The Checkylist of Albion, Part 10

This section deals with alcohol, tobbaco and firearms drugs. 🙂 Fun stuff, this!

Alcohol, Tobacco, & Drugs

a)      Is alcohol legal?
Yes indeed it is!

i)        Why?
Those who run the government love it too well to even consider making it illegal. No, they’re not alcoholics, they just like an ale with the guys, is that so wrong? Seriously though, moderate drinking is practically ubiquitous, no one has thought to make alcohol illegal.

b)      Is the consumption of alcohol considered moral?
It’s certainly not considered immoral. I’d call it “morally neutral” unless overindulgence leads to violence, fornication or other bad decisions.

i)        Why?
It’s ubiquitous, like I said. Everyone at every level society does it, fairly often. (Though I will play the God card and say that midwives have figured out that drinking + pregnancy leads to bad things, so pregnant women are often advised to stay away). That being said, most people are able to handle alcohol and don’t overindulge too often, so it’s not the cause of too many social ills.

ii)      Does this change by religion?
A little bit.

(1)   Why?
Some orders are stricter about the consumption of alcohol for their members than others – they may limit or prohibit it entirely as a way of promoting increased focus on the Lord Wright, etc. Some might even try to take this attitude outside the monastery walls and to the laypeople, but nobody really listens.

iii)    Does this change by social status?
Er, not so much. The wealthier you are, the better access you have to fancy wine and liquors (and alcohol that won’t accidentally poison you), but other than that, not so much.

(1)   Why?
Alcohol is pretty common at all levels of society. So, for that matter, are some of the problems that come with overindulgence (like alcoholism). The peasant might take refuge in the bottle because there’s too many mouths and not enough money to feed them, the lord because running the army/legal system/spy system is stressful.

iv)    Does this change by race?
Again, not so much, other than increase the likelihood of dying from poisoned alcohol (not the same thing as alcohol poisoning – alcohol poisoning is drinking way too much, poisoned alcohol is drinking a really, really bad brew). However, plantsims, because of their different biology, are not affected by alcohol and thus don’t drink it often (what would the point be?).

(1)   Why?
See above – alcohol being common and all that.

v)    Does this change by age?
Not really, once you’re deemed old enough to drink you indulge just as much as everyone else. Some younger people might indulge a bit more, especially in a setting like college, ‘cause they can, but other than that … again, not so much.

(1)   Why?
Well, once you leave the parental roof, you’re apt to experiment with all sorts of things …

c)      If alcohol is legal, at what age does drinking alcohol become legal?
There’s no “legal drinking age,” but at the same time people aren’t giving ale to five-year-olds. Most people are first given alcohol by their parents when they’re in their early or mid-teens. You can reasonably expect not to get thrown out of a pub for being just too darn young (unless you’re with your parents) and likely to cause trouble by the time you hit your mid- to late teens.

i)        Does this change by religion?
Not so much.

(1)   Why?
Most orders don’t accept juveniles as full-fledged monks and nuns, so people under control of their order are all pretty much adults anyway.

ii)      Does this change by social status?
Not so much. Young royal/noble children might get introduced to alcohol at a younger age because of the state functions they attend, but other than that … not really.

(1)   Why?
Alcohol is one of the few things that unite all the Albionese, rich and poor, peasant and peer.

iii)    Does this change by race?
Not so much, though born plantsims don’t get introduced to alcohol until they’re technically adults, thanks to their unique lifecycle.

(1)   Why?
Again, alcohol, common social lubricant.

d)     What are the common types of alcohol?
Ale is the everyman’s (and woman’s!) drink. Wealthier citizens will indulge in certain rich wines, like malmsey and spiced wines. Spirits too are available to the wealthy, as are cheap wines to the less economically well-off. Beer, too, is also known among the poorer folk.

e)      Is there an ecological reason for the existence of alcohol? (IE most water in towns was polluted during the middle ages, so they made beer because the fermentation killed the bacteria in the water.)
Yes, that exactly! Thanks for answering that for me! 😉

i)        If so, explain?
Well, I will say that Albion is more rural than say, Glasonland or Reme, and their cities aren’t as big (hence less pollution). But they important the predilection for alcohol from the urban centers of Glasonland, and have no plans to give it up!

f)       If alcohol is legal, are there any movements to make the demon alcohol illegal?

g)      Is there tobacco or something like it?
I don’t think so. It just doesn’t seem medieval.

h)      Statement: A lot of narcotics started out as planted based medicines, the plants did cool things and so people started deriving and refining medicines from them. What makes a narcotic a narcotic is a) it’s tendency towards abuse by the user and b) that the good that the narcotic does as a medicine is outweighed by the bad that it does to the body.

i)        What sorts of indigenous plants might be used to make narcotics?
Poppies (like real-world poppies)
Cannabis (yes, that cannabis!)

