543 – The Curse • 04

543

Friday Geek-Out

Because it’s come up recently and I was curious, I thought I’d ask what everyone’s opinions were concerning social lubricants while gaming. When I was young, all gaming pretty much went hand in hand with whiskey and pot, which led to some very memorable moments, and other moments which probably should have been memorable. (At a convention I once drank a fifth of Wild Turkey immediately before running the first half of a tournament D&D game. The players voted me the best DM in the game. The next morning, hungover, I ran the same players through the second half of the tournament. The traitors turned on me and voted me the worst DM in the game!)

D&D was at one point an excuse to get stoned. It was a fun way to pass the time with friends, as was smoking up. After I moved away I went ten or twelve years without smoking, and the last time I tried it I got so immediately wasted that I could barely speak. (And I like to talk.) So I kind of backed away from it. Then a few years ago I played in a game with a guy who somehow managed to miss the point of pot entirely, and just got angrier and louder the more he smoked… every week. Finally he actually stood up in the middle of the room and yelled at me for setting off a trap (in the game) and then hit me as he was gesticulating around the room. I probably could have gotten over it except that he refused to apologize, telling me that I deserved it for not knowing not to touch a doorknob. I stood up, thanked everyone else in the room for their time, and left. I did not tell the stoned asshole that his live-in girlfriend of ten years had confided in me her plans to leave him because of his increasingly erratic behavior, and I took secret delight at meeting him in the street several weeks later, he all weepy-eyed and contrite, the day after being dumped, as he poured out his litany of woes. Heh, heh.

These days we go through phases where we will try different wines, or I will sometimes have a couple of beers if I’m not DMing, but that’s about it. It’s fun, but it’s way in the back of the experience now. I assume however that as I have been all over the map on the subject, so too have others. What gets served at your gaming tables? Is it primary or secondary to the gaming?

Do you D&D responsibly?

64 Responses to 543 – The Curse • 04

  1. Just huge, massive, gobsmacking amounts of caffeine where I’m from. Sodas, colas, energy drinks, chocolate covered espresso beans, etc. There’s a tradition that if you’re playing with a group that for some gods-damned reason doesn’t want to imbibe, you open a ceremonial beverage (used to be Jolt, mostly Dew these days) and leave it on the table for form’s sake.

    • I went through a giant caffeinated soda phase too. But it had to be accompanied by french onion dip and potato chips too, or the whole evening was off-balance.

  2. I don’t drink while I game, but if others want to and they aren’t disruptive while drunk, I’m fine with it.
    Anything illigal though is out and if they insist, I’ll just get up and leave.

  3. In my 35+ years of gaming, no one in any of the groups I played in drank alcohol except maybe twice. One idiot tried something 140 proof (which he had brought) and vomited it into one of my pitchers, which I suppose is better than all over the table. The other was a game master who had beer every so often but didn’t overdo it. (It didn’t make him a better game master, unfortunately.)

    For myself, I never really developed a taste for ethanol, and being Type 1 diabetic, developing a taste for it seems expensive and suicidal. I prefer different methods of self-destruction.

    Anyway, I like my brain just fine without it. A monstrous mind is a toy forever. 😈

    Speaking of D&D, I should check to make sure I’m ready for tonight’s game…

  4. Was always legal stuff with us, but then none of the group smoked anything anyway.

    As teens the game would go on while the players would drink and eventually people would start to drop off to sleep. When too many people were asleep the game would fade out and pick up again the following day/next week. As GM I didn’t drink because I wanted to keep my wits about me but then drink’s never been that important to me hence being tee total for the last 19 years.

    I played in a group with a guy who was an alcoholic but hadn’t admitted it. He would drink 4 litres of strong cider through the course of the evening, plus the odd beer and maybe some wine depending on what others around him were drinking. The majority of the players would be drinking beer in a social sense anyway. Generally around 30 minutes before game end he would start to get more erratic in character and do bizarre things (suddenly attack people, storm out, come up with wild ungainly plans) which we kept in game. It was tough at times and the session was often followed by some knowing nods and ‘how pissed was he tonight’ conversation. In retrospect we should have just retconned every game session by 30 minutes, they’d have made more sense that way.

