This question regarding monks' Timeless body feature recalled to me the similar phrasing of the Oath of the Ancients paladin's Undying Sentinel feature (Player's Handbook p87):

Undying Sentinel ...Additionally, you suffer none of the drawbacks of old age, and you can’t be aged magically.

Contrast to the monk's Timeless Body (p79):

...your ki sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can't be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however...

Unlike the monk's feature, there's no mention of dying of old age in the paladin's feature. So, can a high level Oath of the Ancients paladin die of old age?


3 Answers 3


No, OotA Paladins do not die of old age

This wording is similar, but only to a point. "None of the drawbacks of old age" means no drawbacks are suffered by the Paladin. Death by natural causes is one such drawback. Therefore, it is not suffered by the OotA Paladin.

Contrast this to the monk's ability where only "none of the frailties" are suffered. There was also a specific mention of death by old age as possible, which keys us to the idea that, had that exception not been brought up, we could have reasonably assumed monks do not die of old age, either.

Finally, the name of this class feature is "Undying Sentinel." The flavor seems to point to the intent: a protector who has taken the oath of the Ancients eventually becomes immortal.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "old paladins never die, they just fade away" (Paraphrase from General MacArthur, who borrowed it from a WW I era British soldier song Old Soldiers Never Die) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:45

Oath of the Ancients paladins do not die of old age

From RAW:

The Undying Sentinel feature states:

Starting at 15th level, when you are reduced to 0 hit points and are not killed outright, you can choose to drop to 1 hit point instead. Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest. Additionally, you suffer none of the drawbacks of old age, and you can't be aged magically.

From RAI:

This is what Jeremy Crawford had to say in a tweet:

The Undying Sentinel feature protects you from the drawbacks of old age, including dying of old age. You can still be killed, but not by the accumulation of years.
Twitter link for 5:45 PM - 7 Dec 2017

So you get full immortality.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Broken? How many campaigns last for a hundred years? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 19:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Not dying of old age" is hardly what I'd consider broken in the context of a D&D campaign. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 20:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is one of the easiest ways to gain eternal life, and at only level 15. That is provided you don't get killed and or have a cleric nearby. Usually to achieve this level of life extension is a task. Think Liches and gamey interpretations of the rules. So this is a shortcut. Of course its usefulness depends on you campaign. In lore or in the hands of an NPC however, this is pretty strong. Any character can take the conservative path towards maximum power, they have all of time after all. This sets them up to easily be an undying guardian, or the eternal nemesis to an evil party, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TylerSigi Lichdom can be achieved by anyone with the magical knowledge and will to do so. Acquiring Undying Sentinel requires an oath that not everyone will be able or willing to follow. I would not call it a shortcut so much as an alternative. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 1, 2018 at 21:57

Yes, OoA Paladins do die of old age.

Although you suffer none of the drawbacks of old age, the ability gives no increases to a character's natural lifespan. whereas other class features such as Druid's 'Timeless Body' do.

for every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year

without a similar statement, OoA does not (RAW) have any affect on a Paladin's natural lifespan. Death is not a drawback of old age, but frailty is. an OoA paladin will be just as strong, just as wise, and just as powerful at his prime as he will be on the day that he goes to bed and doesn't wake up the next.

Clarification; OoA does not RAW extend your lifespan or have any wording that directly implies it. However, because 5th edition does not have any defined drawbacks of old age, it is up to the DM to decide what that entails.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'll note that by the same technicality you're using, we could suggest the Druid's "Timeless Body" also does not extend your lifespan, since it doesn't say it does: we could say that a Druid's body just physically ages slower, and then they die after the normal amount of years but looking much younger than they would without a Timeless Body. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2017 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure dieing of old age is because your body fails you. You don't just suddenly die if you reach a certain age. So your statement "death is not a drawback of old age, but frailty is" is a contradiction. You die because you become frail. \$\endgroup\$
    – Morthy
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 7:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Marin, not by RAW. Frailties and lifespan are completely unrelated variables (see the monk class feature description above). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 8, 2017 at 11:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Whether or not the death comes from the frailty, the death is caused by the old age, and it's certainly a drawback. By extension, yes, death is a drawback of old age. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 19:02

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