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    Canonfire :: View topic - Drug use in the Flannaes
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    Drug use in the Flannaes
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:26 am  
    Drug use in the Flannaes

    The idea for this post came from the "Kracky the Hoooded" comment in another thread. How is drug use seen in the Flannaes? Are hallucogenic drugs widely used as part of religious ceremonies? Are "feel good" drugs like cocaine and opium available? Do the evil nations like Iuz or the Great Kingdom addict their soldiers or people with them, then withhold them as punishment? Just a few ideas I never really thought of in this context. In our own real world, drugs are a sad reality, it may be that none of us wants to bring this into our "break from reality" time, and thus it has not been explored. I can see a plot by Iuz's agents to secretly addict Furyondian soldiers to some drug, then stop the supply immediately prior to an attack to produce withdrawal symptoms in them. Or Vecna's cultists using forced addictions to break down the morals of good people, to use their hidden weakness against them, that type of thing. Just how is drug use viewed by the mass of people? Any ideas? Has anyone had anything like this in their campaigns?
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:39 am  

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=640

    Of course Ull is the #1 source for opiates in the Flanaess. Wink
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:03 am  
    Drug use in the Flannaes

    Mortellan-

    Guess I had a memory dump, I read that article and totally spaced that it existed!
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:38 am  

    As far as canon goes, there's kalamanthis harvested in the Cairn Hills and tanbrosh harvested in the Kron Hills.

    On the milder side of the spectrum, there's tamal.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:54 am  

    I always used an "opiate" equivalent called "lotus" that I kinda-sorta borrowed from the Conan short stories. It fulfills the same basic niche as opium so far as even to have "dens."

    I based the actual plant off of one grown in Ull mostly and imported throughout the flanaess by them folks. I made it illegal in most of the Sheldomar Valley, although people still do it.
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:28 am  

    I'm really not interested in adding a "drug scene" to my fantasy world, however:

    Though drugs have played a part throughout our own history, it would be well to remember that there were a great many people who never knew anything about them. It is only due to our modern means of communication that knowledge of this lifestyle has become so widespread today.

    The Flanaess is not supposed to have so widespread a means of communication, thus the lack of "maps," knowledge of who is "king," who the "famous" wizards are -- all discussed in other threads.

    So even though such a lifestyle might exist in "your" particular world, that doesn't mean that your PC's need "run into it," or that there be a "lotus" den in every city.

    But to completely deny that it is there would remove an element of reality. Not to mention some good story plots. Wink
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    Last edited by Mystic-Scholar on Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:04 am; edited 1 time in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:58 am  

    There's one scene in the Gord books where he and his compatriots partake of some narcotic vapors. Of course Curly Greenleaf provides them all with an anti-toxin on the down low so that the drug doesn't affect them. I think this happens just prior to them going to take on Gravestone.
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:00 am  

    Not only magic, but also other races. Can you imagine what would happen if a halfling took a human-sized dose of methamphetamine? A dead freakin' halfling.
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:18 am  

    Quote:
    I'm really not interested in adding a "drug scene" to my fantasy world,


    Mystic-Scholar- I understand, not a subject I particularly want to glamorize either as my players are my teen age sons and my brother. That said, I do see it providing an angle for possibly adding to the depth of the world, or as an adventure hook. Think "Against the Drug Lords" or something like that as a series of low level adventures.

    All- The feedback has been interesting. It seems that this is a subject most of us are content to leave out of Greyhawk. It's a sad enough part of the real world as it is. Thanks for everyone's input!
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:40 am  

    Gman75 wrote:
    It's a sad enough part of the real world as it is.


    Its demeaning. Sad

    We have slavery in Greyhawk, just as we did in our world, and many would say that slavery is "demeaning." True enough, but . . .

    Slavery is forced upon someone (else), but they can still have pride, still 'hold themself above it,' though everyone else may belittle them. Drug addiction is something a person does to themself.

    I've had a hard life, I sure many others here have too. I've never smoked, never drank in excess and I don't do drugs. These are things people choose to do . . . to themselves no less. And that's the most demeaning thing of all, 'you do it to yourself.' Cry

    We don't need that in Greyhawk. Wink
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:18 am  

    I would think that there's enough evil in Greyhawk to combat (or join, depending upon your preference). We don't really need more, especially of the sort that could/would have the far-reaching ramifications on culture, politics, etc. It could be a truly unbalancing (while totally unnecessary) addition.

