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.
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).
The manner in which a character becomes inebriated to varying degrees begins with this table:
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, 12 ounces of standard ale or 6 ounces of wine. Once this amount has been consumed, a Fortitude 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.
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 14 on his Fort save 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.
Each stage of intoxicating effect will last for one hour, followed by 1 hour of the next stage down and so on until the character reaches sobriety again. At the end of the intoxication, the character must again make 1 Fort save for every stage of intoxication experienced (if the character were to be smashed for an hour and then dropped down into tight, but resumed drinking and became smashed again, he would have to make 4 saves afterwards. For each failed save, the character will experience 1d6 hours of hangover. Being hungover means that the character will experience the negative effects of being flushed, but without the morale or HP bonus.
For characters who are resistant to intoxicating effects, two drinks must be taken before a Fort save must be rolled, and they must be within 30 minutes of each other. They further get two rolls per save to avoid hangovers.