless she already has... hmm.

Bumping because I think @Saxonous has a good point. If a wizard has 10+ warping score and they make a good twilight time roll, do they still go into Final Twilight?

If a wizard with a warping score of 10 rolls for twilight time and wins the twilight time roll by one point they will spend 7 + stress die years in twilight. If the same wizard had won by 9 points they would spend one diameter in twilight. Since the roll twilight time is in part determined by a stress roll a wizard could in principle comprehend twilight's forever and still make it back, though it isn't very likely to happen.

regarding the point raised by saxonous, that warping and final twilight is the main source of "death" in the OoH. If memory serves me, it is explicitly stated to be so in several places in various sourcebooks. But in the linked thread about simulating aging of magi all of the people who had simulated the phenomenon agreed that in the rules as presented, it is not the case.

frostrose, the OP of the simulation thread, puts it like this:

As for my actual preliminary results, again I won't do a full breakdown, since it'd only get all revised in, oh, half an hour when I run the next simulation, but broadly speaking a maga can expect to live to about 172 (median 180), and the longest I can recall spotting off the top of my head was about 250. Furthermore she's overwhelmingly likely to die by having her decrepitude hit 5, which accounts for 70% of all deaths. The rest are more or less evenly split between aging crises and accident or violence, with virtually none due to entering Final Twilight.

This result surprised me, and I would not have been able to guess it. Sometimes however a numerical analysis of the data reveals surprising facts.

Whilst it's true that a good Twilight roll will reduce the time spent in Twilight, it's worth bearing in mind that you're rolling against Warping Score (specifically, Twilight Time is Int + die vs Warping Score + die).

If you assume an Int +3 maga, she therefore needs to roll 8 or more higher than the Twilight roll in order for Twilight at Warping 10 not to be Final. Possible (especially if you allow Confidence Point spending), but the odds aren't in her favour of doing it even once, let along consistently.