Estimating Apparent Age

Has anyone worked out a good rule of thumb to estimate an NPC's apparent age in 5th ed?

Mari from Semita Errabunda took a longevity potion before reaching even her 30th year: there should be some rules about apparent vs. real age in her character description.

Kind regards,


The standard Aging rules work, if you apply them year-by-year. Note that someone like Mari (working to assist her parens, so adding her own Int+MT) can get a good LP early on (about -15 or so), so that most years the modified die roll place her in the "no increase in apparent age"... since she was young then anyway, and not subject to difficult aging rolls, she still looks much as she did when she first used the LR.

There isn't an easy rule-of-thumb that works across a wide band of ages, since it's a probabilistic thing. What you can say is that a young maga with a powerful potion "won't age", and an older magus with the same potion will appear to age, but probably not suffer as a result. Each decade sees a 1 point (c. 10%) shift...

Reviving this decade old thread to check if anyone has tackled this issue, has some sort of system or whatnot.

I'm sure you could estimate the odds of not gaining Apparent Age in each decade (based on living conditions, mostly) and adjust Apparent Age appropriately, 'on average'. For example, if during your 40th to 49th year if you have a 20% chance of not gaining Apparent Age each year, then they'll only gain 8 years of Apparent Age for those 10 years, and at 49 appear 47.

For most NPCs the only thing adjusting their odds will be Living Conditions, though it would be fairly easy to create a table that applied to a broad range of age roll modifiers.

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I have a hacked together python code that automates the aging rolls for my covenant.

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Back in 4th I played a maga with Strong Faerie Blood, who had quite a eel of bonus vs aging.
We ruled that you rolled for Apparent Aging even before taking Longevity. She eventually made a good Longevity Potion (it was called back then).
When the saga died out she was 53 but looked 19.

I start new sagas creating a spreadsheet of the magi population in the tribunal.
It is Stonehenge now, and most magi
Have only a small blur (or just a mention).
Now I have a whole list of NPCs I have to assign age and apparent age to, and I’m definitely not creating individual sheets or rolling for each - I’ll make them as I need them. However, sometimes you just need the general idea of an NPC for an interaction, but apparent age is a must in the description for this interaction.

Anyway, I’m just assigning arbitrarily :man_shrugging:t2:

For actual numbers there is this simulation by my husband:

look in the first linked folder and there is a spreadsheet, one column of which is apparent ages, but a wealth of other information as well.



Bob and husband: thank you so much!
I found this other thread but couldn’t access the results from there.

Great stuff!

Bob that indeed looks interesting, I think my group will set up an SQL server and run this while the saga is still being planned. Thanks for making it available

While I did not run the simulation provided by Bob I did run a few magi up to fairly advanced ages using the default 30 xp per year and reflection. Of note to this conversation are these two, the ones that went the longest (150 years each).
Adelbert of Gurnicus
Ranulf of Flambeau

Adelbert is 180 apparent age 101
Ranulf is 174 apparent age 55

Difference on actual age 6 years difference in apparent age 46 years, one of them used longevity rituals that were strong for his age, the other used longevity rituals that just barely let him skate by without loosing characteristics.