    Nowadays there’s the occasional beer or wine but no-one I game with regularly gets pissed at the table. Of course I do a lot of Cons and European Cons pretty much always have an open bar from 11am so you get the odd drunk. I was at a Con in Germany earlier in the year where one player was completely wasted and it was kind of funny watching the GM try to deal with him, mainly because we all knew the GM quite well and his discomfort at being randomly hugged (the guy had arrived late and taken the seat right next to the GM) or the time he was asked to roll ‘to hit’ (1 D20) and just picked up every dice he had on the table and rolled them was quite amusing. We did all let out a sigh of relief when he finally decided to call it a night. Partly because it meant the game would go a lot quicker and partly because the chance of him vomiting over the table seemed to be going up minute by minute.

    • I can’t drink and DM. I forget too many things. When I’m a player I figure I’m the only one who’s being seriously impacted, so it doesn’t make as much difference, but a DM needs to be alert and aware. I probably wouldn’t have more than two beers at the table these days anyway though.

      • In line with further down the comments, I think the people I game with now who drink do it because that’s what they drink in social company rather than out of any particular wish to ‘have alcohol’. Then again I can be quite dense when it comes to slightly drunk people as it’s not a state I’m ever in. I’ve had circular conversations with people at gaming Cons only to have it pointed out later that it was ‘because they were drunk’ rather than ‘because they needed hitting with a cluebat.’

        One of the characters in the Hunter game I’m running is an alcoholic, which has proved a bit like free points as it’s proved tough to make it in to a balanced negative point in play.

  5. In the short time when I used to game, at elemntry school, we, fortunately, didn’t have any such appetites.
    Unfortunately there’s no one to game with around here, so this is a hypothetical question for me.

    And the answer would be “no”. I really am quite adverse to heavy drinking(and other drugs are automatically out for me no matter the occassion) since I was a kid because of my late(good riddence if you ask me) uncle, who was an alcoholic.
    Not much to tell there, but the little I had to spend with him taught me to hate drunks. They’re just obnoxious.

    I also had a neighbooring couple who I was befriended with, and they were rather nice when sobber, but they used to drink just about every night, which was disturbing.
    The wife especially seemed less able to contain it, which is a shame as she was the more intellegant of the two and part of why I hanged around with them was for our heated discussions(we kinda disagree about 90% of things 😛 ), but when she was drunk it was really sad for me to see. I tried persuading them to drink a little less, at least not to “go all the way”, but they just seemed to like it that way.

    So in short, I really don’t like drunks or getting drunk(hell, I haven’t had a drop of alcohol myself for several months now, and it’s great), and in situations like “woohoo” described I’d probably feel very uncomfortable(and angry…drunken stupidity, like all stupidity, angers me) and just leave if I couldn’t get the source of the problme away.

    • I used to game with a guy (in another town) who was an alcoholic, and a depressed drunk. You couldn’t let him talk on any single subject for more than about 45 seconds before he would start becoming morose about it. But if you constantly changed the subject on him he would stay reasonably okay. Mostly in gaming situations he’d just fall asleep in the chair. That was pretty much easiest.

  6. I remember enough caffine to keep us all on a buzzing rush till 6 A.M.. Usually around 3 or 4 A.M. the alcohol would start migrating out of the cabinets, and we’d get very little done game-wise till the sun came up. Those were indeed some cherished memories- like my friend saying “You can’t get me drunk- I’m Irish!”. Oh yeah, that was a really wild night.

  7. Early on, caffeine and nothing else for me. I gamed with the occasional stoner once in a while in my twenties, while imbibing a beer myself once in a great while.

