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About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

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Should we correlate dragon aging with human aging ?

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About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hyruu on Wed May 06, 2015 5:03 am

Alright I feel it is necessary to have a topic about that because everyone seem to have a different mind about them. Although we had a vote for dragons' life spans, the dragon years and some aging milestones like dragon maturity age were kind of arbitrarily decided (or at least it was decided so hastily that a lot of us didn't even have the time to give their input about it). We now are in a situation in which the character sheet template still specifies giving the age in human years but some people wanting dragon years instead.

First, dragon years. If I got it well, at first the dragon years had been created to avoid calculations when creating a character. For example if we wanted to create a dragon who could be compared with a 40-years-old human it would be simply 40 dragon years.
But I'm not really the only one that feels like on the contrary this adds way more complexity to the whole thing. To find out a dragon's true age we now have to make the opposite calculation, which can get quite annoying. Also, I personally find weird to have a time measurement unit that doesn't relate to anything natural. A year is a complete shift through the seasons, but what does a "dragon year" mean ? And finally, another reason I do think it isn't a good idea is that it creates some confusion when dealing with low dragon-aged dragons. Unless we consider dragons are stupid creatures, they should learn about as fast as a human. As such, a 1-dragon-year old dragon would already possess 30 human years of intelligence. When someone mentions a 1 year old dragon, I'm imagining a dragon still unable to speak rather than a dragon with which you could have an interesting argument.
So, what should we do with these dragon years ? Should we keep (and actually apply) them, or do we revert back to human years (like just mentioning on the dragon template a dragon lives 3000 years) ?

Second point concerns the aging milestones. It has been decided (once again a bit hastily) that dragons would be mature at 10 dragon years, so 300 human years. I don't know if I'm the only one thinking this, but it seems so illogical that I don't even know where to begin.
The point that bothers me at most is that body growth isn't related to mental growth. Even if we slow down the body growth, unless our dragons are stupid they should learn at about the same speed as humans. If we keep a body maturity age of 300, don't you feel something would be wrong ? Yes, every dragon that has right now a mate would have more than 300 years of experience in life. Most of our dragons should be so wise Tenebris's speeches would look like peasant talk. Are your dragons that wise ? Mine certainly are not. With a maturity age of 300, most of our dragons' personalities don't make any sense.
Besides because a living being has a large life span doesn't mean they need centuries to reach maturity. If you look closely, most animal have a growth that starts exponentially then gradually slows. Look at humans, we grow to our almost definitive size in about 20 years, then don't drastically change for another 30-40 years before finally reaching the "old" stage.
What would make sense to me is the following. Dragons would reach maturity at about 25-30 years. Their body will continue to grow extremely fast up to 40-50 years, at which point the growth will slow down (but not stop yet). A dragon would continue to grow noticeably up to about 200-300 years old, before slowing to an extremely slow rate. The growth would stop at 1000 years old, and at 2000 years the first signs of oldness would start to show up.
It would give something like this : (professionally plotted graph because it's easier than words :p)

(Vertical axis is percentage of the dragon's final size)

Alright enough for my own input. What do you guys think ?


Last edited by Hyruu on Wed May 13, 2015 1:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Kim on Wed May 06, 2015 10:46 am

Isn't Greek mythology one Dragon year = 3 Human years? So 30 Human years seems way more logical to me. By your maturity ages, that would be 75-90 Human years. Kinda makes sense. So divide all our Dragon's Human ages by 10 and we get a waaaay more logical aging system. When we voted, I thought we were using Human years too, so when the Dragon's longest lifespan was 100, I kinda raged a bit but held it in. I think we should still use Dragon years, but have them way lesser than 30. Maybe 1.5-5 makes a lot more sense.
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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Shiningwater on Wed May 06, 2015 1:26 pm

If you're looking for a good way to measure a dragon year, 4 human years could make sense. Cut out the leap year part of the equation.
Just an idea, but now that you point this out, I agree fully.
We should probably clear this up.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Arkhor on Wed May 06, 2015 2:50 pm

Well yeah I would like this to get sorted. Personally I've always used like 2.2 HY = Dragon year, since I generally think dragons live to be around 200~ years old, since I prefer realistic numbers XD but of course others think differently.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hikari on Wed May 06, 2015 3:24 pm

I agree. As Hyruu said, there's so much confusion surrounding them, and explaining them to new people is something that is happening daily around here. Human years are something everybody understands, and therefore nobody can get confused over. Why not just put the 3000 year age cap on the template, and leave it at that? There are hundreds of characters, after all, and at the moment, dragon years are barely used, and all the templates of the characters older than a few weeks or so ((RL time)) are in human years.

I dunno. If dragon years need to stay around, then something needs to be done about all the inconsistencies with them. But that's just my opinion.

PS, considering people are taking most of what I say adversely lately, this wasn't meant to hurt or stab at ANYBODY. Thank you.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Celestia on Wed May 06, 2015 3:31 pm

The problem with that is because everyone has their age at around 30ish every single dragon app out there would be super young like hatchling age. The reason for the 1 dragon year = 30 humans years was because any other way staff would have had to go through ever single app on the site and change the age to fit how old they would be in the new system. It was also suppose to make thing simple. Dragons are hatchlings till 10 dragon years. Sure its some very slow growing up but for something that lives so long it only makes sense for them to take a long time to mature.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hikari on Wed May 06, 2015 3:50 pm

I think his point is that they're all technically animalistic, Cele. Humans age slowly, but that's a human thing. Most animals age from a child to adult bodies really quickly. Horses, for example, walk only moments after being born, and by one year old, they are essentially adult sized. Translate a horse's lifespan into this situation, and at 1 dragon year they'd be adult sized. Same goes with dogs, and cats, and birds.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by AuSurath on Wed May 06, 2015 7:39 pm

