Princes of the Apocalypse
All throughout the world, there are various forms of plant life, ocean products, and even earthy substances that you can utilize both in and out of a combat situation. Herbalism is the profession behind gathering these types of items, and Alchemy is the profession behind extracting their potential and using the products they produce.
You might find yourself walking through the mountains, only to come across some very rare Primordial Balm, which under most circumstances can amplify a potion or poison’s effects two-fold. At other times, you might find yourself walking across a tundra cold and alone, and due to your training you are able to utilize some Drakus Flower or Fennel Silk to help you regulate your body heat.
While players are out traveling amongst the world, they might want to gather some local flora. This is known as Herbalism. Herbalism is mainly used to gather things like seeds, coral, mushrooms, or bark. It can also be used to gather very potent magical ingredients like ghostly stalks or water infused with the elements.
This action can occur during downtime if the party is out in the wilderness, or it can occur in the middle of the game as the party travels around. This is up to the DM, and they have final say amongst how much you gather and what you gather. This supplement will give a baseline on how to distribute these things.
If you are proficient with an Herbalist’s kit, you can gather plants and similar items while travelling. This is done with a Herbalism check.
Herbalism Modifier = WIS or INT Modifier + Proficiency Bonus if using a Herbalism Kit you’re proficient with.
If you succeed on a DC 12 Herbalism check, you are able to find something useful in the area. For each 5 points you exceed this DC, you are able to find more useful items. Rare plants require higher DCs. Additionally, some spells, like locate animals or plants, have additional effects in assisting with an herbalism check.
Selling Herbalism Items
Herbs and common Plants are often sold in cities, towns, and even sometimes villages. This should be done during Downtime, as any other sale. However, depending on how the economy of the area, the prices and quantities of said items could be at any end of the spectrum.
Finally, we have some ingredients from the wild. Maybe you even got lucky and found something cool. But we can’t just stuff the ingredients in our mouth and hope for the best now, can we? You’ll need an understanding on how to extract their power, which is known as Alchemy.
Just like Herbalism, a character performs Alchemy during a period of Downtime. And would need to make an Alchemy check. Towards that purpose, a character would use their Intelligence or Wisdom modifier, whichever is highest, and then add their proficiency bonus if they are proficient with either an herbalism kit or alchemist’s supplies.
The Process of Alchemy
When a player would like to craft a potion or poison, they would announce it to their DM. Players can perform Alchemy Attempts, which are the equivalent to Rituals. This process takes 10 minutes to complete and results in a single vial of paste, powder, or liquid.
The Tools of the Trade
For each type of concoction, the player is required to have a tool. Crafting potions and tonics requires some Alchemist’s Supplies or Herbalism Kit, while crafting poisons requires a Poisoner’s Kit. The player must be proficient with the tools in order to craft the items.
To start a basic Alchemy Attempt, you would select a base ingredient to work with. Base ingredients have the term Effect in front of the description. When crafting, you can only have one of these base ingredients unless an ingredient says otherwise, such as Bloodgrass.
Once you have your base ingredient, you can add other ingredients that have the Potion Modifier, Toxin Modifier or Special term in front of the description. You can only have one Effect ingredient and up to three Modifier ingredients in a single concoction. Secondly, there are Enchantment ingredients. These require Elemental Water as their base ingredient, which then you would select the Enchantment ingredient for the Alchemy Attempt.
Now that you have selected your ingredients, you’d find the total difficulty number and roll an Alchemy Attempt DC check.
Alchemy Attempt DC = 10 + all ingredient difficulty modifiers combined
On a successful Alchemy Attempt roll, you create the vial of paste, powder, or liquid. On a failure, the vial’s contents don’t turn out quite right.
The two different types of potions are Effects and Enchantments.
A simple Effect potion normally is either a healing-like substance, while Enchantment potions produce a spell-like effect. For example, Wisp Stalks give the effect of making the consumer of the potion to turn invisible for 1 hour. While the healing-like substances can be altered by Potion Modifier ingredients, all of the Enchantment potions cannot.
