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Ryhope Wood

Herbalism

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Hi everyone

A newbie to the forums here!

Does anyone know where I could find some BRP guidelines for herbalism? I'm looking at a fantasy setting with limited healing magic. Not sure if there is anything in the BRP Witchcraft supplement?

Thanks in anticipation,

Ian

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Well I own the "Witchcraft" supplement and it is a pretty good one if I say so myself and I DO<g>! Now it touches on Herbalism but doesn't go deep enough for me and I am guessing you too. Now I would mine other systems books for resources, or make up different plants, flowers, roots, and mosses. Give the plant item a name and define what what the plant's good for and how it needs to be prepared to be used. Maybe even go to a library and look up some real world Herbalism stuff. Do some prep work and then get or make some 10-20 plants for use in herbalistic healing. Remember there are different types of posions too, or other other uses for these plant/drugs.

Penn

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This isn't going to be of direct help re: BRP, but I always liked the Rolemaster (ICE) products' list of herbs. It wasn't so much what they did, but the locations they could be found....they provided the characters many reasons to go (or be tasked) to gather these roots.

While I don't find the mechanics of herbology to be to central to gaming and I doubt most (any) PCs would actually be able to adventure AND be legendary-level herbalists given the lab/storage/etc issues; I suspect that it does provide a reason for adventures.

Classic Fantasy has very nice potion rules, and I doubt the adventures really need more more than that. But as a GM-inspired adventure, the quest for ingredients does work as motivation for many (be it for money or to save a colleague).

My best,

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If you want lists of plants and herbal effects, look no further than Culpepper's Herbal - a medieval (I think) treatise on the subject that sees broad circulations today. Free reference copy here: http://www.bibliomania.com/2/1/66/113/frameset.html

You'd have to apply the mechanics of the effects yourself, of course, but this book's got all the fluff you'll need, I think.

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Witchcraft has potion rules which touch on herbalism (you need to harvest herbal ingredients for some of them - I don't go into specific ingredients, though). You could always have people with only the Craft:Potion skill rather than full-on witches. How in-depth a look into herbalism are you after?

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Classic Fantasy has very nice potion rules, and I doubt the adventures really need more more than that. But as a GM-inspired adventure, the quest for ingredients does work as motivation for many (be it for money or to save a colleague).

In all fairness to Byron Alexander, the potion rules found in Classic Fantasy are his design as found in BRP Witchcraft. I really liked them and in an effort to remain consistent, he said I could use them. I added lots of new potions, but the original design is his. We are going to work together to make BRP Necromancy compatible as well, at least as far as fantasy necromancy is concerned. So if all goes according to plan, BRP Necromancy will add all kinds of new stuff for Classic Fantasy GMs to throw at their players, while still remaining generic enough for those not interested in Classic Fantasy.

Rod

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How in-depth a look into herbalism are you after?

Not very in-depth, similar to say Rolemaster, Midnight or Conan RPG (D20 system). I think as a relative newbie, it is defining the effects that worries me as I don't yet have a good feel for game balance.

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Not very in-depth, similar to say Rolemaster, Midnight or Conan RPG (D20 system). I think as a relative newbie, it is defining the effects that worries me as I don't yet have a good feel for game balance.

Well, the potion system in witchcraft will help you with that. The effects of the potions are balanced by the fact that the OMG AWESOME ones require very rare or even unique ingredients whereas the lesser effects require more easily acquired ingredients. It also gives rules for what happens when a potion goes wrong.

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Ok firstly I think both Rod and Byron are great authors and have done great job so far. My advise is to just take what they have done and go into more depth is all. I would start off by picking 10-20 different plants, and then define their name and weather it is their flowers, stalks, roots or is it a type of moss or seed that has some effect that you want. then decide if it is to be ground into a powder and etc, then decide what the use is for that plant. Define what it does, and how long it takes to take effect and everything else you need. Now I would do more than just 20 plants myself, I might try to work out like 50 or so. Now the PCs need not know all of these plants and their uses, BUT they can learn about them within InGame roleplay and discovery.

Be creative, and take some real plants and rename them and change what they might do and so on. have fun with this.

Penn

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I tend to use real world plants in my games.

Here is a sampling of some of the herbs I included in Cthulhu Invictus to get your imagination going. I haven't included any of the mechanics. Note that some plants appear on both lists. Just as in real-life, what heals in one dose can kill in another.

