Drinking Quest 1 and 2
A problem with a lot of drinking games is that they serve only as a vessel to take you to drunk town. And that’s fine if that’s what you’re looking for that night, but it still means that many drinking games at their core are poor games. We at The Drunken Moogle think that the perfect drinking game is one that can be played with water and still be fun, but is ultimately made better by the inclusion of drinks. Games like Street Fighter, Beerio Kart, and A DR1NK1NG GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1NIT!!!1 come to mind. Also, chess. Drinking Quest rises to the challenge to provide the world with such a game, merging the world of tabletop role-playing and drinking games.
Both Drinking Quest games come in small boxes with a deck of game cards, three dice, a stack of character sheets, and a rules book. The whole package is extremely small and portable, making it especially easy to bring along to a friend’s place. The game is printed on a deck of cards, but I’m not sure I would call it a card game. It’s more like a very lite version of D&D that happens to be printed on cards for portability. There are four heroes, each with their own starting stats and special ability, a shop card where you can buy weapons and armor at the start of each turn, and the quest cards. Drinking Quest is divided into four quests, each 12 cards long. The goal is to finish these four quests by slaying monsters and passing events. The winner of the game is the player with the most XP at the end of the last quest. While you can cut a game short and not play all 4 quests, it took us about an hour to complete it in it’s entirety.
Quest cards are normally either a monster that you slay or an event card that requires a saving throw. Monsters have an attack and defense, just like your character. You and another player acting as the monster take turns exchanging blows by rolling the dice and calculating damage (your final attack strength - their defense stat). If you win, you get XP and money to spend at the shop. With event cards, you will be required to roll a saving throw, which will test a certain non-combat stat, like quickness, tolerance, or sexual prowess. The drinking comes in when your character dies. If your character’s HP reaches zero, you can chug the rest of your drink to revive them and continue the current quest. Chugging can only be done once per quest to avoid getting too blitzed, three swigs being a substitute if you die again. This means if you fail every single turn, you will probably end up drinking six beers. This is pretty unlikely, though, and the majority of us playing ended up drinking around three beers throughout the game.
Popular culture and humor is abundant in the Drinking Quest games. It’s definitely a more light hearted game. It was pretty entertaining to see Zero Wing, quick time events, and even Three Wolf Moon references. I battled a “Bro Knee” in the second game and was surprised by a bar mimic in the first. When I saw the card “Shower Beer” I simply had to text my friend a picture, as he had first introduced me to the concept a few years ago.
The biggest issues that my group encountered in DQ were the beginning of the game and a bit of unbalance in the characters. The quests go easy to more difficult as the game goes on and at the beginning of quest 1 your character has the default weapon and no armor. This is pretty standard for RPGs. Unfortunately, a few unlucky throws can put you at a severe disadvantage for the rest of the game. As each quest is 12 cards long, each player gets 3 turns per quest, providing you’re playing a full game with 4 people. My friend chose the magic user as her character, which gave her the lowest attack of D6-1. Her first two battles destroyed her and she received very little money for gear. Because she had a slower start and didn’t upgrade her gear as much, along with her lower attack, she died a lot more in the game. She drank a lot.
I played as Chuglox, who seemed to be an all around good character. His attack was normal (D6) and his non-combat stats were pretty great. I didn’t have much of a problem with saving throws and only died a few times. By the end of the game I was almost fully upgraded and felt like a beast. The length of the game was just right.
Most of the issues in DQ1 were addressed in the second game. It should be noted that DQ2 is a separate game all together, including four hero cards of it’s own and four new quests. The magic user in DQ2, while having the lowest attack (D6-1), has all very high non-combat stats. This means that any time an event card pops up, instead of a monster card, he’s most likely going to be successful on the saving throw. While DQ1 had only 4 cards out of 12 per quest requiring a saving throw, luckily this ratio has been altered in DQ2. While the number of monster cards is still generally higher, it’s definitely more balanced and easier to play a magic user. Plus, who doesn’t like drunk wizards? That being said, if I were forced to choose between the two games, I would most likely pick DQ1, as I enjoyed the humor/references more and the issues weren’t absolutely game breaking.
Drinking Quest led to a fun night. It’s been a while since I have played a pen and paper RPG and the game really brought back some memories, while not drowning me in rules. A couple of the people I played with had never played a tabletop RPG before and, while intimidated by the character sheets at first, enjoyed the experience and said they felt better about possibly playing more RPGs in the future. I look forward to playing again and possibly even making some house rules for my group of friends.
Bottom Line: Drinking Quest 1 and 2 are fun and simple drinking games. The rules are easy enough to quickly teach someone and it’s actually a great introductory pen and paper RPG for newcomers. The drinking is fairly moderate. It will take you about an hour to play.
Review copies provided by Wiseman Innovation. Full Disclosure.