When a ship at sea runs out of rum, the crew aboard becomes rum sick. When pirates are rum sick, their efficiency in duty puzzles drops, and swordfight and rumble brawls become more difficult. When puzzling at a duty station of one of the affected duty puzzles (bilging, carpentry, duty navigation, patching, rigging, or sailing), the performance indicator and the duty report scores will function the same as without rum sickness, but a given puzzle score will contribute less to the welfare of the ship than before.
During a swordfighting brawl, indestructible rum jugs will line both of the outermost columns of the players' puzzles, shrinking their playing field. During a rumbling brawl, the rumble balls will automatically launch more often than normal (if the player does not fire them), and the pirates' fists will shake, causing balls to sometimes travel in a slightly different direction than they were aimed.
Shipwide messages are sent to affected pirates when the rum sickness starts, at regular intervals while the ship is out of rum, before each brawl, when the ship receives rum, and when the rum sickness has ended. Duty puzzle effectiveness will not be completely normal until after the final message has been sent.
The following messages are sent shipwide to all pirates aboard.
When the ship first runs out of rum:
- "There be no rum left on this vessel! The crew starts to grumble."
At regular intervals while rum sick:
- "The crew slows a bit at their duties and feels a dull ache in their heads."
- "Mumbles of mutiny can be heard between the cursing for the lack o' rum."
- "With shaking hands and pounding skulls, the crew struggles to keep her on course."
At the beginning of a brawl:
- "Oh no! The ship is out of rum! It'll be hard to rumble when ye can't stop thinking about rum!"
- "Oh no! The ship is out of rum! It'll be hard to swordfight when ye can't stop thinking about rum!"
When the vessel re-aquires rum:
- "The crew looks a bit livelier after a tug off that bottle."
When the pirates have completely recovered:
- "The crew has recovered the color in their faces and the spring in their steps. Whistlin' can be heard as they merrily go about their duties."