View Full Version : How to roleplay a Lawful Drunken Master?

2012-12-20, 03:22 PM
The title says it all.

I haven't been active d&d-wise lately, and I have mostly forgotten about alignment stuff, so give me some ideas, and a good way to roleplay a lawful drunk.

Thanks in advance :smallbiggrin:

2012-12-20, 03:26 PM
This has always confused me. It really seems like the drunken master PrC should allow, or even require, you to be nonlawful. However, I would say that being a drunkard doesn't necessarily mean that you commit non-lawful acts. Besides, many lawful characters don't care all that much about the law, but rather have a personal code they abide by- it seems to me that, even while drunk, most monks would stick to this code.

Sorry I couldn't be much help. Let's hope someone else has a better answer. :smallfrown:

2012-12-20, 03:30 PM
This has always confused me. It really seems like the drunken master PrC should allow, or even require, you to be nonlawful

Yeah, likewise. That's why I'm asking here. It's not even a problem to ask my DM to allow me to play a nonlawful or even chaotic drunken master, since we're all about having fun, not so much about being rules lawyers.

Also that about personal code makes sense. His personal code might require him to be intoxicated at all times :smalltongue:

2012-12-20, 07:52 PM
Samuel Vimes, from his first couple of Discworld books.

2012-12-20, 07:55 PM
Lawful can also mean always taking the same approach to solving problems or being very set in your ways.

Alcoholism seems like it could easily fall under that.

2012-12-20, 09:06 PM
There's a law against being drunk? Bah, if anyone has an issue with you, just break out the Ron White argument.

"Sir, we are going to have to arrest you for being drunk in public."

"Hey hey hey hey HEY! I was NOT drunk in public! I was drunk in a BAR! The bouncer hurled me out INTO public. Arrest him."

2012-12-20, 11:21 PM
Perhaps it's a means of testing one's self-control? A monk who finds restraint to be easy while sober could attempt to further his skill by trying to remain that way while intoxicated.

Edge of Dreams
2012-12-21, 01:44 AM
Perhaps it's a means of testing one's self-control? A monk who finds restraint to be easy while sober could attempt to further his skill by trying to remain that way while intoxicated.

That's actually nearly brilliant. I can just imagine the monk saying (with a wink), "Hey, keeping my thoughts and actions on the right path while sober is easy. Doing it while drunk is a challenge." It's the same kind of philosophy that argues a monk or nun shut away in a monastery is actually less virtuous than a good person who lives out among the evil of the world. What virtue is there in doing no wrong if you're never tempted in the first place?

2012-12-21, 02:15 AM
I'm pretty sure that in most medieval-ish fantasy worlds, there are no laws against being drunk or even drinking in public. If it is illegal to drink in public, get a pocket flask and ranks in Sleight of Hand, Hide... and Bluff. :smalltongue:

Edit: At higher levels, just ignore all of the above. :smallcool:

Also, if there are bars but it's illegal to be drunk in public, how will people walk home from a bar? :smallamused:

Just make a lawful character (believes and upholds the law, has a personal code and/or honors his word, etc.) who just happens to drink a lot.

2012-12-21, 04:46 AM
Well the whole reason that alcohol makes you act unlawfully is that it suspends your judgement. You can be a very law-abiding type 99% of the time, but then you have a few shots of tequila, some vodka, a flaming something-or-other, and before you know it you find yourself in the streets of Taipei at 2:00 AM throwing up on somebody's motorcycle and yelling at a fire hydrant that looked at you funny.

Trust me, I know. 90% of the above story is true.

Ahem, point is that alcohol by its nature could be considered an alignment-altering substance that pushes you a little bit more toward chaotic than you would normally be. ;)

2012-12-21, 04:54 AM
Being a responsible drunk would be my suggestion. :smallwink:

Or, as suggested above: Vimes.

2012-12-21, 04:57 AM
What is lawful, exactly? As per the SRD, a lawful character should "tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties." Let's start with that "should" - most characters are only human and occasionally fall short of their ideals. As long as they accept them and try to follow them with some degree of success, they are of a certain alignment. Unless they are a paladin or cleric, that's fine. By the way, being lawful does not necessarily mean obeying the law. I'd say Don Corleone would be lawful, even though he was not law-abiding (as a comparison, Michael would be neutral on that axis).

A drunken master is a master of a certain, unusual style, but that shouldn't prevent him or her from following a lawful philosophy. While the fighting style can be seen to be disruptive by onlookers, it does not define his beliefs, nor control him like an outside spell. Drunk or sober, they respect Heaven and the tradition of the land, strive to keep their word and act with honor. Alcohol simply removes their inhibitions and good sense, but if their belief is genuine, they'd still value the same things they normally do. Alcohol may occasionally cause them to do things they later regret, but that doesn't mean an alignment shift - many people fall short of their ideals at times. This may make some humble, other or resigned, zealous, frustrated, or yearning for more control. All are imo legitimate for a lawful character.

2012-12-21, 05:07 AM
I'd say a lawful Drunken Master is somebody who would not allow his drunkenness to overcome his rational judgement. So while he might be silly and a little belligerent while drunk, he'll never let it come to the stage where he makes decisions that he would regret later. So he's not a violent drunk, he's a silly drunk.

Also, the powers of a Drunken Master are already somewhat supernatural, because unlike most people, whose fighting ability sharply decreases when drunk (while their confidence in said abilities rises) his only get better. So why not rule that even when drunk, he still retains his sense for law and order. While he might try to joke with the law, his jokes and games are of the affirming kind, not the mocking kind.

But yeah, DM is a pretty chaotic class, I'd say.

Averis Vol
2012-12-21, 05:56 AM
Since you are most likely starting in from Monk (Stupid FoB requirements) It actually isn't too terribly hard. Monks specifically remain lawful as long as they follow their orders personal code of ethics. So if its something like "Always rise to a challenge when confronted with one" a drunken master could easily try fighting while being more and more intoxicated each time.