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D&D 3E
Druid with a drinking problem 
15th-Jul-2009 09:56 am
Hi, I'm new here. I've been playing D&D 3.5 since February; my character is a level 7 druid right now. And she drinks heavily to deal with stress. (One of our major NPCs has a spell in his mind that will either kill him, turn him into a mindless killing machine, or be a bluff on the part of our BBEG--and he's my character's former one-night-stand. And she now has a massive crush on another party member, who can walk through dreams--so he knows she has a crush on him. To prevent him from going through her dreams and making any more sense out of them, she's been getting drunk.)

So, my questions:

1. Does a druid's poison immunity at lvl 9 mean she can't get drunk?
2. Is there something I can download--or a site or something--that'd tell me how to calculate the DC for different types of alcohol? Or ANY alcohol? Hell, can someone on here maybe help me do it if I give the relevant stats? (Weight 123 lbs, CON 14, Fort save 7)
3. Tangentially related: Can Wood Shape + Ironwood + Permanency = decent set of medium armor for my character? Because I'm sick of leather armor and she can't wear steel.
4. Another tangent: Are there any feats or spells that could somehow augment an animal companion's abilities? She has an owl animal companion, and while it's nice to have one of the only animal companions that can fly, I'd like her to not be quite so useless as she's been.
15th-Jul-2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
1. Yes. Alcohol is a poison.
3. I would check the Permanency spell and make sure you can make those spell permanent.
15th-Jul-2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
1. Well, that'll suck when she finds that out. "I've drunk the whole bar/city/continent under the table and I'm STILL not drunk! What the hell?"

2. It's not listed in the SRD, but I remember hearing about someone doing it. Maybe what I heard was some kind of house rule. *sigh* It'd be nice, though. Last time we fought anything, I wound up with 4 spear wounds and at -9 HP.
15th-Jul-2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
You are better off just wearing magic items to boost your ac.

First of all, your a druid, so you can change into a creature with a decent dex and or natural ac bonus. So don't bother with natural ac bonus items. focus on deflection bonuses for now.

You are 9th level, if you don't have any magic items yet then I wouldn't hold my breath, instead just stand way back and through spells until everything dies.
15th-Jul-2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
I've got a Shield of Arrow Deflection, but it's light wood and only has a +2 armor bonus. I've got Shadow Leather Armor, but its armor bonus is only 4.

Yeah, but with the quests we do, being a Small or Medium animal doesn't actually help much. And I'm only lvl 7. I'm planning ahead.
15th-Jul-2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
well, if you just stand back and cast spells take the natural spell feat and turn into something with natural armor, you will also most likely get a higher dex and a better move. You'll also get a bite/claw attack in a lot of situations.
15th-Jul-2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
(Sorry for the double-post, managed to hit Post Comment a bit too soon. >_<)

Your character, and that game, sound like all kinds of awesome. Though the object of her crush does not - IMO oneiromancy ought to be treated like telepathy, you don't go mucking around in people's dreams w/o permission. But then, what do I know about the morals of the setting? Anyway...

I honestly can't speak for any specific rules, since unless your GM is the type to take whatever's in an official publication as gospel, it'll still be his/her final decision. My personal thoughts, though:

1) I think that, yes, alcohol would be considered a poison for the purpose of that ability. Whether that means you can't get plastered or not is another question. If not, than hallucinogens wouldn't work on you either.

2) DC to resist the effects of the alcohol, you mean? I'm sure there's something out there - a quick Google turned up this link to a thread named "Drink Like a Dwarf!": http://forums.gleemax.com/archive/index.php/t-473360.html I can't think of an official source that would have a reference like that, though.

3) Whether it's feasible or not by the letter of the rules, consider that wood is generally not as flexible/deformable as metal. If you wanted to go that route, you might be better off with something like a shirt woven from willow branches, rather than something solid. Or if you just want something different than leather, maybe a set of scale crafted from lizard/dragon scales, or carapace armour (using beetle/turtle shell).

