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Old 06-24-2017, 11:34 AM   #1
Jaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Default alcoholism disadvantage clarification

I have a pic that took the disadvantage alcoholism. I looked at the disadvantage, and it's pretty nasty.

However. It says you confine your drinking to the evening, usually.

And if you fail your will roll, binge drink for 2d hours.

I went and looked at the intoxication section in campaigns, but it doest say how long a "binge" is nor how many drinks are consumed in that time?

could someone clarify that for me please?
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:06 PM   #2
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: alcoholism disadvantage clarification

Well, it lasts until the 2d hours expire, or you're unconscious, or you can't get any more drink (thrown out of the only bar, drunk everything accessible, etc.)

As for how fast you drink, you're binging, so you're going to be having at least ST/4 drinks per hour, and hence liable to suffer for it. How much more than that is going to depend on availability, price, and enough other things that it's going to be up to the GM.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:55 PM   #3
Jaware
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Default Re: alcoholism disadvantage clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Well, it lasts until the 2d hours expire, or you're unconscious, or you can't get any more drink (thrown out of the only bar, drunk everything accessible, etc.)

As for how fast you drink, you're binging, so you're going to be having at least ST/4 drinks per hour, and hence liable to suffer for it. How much more than that is going to depend on availability, price, and enough other things that it's going to be up to the GM.
Alright. That was my best guess. But I was just wanting to make sure.
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Old 06-30-2017, 01:11 PM   #4
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: alcoholism disadvantage clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaware View Post
I have a pic that took the disadvantage alcoholism. I looked at the disadvantage, and it's pretty nasty.
While it's nasty, the GURPS Alcoholism disadvantage is "cinematic" at best, and represents a very simplified, sanitized, version of early- to mid-stage alcoholism.

Realistically, at this level, an alcoholic is going to drink themselves into a state of Tipsy or Drunk within an hour or two after hitting the sauce (depending on degree of addition, level of alcohol tolerance, and strength of alcohol available) and stay that way until they fall asleep and/or pass out due to the effects of overconsumption.

At all times during the binge, the alcoholic is going to have enough alcohol in their system that will take them hours to fully purge it. Assuming that alcohol is purged at the rate of 1 "drink" (generally, 1 shot of hard liquor, 1 glass of wine, or 1 mug of beer) per hour, and a typical human starts to feel the effects of liquor (tipsy) after 2 drinks, and is seriously impaired after about 4 drinks, it will take a drunk at least 4 hours to fully sober up.

But, since alcoholics develop tolerance for alcohol, their actual ABV, and the drinks they must consume to avoid withdrawal, will be much higher. That's the reason that you hear stories of people being arrested with incredibly high BAC, which would kill a non-alcoholic. (Since this tolerance is quickly lost, people recovering from severe alcoholism are in extreme danger of alcohol poisoning should they relapse and then try to drink as much alcohol as they did before they entered treatment. Amy Winehouse is the most famous recent example.)

So, the rules for intoxication for normal people don't apply to alcoholics.

Forget the random roll for how long the binge lasts and don't try to calculate exact numbers of drinks. Instead, base the intensity of the binge based on margin of failure with the Self-Control roll. Say that failure by 1 or 2 means that you sort of control yourself and just spend your evening hours in a Tipsy state. Failure by 3 or more means that you spend your first free evening hour Tipsy, and the rest of the evening Drunk. Critical failure means that you get Drunk within an hour and must make a HT roll to avoid blacking out at some point during the evening. Blackout lasts for 30 minutes x margin of failure.

While blacked out, alcoholics are effectively unconscious in that they cannot recall events which happened during this time. But, they can still continue to function, and can even seem to be unimpaired to casual, untrained observers. In game terms, a blacked out drunk is Extremely Drunk (-3 to ST, DX, IQ, Will, Perception, and self-control rolls to resist mental disadvantages) but under the GM's control. After the blackout ends, the alcoholic has no memory of what occurred while he was blacked out, as if he suffered from Partial Amnesia.

Alternately, critical failure to resist Alcoholism can represent some other catastrophe, like succumbing to another mental disadvantage, or inconvenience, damage or loss associated with the addiction. This can be anything from leaving your wallet behind at the bar, to getting arrested, to starting a fire due to carelessness. (It's not unusual for serious drunks to fall asleep while smoking and set themselves or their beds on fire. This is probably the origin of the stories about spontaneous human combustion.)

In any situation where alcohol is present, an alcoholic must make a self-control roll, possibly at a penalty if there are other compelling reasons to drink - such as social expectations or stress. Failure means that they start drinking and don't stop until the alcohol runs out, they are physically prevented from drinking more, or they hit their preferred level of inebriation. Once they hit the desired level, they will keep drinking to maintain that level.

If severely drunk, blacked out, or passed out when they stop drinking, an alcoholic ill revert to merely "drunk" in about 2 hours, and "tipsy" after about 3 hours. After 4 hours, they are functionally "sober" although their BAC might actually register them as being legally intoxicated. Reduce recovery times if an alcoholic stops drinking at the Drunk or Tipsy level.

Basically, ~4 hours from severely drunk to "sober", ~2 hours from severely drunk to drunk, or drunk to sober, ~1 hour from drunk to tipsy, or from tipsy to sober.

For cost, drunks typically drink according to their income, so rich drunks get drunk on more expensive booze, while poor drunks drink the best they can afford. Dead broke people will drink anything that's got ethanol in it, and might drink dangerous substitutes if they're desperate. Assume that a typical male alcoholic who isn't grossly overweight (Fat or Very Fat in game terms) will consume approximately 8-16 "units" of alcohol per day. That could be anything from a 12-pack of cheap beer (~$10) to an entire bottle of 17 year-old single malt or vintage wine (~$50 to $WTF, OMFG prices), so cost of the addiction can vary widely.

Assume that cost of legal alcohol represents about 30% of your disposable income if you're Poor, 20% of your disposable income for someone with Struggling income, and 10% for someone with Average to Comfortable income. For wealthier people, even the most expensive forms of alcohol represent a trivial amount of income, perhaps 1-5% at most.
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