I'm creating a monster NPC in D&D 4e that's supposed to be falling-down drunk, which should have pretty large effects on his skills, but I can't find the appropriate penalties or bonuses to apply. It'd be handy for other "levels" of inebriation as well — if you have them handy.

(Given how important conditions are to this game, I'm kind of surprised that I can't find a clean section listing them in any PH, DMG, the online compendium, or on the web.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ All conditions are detailed on page 277 of the PHB. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2010 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 There it is! Thanks. Too bad you didn't give this as an answer so I could vote it up. :-) What I wish is that @verit and @BB-S's answer could be combined into a super answer that I could accept as best. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2010 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ +50 Bounty for @Brian Ballsun-Stanton to clean up his post to include the correct instructions for the Compendium as well as the reference to the PHB mentioned in @veritascitor's comment here. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 0:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Keep the bounty open for a while, mate. See if you get any better responses. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 2:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Penalties for being drunk in D&D 3.5? \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Dec 3, 2010 at 0:45

6 Answers 6


An interesting interpretation of drunkenness using the 4E Essentials rules set can be found here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Whoa - that's a lot of detail. Exactly what I was looking for. Is it too late to change my green-check? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2010 at 20:51
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I just resurrected the dead link. Can you add a bit of a summary, or at least an "elevator pitch", about the contents of the link so that the answer contains something useful even before clicking through? Due to its nature it can't be easily summarised, I know, but anything would be an improvement. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 2, 2014 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll do my best; it's been a while since I've even thought about this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Oct 2, 2014 at 18:30

For an always-drunk NPC, you have a number of options.

First, simply "de-level" an NPC of higher level, to represent the overall poor effects of being drunk.

In a more complex mode, have the monster be 2 levels higher than the appropriate monster for the level, but impose the following conditions.


  • Aura 1: [The NPC] and any ally in the aura grant combat advantage, due to [The NPC] pawing at them and slurring "help a 'fella out" and other phrases.
  • Drunk: If [The NPC] starts his turn prone, he must make a saving throw or become dazed (save ends).
  • Very Drunk: I f [The NPC] starts his turn dazed, he must make a saving throw or become stunned until end of his next turn.
  • Dead Drunk: If [The NPC] starts his turn stunned, he must make a saving throw or be unconscious until at least the end of the encounter.
  • Drunkard's Walk: If the NPC takes a move action, he must spend at least 2 squares moving in a random direction, then make a save or fall prone. [The NPC] may continue their movement, if possible, at this point. (If prone, they may crawl one square to complete their movement.)

Triggered Actions

  • Immediate Reaction: An enemy or ally moves adjacent. [The NPC] must move 2 squares in a random direction and then save to fall down prone.
  • Free Action: When struck by a critical attack: [The NPC] is stunned (save ends) as he starts vomiting.

Rules for Players

For players, drunkenness should be handled like a disease.

Every time they drink more than 3 drinks in an hour, they have to make an easy endurance check for their level (moderate or hard for very strong drinks).

For each failed endurance check, they progress one level on the "Drunken disease chart"

  • Level 1: Grants Combat Advantage until recovery
  • Level 2: If the player moves more than 2 squares during their turn, they must make a save at the end of their movement or fall prone. The player cannot shift while this drunk.
  • Level 3: Roll a save at the start of turn or be dazed until start of next turn.
  • Level 4: Dazed. Roll a save at the start of turn or be stunned.

To recover, they go up a level for every hour they haven't had a drink.

To find a list of potentially useful status effects to swap out in this chart, (especially for level 2):

  • Go to the compendium
  • choose: Search - Glossary,
  • Category - Rules,
  • Type: Rules Condition
  • Click apply

Or go to page 277 of the PH1

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, following those exact instructions for the Compeduium doesn't work, but I got it to work by choosing these pop-downs: Search - Glossary, Category - Rules, Type: Rules Condition, which at this time gives 18 conditions. Please edit the answer and I'll accept it. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2010 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ +50 Bounty for @Brian Ballsun-Stanton to clean up his post to include the correct instructions for the Compendium as well as the reference to the PHB mentioned in @veritascitor's comment here. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ There you are. And some more crunchy bits for monsters to justify the rep. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 2:09

None, the rules don't cover intoxication.