4) I do seem to recall that one of the supplements for wizards/sorcerors had feats to enhance familiars. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that druids don't suffer backlash from having an animal companion die, and calling up a new one is fairly straight-forward. If you have a single companion who grows with you, that's more like a familiar, and you might want to talk to your GM about substituting one ruleset for another in this case.
15th-Jul-2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Well, her crush is basically the nicest guy in the (homebrew) setting--he goes around ending people's nightmares for a living. And we HAVE asked him to go though our dreams before--my character has a bit of a problem with nightmares involving the NPC's death. (He used to be a male lizardfolk. He is now a female orc, due to a squishy death indirectly caused by her...and the BBEG seems to want to kill him.) It's just that with her crush on the PC, the guy's been showing up in her dreams. In rather...pornographic ways. So, realizing that he's seen it and now knows she likes him, she starts trying to get drunk, which would render her dreams incomprehensible. An intervention by the rest of the party may be needed.

1. Well, if poisons don't work, and alcohol is a poison, then she can't get drunk.

2. The funny part? She's a human.

3. I was thinking of an ironwood breastplate, actually. Would that work? Since it wouldn't need to be so flexible.

4. That's something I've noticed--wizards and sorcerors have a ton of ways to make their familiars cooler, whereas rangers and druids better have picked something good from the start (or be prepared to get a new one in a few levels)or they're kind of screwed. In fact, she HAS had the same animal companion since the start. Hmmm.
15th-Jul-2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
This being fantasy, I don't think an ironwood breastplate is unreasonable; my primary objections to it are due to practicality, which don't really apply in D&D. =P
15th-Jul-2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
I don't think so. When I'm designing characters (I have 2 spare characters waiting in the wings in case rocks fall on this one) I try to think about how their clothes, weapons, etc. would need to look in order to function properly, while still matching their backgrounds (no metal fittings on the scabbard of a swamp-dwelling lizardfolk ranger's sword, lots of layered clothing--and pants!--for a northern wizard, etc.). Thus, my druid (who makes money as a seamstress) wears three skirts and an embroidered shirt.

Plus, I'm a giant history/anthropology nerd who likes drawing clothes and weaponry.
15th-Jul-2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
There is also the Arcane Hierophant class, which adds the familiar template to your animal companion, thereby giving you what is effectively a Companion Familiar. This, while giving you both arcane and divine spell progression, which is all kinds of goodness.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Jul-2009 03:36 am (UTC)
Arcane Hierophant is one of the more awesome dual spell progression classes. Great choice for druids that want more spellslinging power, specially combined with the Natural Spell feat.

(Whoa, I'm not sure whether to be impressed or scared that you recognise me, lol =P )
(Deleted comment)
18th-Jul-2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
15th-Jul-2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Something about the Gleemax forums, though--they keep crapping out on me. I was just on there, and suddenly when I tried to click a thread in the archives, it wouldn't come up. It worked fine 5 minutes earlier....
15th-Jul-2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Howdy, Lilith-queen. That's a fascinating character!

1. Does a druid's poison immunity at lvl 9 mean she can't get drunk?

Alcohol is a poison, so you can indeed drink an entire city under the table. But, just as creatures with Spell Resistance can suppress it in order to, say, receive healing magic, I'd think your druid should be able to suppress her immunity to poison if she really wanted to get blitzed.

2. Is there something I can download--or a site or something--that'd tell me how to calculate the DC for different types of alcohol? Or ANY alcohol?

By the ay, you might find it useful to read through the Sanity system from Unearthed Arcana, which includes game rules for addictions and disorders.

3. Tangentially related: Can Wood Shape + Ironwood + Permanency = decent set of medium armor for my character? Because I'm sick of leather armor and she can't wear steel.

Ironwood isn't on the list of spells that Permanency can affect, but your DM might allow it.

Having said that, the duration of Ironwood is 1 day per level, and a druid needs to be 13th Level to cast it, so the spell is certainly going to last a long time. It might need to be re-cast at the beginning of each adventure.

4. Another tangent: Are there any feats or spells that could somehow augment an animal companion's abilities? She has an owl animal companion, and while it's nice to have one of the only animal companions that can fly, I'd like her to not be quite so useless as she's been.

Just rising in levels improves your animal companion. As the companion of a 7th Level Druid, your owl has an additional 4 HD, +4 Natural Armor bonus, and so on. You might want to ask your DM about "swapping out" the animal's current stats for a giant owl at some point.