Answer the following as many times as needed for the plants listed:


(a)    Was this plant usually/once used medically?
Yes. Its seeds were used to create opiates for various painkilling/cough suppressing/stomach-calming medications or pseudo-medications. In terms of drug use, it functions as a product that creates euphoria, or a trance-like high state.

(i)     Is it still?
Yes, it still is. (Hey, morphine and codeine are still used today!)

  1. If so, why has it not been banned?
    Well, because it still works for those medicinal purposes. And you know, this is pseudo-medieval medicine, they aren’t going to remove what little actually works.

(b)   How common is the use of the plant for non medical use?
It’s not very common. Preparing the products is expensive. (I have no idea if that’s what actually happened in Ye Olden Days, but I’m playing the God card.) That being said, it’s out of the reach of most people.

(c)    How addictive is the plant or its derivative?
It’s very addictive. The rush can be quite intense, and the body quickly builds up tolerance to it, so more and more opium is required to get the high.

(d)   How easy is it to get a hold of the plant?
The plant? It was included in the base game! (Papaver’s Poppies, anyone?) The drugs are a different story. It takes time, effort and expertise to produce the drugs, which makes them expensive.

(e)    Is this plant and/or its derivatives illegal?
I’m going to say not illegal, but frowned upon.

(i)     Why?
Well, they’re frowned upon because they tend to have socially deleterious effects – the peasant who’s getting high isn’t working his or her butt off to put fancy foods on the nobleman’s table! But at the same time, it’s not enough of a problem for the powers that be to consider outlawing it, plus if it came to that point, they might legitimately wonder if driving the trade underground might cause more problems than it solves.


(f)    Was this plant usually/once used medically?
Yes. It’s used as a painkiller and a nausea/vomiting controller.

(i)     Is it still?
Yes, it still is.

1.    If so, why has it not been banned?
Again, medieval medicine – you don’t knock what works!

(g)   How common is the use of the plant for non medical use?
I’m going to say that, since the preparation is less intense than with the opiates derived from poppies, that it’s more common than opiates.
Plus there’s, you know, hemp – as in the rope-making product.

(h)   How addictive is the plant or its derivative?
Not very. People will smoke it in their spare time (though it is frowned upon) but there are few cases of true addiction.

(i)     How easy is it to get a hold of the plant?
Well, people can grow this stuff in their basement with a sun lamp, so I’m going to say, pretty easy!

(j)     Is this plant and/or its derivatives illegal?
No, but again, I’m going to say it’s frowned upon.

(i)     Why?
Making it illegal, considering how easily the darn thing grows, would be an exercise in futility. The Pendragons are not fans of exercises in futilities. However, it’s still frowned upon because again, peasants getting high aren’t working their butts off for the nobles.

ii)      What sorts of chemically created narcotics are there? (Ones that are not plant derivatives.)
Er, none. Albion has not reached that stage of development yet. However, there are a couple magical narcotics:
Essence of Ecstasy

Answer the following as many times as needed for the narcotics listed:

Essence of Ecstasy

(1)   Is/was this narcotic a medication?
No, it was always used just for its effects for producing euphoria, emotional “intimacy,” and banishing depression/anxiety. (All lifted from the Wikipedia article on ecstasy, thank you Wikipedia!)

(a)   How commonly is it used?
In Albion, it’s actually very rare. Only witches and wizards of the Dark produce this narcotic, because of its addictive and harmful nature. The major Dark witch and wizard in Albion (Morgause and Mordred) have, at this time, better things to do than get the peons addicted to drugs. In other countries (i.e. Reme & Glasonland) it’s easier to get.

(b)    How addictive is it?
Very. A few uses and you could end up hooked for life. (The Dark witches and wizards do that on purpose. Helps for fundraising purposes. Plus they’re just mean like that.)

(c)   How easy is it to create?
It’s a simpler potion for Dark witches and wizards – to mix metaphors for a moment, Harry or Ron could probably manage this one (if they were so inclined), though not Neville. However, it’s impossible for the non-magical.

