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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    If you're anything like me, you tend to DM for players who like their sauce. My groups love to drink while we play DnD, and that often translates into their characters going to pubs to drink, carouse, and engage in drinking games. Try as I might, I could not find any thorough and well designed rules for alcohol consumption and drunkenness for 3.5 DnD, so I decided to make my own.

    These rules may seem slightly complicated, but they are meant to simulate real drinking as accurately as possible, and real drinking is an extremely inexact science. Even with all our current knowledge of how alcohol effects the human body, their are still a lot of mysteries surrounding various tolerances, apparent genetic advantages, and other variables. So yes, these rules are somewhat complicated. Which means, unless drinking is a significant part of your DnD campaign, these rules probably aren't worth implementing in your game.

    But for those of you with players like mine, I figured I would share these rules, because you'll be using them. A lot. Good luck, have fun, and please drink responsibly. Without further ado:

    Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Hangovers


    Drinking Mechanics

    A "Drink" is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of liquor.

    Every character has a tolerance modifier that is added onto every roll for drunkenness. Your tolerance modifier is equal to your CON modifier + any circumstantial bonuses.

    Spoiler: Circumstantial Modifiers, on top of CON modifier:
    Show
    +1 for males
    -1 for females
    ===
    +2 for dwarves
    -2 for gnomes
    ===
    +1 for genetic advantage
    -1 for genetic disadvangtage
    ===
    +1 or 2 for experienced drinkers or very experienced drinkers
    -1 or 2 for inexperienced drinkers or very inexperienced drinkers
    ===
    +1 or 2 for above average physical mass or particularly large physical mass
    -1 or 2 for below average physical mass or particularly small physical mass

    The DC for drunkenness increases for every drink you've had in a given hour. The DC starts at 10, and increases as follows for each additional drink within the hour:
    10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 23, 31, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100...
    If it's been at least an hour since any given drink, that drink no longer counts against the DC. After a failed roll, the next DC is the same as the previous, rather than increasing.

    Spoiler: Example
    Show
    For example, if Dragodar has one drink, he rolls against DC 10. If he has another drink before that hour is out, he rolls against DC 11. If he has a third before it's been an hour since his first, he rolls against DC 13.

    But then, if it's been over an hour since his first drink when he has his fourth drink, the first drink no longer counts toward the DC, so rather than rolling against DC 15, he would roll against DC 13 yet again.

    His fifth drink would be rolled against a DC 15, assuming it's less than an hour after his second drink (the DC 11 drink). If he fails this check, he increases one stage in drunkenness (see below) and the DC for his sixth drink is 15 yet again, since he just failed his last check.

    Assuming he succeeds this time, the DC increases as normal, to DC 18, for his next drink, and to DC 23 for the one after that. As long as he continues to fail, the DC remains the same.

    Each stage of drunkenness carries with it a temporary ability modifier, and some also come with Conditions and saves against vomiting. Roll 1d20 against this DC and add your tolerance modifier. Every time you fail, increase in drunkenness by one stage:

    1. Social (+2 Diplomacy)
    2. Tipsy (+2 Will Saves against fear, +2 Diplomacy)
    3. Dizzy (-2 DEX // +2 Will Saves against fear, +2 Diplomacy)
    4. Wasted (-2 DEX, WIS // +2 Will Saves against fear)
    5. Hammered (-4 DEX, CON, WIS // +2 Will Saves against fear // DC 10 save to avoid vomiting1)
    6. Smashed (-4 DEX, CON, INT, WIS // Sickened Condition // DC 15 save to avoid vomiting)
    7. Blackout (-6 DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA // Nauseated Condition // DC 20 save to avoid vomiting)
    8. Passout (-8 STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA // DC 20 to avoid Unconscious Condition2 // DC 10 save to avoid vomiting)


    Once a character stops drinking, every hour that passes moves the character one stage lower in drunkenness. If the character remains unconscious as they recover from drunkenness, the DC for vomiting does not go back to 20 and then 15, but instead continues to lower by 5 for every stage (10 at Passout, 5 at Blackout, 0 at Smashed).

    Note: for prepubescent drinkers or extreme lightweights, slightly different rules apply.
    • Every drink counts as two drinks, and must divided into two separate rolls. One check must be made for each half of the drink.
    • A failed check does not prevent the DC from increasing on the next check; for prepubescents and extreme lightweights, the DC increases as normal even after a failure.
    • Negative conditions apply to prepubescents and extreme lightweights two full drunkenness stages earlier, so they would be Sickened when Wasted, Nauseated when Hammered, and Unconscious when Smashed.
    • All other modifiers and rules apply as normal.


