Saturday, March 3, 2018


Characters who choose to imbibe ale, mead, beer, wine, spirits and other intoxicating beverages may be subject to becoming intoxicated. There are three states of intoxication:
  • flushed, where characters self-identify physical or mental feelings not associated with sobriety.
  • tight, where characters self-identify as being aware of their surroundings but have difficulty controlling their physical selves.
  • smashed, where characters cease to effectively self-identify.

A sober character who fails a save upon imbibing alcohol becomes flushed; another failed save makes the character tight and a third save will cause the character to be smashed. Saving throws are indicated below, based on weight and race.

Reaching any of these states will have effects upon various attributes of the character, as indicated on the right. Intelligence, wisdom, dexterity and charisma are lowered as the state of intoxication deepens (*bards are immune to charisma effects).

Moreover, with characters that are smashed, every decision that the character makes that is not a response to some other action (being asked a question, being led, being attacked and so on) requires that the character make either an intelligent check or wisdom check (player's option) before such action can be initiated. The DM should feel free to judge these situations on a case-by-case basis, but the player's perspective should always be taken into account.

The increase in hit points reflects a diminished sense of pain, fear and caution experienced by persons who are inebriated, as well as a general tolerance for physical abuse. It must be noted, however, that if those hit points that have been gained from intoxication are reduced to zero, the character must make a dexterity check (taking into account the character's lowered dexterity) to see if the character has also sustained an injury at that time. The amount of injury points a failed roll produces will be equal to 1 for a flushed state, 1-2 for a tight state and 1-3 for a smashed state. The injury will not be felt, however, until after the character has become sober - so that the character's effectiveness should not be adjusted until that time (though any healing given to an intoxicated character must address the injury before improving the character's hit points).

Once imbibing enough, the character makes a save against progressing to the next level of intoxication:

The numbers listed under each character race indicate the saving throw that must be made if a 'drink' is taken (according to the character's weight). A drink is defined as 2 ounces of spirits, 8 ounces of strong ale (as opposed to a short beer, an ale-like drink made without hops) or 6 ounces of wine. Once this amount has been consumed, a saving throw can be made to determine if the character has increased their inebriation or not. Only one saving throw must be failed for the character to become flushed. It requires two failed saving throws altogether for a character to become tight (counting the one that made the character flushed). It requires three failed saving throws to cause a character to become smashed. In each case, the saving throw is adjusted by constitution as noted.

Where time is a factor, the character should roll a d6 to see how many ten minute periods it takes for the increased inebriation to take hold. For example, a male dwarf weighing 155 lbs., with a 14 constitution, fails to roll the necessary 9 on a d20 to retain his present sobriety. However, though the greater inebriation is now inevitable, it requires 1d6 x 10 minutes to pass before our dwarf feels these effects. We may imagine that he rolls a 4, indicating he will become flushed in 40 minutes. However, our dwarf continues to drink during that time. He has another glass of ale and fails again, approximately 30 minutes before he is due to become flushed. He rolls a d6 again and now he rolls a 1 - indicating he will be tight in 10 minutes. When this case arises, presume that the character will move from sober (none of what he has drunk so far has had any notable effect) to tight all at once, once the ten minutes have passed. Where conflicts occur, consider only the result where the greatest degree of intoxication will occur.

There is room on this system for other forms of intoxicants, such as mead, dwarven ale, etcetera. Simply assign an amount in ounces for such that defines that beverage as a "drink" - then roll a saving throw accordingly when that amount is consumed.

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