I'm going to use this day to discuss drugs in D&D! Because I use everything as an excuse to talk about D&D. It's sort of an addiction.
I have introduced drugs many times in my games. One time with mechanics to it, more recently without.
In the one with mechanics I found the hardest thing to portray was the addiction. It was easy to give a mechanical boost while ON the drug. But to truly show the crash afterwards, or the desire to KEEP doing that thing felt odd to put into mechanics.
I have since pulled back from that. I think addiction in game should mostly be in character. I have used things like Wisdom saves to withstand the pull. But I don't like mechanical side of addiction as it punishes the character in a way that feels too on the nose. Most of my success with it as been in giving the player moral choices and problems from giving in to their addiction.
The other day a player who is struggling with addiction zoned out during watch. This gave some nasty Yeths a surprise round and it almost got a member killed.
NOW the player is fighting back on the addiction. There was a punishment for giving in this time. And it wasn't just "You gain exhaustion" The choice they made had meaning. Now they want to fight back a little bit. This is character growth without mechanical punishment.
Now there is another side to drugs in D&D just like in real life.
I have introduced psychedelics that make the party hallucinate. Depending on setting, it's either a meaningful experience for the PC, or...terrifying. Above all I try to make them feel something from the change.
I've also introduced the equivalent of weed, going by the name of Tarrow.
Most players I play with don't gravitate towards it but...I gotta say 4 adults pretending to be stoned as their players was one of the funniest things I have seen as a DM.
And moments like that are worth their weight in gold.
Thanks for reading everyone!
To cap off I turn it back to you all!
How have you used drugs in your TTRPG games? Have you had any fun experiences? Or interesting mechanical properties?