Continent of Horrors
Mind-numbing and soporific drugs provide respite from insanity and horror—but there is a great price to pay for indulging too often or using them as a crutch. Presented below are rules for opium and morphine/laudanum use, as well as good old alcohol. Other drugs may be added on an as-needed basis.
A note on drug addiction: abuse of any of the drugs listed below may result in addiction, as outlined. Optionally, indefinitely insane investigators may choose to become addicted as their form of insanity (taking the drug as soon as possible after each failed SAN roll). In such cases, a cure is not possible without extended hospitalization.
Derived from the opium poppy, these toxic alkaloids dull the nerves and soothe the troubled mind. The healing properties of opium derivatives have been noted since the time of Hippocrates. Usage is measured in "doses," be it a pipe, a teaspoon, or a pill. Effects positive and negative are given for each drug, followed by a run-down of addiction chances.
Finally, please note that these rules have been revised from those posted on the forum previously.
Opium is generally smoked in a pipe and occasionally is mixed with tobacco or cannabis. The taste is peculiar, and the smell of the smoke is sweetish and pungent.
Duration: 1D3+1 hours.
Duration Effects: All Sanity checks with a +10 percentile chance of success. The effects of any insanities that an investigator might be suffering are negated for the duration, and the investigator can ignore all CON rolls against pain.
Duration Side Effects: Immobility for 1D2 hours, constipation, and nausea. Each time opium is smoked an investigator makes a Luck roll, a failure results in the loss of 1D2 hit points.
Addiction: After 1D6 uses the investigator is addicted, needing to take the drug once a day. Failure to do so results in agitation with all skills except Cthulhu Mythos reduced by half normal value. If the investigator can stay off opium for 1D3+3 weeks, requiring a Hard POW roll per week to do so, his or her skill levels return to normal.
Cthulhu Mythos: Investigators have a chance equal to their current skill level of receiving frightening otherworldly visions costing 0/1D3 points of Sanity each time they smoke opium.
Laudanum & Morphine
Boiling opium poppy seeds produces morphine, which is used as a prescription painkiller and injected intravenously. Mixed with alcohol, it is sold as laudanum and may be taken by mouth.
Duration: 1D3+3 hours.
Duration Effects: All Sanity checks with a +20 percentile chance of success. The effects of any insanities that an investigator might be suffering are negated for the duration, and the investigator can ignore all CON rolls against pain.
Duration Side Effects: Immobility for 1D3 hours, constipation, and nausea. Each time morphine is injected or laudanum taken, either the investigator makes a Luck roll or the administrator makes a Medicine skill roll. A failure results in the loss of 1D6 hit points, while a fumble results in the same 1D6 hit point loss plus the permanent loss of 0-10 points of CON (roll 1D3-1 and multiply by 5).
Addiction: After 1D6 uses the investigator is addicted, needing to take the drug once a day. Failure to do so results in agitation, with all skills except Cthulhu Mythos reduced by half normal value. If the investigator can stay off morphine for 1D3+3 weeks, requiring an Extreme POW roll per week to do so, skill levels return to normal.
Cthulhu Mythos: Investigators have a chance equal to their current skill level of receiving otherworldly visions costing 1/1D6 points of Sanity each time morphine is taken.
The rules presented here assume the investigator is "drinking to forget" and attempting to get black-out drunk. Moderate drinking never imposes a penalty.
To test for intoxication, all those who are drinking must make a roll against the average of their CON+SIZ. Drinks are rated by their Potency: a Potency 1 drink requires a regular success, a Potency 2 drink requires a Hard success, and a Potency 3 drink requires an Extreme success.
This test is done every hour, and failure results in Lightheadedness. A second failure causes Inebriation, which manifests with a slurring of words and a decrease in precise motor control. A third failure places the drinker in a complete Drunken Stupor. Once a Drunken Stupor has been achieved, the investigator must roll a second time each hour to determine if he falls unconscious. This roll uses the same Potency thresholds. Each hour of drinking increases the Potency of the alcohol by +1 (to a maximum of 3), and each hour spent not drinking decreases the value of the Potency by -1 (to a minimum of 0, at which point the character is sobered up). If there is excessive drinking within the period of an hour, the keeper can increase the hourly increment from +1 to +2.
With each stage of drunkenness (Lightheadedness, Inebriated, and Drunken Stupor) comes a degree of mental and physical dysfunction. Characters who are Lightheaded from alcohol suffer a -10 percentile penalty to all mental and physical skill rolls. Characters who are Inebriated make all skill rolls at one-half normal ability.
Characters who are in a Drunken Stupor perform all skills at one-fifth normal ability, and are likely to suffer prolonged effects the next day. Any character who enters a Drunken Stupor must make a CON roll the following day. A failure means he is nauseated, headachy, and performs all skill rolls with a Penalty die.
Duration Effects: Characters who reach a Lightheaded state halve their SAN losses. Inebriated characters must first pass an Idea check before making any Sanity rolls! (Losses are halved for Inebriated characters as well.) Characters in a Drunken Stupor suffer no SAN losses whatsoever—at least not until they sober up. At that point, roll against INT with a threshold of success equal to the highest Potency consumed. A successful roll means the character remembers everything and suffers all accumulated SAN loss at once! Failure spares the investigator the SAN loss, but neither can they remember any other events that transpired.
Addiction: Characters who reach the Drunken Stupor stage of inebriation are in danger of addiction. Drinking to Stupor levels more than 1D6 times in a week results in addiction. After that point, the character must have an alcoholic drink at least once per waking hour of the day. Failure to do so results in a -10% penalty to all skills for every hour without a drink, up to a maximum of -50%. These penalties are erased as soon as the character takes a drink. However, the investigator must succeed with a POW roll or go on a bender, drinking as much alcohol as possible as quickly as possible. Characters suffering from deprivation must also make POW rolls to avoid drinking any kind of alcohol in their vicinity, including dangerous varieties such as lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol.
Going three days without a drink eliminates these penalties. However, once addicted, even a single episode of drunkenness will reactivate the addiction. Furthermore, if the character was addicted for more than a month, there is a 35% chance that withdrawal symptoms include the DTs (delirium tremens), which completely incapacitate the character and require a successful CON roll to avoid a fatal episode.