It’s important to get in the right frame of mind for an RPG session. Fortunately, there are all manner of potent IRL potions to help in the process. I make it policy not to drink alcohol when I’m GMing, mostly because GMing is the most exhausting activity one can engage in next to soccer. I need my wits about me for that kind of cat-herding, and I’ve been known to drop half a bottle of Energy Mio for the occasion. All bets are off when I’m a player though. When you’re a player, you’re supposed to be a chaos elemental. Dwarven ales all around, I say!

Of course, as you all know, dwarven ale is not for the weak of stomach. I told this story before in a comment, but I think it deserves a little space up top. This is the tale of how my gaming group came to measure gin in units of thermoses.

So we’re playing Exalted and we’re captured, just sitting there in these big fuck-off cages made out of soulsteel. The stuff is indestructible, our rogue-type character had missed the session, and all we’re left with is faces and fighters to figure a way out. And also our necromancer.

Now our necromancer was new to the group, and new to roleplaying in general. He must have assumed that it was a drinking group with a few dice thrown in, because he had pregamed before coming over. There were two thermoses full of gin on the table and a handle of backup gin in his backpack. He was kind enough to share the hooch around, so no complaints. Still, the dude was lit.

Anyway, this necromancer used to serve one of the big bads of the setting, and he still had a magic mirror that could send messages back to his Deathlord boss. You write a message in blood, the guy on the other end sees it in his own mirror. Easy enough. Since we were captured by highwayman ghosts his pickled little brain came up with a brilliant little plan. I imagine the thought process must have gone something like this: “I know! I’ll bluff the ghosts into thinking I’m still in league with my old boss. They’re scared shitless of Deathlords, and if I spell out a kill order on my mirror they’ll fall all over themselves letting us go. I’m so smart. I deserve more gin.”

So with a big shit-eating grin on his face he tells us he’s got this, then pantomimes holding up the mirror. He points with one meaty finger at the imaginary magic item, then he shouts at the top of his lungs, “TERPINATE!”

The rest of the table sits there in befuddlement. So do the ghosts. Thinking that we must not have heard him properly, he gestures insistently at the invisible fucking mirror in his hands and repeats, “TERPINATE!”

We glance around at one another like, “What’s he trying to tell us? What does this mean?” It was an existential crisis on our end, and must have been pertty frustrating on his. He proceeds to explain the plan. “No guys. See, the mirror says ‘terpinate.’ Like a kill order, you know? They’ll get scared and let us go.”

Somebody pipes up. “Do you mean ‘terminate?’” And we all proceed to lose our collective shit. Necromancer laughs so hard that gin comes out of his tear ducts.

That was something like five years ago now. He became a regular in our group, and a pretty good gamer. He still giggles every time we shout TERPINATE at him.

How about the rest of you guys? Do you have any drinking policies at your tables? Let’s hear it in the comments!