First Edition AD&D
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Age & Comeliness
By Rich Graves

I had always been interested in comeliness as an ability score ever since I first read about it in Dragon Magazine #67 and then again in the 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana. It wasn't long until I began to wonder how a characters age might affect comeliness over time. The 1st Edition Dungeon Masters Guide gives rules for the effects of aging on other ability scores on page 13. I figured comeliness should be no different.

I recently emailed Gary Gygax my first draft of a chart showing the effects of age on comeliness. After looking it over he made the following comment: "As an observation, female comeliness is typically greater at an early age, likely to drop off earlier than male." I tried revising my first draft to incorporate this idea and ended up with two separate charts, one for men and one for women. I also added percentage chances for comeliness to drop over time to simulate the fact that some people age better than others (men going bald, women gaining weight, etc. Note that these charts show the effects of aging on comeliness on human characters only. Of course, anyone willing to do a little math could apply these effects to the non-human races too.

Aging effects for female human characters
Young Adult, Age 14-20 No modifier
Mature, Age 21-30 No modifier
Mature, Age 31-35 75% chance of losing three points if comeliness is 18 or greater or two points if comeliness is 14-17 (Maximum Comeliness 18)
Mature, Age 36-40 75% chance of losing two points if comeliness is 14 or greater (Maximum comeliness 16)
Middle Age, 41-50 -1 point, (Maximum comeliness 14)
Middle Age 51-60 50% chance of losing one point, (Maximum comeliness 13)
Old Age, 61-90 -1 point
Venerable, 91-120 -1 point
 
Aging Effects for male human characters
Young Adult, Age 14-20 No modifier
Mature, Age 21-30 No modifier
Mature, Age 31-35 25% chance of losing one point if comeliness is 14 or greater
Mature, Age 36-40 50% chance of losing one point if comeliness is 14 or greater (Maximum comeliness 18)
Middle Age, 41-50 75% chance of losing two points if comeliness is 14 or greater (Maximum comeliness 16)
Middle Age 51-60 -1 point, (Maximum comeliness 15)
Old Age, 61-90 50% chance of losing one point (Maximum comeliness 13)
Venerable, 91-120 -1 point

 

 

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