Martial arts students face a bewildering array of martial arts schools, each with its own adherents and detractors. How- ever, few schools are as unusual—or as controversial—as drunken boxing. By weaving and staggering about as if ine- briated, drunken boxers avoid many blows. Likewise, their stumbling, lurching attacks catch their opponents off guard. Moreover, when they actually imbibe alcohol, drunken masters can perform truly prodigious feats of strength and bravery.
This ability garners a drunken master little respect among adherents of other martial arts schools, because drunken boxing exacts a toll on its users. Drunken masters may remain intoxicated for hours after a fight, and they are often found half-asleep in taverns, mumbling incoherently. This flies in the face of other schools’ ascetic principles. Members of rival schools must be wary—they never know when the tipsy lout at the bar is just a harmless thug, and when he is a nigh-unstoppable drunken master.
Monks form the backbone of the drunken boxing school. A monk loses some face with his original school or monas- tery for becoming a drunken master, but a brilliant display of drunken fighting can sometimes silence critics in one’s former school. Members of other classes become drunken masters only rarely, although students often tell the tale of a barbarian from the north who became a phenomenal drunken master.
Prospective students are studied at a distance by other drunken masters, then treated to a display of the power of drunken boxing. If the student expresses enthusiasm for learning the new techniques, a group of drunken masters takes him or her from tavern to tavern, getting rip-roaring drunk, causing trouble, and passing along the first secrets of the technique. Those who survive the revelry are welcomed as new drunken masters.
NPC drunken masters are often found in taverns and bars. They rarely pick fights there, but are quick to come to the aid of someone overmatched in a tavern brawl. Most keep a low profile, although some are famous—or infamous—for the deeds they have performed while under the influence.
3rd level Drunken Master feature
A drunken master’s body handles alcohol differently from other people’s. You can drink a large tankard of ale, a bottle of wine, or a corresponding amount of stronger alcohol as a bonus action. Every bottle or tankard of alcohol you consume during combat reduces your Wisdom and Intelligence by 2 points each, but increases your Strength or Constitution (your choice) by 2 points. A drunken master may benefit from a number of drinks equal to half your level. The duration of both the penalty and the bonus is a number of rounds equal to your level +3.
3rd level Drunken Master feature
While bottles and tankards are a drunken master’s preferred improvised weapons, he can use furniture, farm implements, or nearly anything else at hand to attack his foes. A drunken master’s improvised weapon deals as much damage as his unarmed strike plus an extra 1d4 points. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target. Most improvised weapons deal bludgeoning damage, although some (a broken glass bottle, for example) would deal piercing or slashing damage. When a drunken master rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll while using an improvised weapon, that weapon breaks apart and becomes useless.
At 6th level this extends to large objects such as a ladder granting you reach with the improvised weapon attack out to 10 feet. At 8th level you gain the grappler feat for free even if you do not meet the prerequisite. At 10th and 15the level the damage of your improvised weapon is increases by 1d4.
6th level Drunken Master feature
You may use 1 ki point to perform the following actions:
- Stagger. By tripping, stumbling, and staggering, you can make a charge attack that surprises your opponents. This increases your speed by 10 feet and if you succeed at a DC 15 Acrobatics check before beginning the stagger, your movement does not provoke no attacks of opportunity.
- Swaying Waist. You know how to weave and bob unpredictably during an attack, making you more difficult to hit. You gain a +2 bonus to Armor Class against any one opponent you choose for the next 1 minute. If the target dies before the 1 minute expires you may move to another target without expending a ki point.
- Swaying Attack. You choose one creature within 5 feet of you as your target. You have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature this turn. If that attack hits, add 1d6 to the attack’s damage roll.
- Corkscrew Rush. You leap forward twisting your body in midair as you attempt to head-butt an opponent. You attack with disadvantage but if you hit, the opponent is stunned unless the target makes a Wisdom saving throw for 1 minute. The stunned target may repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn with disadvantage. However, if the attack misses, you land prone in front of the opponent.
- Falling Up. When prone you may spend 1 ki point to attack an enemy from he prone position and regain your feet without expending any movement. This attack has advantage and does an additional 1d6 damage if the attack hits.
FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES
11th level Drunken Master feature
As a bonus action you can convert a single alcoholic drink you have ingested into a single potion of potion of greater healing, as if he had just drunk a dose of the potion. To use this ability, you must be under the effect of an alcoholic drink (see Demon Drink, above). When you convert one drink of alcohol into one dose of the potion, your ability scores change (+2 to Intelligence and Wisdom, –2 to Strength or Constitution) as if the duration of the alcohol’s effect had expired. This ability can be used up to three times per day and you can consume multiple uses to increase the effectiveness of the healing affect – two uses makes it as effective as a potion of superior healing and three uses increases the healing affect to that of a potion of supreme healing.
BREATH OF FLAME
17th level Drunken Master feature
You can ignite some of the alcohol within your body and spew it forth from your mouth by spending a ki as a free action. This breath of flame deals 3d12 points of fire damage to all within the 20-foot cone, or half damage to those who make a Dexterity saving throw. Each time you use breath of flame, it consumes one drink’s worth of alcohol from within your body, lessening the penalty to your Wisdom and Intelligence scores and reducing the bonus to your Strength or Constitution score (your choice).
Banner Art: “Drunken Master” movie poster.