I am new to D&D.

I did not find any official ruling concerning the effects of aging in the PHB. I know that in some systems aging can have adverse and/or beneficial effects on stats.

I ask because I am currently playing Monk and at 15th he will receive Timeless Body which prevents "the frailty of old age". What is the mechanic, if any, that this applies to?


3 Answers 3


There are no current, directly codified, effects of old age.

However. There are several spells and other effects that do cause you to age prematurely. The Monk would be immune to these. There are also basic guidelines on how the races age and when they become adults/typically die.

For an example of a monster capable of aging a creature, we have the Ghost who can cause aging of 1d4 × 10 years with one of their features. While there are no direct effects, the DM can very well rule that this kind of effect would cause you to no longer be an effective adventurer.

As GMNoob points out, we may find out the mechanical effects of aging in the DMG, but largely, these will be left to the DM's discretion.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ They are likely to be somewhat similar to D&D 3.5e's ageing table: d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#age \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 1:55
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ That aging table has always irked me. Increase in mental abilities as one ages already has a mechanic: XP. Really, life is pain; all ability scores should decline with age. Samsara-based house rule: for every year over a certain threshold for each race, choose an ability score at random and make a save; on failure, -1 from that ability. At a further threshold, do this for every ability (and possibly ramp up frequency of checks). When Con reaches zero, you're dead. More realistic... but probably not more fun. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 20:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In case you decide to update this answer: While the DMG does include some mechanics relating to aging (an epic boon that stops it, a potion that reduces one's age, some planes where you don't age), there are no mechanics about the effect of aging on ability scores and such. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 2:09

There are none.

Neither the Player's Handbook nor the Dungeon Master's Guide list any mechanical effects of age. They only refer in passing to dying of old age, and the frailty of old age. The spells resurrection, revivify, and true resurrection (Player's Handbook pp272, 284) all state that a creature that's died of old age is not an eligible target.

Interestingly, neither raise dead (270) nor reincarnate (271) list any such restriction. So by using either one, a character might live forever, barring Inevitables (I know that's 3.5 material...).

There can be...

The designers neglected to include mechanical effects for aging, leaving the issue up to each table to decide. Whether intentional or not, this leaves much leeway for DMs and players to decide how they want to portray aging, or even whether they want to bother.

By default, age is nothing but a cosmetic or story effect.


Without the DMG, there are no current mechanical effects of old age, other than those that your table decides.


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