Adventuring can be thirsty work, in-character and out-of-character. Many a gaming group shares a few cold drinks around the table as their characters slay goblins, loot treasure, and explore fantastic locales. The poor characters, meanwhile, have to wait until they get back to a tavern, and they can’t exactly share your drinks. Not only is that rough on the characters, it’s bad for morale. You and your characters are a team, after all, and you should be able to bond over your adventures, your tankards, and your hangovers. Not every sort of adventure gives you that chance: for this, you’ll need a Drinking Quest!
Drinking Quest, ‘the original drinking RPG’ by Jason Anarchy, is a game for 2-4 players meant to be a fun parody of the RPG genre while enabling you and your friends to have some drinks and a good time. Setting up is very simple. Each player chooses one of the available characters, copying down their stats from their card onto one of the little character sheets provided with the game. Make sure you have a full drink prepared, as well as a few more in the fridge. Once that’s done, you shuffle the deck for the first Quest, read its summary card, and then begin taking turns drawing from the deck until the Quest is complete. Then onto the next Quest!
Drinking Quest has four smaller Quests within it: the Lolevel Forest, Mount Icefist, the Booze Cruise, and Zombie Attack! I can speak from personal experience, making it all the way through Drinking Quest on its own is more than enough for a good night. However, Drinking Quest is actually a series with two sequels so far: Drinking Quest 2: Yeddy Vedder’s Yeti Adventure and Drinking Quest 3: Nectar of the Gods. While the first Quest was generally about proving yourself to the Drinking Gods, 2 is about helping Yeddy Vedder retrieve his Yeti Eggs, and 3 is a divine bar crawl with the Drinking Gods themselves!
Each character has a few stats: Attack, Defense, Quickness, Tolerance, Sexual Prowess, and Smarts. If you draw a monster such as the terrifying Bar Mimic you roll your Attack, which tends to be a d6 with some sort of modifier. The monster’s Defense score is subtracted from your result, and if there’s enough damage left, the monster is beaten! If not, then it rolls it own Attack against your Defense, and so on until one of you falls. For the other stats, which are sometimes different depending on which game in the series you are playing, you will be sometimes asked to roll a Saving Throw, determined by what card you’ve drawn. For examples, you might have to save against Sexual Prowess with the Port Wenches, Smarts against notorious gambler Chad Chisler, Tolerance in a Yeti Drinking Contest, or Quickness to catch the Sneaky Wolf Thief. When doing so you roll 3d6, and hope to roll equal to or below your own score. The rewards for these tests vary, but can include things like increasing your stats, winning money, or finding gear.
Each character also has a special ability, usable once per quest. Chuglox, the bar room barbarian who is the face of the series, can make another player immediately chug their beer using Killer Buzz. Daiquirin can use Hell’s Hangover to deal 3 damage to a monster instead of rolling her Attack, ignoring her target’s defense rating. While Chuglox returns for each game, his companions come and go, so you can see some very different special abilities if you play them all.
Defeating monsters generally gets you gold and whatever you’re trying to acquire to win the game with: XP, Yeti Eggs, or Divinity Points across 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Gold can be spent on items that improve your Attack and Defense or increase your maximum HP, or on a Bellows Ale that can be used to keep yourself in a fight. If you don’t have a Bellows Ale when you’re knocked out, don’t worry! You can revive your character by chugging your drink. Mercifully, you’re only required to chug once per each of the four quests within each game. A few swigs will do the trick once you’ve made your initial offer to the Drinking Gods (yes, this also includes Chuglox’s Killer Buzz). The text of the game is very clear, after all: know your limits, have fun, and be safe. Thankfully, you also restore all of your HP in between quests: even if you limp off of the Booze Cruise, you’ll be ready for another round during the Zombie Attack!
The original Drinking Quest is actually out of print at the time of this writing, but DQ 2 and 3 are still available. However, it’s my personal recommendation that if you’re interested in Drinking Quest that you look into the Trilogy Edition, which contains all three games plus a few bonus quests. There’s an additional option, as Anarchy just opened up a Kickstarter for Drinking Quest: Journey into Draught. He’s calling the game a ‘soft reboot’, acting as a great way for new players to get into the game while acting as a 4th game for the veterans. While I of course can’t speak to Journey into Draught from experience, as it isn’t out yet, pledging enough to get a physical copy does net you print-to-play versions of the rest of the DQ series.
If you want to share a few drinks with your friends while playing a fun, simple, very portable game of tongue-in-cheek humor, then give Drinking Quest a look. If you’re playing Chuglox, though, try to be nice about who you use your special ability on. It’s not named ‘Killer Buzz’ without a very good reason. You can find every version of Drinking Quest currently available here, and there’s also a comic book based on the game out there for your enjoyment.
Originally posted 3/11/16 on the Mad Adventurers Society!