Lamentations of the Underage Princess

This brief post was inspired by Tenkar’s recent podcast about aging in AD&D 1e. Lamentations of the Flame Princess has aging rules (p35 of Rules & Magic) which kick in at middle age (40 for humans, 70 for halflings, 200 for dwarves). There are no rules given in LotFP for characters who have not yet reached the age of maturity. There are also no rules given for starting age in LotFP, so in our games we just assume that characters start as mature adults who are not yet middle-aged, and if it seems important for narrative reasons, we just specify the ages of our characters. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with this approach, but sometimes you might want to play a younger character, and some players would rather roll a random starting age than to pick an arbitrary one (especially since this is a common part of character generation in many editions of D&D).

The age thresholds for humans and halflings in the table on page 35 of LotFP correspond roughly to the age categories in AD&D 1e (p13 of the DMG). Dwarves do not correspond so directly (aging rolls start at 200 for dwarves in LotFP and middle age starts at 151 in AD&D), but a similar age range is covered at least. Despite subsequent LotFP publications pronouncing “this ain’t Tolkien”, Rules & Magic has Tolkien-like ageless elves. I’m therefore basing the age ranges here on a rough combination of these two tables.

RaceYoung AdultMatureMiddle AgedOld
Dwarf42-99100-199200-299300
Elf100-176> 176
Halfling24-3435-6970-99100
Human14-2021-3940-5960

“Normal” Starting Age in LotFP

When generating new level 1 characters, random starting ages can be determined as per the table below:

ClassRandom Starting Age
Cleric20+1d4
Fighter20+1d4
Magic-User20+2d8
Specialist20+1d4
Dwarf95+5d4
Elf170+5d6
Halfling32+3d4

Young Adult Characters in LotFP

In general, rather than start with modified ability scores as per AD&D, Young Adult characters should start play at level 0, since they have not yet had an opportunity to train for their careers as adventurers. Level 0 characters do not gain experience points in the conventional sense. Instead, a level 0 character has to pass a narrative milestone determined by the referee which represents the character’s transition from “normal life” to a career as an adventurer.

To randomly generate the starting age of a young adult character, roll as per the table below:

RaceRandom Starting Age for Young Adults
Dwarf39+3d20 years
Elf96+4d20 years
Halfling22+2d6 years
Human12+2d4 years

Age Progression

Characters who start play as level 0 Young Adults gain their first level in a character class upon reaching the age of maturity given in the table below, if they have not already gained it through achieving a narrative milestone. Humans reaching the age of maturity can choose between Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, or Specialist. Demihumans advance in their demihuman class.

RaceMatureRollRoll at -2Roll at -4Interval
Dwarf1002002503005
Elf176N/AN/AN/AN/A
Halfling3570801001
Human214050601

As usual, aging rolls (Save vs Paralysis) are made every Interval years, first with no modifier at the age given in the “Roll” column, then at -2, as per the age given in the “Roll at -2” column, then at -4, as per the age given in the “Roll at -4” column. If a save is failed, roll 1d6 to determine which ability loses one point:

  1. Charisma
  2. Constitution
  3. Dexterity
  4. Intelligence
  5. Strength
  6. Wisdom

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