I was building a venerable Dragonwrought Kobold character, and as part of my mental image of him I pictured him having a smoking habit- like the old "tobacco leaves in a pipe" kind.

Thing is though, I can't seem to find any sort of items or rules for this sort of thing short of the drugs in Book of Vile Darkness, and those wouldn't work for fairly obvious reasons.

Anyone know if any of the books say anything about characters smoking, or would something like this just be flavor text with no impact on gameplay?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ What kind of non-flavor text are you expecting? \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Mar 2, 2014 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dunno. Addiction rules perhaps? Prices? Mechanical effects of whatever I'm smoking? List of things that he could be smoking? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Mar 2, 2014 at 17:52
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ You're looking for rules for addiction and addictive substances, but dismiss the only rule set that deals with this (in the Book of Vile Darkness). So I don't really get what you're looking for. Besides the addictions, the rest of the questions are negligible (there would be no "mechanical effects" except maybe after smoking for several decades or if you had magical tobacco or something). \$\endgroup\$
    – asteri
    Mar 2, 2014 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ If my DM works flaws and I use this as more than just flavor text I just might see what I can do with that. Perhaps a +1 to initiative for the "high" it gives, too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:25

6 Answers 6


The only thing that is directly answered by the rules is the cost.

PHB pg 112:

Wealth Other than Coins:
Trade Goods Table
1 lb of Tobacco costs 5 sp.

As far as effects, they don't directly exist for tobacco. You have already disregarded the main source (BoVD), and I would agree for 2 reasons.

  1. Most civilizations don't make tobacco illegal
  2. I've never smoked tobacco that potent that a saving throw would have been required to avoid negative effects.

However, if you want some mechanical impact and not just flavor, you could look at some of the weaker alcohols present in the game to see what kind of FDC you'd need to avoid "addiction". Again, tobacco addiction isn't the worst so even if you are forced 2 days without the worst thing to happen is you'll probably be a bit snippy with people (-1 or -2 on diplomacy cks?)

I like the feel you're going for for this character but I'd probably just stick to knowing the price and maybe going with what @Cow of Doom said as far as giving people a chance to notice hiding based on smell. (not guaranteed, but if they fail spot/listen maybe they can have a "Scent" check (Wis roll +1-+5 modifier depending on strength of tobacco smoked and last time it was smoked.) BTW, pipe tobacco does have a MUCH stronger scent than regular rolled tobacco.

Sidenote: possible "flavor" text, wiz/sor casting prestidigitation could alter the flavor of tobacco making it have a unique flavor!..the possibilities are endless, but it would definately increases the cost of tobacco if purchased that way. However, your party member could always burn a 0-lvl spell at the end of the day for you! (Side benefit for party members, it makes a nice aroma which is way more appealing that burning regular tobacco!)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good points and nice ideas- especially good with that one about Prestidigitation. Gave me a chuckle just thinking about the implications. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Mar 2, 2014 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly the Prestidigitation just came to me as I was typing the answer. I'm definitely using that for my next smoking character though! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Mar 4, 2014 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would add what I did to my constantly smoking Bard player: reduce his previously rolled maximum age. Even though life is short while adventuring, it had a good effect when I told him that it would be happening. \$\endgroup\$
    – Punkgeon
    May 9, 2016 at 9:28

I don't think you require rules for this. This is really a personality trait that does not neccessarily need to have any impact on play.

It could have some impact if your GM has a sense of humour.

  • Smell of tobacco might make your party more easily discovered by a band of ORCs
  • You might get annoyed and fidgity if you run out of tobacco and can't get any more.
  • If your character lives to a great age (unlikely since he's a Kobold) then perhaps the effects of smoking might shorten his life.

Some things don't need rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Eh, regarding “great age,” he’s already venerable, but as a dragon he doesn’t suffer any penalties for that, so it’s a toss-up whether smoking for all those years would have had any effect. I’d guess not. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 2, 2014 at 20:07

Some things are better left as flavour. Unless you want to add in some rules on how smoking has benefits, it's better to leave it simply as something the character does. Otherwise you're penalising the player for making their character a bit more interesting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, it could just be flavor unless the DM works flaws, frankly even at 5sp a pound I think there's conjuration spells that could let me make more. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cobalt, remember that 1lb of tobacco is a LOT! Not sure how it translates to pipe, but it is 2 Cartons of cigarettes! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Mar 4, 2014 at 16:48

You could make it a FLAW as well, you know? Like, "-1 to Diplomacy at all times" (you reek of tobacco when you smoke, you get easily annoyed when you don't) + "-2 to enemy's Spot DC when using the Scent ability". Add this to the flavory parts from the others' answers, and you'll get a real solid idea for the character's habit 8)


It would have to be house ruling. An addiction type of character trait could be interesting. If say, he didn't smoke for a few hours he started taking a -1 penalty to CHA based checks (I smoke, and I get irritable when I am having a nicotine fit.) After satisfying his addiction for the next few hours he gets a +1 vs. fear effects, as his nerves have calmed down. It shouldn't be tremendously detrimental nor significantly boosting, as it is strictly adding flavor to the role-playing.

-Elminster in Forgotten Realms has what is essentially an "ever-burning pipe." -Gandalf in Lord of the Rings was constantly smoking his pipe.

Now for long term effects, you could look at what the bonuses that the Endurance feat give, and decide to give a small penalty to all of those effects that Endurance enhances. A smoker, in essence, should have a harder amount of time holding his breathing, swimming, forced marching, etc.


Well there is a item called the "Pocket of Endless Cigars" it costs 500 but if you have a cool DM he might add that in eventually, also there is a spell if you have a wizard called "Summon Cigar" it's a cantrip and each cigar lasts 1-min unless smoked, or you could have a nature knowledge skill(Drugs) and you would be able to brew/roll/find drugs that occur naturally.

Also if you have minor illusion you could make a dopamine effect that acts as a drug No where does it say that it's possible to do that but i could be cool

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ That's all homebrew. Also, it seems the question was mostly about the effects of smoking, not how to acquire smokes reliably. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    May 8, 2016 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour, it's a useful introduction to the site. In particular, Stack Exchange isn't a traditional discussion forum: it's a Q&A site where answers need to focus on solutions to the problem being asked about. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    May 8, 2016 at 7:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .