According to MC Frontalot, it’s much easier to quit smoking if you make a game out of it.
Quitting smoking is hard, but then so is bringing down a group of Mind Flayers. If they can be destroyed with a little effort, why not use the same ruleset to take down an addiction to cigarettes? That’s just what MC Frontalot has done, the nerdcore rapper behind this awesome Zork song and many others that are inspired by topics such as videogames, otaku, and Penny Arcade.
MC Frontalot has developed the following “quit smoking” ruleset:
1. Name your character. Mine’s Breathorr Inflatagon, a level 2 Lung Elf. You don’t have to roll up stats. If you’re a real stickler for form, go get your lungs x-rayed. The x-ray film is your character sheet.
2. Keep a d20 in your pack of cigarettes. If it doesn’t fit, keep die, lighter, and pack together in some kind of totable container. May I suggest a pouch?
3. Whenever you feel like smoking, that means the GM (you) is trying to poison your character (also you). Time for a saving throw! I decided the DC (Difficulty Class) for my save vs Poison is 15. Roll the d20. 15 and up: I am saved from that cigarette I wanted! Hooray? 14 and under: oh darn, I get to enjoy another satisfying and flavorful cancer treat.
4. If you make the save, you really can’t have a cigarette. Rolls have to be at least an hour apart. If you haven’t rolled for two hours, that does not mean you get to roll twice. Be strict, or the GM Regulatory Cabal will revoke your authority. (I assume? I haven’t GM’d since like 1988.)
5. Every day of the campaign, your Wisdom increases slightly. You’re using Will to save against Poison, so increased Wis modifies in your favor (well, in your character’s favor – your GM prefers that the poison attacks land). I’m using a mod of +1 for each day, so on day two rolls of 14 and up are successful saves, on day three it’s 13 and up, etc. Fifteen days into the campaign, I will only be allowed to smoke when I roll a natural 1.
6. Rolling a natural 1, of course, is a critical fail. Thus, no matter how wise I get, I will always be able to sneak a cigarette if I can roll a 1. But after fifteen days I’m going to limit myself to one poisoning attempt per day, instead of one per waking hour. The game logic behind this is: fuck you, I do what I want.
MC Frontalot suggests making your own ruleset that works for your personal smoking volume and method, so don’t be afraid to modify his a bit. I quit smoking on my own many years ago, but if I was still caught in the grip of the evil death-sticks I would be giving this game a try right away. Quitting for the sake of quitting is too easy to say no to, but when it appeals to the gamer instinct inside many of us it could become somewhat easier. After all, only a noob would lose at quitting smoking.
I would also strongly suggest visiting MC Frontalot’s website if you’re into hip-hop, rap, or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays. He’s got plenty of free music available for download and it’s good stuff.