    1 Saves to avoid vomiting are rolled as 1d20 + tolerance modifier. When required, a save to avoid vomiting must be made every round until the save is failed. Once vomiting occurs, the character need not vomit again for one hour. If after one hour, the new stage of drunkenness still calls for a save to avoid vomiting, the character must once again make saves against vomiting until the save is failed and vomiting occurs. However, if after one hour the new stage of drunkenness does not call for a save against vomiting, the character is in the clear... at least, until they drink more alcohol.

    2 When Passout level is reached, the character must make a FORT save against DC 20 to avoid falling Unconscious, every ten minutes for as long as Passout level drunkenness persists.

    Hangover Mechanics

    When a character falls asleep while drunk, they typically wake up hungover.

    To determine if your character wakes up with a hangover, roll 1d20 + your tolerance modifier against DC 15 + the maximum level of drunkenness they achieved within the last 12 hours.

    A hungover character is affected by the Dazzled Condition for a number of hours equal to the maximum level of drunkenness they achieved within the last 12 hours minus 3 (eg 2 hours for Hammered, 4 hours for Blackout). They are also affected by the Sickened Condition (with a slight difference3) for a number of hours equal to the maximum level of drunkenness they achieved within the last 12 hours.

    3 Rather than receiving a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks, the character who is hungover receives a penalty equal to the negative of the maximum level of drunkenness they achieved within the last 12 hours minus 4, with a minimum of 1 (eg -1 for Wasted, -1 for Hammered, -2 for Smashed, -3 for Blackout, etc)


    Carousing Mechanics

    (based heavily on a post from Jeff's Gameblog; thanks Jeff!)

    If a PC is hanging around with nothing better to do, they can make a Carousing Roll and spend 100 gp times the roll on liquor and/or lechery. In villages the PC may roll a d4. In towns the PC may roll a d4 or a d6. In cities the PC may roll a d8 or lower. And in metropolises the PC may roll up to a d10. If the die roll is equal to or less than the character’s level, the result is a rousing good time and no harm done.

    Rolling above the character’s level indicates things got out of hand one way or another and the poor sucker must roll d20 and consult the chart below. If a character cannot afford the carousing they have rolled, they also must consult the chart. Fellow PCs can chip in to cover a character’s bar tab, but henchmen only do so to avoid the imprisonment of the PC and then only if a loyalty check is successful.

    All saves and ability checks are called "Carousing Checks" and are DC 10 + character level of the PC in question.

