Haven’t you always wanted a mash up of a drinking game and a card game with RPG elements? Then you are in luck since that’s exactly what Drinking Quest is.
In Drinking Quest you get to go on a ridiculous fantasy adventure with your chosen character and your friends, have interesting encounters, get into fights, earn gold, upgrade your equipment, and more. If things go badly and you end up dying, don’t worry resurrection is only a chug away.
Disclosure: Thanks to Jason Anarchy Games for letting us check out this advanced copy of Drinking Quest Six Pack. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps support this blog and our podcast.
What do you get with the new Drinking Quest Six Pack?
The Drinking Quest series of games were designed and written by Jason Wiseman aka Jason Anarchy, starting with Drinking Quest back in 2011. This was followed Drinking Quest 2: Yeddy Vedder’s Yeti Adventures in 2012, Drinking Quest 3: Nectar of the Gods in 2013, Drinking Quest: Journey into Draught in 2016 and Drinking Quest: Liquor Before Honor in 2018 and finally Drinking Quest: Old Habits in 2020. All of these games have been published by Jason’s company, Jason Anarchy Games.
Drinking Quest Six Pack combines all six previous games with updated artwork and minor rule tweaks, along with some awesome extra stuff like rules for Boss Battles, all into one deluxe box.
Note, none of us owns or have played Drinking Quest before this deluxe box. For everyone I played it with, this was their first experience with the game.
Drinking Quest features artwork from Deanna Draga, Gaelen Adric Izatt Galloway III, Dara Gold, Ben Granoff, Aaron Lenk, Carole Nelan, Michael Parla. Claudio Pozas, Mike Rooth, Shawna Saycocie, Ali Spagnola, Ben Tobitt, and Zach Schuster.
Drinking Quest is designed for two to four players with optional rules to play with more (I particularly like the Designated Driver GM rule). Playing through a full adventure can take an hour to two hours, but you have the option to play through just one or two quests at a time.
The MSRP for this deluxe Drinking Quest set is $59.99 and can be purchased directly from Jason Anarchy Games.
Drinking Quest Six Pack features six different adventures, each split into four separate quests, all represented by cards. You quickly create your character and then draw cards to see what happens to you. Encounters are a mix of one on one combat and challenges to overcome, all of which have a pretty slapstick, ridiculous, theme fitting in with the fact that this is a drinking game. Between encounters, you can spend your hard earned gold to upgrade your equipment. Once you get through all the quests the party teams up to face a random boss monster. If at any point you falter on your quest, don’t worry. There’s no permadeath here. Resurrection can be found at the bottom of your mug after a hearty chug.
To check out the newly improved card layout, the new characters sheets and other upgraded components in this deluxe version of Drinking Quest, check out our Drinking Quest Six Pack Unboxing video on YouTube.
With this new version of Drinking Quest, you get a nice solid box in a cool comic themed sleeve. The box lid is held shut by a magnetic flap. Under that, you will find a silk two-sided map that serves no purpose other than being cool. The rules are thicker than you would expect but very clear. Under a sturdy cardstock shop board, you will find a plastic box insert holding the dice, a metal coin and all the cards. These cards include six quest decks, a boss monster deck, hero cards and signature drink cards for each of those heroes. There’s also a pack of one-sided character sheets.
The quality here is impressive, I have no complaints at all.
How do you play Drinking Quest?
Drinking Quest is very quick to dive into. It starts by having all players select a character and grab the special drink card for that character. Players then fill out a character sheet listing their name, their character’s name, the character’s maximum HP, attack dice, defense rating, and the numbers for the character’s four saving throws (Self Worth, Smarts, Tolerance and Sexual Prowess).
The character sheet also has spots to track current hit points, XP, gold, weapons, armour and items, etc.
Then the group picks an adventure to take part in. The four quest decks for that adventure are separated out and each is shuffled. Someone reads out the description in the back of the book for the first quest in the adventure and the game starts.
In turn, players will be flipping up one card from the appropriate quest deck and acting on it. Cards come in two types. There are Monster cards that you have to fight and Event cards which require a saving throw.
Each event card starts with some flavour text and then tells you which saving throw you have to check. To make this check you roll all of the dice and compare them to your rating. If you get equal to or under your saving throw you read the success part of the card and if you fail, well you read the fail part of the card.
As for monsters, these lead you to one on one fights where the player on your left will roll for the monster. First, a D6 is rolled with whoever rolled higher attacking first (ties go to the hero). Then combat just becomes a matter of rolling damage. Whoever rolled higher initiative rolls first, then the other combatant, and back and forth until someone is dead. With each hit, players lose health equal to the damage roll minus their armour rating.
If a monster wins the combat, the hero is dead, but don’t worry, all you’ve got to do is chug the rest of your drink and you come back with full health (half if you can’t finish the chug). In order to stop people from getting too wasted, after you’ve chugged once for the rest of that quest you only have to take three sips to resurrect.
If the hero wins the combat they get gold and XP.
Between each card draw, you have the chance to spend that gold at the shop. The shop board lists a bunch of weapons specific to each character, generic armour that can be used by everyone, and some special items like beers to restore health, potions that give re-rolls and the Bracelet of Bouncer Ability that gives you a boost to your saving throws.
Quests are finished when the deck runs out. At that point, everyone can go shopping again and heals up to full health. After completing the fourth quest you then draw a random Boss Monster. Here everyone has to fight the same monster. The player who deals the killing blow gets to hand out the loot to the other players with some rather silly booby prizes included for fun.
