So, aging characters and whatnot. Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons offers a few tables for determining the age of a character, and has a limited number of effects that specifically target a character’s age, but these are usually limited to extended a character’s lifespan or ignoring the effects of aging.

Several links to a hyperlinked d20 System Reference Document:
> Finding a character’s age, and aging effects.
> “Timeless Body,” a class feature for druids and monks.
> “Extended Life Span,” an Epic Feat.
> “Age Categories,” for True Dragons.

Dragons actually have a great deal more information about their aging, and how they accrue powers through aging than characters do. Perhaps intended as a love letter to one of the two namesakes of the game (do dungeons get better with age?), or maybe an oversight, or maybe Player Characters just don’t live long enough for it to matter.

A few third party publishing companies made attempts (some of them quite infamous) to “fill in the blanks” with regard to characters conceiving a new generation of heroes, and rarely are children ever dealt with in the context of a roleplaying game. Not that other games haven’t addressed them, such as White Wolf’s Innocents supplement.

Over the years I’ve been gaming, I’ve seen a few spells zap ages off the end of a spellcaster’s life span, and I’ve seen more than a few immortals, and … what kind of effect does aging really have on a character? How often does a typical player remain with a single character long enough for it to matter?

How often do games represent time with more than a waved hand? Do players care about the legacy of their characters? Will it be necessary to make aging and legacy central to a game’s themes for players to care about it? Is it possible to make the subject approachable to an extent that players will use a related system?

I imagine the first step in answering any of these questions is in making a reliable, believable system for players to easily manage the passage of time. You know how some players have trouble writing down or remembering experience they’ve gained between game sessions? It has to somehow be easier than tracking experience.

No doubt I’ll be working on this in the back of my mind for a while.