    Now, I never drink when I’m playing (at least I can’t recall the last time I did), but I’ll have a beer or two while I’m DMing sometimes. I drink because I like the taste of my favorite beer (Dundee’s Honey Brown is da bomb), not for the effect of the alcohol, so I usually pace it so I don’t even catch a buzz. My player’s haven’t complained, so I guess I’m doing ok.

  8. Our group doesn’t usually imbibe or otherwise chemically alter (except for caffeine & nicotine), although occasionally the GM & I will indulge in a couple of fingers of single-malt or vodka. Since we meet in the GM’s home & I ride with my mate, we’re the only attendees who can drink without having to drive after the game. It’s no biggie, and our games are quite….interesting….enough without artificial enhancement.

  9. The small handful of friends I game with indulge in a few beers per session, as part of relaxing and letting off steam in the game. One friend in particular used to drink to excess, (falling asleep or bizarre in-game antics) but that was symptomatic of other things going wrong in his life. He’s since become much more moderate. A couple of others have the occasional toke during the game, but they’re considerate and step outside or into another room to do so.

    I never developed a taste for ethanol or any other recreational drug. I find caffeinated soda, vicarious adrenaline and good company stimulant enough. But I have no problem with others relaxing that way; gaming is play and play is an essential of life.

  10. When our group first started playing, it was all about slurpees & whoppers when we gamed. Nowadays, we drink pretty much every time, though generally not to excess. These days D&D seems to be one of the few times that just the guys get to hang out anymore (we’re all in our late 30’s with wives, kids, careers, etc.). We play once or twice a month, on average, but there can be large amounts of time between sessions, depending on familial/work commitments.

    The group usually gets together a couple of hours before we start playing to eat, catch up and just generally hang out, and cocktails are just a natural fit for us, since all of us drink socially. While nobody ever gets completely wrecked at the games, I find the alcohol seems to help everyone relax and get into the game a little more – I think most of us have four or five drinks over a six to seven our period.

    As the night wears on, that’s when the colas & caffeine drinks start appearing, and the booze consumption goes down – partially because the guys know they’ll need to drive home (though they can and do crash at my place all the time), and partially to stay awake (did I mention that we’re old?).

    I find spiced rum & coke to be the perfect D&D drink – not only is it extremely tasty, but the sugar & caffeine in the coke help keep a brother playing all night – but beer is always there.

    • Sounds like you guys are all really comfortable together.

      I like reading about other groups’ traditions and rituals. It makes the experience sound all homey and fun.

  11. Well and truly, imbibing and altering have grown with us and our gaming experiences. Back in the elementary days, it was quite exciting enough just playing make believe with RULES. In high school, we added caffeine (and girls) to the mix, and it was still pretty awesome.
    As life and gaming continued over the next 25 years, my groups have sort of gone their separate ways with intoxication and play style. Mostly, there’s not a lot of power drinking, but there’s a pair that regularly get set up and get perma-stoned. Their laughter and enjoyment are rather exciting, even if they’re not totally effective at the table.
    As for myself I’ll have a few drinks or sometimes more than a few drinks–so long as I’m not gming. My games don’t stay coherent unless I stay under a single glass of wine.
    I didn’t specifically mention it, but caffeine plays an integral part of our games. Probably 80% of us drink it, and do so continuously and excessively.

  12. Haha, I wish I could convince my gaming friends to even pick up D&D… See most of them are closet gamers, ok not most of them… all of them. Its quite annoying to have them retort with “D&D? hell no, that game is for losers” and then afterwards spend no less than 6 hours straight playing world of warcraft.

    I know they would be a blast to play with too, they are a wacky bunch, and when the drinking starts no one usually goes too overboard. A lot of them are a lot more introspective and attentive when drunk ironically enough. it would make for some interesting games let me tell you.

    Any ideas on how i can trick them into playing? haha.

    • There is/was a warcraft mod of d&d. Rulebook/sourcebook deal. Might be a good way to get them in to it. They can do things in the world they are familiar with until the point of being hooked and then you can transition them to something else. However, I believe it was 3.5

    • I think there is also a tabletop RPG edition of WoW. It isn’t D&D per se, but that may stand in your favor, as it runs pretty much the same way the online version does, and with the items and monsters that would be familiar to them.

