En Garde! Drinking Rules

Obviously these rules are still a work in progress, but I think the tables are now 98% correct. Feedback welcomed on this difficult and important project.



X    = Sip/Rest/Recover (called Sip for simplicity)
D    = Drink
Q    = Quaff
G    = Gulp
K    = Knock Back
B    = Belch
L    = Letch
Z    = Zip (at this time, it would be button up, strictly speaking)
T    = Throw Up
S    = Slash
P    = Spill
FO   = Fall Over
IS1  = Involuntary Spill 1
IS2  = Involuntary Spill 2
IP1  = Involuntary Slash 1
IP2  = Involuntary Slash 2


Sip/Rest/Recover  = -X-
Drink             = -X-D-X
Quaff             = -(X)-X-Q
Furious Quaff     = -X-Q-X-G-X-X-X-
Melancholy Quaff  = -D-X-X-G-X-X-X-
Knock Back        = -G-G-G-G-B-
Belch             = -B-X-
Throw Up          = -B-X-T-
Slash             = -S-Z-
Spill             = -P-
Letch             = -L-
Involuntary Spill = -IS1-IS2-
Involuntary Slash = -IP1-IP2-
Fall Over         = -FO-

DRINKING TABLE C (Original system)

        Beer (1)  Lager (1)  Wine (1)  Cider (2)  Grog (3)  Spirits (4)
D          1         1          1        1/2         0          0
Q          1        1/2         0         2          4          3
G          1        1/2         0         2          0          2
O          1         1          1         1         1/2        1/2
T          1         2          1        1/2         *          *
S          1         1         1/2       1/2         0          0

DRINKING TABLE C (Proposed system)

        Beer (4)  Lager (4)  Wine (2)  Cider (4)  Grog (3)  Spirits (1)
D         *1         1          1        1/2?       *0          3
Q         *1        1/2?       *0         2?        *4         *0 
G         *1        1/2?        0?        2?        *0          2
O         *1         1          1         1         1/2?       1/2?
T         *1         2?         1?       1/2?        *          *
S         *1         1         1/2?      1/2?        0          0

Designer's notes:

1. The 'Slash' order carries over from the standard duelling rules, as does
Throw. They just have different meanings now. Using P for SPill is just
because the first letter is already taken, however I have IP1 and IP2 for
involuntary /Slash/ and IS1 and IS2 for involuntary Spill. This changeover
might cause confusion. Or I could use P for slash consistently throughout,
but I wanted to keep the S = Slash from the sword duelling rules if I
possibly could. There's pros and cons to both. What do people think? It's
not like this is a serious system ...

2. At present I'm just marking the values that I think are correct with a *.
The values I'm really don't think are right, but don't know what they should
be are marked with a ?. Beer is the benchmark for the system, so all the
beer multipliers will be x1. I just have to decide what that means in game

3. Under the proposed new rules the numbers in parentheses represent the
number of imbibe orders necessary to finish a particular drink. Hence a
Knock Back (-G-G-G-G-B) will finish one beer or four servings of spirits.
So plainly the serving sizes do not necessarily correspond exactly with the
precise liquid volume of the drink concerned.

4. In ascending order the relative drink strengths would be - beer - lager -
cider - wine - grog - spirits. If we used the original En Garde!
numerical rankings we would get Beer (1)  Lager (1)  Wine (1)  Cider (2) 
Grog (3)  Spirits (4) - so presumably the assumption is that a 'standard'
serving of beer lager or wine all deliver approximately equal alcohol
potency. This alternative mechanic also under consideration. It means that
the number of Imbibe orders necessary to finish a given drink must be
derived from elsewhere.

5. The multipliers in the table presumably have to be some sort of 'how
quickly you get intoxicated' multiplier. As grog is a liquid you can use to
clean spoons or dissolve pewter mugs with, it's obviously important that you
quaff it so that you spill as much as possible. So the multiplier 0 must
mean you can't perform that particular drinking action with that particular

6. The next question is is a high multiplier good or bad? Perhaps it's a
spillage multiplier. That would explain why it's x4 for quaffing grog, and
low for some imbibe orders under wines and spirits. I like the idea that you
can't quaff shorts, which suggests Q (Wine) and Q (Spirits) should be 0.
Conversely at present you can't Gulp Wine and can't Drink Spirits which
isn't right, so those multipliers must need to be adjusted. But what to? 1/2
would be changing them as little as possible, or the other alternative is to
swap the D-values and the Q-values or something.

