reasonable ages for elderly magi

My game has several elderly magi, one who claims to be 1500+ years old. She claims all sorts of impossible things, because she's nuts, a resent side effect of her last longevity potion. But what would be a reasonable age to have her actually be?

200? 300? 88?

She looks 80, claims she stopped aging at 40, and once a year she looks 20 and is sane, but doesn't remember what she's like the rest of the time. This was a background character, and I made this stuff up without thinking about it. But one of the guys in my game is working on his first longevity potion and has been asking me about her, sooo...

How many extra years can you avoid death?

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Presuming you have no other sources of warping and a top notch Longevity Ritual, around 275 years after you start taking it. Thats when you will reach Warping 10 on Longevity alone, and the very next Twilight Episode will take you away forever.

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Note that Marko's limit is on when she reaches Warping Score 10, not Final Twiligt. The line assumes that once you do reach this high score, a Twilight Episode will happen fairly soon. This need not be true in your saga specifically for her, which would mean that she can be even older.

Also note that she may have a Virtue of some sort that will slow down her aging.

Finally, there may be ways in your saga for a magus to live a long time other than a longevity ritual. Books such as The Mysteries present some. Such magi may be of any age, in principle, even thousands of years.

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And in keeping with Yair's comment, remember too that finalTwilight need not necessarily be final if it doesn't serve your saga. It could be super extended twilight lasting decades upon decades until she is but legend only to suddenly reappear or to reappear intermittently depending on events and necessity.

After all, despite Criamon's most ardent teachings on the matter, noone really is an expert on what Twilight is, where Twilight magi really go, or whether they are totally incapable of escaping its clutches forever.

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If she is 1500 years old, wouldn't she have to have been around since before the first longevety potions? maybe she had access to the original ritual which worked well for her bodily functions

maybe she doesn't know but adds one year every time she is asked, something like that, or she has forgotten about tyhe passing of time and have a number in her head and shouts it when asked

She may be 1500 years old from where we are standing, having had a particular harrowing twilight episode taking her 1200 years ahead, or have a flaw that every twilight episode takes her a few centuries ahead, or have been in a faery forest

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The Boat of a Million Years ... the first part fits admirably with your 1500 years figure.

Doesn't help you much with the player's questions, I admit. Much past 200 seems unlikely without faerie forest episodes or interesting breakthroughs and mysteries. But that's a lot of time to look for a way around mortality, too.

Criamon on certain mystical paths can live until they choose to die.

The Maga--if that's what she is--could have Immortality of the Forest, from "Guardians of the Forest: The Rhine Tribunal". It would give her a total Warping Score of something like 24+, however, it is actually possible for one to survive this provided one stays clear of Twilight.

Despite what the texts suggest, a very determined mage can avoid Twilight by building up knowledge of Vim and Concentration, cultivating a very strong Familiar Gold Cord, and performing magic only in low-Aura areas, with an emphasis solely on Mastered Spells. As long as the mage doesn't experiment or take any magical risks, immense age is possible.

Without Immortality of the Forest or undergoing some manner of Mystery, the most likely upper practical limit of a Maga's age would be around 500 years. Allowing for a full set of bonuses from a Bronze Cord, a Summer/Autumn Covenant in a healthy environment, one could add an extra +9 (bonus inverted) to Aging rolls. With a dedicated Longevity Ritual designer working in a team (and probably having a Magical Focus) another +40 (Longevity Ritual 200) could be achieved. Of course, there'd be the Twilight avoidance problem, but this would still be within theoretical reach.

At even 500, one has to wonder how/when she joined the Order. The amount of Pre-Hermetic knowledge which she would possess would be awesome. More than enough to earn her a place as perhaps the most revered Seeker in the Order, or the Prima of Ex Miscellanea. Would she be viewed as a "Hedge Wizard", however, since she predated or was contemporary with the Founders?

It's worth noting that Unaging combined with the conditions stated above--and Strong Faerie Blood if one has it--can allow one to avoid undergoing a Longevity Ritual until one is well over a century old. Depending upon how lucky one is with the die rolls, one can push 150+ before the creeping approach of Decrepitude (2+) forces a Longevity Ritual, though one should always have a CrCo 40+ Ritual ready to deal with an Aging Crisis.

On a related note, the annual "2 Warping per year" average presented for Detailed Character Creation is really more like 1 per year, with another gained for the Longevity Ritual. So those Magi who don't use Longevity Rituals for their first century or so have an extended career and life expectancy. One should see more of them in the Order, as the demographics would begin to favour them, particularly in positions of power.

My thoughts:

  1. One can cheat with regiones where time runs differently.

  2. There's always the likelihood of strong "mythic blood," especially for an NPC - if you're the child of a dragon/human half breed and a faerie king, yeah, you might be kind of long-lived.

  3. Intercession of the Divine. Individuals like the "wandering Jew" or that folktale about the tinker who had slighted both God and Satan so both refused him admittance - those cursed (or tasked) with living to a certain time to witness or participate in something.

  4. Similarly, the Greek mythology had their gods granting eternal life to a man, but not freedom from aging.

Around 250 or so your typical character will be close to Final Twilight. A character who retires from magic to knit quilts might last longer.

On the other hand, Quendalon made it to at least 300, but according to HoH: MC he spent his old age teaching and acting as a mystagogue, so even if he wasn't a faerie by that point, he wouldn't be accumulating much warping during his twilight years anyway (pun intended).

There are ten different ways in the rules to stop ageing completely or become a magical/faerie creature.

Using the standard longevity rituals (perhpas rituals created by folks with applicable virtues such as the minor magical focus in ageing acquirable in GotF), you can still be aided by the lesser elixir, food and drink of exceptional quality per city and guild, a regimine proscribed from a doctor per Art and Academe, pretty rockin environmental bonuses per covenants and virtues from your birth such as some sorts of faerie blood.

I think that for magi the killer would be either getting eaten by a powerful magical/infernal/faerie beast/creature, or final twilight.

With mastered spells, cautious sorcerer, and a strong golden cord you can hold down the likelihood of botching and thus delay final twilight. But I think that even with these precautions final twilight is not unlikely.

One thought that did occur to me is that once your twilight score reaches 8 or so you're going to by the farm with the next twilight episode anyway. This removes any motivation to refrain from acquiring twilight from sources that only give one point at a time such as long term magical effects and being the target of powerful effects.

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Thanks guys. She's not 1500+, it's a bit like Henricus said, that she just blurts out a random number. I figure she isn't over 200. But I have only the basic book and that I loaned to a player until tomorrow and I'm trying to work out details so I'm not doing it on the fly...

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