Friday, March 11, 2011

Primer - "Beverages".

Now, let’s be honest here; it’s pretty much a given in a lot of role-playing games - players are going to have a drink. And on average, most games just mention a few common types for flavor or don’t really bother to gauge alcohols impact on a character. In Requiem though, I discovered early on players wanted to have a drink in the bar. And, not only that, they often wanted to know how strong it was, etc. So I found myself ad-libbing a few beverages from time to time and one in particular has become so infamous I was forced to develop rules for it. Here is the, well I consider it simple and straight forward, approach I have been using and a few of the drinks known to exist in Requiem’s bars.

The system I use is based  on the idea of the sickened condition. A drink is categorized by a few simple traits; one, being the strength of it’s alcoholic content. This value is added to a base 10 to determine the drinker’s Fort DC when the beverage is consumed, and also increase the DC by said amount each time another is consumed. So, for example if it is a strength 5 drink, then it’s a DC 15 for the first drink, 20 for the second, well you get the idea. It is by this strength that I measure just how hard a drinks impact is for a body to resist.

Now the second factor I attribute to a drink is how apt it is to render someone unconscious. For that each drink has a die type to mark how much non-lethal or stun damage anyone who fails their save takes. A base d4 is the current standard but some drinks are far more prone to rob you of your surroundings. The drinks’ strength directly applies to the stun it can cause. As before if a strength 5 beverage is consumed and the fortitude save is failed then the poor  sap would have to deal with 5d4 in stun. And if he/she takes his current hit-points or more in such damage then he or she is now in dreamland.

One other trait exists when describing a beverage, and that is if the drink itself possesses any unusual side effects common to it. For example, those who consume Vernian Brew always take ½ stun even if they have a successful save, attributed to it’s reputation as a stout beverage known to be hard on even the toughest of drinkers.

Once consumed, any drinker can expect to suffer a penalty based on the drink’s strength to all their skill checks, ability checks, attack rolls, and damage rolls. The drinker gets a Fortitude Save with each drink to suppress this penalty. That shouldn’t be as worrisome to a players as two other impacts being drunk can have. For starters a DM can(at their discretion) apply a 10% chance multiplied by the drinks strength to determine if the inebriated individual falls victim to the Confusion or Nauseated conditions.  Other possible conditions  may exist at the DM’s discretion. 

And then we have the hangover… The bane of all who drink to excess or don’t know their limits. Even if a stout celebrant has consumed his beverages the effects may come back to haunt him even if his constitution was able to shake off their toxins with successful saves. As after a full 8 hours of rest they suffer the drinks’ full penalties for a number of hours equal to 1 + (drinks strength x number of drinks). So as before, if we have a strength 5 beverage that has been consumed twice, the unlucky imbiber can expect to be hung-over for at least 11 hours. May seem a bit much or un-realistic, but even toxins and alcoholic properties have advanced, not to mention rare and exotic ingredients.

So let’s take a peek behind the counter shall we?

Vernian Brew; A thick black viscous alcohol usually served warm and illegal on many worlds due to it's
dangerous nature. Strength 5, d10 Stun rating. Notes; Drinkers always take ½ stun on successful saves, and those who fail their saves are highly prone to Nausea and Confusion.

Quasar; A standard whiskey served in virtually any bar. Strength 2, d6 Stun rating. Notes; Some cheap variants may cause Fatigue.

Digital Delight; A clear fizzy drink served chilled. It is often favored by NodeRunners and various tech-enthusiasts for it’s low toxins. Strength 1, d4 Stun Rating. Notes; Digital Delight is notorious for numbing the body or “meat” as NodeRunners refer to it while allowing a slight euphoria. Anyone drinking Digital Delight receives a +1 bonus to all dice rolls while jacked into a Node or other device.

*Submissions of new beverages is always welcome.