Age score measures the physical age of the character based upon % of total life span. Age score may not exactly correlate with the actual number of years a character has been alive, because during the course of adventures, NPC/PCs may encounter situations where they age prematurely. Each point of age score represents one decade of life upon the Red Planet for a native Martian. That is correct, because of advances in medical technology, public health, and epidemiology, the natural life span of a Martian is 1,000 years!
“Only one Martian in a thousand dies of sickness or disease, and possibly twenty take the voluntary pilgrimage. The other nine-hundred and seventy-nine die violent deaths in duels, in hunting, in aviation and in war; but perhaps the greatest loss occurs during the age of childhood, when vast numbers of the little (green) Martians fall victims to the great white apes of Mars.
“The average life expectancy of a Martian after the age of maturity is about three hundred years, but would be nearer the one thousand mark if it were not for the various means leading to violent death. Owing to the waning resources of the planet it evidently becomes necessary to counteract the increasing longevity which their remarkable skill in therapeutics and surgery produced, and so human life has come to be considered lightly on Mars as evidenced by their dangerous sports and almost continual warfare between communities“ (PM, V)
To generate a character’s age score roll 1d6 (2d6 if scientist, extra or yellow Martian) for every level that a character possesses.
Depending on the character’s age score; his physical age description falls into one of five broad categories. The age category will modify the character’s generated abilities. These modifiers are NOT cumulative and if an ability score is reduced to zero by aging, the character is assumed to have died from complications of aging (heart attack, cancer, stroke, pneumonia, etc.).
It should take a minimum of one simulated Barsoomian year to advance each level (i.e., it would take three years for a PC to go from 2nd to 5th level). Aging does not cause a character to lose acquired levels , but it may prevent him from gaining new levels.