Character age ?


Hello all,

I recently bought the 2nd. ed. B5 rules and I must say that in general, I really like the way Mongoose adapted the d20 system : I used to GM a SW (WTC Star Wars) game and the SW system was (in my opinion) mostly awful !

There are a couple of things though that I have noticed that are missing (voluntarily ?) :

-There is absolutely no reference to age ! Nothing on the effects of aging...nothing on the age range of different races ? (How long does an average Minbari live ? Of course, B5 die-hard fanatics know those facts but I'm not...)

-There is also no reference to height and weight relevant to different races...I can live with the fact that weight allowance is dictated by strenght but just for roleplay purposes, it surely would be nice to have some tables to roll average Narn height and weight...eye color maybe...

It striked me after reading the rulebook thoroughly how the skills and feats were richly detailed...yet there is no mention of age and physical description !

Did I miss something ? Does my rulebook have glued pages I havn't noticed ? Or were those elements simply judged irrelevant ? (IMHO they aren't...)

Thanks to anyone who can give me answers or clues...orwho has developed some tables to add a tiny bit of flavor to my upcoming B5 game ! :) (of course, I'l just invent them otherwise...)
well, I just don't think we've ever seen anyone moderately is the future afterall...don't meals come in pills? you can recycle your paper and get a new one right there...complete with "eye on minbari!"

Here goes:

Height, Weight, & Age Tables

Height & weight:

Race & Sex/Base height / Height modifier / Base weight / Weight modifier

Human , Male:/ 5’4” / +2D10 / 120lb / (X2D4lb)

Human , female:/ 4’10” / +2D10 / 90lb / (X2D4lb)

Minbari , male:/ 5’4” / +2D6 / 130lb / (X2D6lb)

Minbari , female:/ 4’10” / +2D6 / 110lb / (X2D6lb)

Centauri , male:/ 5’4” / +2D6 / 140lb / (X2D6lb)

Centauri , female:/ 4’10” / +2D6 / 110lb / (X2D6lb)

Narn , male:/ 5’4” / +2D10 / 130lb / (X2D6lb)

Narn , female:/ 4’10” / +2D10 / 110lb / (X2D6lb)

Abbai , male:/ 5’ / +2D6 / 100lb / (X2D4lb)

Abbai , female:/ 4’10” / +2D6 / 100lb / (X2D4lb)

Brakiri , male:/ 4’10” / +2D12 / 110lb / (X2D4lb)

Brakiri , female:/ 4’5” / +2D12 / 85lb / (X2D4lb)

Drazi , male:/ 4’10” / +2D12 / 140lb / (X2D6lb)

Drazi , female: 4’10” / +2D12 / 140lb / (X2D6lb)

Gaim , diplomatic:/ 5’2” / +2D6 / 130lb / (X2D4lb)

Vree , male:/ 4’5” / +3D6 / 85lb / (X2D4lb)

Vree , female:/ 4’5” / +3D6 / 80lb / (X2D4lb)

The Weight modifier can be obtained by multiplying the height modifier by the result of the die roll shown between parenthesis under “weight modifier” .

Characters age:

Race & Sex:/ Base Age / Variable 1 / Variable 2 / Variable 3

Human , Male:/ 20 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Human , female:/ 20 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Minbari , male:/ 18 years / +2D10 years / +3D10 years / +2D10 years

Minbari , female:/ 16 years / +5D4 years / +5D6 years / +5D4 years

Centauri , male:/ 20 years / +2D10 years / +1D10 years / +1D4 years

Centauri , female:/ 20 years / +2D10 years / +1D12 years / +1D8 years

Narn , male:/ 14 years / +2D6 years / +4D4 years / +4D4 years

Narn , female:/ 12 years / +2D8 years / +4D6 years / +4D6 years

Abbai , male:/ 16 years / +1D6 years / +2D6 years / +3D6 years

Abbai , female:/ 16 years / +1D6 years / +2D6 years / +3D6 years

Brakiri , male:/ 16 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Brakiri , female:/ 16 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Drazi , male:/ 18 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Drazi , female:/ 18 years / +1D4 years / +2D4 years / +3D4 years

Gaim , diplomatic:/ 0* years / +0* years / +0* years / +0* years

Vree , male:/ 40 years / +1D6 years / +2D4 years / +3D6 years

Vree , female:/ 40 years / +1D6 years / +2D4 years / +3D6 years

* All Gaim characters are born fully formed , both physically and intellectually , but 1D6 years should be added to the initial age of the character .

