How are drugs and addiction not inevitable death sentences? How can you be a functioning addict?


Rules Questions


So i was going over the rules for drug addictions in PF, and one thing that struck me as odd was that under moderate/severe addictions you cannot heal the ability damage for that drug. That means with, say pesh, which does 1d2 con damage, an average human would be dead within ten uses if they were addicted. Am I reading this correctly? Is there no way to be a long time pesh (or any other drug) without significant magical help?

As another example, taking an average of 4 doses of opium, regardless of how long between each dose so long as you don't get cured of the addiction, would kill an average man. But people can be opium addicts for years.


Sounds about right in both that universe and real life. A powerful enough overdose can result in permanent mental/physical damage.


But this isn't a matter of an overdose. You don't heal the damage naturally. So if you take ten does, one every month for ten months, you still die.

(And I know they'd probably make the save by then but whatever. It still works for a dose every three days or something)


Okay, but my point still stands, that the users will suffer permanent damage for constant use of the drug.

Grand Lodge

Expecting things like threshold doses and long-term addiction detailing would probably take up too much space in a book, frankly. Still haven't picked up PFS: Potions & Poisons to see if it's addressed there, but when all else fails, houserule it. A functional addict would definitely be deficient in whatever stat is affected, but a whole lot of people manage to sneak addiction under the radar for a while...


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Drug addiction rules are... always strange.

A lot of them are based on old mechanics that were originally written during the Satanic panic.

The old Shadowrun rules were written such that if you smoked marijuana even once, it put you on this crazy doom spiral that would probably end in you dying of an overdose in a week!

Yes. Drug/addiction rules are often stupid.


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This isn't really a rules questions, you seem to have a handle on the rules.

You just don't agree with the rules.

If you're the GM make the rules fit whatever narrative you want it to.


Omnius wrote:

Drug addiction rules are... always strange.

A lot of them are based on old mechanics that were originally written during the Satanic panic.

The old Shadowrun rules were written such that if you smoked marijuana even once, it put you on this crazy doom spiral that would probably end in you dying of an overdose in a week!

Yes. Drug/addiction rules are often stupid.

To be fair, I think the drug rules not being accurate is a great sign that the developers aren't under the influence when writing said rules. (Yes, this is by-and-large a joke on my behalf.)

I mean, the idea that the drugs would be uncannily similar to their function in real life isn't really possible to emulate in the rules, since different drugs affect people in different ways, especially when there are many ways to apply said drugs. Alcohol, as one example, can be used to sterilize wounds from infection, but can also make people sick/die upon copious amounts of consumption. In some cases, people get tired or angry or relaxed when consuming alcohol; it just depends on the person or thing.


The best use of drugs ironically are to use them as poison. Much cheaper, more debilitating, and no saves. Who would have thought stabbing someone with a heroin needle would be so effective in Pathfinder?


Check the prices for the drugs, then note who they are "popular" with, then note their duration.

None of it adds up.

The top wage for a 'companion' is 10 gold per day. A 1 hour dose of Harlot Sweets, "So named for the fact that prostitutes often abuse the drug", costs 60gp. They can afford it once a week at most. I sure hope that 1 hour of sounding nice was worth not eating this week.

So raw, probably noone is dieing from drug addiction, because no one can afford enough of them for it to matter. Your probably over your first dose long before you can save up for the second.


GURPS had people quitting smoking have a 95% risk of dying.


toastedamphibian wrote:

Check the prices for the drugs, then note who they are "popular" with, then note their duration.

None of it adds up.

The top wage for a 'companion' is 10 gold per day. A 1 hour dose of Harlot Sweets, "So named for the fact that prostitutes often abuse the drug", costs 60gp. They can afford it once a week at most. I sure hope that 1 hour of sounding nice was worth not eating this week.

So raw, probably noone is dieing from drug addiction, because no one can afford enough of them for it to matter. Your probably over your first dose long before you can save up for the second.

Never think about the economics of any edition of D&D. It's always complete nonsense.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The Skull & Shackles AP has a captain keeping the crew half drunk on grog all the time to keep it docile. With the current rules they would be dead halfway during any sea voyage. In reality watered down grog was safer than water held in barrels for months.


Daspolo wrote:

So i was going over the rules for drug addictions in PF, and one thing that struck me as odd was that under moderate/severe addictions you cannot heal the ability damage for that drug. That means with, say pesh, which does 1d2 con damage, an average human would be dead within ten uses if they were addicted. Am I reading this correctly? Is there no way to be a long time pesh (or any other drug) without significant magical help?

As another example, taking an average of 4 doses of opium, regardless of how long between each dose so long as you don't get cured of the addiction, would kill an average man. But people can be opium addicts for years.

You can heal the damage, once you remove the addiction.

Remove Disease and similar spells can help.
Lesser Restoration can heal the damage.
Making the saves vs. relapse can break the addiction.

Yes, it is hard, but not impossible.

/cevah

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cevah wrote:
Daspolo wrote:

So i was going over the rules for drug addictions in PF, and one thing that struck me as odd was that under moderate/severe addictions you cannot heal the ability damage for that drug. That means with, say pesh, which does 1d2 con damage, an average human would be dead within ten uses if they were addicted. Am I reading this correctly? Is there no way to be a long time pesh (or any other drug) without significant magical help?

As another example, taking an average of 4 doses of opium, regardless of how long between each dose so long as you don't get cured of the addiction, would kill an average man. But people can be opium addicts for years.

You can heal the damage, once you remove the addiction.

Remove Disease and similar spells can help.
Lesser Restoration can heal the damage.
Making the saves vs. relapse can break the addiction.

Yes, it is hard, but not impossible.

/cevah

The point is, I think, that you can't heal it while the addiction last and the damage is very high, but in reality we have alcoholics that survive for decades and drug addicts that last years, both while abusing the substances constantly.

A system with saving throws to avoid damage and an increasing penalties to the check after every success would be more realistic.

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