I'm looking for the published intelligent race (INT 3+) with the shortest lifespan. No need to be a playable race. Any edition will do, but 3.5 is preferable. Hoping for something with a lifespan of weeks.

I intend to run this in 3.5, but don't mind porting. My plan is to make a short-lived race's settlement around a Photostatic Rock deposit (an underdark feature that memorizes event around it) and use it as a form of 'cultural memory'.

I need natural lifespans, so no summons. First-party content is strongly preferred.


1 Answer 1


Aetherborn (D&D 5e)

The Plane Shift: Kaladesh web publication describes the Aetherborn, a magically-created race whose lifespan may be only a few years or months.

Ephemerite (D&D 3e, third-party)

The third-party D&D 3e sourcebook Anger of Angels features a race called the Ephemarae, angels created by God for a single task and who live only a single day. Technically, they have no Intelligence score, though God could surely create one with some intelligence.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice, sets the bar low! Not a perfect fit for my cultural requirements, but I like them, and can probably use them! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2019 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the shortest official lifespan outside of the Plane Shift PDFs? (The Plane Shift PDFs are basically James Wyatt's untested "homebrew" but published by WotC as PDFs, to my understanding.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 14, 2019 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Lorewise it picks straight from the MtG lore and it doesn't seem like balance is important to the OP as they will be porting. However mentioning that Aetherborn are from the MtG lore which is generally considered seperate from the D&D lore. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Sep 14, 2019 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ And imho that "few months" life expectancy can be vey well reduced even further in-lore, since they are created as a byproduct of some volatile refinement. Which means that, lets say the volatiles are especially impure that day, their life expectancy could indeed be anything from even mere hours up to those several years. [It would however have the side effect of that aetherborn knowing fully of his short-livedness] \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Jan 30, 2020 at 13:19

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