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Getting drunk in Icewind Dale

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,314
"Icewind Dale was the first time I ever proceeded to get my characters drunk in a video game. It was so strange, ten year old Alex even had to ask his mother what the word ‘intoxicated’ meant, because in the world of D&D, guess what drinking too much mead gets you – a luck penalty.

Sure, the manual says it right there on page 63, under the ‘Effects of Intoxication’ subheading: “Many establishments serve a variety of intoxicants. Drinking to excess will, of course, impair your characters’ abilities to function in combat. Sufficient drink bolsters the morale, but the trade off in effectiveness hardly makes it worth it. The number of drinks a character can have before suffering penalties to their rolls is related to their Constitution, though recovery is uniform. Regardless of the amount, a good night’s sleep will negate all effects.”

Sounds good, right? So I think it’s about time I sampled some of Grisella’s best and played a game with intoxication levels to the max. Conveniently, the game starts in the hustle and bustle of a ‘dimly lit’ tavern, our characters ‘waiting for adventure’ or something to that effect.

And so the legendary pub crawl begins, in a kind of strange, lexical play-through, I suppose, where I’ll be sampling all of the alcoholic delights of the ten towns. From the crisp and refreshing Arrowflight Ale, to the not so pleasant sounding, Frost Giant Yellow Snow Melt. Of course, much like real life, the Forgotten Realms ascribes to a crude, monetary system, where gold is required before one can really purchase these ‘variety of intoxicants.’ Before I could really start on my journey of excess, the struggle for gold was real, and so my characters were waylaid by a problem in the tavern’s basement. As lowly, drunken sell swords, they were forced to kill beetles for cash – how undignified, I thought. Alas, with money in their pocket, they could continue their drunken revelry, and they did so with great valour.

Next door to ‘The Winter’s Cradle’ is ‘Pomab’s Emporium’ which is obviously the Bargain Booze of computer games. Here, I purchased a bottle of the ‘Local Wine’, adequately described by the game as a “wine made and used by the local residents of Easthaven. The actual ingredients are a mystery, but the liquid contained in the bottle has a slightly fishy smell to it.”

I suppose it wasn’t quite the expensive bottle of Jacob’s Creek I had imagined.

To the south of the town, Old Jed was having a house party. He was “not so good” because “Grisella, the barkeep over at The Winter’s Cradle had cut him off.” Old Jed had a nice little set up though – carpeted floors and a cosy, crackling fire. Really, the only thing he was missing were the torpedo prawns and vol-au-vents. After Jed’s house, we nipped eastwards to the ‘Snowdrift Inn’, although it wasn’t a proper boozer like ‘The Winter’s Cradle.’

Onward we went towards ‘The Root Cellar’, owned by a cheery fellow by the name of Whitcomb. Previously, we had lost a couple of good men in a brawl with an ogre. Too bad, the party went on without them. The landlord of ‘The Root Cellar’ was so friendly he even offered us “something from the kitchen.” Alas, eating is cheating, even in the bleak midwinter of the ten towns. On tap we had the usual Knee Cracker Cider, the previously sampled Cormyran Brandy, and Luskan Stout, which I can only assume is the Guinness of Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms.

Surprisingly enough, our Cleric had the best stomach for alcohol, and after a discussion on Ice Trolls, the party stumbled north where the night ended at ‘The Evening Shade.’ Luckily for my adventurers, neither hangovers nor chronic liver failure exists in the world of dungeons and dragons.

Until they do, I can only hope for a real social life."

by Alex Mazey,



  • CaeriaCaeria Member Posts: 201
    This brings back so much nostalgia...I remember three-year-old me getting my party drunk at the FAI and having absolutely no idea what intoxicated meant until I asked my father. Ah, memories.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,521
    Intoxication in these games is no joke, either. At intoxication level 50 the game applies -2 to luck and +2 morale; this directly lowers enemy to hit rolls but it does it in a weird fashion: it adjusts the penalty to the point where the enemy misses, but only up to the maximum penalty.

    I have a returning throwing dagger I made for BGEE called Bar Maiden's Kiss, which is a +1 returning throwing dagger that applies an intoxication level of 60 for 1 turn upon a successful hit; htis results in -4 luck but +4 morale. I chose that amount because -2 wasn't quite effective enough but -8 really hoses an enemy to the point where they are a threat in combat; the -6 penalty seemed about right for the sake of balance.

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