      Consider it a gateway game.

      • I’ve seen that, there’s one for Everquest as well. Didn’t want to spend the money to pick it up at the time, so I haven’t tried it, alas.

  13. We generally always resort to caffeine only. Alcohol tends to stop the game completely. Once we were gaming in a rather tiny kitchen and one of our players was rocking his chair back and forth next to the refrigerator. Well, actually he kept knocking it INto the fridge and after about an hour of this, in the middle of a highly dramatic scene there was a “KER-KRASH!!!” as a large glass bottle of vodka finally hit the edge of the fridge and crashed down on the wood floor of the kitchen bursting open and spraying glass and vodka everywhere. After a moment of stunned silence, our group fled to the outdoors as the strong vodka vapors drove us out. Since no one was hurt, we laughed maniacally for a time, while the owner of the house cleaned up the mess (some friends were were!). Good times….

    So the occasional Schmirnoff Ice, but usually just caffeine.

  14. Typically, we stick to caffinee, and then in moderate quanities. Large amounts of caffinee, energy drinks, or nic fits tends to make people too irritible to put up with our usual gaming antics. Never gamed with anyone while they were drinking or drinking myself, but doubt it would end well.

  15. Ooo!! A little color for a Friday in the comic! Yes!! Or am just high? 🙂

    As a non-D&D kinda guy, I often wondered what it took for you guys/gals to sit there hour after hour as your game marched on. Now I know… it’s like fishing sober… you just can’t sit there without a little something.

    As far as that guy with anger issues, the pot/beer doesn’t make it worse, it’s just an excuse for them to let it all hang out. I was a REAL drunk back in my day, and for the most part I knew what I was doing and saying AND I also remembered very clearly what transpired during most of my drunken evenings. Assholes are assholes… drunk or sober. I, on the other hand, have been called a prick and there’s big difference.
    🙂

  16. When I was younger, I used to drink Cola and eat chips. Nowadays I try to think ahead (yes, I’m a guy) and prepare with nutritious snacks that will keep my mind sharp and focus top-notch up until the end of play at around 4. I drink water but can be persuaded to invest in some Orangina (the only carbonated drink I’ld ever drink) Heck, if I’m in a particularly festive mood, I’ll bring some french cider.

      • Heck yeah, even bigger than Cola in France. Although I live in Sweden, you can get it here, which makes me a happy camper.

        • Did you get the Cowboy and Indian Oragina’s up there? We spotted them on a cross channel trip to France. The ‘Indian’ one is Orangina with grenadine which isn’t too bad. The ‘Cowboy’ one was Orangina with menthol which was just too foul for words (naturally we had to buy a bottle to try!) and was luminous green.

          Which is a thought, one tradition we had at the Hunter group was bringing along sour flavoured sweets to try during the gaming (or, in fact, any bizarre food we can come across!) The sour sweets thing ended with some stuff a local specialist sweet shop sold that actually burnt through the lining if your cheek if you left it in one place too long (and when we came back to the table a fortnight later had soaked through the bag and taken the varnish off of the table!) I believe next session one of the group whose just come back from Japan has managed to find Kit Kats with soy sauce in them…

          • Thankfully, we only have the orange variation of the drink here ; but yes, menthol sounds horrible indeed.

          • That’s strange, I’m french, and I can’t remember any menthol-based orangina 😆 Although Orangina Rouge (the red one) is pretty well known, mostly due to a host of funny ad-ons.

          • I’m guessing they were a limited edition thing, we bought them at the beginning of June coming back from Tentacles. There were plenty of the ‘Cowboy’ Menthol ones, I can’t think many people bought it more than once! They probably didn’t try and sell them for that long.

            What I really miss is pistachio M&M’s though, haven’t seen them for years, can’t believe they weren’t popular enough to keep making.

