This week, we’re celebrating all the great stuff we’ve done on this website, especially over the course of the last year. The reason has to do with our latest book: A Necromancer’s Almanac: 2012, which is a compilation of all of our content from this very website, neatly organized, nicely presented, updated, tweaked, and adjusted to the latest errata, and packaged all in one convenient, bookmarked—and did I mention organized?—place. We’re really excited about it, and we think that it’s going to make using the content from our website in your game a whole lot easier.
Anyway, in order to celebrate, each article this week harkens back to an article in the previous year that we wish we’d been able to spend more time on. For today’s article, we’re reaching back to March 2012 for A Cure for What Ales You, an article which, itself, was a throwback to some articles we did back in ye olden days of From the Workshop. Anyway, the article was about magical alcoholic beverages, and provided a handful of new ones, as well as updated rules on brewing such marvelous drinks. This article will follow in its footsteps.
The rules for brewing magical beverages have updated very slightly from their previous iteration. Below are the updated rules. The new section has been made bold, for the convenience of those of you who are already familiar with our magic beverage rules.
While magic beer, cider, wine, and other spirits are sold in glasses or tankards (the minimum amount required in order for them to have their effect), they are typically created in barrels. A barrel contains 100 doses of the beverage, and requires a number of hours of preparation equal to the beverage’s effective caster level. After this period, the beverage must be allowed to ferment for one day per 1,000 gp of the cost to create the barrel. The cost to create a barrel of a magical alcoholic beverage is equal to 75 times the cost to create a single glass or tankard (that is, 1/2 the market price of the item, times 75). This substantial discount is the main reason why such substances are so often brewed by the barrel. Even if smaller amounts are brewed at a time, it takes the same amount of time for the drink to ferment.
If you don’t care about ruining the flavor and drinkability of the beverage, you can just infuse an existing beer, cider, or wine with the distilled magic and exotic ingredients. This only requires one hour per 1,000 gp in the market price of a glass or tankard of the beverage (minimum 1 hour). Those who drink a magical beverage created in this fashion must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 12 + 1/2 the beverage’s effective caster level, rounded down) or be sickened for 1d4+1 rounds.
Even though magical beverages have an effective caster level, no spells are required to create them. Instead, special exotic ingredients must be acquired. If these ingredients are readily available for purchase, they can be used without increasing the cost required to brew the beverage. Otherwise, they must be obtained through adventure.
A bottle of a magical beverage can be purchased (market price) for 5 times the market price of a glass or tankard. It contains 6 doses of the beverage. A barrel can be purchased for 75 times the market price of a glass or tankard, and contains 100 doses of the beverage.
Some magical beverages have negative effects, and require a Fortitude save from the imbiber. If a character drinks more than one such drink, he must make a separate saving throw for each drink, and the DC increases by +2 for each such drink the character has already imbibed in the last four hours. The effects of magical beverages do not stack, however, so once the imbiber fails the saving throw, this rarely continues to be an issue.
This particularly sweet alcoholic beverage is renowned for its ability to enhance the drinker in the eyes of others. Upon drinking a tankard of honeytongue mead, the drinker gains a +1 alchemical bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks for one hour. Additionally, the starting attitude of any humanoid that the imbiber meets for the first time while under the effects of honeytongue mead is one category better than it would normally be (a creature that would be indifferent is friendly, one that would be unfriendly is indifferent, etc.).
This blonde ale is infamous for dulling the senses of those who drink it, making it so that they feel no pain. Anyone who drinks a tankard of invincible ale gains a +5 alchemical bonus on saving throws made to resist effects with the pain descriptor for one hour. Even more remarkable, the imbiber’s resilience to pain actually allows him to fight longer, granting him DR 2/- for 10 minutes after the ale is consumed. This comes with a downside, however, as those who drink it tend to ignore dangerous but not outright lethal wounds, fighting on when they need to rest and ultimately killing themselves.
If a player character drinks a tankard of invincible ale, the GM should secretly keep track of the damage that that character takes, without informing the character’s player. The character still takes the damage as normal (after applying the damage reduction), and becomes staggered, unconscious, or dying as appropriate. After the invincible ale has completely worn off (when the imbiber is no longer benefitting from the bonus on saving throws made to resist effects with the pain descriptor), the GM should inform the player of the damage his character has received, assuming the character has not already died. Non-player characters who drink invincible ale are similarly affected, but the GM still keeps track of their hit points and damage himself.
Rum of Contentment
While many ship captains provide (or, in some cases, impose) a rum ration in order to keep their crew happy, sedate, and out of trouble when they aren’t actively working, some captains find that mundane rum just won’t do the trick. In these cases, they turn to rum which has been magically altered to weaken the minds of those who drink it.
Anyone who drinks a glass of rum of contentment must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 14), or suffer a number of ill effects. First, he suffers a -2 penalty on saving throws made to resist mind-affecting effects. Second, the DC to adjust the drinker’s initial attitude or request a favor with Diplomacy, as well as the DC to influence the drinker’s attitude with Intimidate, are all reduced by 5. On the other hand, however, the drinker gains a +1 alchemical bonus on Will saves made to resist fear effects.
Rum of Happy Drinking
This prized spirit is beloved by bartenders and binge drinkers everywhere, but none love it so much as spies, thieves, and others who need to be able to drink heavily without losing their wits. After drinking a glass of rum of happy drinking, the imbiber is immune to the effects of any further alcohol he consumes for the next 2d4 hours (including other magical alcoholic beverages). Further, this protection also extends to similarly debilitating substances, and provides the imbiber with a +1 alchemical bonus on saving throws made to resist the effects of poisons.
Despite its name, this stout beer is quite swallowable, and some even find its incredibly sour taste to be enjoyable. Most people who drink unswallowable ale, however, do so in order to gain the protection it offers. While a single drink of the stuff will have no real effect, and even drinking an entire barrel all in one sitting is unlikely to do anything other than give the drinker alcohol poisoning, if it is consumed on a regular basis, unswallowable ale can lend an incredibly bitter, rancid taste to the imbiber’s skin and sweat, offering protection against creatures that would feast on his flesh.
A character who has at least one tankard of unswallowable ale each day for an entire week gains two benefits. First, any creature that successfully damages the imbiber with a bite attack suffers a -2 morale penalty on further bite attacks against the imbiber for one hour. Second, any creature that attempts to use the swallow whole ability on the imbiber must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 19) or be unable to do so, immediately spitting the imbiber back out. If the creature succeeds on the Fortitude save, it swallows the imbiber, as normal, but it is sickened for 1d4 rounds after swallowing the imbiber whole.
If the imbiber goes for 24 hours without drinking a tankard of unswallowable ale, he loses the above benefits, and cannot regain them until he has had at least one tankard of unswallowable ale each day for an entire week.