206

Start with the simple stuff Well you have written a bunch of rules and most of them are non fatal if tested, so you start with the simple and "safe" stuff, and then you move down the list. Objects are absorbed Well I have a slight objection to that one: absorbed as in encased and kept indefinitely or dissolved and excreted? Test: Push a sewing needle ...


165

If all the rules have been explained to the hero I would suggest he goes out and gets a piercing. If I understand your rules correctly he would absorb the part of the piercing that is encased in his body and the hole will seal itself. This is not how normal healing would work at all, and if the wizard was lying (he isn't, but the hero doesn't know that) the ...


119

Focus on imprisoning If you are naked in a cage, you can be immortal as much as you want, you won't be able harm me (in most situations, anyway).


98

Others have asked and answered these questions more than 2000 years ago. Just read literature about any pantheon of gods and you'll find a lot of great patterns. Gods can be banished (from places or social gatherings, not from a plane of existence) Gods can be imprisoned Gods can be tortured (chain them to a rock and send a bird every so often to eat some ...


90

This is simpler than might appear to be the case. The person is now immortal or, at least, so he's been told. When if anyone lives long enough eventually they will die except, of course, if you're immortal. Essentially sooner or later anyone will be faced with circumstances that will kill a normal mortal person. Therefore, the best way to test your putative ...


89

They're immortals, they've had thousands of years to hone their skills. They don't die easily. They're all veterans of countless battles and know when to retreat. For humans losing mere dozens out of thousands in a pitched battle is a fantastic success. For them even one or two losses is a rare and sad event. Any normal attrition rate would leave their ...


87

Immortality is part of puberty You can have children mature at a normal, human rate, which may not be "faster" but it will appear that way relative to their adult counterparts. Then, when puberty hits, their body can start the "immortality process" along with every other change. Puberty already employs a host of changes that you can use as an excuse for ...


66

Credit ratings should take care of this. Yes, an immortal might technically have eternity to pay off their loans - but nobody will want to lend any more money to an immortal who is currently millions of credits in debt. There may be other social ramifications as well; until you pay off your debt you may suffer from a general lack of privileges and/or ...


60

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin The only way this can be kept a secret is if the immortal (let's call him Bob) is the only person to know the secret. If anyone else learns of Bob's immortality, bad things happen - through jealousy, if nothing else. The key to Bob's plan, then, is to create a tradition: the king ...


59

The CDC estimates 187,000 people in the USA die from "injury" every year -- basically that includes homicide, suicide, vehicle accidents, and other forms of accidental death. This works out to a chance of about 1/1600 of an individual dying from injury in any given year. So the chance of survival is 0.999375. After 300 years, your chance of remaining alive ...


59

Redundancy You do not need to make a thing indestructible. You need to make the data undeletable. Imagine I wanted to destroy the word of God as written in the Bible. It would essentially be impossible. I could get rid of every bible in town but there are more in other towns. There are millions and millions of them. Even an apocalypse would miss the ...


59

From the statistics page you cited: The odds of dying from an injury in 2014 were 1 in 1,576 according to the latest data available. Let us suppose this is the odds of dying in a given year due to misadventure or violence. This makes it a probability problem. Figuring out the actual answer to your question - what is the expected value of the number of ...


54

Low natality rates. They would live long, but procreating a child is a very rare event for all couples. That should balance the lack of aging, if deaths due to other reasons are not too frequent.


53

Death is something that is almost universally feared. Remove it, and things changes surprisingly. 1. What people do Most people would not try to do things which have very low chances on succeding and possibly cost their lives, like trying to sneak inside the enemy barracks to steal something or so on. These things are normally suicidal missions and failure ...


50

You can go through with a normal cycle, menstrual cycle runs as normal, menopause runs as normal at a certain age, after which no more periods. You can say that the immortality means that the normal menstrual cycle keeps running forever. All these things have hormonal consequences, and as such consequences for the body, if you want to keep people "young" ...


47

You can't. It is clear from the OP that not only does the hero not trust the magician, but also that the purpose of any test is to prove whether or not the magician is lying. The magician may well be telling the truth with respect to any non-life threatening injuries (or behaviour such as over-eating), but any improved healing, even if proven and no matter ...


