Stag do challenges
The student classic, and with good reason. Each pub – ‘hole’ if you’re going method – is assigned a drink and a par for that particular drink. So, if a pint of ale has a par of three, and it’s imbibed in three gulps you score zero. Four gulps? You’re one over par for that hole. You get the idea. Scorecards record the results and a glory of sorts awaits the inevitably sozzled victor. You can dress up as golfers if you like, of course. But it’s worth remembering that golfers all, without exception, look like colossal idiots.
Pick a wrestler for this, as dressing up is mandatory. The Stag – reluctantly dressed as Goldberg – begins with the championship belt. Throughout the day, at any point, the holder of the belt can be challenged. This could be anything – a race, finishing a drink, who can get a phone number the quickest – and the winner of the challenge wins the belt, while the loser must wallow in the shame of defeat. Feel free to engineer WWE-style beefs and narratives too. Though, for legal reasons, actual wrestling is discouraged. Bouncers do not take kindly to it.
Not all Stag challenges have to be brutal explorations into the depths of human suffering. Some can be artistic, too. Like this, where the Stag dresses exclusively in white and carries with him a selection of marker pens of every conceivable hue. Friends, strangers, indeed anyone who fancies may daub the Stag with anything their heart desires – probably a tree or a horse or something, and definitely – definitely – not a cock and balls. This way, the Stag has a physical keepsake of the evening. Just don’t use permanent marker. Takes ages to get off a forehead.
Assign each player a number. Create a longlist of dares, forfeits and challenges of varying levels of embarrassment, intoxication or inconvenience and number them – drinking daiquiris for the rest of the night, starting a dance craze and keeping it up until a stranger imitates you, that sort of thing. Then grab your dice and leave it all up to beautiful, beautiful chance. The player in each round is decided with one throw; the challenge they must perform with the next. The Stag must also compete in each challenge too. Every pub comes with a fresh roll of the dice, and for every challenge failed or refused drinks must be finished. Good luck out there!
The premise of the Master is simple: one person is ‘on’. At some point, they start to do a thing – for instance, if playing ‘Dancemaster’, they start dancing. The last member of the group to notice and do likewise must sink their drink. This person is then ‘on’, and so on. Variations can come in any form you want: Thumbmaster (slyly resting your thumb on the table) or Leftmaster (drinking with your left hand) are but two possibilities. Best to firmly establish which Masters are being played beforehand though. Or you could end up dancing on your own for no reason at all.
The noble order of the Girl Guides provides the inspiration for this, where valuable life-lessons are learned through the medium of badges. For instance, the Travel Badge is awarded if the stag can maintain an accent chosen by his companions for a certain duration of time; the Crime Prevention Badge is awarded once he receives a selfie with a police officer. More challenging is the Performer Badge, for which the Stag starts a song and gets others to join in. Badges can be pre-planned or invented ad hoc. The Stag must gain all badges by the day’s end. Whether to dress up like a Brownie is down to personal discretion.
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