Variable 1:
Humans , Abbai , Brakiri , Drazi , Vree , Narn: Soldier , Lurker , Worker (blue collar) .
Minbari: Warrior caste.
Centauri: Noble .

Variable 2:
Humans , Abbai , Brakiri , Drazi , Vree , Narn : Agent , Officer , Telepath , Trader Worker (white collar , performer).
Minbari: Religious caste.
Centauri: Plebeian ,

Variable 3:
Humans , Abbai , Brakiri , Drazi , Vree , Narn : Diplomat , Scientist . Minbari: Worker caste .
Centauri: Eslave .

Age effects:

Race:/ Adulthood * / Middle age (1) / Old (2) / Venerable (3) / Maximum age (4)

Human:/ 21 years / 45 years / 65 years / 80 years / +3D10 years

Minbari:/ 19+1D3* years / 50 years / 75 years / 100 years / +2D10 years

Centauri:/ 22 years / 50 years / 70 years / 90 years / +2D10 years

Narn:/ 16 years / 50 years / 80 years / 100 years / +3D10 years

Abbai:/ 16+1D2 years / 60 years / 110 years / 130 years / +2D10 years

Brakiri:/ 16 years / 40 years / 60 years / 80 years / +2D10 years

Drazi:/ 16+1D3 years / 50 years / 75 years / 90 years / +4D10 years

Gaim , diplomatic:/ 0* years / 35 years / 40 years / 45 years / +1D6 years

Vree:/ 40 years / 100 years / 150 years / 180 years / +2D10 years

* Different races or cultures have different customs or laws to recognize that an individual has reached a full adult status , according to social custom or to rites of passage frequently related to biology .
Minbari , for example , are formally and legally considered as adults after the ritualistic ceremony that is celebrated after the final fusion of the two halves of their crests is complete , and in which the individual’s crest is carved by the first time . Due to this , does not exists one determined age as such , in which a young Minbari of any sex or social condition can be considered as an adult , although at the age of 22-23 years , it is considered that even if the final fusion of the crest has not happened yet , the individual has reached an state of maturity enough to be considered formally as an adult .
The same –biological differences apart- happens to the Abbai when they shed their final “adolescent” epidermal layer and grow their “adult” layer .

Other races , as the Humans or the Centauri consider that an individual “comes to age” after he/she reaches a determined age -21 years in the Earth Alliance , or 22 in the Centauri Republic- , while the Brakiri consider that after two years at his/her first job (or “piras colo”) , any Brakiri can be considered legally as an adult (and exploited as such 8) ) .
** All Gaim characters are born fully formed , both physically and intellectually .

(1) -1 to Strenght (Str) , Dextery (Dex) & Constitution (Con) , + 1 to Intelligence (Int) & Wisdom (Wis) .
(2) -2 to Strenght (Str) , Dextery (Dex) & Constitution (Con) , + 1 to Intelligence (Int) & Wisdom (Wis) .
(3) -3 to Strenght (Str) , Dextery (Dex) & Constitution (Con) , + 1 to Intelligence (Int) & Wisdom (Wis) .
(4) Upon reaching the maximum age , a character dies , although lifespans can be abnormally shortened or lengthened due to exposure to the effects of exotic radiations or biochemicals , or (as it happened to Delenn) highly advanced (i.e. First ones) technologies .

Additionally , the "frontier" between age categories can be modified by a die roll . Roll 1D10 ; if the result is 1-5 the character passes to the next age category (and suffer its effects accordingly) years before than usual ; if the result is 6-9 , the effect of age do not take its toll until later than it is normal . a die roll of "0" results in no change to the age category limits .
In each case , the number of years that mark the age category change it is directly related to the die roll result:
1: -5 years ; 2: -4 years ; 3: -3 years ; 4: -2 years , 5: -1 year .
6: +1 year ; 7: +2 years , 8: +3 years ; 9: +4 years .
0: Standard age category

Example :
John De Soto , a human starfarer , is approaching the middle age threshold (he is 40 now) so the GM determines that he is susceptible to suffer from age effects , and accordingly, orders the player that he should roll to determine when the age will begin to take its toll on Mr De Soto. The player rolls 1D10 and obtains a result of 4 , so , when the character reaches the age of 43 , he will enter in the middle age threshold , losing -1 to Strength , Dexterity , and Constitution , but gaining a +1 to Intelligence and Wisdom . he will be less strong and with slower reflexes , but his life experience will make him a little more wise and knowledgeable .