But you have to look at all animals. Whales live average lifespans compared to humans, and grow constantly. Besides, let's not argue what the age limit for dragons should be, it was decided as 3000 already, so let's not argue over that again. Now for reporting ages, I think we should report in human ages. Au is 1 human year, and Oculus is 20 human years. I think we should have them mature at a human rate till 25, then slow the process down.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hyruu on Thu May 07, 2015 5:24 am

Well I knew opinions were diversified, but I didn't think that much. I was about to say we should address the two issues (dragon years and maturity age) separately, but they are so connected it's pretty hard. Maybe we should discuss the maturity age in human years first. Forget dragon years at the moment.

We did vote for the 3000 years old lifespan, that part will remain. Celes, the way you are presenting this you seem to simply scale the dragon's lifespan to a human's and use that as a reference for a dragon's growth. I do not agree with this view. If you look at the growth rate of most animals you would find out they don't share the same profile at all. Except for a few exceptions, the growth rate of an animal does not depend on its life span. As such most animals would grow to maturity extremely fast, even if their life spans is shorter than the one of a human's. This is why I agree with Wisp, because our dragons live longer should not mean they will get to maturity extremely later. By suggesting 25 years old for maturity, we already are making it significantly longer than for a human (since we're talking about body maturity, so roughly around 15 years old).
Also, if having to edit the age is one of your arguments, this is a bit off-topic but it would be handy if we could edit our own character sheets without having to ask for a mod to take them out of the approved folders. If our decisions in this topic lead to the need to change our ages, that would leave the members able to do so without annoying the staff. I don't really believe that there is a solution that would really let us harmonize dragon ages without most of the people having to edit their age anyway, with such a disparity in the opinions. (like I stated, simply saying "human years -> dragon years" makes my characters become illogical)

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Sly on Fri May 08, 2015 3:00 am

What we can do is use maths to find a correlation between human years and dragon years. Here's what we've decided on:

Max human age of dragon = 3000
We want the aging process to slow down once dragons hit maturity.

So from what I gathered, we are going to have some hyperbolic graph to determine the age of dragons, where 3000 is the limit.

So say we put on the x-axis the 'actual' age of dragons, and on the y-axis, let it be the 'appearance' of the dragon's age in terms of human years (max around 100). Depending on what we decide the age of maturity is going to be, I can work out a formula that will help us decide how old we want our dragons to appear when we select an age.

EDIT: Sorry, not a hyperbolic graph. I mean a logarithm, since the age things all start at 0 ;P. We should have a poll on what will be the age for dragon's maturity (I need actual age).

EDIT EDIT: Uuuugh!! I mean a root graph. Man...I probably drunk something bad before I wrote this...

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Sorry, adding another point. Do we want the hatchlings to age considerably faster until maturity, or do we want the hatchlings to age in the same rate as humans do until maturity?
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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Asailia on Fri May 08, 2015 6:06 am

Slych, one of the points we're making here is that comparing the dragons and human to find an age range is not applicable, as humans have a very strange rate of growing. It would make more sense to supply off of other animals, or even reptiles, as they are closer to dragons than humans are.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hyruu on Fri May 08, 2015 6:53 am

Yes indeed that's the point. My opinion is that animals don't even really share the same profiles, each species has its own. Which is why we need to design one for dragons.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hyruu on Wed May 13, 2015 1:17 am

Bump ? We need to get this sorted out. Maybe I should make a poll to get more input ? For the moment we seem to be at 2:3 between those who suggested to correlate dragon age and human age, and those who suggest not to do so.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Sly on Wed May 13, 2015 4:42 am

You can always go for what most fantasy dragon stories do and accelerate the aging process of dragons, up to maturity (8 months estimated), and then lag it until they are 1000 years or so. This is pretty standard for most (Christopher Paolini, Robin Hobb), but I know of some others who decided to change it up a bit (George Martin).

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Hyruu on Wed May 13, 2015 3:20 pm

I don't know for the others but I was never a fan of that extremely accelerated growth. To me it is only an excuse to be able to have both the cute hatchling phase and the adult dragon in a single book. Besides we have too many hatchlings we love acting to take the decision to have them age way too fast.

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by AcerDesertDraconic on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:09 am

I believe the reason humans age so strangely is the complexity of their minds and how much they need to develop mentally. Most other animals aren't quite as complex as this, and mature differently. Even the more intelligent ones, such as for the orangutans - the maturing age is over 10 - Have a higher lifespan than most.
Long ago, when we didn't need to learn as much, the official age of maturity was lower, at one point it was even 14.
Of course, coming back to the topic of dragons, they're presumably just as intelligent and complex, but yet not insanely more so.
Therefore, it's likely that dragons will mature in a similar fashion, but not proportionally to their lifespan, as the two aren't majorly linked. From this we can assume that dragons might mature at around 20-30 or so years, both mentally and physically, but alike to humans, drop in growth rate dramatically.
Personally, I think of the idea of having dragon years which convert directly into human years is silly, because there is essentially no need for it. Like what has been said, human years are human years, and dragon years are dragon years and they can mean different things.
In many ways this is basically just a summary of what has been said >.> But it's how I think it would work.

EDIT: Instead of smarter animals having a higher lifespan I meant to say higher maturing age but meh.


Last edited by AcerDesertDraconic on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: About the Dragon Years and aging milestones

Post by Lead on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:12 am

That's actually very credible.

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