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Life Expectancy for the races
Old 17 Oct 2008, 01:01   #1 (permalink)
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Default Life Expectancy for the races

What are the general life expectancy for the races of 40k? Normal humans, Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, Tau.

Necron, Nids, and Daemons wouldn't really have a "life expectancy" One could only guess how old a hive fleet is. Daemons are immortal, and Necrons are machines.
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 01:17   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

Tau are sorta indeterminate right now. Apparently, the avg lifespan was in the 40's but can be extended if the need arises (with the Tau value of life I hate this new fluff).

Humans can get rejuve treatments, I don't have a clue as to what extent this can go.

SM's I haven't pegged down yet. Some fluff suggests immortality until a forced death, but others suggest many thousands of years.

Eldar...Whew...Thousands upon thousands.

Normal humans, it depends on the planet and condition of life. In the Imperium I'd guess that life doesn't go above mid to late 30's very often overall.

Orks. No clue.

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Old 17 Oct 2008, 01:18   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

Tau typically live to about 40, although there are some cases of them living significantly longer for reasons that are unclear. They don't need very much sleep, though, and they go from full-health to dead very quickly.

Regular humans can live for a few centuries with special medical treatments. Otherwise their life expectancy is dependent on local conditions.

Chaos Space Marines obviously live for as long as their gods permit. Many have survived since the Heresy in one form or another.

Space Marines routinely live for several centuries. The oldest on record is about 1,100 years old. It is unclear whether they can actually die of old age, though. I can't recall any examples of that.

Same deal with Eldar. The live long enough that their lifespan is more likely to be curtailed by violence or accident than by age. Old Farseers can sometimes merge with the wraithbone of their Craftworld over time, but the implication is that Eldar typically live for several thousands of years.

The lifespan of Orks is tied into their social structure. A more powerful Ork will live longer surrounded by other Orks (barring death in battle). An Ork on his own or a weaker Ork in a clan can die of old age. But due to the nature of their culture, this is another case where they are more likely to die violently, since they can't really weaken and die naturally without being murdered first.
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 01:32   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

Khanaris has covered it. The Marine one always annoys me though, you have stuff in the fluff saying how somebody like Cassius is ancient and shows some signs of his age, but he must be not much older if older at all than Calgar. You have Dante who is WAY older. Over 1,000 I believe.

If we are to go off fluff on what is actually classed as old for a Marine. It is about 400. Maybe this is due to wear and tear though. Maybe a Marines body doesn't give out at around that age from a violant death but instead an accumulation of wounds over the centuries and just having lived a hard life.

Calgar and Dante being old and in relatively good shape could be attributed I suppose to them becoming Chapter Masters fairly early in their careers. Getting better equipment and aid from apothecaries, not seeing the front line as much with being a Chapter Master etc. So the 'wear and tear' on them wouldnt be the same as it would for a regular Tac Marine.

So I would guess that a regular Company Marine or somebody in the thick of it all the time like a Chaplain and Librarians who have other strains on their body, will usually die of 'Old Age' as it were at about 500? If these guys NEVER went to war and lived an easy life then they would no doubt double that at least.
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 08:45   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

In an inquistor RPG book, I believe it said the oldest inquistor was ~960. He had had rejuve treatments up the wazoo. He also didn't see much fighting if I remember the fluff right.
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 09:23   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

I believe Eisenhorn was a couple hundred years old as well.

As for Eldar, well, remember that Eldrad Ulthuan warned the Emperor about his traitorous son, and they had discussed other things before (it kinda pissed the big E off when Eldrad said that...)
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 13:43   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

Well, Tyranid life expectancy is typically very short for the individual creatures, a matter of days, weeks or months for everything but the Hive Fleet ships themselves. The typical Tyranid gribblie is grown and meant to be expended like ammunition. Gaunts, Hormagaunts, and Rippers would typically have extremely short lifespans. Larger tyranid Organisms might be grown and last the entire siege of a typical planet.

Again, they are nothing but proverbial cogs in the Tyranid machine though, each playing their predefined role, and happily expendable by the Hive Mind should the situation require such action. But the larger creatures, particularly something like a Carnifex or Hive Tyrant (the monstrous creatures) might have an easier time surviving for longer. Still, none last longer than it takes for the Hive Fleet to conquer and capture a new world or be destroyed in the attempt.

There is no middle ground with Tyranids, it is kill or be killed. If you don't destroy them, they destroy you, and when they are through pacifying the planets resistance, they destroy all their own creatures by having them wade into their own digestion pools, to have their constituent bio-mass reclaimed by the Hive Fleet - ready to be grown into another set of assault organisms for the next planetary conquest. Typical Hive Fleet conquests from insertion to the day the Hive Fleet leaves a dead barren rock scoured of any and all biomass materials don't usually last more than a few months.

The Hive ships though? Those may have significantly longer lifespans, and not much is known about them.
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Old 17 Oct 2008, 13:54   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

A Hive Ships consumption of a World can last decades though. There are a few short fluff pieces where the remnants of a defeated Fleet Splinter come across a world, only 1 or 2 small ships and are slowly consuming it. It was a forest world with no human life IIRC but the person stranded there comes to a clearing in the forest where the ships had started their work and sees a wasteland. In the forests there are still the normal animals but also tyranid organisms that are slowly wiping out the life on the world.
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Old 18 Oct 2008, 06:26   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

The Tau have been made more difficult by the new codex, but I tend to take a... less literal view of things. Saying that Shadowsun and Farsight both learned from Peritide does not mean they they litteral sat down with him to learn tactics, but that they read and put in to practice his works. Peritide is the Sun Tzu of the Tau, and any millitary commander would read and take it to heart. By the same reasoning, they don't need to be contemporaries of each other for Shadowsun to condem Farsight's methodology.

Therefore, I hold that they 40 year LE is accurate for the Tau, even the famous ones. Only the Etherials are said to truely live longer, but they're not regular Tau.

As for the Inquisitors / Space Marines. It seems that the Imperium counts age as the number of years passed sense your birth, weather or not you were present for them. There are inquisitors who are 400 years old, but lost 250 year of it to time dialation while in the warp. And there are reports of ships from centuries ago re-appearing with only a month gone by on ship's time. So an Inquisitor's body may not be as old as his age.
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Old 18 Oct 2008, 07:48   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Life Expectancy for the races

It isn't just the new codex. In Star of Damocles, they are literally all there with Puretide. Shadowsun, Farsight, and the third one whose name I can't recall. :-\
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