    Spoiler: Carousing Mishaps
    Show

    1. Hangover from hell. For the duration of a full day after Carousing, the PC is Hungover to the worst degree (-4 penalty on all Sickened-related rolls), and is affected by the Dazzled Condition for a number of hours equal to the maximum level of drunkenness they achieved within the last 12 hours (NOT minus 3 as normal).
    2. Make a fool of yourself in public. Succeed on CHA check or gain a reputation in this town as a drunken lout.
    3. Gain local reputation as the life of the party. Roll CHA check.
      If you fail, all future carousing in this town costs double due to barflies, freeloaders, mooches, and other parasites.
      If you succeed, all future carousing in this town costs half due to everyone wanting to buy your drinks.
    4. Involved in random brawl. Succeed on STR check or wake up 1d4 hit points short, with all the aches, pains, bruises, bloody lips, and black eyes that come with.
    5. Minor misunderstanding with local authorities. Roll CHA check. Success indicates a fine of (your Carousing Roll x 25gp). Failure or (inability to pay fine) indicates d4 days in the clink.
    6. Major misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling (your Carousing Roll x 500 gp) are paid. All weapons, armor, and magic items confiscated.
    7. Insult local person of authority or rank. A successful CHA check indicates the personage is amenable to some sort of apology and reparations. A failure indicates that they will not soon forget your insult.
    8. Romantic entanglement. Roll WIS check to avoid nuptials. If check fails, you are legally married. If check succeeds, roll a d6.
      =
      1-3) Scorned lover
      4-6) Angered parents
    9. You fall head over heels for your latest dalliance, despite your best efforts. Roll a d8.
      =
      1) Your beloved loves you back! Do I hear wedding bells?
      2) Your beloved is not interested in your advances. It was just a one night stand for them.
      3-8) Your beloved is already married.
    10. Dirty debauchery. You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Roll CON check to avoid venereal disease.
    11. Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. FORT save versus Baleful Polymorph (Carousing DC) or you’re literally a swine.
    12. Wake up stark naked in a random local temple. Roll a d6.
      =
      1-4) The clerics are majorly pissed off
      5-6) They smile and thank you for stopping by. Yikes.
    13. Minor gambling losses. Roll the dice as if you Caroused again to see how much you lose.
    14. Major gambling binge. Lose all your gold, gems, and jewelry. Roll WIS check for each magic item in your possession. Failure indicates it’s gone.
    15. New tattoo! Roll a d8.
      =
      1-2) It’s actually pretty cool. Player may pick a design.
      3-4) It’s really lame, but entertainingly so. A funny story from a crazy night.
      5) It's unrecognizably bad. Nothing more than an absolute blight on your skin.
      6) It could have been badass, but something is goofed up or misspelled.
      7) It says something insulting, crude, stupid, or otherwise embarrassing in an unknown language.
      8) It says something insulting, crude, stupid, or otherwise embarrassing in Common tongue.
    16. Beaten and robbed. Lose all your personal effects and reduced to half hit points. Ouch.
    17. You’ve been initiated into some sort of secret society or weird cult, though you’re not sure how it happened. Did you really make out with an emu, or was that just the drugs?
      Roll INT check to remember the signs and passes associated with this secret cult.
    18. Invest all your spare cash (50% chance all gems and jewelry, too) in some smooth-tongued merchant’s scheme. Roll a d6.
      =
      1-4) It’s bogus. You lose your money.
      5) It’s bogus and the Law thinks you’re in on it.
      6) Actual money making opportunity returns d% profits in 3d4 months.
    19. You asked your god(s) to get you out of some stupid mess, while in a drunken stupor. Turns out they heard you! Now as repayment for saving your sorry ass, you’re under the effects of a Quest spell.
    20. Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll d6 twice.
      =
      1-2) Burn down your favorite inn.
      3-4) Some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash.
      5-6) A big chunk of town goes up in smoke.
      =
      1-2) No one knows it was you.
      3-4) Your fellow carousers know you did it.
      5) Someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer.
      6) Everybody knows it was you. Better get moving.
    Last edited by Dragodar; 2018-04-05 at 01:28 PM.
    ...And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, from this day until the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks that fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Looks like fun, but I would remove the part about males vs. females, that's just asking for trouble.

    Is there any way to streamline it - the DC for example gets absurdly high, whereas even if you're holding your breath the rules just give a +1 DC per check. Plus it could deal Constitution damage after a certain point (alcohol can be fatal).

    Immunity or resistance against poison could be worked in as a bonus on saves, plus magic items of "immunity to hangovers" haha.

    Are you going to homebrew particular types of liquor e.g. mild elven wine, strong dwarven spirits, magical liquors, etc.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-03 at 08:21 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Looks like fun, but I would remove the part about males vs. females, that's just asking for trouble.

    Is there any way to streamline it - the DC for example gets absurdly high, whereas even if you're holding your breath the rules just give a +1 DC per check. Plus it could deal Constitution damage after a certain point (alcohol can be fatal).

    Immunity or resistance against poison could be worked in as a bonus on saves, plus magic items of "immunity to hangovers" haha.

    Are you going to homebrew particular types of liquor e.g. mild elven wine, strong dwarven spirits, magical liquors, etc.
    I like all of this except the male/female part. I'm not very PC when it comes to science, and it's a known fact that alcohol affects females more strongly than it affects males of similar weight and BMI. So that part I'll leave in. Of course, anyone who uses this system is welcome to remove that part in their own games, but I am aiming for maximum realism. The rest of your ideas are fantastic though.

    I based the DC off of the Fibonacci sequence, but I do suppose it starts to get ridiculous pretty quickly. I'll try to rework it. Permanent CON damage could also make sense. I'll definitely add in mechanics for poison resistance and hangovers. As far as homebrewed spirits (ah, punny) I may or may not work on those, but for the sake of these mechanics, I use the standard TABC measurement of 1 Drink = 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz liquor. Anything else would be worked in to fit that standard.