Edited at 2009-07-15 03:04 pm (UTC)
15th-Jul-2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Nice to meet you too! I'm glad you like my character. It took me a while to really get into her, but I think I'm doing pretty well now.

1. Muahahaha. That is going to be SO much fun to roleplay.

2. Oooh, that'll come in handy.

3. The SRD says 11th level, which still means it'll last a really long time.

4. Yeah...the thing is (and I know this'll sound pathetic) our group and I kind of forgot the owl existed at some point, so figuring out what her stats are now is confusing and time-consuming. But a giant owl would be AWESOME. *is picturing her little owl suddenly growing gigantic*
15th-Jul-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah...the thing is (and I know this'll sound pathetic) our group and I kind of forgot the owl existed at some point.

Oh, that happens all the time.
15th-Jul-2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
The little *pop* was hilarious. My favorite part had to be the last panel on the next page, though--"Guess which spell I cast before giving this to the bird." *BOOM*
15th-Jul-2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
1. That's a DM call. Talk to your DM.

As a DM, I see both sides of that one. If an item is a medicine at a low dose, but a poison at a high dose, which is it? Is alcohol a poison or a mind-altering drug? Do you count the effects separately? You see where I'm going with this.

2. That's a DM call. Talk to your DM. The existing official lit for alcohol is sparse.

3. There are MANY options for non-metal armor in the game. To name a few, stone (from Races of Stone) and crystal (Revised Psionics Handbok). Also look at Magic Item Compendium for some cool stuff.

4. There's a dearth of decent animal companion feats. If you think it's bad for you, check out the poor ranger. You'll have to hit the homebrew sites for that sort of thing.

Among the reasons for this dearth is that the druid animal companions are already one of the most singularly POWERFUL abilities in the entire game.

You can release your animal companion to get a stronger one.
15th-Jul-2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
1. Ouch. I think if I ever tried to DM my brain would explode.

3. I don't have any of those books, and the only magic items I have access to are what's listed in the SRD. Mostly, I wanted Ironwood because it's cheap--I can cast the spells, after all. And my character is a cheapskate. And I just checked out dragonhide armor--too bad the black dragon we fought a while back was disintegrated; it would've been nice.

4. I never really understood why you can release your animal companion. It seems like it'd be like letting a beloved pet go off into the woods. Since that's more or less the relationship my character has with her owl, I can't exactly release her.
15th-Jul-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
The impression I get from the books is that a druid's animal companions are less like pets and more like wild animals that believe the druid is simply a funny-looking member of its own species - one they feel like travelling with for a time. As such, the bond between the two is fairly ephemeral.

A good comparison would be what happens when a ranger and a druid enter town. A ranger's companion might stay outside of town but lurk on the outskirts, waiting for the ranger... or it might follow the ranger into town, relying on the ranger to protect it from the weird beasties around it. In either case, the bond between them overrides the wildness of the beast.

A druid, by comparison, would never dream of asking a wild creature to follow them into town; the beasts don't belong there, and the druid won't compel them unless there is urgency. The beast doesn't want to be there either, and might well wander off if it gets bored.

That said, I personally like the notion of having a closer bond with the animal; if you're treating the companion the way a ranger would, however, it might be better to use the same mechanics. Talk it over with your GM, see what they think.
15th-Jul-2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
See, the only books I have are the Complete Divine, the Complete Arcane, the Complete Adventurer, the Complete Warrior, MM3, and the Book of Erotic Fantasy. I don't have any 3.5E player's handbooks (know where I can find a free PDF?), so all I have to go on is the phrase "animal companion."

My character basically found her owl as a baby and dcided to take care of it, so it follows her (sitting on her shoulder) pretty much all the time unless it's hunting. It's not exactly "wild" anymore.
15th-Jul-2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
I was able to download all the 3.5 books in pdf format from piratebay.com as a torrent.

I did this to make space. after I got them in electronic format I was able to give all my 3.5 stuff to the used book store.

now that I play mostly 4e I just didn't really need all those books in hardcopy.

15th-Jul-2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Too bad you have to pay to join. I'll go hunt for a free torrent site instead.
16th-Jul-2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
"Pay to join" the Pirate Bay? Are you kidding?

