Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

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Nerhesi
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Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:00 pm

So folks, it seems canon indicates the following:

Pure Blood Vilani can live for up to 200 years
Anti-aging drugs prolong the life of any creature by a significant amount.

In any version, have their been rules about exactly how long the "significant" amount extension is? Do you ever start to look older? How does it come about that more anti-aging simply has no effect? etc?
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby haveahappy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:07 pm

I always took it to mean that you could take them constantly and live indefinitely.

It matters little outside character creation, unless your campaign is reeeeally long.

So a character could take anagathics and make a 30 term character if they wanted. I hate to think what that would look like - probably a youthful, destitute cripple :P
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:34 pm

The rules have always (perhaps deliberately) been vague on the details of Anagathics.

As I read the rules, taking a monthly dose of Anagathics stops all aging - period. So as long as you can get the drug, you never age - ever.

There are actually several forms of "immortality" and which one you choose is up to you:

1. You reach a certain age and stop aging. You can still be killed, wounded etc. as normal, but you never grow old; or grow old so slowly as to be practically immortal (1000 year life spans for example)

2. You reach a certain age, typically just post puberty and you stop aging and are very hard to kill and have excellent healing capability. Immortal and almost indistructable.

3. You reach a certain aga and stop aging and cannot be killed. Immortal and Indistructable. This is what most "gods" were seen to be. Often this includes the ability to alter your appearance or apparent age, but you never actually suffer any of the effects of aging.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Nerhesi » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:13 pm

I'm going to have to look up the canon references as to it not being immortality.

Immortality would present a lot of problems. There would be no functional reasons not to have immortal rulers.

I'm sure it is clear in that they only prolong life - I know mongoose doesn't make that distinction in the core rules, but I just assumed there wasn't much change between that. Otherwise you would have a few 1000 year old nobles or rich individuals.

Oh here we go:

http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Anagathics

References at the bottom.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:26 pm

My feel for the setting is that high profile personalities find it impolitic to be eternally youthful, though those that operate in the shadows or are the power behind the throne(s) can be.

Extended lifespans are probably not comment worthy.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby alex_greene » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:14 pm

"Anagathics: At the start of any career term, a Traveller can start taking anagathics by rolling SOC 10+ (if you roll 2 exactly, you must instead go straight to the Prisoner career in this term). While using anagathic drugs, the Traveller effectively does not age – add the number of terms since the Traveller started taking anagathics as a positive DM to rolls on the ageing table. If a Traveller stops taking anagathics for any reason in the future, then he must roll immediately on the Ageing Table as the shock of his system beginning to age again strikes.
Anagathics have two drawbacks. First, the combined risk of trying to obtain a reliable supply and the disruption to his biochemistry means the Traveller must make two Survival checks in each term instead of one. If either or both checks are failed, the Traveller suffers a mishap.
Second, the drugs cost 1D x Cr200,000 for each term the Traveller uses the drugs. These costs are paid out of the Traveller’s eventual cash benefits. If the Traveller cannot pay these bills, he goes into debt – see Medical Debt on page XX.
Ageing and Anagathics During Play: If your campaign lasts long enough, Travellers will have to make further ageing rolls every four years. Travellers may also seek out anagathic drugs during a campaign – in fact, if a Traveller started using anagathics during creation, he may be driven to seek them out as a matter of necessity, or be faced with suddenly ageing rapidly. See Anagathic Drugs on page XX for more details."

And on p. XX:

"Anagathics (TL15): These slow the user’s ageing process. Synthetic anagathics become possible at TL15, but there are natural spices and other rare compounds that have comparable effects. Anagathics are illegal or heavily controlled on many worlds. One dose must be taken each month to maintain the anti-aging effect. They cost Cr20000 per dose."

Anagathics has always been a bit vague, but basically what they do is they neutralise the cumulative aging DM, without apparently doing anything about the aging rolls themselves.

Perhaps the characters could develop their Science (biochemistry), Science (gerontology) and Science (pharmacology) skills to develop an anagathic that becomes available at TL 10 and which halts the aging processes full stop for a four year period, or look for something that halts aging indefinitely somehow.

It wouldn't be canon, but it might be the basis for an entire story arc for the Travellers.

And also, I think I'm going to bring up the subject of giving anagathics a more detailed treatment either in the Central Supply Catalogue or The Traveller Companion. Possibly the former, more than the latter.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:43 pm

Traveller is in general, pretty light on it's explanations for the technology behind the gear the characters use.

A quick google search as ever turned up a page on wikipedia

Which gives you several options on how it might be implemented in the future.

Personally I like the sound of gene therapy and injecting viruses to affect telomere shortening. The idea that you age because the telomeres shorten till they no longer function and by messing with your telomeres you stop this process. The link with cancer and how cancer cells do not age also adds to the sinister nature of the process. If you stop the process your telomeres start to shorten and you eventually start to age.

This article makes it sound like something the Tyrell Corporation would do and that's cool enough for me!

"I've done... questionable things...

...Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't let you into heaven for."

To answer your question (sorry, should read all the thread before initially posting)
Nerhesi wrote:In any version, have their been rules about exactly how long the "significant" amount extension is? Do you ever start to look older? How does it come about that more anti-aging simply has no effect? etc?
I don't recall it being covered in any detail in any of the previous versions. I have a feeling it will be something you'd find in Challenge or the JTAS and someone with access to those might be better able to tell you.

Might be best to just ad lib it and call it canon ;)
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby alex_greene » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:59 pm

No, you simply don't lose characteristics so quickly. It does not say anything about retaining the appearance of youthful vigour - you might live to 300 and have excellent physical and mental vitality, but you might look like a Republican Congressman.
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hiro

Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby hiro » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:02 pm

Personally, I don't read it that way...

