Age Like a Fine Scroll: Check Out This Fun Wheel of Fortune Mechanic for Senior D&D Adventurers

D&D Adventurers, welcome to a realm where wrinkles tell tales, and every gray hair is a badge of honor. In this article, I will share with you a fun level up system I devised for one of my players running an elderly character in our Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

May we all age like a seasoned spell scroll, and let the adventure begin!

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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Meet Skywatcher: A Septuagenarian Goliath

In Dungeons & Dragons, age isn’t just a number – it’s a narrative waiting to unfold.

After wrapping up our previous campaign arc, one of my players decided to start the next phase of our adventure using one of the NPCs they met. He didn’t realize at the time that according to the established canon, the chosen non-player character known as Skywatcher was actually elderly.

I gave him the option of de-aging the character a bit for the sake of his story, but he decided it would be more fun to keep the septuagenarian Goliath as is.

The Aging System Concept

One of my other players jokingly said we could roll to see if Skywatcher had a health event each session as he got on in years and the stresses of adventuring wore him down. We have decades of age differences at my table, and the trials of aging amongst my players are no secret.

Everyone chuckled at the joke as they worked on their new characters, but this got me thinking.

I spoke with the player running Skywatcher after the session and asked if he’d want some kind of system to represent the fact that he is elderly. He is a great D&D player and a strong role player, so he was excited to see what I would come up with.

It’s sort of become a running joke at our D&D table that I will make a system for just about anything. Check out a few of them below.

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The Wheel of Years

I used one of my favorite free “wheel of fortune” sites to add a bit of suspense to the occasion. I have used this site before to have players select random injuries or other fates after a major event. They are a lot of fun.

This is also a great way to add some complexity or interest to character development, especially if your player would like creative inspiration or an element of randomness to work with.

Feel free to use the wheel I devised for your D&D adventurers by clicking the buttons below. The Google Doc for referencing accompanying effects is linked for you as well.

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How to Use The Wheel of Years

If you’d like to use this mechanic in your game, implementation is easy.

At level up and during a rest, introduce the scene to the player. You’re welcome to use the materials provided in this article, but it’s not required.

Spin the wheel, check the effects, and enjoy the excitement! Some of the effects are mechanical (such as a -2 to a stat), some grant advantage/disadvantage to rolls in certain scenarios, and some are simply roleplaying based.

You may want to tweak your definitions of each item in the wheel for what works best at your table. Feel free to make a copy of the Google Doc shared above to do just that.

In an effort to prevent any of these circumstances from being too over- or under-powered, I decided to keep each effect to the gameplay length of one level only. Even though it doesn’t make much medical sense for a few of these, this is after all just a game (and not real life).

By limiting the effect to one level for your D&D adventurers, the player gets the excitement of a new effect every level up instead of continually being weighed down by additional mechanics to remember about their character’s functionality.

I explain it by saying: “Your character has learned to adapt to these circumstances, and it no longer impacts your mechanics or functionality in game.” You may find that your player wants to keep some of the roleplaying based effects, so use your best judgement for keeping the game fun.

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D&D adventurers of all ages can find unique experiences, but including something special for the elderly characters can bring a lot of depth to character development.

Setting the Scene With ElevenLabs Voices

I love to use the AI voice generator ElevenLabs for special occasions. I do my best to voice my own NPCs during the game, but when I am pretty sure I’ll have a specific scene to set, I often pre-write speeches or descriptions and have them voiced by an AI reader.

It adds some flavor and spice to the room and it’s a lot of fun. My players get a kick out of it!

ElevenLabs has a free account option as well as paid options if you want to create more content. Check it out using the button below.

Pre-Written Speeches and MP4 Downloads

If you want to use my pre-made descriptions and voices, check out the text and downloads below.

First up is the description of the area. I included the Deva’s speech at the end of this, but if you’d rather have her voiced by a female, just stop the recording in time and use the separate one further down the page.

You are in a vast, colorless expanse. It appears to mirror the landscape and design of the material world, but lacks vibrant hues and tangibility. You have read about this place: The ethereal plane exists in parallel to the world of the living.

Here, the boundaries between objects blur, and everything appears translucent and ghostly. Shimmering mists drift around you, coalescing into strange and fantastical shapes, then dissipating. Luminescent phenomena: a radiant wisp, and a swirling vortex, spin and drift away from you in a distant field. The air itself feels charged with a mystical energy.

You are standing in a mirror image of a small town. One you recognize, in fact! Your childhood home is nearby, as well as a stable where you used to work. You turn, gazing at the faded copies of places you knew so well. A surreal landscape unfolds. Ethereal wisps weave through the air like delicate threads of fate. Bright constellations shimmer overhead, forming intricate patterns and tell the tales of countless lives.

As you take in your surroundings, you see that instead of the town square, an ancient and majestic artifact hovers in its place. It is a wheel. Its spokes arc like celestial sigils, each etched with the stories and destinies of a thousand lives before yours. Radiant energies emanate from the wheel, casting a warm, pale glow upon the faded landscape.

A creature of great stature, human in shape but bearing an alien countenance and magnificent feathered wings stands near the wheel. She watches you. When you do nothing, she beckons you forward. You feel compelled to move towards her, and find your feet stepping onto the platform without your telling them to.

She speaks, her voice echoing into the space around you with subtle harmonies. It is as though the air sings along with her, vibrating all around you.

She says: “Aging is not for the faint of heart. Troubles ebb and flow like the tides, bringing new tribulations and triumphs. Memories flicker and fade, and those we once knew and loved become strangers. Such is the way of life.”

“In this place, fates are born and sealed. You have been chosen by a power far greater than any other to be a witness to this.”

“We will now spin the Wheel of Years. Though we all must embrace our dance with time, we now chronicle Skywatcher’s slow decline.”

You can listen to this by clicking the button below. To save the file, after clicking the button below, click on the hamburger menu (the three dots) on the right side of the player and choose “Download.”

The female voice text is below:

“Aging is not for the faint of heart. Troubles ebb and flow like the tides, bringing new tribulations and triumphs. Memories flicker and fade, and those we once knew and loved become strangers. Such is the way of life.”

“In this place, fates are born and sealed. You have been chosen by a power far greater than any other to be a witness to this.”

“We will now spin the Wheel of Years. Though we all must embrace our dance with time, we now chronicle Skywatcher’s slow decline.

You can listen to this by clicking the button below. To save the file, after clicking the button below, click on the hamburger menu (the three dots) on the right side of the player and choose “Download.”

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Closing Thoughts

The Wheel of Years is a fun way to introduce some interesting mechanics or roleplaying ideas for aging D&D adventurers in a campaign. If you end up using it, I’d love to read about your experiences in the comments below.

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Love, Malice. I hope you enjoyed the article! I'm here if you have any questions. Feel free to leave a comment below!

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