Oh, I see. Piratebay.com is a BS pay site with a misleading domain, leeching off the actual Pirate Bay's success. Piratebay.org is a free searchable BitTorrent tracker site with virtually every type of media you could imagine downloading. You want the second one.
16th-Jul-2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
Well, now I have BitTorrent downloading Races of the Wild...but MY GOD IT IS SO SLOW. Time to go find something that has it in .zip or .rar form...
16th-Jul-2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
I hear whitehouse.com has good information about the Administration.


(This is why I Google everything.)
16th-Jul-2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Ah, but your "pet" analogy falls flat--pets are not wild animals. Animal companions are. So while Fluffy the domesticated cat would get eaten with the week, Wolfie XVIII the wolf animal companion is liable to be a whole lot tougher, and actually knows how to survive in the wilderness.
15th-Jul-2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
If you can snag a copy of the Goods & Gear Guide from Kenzer & Co, they list a ton of different kinds of alcoholic beverages and their effects. For instance Common Ale has a Fort DC of 11 with primary/secondary damages being 0/1 Dex + 1 Wis, whereas Dwarven Mead has a DC of 15 and does d3 Wis/d3 Dex.

As to whether the druid's poison immunity will counter alcohol, I'd say no, but that's your DM's call. However if your character develops a drinking problem or even full blown alcoholism by the time she reaches 9th level, it could make for some interesting situations...
15th-Jul-2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
...Don't suppose there's some kind of cheap (or free) PDF I can download, is there? It's hard to buy books nowadays, with everything being 4E (and also I am broke).

Well, she did wake up from learning that the NPC was likely going to die (they had gone into his sleeping mind with her crush, and she had fainted TWICE) and immediately ask for a drink. At 9 AM. So until the people she cares about are no longer in danger of imminent death and she's gotten over her crush seeing her dream about screwing him, keep the wine flowing!
15th-Jul-2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
It's available on PDF for $15. In my opinion it's worth every penny.
15th-Jul-2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
...And here I thought I'd never need to use my only-for-emergencies debit card in my life. *wants*
16th-Jul-2009 03:53 am (UTC)
It's the best gear book you can find in my opinion, even if you don't run a Kalamar campaign (my setting of choice).
16th-Jul-2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Glad someone finally said no. This is something that always seems rubberized back and forth - alcohol's not poisonous when someone's asking if their ale's poisoned, but it is when they want to be able to resist drunkenness.
15th-Jul-2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Alcohol can be a poison. It depends on how much you drink, and how you define poison. I certainly agree that it's a DM's call. The primary effect of low levels of alcohol is anaethetic, not toxicity. That comes with higher levels, or with chronic use.

My call, if I were the DM, would be that you would get drunk from it, but you wouldn't suffer the debilitating hangover effect. If you want to get overly realistic about it, you need to figure out what the nature of the immunity is: magic? a developed improvement of liver function to instantly metabolize poisons? An overactive intestinal eflux pump that rejects injested poisons from being absorbed? And why would any of these effects work on poisons, but not helpful plants/herbs/decoctions/infusions/etc.? Maybe the druid starts taking certain herbs that impart immunity to a wide class of toxins?

Part of the problem is that alcohol is very different from typical poisons -- alcohol is nearly water, chemically, while many toxins are typically alkaloids -- relatively complex chemicals by comparison. As soon as you start trying to make sense of how the immunity works, there is certainly a difference between alcohol and (for example) belladonna. And other issues like mercury poisoning, or arsenic, only make it more complex. Best choice, in my opinion, is that it's a mystical immunity, and the powers that be can include or exclude alcohol as they see fit.
15th-Jul-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, God. I shouldn't have spent half of junior Chem class asleep in the back, should I?

The herbs would be interesting--"Hang on, I gotta take my meds."

Yeah, the mystical immunity would make more sense, too--considering that she worships a land goddess. It'd be fun if the party goes out drinking and she's the only one to wake up the next morning feeling fresh as a daisy and humming a cheerful tune, while everyone else is clutching their heads, groaning, and wondering where their pants are.
16th-Jul-2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Hmmm, I had thought Ironwood *was* a permanent spell, but I guess not.