      • Buh? I’m from the US, and I remember drinking Orangina as a kid. I haven’t seen it around lately, but then again, I’m not looking for citrus drinks now that I’m an adult with severe acid reflux. IIRC, Orangina is something like 10% real juice.

  17. Usually, there as ever been coca-cola, sometimes orange juice or such, and various biscuits.
    I’ve seen a little alcoohol, but not too much.

    As for pot, I have bad memories of this, since, in every game I’ve seen it, people usually ended up too quickly too stoned to be able to play, which killed the game 🙁

  18. Three of my six players drink reasonable amounts of beer during our games; the other 3 very, very rarely. The DM (me), however, is a card-carrying, bourbon-snorting party animal who frequently has to spend his weekly prep time trying to figure out what he got the group into the week before.

    Eh, whatever. They’ve been coming back every week for six years!

  19. It is my (unforgivably fascist?) opinion that most people, most of the time are better off without any mood or cognition altering substances. I would go so far as to say that drunks tend to survive their misadventures with far less damage to show for it than they deserve because strangers (myself included) tend to look out for drunk people about to get into trouble. Pickpockets may take their cash but most people in my town would steer them in the direction of appropriate medical care, taxicabs and their home as required, and even hand a cab driver money on behalf of drunk strangers we’ve never seen before or expect to ever see again. (I’m Canadian, don’t judge me.)
    Don’t mistake me for a complete prohibitionist: I’ve lent friends and acquaintances cash to go get a bit of weed when we were about to start composing music before. That said, for gaming the way I do it you need your wits, self-control, imagination and sanity simultaneously available and there are very few recreational chemicals which don’t hinder at least one of the above.
    After the gaming….

    • Such irritating, hypocritical, American judgmental behaviour, it’s a crime to be polite and considerate instead of engaging in the Texas driving game eh? Go eat pork rinds, watch pay-per-view wrestling in the driver’s seat of a car and shoot illegal fireworks at Mexico for sending so many refugees.

        • No, I am Canadian… but I have been to Texas. Texans and myself interacting leads to mutually assured confusion.

          • Yes, that’s it exactly. Just try and imagine my confusion when a group of Texan clients insisted on dragging me down to a firing range to see how well I could shoot a H&K MP5 on full auto before doing business with me. I mean WTF, what does this have to do with server provisioning or bug-tracking?

          • Simple, AC, they want to know how well you’ll handle the troubleshooting when trouble shoots back!
            Being Texans, they haven’t figured out that it’s figurative…
            (-:

          • Obviously I’m missing part of the question here. What makes you think you can program good code if you can’t handle an automatic rifle? (Of course it isn’t even really an accurate test there in a shooting range, but if all you were doing was providing the server I guess it’s fine. If you were making forms or doing database work then everyone should have been drunk shooting at toilets in the woods.)

  20. Bags of crisps and cheezels etc.
    And Caffeine beverages. Often pizza/takeout (of cource).

    Never high or drunk. although one gamer once was an alky, but he’d get the party incapacited so much the story never went anywhere so I left that group (blow up the inn/town/country and the party everytime, gets boring eventually)
    Occasionally had games where a social encounter or room had everyone in fits for several hours without chemical assistance (newbie thieves should not take great pains to hide their magic missles, it draws attention)

    • What’s a cheezel? Is it something akin to a cheese pretzel? (Not trying to be ignorant… Never heard of them.)

  21. Well I started playing D&D when I was 5 so that was…….29 years go. Ack, the time. We were Caffeine addicts, but about 18-19 started running with other groups (my high school group went to the four winds) and I have seen everything. Of course, watch out. Contact highs are real if you have enough smokers in a room with bad venting. I think though the last group that I was with that were pot smokers/alcohol drinkers ended when my mage with his +1 sword of sharpness beheaded the main bad guy after everyone else died. Man were they poor sports. Even after I paid for their resurrections, sheesh.

