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Drunken Master



When somebody consumes alcohol, they become much more proficient at their discipline of choice, be it fighting, studying, writing... you name it. If it involves skill, that skill will be magnified tenfold when the character is drunk. Given what may seem the obvious drawbacks of drunkenness in general, this trope may bear some relation to a Disability Superpower. Some individuals, particularly artsy types, may attribute such miracle abilities to other substances.




Drunken Master


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Most monks lead lives of moderation and quiet contemplation. But the drunken master finds perfection through excess. Powered by strong wine, he uses his intoxication to reach a state where his ki is more potent, if somewhat fleeting. A drunken master has the following class features.


Drunken Master played a major role in launching Jackie Chan's acting career in Hong Kong. The martial arts comedy developed a lasting reputation as one of the genre's best. Its popularity led to the studio behind the movie deciding to produce a sequel nearly two decades later. In 1994, Golden Harvest released The Legend of the Drunken Master, which put Chan back in the starring role. In both movies, the actor played Wong Fei-hung, a heavy-drinking kung fu expert who employs a "drunken style" of Chinese martial arts.


In Drunken Master, the main character's consumption of alcohol was integral to the plot. Similar to how drunken boxing works in other kung fu movies, Chan's Wong always fought at his best when in an intoxicated state. So in a sense, Drunken Master pointed to there being a positive side of heavy drinking. In his autobiography, Never Grow Up, Chan explained that he was "horrified" at this element of the story upon rewatching the movie. He felt that Drunken Master was essentially teaching people to fight drunk. According to him, he corrected a "mistake" from his past by ensuring that The Legend of the Drunken Master (also known as Drunken Master II) delivered a better message.


As Chan notes in Never Grow Up, Golden Harvest's Drunken Master II doesn't take the same approach to drinking as its processor. While Wong continues to use drunken boxing in the sequel, the movie doesn't make light of his drinking. In fact, it draws attention to his addiction and the problems it's caused for both his family and health. He even loses a fight because of it. Unlike the original film, The Legend of the Drunken Master forced Wong to face the unfortunate consequences that come with this lifestyle in real life. Not only was he hurting himself, but the people around him were suffering as well.


Wong ultimately decided to give up alcohol for good, but the threat of losing to the main villain in Drunken Master II's final fight led to Jackie Chan's Wong Fei-hung using drunken boxing one more time. But instead of this scene being depicted as Wong simply relapsing, the moment was interpreted as a form of sacrifice. The hero understood the personal toll drinking would take on him if he broke his vow not to drink. Following his victory, it was learned during the movie's ending that drinking had resulted in permanent brain damage. While this served as a sad conclusion to his two-movie arc, it also paid off his story in a way that didn't brush off his previous mistakes.


Drink Like a Demon (Ex): A drunken master's body handles alcohol differently from other people's. He can drink a large tankard of ale, a bottle of wine, or a corresponding amount of stronger alcohol as a move action. Every bottle or tankard of alcohol he consumes during combat reduces his Wisdom and Intelligence by 2 points each, but increases his Strength or Constitution (character's choice) by 2 points. A drunken master may benefit from a number of drinks equal to his class level. The duration of both the penalty and the bonus is a number of rounds equal to the character's drunken master level + 3.


I assume they say this since it makes the AC of a Drunken master tank due to losing so much WIS. Aren't there good ways to alleviate this though? Can't you simply run 1 level of Fist of the Forest to get AC bonuses from DEX/CON/WIS (Assuming at least 1 level in monk).


Qualifying for drunken master is miserable: you need two awful feats, plus one of the taxiest of feats in the game in Improved Unarmed Strike. This is a huge knock against the drunken master.


Not getting some class features from your normal class is typical for a prestige class, but a drunken master usually loses an extra attack during a flurry of blows because he never gets greater flurry as a level 11 monk. Also, a drunken master loses out on some extra speed, which is crucial for the monk who wants to take foes seeking safety in the back ranks. A drunken master also isn't immune to poison, his SR is terrible, misses out on quivering palm, and never becomes an outsider. Those are hard to lose when compared to the abilities of a drunken master.


I'm not saying that drunken master is a really good prestige class, but there are many classes that aren't extremely good if all you're trying to do is optimize. Drunken master is more a role-playing class than a combat class while still being not bad at combat. Most special abilities can be used without without drinking, if you need to. Only drink like a demon, for medical purposes, and breath of flame need booze.


The training resumes and soon Wong learns Beggar So's secret style of martial arts, a form of Drunken Boxing called "The Eight Drunken Immortals", named after the eight xian that the fighting style references. Wong masters seven of the eight styles with the exception of Drunken Miss Ho's as he feels that her style of fighting is too feminine.


Meanwhile, Yim Tit-sam is contracted by a business rival to kill Wong's father. Wong's father fights with Yim and is defeated and injured by him. Wong and Beggar So arrive on the scene on time and Wong continues the fight with Yim. Beggar So promises not to interfere in the fight. Wong employs the new skills he has learned and outmatches Yim's kicking style. Yim then resorts to his secret technique, the Devil's Shadowless Hand, which is too fast for Wong to defeat. Wong confesses that he did not master the last style so Beggar So tells him to combine the seven styles and create his own version of the last style. Wong follows the instruction and discovers his own unique style of Drunken Miss Ho, which he uses to overcome the Shadowless Hand and finally defeat Yim.


When the train makes a stop, Fei-hung and Tso create a diversion to sneak into the first class section (filled with members of the British Consulate and the British Ambassador) to retrieve the ginseng. When Fei-hung gets to the first class luggage car, he spots a Manchurian officer stealing an unknown item that is in a similar package as the ginseng. Fei-hung tries to speak with him but the officer hits him. However, Fei-hung retrieves the ginseng, and pursues the officer in revenge for hitting him. A long fight between them ensues under the train, during which the officer calls him a "henchman". Puzzled, Fei-hung angrily tells the officer that he is not a henchman and challenges him to a hand-to-hand kung fu fight. Fei-hung uses his Zui Quan (Drunken Boxing) style of martial arts on him, but it proves ineffective. After the fight, the officer tells Fei-hung that his drunken boxing is slow and powerless. When Fei-hung returns to the train, the Manchurian officer opens the box he stole, only to realize that he accidentally stole the Wongs' ginseng.


When the Wongs return home from their train ride, trouble brews for Fei-hung when his father's client, Mr. Chan, comes to retrieve the ginseng root. Fei-hung takes the root of his father's prized ancient bonsai tree, discreetly gives it to Mr. Chan and tells him that it is the ginseng. Knowing that the bonsai tree root could be deadly for Mr. Chan if he decides to brew it, Fei-hung's step-mom, Ling decides to temporarily loan her necklace to one of her friends in exchange for some money to buy ginseng. This leads some of Master Wong's friends to believe that the Wongs are having financial troubles, and they offer him a collection, which a confused Master Wong declines. Meanwhile, Fei-hung and Ling do not realize that Henry and his men are following them, having (correctly) suspected Fei-hung of stealing the jade seal. Assuming that the bag Ling and Fei-hung are carrying is the stolen artifact (although it's actually Ling's necklace), they attempt to steal the bag, which starts a fight between Fei-hung vs. Henry and his men. During the fight, Ling encourages Fei-hung to use drunken boxing against them to impress the crowd and gain publicity for the Wongs' school, Po Chi Lam. She and her friends take a bunch of alcohol from a country club and give it to Fei-hung, which allows him to do drunken boxing properly, and then he impressively defeats Henry and his henchmen in front of the crowd. However, Master Wong Kei-ying arrives as the fight ends, and Fei-hung's drunken behavior embarrasses the family. He takes his son and wife home and lectures them, saying they are destroying his reputation by fighting and drinking in public, and for making others believe that they are broke. He beats Fei-hung for fighting and using drunken boxing (which Master Wong forbids). To make matters worse, Mr. Chan's wife comes by to tell Kei-ying that her husband is very sick from the bonsai tree root (which is poisonous if consumed). An infuriated Master Wong beats Fei-hung even more and disowns him, kicking him out of the house.


Fei-hung goes to a restaurant and drinks heavily in sorrow. John arrives with a beaten Henry and the rest of the henchman from earlier to confront him. Fei-hung is now clearly too drunk to fight, and John beats him. Fishmonger Tsang, a fellow Choy Li Fut instructor and friend of Fei-hung, arrives and tries to intervene, but is unable to when a vat of hot liquid he was carrying spills on him. The next morning, Fei-hung and Tsang are found knocked out beaten, with Fei-hung stripped with a banner hanging from him that says "King of Drunken Boxing". Master Wong brings Fei-hung back into the home, and explains that the reason why he forbids drunken boxing is because it is difficult for drunken boxers to find the right balance of alcohol consumption. The following night, the Manchurian officer from the train arrives at the Wong's residence to speak to Fei-hung. Master Wong recognizes him as Master Fu Wen-chi, the "last decorated Manchu officer." The next day at a restaurant, Master Fu explains to Fei-hung that the artifact that ended up in Fei-hung's possession (and what Master Fu meant to steal from the train) was the Emperor's Jade seal. He tells him about the theft of precious ancient Chinese artifacts by foreigners and asks him for help in stopping it, which Fei-Hung agrees to do. Moments later, an enormous gang of axe-wielding thugs (known as the Axe Gang), apparently paid for by the British Consulate, try to kill them. After a long fight, Fei-hung and Master Fu make an escape, and Fishmonger Tsang, Fun, and Tsang's student, Marlon join the fight, as they recognize Master Fu. But a British consulate guard fatally shoots Master Fu when he runs down an alley, and they take back the Jade seal. Fu Wen-chi pleads with them to get it back before dying.


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