Please , take into account that these modifiers can differ slightly from those presented in some of the racial sourcebooks , due to the fact that I believe that these are more adjusted to the series canon ... or to what can be extrapolated from the characteristics and appaearance of the different races . Of course , if you don´t like something , you are free to make any changes to better suit your own ideas .

In regard to Minbari, JMS has stated on the record that, "Minbari can easily live to about 140 or so." An upper bound of 100+2d10 therefore sounds a bit conservative.
Yeah , I know , I know , but as with almost anything else , JMS appears to have a little problem with continuity in that regard 8) .

We could go back to the age-old B5 discussion of what is canon and what is not , but I try to stick to the also age-old conclusion that we all fans always reach at the end of that same discussion: What we see in the series is canon , and anything else is open to interpretation .

In "the deconstruction of falling stars" we learn the Minbari can live normally up to 120 human years (although relatively few would reach this age , as few humans would live up to the "standard maximum" of 100 years) , while the Minbari proclaimed that Delenn was still alive at 140 , something considered as incredible at the time .

All of this doesn't mean that there aren't Minbari with an age of 125-130 or even more than 140 years (even today there are humans that surpass the 23rd century's 100 years threshold , and we are living 250 years before the show's era) , but those individuals are , in most cases , a limited , very , very limited number of exceptional cases , not a significant percentage of the population .

Anyway , if you don't like the "original" data and modifiers , feel free to make the changes that better suit your ideas . I will not feel offended in the least , simply because someone has a different concept of certain aspects of our favorite universe , and if you feel offended by the maximum limit that I placed on the Minbari lifecycle , you wouldn't want to see how I modified their racial characteristics from the RPG to better suit my own ideas for my campaigns .

PS : The height modifier result would be in inches , thus , a human male (John De Soto again) whose height modifier die roll would result in +6 inches , would be 5'10" tall (or 1,75-1,77 m for us europeans) and his weight modifier would be calculated by multiplying the height modifier (those 6 inches) by the resultant of the weight modifier die roll (2D4) that in this case could be 4 , which would give us a weight modifier od +24 pounds (6x4) , wich added to the base weight of 120 pounds , will give to Mr De Soto a total weight of 144 pounds (a little over 65 kilos) and make hin a medium height , slender man .

PS (2): I know that the aclaratory paragraph above seem superfuous , but you could be surprised of how many people fails to properly understand those same tables . Here in Spain , I have seen RPG rulebooks so poorly traducted (the most legendary was the AD&D 2nd edition manual) , both by gamers (directly) and/or printers alike , that most gamers experince a lot of problems trying to aply the rules , or even during character creation , which also happens when non-english speakers try to use a english-written rulebook .
Again, thanks Natxomann, nice job !

P.S.: Here in Canada, we still use inches, feet and pounds in everyday life...even though we officially converted to the metric system in the 70s ! :)
Indeed, we use both systems but some things are always mesured with the same system.

Pepole's height and weights: Imperial (I'm 5'8" or 5'9", I would have to convert to know it in cm)
Construction mesuring: Imperial (to me my livingroom is 11' wide not 3.4m)
Distances and speeds: Metric (limits are 50km/h in the city, 100km/h on the highway)
Precise weight mesuring: Metric (in a lab or something like that)
Cooking: Imperial (we add a cup of water rarely a number of ml)
Weight of things you by at the grocery: Imperial (no one ever looks for 500g of beef)
Temperatures: Metric (that's actually the one that bugs me the most in RPGs that use Imperial because I can't even guess a convertion mentally)

Weird thing: Pool temperatures are always given in Imperial and it's usually the only time we use Fahrenheits (exept perhaps for oven temperatures). Common use can have strange results sometimes...
Theoretically Narn should have a pretty long lifespan as well. I mean G'Kar was a slave of the Centauri during the first occupation right(his recounting of the death of his father before his eyes)? And he didn't seem to be old at the start of Season 1 when the Narn Regime is a major power in the galaxy.
During the forst occupation yes, which only ended a couple of decades before Season 1 IIRC, I could be wrong on that one. So G'Kar need not be that old.