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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 02:47 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.
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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 03:25 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 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 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.)
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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