    I find the point regarding the relative ease of charm magic is a particularly persuasive one that I had not considered.

    I don't make player characters take bathroom breaks in the middle of the dungeon, even though that would be more realistic. And come to think of it, I don't know that I or anyone else at the table would appreciate (for long) the necessary role-playing, should a character happen to partake:

    [Standing motionless while all hell is breaking loose around them]"..................................Whooaaah........................."

    "There are two wooden doors to your left and right. The left door is giving off a little heat, and you think you can smell faint traces of fire. Oh, and Bob the dwarf is 40 yards behind you, staring at the picture of a boat on the wall. He is silent, and looks very impressed. Basically, he's doing what he was doing ten minutes ago."
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    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:50 am  

    Wow Jeminnab, talk about realism! Laughing Laughing Laughing Evil Grin
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:25 pm  

    Granted everyone is free to pick and choose what is acceptable and to what extent within their game. However I must respectfully disagree with those that insist that drugs go too far.

    Within the game several uncomfortable aspects of society are glossed over rather then confronted but the aspects remain to maintain a sense of realism unless the game desired is a disney version of itself. Can't be heroes without evil to confront and drugs should simply be another evil to confront much as the slave trade.

    From the beginning half-orcs were a result of rape but few I wager felt the need to explicitly describe the actual event simply to maintain realism. The slave lords modules are classics and yet few explained the graphic dehumanizing details of the slave trade for realism.

    These social evils and those that profit from them simply became another villian to overcome. Rather then the blood crazed warlord or the diabolical cultist sometimes the villian could be these social ills. When I created the articles for the baklunish basin in the research I discovered a refernce to narcotic smugglers and so created shadi zar (medicinal herb) and an organization (cultivators cadre) not to entice players into drug use but to provide another opponent to defeat.
    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:05 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    These social evils and those that profit from them simply became another villian to overcome . . . not to entice players into drug use but to provide another opponent to defeat.


    No argument. I was simply pointing out that slavery has been a fact of war for thousands of years -- the losers are enslaved, always have been. The remotest villager knows what slavery is, though their society might not practice or condone it. Evil

    But not every villager knows about drugs or their uses. Even in our own world tobacco was unknown before Columbus discovered America. Shocked

    I was simply pointing out that, in using drugs as a "hook," it need not be necessary to have everyone in the Flanaess know where the local "Black Lotus den" is, because most wouldn't. Cool
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm  

    It wasn't always true for me, but I now handwave most evil in my campaign. Sure, it's there, but I'm not going to explore it in any detail. The villains do bad things but it's enough to just know they're bad - I don't need to know how their victims felt, what they did to them, or how much pleasure they got out of doing it. I also don't need backstories that fill in every gory detail of the sex lives of the bad guys.

    Basically, my point is this: Neither I nor my players need to "explore" evil any more than we already have in real life. It's one thing to know that "the black knight is evil and needs to be vanquished," and it's entirely another to roll around in filth for the sake of entertainment.

    Which is not to say that I fault anyone for including drugs (or any other form of evil) in their own campaigns. You wanna do that, then go right ahead. But I would consider it a personal favor if you don't publish it here or elsewhere. If I want to see evil in all its glory all I have to do is walk outside.
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    Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:31 pm  

    Try this on, drugs in D&D/GH is no more out of place than highly prevalent poisons or potions. Poison use is considered evil but most editions provide extensive lists and 'black market' prices for their procurement or liquidation as loot. Their effects could be compard to side effects of drugs if overdosed.
    Potions are also a special case IMO. While not mechanically listed as addictive, their use can sometimes be inferred as addictive. Healing potions drank on a daily basis to treat 'pain', mages needing Longevity potions to stay young, Heroism potions to give that 'performance boost', etc. By extension drugs in D&D rules are just addictive versions of potions so while drugs are bad, mmkay, they are certainly viable to use in the context of the fantasy setting.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:46 am  

    Don't forget the Green Welcome of Exag. A green mucus secretion that puts you in tune with the Ancient Ones. Even though the drug is said to icrease your strength and trasnform you into a monster in case of overdose, the adventure cycle Seeds of Sehan also describes many users of the drug as sleepy and comatose. When I played the first adventure (my players refused to continue episodes 2 and 3) I described the effects of green welcome or staring at the Green Welcome monsters as a huge allucinogenic trip. It was as if your essence flew into the sky among the stars, you felt like becoming one with a terribly ancient energy - like Azatoth. The idea of putting together the Far Realms, drugs and slurm (see Futurama episode eheh) was brilliant.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:54 am  

    I should perhaps clarify that I don’t object to the injection (pun intended) of drugs in Greyhawk on a greater scale on personal moral grounds. I just don’t think it does anything for the setting. It would be like adding spinning hubcaps to my car. I could, but why? My car is fine the way it is.

