There are two capstone abilities that grant "cures for aging"

The wizard has the immortality arcane discovery:

Benefit: You discover a cure for aging, and from this point forward you take no penalty to your physical ability scores from advanced age. If you are already taking such penalties, they are removed at this time. This is an extraordinary ability.

The Alchemist has Eternal Youth grand discovery:

Benefit: The alchemist has discovered a cure for aging, and from this point forward he takes no penalty to his physical ability scores from advanced age. If the alchemist is already taking such penalties, they are removed at this time.

But these do not specifically state that the character will stop aging.

The age resistance spell specifically states that it does not stop dying from old age.

You ignore the physical detriments of being middle-aged. This spell does not cause you to look younger, nor does it prevent you from dying of old age,

Whereas the longevity mythic ability specifically states it does.

Longevity (Su): Upon taking this ability, you can no longer die from old age. If you have penalties to your physical ability scores due to aging, you no longer take those penalties. You still continue to age, and you gain all the benefits to your mental ability scores.

So does immortality/eternal youth stop aging, or just the stat penalties of aging?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Is death considered a penalty for aging? (I'm being half facetious, half serious) \$\endgroup\$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Dec 10 '16 at 7:36

Could go either way, depending on how you read “cure for aging.”

  • It might just be description—a “cure for aging” which here is defined as eliminating penalties by the rest of the description, which are taken to be the actual effect.

  • It might mean a cure for the things the game calls aging—the penalties. This is only subtly different from the first, which ignores the phrase as fluff description—this regards it as rules text, but text that is then expanded and defined, not an additional part of the ability

  • It might mean that you do not age, or otherwise include death from old age as part of aging that it cures.

The first two would still have die of old age, the last would not.

The fact that they are called immortality suggests that the third one is accurate, but honestly it really should say. The wording also implies that you still get aging bonuses, which implies some aging. Effects like these usually spell out what they do, as age resistance does, and these effects ought to as well.


They cannot die from old age.

Unless it says so on the ability, your character does not die when they reach their racial maximum age, because they do not age to reach that maximum age, their actual age is stuck at whatver age they had when their character obtained that ability.

There are very specific abilities that say they prevent that death from old age, like the ones you listed and the capstone of the Time Oracle:

Upon reaching 20th level, you become a true master of time and stop aging. You cannot be magically aged and no longer take penalties to your ability scores for aging. Age bonuses still accrue, and any aging penalties that you have already accrued remain in place. You cannot die of old age, but you can be killed or die through accident, disease, poison, or other external effects.

The book that introduced the Eternal Youth grand discovery was released earlier than the one that introduces the Time Mystery. You will notice that the wording here is different because it says you still obtain the bonuses, but not the penalties.

However, the ultimate magic also introduced the Immortality arcane discovery. So, the same book introduced two different "immortal" type effects.

Based on this observation, it is safe to assume that the rules as written are also the rules as intended. As seems to be no FAQ or errata about this either.

You will keep the penalties and bonuses if the ability says you do. For Eternal Youth and Immortality, you keep the bonuses and remove all penalties. They will also recieve no further bonuses if they obtain enough age (except if they obtain mythic immortality) as they cannot age normally anymore.

Back in 2012, when Sean K. Reynolds was still a developer at paizo, he posted agreeing that wizards with immortality could life forever. So the rules as intended, at least for wizards, seems to be that they are no longer affected by aging once they obtain the discovery.

Druids and Monks

Druids and monks are probably the oldest example of a class that does not age, with the Timeless Body ability obtained at 15th (for druids) and 17th (for monks):

After attaining 15th level, a druid no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the druid still dies of old age when her time is up.

You will notice that the text is very similar to the one from the Time Oracle, and the reason for that is that your character gains the bonuses, but not the penalties, so they can die because they are actually aging, they simply have a body that will not suffer penalties from their age.

Keep in mind that with Wish and Limited Wish, a wizard can obtain other means of immortality that does not depend on reaching 20th level, such as duplicating the Reincarnate spell to become an adult again. Or even make Clones.


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