  22. All the guys I knew in high school who were gamers were stoners as well. I never did get to sit in on a game with those guys. Just as well I suppose. It’s only my latest group that tends to crack a six pack at the table. One guy in particular usually has a couple during the game, but as he’s usually the funniest sumbitch at the table (aside from my wife, who is a snide, sharp-witted woman) I’m okay to let it slide. I’ll maybe have a beer, but I don’t really drink so that’s about it for me. Never played while high, don’t think it would go real well. If it was a good high I’d just have too much trouble trying to remember what the fuck I was doing. And as I always GM the games that would turn ugly real fast, though I’m sure everyone else would be laughing at me so much they’d all have a great time. I have a habit of losing my sense of time while stoned so that could definitely make for an interesting game session. And I don’t just mean time goes faster or slower for me, I mean I can’t tell one moment from the next, or even one that happened three hours ago or hasn’t even happened yet. It’s….odd.

  23. i have about 10 people at my table. we sit outside on my back porch because we are all chronic (heh) smokers, well most of us anyways (cigs and pot). and we always have beer at the table. when we started the game along time ago. we realized that getting really drunk wasnt an option. it interrupted game play so we made a rule no drinking to excess during gameplay. after who cares.
    but we do play stoned thats a given at my table. if theres no pot we have to go find some before we play. but dont get me wrong we will still play if we dont have any and its not that big a deal. we will pass around joints all night long. and even the dm (depending on who that is as we change frequently to prevent boredom) gets stoned. we dont have a problem with playing stoned were used to it.we also have lots of coke (the drinkable kind ya’ll) m.d. or dr pepper and others for the tea totallers that play with us but pretty much most of us are smokers. and when my ol’lady makes her famous cheese dip its a great gamenight (it tastes great and polishes brass true story).

    some of us are stoners ,geeks and mostly dorks.
    one thing we all agree on its fun to slay some orcs

    ha ha ha endiku still a girl thats effing hilarious

  24. Heh… I am the reason my old gaming group passed a no drinking while gaming rule. I became a bit belligerent after too much whiskey one night. On the other hand, no one ever minded pot, and it did serve to make people more chill. Maybe too chill, sometimes. “I’m taking all the good loot for myself and you can all STFU!” “Sure man, whatever, if it’s that important to you…” It led to some pretty awesome character deaths too, like my halfling druid climbing on the DM’s demigod NPC mummy as he tried to do plot exposition until he swatted me across the room out of frustration. Then I threw mini fireballs until he stepped on me. In my defense, who ever heard of a fireproof mummy? The DM claimed I should have gotten a clue from the fact he was covered in runes…

  25. Wait, what? Whiskey, smoking pot, and smoking tabacco? Gaming while stoned?? Sorry, but no. I’ll never understand people who smoke or drink with the express purpose to get wasted. If you ask me, Cannabis should be legal for medical purposes, and that’s pretty much it. While I was much younger, I once played in a group where one guy used a bong during game. It didn’t turn him into a creative genius. It turned him into a moron. But in all my 27 years as a roleplayer, this guy was the only gamer here in Germany I’ve seen who was wasted during play. And if someone turned up like that in one of my games, I’d throw him out and never invite him back.

    My husband and I are both non-smokers, and if a guest wants to smoke, (s)he can do that outside on the balcony. No discussion. (Currently none of my players is a smoker.) Despite the fact that Germany statistically has the highest percentage of (regular tobacco) smokers in all of Europe and especially compared to the USA, most of the people I know who used to smoke have given it up by now.

    Back when out Vampire: the Masquerade group still existed, we got into the habit of mixing caipirinhas on game night. For about two sessions. Then we decided that gaming fun and hard alcohol do not mix.

    In the group I currently GM, two of the players like to drink beer, but not to excess, and those are the only weekends when my husband drinks beer too. (I can’t stand the taste of beer. so I abstain.) We’re not teetotallers, but we drink very little alcohol in general in everyday life. I love cocktails, but only on special occasions.

    But then, if we game a whole day or even a whole weekend, with people sleeping over at our place, we cook for them, and that’s usually much more fun than just getting together to get wasted.