    But hey, to each his own. If it works for you, go for it.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:35 am  

    I guess I should clarify my own comments as well. There's a big difference between drugs that echo the real world and drugs that are so totally fantastic that they couldn't possibly be real.

    The drugs in the Seeds of Sehan cycle are a prime example. In describing these drugs a DM can take two approaches: either describe them in real-world terms as an extreme variant of heroin complete with DTs, etc., or describe them as mutating, green-mucus-dribbling weirdness. The latter doesn't bother me much since it doesn't evoke the same images and feelings as the former. Neither I nor my players know anyone who's lost their lives because they turned into a green snot-monster.

    This, I think, is an important thing for DMs to consider. RPGs by nature tend to be immersive. Also, by nature they need to include some form of evil in order to provide conflict for players to overcome, else there's little fun in playing them. And, in spite of our collective disdain for the foolish notion that RPGs turn people into raving homocidal satanists, it is undoubtedly true thay can have a profound psychological effect on players and DMs alike.

    With those things in mind I submit that it behooves DMs to be responsible with what they include in their games, as well as how they describe various phenomena. For example, we're all aware of the effect television violence can have on kids and adults alike. However, fantasy violence of certain types tends to have demonstrably less impact on viewers than realistic violence (which is part of the reason D&D players aren't so homocidal). Similarly, fantasy drugs should (theoretically) have less impact than realistic drugs. In other words there's a big difference between portraying an aspect of evil artistically for roleplaying purposes and glorifying that same aspect of evil. One is entertainment; the other is encouragement to participate, vicariously or otherwise.

    Social responsibility is a subject I've rarely if ever seen discussed in gaming circles, and I think that's a tragedy. Most of us have only thought of gaming as an exercise in entertainment and little else. However, when we play with other people we do exercise a degree of influence on them. Do we want to have a positive impact on our friends or a negative impact? Are we playing to selflishly indulge our own dark fantasies or are we playing because we enjoy the game and the company? I'm not saying we should all turn our games into exercises in social engineering - far from it. But rather, we should take into consideration whether we're playing a healthy game or an unhealthy one. The human mind is a delicate machine not unlike a state-of-the-art computer - and we all know the first rule of computing: garbage in, garbage out.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:14 am  
    DrugUse in the Flannaes

    Wow, I never expected the direction this thread took off to. I guess it hit a nerve. As I've said before, I orignally got interested in these games in high school, then lost interest because of job, family, etc, until I had a big life event in 2007. I immediately noticed that the newer material had a much grittier, more intensely detailed description of the "badness" than the 1980's material. I can't remember where I read it, but there was a description in one item of one of the Boneheart who captured a good female mage, and kept her as his concubine. In another, a discussion on how some demon lord raped a valkyrie, and so on. Same with some of the descriptions of the horrible ways evil things killed or corrupted the good. I figured that somewhere there was material on drug dens, cartels, something like that. Additionally, I figured there might be religous uses, as in American Indian usage of peyote and such to enter the spirit realm, things like that. To me, that seems no worse than some of the other items I had been seeing in the new material, so I've really been surprised at how strongly people have responded. To each their own on what to put in their campaigns, but overall, I do agree that the drug use angle is not an overly positive one, and one which I would use with caution if I added it to my campaign.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:58 am  
    Re: DrugUse in the Flannaes

    Gman75 wrote:
    Wow, I never expected the direction this thread took off to. I guess it hit a nerve.

    I don't know if hitting a nerve is so bad. Its rare to get a good topic like this that can be rationally discussed about RPGs overall and specifically about the setting.

    Quote:
    I figured there might be religous uses, as in American Indian usage of peyote and such to enter the spirit realm, things like that.

