Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Culture of Liquor

I work with a wide variety of ethnicities. Many of them Mexican. In the recent past, they've introduced me to Sol, Modello and Modello Dark, the beer responsible for "the World's Most Interesting Man", as well as various types of Patron and other tequilla based liquors.

What does this have to do with a RPG thought?

Many cultures have their favorites and their opinions on what makes those drinks so good. In looking at some of those drinks, like good old Grand Marnier you learn that some fruits are grown that may in and of themselves not be edible, but may lead to the creation of various liquors.

In a fantasy campaign, this lends itself to some interesting options. For example, what if there are magical fruits. What type of ambrosia may that lead to? What if healing potions or another highly valued potion is only capable of being harvested from a specific type of fruit that only grows from a speicifc type of tree or vine? What is soil is a key ingrident in something the liquor makers need? What if a grove comes under attack?

Other venues of course, can be minor in tasting competitions. In any competition, the playing field can be intense. For example, Adult Swim recently premiered an episode of the Boondocks, Red Ball, where a simple ball game is given the intensity of a Dragon Ball Z fight. If there's something highly desirable coming from the outcome, some of the sides may even, dare I suggest it, cheat. This could invovle poisoning the tasters, impriosoning the tasters, replacing the tasters, or something else along those lines. What if one of the players is a fine drinker of wines and finds himself under threat of assassination if he doesn't vote a particular way? What if he's such a good judge of wine that a local whose just as good challenges him, but instead of focusing on that rival, the player happens to notice that while his rival is out drinking, that rival's wife is left home alone and desperate for company from a less borish source there her drunken husband?

The lure of beer can have many more applications than merely being the catch phrase then, "I spent all of my money on ale and whores."