An example of a potion that you can create using Alchemy: Potion of Delayed Potent Healing. Starting with Wild Sageroot, combine it with Milkweed Seeds and a touch of Gengko Brush. This potion has a Alchemy Attempt DC of 14. The resulting mixture should give off a bluish-green glow in the water, with the remnants of the brown Gengko Brush swirling around. When ingested, this potion provides (8d4/2) healing over the course of two rounds.
Below you will find narrative text for each of the ingredients that can be found in the wild.
Arctic Creeper. This noxious weed usually grows in extremely cold environments, or at higher elevations where snow tends to accumulate. The leaves of the plant characterized by a pleasant sweet minty flavor, whereas the root is bitter and acidic. The weed is one of an assassin’s favorite plants, due to the root’s ability to freeze a creature’s bloodstream, which leads to a slow and agonizing death. The Arctic Creeper is toxic to many unwary travelers, as it is quite easy to consume the root’s toxins while enjoying the sweet flavorsome leaves.
Arrow Root. This unusually elongated plant can stand up to four feet tall, and is very easy to spot due to its distinctive white and brown speckled pattern. The Arrow Root thrives in desert and drought environments, as the plant needs very little water to survive. When diced and boiled in water the plant creates a frothy silver liquid, which is ideal for sharpening and polishing weapons and armor without the use of magic or other means.
Amanita Cap. This large mushroom is often found growing in clusters near bodies of water, or around other damp terrain. It has a bold blue stem accompanied by a large red cap, which makes this fungi extremely easy to identify. Professional herbalists often cut the head from the root, as the mushroom has the rare ability to re-grow its cap within a few short weeks.
Basilisk’s Breath. Often referred to as Grey Restraints amongst the nobles of the world, this dark grey vine is only rarely found atop the highest peaks of mountainous regions. It is fabled that this vine is a gift from the gods, as a way to test humanity. Often sold for outrageous sums of gold, Basilisk’s Breath can attract unwanted attention to those trying to sell it for profit.
Bloodgrass. The most boring, common plant life found in the wild is this dark brown grass. It has absolutely no remarkable qualities, other than being relatively harmless, and its use as basic sustenance when properly prepared. Herbalists do not find this grass very unique, but still tend to collect it as it occupies almost no space in their packs.
Blue Toadshade. Another common mushroom is this dark blue cap with a yellow striped stem. When disturbed, this mushroom lets off a puff of blue powder. Usually this causes no permanent harm to the surrounding creatures, but it can stain their skin and equipment for a short while. The powder is commonly used to color various inks and dyes. Herbalists usually search for the fungi around small watering holes, where aquatic life often thrives.
Cactus Juice. This usually clear liquid can be found within most cacti around the world. It’s reasonably difficult to extract, as many cacti are dangerous to work with. Brewers love to use this juice in many recipes, as one of its effects is to delay alcohol intoxication, allowing people to purchase and consume more before it hits them.
Chromus Slime. This thin slime substance is often observed to flow within water current as if it had a mind of its own. Often times, scientists mistake this slime with mercury, as it has the same consistency and look. When attempting to alter the slime, it reverberates and alters the other plant life it touches instead.
Cosmos Glond. This uncommon four-leafed plant is notorious for being somewhat difficult to find. This is mostly due to the plant growing about 5 feet underneath the ground, and only peeking out during its final maturity. However, it has an uncanny look of the stars in a night sky amongst its leaves.
Devil’s Bloodleaf. Only a few recorded instances of this red and yellow flower exist. This large and bold red leaf can be going back in history to the dawn of humankind. It was once a popular decoration around homes and gardens, but has become one of the rarest plants in the world. It is said to give immense vitality and health to one who can properly prepare the plant.
Drakus Flower. This bright red and pale green flower can be found in both temperate and warm environments. It’s a natural favorite amongst entertainers, due to the petal’s ability to ignite with a moderate application of friction. This ignition does not cause harm, but instead creates theatrical sparks with the ability to light fires and create warmth.