    I hadn't considered that. I'm fairly sure there isnt any concrete canon examples of drugs used or inferred to be used by GH religions but I'm positive after some thought several could be singled out and not just evil ones.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:57 am  
    Re: DrugUse in the Flannaes

    Gman75 wrote:
    Wow, I never expected the direction this thread took off to. I guess it hit a nerve. As I've said before, I orignally got interested in these games in high school, then lost interest because of job, family, etc, until I had a big life event in 2007. I immediately noticed that the newer material had a much grittier, more intensely detailed description of the "badness" than the 1980's material. I can't remember where I read it, but there was a description in one item of one of the Boneheart who captured a good female mage, and kept her as his concubine. In another, a discussion on how some demon lord raped a valkyrie, and so on. Same with some of the descriptions of the horrible ways evil things killed or corrupted the good...


    Actually, there are quite a few of us around who have expressed concern about the so-called "grittiness" you mention. But since your topic concerned only drugs I limited myself to that single subject.

    For the record, I'm the last guy in the world who would tell any individual what to include in his or her own campaign - I'm not the gaming police, and that's not my job. And I'm well aware that if I don't like a given product I can alter it to fit my needs or else not buy it at all, but that's not the point. The point is that game publishers (and I include content-oriented sites like Canonfire in this category) need to realize their products are seen and bought as often by children as by adults, and they have a responsibility to make sure they avoid harming - however unintentionally - their customers.

    Further, quite a few adults simply don't like to read that stuff (for a whole pack of reasons) and don't want to be exposed to it even if we are perfectly capable of altering it. In other words, I could turn a Penthouse magazine into a coloring book if I wanted to, but I don't want to have to read it to do so.

    And I'm also not recommending that all game publishers turn their materials into setting-specific versions of "My Little Pony". I simply think that they could do a better job with warning labels and similar cautions.

    For what it's worth, since so many elements of the gaming world are now trying to make roleplaying mainstream (especially WotC), it seems to me they would do well to leave out the objectional content altogether. Marketing study after marketing study (and I'm speaking here as a professional marketing consultant) proves that "tame" content sells better than objectional content, so why not take advantage of that fact? And before somebody suggests it, no, I do not believe that leaving out the "grittiness" means leaving out the inventiveness and imagination. That assertion is simply false.
    GreySage

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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:20 pm  

    Another simple "truth" to remember is that true "kids" don't have any money -- they get it from their parents. Mad

    (Well . . . its true!) Evil Grin

    If game content gets too gritty, WotC will have no choice but to resort to "Adult Content" warnings, which could sharply curtail retail sales. Shocked

    I'm sure that WotC takes this legal ramification into consideration when publishing, thus no such "Canon" material of any consequence. Wink

    Such matters are undoubtedly best left to the individual DM, as the all-wise Bubbagump has amply implied. Trust me, my "Hairfoot Halfling" friend knows of what he speaks. Cool
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:03 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:


    If game content gets too gritty, WotC will have no choice but to resort to "Adult Content" warnings, which could sharply curtail retail sales. Shocked



    Yes, because the Parents Music Resource Center was so successful in curtailing the sales of music with explicit lyrics, almost as successful as Thompson was in his fight against Rockstar.

    rolleyes
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:46 pm  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    Yes, because the Parents Music Resource Center was so successful in curtailing the sales of music with explicit lyrics, almost as successful as Thompson was in his fight against Rockstar.


    Sarcasm duely noted. Happy

    Query: Is that why none of those lyrics are "bleeped" on public radio? Oh! Wait a minute . . . they are! (*Damn!*) rolleyes

    Say, manus, I've been meaing to ask: How's that "legalizing marijuana" campaign coming? Us "damn old foogies" aren't still holding up progress, are we? Razz
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:53 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Which is not to say that I fault anyone for including drugs (or any other form of evil) in their own campaigns. You wanna do that, then go right ahead. But I would consider it a personal favor if you don't publish it here or elsewhere. If I want to see evil in all its glory all I have to do is walk outside.


    The assumption here is, as I understand it, that you are automatically assuming that all drugs and drug usage are evil and only consumed by either evil doing bad guys or pitiful 'victims' unfairly taken advantage of. Yet I don't seem to remember anyone making the same slanted comment towards any of the threads about booze we've had on here. Like it or not, alcohol is a drug, and is associated with far more violent crime then any other drug in the US. Drug usage is a historical reality and the thing that has always appealed to me about Greyhawk over any other D&D campaign world are the quick parallels between GH racial groups and RL equivalents.