(d)    Is this narcotic illegal?
Not in Albion. It’s not even technically illegal in countries like Glasonland and Reme – there, it just falls under the “magic” heading and is banned as that instead of anything special. However, the Pendragons are keeping an eye on the situation, and if the use of Essence of Ecstasy spreads, they will consider making it illegal.


(2)   Is/was this narcotic a medication?
Nope! It’s just used to create a great deal of laughter and a strange floaty feeling.

(a)   How commonly is it used?
It’s not too common, because the machine used to make it is rather expensive (fifteen coppers, that’s like a week’s wages for the average farm laborer). However, Neutral and Light witches and wizards can make this machine as well as Dark ones, since the effects are temporary and judged to be harmless. It’s mainly expensive because of the time and effort used to go into the machine.

(b)    How addictive is it?
Not at all addictive.

(c)   How easy is it to create?
This is another one Harry and Ron could manage. (Wizards and witches don’t waste their energy on intricate and careful potions only to have a recreational drug at the end of the day. If they’re doing something that complicated, they want more than just a high out of it, dammit!) Muggles, however, are SOL.

(d)    Is this narcotic illegal?
Again, not in Albion. Bubbles are tolerated among the upper classes in Glasonland and Reme – probably because a lot of the teenagers/college students get into them every now and then, and their parents don’t want to have to keep bailing them out of gaol for illegal use of magical products. In other words, the authorities turn a blind eye to it.
This one, the Pendragons aren’t watching so much. 😉


11 thoughts on “The Checkylist of Albion, Part 10

  1. Sounds great. I wasn’t trying to answer that question for you though, I’m glad to know my explanation made it so you didn’t have to think. 😛 😉

    I think considering this was a weird section and harder to base off real life that you did a great job.

    I like your magical drugs. And I could definitely see some interesting possibilities for future plot lines.

    And your answers about the alcohol were kind of funny, at least I hope you were going for funny. 😉

    … So does that mean that people aren’t gonna be digging up their flowerbeds to make some opium? Rats! I wanted to see that subplot where someone sneaks it into Bors’ soup at a state dinner.

  2. Fermentation was, at one point, considered proof that God existed and was good. The alcohol in beer and wine (and other fermented drinks, made from fruit or rice or horse’s milk– I know, man, we’ll drink anything) was enough to kill bacteria and keep what we drank from killing us. (Fun times with cholera and dysentery!) It also had the added bonus of preservation, at least once we figured out that whole ‘airtight container’ thin. Even children were given ‘small beer.’ (Milk was considered an appropriate drink only for small children, the sick, and the elderly; otherwise you got right to work turning that stuff into butter or cheese before it went off. Pregnant women might well count as people who were allowed to drink milk.)

    It’s only recently that it’s actually been safe to try to outlaw the demon liquor; if a sip of water that wasn’t from a well could literally make you crap yourself to death, then beer was totally the breakfast of champions. Or cider. Or wine. Or sake. Check out TV Tropes for some fun examples. Mostly cos they’re the first thing I think of now. And There I Fixed It for a way to MAKE clean drinking water, just in case you’re ever stranded on a deserted island with a water bottle and a piece of sheet metal but without MacGyver.

    I actually don’t know much about the practice of smoking tobacco in Medieval times. Probably ought to look that up.

    (I totally need to sleep, but I feel this weird intense need to share my learnings. Off I go before I start linking to food blogs.)

  3. I was going for funny, Andavri. At least I think I was going for funny. My brain was starting to shut down for the night near the end there, so it’s hard to tell. 😉

    Opium in Bors’s soup — LMAO! I will have to consider that in more detail!

    And Hat … so, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” ISN’T just Ben Franklin’s proto-frat-boy-humor? Consider my mind officially blown!

    I read the stuff about milk when I was doing research for this post, I just figured I would extend the “small children” bit up to about age ten or so. Plus I figure that Albion has special rainwater plumbing systems, so many of the wealthier citizens do have access to fresh water. (We’re a bit early for acid rain, no?) But the “small beer” works too — not so much alcohol content that Junior is making passes at his buddy’s grandma before the age of five, but not so little that Junior gets cholera/dysentary and dies.

    Showers? In a Norman Castle?? Ok, I’ll admit I caved and stuck a couple showers in an athletic lot I’m working on (and have no compunction about using them if that’s all that’s there on a Maxis hobby lot), but good grief, even I’m not dumb enough to expect people to believe in showers in a medieval castle!! But the cool, clear water thing is good to know, on the off-chance that I ever go camping. Or write about medieval knights out in the wilderness.

