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I'm thinking about playing an oracle in Pathfinder with the Child curse. He stopped aging at roughly 7 years old. He is now around 18-20 years old, still looks like a kid.

I think it would be fun to roleplay so I would fully encourage the DM to have NPC comment on the age difference even if it causes trouble (in fact, I almost want more trouble with regular NPCs, if only to justify his getting more leeway in using his apparent age to his advantage elsewhere).

Obviously proving his age so people will take him seriously is going to be a problem for him. I'm trying to think through how he handles this. Thus I have two questions.

  1. How much will the regular population be open to accept that an apparent child could be older due to magic? I've never been clear on how much the common NPC ran into magic, or how common Oracles were. Is the concept almost as foreign to them as it would be for a child to come up to me and claim to be an adult with a perpetuity gland condition? or will the common presence of magic, and perhaps even knowledge of Oracles and curses, make people more open to accepting the concept? If he claims to be an Oracle will people have any idea what he is even talking about?

  2. Are there methods that the oracle may use to try to 'prove' his age. I'm not looking for anything foolproof; in fact I wouldn't want foolproof since it takes away the challenge of the curse. However, what methods would a lower level oracle have available to at least suggest he may be older or should otherwise be taken seriously? What might he try even if it doesn't work very well just because he is grasping for any chance to be taken seriously by strangers? Before I realized dancing lights wasn't in pathfinder I thought there may be some things he could do with it as an orison to get attention; but none of the oracle orisons look like they have the same potential.

    • If the oracle demonstrates that he can use magic how much of a difference will this be in getting others to take him seriously? Again, I don't know how frequent every day NPCs run into magic. Does seeing any magic make them more likely to accept magic curses? Do they have a concept of magic level, would they look at an orison and argue any child sorcerer could manage something that simple, but see a level 5 spell and figure that anyone that strong likely is older etc?

I don't know if it matters, but I'm thinking a life mystery (not sure it synergieses as well with child curse, but I'm not much of a munchkin). While not committed I'm thinking Aasimar for race but with Scion of Humanity trait so he still looks mostly human (I want him to look like a simple kid at first glance). Halo trait is something I was eying as an option similar to dancing lights orison, a "look, I'm special, maybe you should trust me about other unique stuff I claim" gimmick as well; not sure how well it would work (if it doesn't work at all, or works too well, I might want to avoid it).

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Thomas Jacobs, DuckTapeAl, Oblivious Sage, Matthew Najmon, okeefe Dec 2 '15 at 19:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What campaign setting are you playing in? \$\endgroup\$ – indigochild Dec 2 '15 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no correct answer to this question and you should go ask your DM instead. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Jacobs Dec 2 '15 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Thus I have two questions:" Then ask two questions. This site has a "one question per post" rule for good reason, the site's format works better that way. I'm voting to close as too broad; to fix it, please create a new post for one of the questions, and then remove it from this post. The two questions are closely related, so linking each of them in the other's post is appropriate and even advised, but shoehorning them into the same post is not. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Najmon Dec 2 '15 at 18:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthewNajmon It takes some time and patience for new users to get up to speed with how to use the site effectively, and gentle explanations go farther than rebukes. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 2 '15 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Yes, but this isn't a new user. dsollen is fairly new to rpg.se, specifically, but the issue here isn't one specific to rpg.se, it's applicable across the entire SE network, and this is a well-established user across that network, with established reputations on several SE sites, including over 9k rep on Worldbuilding. He's got more than twice as much total SE rep as I do, and this isnt' some obscure point of order he missed, it's one of the most basic elements use of this site has. Even so, rudeness is uncalled for, but looking back at my comment, I don't see that I was rude. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Najmon Dec 3 '15 at 0:45
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Get a solid reference.

Basically, the best generic avenue is to prove your maturity to someone who matters, and then have them back you up. Great reading for this kind of thing (and great reading, full-stop) would be Twig, wherein the protagonists have the bodies (and in some cases, the minds) of children, but nonetheless are serious spies and espionage agents, and flashing badges to that effect is crucial to get the military on their own side to listen to them.

Another example would be the divine blessing itself: in the Eberron campaign setting for 3.5, there is a head-of-state known as the Keeper of the Flame; both the religious leader of the Church of the Silver Flame and the secular ruler of Thrane, a theocracy. At the time the game is set, the current Keeper is an eleven-year-old girl, who has been ruling for six years – so she started as a five-year-old, when she was appointed to the position directly by the Silver Flame itself. Nonetheless, Jaela Daran is widely regarded as a good Keeper, and has widespread approval within Thrane. The divine blessings of the Silver Flame mean that she counts as an 18th-level cleric while within the cathedral of Flamekeep, which makes her one of the top three highest-level mortals on the continent – which no doubt goes a long way towards her credibility! (She is also known to play fetch with her robot tiger bodyguard.)

So if the divine blessings that make your oracle such are well-known, that may itself back up the character. Of course, being aware that there exists someone with those blessings does not automatically mean that you know that this person is that someone, so that leaves room for doubt and skepticism, while still giving people a realistic reason to at least consider the possibility.

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A lot of this seems like it depends more on your campaign world, e.g. if the gods enjoy "playing" with mortals and making lots of oracles, that'll make your story much more believable to NPCs than it would be in a world where oracles are the stuff of fairy tales and legends. Of course, depending on how rare magic is in general, this could work to your advantage--to someone less familiar with magic, being transfigured into permanent childhood probably seems more reasonable once they've seen that 7-year-old conjure lightning or fire from his fingertips, or heal a sword wound in mere moments.

Also, I would argue that just as important is making the skeptics take you seriously despite your apparent age. Even in worlds where magic is more common, a 7-year-old spellcaster (especially a divine caster) isn't someone you want to ignore. Some characters will recognize your power and try to influence you to join their cause (believing you to be a naive child who can be manipulated), and others will bother listening long enough to realize that you're clearly wise beyond your years--even if they aren't sure they believe the "curse" story.

Ultimately, though, I'd say you and your DM need to talk some more about the setting and what expectations you both have.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Re: the second paragraph, Eberron has a head-of-state (the Keeper of the Flame, head of the Church of the Silver Flame as well as secular ruler of the theocratic nation of Thrane) who is, at the time the game is set in, is 11 years old – and has been in power for the past 6, making her 5 when she got the job, having gotten by direct divine appointment. It is telling, then, that she is stated to be generally regarded as a great Keeper, and has widespread approval in Thrane. She also plays fetch with her robot tiger bodyguard. So yes, magical children can plausibly be taken seriously. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 2 '15 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Agreed. In such a place, our hypothetical oracle-child would almost certainly be taken seriously as a caster and as a person (perhaps even draw the attention of the head-of-state herself?), but I think he'd have an even harder time convincing people he's an adult trapped in a child's body, as precedent already exists for magical children with the wisdom to effectively rule nations and churches. \$\endgroup\$ – AverageUnknown Dec 2 '15 at 18:31

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