Saturday, April 21, 2018

Optional Rules: Alcohol and Intoxicants I

Many game systems tend to studiously avoid the subjects of alcohol and other intoxicants in their rules. It's easy to understand why, as they do not wish to be seen to condone the use of such substances. However, as adults, we realize that there will come those times when we may need to adjudicate the effects of a night of drinking and carousing, or similar circumstances. And I have yet to ever meet a Game Master that hasn't had to rule on a drinking match between a player character and an NPC, at least once.

The following rules are not meant to reflect real life. They are not scientifically measured and meant to portray the actual effects of various substances on the human body. They are a simple metric for game purposes only. Nor is this blog article meant to be seen as condoning or encouraging the abuse of alcohol or intoxicating substance in the real world.

Intoxication Table I is a simple table that does not require the use of calculations , or record keeping during the game. A player simply states the level at which they which their character to reach and maintain. This avoids arguments, number crunching, and other problems during play. However, the DM is the final arbiter of the game and may apply a higher level of intoxication to a character if the role-playing actions of the player, or circumstances unknown to the player, should apply to the situation.

Right Click and Save, to download this table

Hit Points - The number of temporary hit points added to the character due to higher pain thresholds. These hit points are lost first when damage is taken, and can not be "healed" back through any means because they are not actual hit points.

Saves - Temporary benefit to die rolls when making Saving Throws. This is a reflection of how drunkards seemingly survive situations that harm most everyone else.

Mental - Temporary decrease in Intelligence and Wisdom scores, due to impaired judgement and mental faculties. Conversely, this adjustment is reversed and added to the Charisma of the opposite/preferred sex, thus making them seemingly more attractive than they actually are.

Dexterity - Temporary decrease in Dexterity while intoxicated. Lowered Dexterity may affect Armor Class, Initiative, and ranged combat attack rolls.

Memory - Recollection of events while the character was inebriated.

Liquid Courage - Self explanatory. Some people need to drink to develop the courage to do something they would not normally attempt.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Specialty Drinks For Your Fantasy Games

During a recent game session, I had an NPC introduce one of the players (my wife) to an alcoholic beverage, Sangwyvernis, Blood of the Wyvern. A specialty whiskey, aged with the venomous stinger of a wyvern's tail inside the bottle. It was meant to be a small, yet interesting detail dropped into the adventure, with no idea that it would spark my wife into asking me what other "interesting" concoctions where available in the campaign. Honestly, except for a few dwarven ales, I had never really given the subject matter much thought.

After the session, my wife immediately grabbed the AD&D Monster Manual (1st edition) and fired up Google. Armed with a few quick answers about exotic real-world drinks, she decided that she'd use tidbits from various spell components, and details from some likely monster descriptions, to create a list of original specialty drinks to be used in our campaign. The following drinks are just the tip of the iceberg to come.

Effects of Alcohol and Drugs can be found on pages 82-83 of the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. Feel free to use whatever other rules you prefer.

Specialty Drinks:

Essence of Will-O-(The)-Wisp: When imbibed, the drinker will be surrounded by a shimmering luminescent glow, similar to that of a Will-O-Wisp, for 70 - 120 minutes (60 minutes + 1d6 x 10). The user will also have a faint static electrical aura that will cause small, but not unpleasant, shocks to those who come into close physical contact. During this time, the drinker will naturally draw the attention of those around them.

Cost: 100 gold pieces per bottle
Contents: 6 glasses
Brightwine: A sweet tasting wine, made with enchanted powdered agate. Induces a light euphoric hallucinogenic state, that makes colors appear much more vibrant than they actually are.

Cost: 50 gold pieces per bottle
Contents: 6 glasses

Eel Wine: A strong rice wine, fermented with the body of a poisonous eel inside the bottle. The drinker suffers the debilitating effects of alcohol as if they have consumed twice as many drinks than normal. If the drinker passes out from drinking too much, a Save (+2 to the roll) vs Poison must be made or death occurs.

Cost: 30 gold pieces per bottle
Contents: 6 glasses

Sangwyvernis, (Blood of the Wyvern): A specialty whiskey, aged with the venomous tail stinger of a wyvern in the bottle. This drink is very smooth with a hell of a kick, and quickly numbs away any aches and pains.

Cost: 60 gold pieces per bottle
Contents: 25 normal shots, or 16 large shot glasses

Mo'shyugh:  A powerful drink made by orcs, not  meant for human consumption! This strong liquor is fermented from the dried dung of an Otyugh. Non-orcs can drink it, but it tastes vile, and requires a Save vs Poison (per drink) to not vomit. Each drink counts as three drinks for the purposes of inebriation effects. Often pickled Rot Grubs are added to the bottle during aging. Eating a grub will induce feelings of invulnerability and deaden pain for an hour (add +1d4 temporary hit points to the drinker, non-cumulative, for the next hour).

Cost: 50 gold pieces per gallon jug (usually unavailable to non-orcs)
Contents: 8 pint mugs

Fire Lizard Brandy: A strong brandy, mixed with the powdered fire-producing glands of a Fire Lizard, and aged for at least three years. It has a fierce burning flavor, with a smoky aftertaste. It must be sipped slowly and savored, or the drinker may end up with smoke coming from their mouth and nostrils.

Cost: 70 gold pieces per bottle
Contents: 6 glasses