Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Devil's Dare (Dungeon's and Drunkards: Deleted Scenes)

So this is a little something I wrote some time back for my part of the Dungeon & Drunkards community project and it didn't make the cut for some reason or another. Now, reading it again, I started thinking it could be fun to allow it in a friendly game of D&D, maybe if beer is already a heavy motivator for the game anyway. I kept it for an occasion where I hit a dry spell on the blog. There are several other posts in line to get done (some I went as far as announcing them even), but I'm way behind right now (or: as usual) and thought this made a nice filler ...

The Devil’s Dare (a house rule for being dangerously drunk): This might produce all kinds of involuntary actions, but might also result in characters just boasting what they’d really like to do before they end up lying in the gutter puking their guts out. This is intentional. Players should lose some control over their character’s actions if they decide to go on a binge and there should be a good possibility to get into trouble, too. A DM should start this as a harmless enough drinking game of daring and go from there, escalating it as much as possible. To make this work, all parties involved have to agree that the characters already are a bit plastered and are willing to do stupid things ...

It's all about bad ideas ... but with beer! [source]
So here goes. Every time in an adventure when the characters decide to get drunk, they may dare each other into stupid actions (it works fine to start an adventure, too). This is a mix of many of the ideas in the original post (linked above), inspired by movies like Hangover or Project X and a players' gambit as they (somewhat) decide how drunk they want to be to attempt the dare. The payoff (xp) gets higher the more drunk they decide to be, but comes with a chance to pass out before it even started. 

A failed save vs. poison -2 initiates the daring and decides which characters get in the mood. At this point the characters already have some buzz going (-2 to attributes/attacks/ saves/damage, +2 to AC and HP)*. The characters that made their save suggest the dare, those that failed agree to it. If all failed their save, the DM is to suggest the direction of a dare. In both cases start with rolling 1D6 to suggest something:

  • (1) dangerous
  • (2) embarrassing
  • (3) illegal (by law or religion)
  • (4) story/rumor-related
  • (5) destructive
  • (6) reckless
If a player won’t have the dare for his character, another save is allowed, but with a -3 this time (being a bit more drunk and all that, they never stopped drinking ...). Failing this second roll will result in adding another complication to the roll (roll another 1D6 on the table above). There’s no upper limit to the number of saves, but it’s getting the character more and more drunk and adds a suggestion every time and every fail with a -4 or more will send the character under the table. A passed out character might be carried along for the fun and might even gain back some consciousness to participate, drink on or run for his life ...

Multiply every xp gained with the penalty the characters got. A player may decide to get more drunk and still get through with the dare, but has to make a save for every penalty of -4 or higher to not pass out on the way there. A penalty of -x always goes with -x to attributes/ attacks/saves/damage, +x to AC and HP. So yeah, if a character manages to kill a dragon being stupid drunk (say, -4) he gets four times as much xp as he'd get sober. And if he passes out, he gets funny pictures tattooed on his face or burned to a crisp (dragons not being known for their humor and all that).

If all of them manage to pass out, they’ll wake up with no idea where they are or what they've done (DM’s discretion).

I hope +Charles Akins approves. This is (as written above) wildly untested, but every role player or DM worth his salt should be able to make something out of this. People should be harsh, relentless and creative about what they suggest for the other players to do. Make it tough, make it illegal or make it embarrassing, but remember it's all about having fun. Doesn't hurt to be clear about those rules at the beginning of a game.

Other than that, tell me what you think or, if you went as far as testing it, how it went. 

*Following a concept described in that post linked above (and now here, too) and based on the rules for being stunned from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (page 150), but assuming that it involves a gradual process, starting at -1 for a slight buzz and stopping wherever a character decides to pass out, with getting sober being the reversed same process. For more detail read the RC or/and the original post about alcohol in the editions of D&D ... 

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Recent developments made it necessary to moderate posts again. Sorry about that, folks.