    I will rework this and try to implement these ideas. Thanks for the suggestions!
    Last edited by Dragodar; 2018-04-05 at 01:42 AM.
    ...And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, from this day until the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks that fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    A thought:

    This handles alcohol consumption rules pretty well! This is good for situations like bar fights and drinking contests. However, it's somewhat lacking in the ability to handle the aftermath and bad judgement associated with drinking (a.k.a. the fun bit).

    Can I suggest attaching some variant of this, but adding a bonus to the roll depending on the level of drunkenness?
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    A thought:

    This handles alcohol consumption rules pretty well! This is good for situations like bar fights and drinking contests. However, it's somewhat lacking in the ability to handle the aftermath and bad judgement associated with drinking (a.k.a. the fun bit).

    Can I suggest attaching some variant of this, but adding a bonus to the roll depending on the level of drunkenness?
    Ahh, I love this. Adding it.
    ...And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, from this day until the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks that fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragodar View Post
    I like all of this except the male/female part. I'm not very PC when it comes to science, and it's a known fact that alcohol affects females more strongly than it affects males of similar weight and BMI. So that part I'll leave in. Of course, anyone who uses this system is welcome to remove that part in their own games, but I am aiming for maximum realism. The rest of your ideas are fantastic though.

    I based the DC off of the Fibonacci sequence, but I do suppose it starts to get ridiculous pretty quickly. I'll try to rework it. Permanent CON damage could also make sense. I'll definitely add in mechanics for poison resistance and hangovers. As far as homebrewed spirits (ah, punny) I may or may not work on those, but for the sake of these mechanics, I use the standard TABC measurement of 1 Drink = 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 liquor. Anything else would be worked in to fit that standard.

    I will rework this and try to implement these ideas. Thanks for the suggestions!
    Happy to be of help! I also suggest revamping the progression - instead of a Charisma bonus, how about a simple morale bonus to saves against fear? Otherwise all the bards and sorcerers will be getting free spellcasting power near-constantly.

    However, if you're aiming for realism that opens up a whole can of worms - alcohol addiction, delirium tremens, Korsakoff syndrome, Wernicke encephalopathy, fetal alcohol syndrome etc. Plus the fibonacci sequence really doesn't make sense then - every player should also have a "alcohol dehydrogenase" stat etc that determines the rate at which they metabolise alcohol, and therefore the rate at which the DC increases, etc., etc. :D

    Remember that adventurers are meant to be the cream of the crop -although there may be gender-based variations in the commoner population, the differences between a pair of PC male and female fighters with the same ability scores, character builds, etc. should be negligible.

    Much simpler to just abstract it as a simple Constitution check, perhaps with racial bonuses vs poison applying (hence dwarves having such high tolerances).

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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Your mechanics for Alcohol are cool, but a bit complicated. If what you are going for is more realism, thats a good thing, if not... then its a bad thing.

    Did you try referencing Traps and Treachery for rules regarding Alcohol? Might give you some ideas.
    Last edited by Durzan; 2018-04-06 at 12:23 PM.
    Wheel of Time 3.5e Homebrew
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    Default Re: D&D 3.5 Rules for Alcohol Consumption, Tolerance, and Drunkenness

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Happy to be of help! I also suggest revamping the progression - instead of a Charisma bonus, how about a simple morale bonus to saves against fear? Otherwise all the bards and sorcerers will be getting free spellcasting power near-constantly.
    Hey! A sorcerer that gains his power from getting drunk is a darn-good idea. I'd have a cap on it to prevent further shenanigans, but wouldn't it be something cool like tainted scholar, but with less brokenness? "Drunken Master" is already stolen, but "Beer-Bellied Blaster" just might fit.

    If you want to make the system simpler, A&EG lists alcohol as ingested poison (stupid paladins and their ability to avoid hangovers!) with ability damage to represent the hangover. Just have something like that, and then give a (d100?) table for what happens if you're in a bar with others.

    Maybe instead of the +dwarf, -gnome thing, you instead have size modifiers. I mean, a colossal dragon and a dwarf with the same CON should not be getting drunk at the same rate (realistically, bigger people can take more of the stuff before getting drunk). That, and the defined amount for a "drink" isn't relative to size, so... yea
    Last edited by Goaty14; 2018-04-06 at 03:49 PM.
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    Going to see how well I am at making homebrew.
    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

    "I hope that you don't get the impression that I would munchkin the rules if I was in a D&D world IRL... Even though I totally would" -Myself

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