If an infant human was magically aged 20 years (say they encountered a ghost), would they be a fully functioning adult, or a horribly aged child?

Having an encounter with a ghost turn a nursery full of children into physically normal adults (with some 10-year-olds) seems to be what the results of the game mechanics would be.

Is that correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible you are confusing rules from different editions? In previous editions ghosts could cause unnatural aging but they do not have any such power in 5th edition. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2021 at 23:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AllanMills No? I see Horrifying Visage Action: "If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also ages 1d4 x 10 years". \$\endgroup\$
    – aschepler
    Feb 19, 2021 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @aschepler Sorry. Missed that bit. I think in previous editions you just had to see the ghost. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2021 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym That's fine as an answer, see Does "Ask the DM / GM" equate to "Primarily opinion based?" from the FAQ for more details. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 20, 2021 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


“Ages” means what the DM decides it means

It’s not a term that is defined in the rules and the age of a creature (except dragons) has no mechanical effect in the rules.

Whether the aged creature is “normal” for its age or whether you have a Tom Hanks Big situation is up to the DM.


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