While all of this is going on, each character has a Signature Drink ability that they can use to break the rules. These include things like the Bartendress dancing for tips and thus increasing her gold rewards or the Dwarf headbutting people in the groin for automatic damage.
After the Boss is defeated, the player with the most XP wins. Ties are broken by the number of chugs the tied players had to take with the least chugs winning the game.
Drinking Quest is more of a Drinking Game than an RPG
As noted above, Drinking Quest Six Pack is my first experience with Drinking Quest. I remember hearing about this game back on G+ when it first came out. At the time I thought the idea of an RPG that included drinking sounded interesting but I never took the plunge. The same went for the later versions. This time when Jason reached out looking for reviewers I decided to bite. In all that time, I never really looked beyond the surface to see exactly what Drinking Quest is, and the answer surprised me.
Once I read the rules and sat down and played Drinking Quest I realized both what it is and what it isn’t. What it is, is a silly experience and a way to add some fun to a night of drinking. What it isn’t, is an RPG in any but the most superficial of ways.
While Drinking Quest has RPG elements it is not a role playing game. Yes, you choose a character, but you don’t really take on a role. You don’t even get to name your own character.
There’s no evolving story or branching paths to take. The story is the same every time and the number of actual choices you get to make in this game is extremely limited. The only real options you get, besides which character to play, are what to spend your money on and when to use your special ability.
The gameplay here is pretty much scripted and some of the players I tried it with found the game to be boring as a result. The game boils down to flipping a card, reading some amusing text and then rolling some dice. Rinse and repeat until you finish the adventure. My group found this rather disappointing, We were all expecting more from Drinking Quest.
That’s said we did have some fun playing Drinking Quest for what it is, a drinking game with basic RPG elements. As the alternative to taking a drink every time Picard says “Make it so.”, this is a solid choice.
The theme is good, the puns are painful and RPG fans will appreciate the inside jokes. The artwork fits the theme, and the content, while somewhat juvenile, also fits the style of the game. Yes, one of the character saving throw stats is Sexual Prowess, and there are some adult situations that go along with this, some of which I wouldn’t necessarily call consensual, but I didn’t find anything to be outright offensive. You just have to make sure you know what you are in for when you sit down to play.
One thing I did note is that the cards became more progressive and more diverse, with less potentially offensive content, with each new edition of the game. For example, in the first adventure, from the original Drinking Quest game, all of the Sexual Prowess checks involve women. That isn’t the case in the later adventures.
Included in the Drinking Quest rules are fantastic sections about drinking responsibly and making sure everyone knows how they are getting home before the game starts. There are even variant rules for playing without adult beverages, which I appreciate. You could, of course, sit down and play this game totally sober with a sober group but I think that would be missing the point entirely. If what you want is a silly dungeon crawl game without the drinking there are better choices out there.
There are some improvements I would love to see in future Drinking Quest games. Personally, I like drinking games that get more difficult the more you drink, which is why I often play dexterity games while imbibing, but you won’t find any of that here.
I would also like more decision points added to the quests. Having some choices to make would increase the replayability and make it feel more like a full role playing game. As it stands, after playing an adventure with four players you will have seen all of the cards and will know what to expect next time. Plus, while the jokes are funny the first time around, they get less amusing over time.
Also, while the new character sheets look great, the imagery on them is rather dark and it’s hard to see what you’ve actually written. I would have liked it more if the spots you write on were blank or faded more. We found we were using the back of the character sheets to track our damage and hit points instead of the fronts.
As well, I would have greatly appreciated having something to track the amount of damage that has been done to a monster. Having to remember how much health a mob has left each turn isn’t always easy, especially when everyone is chatting. This is one aspect that does get harder the more players drink, but I don’t think that’s meant to be part of the game. Now maybe, if you add a rule where if you forget your target’s heath you have to take a drink, but that’s not part of the existing rules.
Finally a second set of dice would have been nice to have. I own a lot of dice so it’s not a problem for me but having to pass the dice back and forth during combat is a bit annoying.
Overall I tried four different adventures in Drinking Quest split over a few different game nights and groups and it went over much better with one specific group of players. This isn’t a game that’s going to appeal to everyone but it’s going to be enjoyed by the people who it does appeal to. I think most of us know which of our groups of friends would dig a game like Drinking Quest and with those groups, it’s can be a ton of fun.
If you are looking to add a bit of adventure to a night of drinking with friends I don’t think you can go wrong with playing a round of Drinking Quest as long as everyone is cool with the content. Games of Drinking Quest can lead to a lot of laughs and quite a bit of drinking as well.
I don’t really see any reason a group of non-drinkers would want to pick this up, which makes sense as it is primarily a drinking activity.
For mixed groups, you may be interested in this, especially if only one player out of your group won’t be drinking. The included Designated GM rules work great for this.
If you are looking for a new RPG experience, or a new fantasy game to play while drinking, you are probably better off taking the drinking resurrection rules from Drinking Quest and porting them over to a high fatality roleplaying game like Dungeon Crawl Classics.
For us, I plan to keep this on my shelf as it will prove to be popular on the right nights with the right people.
I think it’s pretty well known that I like to enjoy a craft beer or two (or more) on occasion and often combine that with playing games at the same time. While Drinking Quest isn’t going to be my game of choice often, I still like to have it in the arsenal. What’s a game that you enjoy playing while taking part in some adult beverages? Let us know in the comments below!