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Drunks are found in adventure mode often hanging out in drinking mounds in dwarven hillocks. They are usually dwarves who spend much of their time consuming copious amounts of alcohol. They will join your adventurer no matter what as long as they can get a share of your glory. Drunks are prized for their ability to tie up large crowds of monsters and take the brunt of their attacks, while the adventurer and their more skilled cohorts move in for precision strikes.
In technical terms, a drunk is one of the unit type tokens.
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This is the normal state for dwarves. Whenever possible, dwarves will attempt to remain at least partially inebriated; being even the slightest bit tipsy can increase a dwarf's efficiency and productivity, and the effect appears to be directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. Being sober for too long can induce periods of melancholy, self-reflection, and depression. Dwarves deprived of alcohol have reported remembering traumatic childhood events, such as the breaking of their first toy anvil, their first encounter with miasma, or the time Papa Urist was torn limb from limb by elephants in the fortress foyer.
Most dwarves are not particularly choosy about the kind of hooch they ingest, but over time, some dwarves will begin to favor wine over beer; these dwarves are likely to one day rise to nobility, where snobbish behavior is expected and rewarded. Even dwarven nobles strive to remain as drunk as possible. Many is the merchant who has left a fortress with a trade agreement that was scrawled by a completely smashed baron whose speech was slurred so badly that no consonants were heard during the entire negotiation. In these situations, the dwarves tend to come out ahead, because there are very few merchants willing to deny a good bargain to a reeling, bearded maniac with more weapons than brain cells.