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Have you ever been playing a casual game of DnD and decided that you wanted to get tipsy? Maybe you think alcohol can improve the overall DnD experience. Maybe you're just in college and look for any excuse to drink. Whatever the case may be, these are rules for Dungeons and Dragons and Drinking.

This variant rule should not be used without following all applicable drinking laws.


When a condition is met, all appropriate people must drink. The idea of this game is to play DnD with a buzz, not blackout drunk. The game can be either canon, or non-canon, as voted on by the players at the beginning of the game. However, if using the Shuffle Variant, canon games are strictly forbidden. The adventure should be silly, dangerous, and exciting. Any time a PC dies they come back after the encounter/obstacle has been passed by the rest of the party, fully healed with no penalties. Players are encouraged to be daring, bold, and stupid. DMs are encouraged to be helpful, relaxed with rules, and cruel. Unless otherwise noted, the DM drinks as a player would (whenever a condition is met). If your drink is empty, you are to refill it at the first available point in time. If there is ever any debate as to what volume constitutes a drink, or if a condition has been met, the DM has the final say. If the DM is ruled too drunk to make reasonable decisions, too bad, play continues. Finally, role-playing should be a major element of the game. Try very hard to stay in character, or at least try a little bit. One final note, you should keep track of how many times you die. It's probably going to be a big number, and that will probably be funny. A "drink" as used in the rules refers to a gulp of a drink, not necessarily a shot. This game is intended to be played with long drinks, or beers. Once you deem yourself "buzzed enough" (a personal choice), you may switch to water or another beverage, but you still must drink when the conditions are met.

The Conditions[edit]

On Critical Rolls:

On a confirmed critical all players but roller must drink.
On an uncomfirmed critical hit, the roller must drink.
On a critical miss the roller must drink, unless using the Brewmaster Variant (see below).

On Skills:

When a skill check is failed, the roller must drink.*
In the event of an opposed check (Spot v. Hide, Listen v. Move Silently), the loser must drink.*

On Saves:

On a failed saving throw, the roller must drink.
On a targeted spell that effects no one (be it an area spell, or a single target) the caster must drink. This only applies to spells that target people or creatures, not spells like Light.

On Player Events:

When a PC enters a tavern, the player must drink.
When a PC drinks a potion, the player must drink.

On Combats:

When a PC kills an enemy, the killer must drink.
When a PC is killed, the player must finish their drink.**
When a spell fails to cast (because of damage, concentration, Arcane spell failure, etc) the caster must drink.
When an Attack of opportunity is provoked, the provoker must drink.
Anyone involved in a grapple, either grappling or being grappled, must drink for every round the grapple occurs.***

On Metagame events:

Whenever a movie, book, television, or anything else as deemed by the DM is referenced the speaker, and all who laughed, must drink.
When a player prematurely celebrates what he assumes is a hit, but is not, he must drink.
When a bad dice roll is attributed to luck, the complainer must drink.
Whenever a "DnD trope" occurs, the table should drink. A list of common tropes can be found here. It should be noted that this list is not nearly complete, and tropes otherwise mentioned in conditions don't qualify for both conditions.****

Variant Play[edit]

Sometimes classic DnDnD isn't fun enough. Maybe the DM is feeling extra cruel, or the party is feeling extra daring. Here are some suggestions for ways to mix up DnDnD to make it even more fun.

Brewmaster Variant[edit]

In the event of a critical miss, the roller becomes "The Brewmaster", or BM for short. The BM drinks for every condition that falls under Critical rolls, Skills, and Saves along with the player who triggered the event. If he triggers the event, he must drink twice. If a single event provokes multiple players to drink, the BM need only drink once For example, if a fireball cast by an enemy hits 3 allies, the BM should drink once if he failed his save, and once because an ally failed their save, not for every ally. He remains The BM until someone else rolls a natural 1. The DM can become the BM. The BM remains the Brewmaster until someone else rolls a natural 1, or he rolls a confirmed critical hit. If someone else rolls a 1, they become The Brewmaster. If the BM rolls a confirmed critical hit no one is the Brewmaster. If the BM rolls a natural twenty, and to confirm the critical rolls another natural 20 he may select the next Brewmaster, or keep the title himself.

Shuffle Variant[edit]

Everyone writes the name of their character on a scrap of paper, and puts it into a hat. Then everyone draws a scrap of paper, telling them who they will be playing for the evening. Trading is strictly forbidden. Keep in mind, the main purpose of this game is to have fun with DnD. Characters may be given stupidly strong weapons, extra feats, or other bonuses at the beginning of the game. Again, this is to make play more fun, fast-paced and interesting.

Meat Grinder Variant[edit]

This variant is to be used with a certain kind of adventure, particularly a meat grinder. A meat grinder is a collquial name for an adventure in which multiple character deaths is expected. All standard rules apply, with a few exceptions. When a character dies in combat, they must take a triple drink (three times the normal quantity for a condition being met). When a character dies out of combat (ie, from a trap, or falling off a tightrope) they pour a portion of their drink into a "Deadpool" (ideally a large glass, you may need two). The amount they pour into the Deadpool is the same amount they would be expected to drink if a regular condition occurred. At the end of the adventure the character with the most deaths must drink the Deadpool. Drinking the Deadpool doesn't need to occur all at once, they may sit around the table nursing the concoction, but they must drink it all. If the deadpool is a mixture of drinks, the drinker may complain about the taste. If they do, anyone at the table is allowed (but not required) to throw their d12s at him. In the event that two characters have the same amount of deaths, they must fight to the death, and loser must drink the Deadpool. The only other major difference during play is a character who dies returns to life in their same square and position(prone/sitting/standing/flying), at the bottom of the initiative the next round (ie, if Tordek dies in round 3, he returns to life at initiative 0 of round 4). They maintain this initiative for the duration of combat. Should two characters die in a round, they return in the order in which they were killed (ie, if Tordek dies, then the enemy cleaves and kills Lidda, Tordek returns at initiative 0 and Lidda returns at -1). Any spells with a duration continue to effect them as before (both good and bad), but the round spent dead counts against the duration.


* This applies only to certain checks. Rolling a 13 on a DC 15 Search check to find a gem in a room does not constitute a fail, but rolling a 13 on a DC 15 Balance check and falling off a log would.
** The DM must drink when a NPC with a character sheet and a backstory dies, not for every random monster.
*** The DM only drinks when a NPC with a character sheet and a backstory is grappled, or whenever he begins a grapple (with any monster).
**** That is to say "failed my spot check" doesn't count as both a trope and a failed check. Drinks are event based, not condition based, so a single event can only require a single drink.

Closing Remarks[edit]

I cannot stress this enough. This is intended to be a fun rule modification for those willing and able. Those neither willing or able to play should not be forced to play. Some other things I've noted after a few sessions include:

  • Get a calculator/automatic die roller; nothing is harder than a drunk wizard adding up 10d6 and dividing it in half.
  • If playing the shuffle variant you should allow players some time to familiarize themselves with the new character
    • On a similar note, spell casters should print out spell cards if they don't already use them, as this speeds up the game.
  • These games should almost never be considered canon.
  • If you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong. Change how you're playing
  • If you're more than 3 encounters/challenges in and you've not died, you're doing it wrong. Change how you're playing
  • The phrase "Do you think it would be a good idea to..." should never be uttered. Instead try "Well, it seemed like a good plan at the time..."
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