    … And that way to make good drinking water … my God. We should be sending those out to 3rd world countries with suitable climates (i.e. not cloudy and rainy all the time) as we speak. What a great use for all those plastic bottles! And it’s cheap, too!

    Apparently tobacco is more common than I thought in Ye Olden Days. But somehow, I just couldn’t picture my knights and peasants kicking back with a pipe or cigar (and definitely not a cigarette). It just didn’t seem right. 🙂

  4. Oh yes! Usually I turn to Joe Pastry for food history, because he’s fun to read, and he gives a pretty good explanation of the phenomenon. The temperance movement didn’t really take root in Europe the way it did in the States, though. And of course bread and beer are flipsides of the same process– brewing makes yeast which makes bread rise. Humanity has had bread for almost as long as it’s had beer, and for similar reasons. Beer is safer to drink than water (the ancient Egyptians made beer, because who wanted to drink water that hippos had been crapping in?), and once grain is baked into bread, it doesn’t go rancid nearly as fast– just stale. And people ate the stale bread (okay, softened up in soup or stew or whatever), because it wasn’t considered ‘gone bad’ when it got stale– just ripe.

    Joe Pastry and Cariadoc (also other SCA cooks whose pages I haven’t bookmarked) have made me something of a food history nerd.

    I am a bad girl and do install showers where I’m pressed for tub space… but they tend to be the Castaway rock showers or Maylin’s ‘water pressure comes from this barrel!’ shower– sometimes the ATS Ethnic shower, because that set looks nicely primitive. Or, of course, the waterfall shower. I love that one.

  5. *adds yet another reason to the “Reasons I’m Glad I was Born in the 2nd Half of the 20th Century” List*

    Thanks for the links, Hat! 😀 The amount of research you do for your Sims is nothing short of amazing. And all this fascinating stuff, too! Now I have tons of reading material for a rainy day. Or a sunny one. One of the nice things about a laptop, you can take it outside. 😉

    And exactly, my showers are the Castaway showers! And they’re only used on this lot, because, well … I imagine there will be quite a bit of stink if I don’t have something. And I couldn’t fit a boys’ bathroom and a girls’ bathroom if I needed to use tubs. (Or could I …)

    Though, really, since this same lot is using two soccer goals as a “jousting” area — there comes a point where you just have to shrug and say, “Screw history.” 😉

  6. Aaaactually, I research because I like to. If it has a decent Sims 2 application, so much the better. (I also make period doll clothes to sell, so there’s that as an excuse, too.) Although Joe Pastry is less about food history and more about food, with history and science mixed in. Makes me want to bake.

    I’ve got the Castaway showers in my guards’ towers, I think in the castle, all over Twikkii, and on my docks, off the top of my head. I might have or use them in a few other places. The thing about showers is that if I’m setting up a privy, I can do a whole bunch of 2×1 rooms and have toilets in some and showers in others, which is how things are done in the towers… and I think how I did one of the dorms. Search me if I can remember which showers I used, though. Granted, I could always do what you do with your cribs at the orphanage, and block tubs off with The Great Divide.

    … *snorks* Now that’s an interesting lot.

  7. Ah, well, researching because you like to works too. 🙂

    Ah yes, the lovely 2×1 privacy room! What would we medieval simmers do without it? 😉 Because Sims just won’t do certain things in the presence of others that real life medieval people wouldn’t have blinked at.

    Then again, real life medieval people were fine walking around without bathing for days, while Sims tend to get a little cranky if you try to pull that with them.

    The Great Divide is a wonderful invention, it really is. It makes absolutely no sense in real-world terms, but at least it allows all those infants and toddlers to sleep in the same room without waking each other up. 🙂

    Yes, it will be an interesting lot — once it’s finished. 😉

  8. That’s what happens when you take your daughter to RenFaire at an impressionable age. History suddenly gets all interesting… but not the big important bits, just the little everyday things, like clothing and food and etiquette and music and transportation and and and…

    I built a privy for something once that was a row of toilets (I think Tarox’s) with half-walls between, like bathroom stalls– like this: |_|_|_|_|_| One-by-two, but with a proper wall in front, with arches for doorways. In-game privacy, no light-blocking, and it still looked open. Haven’t done the toddler trick yet, but I may just– my peasant houses are set up with more rooms than is authentic at the moment. Great room, bedroom, second bedroom, privy, room with room for a crib and one baby toy, or two twin beds and a nightstand. Lavish!