Medicinal

Henbane

Mandrake

Moly

Opium

Sylphium

Poisons

Aconite

Antimony

Arsenic

Hemlock

Henbane

Mandrake

Opium

Sylphium

Yew

Edited by cjbowser
clarification

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The issue that bugs me with non-adventuring herbalists is that local variety is nice, but is unlikely to have the ALL of the extremely powerful herbs. Adventuring (or hired adventurers) is required to get the full variety of herbs/plants/roots for life-saving/giving. Sure, there may be a nice local plant or two, but no area will have EVERYTHING.

Therefore, and unfortunately, I feel the herbalists should be relegated to NPC status and tied to a local area in general...and the storage/care/processing issues make being a super-level herbalist is (virtually) impossible for PCs.

It's much easier to just shrug as the GM and implement a bit of 'deus machina' and just decide what is possible/available.

My best,

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The issue that bugs me with non-adventuring herbalists is that local variety is nice, but is unlikely to have the ALL of the extremely powerful herbs. Adventuring (or hired adventurers) is required to get the full variety of herbs/plants/roots for life-saving/giving. Sure, there may be a nice local plant or two, but no area will have EVERYTHING.

Therefore, and unfortunately, I feel the herbalists should be relegated to NPC status and tied to a local area in general...and the storage/care/processing issues make being a super-level herbalist is (virtually) impossible for PCs.

It's much easier to just shrug as the GM and implement a bit of 'deus machina' and just decide what is possible/available.

My best,

It does depend on the kind of game you're running. If you're running a game which has the premise 'You are all adventurers. That is your job description.' then what you've said is probably right. However, if you're running a game with the premise 'You are all relatively ordinary village elders/professionals. Something is going to happen to you at the start of the game to make your life an adventure.' then playing the village herbalist is a really nice idea.

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I think there's some rules touching on this in The Green too.

The Green does have rules for herbalism/potion making, but they work a quite differently than in Witchcraft and Classic Fantasy (I wish I would have consulted with the other authors so herbalism in the Green was more in concordance with what other people were doing). Herbalism is divided into a number of different skills (such as brew healing potions, brew physical enhancement potions, brew spiritual enhancement potions, and brew poisons). There is also a list of different herbs, roots and other ingredients commonly found in the Green. Each Ingredient has its own potency/duration etc. Some ingredients work in their “raw” form, but most need to be refined with the use of the associated brew skill to gain maximum potency. For instance, poisons have a normal potency, but someone skilled in Brew Poison can refine the poison to make it much more deadly. Similarly, some herbs have natural healing characteristics, but these can be refined to be powerful healing potions.

The issue that bugs me with non-adventuring herbalists is that local variety is nice, but is unlikely to have the ALL of the extremely powerful herbs. Adventuring (or hired adventurers) is required to get the full variety of herbs/plants/roots for life-saving/giving. Sure, there may be a nice local plant or two, but no area will have EVERYTHING.

If characters are in need of powerful potion ingredients the Green may be the place to go.:)

One of the basic plot drivers of the Green is that these herbs and other valuable spices, perfumes, woods, and dyes grow in great perfusion in the thick forests and jungles. Many people from the more civilized lands are colonizing the Green in order to harvest these products. One of the primary character types are Ichorites (those who harvest the ichors of plants: alchemists, herbalists).

Common “treasures” of the Green are these ingredients and during the brief play-testing I liberally distributed these ingredients, both growing naturally and at villages and trading posts. Characters with refining skills used these quite a bit and wandered around with a number of gourds that, when guzzled, essentially functioned as pre-cast spells.

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One option is to have one Herblore skill, then have different recipes for different potions. A character must have obtained a specific recipe to make a particular potion. Easy potions are rolled against an Easy difficulty and more complex ones against a Difficult one, i.e half and double skill value respectively.

I think there is a list of herbs and their uses for Harn. If you have trouble locating stuff feel free to drop me a PM.

There are a few different files in the Downloads section dealing with Alchemy and Potions and such that could be used as inspiration.

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Without the ruleset in front of me...the concept was that after hitting the death threshold, that various species' souls departed at a certain number of turns after 'death'. Lifekeeping kept the soul there, presumably the body was in a state surpassing a coma but less than total death. Reviving dead body whose soul has not departed was easier than the near impossible reviving after the soul had gone onto where souls go.

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...souls departed at a certain number of turns after 'death'. Lifekeeping kept the soul there...