You could take away one of the 3 actions, or apply a penalty to all checks and attack rolls as a house rule.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks to all the great feedback, here's what I chose to do:Drunken Stupor The Drunken Noble is subject to the following conditions: Dazed (grant combat advantage, one action/turn), Slowed, and Weakened (standard attacks cause 1/2 dammage to foes) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ lol, nice combo \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2010 at 21:56

I don't know that I've ever seen any official rules, but for something like that I would recommend going with a penalty to all of their roles which is based on the current level of inebriation. Something like -2 for slightly buzzed, -4 for had a few, -6 for slurred speech phase, -8 for hammered, -10 for falling down drunk and -30 for passed out.


I don't know much about 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, but in 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, there was a table specifically for the Effects of Alcohol and Drugs. Maybe it can be adapted/scaled up for 4th edition.

Effect On                          State of Intoxication
                               Slight     Moderate          Great
Bravery                         (+1)          (+2)           (+4)
Morale                          (+5%)        (+10%)         (+15%)
Intelligence                    (-1)          (-3)           (-6)
Wisdom                          (-1)          (-4)           (-7)
Dexterity                       (0)           (-2)           (-5)
Charisma                        (0)           (-1)           (-4)
Attack Dice                     (0)           (-1)           (-5)
Hit Points                      (0)           (+1)           (+3)

*beyond 'Great' intoxication persons become comatose and will sleep for 7 to 10 hours.


Here's the NPC I was building. Thanks for the great suggestions.

Drunken Noble
Level 1 Minion medium natural humanoid
XP 25; HP 1;
AC 14; Fortitude 12; Reflex 11; Will 11;
Speed: 6 (2 while drunk)
Initiative: +0
Perception: +0

Drunken Stupor: The Drunken Noble is subject to the following conditions:

  • -2 penalty to saves
  • Dazed (grant combat advantage, one action/turn)
  • Slowed (speed is reduced to 2)
  • Weakened (standard attacks cause 1/2 damage to foes)

"I was robbed!": The Drunken Noble is carrying nothing of value. It seems he was already robbed blind earlier.

Standard Actions:
Tipsy Dagger At-Will • Weapon
Attack: +3 vs. AC
Hit: 1 HP damage (reduced by drunkenness)

Move Actions:
Drunken Panic! At-Will
Effect: Drunken Noble moves 6 squares in a random direction after being attacked or startled. Impact with any object, obstruction, or change in altitude will result in appropriate damage and end movement.

Triggered Actions:
"Waitaminute, sonny boy!" At-Will Immediate Interrupt • Invigorating
Effect: Drunken Noble gains a free immediate standard action and one temporary HP, when attacked.

Skills: Diplomacy +5

Abilities: Str 10 (+0) Dex 10 (+0) Wis 10 (+0) Con 10 (+0) Int 10 (+0) Cha 10 (+0)
Alignment: Good
Languages: Common

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ did you mean slowed instead of weakened for the speed reduction? also, save reductions seem a bit... redundant on a minion. Weakened + 1 damage = why bother? Just a weakened minion is... silly. to-hit is also laughable. What triggers the THP? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2010 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 Brian - I'm new to this 4.0 monster creation thing. Clearly you think this guy is too weak. Could you post a rebuild? I'm sure to learn more by example. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 28, 2010 at 6:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! As a result I was able to spot some problems, which I've fixed. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 28, 2010 at 18:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm now want an encounter where the PCs crash a big party with about 12 Drunken Nobles staggering around into each other (and the PCs), causing a Drunken Panic! riot! (I'd additionally have Drunken Panic! as an immediate reaction to being startled. More mayhem!) \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Nov 28, 2010 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wikified so others can feel free to improve. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 28, 2010 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

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