    I have spent a lot of time reading about herbalism and learning about medicinal as well as ritualistic drug use specifically so that I could include them in a realistic fashion that didn't involve players uttering things like "Whoa, far out dude..." but instead could have other more realistic things to look for instead of just running after magical baubles all the time. For example, recently two of my players where out of town so I gave their characters malaria and sent the rest of the players off looking for cinchona trees, the bark of which is used to make quinine, which is the cure for malaria.

    I have run other games that included drugs used in a variety of rituals, one of which was a CoC game I ran several years ago, that featured a vision quest that allowed them to see the chain of events as they lead up to the modern era and that took up an entire game session. It was one of the best game sessions in one of the greatest campaigns I've ever run and I'm quite proud of it.

    Details like this are great additions if added in correctly and dealt with responsibly, however when reduced to cartoon bad guy level cheese they can make for a ridiculous and possibly even offensive game.

    bubbagump wrote:


    This, I think, is an important thing for DMs to consider. RPGs by nature tend to be immersive. Also, by nature they need to include some form of evil in order to provide conflict for players to overcome, else there's little fun in playing them. And, in spite of our collective disdain for the foolish notion that RPGs turn people into raving homocidal satanists, it is undoubtedly true thay can have a profound psychological effect on players and DMs alike.


    I completely agree with this idea, this is why I feel it is incredibly important to make the world as realistic as possible. I tend to shy away from overly obvious plots about black knights and such, preferring a "Wizard Flagg", power behind the throne style antagonist, but this is why players who are good guys tend to live longer in my games then players who are bad guys. When you want to play a selfish ****, then when it comes down to it, if you aren't watching the back of the guy next to you, you're gonna get fragged and the other players are not going to want to help you. I do not take pity on players who are new, players who are young or players who are female. As an interesting side note I've noticed, in the event someone dies, they don't even bother learning the new guys name for several sessions. Short timer hasn't put his time in yet I guess.

    This is why I prefer a realistic depiction of as much as I possibly can in games I run. So far, my players have found wights, ghouls, gargoyles, deinonychus's, Velociraptor's zombies, wraiths, orc's, a baby green dragon, wizards, sorcerers, paladins and a tiger on this god forsaken island. You know which one was the deadliest? The Tiger.

    I know that the two seem like different subjects, but I feel that they are one in the same. If the DM wants a world populated by cartoon bad guys with maniacal laughter and over the top, skull bedecked armor, then so be it. However to say that the inclusion of so called adult oriented themes is somehow socially irresponsible is one sided at the very best.

    I've taken a lot of inspiration for some of the drug use in my games from various mythological examples. The sacred lotus from Egyptian mythology has made itself know in a couple of games and that flowers narcotic. I don't think that it is somehow irresponsible to include that source, nor do I think it is somehow socially irresponsible to include stories about vision quests or sacred flowers or the inclusion of say something like honey oil if put in a proper context.
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    Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:26 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    manus-nigrum wrote:
    Yes, because the Parents Music Resource Center was so successful in curtailing the sales of music with explicit lyrics, almost as successful as Thompson was in his fight against Rockstar.


    Sarcasm duely noted. Happy

    Query: Is that why none of those lyrics are "bleeped" on public radio? Oh! Wait a minute . . . they are! (*Damn!*) rolleyes

    Say, manus, I've been meaing to ask: How's that "legalizing marijuana" campaign coming? Us "damn old foogies" aren't still holding up progress, are we? Razz


    First off, I would like to point out that music with explicit lyrics, at one time was not played at all on the radio or on television. They didn't bleep out the lyrics, they simply didn't play it. I would like to also point out that FCC regulations allow for uncensored content to be played after (I believe) midnight. Neither one of these were affected in any way by the PMRC.

    Furthermore the legalization of marijuana, the prohibition of alcohol or any other drug laws for that matter have nothing to do with my point. My point was that drug usage in games certainly has a place, it may not have a place in all games, and it would be rather different then it would be in a modern time setting. No crack or herion or meth in the Flaness, but there are other drugs that most certainly have a place. These would involve ritualistic/religious usages as well as medicinal ones on top of the recreational usage as discussed earlier.

    Ok, sarcasm aside for just a second, I would really like someone to explain to me why brandy is appropriate for a game setting but a Blue Lotus is not.
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:48 am  

    There was an extensive section on narcotics, hallucinogenics, and other drugs from a fantastic perspective in the Book of Vile Darkness - which does have a Mature Content label. Most aren't anything that exist in real life, but given the book's theme they're treated from the perspective that they're great evils. However, I'd note that benign drug use can occur not just in the form of ritual hallucinogens, but in traditional medicine. characters might encounter village herbalists administering blue lotus in judicious doses as an anesthetic, for example...
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:53 am  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    Like it or not, alcohol is a drug, and is associated with far more violent crime then any other drug in the US.


    True and False. Shocked

    The abuse of alcohol is indeed responsible for many woes of various nature. Cry

    However, alcohol is only "evil" in its misuse. (No, I'm not a drinker, even socially) Alcohol is a "food," as much as you may hate "hearing" that. The human body metabolizes alcohol, it does not metabolize tar, nicotine, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, et al. (As for abuse . . . eat "fifty" oranges all at once and you will vomit.) Abusing anything is bad for your body.

    Each drug may very well have its medicinal use, (as Rasgon briefly mentioned) but that doesn't make it a "food," supplying your body with nutrition, however limited. Drugs (even in medicine) attack and destroy unwanted portions of your body, such as cancers. This is not a definition of a "food."

    Drugs and alcohol are not the same thing, even though they can both produce unwanted and unwelcomed results.

    By the way, I'm glad that "we've" decided to leave ridicule and sarcasm out of the conversation. They really serve no purpose other than to insult one of the conversationalist. An unnecessary action. Wink
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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:36 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:


    The abuse of alcohol is indeed responsible for many woes of various nature. Cry

    However, alcohol is only "evil" in its misuse. (No, I'm not a drinker, even socially) Alcohol is a "food," as much as you may hate "hearing" that. The human body metabolizes alcohol, it does not metabolize tar, nicotine, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, et al. (As for abuse . . . eat "fifty" oranges all at once and you will vomit.) Abusing anything is bad for your body.

    Each drug may very well have its medicinal use, (as Rasgon briefly mentioned) but that doesn't make it a "food," supplying your body with nutrition, however limited. Drugs (even in medicine) attack and destroy unwanted portions of your body, such as cancers. This is not a definition of a "food."

    Drugs and alcohol are not the same thing, even though they can both produce unwanted and unwelcomed results.

    By the way, I'm glad that "we've" decided to leave ridicule and sarcasm out of the conversation. They really serve no purpose other than to insult one of the conversationalist. An unnecessary action. Wink


    First off, alcohol is NOT food. Now, just to be clear here we are talking about, I am specifically referring to ethyl alochol, the alcohol found in beer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_alcohol

    You can make the argument that beer with a low alcohol content is life sustaining, but you can't make that same argument for, say brandy as in the previous example I gave earlier. The alcohol content is far to high to serve as a water substitute.

    It is important to note that historically beer was safer to drink then water in many regions because the brewing process killed off any bacteria in the water. This has served as a source of numerous jokes in a post apocalyptic game I've been playing in recently and beer most certainly is appropriate to have in games because of the historical analogs.

    Secondly, your argument about metabolism isn't really feasible as it pertains to energy generation, not whether or not something is appropriate to a game, however it is also incorrect. Specifically in the example you gave of marijuana, thc facilitates insulin production, even in type II diabetics, allowing them to lower their glucose levels without having to resort to injections.

    Thirdly, your argument as pertaining to cocaine and heroin is also invalid as those are purely modern drugs. Heroin and cocaine only date back to the 1800's and while you can make the argument that the plants they are derived from have been known to have medicinal properties for thousands of years, you specifically didn't make that argument and instead chose to depend on inappropriate modern usages of drugs derived through a chemical process that would be unavailable to the denizens of the Flaness.

    I'm not saying that you have to have a realistic depiction of everything possible in your game, I mean we are talking about a game involving dragons and wizards and orcs. I do think that its a wasted opportunity to expand on a game though when the only thing worth going after are magic items and treasure consisting only of gold coins and jewelry. The story of Jesus's birth contain three gifts given to him, gold, frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense is used in various uses for its smell but is typically associated with incenses. Myrrh on the other hand is specifically a drug. It is added to wine, it is consumed or applied as a paste depending on need and it is also used in embalming.

    Drugs are appropriate in the game. Sure, when you want to take everything out of context and apply modern definitions to everything then things turn sour, but keep in mind, GH has loads of other things in it besides the drugs that Rasgon pointed out earlier that are rather unseemly. Slavery, racism, religious zealotry, pick your poison its all there.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:18 am  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    Which is not to say that I fault anyone for including drugs (or any other form of evil) in their own campaigns. You wanna do that, then go right ahead. But I would consider it a personal favor if you don't publish it here or elsewhere. If I want to see evil in all its glory all I have to do is walk outside.