If you are not physically aging: in game terms your stats drop, then your appearance would be constant.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby CosmicGamer » Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:17 pm

I could see a case where a treatment slows whatever internal biological, cellular aging a person goes through while external effects can still occur. "Weathered" skin from exposure to the environment over time.

Perhaps something along the lines of wear and tear aging may be possible too. For example one can still get callouses, maybe over time frown lines and other creases and wrinkles will accumulate.

Of course medical technology can compensate for such, but it may be additional treatments as one gets older. Lipo, facelift, peals and so on.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby dragoner » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:03 pm

The degradation of stats could be due to a sedentary lifestyle. A cruel joke is that anagathics only ward off an aging crisis, but don't stop senile decrepitude.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby cavebear » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:27 pm

I wouldn't mind an option to fiddle with ageing similar to what David Weber did in the Honor Harrington series.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby alex_greene » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:34 pm

cavebear wrote:I wouldn't mind an option to fiddle with ageing similar to what David Weber did in the Honor Harrington series.
That is something to throw into the Traveller Companion. :) An alien species might have a natural longevity, or a species of uplifted human - what, you thought humans could not be uplifted? - give a natural lifespan of centuries.
And then again, there could be the old "disturb something Ancient, make a deal, become the entity's immortal eyes and ears" thing. But that would be taking away from the essence of what it is to play Traveller.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby -Daniel- » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:49 pm

dragoner wrote:The degradation of stats could be due to a sedentary lifestyle. A cruel joke is that anagathics only ward off an aging crisis, but don't stop senile decrepitude.
This is the same issue that has shown up in several Sci Fi or Anime stories where full body prosthetics are available. You can replace the body with something that is more powerful etc and will never age, but the mind still begins to slip over time. In some they even have new diseases show up because the brain is preserved longer. Sort of like; no matter what you do the brain has an expiration date. :mrgreen:
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby dragoner » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:56 pm

-Daniel- wrote:
dragoner wrote:The degradation of stats could be due to a sedentary lifestyle. A cruel joke is that anagathics only ward off an aging crisis, but don't stop senile decrepitude.
This is the same issue that has shown up in several Sci Fi or Anime stories where full body prosthetics are available. You can replace the body with something that is more powerful etc and will never age, but the mind still begins to slip over time. In some they even have new diseases show up because the brain is preserved longer. Sort of like; no matter what you do the brain has an expiration date. :mrgreen:
I posted something on rejuv, but that came with memory loss as the brain is rejuv'd as well, to me it makes more sense, sort of taken from Hamilton's Pandora's Star. I mean, "anagathics" isn't even a word.

It would break the OTU though, undying Emperors and CEO's of megacorps? Nah. It would nosedive into total dystopia.
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Epicenter » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:55 pm

Nerhesi wrote: In any version, have their been rules about exactly how long the "significant" amount extension is? Do you ever start to look older? How does it come about that more anti-aging simply has no effect? etc?
Your aging process stops, apparently forever. Well at least as long as you keep taking the anagathics regularly.

In the Traveller: The New Era rules they do discuss anagathics some and do some sort of dumb things with them; despite being a fan of TNE in general, I ignore the rules.

Essentially in that, there are two types of anagathics. One for emo-cutter-goth-wastrel-nobles and one for everyone else.

The anagathics for everyone prevent aging, however it doesn't actually prevent certain kinds of localized gene damage and so on. So periodically, you have to get medically checked over, and polyps removed from your tissues and so on. Also, long term life results in various psychoses and so on. So you basically roll on this disability table the longer you take them.

The other kind of anagathics, for the aforementioned emo-cutter-goth-wastrel-nobles doesn't have these issues. However, there's a chance that every time you go into Jump Space, you just drop dead. Who knows how it works. You just drop dead. So you can take these anagathics and live on a single world forever. Presumably, with your new prolonged life you could even sublight slowboat it between stars (which of course brings up the ugly dangling issue about reactionless thrusters like Traveller uses ... they'd be able to accelerate you probably up to like .99 light speed, so getting around would be a lot slower, but perhaps not as slow as you might think).
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby Hopeless » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:38 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of the Babylon V version of this.

A survivor of an otherwise dead race experimented on the various species and discovered a means to halt aging the only problem is that for such a treatment to work it would cost the life of another being and even then only last so long

I'm more inclined to say that if this has been in use for a decent period of time then there's a good chance the process has been passed along genetically to their children and so on so they're naturally long lived but the ones who continue to take the drug are unaware that eventually it will become useless as their descendants become immune to the process since their bodies inherited enough of the process for their bodies to render themselves immune in much the same way viruses are becoming immune to antibiotics.

Is this likely?

Is it actually possible for them to become immune or the effect starts to noticeably last a lot less as they get much, much older?
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Re: Anti-aging drugs, actual mechanical effect

Postby High Orbit Drifter » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:10 pm

dragoner wrote:The degradation of stats could be due to a sedentary lifestyle. A cruel joke is that anagathics only ward off an aging crisis, but don't stop senile decrepitude.

What is the greek myth about this? Someone tricked a goddess into giving her boyfriend immortality, but didn't say anything about looks. As he ages he gets smaller, as most people do, but gets impossibly small the more he ages, until he ends up a cricket.

I doubt a working anagathic would miss something like physical form or mental capacity. Or at least they are bundled treatments.

This is a guess, but I think the original Traveller idea of anagathics came from throw-away references in Larry Niven stories. In particular one about a rich man who became poor and lost his access to the drugs and so got a lot of grey in his beard before he got rich again and could afford the drugs. He decided to keep the grey (implying he had a choice).
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