I got into this discussion in a chatroom, and as I reflected on historical heroes, young men rarely rank amongst them. In RPs, it's rare to see PC men over 30, much less over 40. It's virtually unheard of with PC women. Now, I'll have you take note. Alexander was an exception, not the rule. The greatest heroes in history have generally been over 30. The height of Miyamoto Musashi's career was while he was over 30. Genghis Khan was still a tribal upstart before 44. William Wallace did some of his best fighting after 30. King Leonidas was sixty years old at Thermopalyae. Spartacus? 35 during his rebellion. Saladin was 31 when he became king. Ragnar Lodbrok? He was 70 years old, and still raiding. At Cannae, Hannibal Barca was 31. Oda nobunaga was 36 at Okehazama. Harald Hadrada, Julius Caesar, William the Conqueror, Phillip the Second, Alexios Komnenos, Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, Muhammad, Justinian, Belisarius, Frederick the Great, George Washington, Peter the Great, Themistocles, El Cid, Pyrrhus of Epirus, and the list just goes on, all did their great deeds past their late twenties, much less their early twenties.
This isn't even just heroes. The greatest warriors in the Roman Army were the evocatii, veterans ages 36-44. The greatest warriors in the Hellenstic Armies, the Silver Shields? 45-60! Samurai were at their most valuable after they had obtained some experience. Weightlifters, Boxers, all are at their peak in their early thirties. I don't know what the motivation is to have such a prevalence of ephebic wunderkinder.
So I'll put it up in a poll, and we can discuss below.
- - - Updated - - -
Addendum: Brought up by Vanquished.
In non-combat RPs, you'll find that some of the most historically witty men have been older. Cicero? Diogenes? All the Greek Philosophers? The greatest leaders, as already established, have been over 30 with one notable exception. Albert Einstein did his best work over 30. Very few people historically actually accomplished anything before they were 32.
- - - Updated - - -
Second addendum: Matt Bissonette, the man who shot Osama allegedly, was 34 when he did it.