So Lifekeeping herbs work if applied (shortly) after 'death' - Thanks!

I presume the 'dead' would then recover if their body was healed-up normally? (If not, and Life-giving in some form is still required, that'd seem to make the lifekeeping pointless. Also I don't know of any 'awaken the lifekept' herbs in RM).

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Rolemaster had some spectacular (or cumbersome) critical hit tables. The 'lifekept' body might need MAJOR repairs, reattachments or other super medical treatments (from burns, ice, weapons, plasma, nether, water, force, etc), that 'in the field' skills cannot handle.

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I don't know if these rules for potions are relevant to the matter but they may come in handy for herbalist types.

From: Patricio Gonzalez <bn884465@intbba1.buenayre.com.ar>

Subject: Brewing Potions

System: Elric!

I made this table because I wanted to know what kind of potions my

players could make according to their skill in Natural World (Knowledge skill: Botany in the new BRP) and

Potions.

You may change values as you see fit.

Skill POT Heal Charact. Effects Effect Time(opt.)

01-10 1d2 1 -- Smells/Colors 1 Hr/Rnd

11-20 1d4 1d2 1 Digestive 1d2 Hrs/Rnds

21-30 1d6 1d2 1 Sedative 1d4 Hrs/Rnds

31-40 1d8 1d4 1d2 Dizziness 1d6 Hrs/Rnds

41-50 1d10 1d4 1d2 Fever 1d8 Hrs/Rnds

51-60 1d10+1d2 1d6 1d4 Catatonia 1d10 Hrs/Rnds

61-70 1d10+1d4 1d6 1d4 -- 1d10+1d2 Hrs/Rnds

71-80 1d10+1d6 1d8 1d6 Illness 1d10+1d4 Hrs/Rnds

81-90 1d10+1d8 1d8 1d6 -- 1d10+1d6 Hrs/Rnds

91-100 2d10 1d10 1d8 Evil Illness 1d10+1d8 Hrs/Rnds

101-110 2d10+1d2 1d10 1d8 Death in: 2d10 Hrs/Rnds

1d6 years

111-120 2d10+1d4 1d10+1d2 1d10 1 year 2d10+1d2 Hrs/Rnds

121-130 2d10+1d6 1d10+1d2 1d10 2d4 months 2d10+1d4 Hrs/Rnds

131-140 2d10+1d8 1d10+1d4 1d10+1d2 1 month 2d10+1d6 Hrs/Rnds

141-150 3d10 1d10+1d4 1d10+1d2 3d6 days 2d10+1d8 Hrs/Rnds

151-160 3d10+1d2 1d10+1d6 1d10+1d4 1d6 days 3d10 Hrs/Rnds

161-170 3d10+1d4 1d10+1d6 1d10+1d4 2d8 hrs 3d10+1d2 Hrs/Rnds

171-180 3d10+1d6 1d10+1d8 1d10+1d6 1 hr 3d10+1d4 Hrs/Rnds

181-190 3d10+1d8 1d10+1d8 1d10+1d6 2d10 min 3d10+1d6 Hrs/Rnds

191-200 4d10 2d10 1d10+1d8 1 min 3d10+1d8 Hrs/Rnds

201-210 4d10+1d2 2d10 1d10+1d8 2 rnds 4d10 Hrs/Rnds

210-220 so on... so on... so on... Instantaneous so on...

The effect time must be chosen to be either hours or rounds as the GM

judges best for the effect or change.

When making a potion, a player must decide whether it will be a

healing potion, a potion which increases characteristics, or a potion

that has some other effect. The POT is relevent for potions which have

some adverse or undesired effect on another.

To find the proper ingredients, the PC must roll against Natural

World, and will find herbs up to his Natural World skill according to

the table above.

To prepare a potion with those herbs, the PC must roll against Potions

to make one of a power up to his Potion skill, according to the same

table.

Example: Krean of Org searchs for 2d10 POT herbs (he has 95% in

Natural World). He succeeds at the roll. At his lab he tries to use

the herbs to make poison but he has only 80% in Potions, so he can

only make poison of up 1d10+1d6 POT.

The PC may, buy, borrow, steal, or get by any means, herbs whose POT

exceeds his Natural World skill level and use them according the above

rules.

In the same way, he can hire the services of a higher skilled PC or

NPC to make good use of herbs whose POT exceeds his own Potion skills.

Edited by Conrad

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