Friday, June 30, 2017

Simple Bar Contests - Vile Foods

Yesterday I put up some rules for eating contests based on my punched-up drinking contest rules.

Today, I'm going to deal with contests where you eat unpleasant foods. A good deal of thanks for this post goes to Jade Empire, which has a gustatory contest where the foods take something out of you.

Special care was taken here to point out that No Sense of Smell/Taste is not a perk that comes with 5 bonus points, but an actual disadvantage which takes away an important sense when it comes to not eating the wrong thing.

Vile Foods Consumption Contest

Some eating and drinking contests aren't about amount, exactly, but about getting down and keeping down foods that are difficult to eat - due to bad flavor, unappealing texture, spiciness, etc. Actually harmful foods have their own challenges - see Harmful Foods, below.

For fast resolution, just roll a Quick Contest of Skills; apply the margin of victory as a penalty to the loser's HT roll to keep food down and roll HT as well. For a longer test, make one roll per given amount of food (per meal, per bowl, etc.).

Skill Roll

Resolve each round (or the entire contest) as a Cooking or Survival roll, usually based on HT (but see below.) For drinks, use Carousing or Survival or even Hazardous Materials!

Truly unappetizing foods may require a Will-based skill roll to even try to eat, followed by a HT (or other stat) based roll to get and keep it down. If you fail a Will roll to try to eat something, you can force yourself to do it anyway, but all of your subsequent skill rolls will be at -1 per point by which you failed the Will roll.

Conversely, addictive foods might require a Will roll to stop eating.

Get creative here:

ST-based: Really tough foods that must be torn apart with the teeth, or wrestled into your mouth.
DX-based: Wriggling food that must be caught and forced down before it escapes! Apply SM as a penalty for speed-eating. Vision penalties - blind-folded apple bobbing would be DX-based but have a -10 for not being able to see!
IQ-based: Some foods can't simply be eaten, they must be accessed - torn open like crabs, cracked like lobsters, or slid out of tiny crevices in creatures. You need to figure out how to do it.
HT-based: Food that isn't easy to keep down, thanks to upsetting effects on your mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestines. Or all of them.
Will-based: Vile foods you have to force yourself to eat, but which aren't actually hard to eat.

Meals after your limit also require a HT-based roll to keep them down.

Modifiers: Each meal after the first is at a cumulative -2; each meal after your limit is a counts down (-4)! Foods may be gain bonuses (up to +5) or penalties (up to -5) for each of the following categories: taste and/or smell, texture, cultural revulsion ("Eat this bug!"), or physical difficulty (spiciness, chewiness, saliva-whickingness, etc.). Cast Iron Stomach gives +3/level to rolls to eat or keep foods down; No Sense of Smell/Taste ignores any bonuses or penalties for taste or smell; Nervous Stomach requires a HT roll for any meal that comes with a penalty.

For example: Moldy fermented bean curd tastes bad (-1) but the texture is like cheese (-0). It's net difficulty is -1. Cthonic brain worm larvae stewed in grug-splunk taste great (+2) but have an awful texture (-3), and tend to expand rapidly in contact with saliva (-2). Their net difficulty is a -3; for someone with No Sense of Smell/Taste the penalty is -5!

Harmful Foods

Some food have actual harmful effects. Trading shots of Monster Drool, eating the spiny puffer piranha whole, devouring the stamina-sapping fruit of the Lethargy Treant, etc.

For these, GMs need to make up their own foods. The usual rolls apply to eat them and get them down apply, but each should have additional effects. For example:

Spiny Puffer Piranha: These goldfish-sized fish are swallowed whole, and live. They inflict 1d-3 (min 1) piercing damage when consumed. They require a DX-based contest to swallow them before they puff up; failure means you lose or need to get a new fish (they take a few minutes to calm down.) Apply cumulative damage to your Will roll to keep eating them.

Lethargy Treant Fruit: These fruits cause some sleepiness. Each one consumed inflicts 1d-1 FP loss (minimum 1) and a cumulative -1 to Will (lasts for 20-HT minutes). They're quite delicious (+5) and addictive (Will roll to stop eating them). When 0 FP is reached the eater must make a HT roll every minute to stay awake; failure means the eater falls asleep. Failure by 5+ or Critical Failure means you fall into a coma!

Raggi's Grandma's Hangover Cure: Best not even described. Cures a hangover with 5d minutes, but takes a lot out of you - make a HT roll at -2 per meal or suffer 1d FP and -1 Per per FP lost for a number of hours equal to the lost FP.

Enjoy. Or rather, don't.

I plan to deploy these (along with the other contests) when the PCs find the Tavern Level of the dungeon and modify them based on actual play. But they'll do for now.


  1. Of course, the big question now is - how did the monsters on the Pub Level get Raggi's Grandmas's hangover cure recipe? Has Raggi been this deep down in Felltower before, perhaps? Or - more likely - has his *grandma* delved even deeper down beneath Felltower than he has? Raggi's grandma would be one intimidating old dame.

    1. Technically, the Tavern Level is actually a Bar World, or so the delvers hear . . .

  2. Of course she intimidating! She loved Raggi's Grandpa despite his bad breath, a breath so bad it's passed down from Father to Son as an heirloom!

    1. You're thinking of Ragnar, of Ragnar's Breath. Raggi doesn't have any Odious Personal Habits, besides berserking.

    2. I was. Now I'm slightly disappointed in Raggi.

    3. That's been going around lately. He doesn't care. His life is delving, the drinking and relaxing until the money runs out. Rinse, repeat. He lives a happy life, as Inquisitor Marco pointed out a few years back.

    4. As long as the berserker's happy, everybody's happy.


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