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How would nonprimate people's lifespans differ from humans'?

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How would nonprimate people's lifespans differ from humans'?

Postby Wilddwarf » Sat May 22, 2010 5:47 pm

I'm making a tabletop roleplaying game, and trying to keep things somewhat realistic. Instead of elves, orcs, goblins, etc., I'm having the standard playable races be humans and species of people evolved from animals other than primates. One of the things I list in the race descriptions is the Lifespan. I need/want an educated estimation of the average lifespan of people evolved from cats, wolves, reptiles, birds, insects, and arachnids. It's a medieval game, so it should be important to factor in the lack of hygiene and medical knowledge. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that so please help :).
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Postby plasmodesmata11 » Sun May 23, 2010 2:01 am

this would be assuming an improbable instance of convergent evolution. due to the incredibly hypothetical nature of this occurence, i'd say you have the freedom to do what you like with it. an organism's life span is usually based around its reproduction specifics. I'd say make them about the same. UNLESS THE ARACHNID PERSON LAYS EGGS. that would be sick.
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Re: How would nonprimate people's lifespans differ from humans'?

Postby Wilddwarf » Sun May 23, 2010 3:59 am

So, what's your saying is just make stuff up. I was going to do that originally, but I'm a bit neurotic XD.
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Postby kolean » Mon May 24, 2010 2:39 am

Just like in real life, I would look at the gestation period it takes them. Cats and dogs have a short gestation period and a short juvenile period, because of a faster metabolism, which makes them into adults faster, but they live a shorter lifespan. In other words, they would be able to wreak havoc faster, but would have to do it quicker. The longer lifespans would take time to be able to reach adulthood, and thus might miss out on being able to do alot of things in the beginning of the game, but with patience and wisdom, they might be able to pick up towards the end when the other faster metabolic ones are fizzling out.
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Postby JackBean » Mon May 24, 2010 4:08 am

IMHO you had to compare them with our ancestors, chimps. But still, what does it make difference, as it's pretty much sci-fi with never-able-to-exist forms of life?
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Postby biohazard » Mon May 24, 2010 7:44 am

I think the best way would be simply to look at the "ancestors" of these species and make the people's life span according to those: for example, cats generally live longer than dogs, so make your cat people live longer than wolf people, but shorter than humans (i.e. the ape people!). Some birds are also fairly long-lived, so make their life span long enough as well. Reptiles are a bit tricky, their life spans vary very much, but in general they can live quite long, some very long. So these could actually be the longest-living species if you so wish. Arachnids and insect species would probably be clearly the most short-lived ones, but they would be born very "mature", so their time as an adult would not be too much shorter than with the other species. And of course the arachnid person lays eggs, plasmodesmata11! >:)

Or something along those lines...

You can (and have to) make stuff up, but I think the key is just how credibly you can explain everything to the players. It is often not realism itself that makes a fantasy/scifi game immersing and credible, but the quality of the background and the storyline that has been created for the game (movie/novel etc).
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Postby Eous » Mon May 24, 2010 5:06 pm

I have no idea what you mean when you say 'people' but,
I think the most important factor in determining the hypothetical lifespans of these creatures would be how many offspring they have at a time, and how often they can have them. If you want them to be like people in a sense of 1 offspring at a time (usually), they would probably have a longer lifespan to fit in more births over the course of it. If your spider people lay tons of eggs, there's no reason for them to live far past maturity. I think it would be easiest for you to create and players to accept if they were all just variations on the human life span, kinda like suggested by biohazard above. Also, I fiind that characters with extreme differences in lifespan have a hard time working for the same goals (as they should), but I don't know if you're letting people actually play these strange races. I imagine they would be different heights; it has been typical in fantasy that shorter humanoid races have shorter lifespans, and i think that has usually been perscribed to metabolism.

If you're ignoring medical advances, does that mean humans are only living to 40-60, or even younger? Are you allowing the other races to find even slight medical advances? Does each have their own doctors? I ask because even slight medical advances such as herbal remedies would work differently for these different races. You'd have to decide which races care more or less about medicine and/or about how long they live.
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Re: How would nonprimate people's lifespans differ from humans'?

Postby smilodon1 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:33 pm

Make them immortal. It's fiction so do what you want.
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Postby Wilddwarf » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:30 am

Hmm...I was just returning to this place to ask another question for my game when I discovered that this thread is still open, even after I already decided on plasmodesmata's solution. Coincidentally, I forgot the new question and now that I'm remaking my game, I've had to come back to this question. Reviewing the new solutions, I've realized two things: 1.The thought of people giving multiple consecutive births like animals do disgusts me 2.A human's body is designed to support singular births, while an animal's body is designed to support multiple consecutive births. So, my non-primate people should have about the same lifespan as humans. Also I've decided to have elves, orcs, goblins, etc., like I had planned before the left side of my brain started strangling the right side of my brain XD. Humans will have a lifespan of 60 years, elves will have a lifespan of 300 years, but the others I'm not sure of. The other races are orcs, catpeople, and wolfpeople. My orcs are typical orcs; big brutes that love to kill people. As Eous said, in fantasy shorter people live shorter lives. Based on that, my orcs should live longer lives than humans. However, there are two other things to factor in. The first is their barbarous lifestyle; they believe that the strong need no medicine or training and they cull the weak. The second is that when they are in combat they go into a berserk state that reduces their rationality. The catpeople and wolfpeople are an uncertainty to me. I considered the fact that cats and wolves have claws, and pondered it. I decided that the catpeople and wolfpeople should use their claws for carving. Then I realized I'm spending too much time on something that's not even real and should just figure it out myself. See yah, suckas!
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