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Old 08-07-2013, 12:02 PM   #1
JCurwen3
 
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Default Alcohol and Fear

As I noted in an earlier thread, alcohol is a built-in mitigator for Shyness.

One thing that a player noted recently, and I'm inclined to agree with, is that it's strange that it seems to do nothing, officially, to assist fear effects (from phobias, general fright checks, intimidation, etc). Or have I missed something?

It seems to me that getting Tipsy or outright Drunk should have some ameliorating effects on fear, if only because you're less emotionally and cognitively present. Anything RAW I've missed, or house rules? Alcohol is one of the most sought after legal drugs for self-medicating purposes (aside from caffeine), and it certainly medicates more than just shyness / social anxiety.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

This is a personal house rule of mine: Reverse any IQ penalties for drunkenness in cases that would be covered by Fearlessness (up to the normal max for Fright Checks). They don't call it, "Liquid Courage," for nothing.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
This is a personal house rule of mine: Reverse any IQ penalties for drunkenness in cases that would be covered by Fearlessness (up to the normal max for Fright Checks). They don't call it, "Liquid Courage," for nothing.
I really like this, I'm using it! Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

Realistically, it's not that alcohol makes you resistant to fear, it's that it makes you too stupid to recognize danger. A bunch of drugs have that effect, actually.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

Also, bear in mind that whilst being drunk can make you oblivious to danger, it can also make you more prone to panic under the wrong circumstances - especially if you're part of a group of drunks.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

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Also, bear in mind that whilst being drunk can make you oblivious to danger, it can also make you more prone to panic under the wrong circumstances - especially if you're part of a group of drunks.
This gives me an interesting idea: Let drunks have their bonus on fright checks, but if they fail, double their margin of failure for the purpose of rolling on the fright check table. That way, drunks who do give in to fear will have worse panic attacks.

One Exception: Perhaps characters who are drunk (not tipsy) should have some extra protection against permanent effects, as alcohol has a certain effect on memory.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Realistically, it's not that alcohol makes you resistant to fear, it's that it makes you too stupid to recognize danger. A bunch of drugs have that effect, actually.
Not really. It has a strong effect on my general anxiety as well as social phobia. I was no where near drunk enough to think like a troglodyte.
The exact mechanism doesn't matter, only its outward effect. And for alcohol, it reduces fear responses far out of proportion to its cognitive effects.

I'm going by the judgments of sober people around me at the three times I drank, not my own drunken evaluations.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

Then you didn't got drunk enough.

I'm tired of seeing people getting into fights when drunk, just because they suddenly believe they can "beat anyone". Even when the poor guy is drunk, alone, and trying to pull a fight with a MMA artist and his seven friends.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

Alcohol is an anxiolytic at lower dosages than it is a cognitive inhibitor. In fact, there is some evidence that low dosages enhance specific learning responses. The trick is that dosage is hard to manage when self-administered via traditional channels . . . clinical results always speak in terms of blood-alcohol concentration, and that's almost impossible to meter with oral intake in a social environment. Roughly, the boundary is at about 0.5 unit (half a small drink) for someone who weighs about 150-160 lbs.

It's very hard to find supporting works because citations are suppressed by the sheer volume of scare-mongering directed against alcohol use. Of course, that propaganda is mainly concerned with abuse in intoxicating quantities, which are a full order of magnitude beyond what I'm talking about here.

I think it's fair to say that half a GURPS drink would be a Mitigator against fear and Shyness, without causing any negative afflictions. Beyond that . . . use the drinking rules.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alcohol and Fear

I have a stupidly high tolerance, but even so I had to have been quite drunk for at least a short while on those three occasions. My liver isn't Kryptonian. I beat my mother at free cell on the computer a few times, and she though I was faking drunk. I know, getting drunk my first time with my family to watch is horribly nerdy.
My brother thought I sounded more intelligent. But my coordination was the absolute first thing to go and go badly. I never once thought I could drive or do anything else that I wouldn't have thought safe when sober.
Three times is obviously not statistically useful, but it is enough to refute others' absolutes.
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