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chessteach
2012-10-22, 08:26 PM
I am a little confused about how aging works for the races that live long lives. In pathfinder, for example, elves do not reach adulthood until 110. How does that work exactly? Does that mean an elf child is not full grown until around that time, or does he grow at a human rate but grow emotionally at a slower rate? The idea that a 5 year old child is about the size of a 6 month old human, is a little strange.

saxavarius
2012-10-22, 08:42 PM
I've always seen it as an emotional thing mainly, but also thought elves aged at a normal rate for the first 15 years or so and then start aging slower. Just my way of fluffing it; you can chose how to have them age/mature however you want.

chessteach
2012-10-22, 09:04 PM
I was thinking something similar as well, although I think it makes more sense if they grow a little bit slower, just not too much. There is no official ruling on this though huh?

Slylizard
2012-10-22, 10:31 PM
I've always assumed that it was more a mental age/maturity thing.

So I thought they grew physically as fast as humans until they look about late 20s, early 30s, then their physical growth slowed drastically. That said, I don't think I've ever seen the description anywhere.

Mark Hall
2012-10-23, 12:21 AM
Elves simply age very slowly, with someone who is about 110 being the equivalent of a human in their late teens; basically, they age at about 1/6th the rate humans do, so at 5 years old, they're the equivalent of about a 10 month old.

How does this happen? Slowly. An elf can experience pretty much every aspect of life to it's fullest, because they spend so much time in each stage.

Remember that elves are seldom "natural" creatures in the sense that they've evolved up from some other critter. They are special creations of their deity. Their culture, the core of their technologies, almost every facet of elven life comes from their deities. They didn't have to worry about growing up fast to avoid being eaten. It wasn't an advantage to them, because they came out knowing to make weapons, gather food, create shelter and throw fireballs. Even if they learned refinements from other races (metallurgy from the dwarves, for example), elves lived in a garden, where being a child for a century was a luxury they could afford.

Serpentine
2012-10-23, 12:34 AM
I *think* I've seen something that suggests that elves are physically mature at... 50-80 years old, something like that? But not conidered *emotionally* mature until after 100ish. Compare humans: mostly physically mature at 15ish, not really considered adult until their 20s.

I, personally, would do something like this: an elf reaches physical maturity (more or less), the approximate equivalent to a 15-16 year old human, at about 20-30 years old. They then have an extended adolescence, where they are not considered fully mature adults, until about 100 years old (approximately equivalent to 18-25 in humans).
I think it's worth pointing out that all of this is *already* highly subject to culture: in some times and societies, a human child has been considered an adult from the moment of her first menstruation. In others, you're not REALLY grown up until 30. And then there's individuals: some people leave home and start a career at 16, others stay dependent and continue their education well into their 20s. It's all very subjective, and no set number will describe all individuals. And that's just humans! How much more variety should we be expecting from a race with so many more years to work with, and with such a strong emphasis on individuality?

Gamer Girl
2012-10-23, 01:25 AM
I am a little confused about how aging works for the races that live long lives.

Just about every D&D book has kinda backed away from this. The problem is that it sounds cool to say elves are long lived, but it's impossible to do in the game rules without making elves beyond awesome or helpless babies. So mostly the option taken is: They are just exactly like humans, but with a different number for their age.


I've always used 110 elf years=21 human years myself. So elves age at about 1/5th the time of a human. So a 50 year old elf is equal to a ten year old human. Elven life is just much slower when compared to humans. So while a human might take 30 minutes to eat a meal, and elf would take five times longer, something like over two hours. And so on.

I'd say it's both physical growth and mental growth.

Fire Lord Pi
2012-10-23, 06:15 AM
I have always made it that elves grow the same way humans do until their prime. They stay at that prime their entire life (no physical aging penaltys) until about 25 years before their death. At this final stage they go through "withering" which is rapid aging. They take all of the physical penaltys at once and die soon after.

They mature mentally very slowly and are only adults at about 100.

Just my way of doing elves.

Wardog
2012-10-23, 04:55 PM
I don't know that much about the biology of growing up, but I've heard that it is during childhood and adolescence that you are most open to learning, not just in skills/academic terms, but in social terms as well: how to understand other people and get along with them.

If the same applies to other humanoids, it not only helps explain how the longer/shorter lived races develop, but can also explain why they end up the way they do.

Suppose orcs, humans, and elves all start off developing mentally and the same rate. But then orcs stop at around around 14/15, so you end up with an angry, surley, randy teenager (with the body of a weight-lifter).

Whereas elves have several dacades more than humans to absorb knowledge and skills (during which they are probably like some kind of super-Wesley Crusher), before they finaly mature into the super-perfect ultimately wise race of sues we all know and hate.

Jay R
2012-10-23, 05:25 PM
How does that work exactly?

It works offstage, via willing suspension of disbelief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willing_suspension_of_disbelief), so people can ignore the unnecessary difficulties you're bringing up, and just play the game.

mikethepoor
2012-10-23, 05:55 PM
The Races of the Wild 3.5 book has a sidebar on this on page 13. It's not Pathfinder, but it might offer some insight on this.

Mark Hall
2012-10-23, 11:11 PM
The Races of the Wild 3.5 book has a sidebar on this on page 13. It's not Pathfinder, but it might offer some insight on this.

Whereas "Complete Book of Elves" has a high elf's physical childhood continuing until they're 74... meaning adolescence starts at about 12 or 15, depending on whether you prefer the 1/6 or 1/5 method.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-10-23, 11:48 PM
It works offstage, via willing suspension of disbelief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willing_suspension_of_disbelief), so people can ignore the unnecessary difficulties you're bringing up, and just play the game.
Whilst this is true, it can also be a fantastic opportunity to get some juicy and interesting cultural detail.