Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

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Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:03 pm

I've puzzled over this for years, and never could decide how the mix up happened.

When casting a limited wish, the caster ages 1 years per 100 years of lifespan:

"Casting this spell ages the caster one year per 100 years of regular life span."
- PHB, pg. 184

And yet the more powerful wish spell ages the caster a set 5 years regardless of lifespan:

"Casting a wish spell ages the caster five years."
- PHB, pg. 197

That just doesn't make sense.
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby garhkal » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:40 am

Perhaps the writer's thought that since the LW had the "ages x per 100 years" people would assume the 5 year aging of the full wish would also run according to that caveat..
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:59 am

Maybe, but it's weird that only the limited wish spell specifies an amount of aging per year of expected lifespan. Every other spell is fixed - wish = 5 years, gate = 5 years, resurrection = 3 years, restoration = 2 years, etc. I just looked it up, and in the 1E DMG (pg. 13), it says only 1 year for limited wish, not 1 year per 100 expected. Curiously, none of the spell descriptions in the 1E PHB mention aging at all. It's all on pg. 13 of the DMG. The 1 yr./100 years thing seems to be an aberration that appear only in the 2E spell description for limited wish. I'm finding no correlation to that in any other source.

I wonder, was it a typo? Or were they perhaps thinking about making aging from all the various sage-inducing pells across the board to be per 100 years of expected lifespan and just forgot the others after writing up limited wish? It's so inexplicable.
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby garhkal » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:21 pm

I'll take this over to dragon's foot and ask Frank..
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby lanir » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:36 pm

Peripheral but possibly related, the max ages for gnomes, elves and half-elves had significant changes from 1e to 2e.

If you figure in level limits in 2e, only humans and elves would have access to limited wish. Gnomes can only be illusionists and they don't have access to it because it's partly an invoc/evoc spell. For half-elves to get access to limited wish or elves to get access to wish would require high stats and the use of the optional exceeding level limits rule. There are some snarls based on schools for specialists of either race as well.

I know Halaster doesn't use them, it's just data for guessing where they might have been going with it.
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:28 am

True, demi-humans live longer lives in 1E, but they also don't have access to the higher level spells, assuming you actually use level limits. If so, that would obviate the need for the graduated aging (presumably put in to maintain "balance" when it comes to aging), since in 1E only humans could reach a level high enough to cast limited wish or wish. In 2E, both elves and humans would be able to cast limited wish. Only humans can cast wish.

You're right, I never use level limits. But that brings up another question. If the 2E designers intended for the aging to be graduated based on lifespan in order to make artificial aging fair to all races, did they overlook the fact that only humans and (in 2E) elves would be able to cast these spells due to level limits, or did they decide on the graduated aging, only to later impose level limits which made the graduated aging a moot point? In that case, the graduated aging mentioned under the limited wish spell is simply an artifact left behind that was just overlooked and not intended. Or were they considering not having level limits or not upping those levels, then decided on the graduated aging but then changed their minds on level limits, overlooking the spell description?

And then we have to look at ghosts. Aside from spells that age you, ghosts can inflict artificial aging. But again there is nothing written about graduated aging under the ghost description. The only place in either 1E or 2E where I've ever seen the graduated aging notation is under the 2E spell description for limited wish. I'd assume that if graduated aging were an issue, the ghost description would be the most logical place to mention it, since only humans and elves would be able to cast limited wish and only humans cast wish. The aging from a ghost would be the only time it would matter.

Clearly something was going on during the re-write, but that would actually be a question more for Zeb than for Frank since it only ever appeared in the 2E spell description.

Now I never use level limits, as Lanir pointed out. And I have run a couple of campaigns where the artificial aging from casting high level spells or encountering a ghost was graduated based on lifespan. Truth be told though, I'm not sure it really mattered. With such long lifespans and such little aging, it never really amounted to much. Except perhaps with ghosts. But unless the DM has a ghost fetish (of which I am guilty - ghosts are in my Top 3 monsters along with dragons and drow) and throws ghosts at PCs often (I don't, despite loving ghosts), I don't think the relative aging just due to spells would matter.
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Garhkal, any word from Frank?
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Re: Wish vs. Limited Wish - Aging Problem

Postby garhkal » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:44 am

So far, no.. I have not seen a response from him over on DF where i asked..
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