    The assumption here is, as I understand it, that you are automatically assuming that all drugs and drug usage are evil...


    Apparently still further clarification is necessary. I tried to be clear earlier, but I guess I failed. You have my apologies.

    I am speaking specifically about portrayals of drug use that glorify narcotics or otherwise promote irresponsible use of drugs. I see nothing wrong with including the ritual use of drugs, having one's player stop by the local inn for a pint, or, for that matter, the various situations you describe in your last several posts, manus, provided that such inclusion is handled responsibly - which is what it would seem you have done.

    In terms of publicly available products, though, I think that it is wise to label or otherwise indicate content that might be considered objectionable, since children and others who don't wish to be exposed to such content should not have to read it. I don't view this as a form of censorship; rather, I view it as an act of courtesy on the part of the publisher. And yes, I realize the definition of "objectionable content" is highly subjective and therefore many publishers won't know what to label and what to leave unlabeled. I would submit that in such cases the wise choice would be to err on the side of caution, but I concede that's an arguable point.

    On a separate note, it would appear that this discussion is beginning to head in precisely the direction I wished to avoid. Rather than trying to incite arguments over which is worse, heroin or beer, or whether there is any significant difference between marijuana or meth, my primary intention was to make a plea on behalf of the children and others who partake of gaming products and articles (including myself). In essence I've merely been trying to request that those in the gaming world who like these so-called "objectionable" themes remember that not everyone shares their tastes, and that a little courtesy would be welcome.

    Or, to put it another way, I don't give a rat's patoot if you cuss, shoot up, or get off by spanking shaved pigs with cattle prods, as long as you do it in your own house. But if you start doing those things in front of my kids or around my wife I'll have to object. Further, for the sake of one's own mental and physical health - since I'm one of those freaks who actually cares about people and doesn't want to see them harm themselves - I might also recommend that one who partakes in such practices consider the ramifications of one's actions.
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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:52 am  

    Well shoot, the conversation is starting to veer off. I strongly suggest trying to leave the alcohol debate out of this topic and focus on the perspective of drugs or alchemical effects in Greyhawk otherwise this could end up in the Back Alley real soon. Neutral
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:22 am  

    Agreed.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:07 am  

    bubbagump wrote:

    Or, to put it another way, I don't give a rat's patoot if you cuss, shoot up, or get off by spanking shaved pigs with cattle prods, as long as you do it in your own house.


    When I tried to do that my roommate kept yelling about how that was an "Outside toy".

    Sheeh.


    Some People rolleyes
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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:01 pm  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:

    Or, to put it another way, I don't give a rat's patoot if you cuss, shoot up, or get off by spanking shaved pigs with cattle prods, as long as you do it in your own house.


    When I tried to do that my roommate kept yelling about how that was an "Outside toy".

    Sheeh.

    Some People rolleyes


    Yeah. You have to remember to put the plastic sheeting down before you do that sort of thing inside. A liberal dose of olive oil helps, too. And twinkies. You can't forget the twinkies.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:37 pm  

    I ran a adventure (some 3 years ago) where my players came to a small town where most of the townfolk was addicted to red mushrooms.A evil druid was supplying them and turning them into addictes where he would force them to steal and do his durty work for him. After they saved the town and moved on too their next adventure,my players asked me where in the heck did i come up with this one.I had to tell them that i too had to battle my own addiction with alocholism some 7 years ago.Clean and sober for 10 years now.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:14 pm  

    Well done, baronzemo. Clean and sober myself for 19 years.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:45 pm  

    Robert E. Howard gave us lotus dust in the colors of the rainbow in his stories of Conan. Michael Moorcock’s Elric could scarcely function without a virtual pharmacopeia of drugs. As I place those two authors within my personal heroic fantasy Big Four, the matter is settled IMC. Drugs are available, both to the bad guys (e.g. Howard’s Stygians, etc.) and the good guys (e.g., Moorcock’s Elric).

    I would note as well that anagathics (age retarding drugs), stims (adrenal booster drugs) and psi-boosters (psionic enhancing drugs) are staples in Traveller’s Imperium, which is my favorite RPG setting after Greyhawk. PCs use them as a matter of course. My favorite SF novel of all time, Dune, is similarly premised around the drug Melange or Spice, which is used by the heroes and the villains and is vital to commerce and, indeed, civilization (the Spacing Guild requires it).