Dried Ephedra. A bush often found in dry environments, it is thorny and hard to harvest without scratching your skin. It has a distinct dark purple hue when viewed at a distance, but up close it looks black. Herbalists love to use this plant when making healing tonics as it has the odd ability to enhance Wild Sageroot.
Elemental Water. This unique liquid shares properties of the planar realms of the 4 elements. At times you can see rocks floating unnaturally in the middle and at other times you can swear you see fire in the water. This special water can be found in all environments as it is not bound to our physical world’s rules.
Emetic Wax. This thick, white wax is often found seeping out of trees near lush and wet areas. It is commonly used in candle making, as the wax melts and re-hardens rather quickly, yet is strong enough to form delicate shapes. Herbalists use it to control how their tonics enter the body, performing miraculous feats.
Fennel Silk. Often mistaken for a spider’s web, this white web like plant grows amongst frigid and dark environments. It uses sharp hooked tendrils to help secure the edges of the plant to nearby rocks or plants. Adventurers that are adept in the use of Fennel Silk will recognize the many applications it has for protecting your extremities from harsh-low temperature environments.
Fiend’s Ivy. These long, red thorn-encrusted vines can stretch up to 3 feet long and have sharp thorns that reach up to an inch or two long. It isn’t rare to find blood stains amongst these vines as many animals and adventurers can easily trip or get caught in a bushel of the vines. The vines also seem to have a sentient quality to them as they relax when prey is near, and contract when captured.
Frozen Seedlings. These small, pea sized pods can be found amongst resilient flowers in very cold environments. Named for their almost frozen appearance, they can be plucked with relative ease and are often used in cold alcoholic drinks. Some assassins have found ways to crush these into a paste and hamper one’s movements.
Harrada Leaf. This huge yellow leaf can often be found near tree tops in lush environments. It is often cultivated and harvested by gangs or the Thieves Guilds to be sold as a street drug. The potent nature of this addictive substance will cause a brief euphoric state coupled with an increase in a specific attribute; followed by a long recovery period in which the user is extremely weakened in that attribute.
Hydrathistle. Named for its appearance, this three-pronged blue and black flower is often found in dark and dank environments. When used alone, the thistle has no real beneficial effects. However, skilled alchemists have been able to use highly powerful and natural water to concoct potions that allow them to breath in water.
Ironwood Heart. This gnarled white seed is commonly found in the nooks of Ironwood Trees. These large seeds pulse with a slow repetitive beat when gripped tightly, often referred to as “Nature’s Heartbeat”. It is said that when cooked or properly prepared by a Herbalist these seeds can increase a beings physical size greatly.
Lavender Sprig. These long stemmed purple-petal flowers can often be found swaying in the wind in huge patches. They are very common amongst green environments and have a distinct sweet smell. However, they taste extremely bitter when eaten.
Luminous Cap Dust. This powder can be shook from the glowing yellow mushrooms often found in extremely dark environments and it keeps an ember-like glow for about a week after extracted. Many Herbalists keep the glowing mushrooms themselves in dark cellars in order to harvest this dust every chance they can.
Mandrake Root. This tan root has serrated edges all along its body that often cause injury to Herbalists that do not properly know how to handle it. When stripped of its outer skin, the soft tender center can be eaten with relative ease and is often used by Doctors to reduce pain from poison or disease.
Milkweed Seeds. These small, white translucent seeds can be found when opening up a Milkweed Flower. They are often eaten by children due to their friendly look, but can cause negative digestive effects this way. When crushed up and diluted with other liquid these seeds offer very powerful healing effects.
Mortflesh Powder. This dark purple powder is often found growing on top of moss in dark, cold environments. This powder is often used as makeup for young men and women to reduce the look of age from their faces. When imbibed with a magical catalyst, the effect is said to be permanent when consumed/
Nightshade Berries. These light blue berries can be found in small clumped packs among small bushes in lush environments. They can be safely ingested and are often eaten by wild animals for their sweet, but tangy flavor. A skilled Herbalist can enhance the berries natural ability to affect a persons body.