You could always go with dragonhide...
16th-Jul-2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but dragonhide involves either killing a dragon and making one myself, or paying way more money than I think we have. (We leave the party gold with another PC, meaning I never remember how much we have.)
16th-Jul-2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the whole "killing a dragon" bit can be nontrivial in a lot of worlds.

However, the price shouldn't be an issue. From the SRD: "Dragonhide armor costs double what masterwork armor of that type ordinarily costs, but it takes no longer to make than ordinary armor of that type."

And masterwork armor costs 150 over the cost of normal armor, so masterwork dragonhide full plate would be (1500+150)x2 = 3300. Which is none so shabby, when you think about it. (And it would be waaaay cheaper to get a dragonhide breastplate, at 700gp for masterwork.)
16th-Jul-2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
Especially since nobody in the party can make armor, and my creation skill is Craft (needlework). (I am probably the only person to ever have played a druid seamstress.)

...Holy crap, I can actually afford that! Without dipping into the party gold! *cackle*
19th-Jul-2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh man, druid seamstress == FTW. You'd be like the combination of two of my friends!

I love taking unusual odd skills (when I have skill points to burn--lately I've been playing sor/clr/mystic theurge, so everything I've got goes into concentration and knowledge). Most of my skill-point-y NPCs have an unusual one just for the hell of it (and to give them some backstory/possible cover).
19th-Jul-2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
It'd be cooler if we had time to make use of it. In between the demon trying to kill one of us (the abovementioned NPC is a party member), my character's romantic issues, and the fact that one of the other PCs has TWO other DMPCs fighting for her attention (the fact that her player is the DM's girlfriend might have something to do with that)...my Craft skills tend to be underutilized. Especially since I only have 3 ranks in it. (Soon to be 8--love that extra human skill point.) Oh, and also we're supposed to be stopping a war and/or saving the world. I have no time to sew!

My next character is going to have Craft (leatherwork). Sadly, this does not include tanning, so she won't be able to just skin whatever they kill and make something nice out of the raw hides. (Although now I am picturing her wearing a kobold-skin belt and an owlbear cloak.)
31st-Jul-2009 03:53 am (UTC)
and the fact that one of the other PCs has TWO other DMPCs fighting for her attention (the fact that her player is the DM's girlfriend might have something to do with that).

Oh dude, total bullshit. No, seriously. Your DM is lame.

But whatever.
31st-Jul-2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Well, actually the two DMPCs are as different from each other and our DM as is possible to be, and one of them is our much-needed cleric. Plus, the tension is highly amusing to watch, and they don't actually take up much quest time. The lame part is actually the PC in the middle of all this; she's our bard, and she is a total Mary Sue. (The player is also my roommate, so I can't say anything about it.) Gorgeous, kind to everyone, perpetually optimistic, heavily on the "Good" end of Chaotic Good, incredibly charismatic...it drives me nuts and is probably the real reason why there's a demon prince trying to utterly break her spirit.
31st-Jul-2009 03:55 am (UTC)
p.s. Do you know about dnd_women?
19th-Aug-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
to qeustion # 4, you have magic fang and greater magic fang, to penetrate DR and hit a little more often.
19th-Aug-2009 05:46 am (UTC)
and yes alcohol is a poison, but I think a reasonable DM would allow you to voluntarily poison yourself, since a druid's ability reflects her connection to nature, and therefore it seems only reasonable that she could voluntarily lower it. Otherwise, logically, any drug, including many healing herbs and antivenoms, wouldn't work on druids, and that is unreasonable.

For drinks, I would go by blood alcohol level. If she's human, for her size one 12oz beer= approximately .02, a little more. Reducing by .014 an hour. Might I suggest a -1 penalty to INT, DEX, and attack for every .02, but -.01 to her effective intoxication for each point of con bonus. For example, after 3 beers she is at .06, which is .04 over the limit her CON can handle, for a penalty of -3. In addition, at .16 or higher she must make a FORT save (DC15) or vomit, followed by another FORT save (DC15) or pass out. For each .02 over .16, the DC increases by one.

This also works for 5oz of wine or 1 1/2 oz of 60 proof liquor. Adjust accordingly.
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