    Medieval folk were used to that, though– Sims aren’t quite that adaptable. I read something that cracked me up over at Viking Answer Lady… we think of the Vikings as these horrible smelly pirates, and pirates they were, horrible they may have been, but at least one Christian priest is on record bewailing their vain habits– because by washing their hair and faces every day and washing their clothes once a week, these invaders were sort of… luring good Christian women away from their husbands…

    Just don’t use the Great Divide inside apartments– it tends to break things, for some reason.

  9. That’s a good idea for bathrooms — I might have to steal that, next time I devise a communal set of bathrooms! 😀

    Very lavish peasant huts you have going there, Hat. 🙂 My peasant houses are all two stories, but some of them are … differently set up. The Brogans and the Chevauxes have a lower story with a great room and a separate “newlywed chamber” built off the back of that, with a double bed, wardrobe and infant things in there. Upstairs there’s a bathroom, bed for the elderly parents, bunk beds for everyone else and a nursery area. The Pelleses have much the same setup, except they just have a double bed downstairs, no separate newlywed chamber. The Thatchers are … weird. It’s a downloaded house with an odd layout.

    LOL! That’s great, the Viking guys being cleaner than the Christian guys and luring women away thereby. Perfect.

    Yeah, that’s really weird. But apartments are so finicky — practically everything breaks them, or else makes them lag like a ten-ton train.

  10. Well, granted, my bedrooms are 4×4 (master), 4×5 (second), and 4×3 (nursery, third bedroom, sewing room, whatever), and the great room is I think a 7×7 square, so it’s only sorta lavish. It’s a lot of walls, though. Silly Sims and their non-Medieval privacy needs. But I figure that’s enough for a lavish ‘thank you for helping to found this kingdom!’ homestead for the peasant folk, and if they need more they can expand in due time. Or move out to considerably smaller quarters.

    I had the lag issue with my first try at an abbey– no putting the abbey and the cathedral on the same lot. It don’t go. So my abbey has four apartments with eight three-by-three cells, a tiny kitchen, a tiny bathroom, and a tiny study each. Downstairs, there are a billion crafting and skillbuilding items, a huge dining room, public restrooms (big hint when building apartments: PUBLIC RESTROOMS. If you have a Sim in a currently-unplayed apartment on the first day of a pregnancy, and they happen to be out and about in the common area when they suffer a bout of morning sickness, they will bolt for the nearest playable bathroom– NOT their own home’s bathroom. No iron portal bar’d will deny them, etc), a garden, a big telescope, a fishpond… All of life’s little necessities. Plus one side of the roof is coated in solar panels, so regular donations come in. Not that they need the money, but it’s nice not to have to think about bills for the clergy. They can use it to restock the charity shop I haven’t built or something.

  11. Lol @ “thank you for helping to found the kingdom!” homes. But think of it like this — actual human beings in actual medieval times were smart enough to be able to walk around furniture, pets and each other without needing a football field to navigate in. Whereas Sims, ha! They’ll stand there for an hour, stomping their feet and waving their arms and missing the carpool.

    In other words, I think that is one of those times when the Sim player is perfectly justified in saying, “Screw accuracy, I’m going for less headaches!”

    Never tried putting the abbey and the cathedral on the same lot. In both of my abbeys I had/have a small chapel, but that’s mostly for looks. No garden area, either. (I like foundations, and didn’t learn the trick to getting a yard with a foundation fast enough.) So now both monastery and nunnery get a big kitchen and pantry, big dining room, abbot/abbess’s office, a big library for the monks and a smaller library & sewing room for the nuns. Then upstairs it’s a room for orphans (sleeps 4) with a single bathroom, a room for the monks/nuns with big semi-communal bathroom (sleeps six), and a room for the abbot/abbess with a single bathroom (sleeps 2, technically — double bed). The basement just has all those career rewards that don’t fit very well in the medieval décor, thrown in willy-nilly.

    Public bathrooms! I will have to remember that when I next make apartments. 🙂 Luckily it’s not a problem that’s too likely to strike the abbey — pregnant women being a rarity there and all.

    I like your idea about the solar panels. My monks and nuns get so much money from tithes that that sort of thing isn’t necessary (seriously, it’s not even funny). So I like to think of bills and rents as payments for routine maitenance. After all, if the Church roof collapses, people might start saying that the Lord Wright is mad at you or something …

    Hope your trip is going well!

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