Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at
Mon Aug 25 19:35:01 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

The following is based on a system I had first seen in 'The Compleat
Tavern' by Gamelords Ltd. published 1980.   It has been out of print
for quite some time.  This version has been modified to reflect
Rolemaster conventions.  It may not be medically sound but I recall 
it providing some hours of amusement. 

Each character has an alcohol tolerance value and an alcohol burn rate
value.  My character statistics are based on a 1-100 scale also. If
your characters have a weight value then this can be used to determine
modifiers otherwise the following simple table works for humans.  

weight       multipliers
         tolerance  burn rate  
skinny      .7         1.4
slender     .8         1.2
slim        .9         1.1
normal     1.0         1.0
husky      1.1         1.0
heavy      1.2          .9
huge       1.4          .8

The base principle at work is the bigger you are the more you
can drink and the smaller you are the faster you burn it off.
Simplistic, but not altogether inaccurate for the general case.

Alcohol Tolerance = (Constitution/6 + 2) * (Self-Discipline/6) *
                     weight factor multiplier (above)   

This number ranges from about 15 - 400 in most extreme cases in my 
system.  But character stats will fall within a bell curve with the 
median being at 180 and so the vast majority of characters have an 
alcohol tolerance between 130 and 230.   

Alcohol Burn Rate = Constitution * 0.3 * 
                    weight factor multiplier (above) 

A character's body will naturally burn off alcohol each hour equal to
this number.

Modifiers to above:

1) Race - depends on your theme (dwarves have been noted to have
   extraordinary liquor tolerances) Perhaps the multiplier is
2) Food consumption appears to have a strengthening effect on
   drinkers. If a character is eating while drinking, increase
   his alcohol tolerance by 30%.  
3) The absence of food in one's stomach appears to have the reverse 
   effect; if a character has not eaten for 6 to 12 hours, reduce
   alcohol tolerance by 20%; if he has not eaten for more than 12
   hours, reduce the alcohol tolerance by 40%.
4) Strenuous activity like combat will double a character's burn
   off rate, but will cause checks for passing out every 1 minute.

The point value used to determine how much alcohol has been consumed
is by using the following formula:

Alcohol points = Proof/6 * ounces.

Thus a 1 oz. shot of Everclear would equal --- 190/6 * 1 or 32 pts. 
A 12 oz. Molson would equal ---- 12/6 * 12 or 24 pts.

The point at which a character reaches various stages of intoxication
is calculated by comparing his alcohol tolerance to the amount of
alcohol he has consumed.  These stages also control various other
aspects of the character's capability, such as instinctive reactions,
manual coordination, and common sense.  It is possible for a character
to have a terrible hangover as the result of a drinking spree, or even
to be sick for a number of days afterward.

% of Alcohol  State   Effect on maneuver     Stat Bonus Effects
 tolerance            actions               
  60%         tipsy   -10% to all maneuvers, -1 AG, -1 QU, -2 SD
 100%         drunk   -25% to all maneuvers  -2 AG, -3 QU, -4 SD
 133%      staggering -45% to all maneuvers  -4 AG, -6 QU, -7 SD
 167%     blind drunk -70% to all maneuvers  -7 AG, -10 QU, -all SD
 200%      dead drunk unconscious [1] 
 250%           dying unconscious [2] sick [ 6-(CO/16) ] days
 300%            dead unconscious [3] sick [ 20-(CO/4) ] days


The chances of passing out are check each hour and depend on the
characters state.  At 200% tolerance the character will become
unconscious automatically. 

Tipsy - % Chance must be less CO + 60% to avoid passing out.
Drunk - % Chance must be less CO + 20% to avoid passing out.
Staggering - % Chance must be less CO to avoid passing out.
Blind Drunk - % Chance must be less CO - 20% to avoid passing out.

Hangover lasts one day and will cause a -10% to all action maneuvers
and Quickness penalties will continue for that time. 
Approximately 35% of characters will be naturally immune to the 
effects of hangovers.

The notes in brackets indicate the chance of death.
[1] - Chance must be less Constitution + 60% to avoid death.
[2] - Chance must be less Constitution to avoid death.
[3] - Chance must be less Constitution - 20% to avoid death.

As with anything, your mileage can and will vary.

Jon A. Lambert

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