45

You don't make it indestructible. You make it decentralized. You make it redundant. You make it run in something like the futuristic version of Google's server farms, where your search or your email or your doc hits some random server out of a pool of available servers. If one of those guys crashes, literally no one notices except some poor, overworked, ...


43

You can fake some age with makeup and hair coloring. You could probably "age" from 28 to 58 over 30 years without really setting off too many alarm bells. Any comments can easily be explained away with "well, I guess we have really good genes." Then after 30 years you start to cut ties to friends. This is easier if you don't really make many friends to ...


42

The easiest way would be for them to do this The Odessa File style: Get one or more of their own on the inside of the record-keeping bureaucracy of a state with weak governance. That insider can then steal, fake, forge, or just plain old issue whatever documentation they need to keep churning their identities. Edited to add: since that bureaucratic ...


39

Over the last centuries these immortals faced slowly escalating problems as bureaucracy grew. A pattern based on teamwork might help: Every decade or two, fake a pregnancy and childbirth. This requires a baby, but orphans could be found. As the children reach primary school age, get rid of them. In an orphanage if they are moral, by murder if they are the ...


38

Because why not? There's no actual scientific requirement which forces your immortals to age proportionally, and there's plenty of scientific reasons for why they would not. Growing up is not a random set of changes. As much as the poor pubescent boy might despise his cracking voice, everything that happens to children as they grow up happens for a reason....


36

The ability to live for extremely long times without death generally implies the ability to heal from most damage. Given a long enough time, even humans can remove most minor scars. Animals like Lizards, Spiders, and Starfish all regrow lost limbs. The same goes for Psychological trauma, to some extent. Over time, people cope. Some people don't get PTSD ...


36

Just replace them. Plenty of animals replace their teeth continually, throughout their lives. Some grow new teeth in the back / front, let old ones fall out in the front / back, and all the intermediate teeth slowly migrate in between. That really only works for animals that have uniform teeth, though--not varied teeth for varied purposes in specific ...


35

As have been mentioned by @Murphey and @Twelth, war can be a relief of boredom and they will be very good at it. As other people have mentioned, I can't believe that they would form a battle line and go numbers to numbers against a foe. They would use all of their skill that they've developed. Also, there might only be one or two in a battle. They run ...


34

Anything that isn't cancer. You seem to describe something known as biological immortality, which occurs when an organism cannot simply die of old age. Lucky, a jellyfish species called Turritopsis dohrnii has this condition. Let's talk about what kills them. Pathogens Even if death from old age cannot occur, microbes can kill the body. Viruses may be out ...


34

You're conflating the idea of always being in debt with not paying off individual notes. The US, for example, has been in debt for decades but you better believe that if you go redeem some savings bonds that they'll have your money. You just have to realize that on the back side they're reissuing another one. A person could have \$10k in credit card debt ...


31

10 000 years doesn't need to take 10 000 years I'm not sure I fully understand this requirement: The server should live long enought that the human mind would evolve in some form or another that they won't need the server anymore. But if what you need is to spend 10 000 years on the server, just run the server really quickly. If you're running the ...


30

Aging is not necessary to maintain their low population. No population can grow without limit, and in the animal kingdom, most animals die before they would otherwise die of extreme old age. These are the things that limit population growth. Food stocks. Regardless of your will to reproduce, if you don't have enough food, you can't grow new humans. ...


29

Most who explore the idea of a brain upload as immortality push hard against your intuition of what your 'self' is. You think you're pretty darn sure what your self is, but it's actually a very slippery concept. For example, do you think you can define your "self" as your body? Many of the atoms in your body are changed out rather rapidly. While tooth ...


29

Have a look at real-world instances of children who appear biologically frozen in time and parallel their behavior as an indicator of how your immortal child might act. Examples include: Nick Smith is 21 years old, and stands less than three feet tall Gabby Williams is 8 years old and appears to age very slowly, Geoffery 29 years old but also appears to ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible