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D&D 5E Additional herbalism items

Li Shenron

Legend
Always been a fan of herbalism in RPGs, I am having some casual thoughts about using special herbs as rewards during adventures, and let our Druid with proficiency in the herbalism kit prepare consumable items with them, which then anyone can use.

First of all, let's be clear that I do not want rules about crafting this stuff, I do not want checks, and I do not want gp prices. The idea is very simply that the DM decides when to grant the party X doses of Y to be added to their equipment list. If for some reason I come up with a herbalism item that is too good, I simply won't award it again.

Now, the general idea here is to provide occasional extra consumable items that are non-magical. I want them to feel different from spells, scrolls or potions. Being non-magical can be beneficial in some ways, e.g. they can't be found with Detect Magic or subject to an antimagic effect, but these are benefits that occur rarely. Instead, being non-magical shall mean they have something worse than magical items such as potions.

So in order to achieve that while keeping everything simple, I went with 1 minute of time required to use the herbalism item (which can be freely described as ingesting it, inhaling the fumes, spreading a balm...).

This simply means that herbalism items cannot be used in combat, unlike potions. However, they are still quick enough so that they practically take no significant time outside combat. But because you can't use them during combat, you have to use them either to prepare for combat or to recover after a combat.

So here are some examples that I thought of...

  • Aloe: (to be used during a short rest) for every HD rolled, heal an amount of fire damage equal to the HD max
  • Belladonna: removes all mind-affecting effects, and disadvantage (or damage) to Int/Wis/Cha [side-effect: becomes unconscious for 2d4 hours, which don't count as rest]
  • Chamomile: removes the frightened condition
  • Cornflower: removes the blinded condition
  • Flaxseed: removes the poisoned condition
  • Ginseng: recover a single use of an ability that is normally regained during a short rest
  • Lavender: removes the charmed condition or any charm and confusion effect
  • Mandragora: regain consciousness and heal 1 HP [side-effect: become stunned for 1d4 hours]
  • Melissa: recover all HD during a long rest, and require only half the normal time for a long rest
  • Sage: restores 1 used spell slot
  • Sandalwood: removes disadvantage (or damage) to Strength
  • Snowdrop: prepare 1 extra spell (can be prepared immediately)
  • Turmeric: remove the paralyzed condition
  • Urtica/Nettle: removes disadvantage (or damage) to Dexterity
  • Valerian: removes one level of exhaustion
  • Veronica: removes the deafened condition

These benefits are all for recovery, so I wonder if the some herbalism items could also be used in advance for a more or less equivalent benefit. Considering that expending the item in advance has the advantage of avoiding the condition before it happens, but the disadvantage of possibly wasting the item if there was no need for it, would it be OK to grant immunity to the specific condition (for a short time such as 1 hour for example)? Obviously not all of the above would be usable this way, only those which refer to removing a negative condition.
 

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aco175

Legend
I think you should call them something like Elven herbs or Fey-touched herbs to denote they are not common herbs or else the party will be raiding herbalist shops and kitchen gardens all across Faerun.
I would rename them as well for similar reasons. Sage would be perceived as a rather common item. You can always say that it is not widely available in your area, but players may not like that if it is available in the real world. Calling it Elf Grass means you control how rare it is.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Yes I can replace all their names with fantasy names. But what I had in mind anyway was that only the Druid knows how to harvest them to create items. Buying a lump of sage from the local grocer would not work. Also, growing them in your own garden wouldn't work. I don't care to explain in advance, I make up something on the spot like saying the Druid has found a special bush of sage that's being fertilized by unicorns pee under a full moon and that's worth 4 doses of sage tea with that special effect :)
 

Bupp

Adventurer
I like herbs in my game as well. Here are a couple resources that I've used.

 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
I think one of the ideas you can borrow is from The Witcher CRPG series. Alchemy is an important part of the games. Each games does the process a bit differently, but each one lets Geralt have potions that create specific vaguely non-magic effects (they're magic, lets be real here but in setting they are most not magical).

Pre-battle effects can be immunity to bleeding out (doesn't seal wounds, so watch out after the effect wears off) making your blood noxious/poisonous to vampires, hardening the skin, enhanced eye sight in the dark, and a bunch of other stuff.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
One thing I noticed that I wondered about.

Aloe allows you to recover Fire damage only, during a short rest. Is that something that your players typically keep track of? Because, for me, I would never remember how much of the damage I took was fire or something else after a really big fight.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
One thing I noticed that I wondered about.

Aloe allows you to recover Fire damage only, during a short rest. Is that something that your players typically keep track of? Because, for me, I would never remember how much of the damage I took was fire or something else after a really big fight.

Not typically, but since I will give out the herbs to the PCs, I can also keep track of fire damage.

Mostly I would like in fact to introduce something that can be used specifically against certain types of damage, but afterwards, so there might be no easy solution.

If nobody keeps track of fire damage, another option is to roll that damage again (it should be easy to remember what hit you with fire) to decide the max HP healed.

If the players complain that the system is not precise enough, they won't get anymore herbs items.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
These benefits are all for recovery, so I wonder if the some herbalism items could also be used in advance for a more or less equivalent benefit. Considering that expending the item in advance has the advantage of avoiding the condition before it happens, but the disadvantage of possibly wasting the item if there was no need for it, would it be OK to grant immunity to the specific condition (for a short time such as 1 hour for example)? Obviously not all of the above would be usable this way, only those which refer to removing a negative condition.

I think the immunity idea is better in some ways.

I didn't do an extensive search, but a basic look through shows that Fear, Blind, paralysis and deafened almost never last longer than a minute anyways, so even in using the item afterwards, you would just naturally recover from the effect (or make the save against it) before the minute long application is up.

Makes great snake oil, not so great aid handed out by a GM.
 

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