A little preview of GRIT & VIGOR here for you. When you base a game on manly exploits of the olden days, you have to put some thought into rank drunkenness and other intoxicating past times. How can you run a Victorian-era game without using an opium den as a set piece, and how can you run a game set in the Old West without a drunken brawl in a saloon? You can’t – it’s somewhere in the bylaws I think – and so you need some rules to cover intoxicants and their effect on the human body (specifically, the PC’s bodies and those NPC bodies they’re going to be clashing with).
Why I never thought of writing these rules for Blood & Treasure, I don’t know, but they would work for that game and most other old school games I should suppose. Obviously, the rules are kept simple and abstract – they’re meant to take up a column of the rulebook, not a chapter – but I think they’ll do the job.
Strong men often crave strong drink to dull the pain of living, or to celebrate a hard-fought victory. Of course, alcohol isn’t the only intoxicant a man or his enemies might use. Intoxicants are treated as poisons, and thus require a Fortitude saving throw to resist. They come in three broad varieties: Depressants, stimulants and hallucinogenics.
Intoxicants are also given two levels of efficacy – mild and strong. A strong substance not only has a greater effect than a mild one, and it imposes a -10 penalty to save against it.
The dosage of intoxicants varies widely, so use your best judgment. Mild intoxicants have a duration of 1d6 turns, while strong intoxicants have a duration of 1d6 hours.
If a character already under the effects of a mild intoxicant takes another dose and fails his saving throw, treat him as though he has taken a strong intoxicant.
Each time a character falls prey to the effects of a mild intoxicant, there is a 5% chance they will develop an addiction to that intoxicant (rules for that to follow). Strong intoxicants have a 10% chance per use of causing addiction.
MILD DRUG EFFECT
Depressant: -2 penalty to sensory task checks and balance and tumbling task checks, -2 penalty to AC and to all attack rolls, 10% chance per hour of falling asleep
Stimulant: -2 penalty to all wisdom=based task checks and Will saves and saves vs. sleep effects, +2 bonus to all other saving throws and to attack, -2 penalty to AC
Hallucinogenic: Confusion (there would be a page reference here in the rulebook, but if you’ve played ye old fantasy rpg, you know what confusion does)
STRONG DRUG EFFECT
Depressant: -4 penalty to sensory task checks and balance and tumbling task checks, -4 penalty to AC and to all attack rolls, 10% chance per turn of exhaustion of falling asleep
Stimulant: -4 penalty to all wisdom-based task checks and Will saves and saves vs. sleep effects, +4 bonus to all other saving throws and to attack, -4 penalty to AC, suffers 1d6 points of damage to body per hour of duration, after duration the character is left fatigued for equal duration
Hallucinogenic: Confusion, with a 10% chance that the condition is permanent
Some common intoxicants include the following:
Alcohol: Mild or strong depressantAmphetamine: Strong stimulant
Caffeine: Mild stimulant
Cannabis: Mild depressant and Hallucinogenic
Cocaine: Strong stimulant
Heroine: Strong depressant
LSD: Strong hallucinogenic
Mescaline: Strong hallucinogenic
Morphine: Strong depressant
Mushrooms: Mild or strong hallucinogenic
Nicotine: Mild stimulant
Nitrous: Oxide Mild hallucinogenic
Opium: Strong depressant
3 thoughts on “The Evils of Drink and Other Intoxicants”
Liquor (aka Liquid Courage, aka Liquid Stupidity) could have an immediate positive effect of reducing damage by X% because the numbing effects allow you to take harder hits and bounce back for more. Yet the following day, round, etc. the character must make saving throws against motion, loud noises, and/or bright lights else suffer a penalty to Fortitude. Another fun effect would be that a mage's spells don't come out quite right whilst intoxicated. He swears he's reciting the spell verbatim, but do to incomprehensible slurring the spell only has a 50% chance of succeeding its intended effect.
As a resident of Washington state, I might suggest that while Cannabis Indica has a mild depressant effect, Cannabis Sativa can have a mild stimulant effect.
I'll have to take your word for it. The closest I've ever come to weed was watching a Cheech & Chong movie back in the day.
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