Primordial Balm. This thick substance has been observed changing its coloring, almost at will. The balm is unusually warm to the touch, and can seem to retain heat for weeks on end. Herbalists often find this substance growing on rocks in humid environments. The exact rarity of the substance is unknown, as its constantly changing appearance makes it difficult to identify.
Quicksilver Lichen. This silver and grey silky moss can be found growing amongst almost any substance as it seems to ignore environmental standards. Assassins have been able to use this lichen to quickly administer their toxins into the target’s system without any drawbacks. However, this takes some preparation and is often forgotten by common folk.
Radiant Synthseed. This long black and boat shaped seed emanates a strong yellow glow, and often exerts the smell of flowers. When the seed is cracked open, a person can find a few smaller looking seeds of the same nature. These smaller seeds can often be crushed or blended into mixtures to enhance toxins.
Rock Vine. This extremely hardened dark green vine can be found growing in the ground near very old minerals, often seeming to feed off the minerals themselves. At first glance this vine seems completely useless to mortals, but arcane studies have shown this vine to harden a person’s skin significantly if combined with a powerful catalyst.
Scillia Beans. These light brown beans can occasionally be found hanging from Scillia Bushes in dry atmosphere environments. They are often used to enhance flavors in stew and other meals, but have a much stranger effect. At full potency, some of these beans can offer the user the ability to climb steep cliffs and rock faces with ease.
Silver Hibiscus. This silver-grey plant looks as though it represents madness itself. It often has random patterns and unplanned shapes, but always has a black web-like pattern on it. Although it may look deadly to touch, when prepared properly a Herbalist can unleash a torrent of elemental power representing a breath weapon.
Spineflower Berries. Often found hanging amongst the bone-like flowers, this white berry can be harvested and crushed to enhance toxins made by scoundrels. However, this effect only applies when introduced directly to the bloodstream. When ingested normally these berries provide little sustenance, but do not harm the person.
Tail Leaf. This very fuzzy, dark green leaf looks like a circle with three thick strands hanging from it. When held, the leaf itself feels as though it is vibrating. It is known that a skilled Herbalist can use these leaves in concoctions to create powerful magical effects to enhance one’s speed.
Verdant Nettle. With its dark green and yellow speckled mesh, this plant can be easily spotted. It normally grows in forests and can catch a person’s feet when traveling if they do not have proper footing. Alchemists like to use this plant to create tonics that enhance one’s strength and reflexes.
Voidroot. This dark grey thick root is often found amongst the most extreme environments. It normally grows in either desert or arctic environments and seems to vary in growth rate per root. Herbalists tend to be very careful when they extract this root from the ground, as it seems to defy gravity and want to “fly” away.
Wild Sageroot. The most common ingredient found among doctors and healer’s equipment would be these light pink roots. They measure about 3 to 5 inches in length and have a smooth, fuzzy texture to them. They are used every day by skilled Alchemists and healers to create concoctions of extraordinary healing power.
Wisp Stalks. This incredibly rare fungi has become something of a fable amongst herbalists. It is reported to have a large bulbous cap growing atop a thin stem, and to normally form in small clusters deep within damp cave environments and forests. The organism is usually a translucent blue, and is rumored to render creatures invisible once consumed.
Wrackwort Bulbs. These huge white bulbs can be found on small yellow mushrooms often found in swamps or wet caverns. The mushroom releases a puff of powder from these bulbs when threatened and it tends to confuse and hinder a person. When harvested successfully, these bulbs can be ground into a paste and imbibed within magical water to diminish the size of a being.
Wyrmtongue Petals. The assassins, and many Drows, favorite natural ingredient. These jagged red petals can be found growing on Wyrmtongue flowers in almost every terrain. It’s almost as if the world itself is trying to test humanity by letting these flowers grow everywhere. These petals are used as a base for toxins that can offer extremely powerful damage. For this reason, Wyrmtongue is highly illegal, and in many cases punishes owners of this flower with death.