So here's a question: Given that ghosts in AD&D/OSRIC age the people they touch by 10-40 years, if they touch a little kid, does the little kid stay the same size but just get older looking - like a freaky hobbit without hairy feet? Or do they suddenly actually grow in size and their clothes shrink and rip accordingly?
I mean, if their bodies grow, then there's a kind of polymorph thing going on and it just seems very odd or really fantastic somehow (of course, so is magical aging itself). Let’s say that physical growth does occur - might you end up with middle-aged adults whose language and demeanor is that of children? Another option with that approach might be that they’ll stop behaving like a child after a number of years go by that had originally been left to their youth, before it was stolen. Or would they magically and instantly advance in age and size and become the adults that they were destined to become in personality, simply missing the decades of life's experiences that they would have had? I suppose these other options might not be dependent on whether they grow in size or not.
I asked my wife and she chose the freaky hobbit option. She found the idea of a change in size to be silly, and in fact said that the child would not grow in size with natural aging either - that they’d be stuck in that small physical form for the rest of their lives. Crap. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that option. At least she indulges my occasional important question from left field.
I started to actually chart the possibilities to make a vote easier and to clarify it for myself, or even to have a table to roll on, but I just confused myself more in the attempt.
Personally, I like the idea of a more powerful ghost that robs children of their adulthood forever, but traps them in an adult body. It’s tragic, and makes for a good NPC.
Real life update
1 hour ago