IC use of hallucinogenic plants?

Setting suggests that standard European fauna and flora exist. This means that characters potentially have access (deliberate or accidental) to a wide range of poisonous, hallucinogenic, or otherwise interesting substances.

Have been discussing elsewhere whether it would be okay to RP giving another character hallucinogenic substances like ergot or magic mushrooms? How about poisons?

Obviously, I am not advocating the OC use of drugs, as this would be dangerous, against PD rules, and in some cases illegal. Strictly IC roleplay only.

[edited to remove details of poisons].

Most of the basic poisons exist, but its pretty clear that they’re pretty much all entirely treatable by use of the Purify Spell, the appropriate herb and other similar things.

As for hallucinogenics… they’re definately not common in the empire, the’rs no history of wintermark beserkers taking hallucinogenic mushrooms or anything. Pretty much the only hallucinogenic commonly taken in the empire is Liao…

[quote=“Ricohard”]Most of the basic poisons exist, but its pretty clear that they’re pretty much all entirely treatable by use of the Purify Spell, the appropriate herb and other similar things.

As for hallucinogenics… they’re definitely not common in the empire, there’s no history of wintermark beserkers taking hallucinogenic mushrooms or anything. Pretty much the only hallucinogenic commonly taken in the empire is Liao…[/quote]

There’s treatable and treatable, I could rather easily cook up some tasty soup which would have someone extremely dead in under ten minutes using only plants which grow within a few minutes walk from my house - I won’t give specifics, but giving a target a massive and almost immediately fatal heart attack is worryingly simple.

Ergot is particularly interesting in OC history, as it’s a fungus that grows on poorly stored grain, so the whole town would get ergotism from a bad batch of bread flour at once - effects similar to LSD (it’s a precursor) but with added vomiting, seizures, gangrene and occasional death. Used to be known as Saint Anthony’s Fire (the vasoconstriction causing a burning sensation), has been hypothesised to be behind the Salem witch trials though I don’t think that’s necessary.


And the magical hallucinogenics.

I’d be very surprised if there were no recreational drugs, because, well, humans. Humans with a fairly high standard of living and consequently at least some leisure time. Night magic is basically a drug in low doses, and I do not believe that the elite of the League are not smoking something.

Any poison more effective than the Assassins gate would upset the, deliberately restricted, assassination-game balance. Therefore it probably doesn’t exist in the world of empire. There is no reason why plants and the drugs you can get from them that really exist should also exist in the Empire setting, it is not firmly based on any historical reality.
If you want more interesting herbs available than the resource ones, you need to convince the game’s writers that the added game would be worth the added complication.

There are a LOT of potion recipes already that have some weird and wonderful roleplay effects as well as the mechanical effects,

The Infusion Of Feathers list and Tisanes Of The Labyrinth ones are the most pronounced, but the Tonics Of The Open Skies are pretty good too.

If say, a new herb was discovered, who knows what that might do!

Since that’s a particularly direct inter-character interaction that simply isn’t possible under the rules governing such things (you need Special Ming to do such things), you just have to assume that such capabilities are restricted to the Alchemical (etc) preparations. Which just means that drawing extrapolations from RL shouldn’t start with poisoning.

I reckon if you want to force such things on a player (and they’d be roleplaying effects, so could be reacted to as the player determined), you’ll struggle. Doing it consensually, though, fill your boots. I guess that means that if someone consents to be poisoned by spotted fungi soup with a henbane (sounds poisonous; it’s got “bane” in its name) vodka chaser, and die a frothing painful death, that’s fine too…

As far as I can tell, Herbs Of Getting You Dubiously Fucked Up If You’re Feeling Suggestable are below the abstraction layer - you can roleplay that you have and are using these to your heart’s content. They have no mechanical effect, including no mechanical RP effects, but they work fine on the power-of-suggestion level.

If you want actual reliable hallucinogens, there’s alchemy (or priest skills) for that.

It’s still possible that Foreign Herbs Of Doing Exciting Things will get introduced, but they aren’t there yet.

As I seem to recall, IC drugs of a recreational nature were planned at the design stage but didn’t make it in due to time constraints. Foreign nations do seem like the most likely source of such things, though I suspect as a result that we won’t see quite the widespread popularity of drug use that there was at Maelstrom (where even the narcotic substances that debilitated you mechanically were fantastically popular!).

I’m now quite tempted to see if I can blag some magic herbs out of Spring.


I always assume that the Kallavesi mystics have been getting fucked up on drugs since time immemorial. My only caveat is that their drug induced trances did not reliably result in visions of auras, or symbollic magical vision quests revealing plot points relevant to the weekend. That’s what a potion/ritual/ribboned drug is for because it goes beyond roleplaying into an area of mechanics. Want to RP taking mellifluent rhind and hearing the harmony of the spheres? Go for it … just don’t try to use that RP to gain a mechanical effect*.

I personally see no problem at all with RPing taking drugs - the problemsfor me start and end with:

  1. “Forcing” and RP experience on someone else
  2. Mechanical advantage/disdavantage.

A bunch of Wintermark warriors can get together and mix reindeer piss and mushrooms and talk about the spirit of the beast coming on them to their heart’s content - it’s just girding or marshalling by another name. They can even mix their pre-battle drug ceremony with some Tinctures of the Deep Forest to add additional validation.

Likewise, I don’t expect anyone to have to spend Marrowort to treat their mate’s IC hangover - unless that hangover is the result of a poisonong or curse, at which point there will 99.9% certainly be a method of removing the effect that has a cost.

Heck, we don’t expect people to lammy their chocolates or oysters even though they are apparently aphrodisiacs :wink:

About the only place it’d cause me any problems at all would be trying to use recreational drugs as an excuse for a variant response to a roleplaying effect, or where someone tries to use roleplayed narcotics as a way to pressure someone else in a way that (effectively) duplicates an RP effect … which are about influencing your character rather than forcing/mandating responses.

So … if Joseph or Josephine Marcher joins your reindeer-piss-and-mushroom circle prior to a battle, and wants to RP being a bit drugged up thats cool. If they don’t, then they either didn’t swallow or didn’t get a full dose or are just naturally resistant to reindeer piss.

Poisoning falls in the same category. While IC I could slip someone some poison mushrooms, I would want to be careful about PD approval for forcing RP on someone else, especially one that has a “cost” to deal with - albeit the minor cost of 1 mana. Much easier to just pour some gutwrench into their pint with the aid of a referee.

At the point where you blag some magic herbs out of a Spring eternal, they do what they say they do - likewise, at the point you get some of that cool spore-infested-human-meat drug the Sarcophan make, it does what the rules say it does.

We’ll almost certainly never lammy “random narcotics” and more than we lammy random booze, sweets, baccy or asprin. Or bandages, surgeons rools, disenfectants, firelighters, lightstones … as long as its just an RP prop, we’ll treat it as such I think.

Although we might disgree with you as to whether it is just an RP prop or not :slight_smile:

  • And I say this as the man who will, three days later, be trapped in a six hour conversation with the Boss when someone who doesn’t realise what is going on sends an angry e-mail about how so-and-so clearly has a special power that lets them hear the music of the spheres that lets them cast detect magic without using mana, and demanding the ability to duplicate that power.