Re: Death and life expectancy.

From: Kevin Rose (
Date: Wed 28 Feb 1996 - 07:58:19 EET

Peter said:
> As an extreme example, let us say the infant mortality in a village
> is 50%. Those that survive then live to become 70 years old before
> dying. The average life expectancy is then 35 years which gives a
> totally misleading impression of the village demography. Thus the
> use of averages needs to be used with care. (Although 50% is
> excessive, An infant mortality rate of 30% in the first year has
> happened all too frequently in history).

Oddly enough, life expectancy at birth in 1850 Massachusetts was 38.3
years. Life expectency at age 20 was 60.1 years. Both for white males.
1850 was hardly iron age, but it is interesting.

Whoever mentioned characters at age 32 being over the hill, that is a game
mechanic thing. I've never felt this was reasonable, any more than the
idea that a 15(12) year old beast rider could not gallop a beast, which is
what the 3rd edition rules say, was reasonable. I've never actually had
characters (or games) survive long enough to have to deal with PCs aging
more than 10 years. I've always assumed, for NPCs, that by the late 30's
you are not at your physical peak, but can still be damned good. Just not
as good as if you had the same skill and experiance at age 24.

Kevin Rose


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