7. What do the Throw and Slash multipliers mean? Plainly this is some sort
of necessary capacity-clearing system. Which explains why it's not needed
for low-volume drinks like Spirits. So perhaps wine should be Throw x1/2 and
cider should be Throw x1

8. I want to avoid mixing multipliers as much as possible. Beer is
1-1-1-1-1-1, Grog is currently 0-4-0-?-?-?. But I would like if possible to
ensure that Wine, Cider and Lager use the multipliers 0, 1, 2 and 1/2 only,
preferably in the sequence they currently do. I don't mind swapping the
multipliers for Wine and Cider or something, but if possible I want to
contrive to use the existing multiplier sets 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1,
1 - 1/2 - 1/2 - 1 - 2 - 1, 1 - 0 - 0 - 1 - 1 - 1 and
1/2 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 1/2 - 1/2. Although not necessarily in that order.

9. Penalties for Throw. As Throw lets you offload some of your alcohol
content, there needs to be a penalty. I suggest roll a die. On a 1 or 2 the
Throw is successful and the drinker gets some of their intoxication points
restored. (This roll is 1-3 for Lager). For Grog and Spirits, roll two dice
with success only on a double 1. A Thrower in a Grog or Spirits drinking
competition who fails to roll double one passes out (possibly) or otherwise
forfeits the contest and thereby immediately loses.

10. Drink types also matter. A character drinking Lager must follow all
Imbibe orders with a Letch routine. Against a character drinking spirits he
must follow all imbibe orders with two Letch routines. (This is currently a
straight transfer from the current Dagger vs Sword rules. Don't really think
it's quite right.)

11. Intoxication Endurance. We can't use plain Endurance for this, because
the theoretical range is the product of Strength and Constitution. That
would range from 9 to 324, which means the toughest character would have a
drinking Endurance 36 times greater than the wimpiest character. Therefore
your Drinking Endurance is the /sum/ of Strength and Constitution. That
gives 'only' a factor of six difference. Still unrealistic, but better.
I think a x6 difference is probably within the acceptable range for En

12. I was thinking of having a system where one Imbibe order plus one rest
order gives one Intoxication point. That means fast drinkers can load large
quantities of alcohol on board and might be able to win the contest before
the full dose hits them. It also means that drinking skill has a bearing -
because the disadvantaged side has extra rests added into his sequence which
means he gets drunk quicker. When you are below half your intoxication
points, you have an extra compulsory rest added in to your sequence. That
means the drink you've already had starts to catch up with you.

13. Obviously your opponent's actions don't have any direct bearing on who
wins the contest, so it's not like A's actions add to B's intoxication

14. There needs to be some sort of 'timeout' rule. That is, you must finish
your drink within a certain number of Actions or you forfeit the contest.
This means a fast drinker can try to force the pace. Suggest you have 12
turns after your opponent has finished his drink to finish yours.

15. I want characters to typically fall over at the 10-12 pint level, I
guess. That presumably corresponds to zero drinking Endurance. I guess a
typical contest should be won slightly before then, at maybe the 8-10 pint
level. If the system generates, say, 15 or higher drinks as a typical
winning threshhold then we could say that each drink is only half a pint, or
a mug, or some other unit that does not necessarily correspond to one pint.
Ideally use a variable standard, like the 'mug' so we can explain away
numerical disparities as due to variations in the size of drinks containers.

16. I was also wondering about the translation of existing duelling
routines. It seems to me that over-use of the Slash routine probably
indicates the character concerned has a weak bladder. Should Slash - Slash -
Furious Slash be translated as Slash - Slash - Furious Quaff, or Quaff -
Quaff - Furious Quaff? One could do either. In that particular case it
doesn't matter too much, and Quaff - Quaff - Furious Quaff is a sensible
translation, but it does matter for Parry-Riposte and Block which are now
Spill and Letch (i.e. sneaky defensive actions that give you an excuse not
to drink 'cos you can't hold your liquor). /Can/ we really get away with
just a straight substitution of actions from the Duelling to the Drinking

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