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My wild magic sorcerer just got dropped to 12 years old by a series of (un)lucky rolls. We found no rules about aging, so my DM had to get creative to address this. This is our first 5e run, and while I'm not usually a fan of this wild stuff, the rest of the group thought it'd be fun.

The height and age surges seem to be the most insidious. Neither have a (functional) minimum or maximum value, nor anything obvious that we found to reverse the effects. In both cases the surge can effectively obliviate your character.

Are we missing something regarding wild magic or are these permanent, unregulated, effects? How can we reverse the effects? Is everything at DM discretion at the moment?

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I think this ties directly into What happens when you target a "magical effect" with Dispel Magic?, because the rule is "roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a random magical effect", emphasis added. It's possible that these can be dispelled.

Interestingly, only the blue skin effect notes that remove curse can be used. If a player isn't finding the height/age changes to be fun (and... if you're 12, being dropped to 3 years old is only another set of unlucky rolls away), I think I'd allow remove curse or comparable magic to fix it. Or, if that seems too easy, it could be a plot hook for finding something that will work. (Perhaps researching a spell or a medicinal cure, but think about all those movies where the main character changes age — the solution is usually in character growth of some sort. I wouldn't force this on a player, but if they were down with it, having the character learn to "act his or her age" in some way might cause them to return to their true age — wiser and better for the experience.)

Although there is a list of wild surge possibilities provided, I think it's pretty clear that the flavor isn't intended to be "one of these known possible consequences occurs" — it's mean to be "something bizarre and completely unique happens". So it stands to reason that there are no known formulas for undoing some of the effects. In an open role playing game, that can be awesome, because discovering the solution is a strong motivator. On the other hand, if you are deep into an adventure where an arbitrary diversion into solving your problem doesn't make sense, I'd ask the DM to help find a less-disruptive way out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you spend long enough trying to find a way to age yourself, the problem will take care of itself. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Sep 15 '14 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ While all the answers here are good. The DM went along with the dispel magic route. \$\endgroup\$ – klyd Sep 19 '14 at 23:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 for the Dispel Magic reference, because the references in answers on the linked question clearly indicate it's wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 22 '17 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Yeah, I'll update. If you follow the dates, note that the answer with all the good references came in two years later and I accepted it at that point but forgot about this one. \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Jun 22 '17 at 20:38
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Reading the RAW there are a couple of things we can say for sure:

  • Those effects are permanent, because there is no time limit.
  • Unlike some other surges, no special way to end them, like sneezing or remove curse, is mentioned.

In 5e there is no "permanent" keyword for duration. Most permanent spells are instantaneous and cannot be dispelled. Even wall of stone – a spell with duration concentration – when made permanent cannot be dispelled.

Therefore, and this is stepping into a judgement call, I would as DM rule that the effect is instantaneous and the only ways to reverse the change are things that could cause the opposite effect or undo what happened (like wish).

Yes, it is potentially disruptive, but both the player and the DM have signed up for disruption if the former decides to play a wild magic sorcerer and the latter, allowing it, asks for a wild magic surge.

Related: Sorcerer Wild Surge result quandries

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This is not a general solution to the larger question, but to your particular case. Though it is a bit dangerous. Your character would need to find, fight and survive an encounter with a ghost. And get a little bit lucky. Ghosts have the ability:

Horrifying Visage. Each non-undead creature within 60 ft. of the ghost that can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also ages 1d4 × 10 years. ...The aging effect can be reversed with a greater restoration spell, but only within 24 hours of it occurring.

So if you can find a ghost, convince it to use its Horrifying Visage upon you, fail the saving throw badly, but survive, you can restore some or all of your lost years.

It might make for a great player-directed quest.

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