    In real life, I have never used an illegal drug. Its illegal. Neither do I tolerate illegal drug use in my presence or with my knowledge. Its illegal.

    Given the tropes of some of my favorite heroic fantasy and SF, however, I have no problem including drugs in RPGs, useable by PCs and NPCs, sometimes with adverse consequences, sometimes with no consequences, just depending. Its fiction, and the fiction I’m drawing inspiration from allows for the presence of drugs.

    I would not, however, use real world drugs in a fantasy or SF setting because it invokes the real world too strongly for me, fracturing the sense of the fantastic or futuristic I seek. If I were playing, Cyberpunk, Spycraft, Millineum or a host of other “modern” era RPGs, I would include real world drugs because it fits within that type of setting.

    To me, the sole question is – does it fit/advance the genre/feel?

    NB – Not sure if anyone has mentioned “dweomer dots” from EGG’s GH fiction. Magical LSD from the pen of EGG.
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    Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:31 am  

    Personally like GVD to perserve the atmospheric feel I would like to have GH versions of the narcotics rather the use the real life counterparts. Having "crack" on the streets of GHC would be jarring to say the least.

    However some narcotics are viable provided the suspension of disbelief is maintained but the explicit details can be provided by the individual DMs to suit their campaigns. A chance to use some imagination people Evil Grin.

    Herbalism, poisons and potions are part of the game but the descriptions should be left to the DMs. Healing potions and healing herbs are good but a degree in horticulture is unneccessary but if the DM wants to expand the description. Poision is bad but some DMs describe it as the vemon of speckled blowfish impegrenates the needle while others simply declare a poison needle.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:42 am  

    Beer, in its beginnings, was a "food". Well, more of a supplement, but a part of the average person's diet "back in the day" nonetheless. The beer was much heavier back then though. More "bready".

    Guinness is definitely a food. I've had steak with that gravy many a time. Laughing

    Also, try to leave the real world moral an ethical questions regarding drugs and their use out of the discussion here. The point of the thread is fairly obvious, so stick with it.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:10 pm  

    This is an excerpt from an article I wrote entitled Valkemf , detailing a province of the ice barbarians (cruskii) on the eastern rhizia penninsula.

    On Harvester 25th after the reaping the Sable Wood of Frudarg, a semi-rare plant harvested for smoking that has hallucinogenic properties, an event known as the Smukach is held. It is tradition to spend months carving and whittling long elaborate pipes for one’s honored. Father’s will pass pipes to their sons and sons to their grandfathers. Cruski line the streets and gather in the arctic plains to share in their family’s company during the Smukach.

    Thought perhaps it may be of interest.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:13 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Beer, in its beginnings, was a "food". Well, more of a supplement, but a part of the average person's diet "back in the day" nonetheless. the beer was much heavier back then though. More "bready".


    What do you mean was a food?Smile


    Cebrion wrote:
    Also, try to leave the real world moral an ethical questions regarding drugs and their use out of the discussion here. The point of the thread is fairly obvious, so stick with it.


    Getting back to the original questions, I'm probably unlike most in that I would go for more of a real world model, both in the drugs available and their uses, IMC. I haven't seen any evidence that cannabis was used recreationally until relatively recent times, but it was used ritually historically. IMC there are specialist priests of Boccob who act as oracles, and inhaling smoking braziers of weed is all part of the ritual. The actual divination is a spell but the cannabis should be thought of as a material component.
    Spell-casting priests are rarer IMC also, so the historical use of opium for medicinal purposes is also a part of it.
    Does this mean I would center a plot around drug use? Probably not. Just like many other things, I assume that they are there IMC but they won't necessarily ever come up.
    If I think I can get something out of storyline by making a npc who is addicted to laudanum I would have no problem with doing it. But I'd probably never use drugs as a central plot point in a GH campaign, since (all due respect to Mort and the Yellow Cartel) I don't see an organized drug trade run by the criminal underworld being something that would have come about yet. It's probably not a big enough problem that any government has stepped in to outlaw it. Except maybe in the Pale.
    Wink
    I also assume and might use for flavor in game the use by various cultures of stimulants, usually in the form of chewing leaves, such as coca, qaat, and betel.
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