    I’m not a coffee drinker, unfortunately I’m allergic to it, although I love the taste and smell of it. So yes, we brew coffee for any player who wants some, but in general I’ve banned all cola from my table, and no-one I know is into those icky caffeinated energy drinks. In my experience, caffeine and sugar don’t help against tiredness in the long run, once the body gets off the high, it’s worse than before. Germans these don’t like foodstuffs saturated with sugar… for health reasons, and because we seem to prefer sour slightly bitter tastes over sweet, like sour fruits and dark chocolate. Don’t ask me why, but I read an article that a fruit grower of cactus fruit in Israel had to breed different variants of his cactus fruits for different oversea markets, because Americans and Japanese apparently prefer sweet sugary fruits while Germans prefered a more sourly taste of fruity acids.

  26. Oh yeah, that’s totally what I meant. Um… how many of you guys medicinally smoke pot or drink booze while playing D&D? Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    It did seem easier to do back in high school, but then many things were easier back then, when I had no concept of “consequences,” like “hangovers,” “pregnancy,” or “jail time.”

    And you are completely right about the regional tastes issue. Everything is too sweet here. I won’t eat most desserts or drink most sodas just because there’s so much sugar it ruins the taste and makes me feel awful later on.

  27. I have actually never consumed an illegal substance – either by being under-age or because the stuff was, in fact, outlawed. The two times I tried alcohol before I was 21 were in France and Ireland, and I was of age in those respective countries on those occasions.

    After coming of age, I continued my responsible behavior by drinking very seldom. However, I have partaken of various kinds of alcohol during D&D, both as a player and as a DM. Most of these, in fact, were hallmark events of some form or another.

    In college, my room mates and I had a means of finding new beers we liked. Every shopping trip, we would pick some tried-and-true stuff and some new stuff. Playing D&D (yes, my room mates became my group- this is the easiest I have ever had it when trying to pull a group together) became the easiest time to try the new stuff and voice our opinions. We would voice our opinions on what was a keeper and what to use in the cooking.

    Speaking of cooking, the college games were sources of other good things, too; often, one or more of us would volunteer to cook. We were all white boys, but we came from a surprisingly varied set of cultural exposures, and so each of us had a talent. The elven cleric’s player had some awesome vietnamese and japanese recipes. The dwarven barbarian was a master of tex-mex and home-style midwestern dishes (to include some of the best burgers I have had to date). The human druid had a talent for pasta, and I, the DM, am a fairly fearless experimenter in stir-fry. The one out-of-dorm player, our human fighter, worked at a bakery, and would bring some of her better samplings to the game. The elven ranger did not actually cook (and admitted to having no talent for it), but did donate some of his mother’s family recipes for us to try.

    None of our drunkeness was ever to excess at any of these times, and so there was little in the way of resulting hilarity. I do distinctly recall being offered the last Smirnoff Ice in return for experience points, though …

    However! At an entirely different game, I had my first taste of Absinthe. As is my wont, I demanded to sample it straight, at first. After a few sips and upon deciding it was rather unremarkable in such a state, I allowed my host to doctor it up in the “proper fashion,” and imbibed the new concoction over the course of the game. I suppose it did not help matters that I was playing a Dwarven Crusader dedicated to deities of Community, Independance, and Blacksmithing …

    “All ye need in loife are t’ree t’ings. I calls ‘m th’ t’ree Fs, so’s I c’n remember ‘m. Now what was they … oyeah – yer Friends, yer Freedom, an’ a big Fookin’ axe!”

    … who was pretty much constantly drinking.

    This was in the module Burnt Offerings, from Pathfinder, and we had just begun our investigation into some ghosts in an old abandoned house. I decided that my dwarf, flawlessly courageous up to this point, had a disproportionate fear of the incorporeal undead, and this, along with my slight state of inebriation, led to, “Wot? Ye mean loike a … g-g-g-g-g-g-ghost?”

    The Scooby jokes proceded downhill from there.

    –Alarin–