Tuesday, 5 April 2022

D is for Drunk

No. I'm not drunk. Though I could be. You really don't know.

However, I'm learning that this year for A to Z I'm leaning into gaming mechanics, at the edges. Probably the best place for a blogging "event" really. Obscure and often engaging.


I've probably recounted more times on this blog how one game captured my attention so much that I could not part with its "first edition" rules when I sold so much else. How another game, Twilight:2000apropos somewhat of current events—rekindled my love for the hobby of role-playing games.

WFRP has some great mechanics for consuming to much alcohol. I can't think of similar rules for D&D off the top of my head.1 In WFRP, a character can consume a number of drinks equal to his or hers Toughness Bonus (TB), which is equal to the characters Toughness divided by 10, rounded down. So a Toughness of 40, is a TB of 4, or four drinks.

Drinks are actually qualified as the following: ale, beer, wine, and spirits. Ale and Beer? Wait, aren't they the same thing? No, grasshopper. As a homebrewer, they are similar, but distinct styles. And that is enough. Particularly in context of a 17th century fantasy Europe.

WFRP cleverly escalates the effects of alcohol on the character with the first drink through the drink that equals the character's TB. And then things go down hill from there.

Narratively, at the table, a lot is on the player to a) be aware of the rules and b) play them for the friction in the narrative developing at the table2. WFRP, for its irreverent nature, of course describes these effects from the position of a freshman in college, the last stage: passed out in your own vomit3.

AD&D (Advanced D&D) 1e ("first edition", c. 1979) describes mechanical effects of intoxication on characters in some coarse terms, slight, moderate, and great (and really through poisoning). However, I don't find mechanics for getting to such states of intoxication. And without serving alcohol at the table, to the player, we can't develop a story from the mechanics.

There. I said it.

  1. [1] 1e and beyond probably elaborate on getting drunk, narratively, beyond the books: in supplements or articles.

  2. [2] Roleplaying games must provide rules and mechanics in opposition, "friction," to the players wishes. Often, I've heard and have quoted the idea that without rules and dice, "we are playing pretend." This "friction" is the impetus between playing pretend and playing a game in which the story develops against the base wishes of the players.

  3. [3] We all probably have been there... or so close we wished we weren't there. And I've been in both positions.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:18 PM in d10


Your comment:

(not displayed)

Live Comment Preview: