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A Dozen Plants and Herbs
A Dozen
Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons ®
Player’s Handbook
by Michael Hammes
Plants and Herbs
While looking through the standard rules, I realized that
there is not much mention of herbs and plants in general.
Considering that flora is all around us, and plays a very impor-
tant part in our lives, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add
a little to the lexicon of plants and herbs that exist with the d20
fantasy world.
The format is a bit changed from most of the other Dozen
Appearance: This is a brief description of what the plant or
herb looks like.
Knowledge (nature): This gives the DC for correctly iden-
tifying the given plant or herb. If the Knowledge (nature) check
is failed then the individual is either unable to identify the plant
at all, or comes to some sort of wrong conclusion (“Yeah, those
berries are safe to eat”).
Qualities: These are the specific game-related qualities that
the plant or herb possesses.
Appearance: This trunk of this eight-foot tall tree looks very
fibrous and coarse. A canopy of large dark green fern-like leaves
spreads out from the tree’s top. Large globular orange fruit, some
as big as a dwarf’s skull, hang down from this canopy.
Knowledge (nature): DC 16. Growing in tropical and sub-
tropical lands (anywhere with sufficient heat and humidity), the
cornucopia fruit tree is not actually a tree but an herbaceous plant,
as it has no wood in it at all. It grows a false trunk from an under-
ground stem, which, although it looks woody, is actually quite
soft and fleshy. A large flower spike composed of numerous
flowers emerges from the plant in spring. The flowers bend
down throughout the next couple of months, becoming the fruits
by mid-summer. After the fruits have ripened, the stem dies and
is replaced the next year by another from the underground stem.
Qualities: The fruit from the cornucopia tree is particularly
rich and filling, tasting much like banana bread. A single
coconut-sized piece of the fruit provides all the food and water
required to sustain a human for 24 hours.
The use of these plants and herbs are another way to
make the campaign world more real by adding yet another
wrinkle of flavor. Give the PCs several pieces of
Cornucopia Fruit before they set out from the village, have
the local innkeeper suggest some Imbiber’s Joy for the hung-
over PC, or have the local peasants put fresh sprigs of
Martyr’s Blood over their doorways and window lintels as
soon as some evil threat is mentioned.
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A Dozen Plants and Herbs
Appearance: This six-petaled flower has almost translucent
purple petals. Small thorns grow from its dark green stem, their
color going from dark green close to the stem to dark purple at
their tip.
Knowledge (nature): DC 17. The dream weaver can be
found in the forests and near glades in all temperate climates, as
it prefers shade and the moisture common in forests. Consistent
with its name, it blooms only at night.
Legend has it that the dream weaver are actually the tears of
the Nido, goddess of the moon, shed when her mortal lover was
killed by her jealous husband Solus, god of the sun.
Qualities: When blooming, the smell of the dream weaver’s
scent has a hypnotizing effect on any creature that comes with-
in 30 feet of the flower. A creature must succeed at a Will save
(DC 13) or find itself fascinated , unable to tear itself away from
the pleasant smell; it simply sits down and, as long as nothing
disturbs it, will remain until it dies from thirst and starvation.
If the result of the augury is weal, the plant opens its petals.
If the result is woe, the petals immediately shrivel up and die. If
the result is both weal and woe, the plant begins to open its
petals, but then they shrivel up and die. If the result is nothing,
the plant remains as it is.
No matter what, the flower may answer only one augury and,
once it has done so, it slowly dries out, turning to dust within 24
Appearance: The buds on this sparse shrub glow with a soft
green light that gives the entire bush an almost spectral appear-
Knowledge (nature): DC 13. Growing in swamps, fens,
stream banks, marsh borders, and other places with frequent
standing water, this small, thinly branched shrub has blue-green-
ish twigs. A sparse cover of elliptical, green-white leaves that
alternate along the stem grows along with elliptical furry buds
that glow with an inner phosphorescence. The buds last from
late winter to early spring, when they turn into greenish flowers
that last until late summer or early fall.
Qualities: The key quality of the firefly plant is its phos-
phorescence. Each bud and flower gives off faint phosphores-
cence, with the flowers being slightly brighter. The phospho-
rescence provides no practical light, but it is easily noticeable in
the dark up to a distance of 30 feet for a single bud or flower.
The most common color of the phosphorescence is green, but
blue and violet also occur.
Residents of the swamp often use these buds to mark loca-
tions, or wear them on their clothes when traveling in a large
group at night.
Appearance: This is obviously not a normal flower.
Although it looks like a tulip, its petals are a soft velvety gray in
Knowledge (nature): DC 20. This rare flower grows only
near religious sites or other places where the use of divination
magic is widespread. Although a magical plant that appears to
feed on magic, (it radiates a faint divination aura when detect
magic or other such magic is used on it), it is still a plant and
requires soil in which to grow.
Qualities: Picking the flower allows the creature doing so to
receive the benefit (or is it curse?) of an augury (as per the
spell). The creature must query the flower within one round of
picking it and the Fate’s Kiss reveals the answer immediately
after the question is asked. Failure to query the flower within
one round of picking it causes it to shrivel up and turn to dust
Appearance: This herb, as tall as a man, looks much like a
big piece of parsley, with small white flowers growing in three
compound clusters on the end of the splitting stem.
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A Dozen Plants and Herbs
Knowledge (nature): DC 15. Growing in the cool, damp
meadows and valleys of low mountain ranges, Imbiber’s Joy
grows some 5 to 8 feet in height.
When in bloom, which the plant is during midsummer, its
leaves are yellow in color, giving way to pale yellow, fingertip-
sized, oblong fruits in late summer.
Qualities: Brewing the leaves of the plant is recommended for
creatures suffering from the effects of excessive alcohol con-
sumption (since there are no standard rules for intoxication, the
GM can create whatever effects he or she desires, from removing
the nausea of a hangover to removing any penalties associated
with being drunk).
More than occasional use of Imbiber’s Joy, however, can cause
the creature to develop distaste for alcohol. Any creature that uses
Imbiber’s Joy more than one time per week must succeed at a
Fortitude save (DC 15 +1 for each additional use of the herb
beyond the second in one seven day period). Failure means that
the creature has developed an adverse reaction to consuming alco-
hol, causing it to immediately reject (i.e. spit up) any alcohol that
it tries to drink. Whether this effect is temporary or permanent is
up to the GM.
Martyr’s Blood derives its name from the legend of Saint
Cilihud, the Martyr. It is said that the flower sprang into existence
from the drops of blood shed by Saint Cilihud after the treacher-
ous Bishop Vendakin struck him down as he tried to stop the mad
cleric from summoning the avatar of Cruak the Many in the Deep
Qualities: Freshly picked Martyr’s Blood acts as a ward to
repel evil spirits. If displayed prominently on someone’s person
it acts as a continuous protection from evil spell.
When used as a material component it doubles the duration of
any Abjuration [Good] spell (i.e. dispel evil, holy aura, magic cir-
cle against evil, protection from evil ). It does the same when its
leaves are used as an ingredient for potions based on those spells
or in inks to inscribe such spells on scrolls.
Note that the wildflower must be fresh in order to provide its
effect; under normal conditions the flower can be considered fresh
for one week before losing its potency, both as a ward and as a
material component/ingredient.
Appearance: This cactus, about the height of a man, has hun-
dreds of wicked-looking needles with black tips.
Knowledge (nature): DC 19. A needler is the bane of desert
dwellers. Although it feeds itself by preying on small animals, the
fact that it is mindless means that it will attack anything that it
senses, firing its poisonous needles in every direction.
Appearance: This wildflower has paired oval pale green
leaves with translucent spots. Blood-red five-petaled flowers top
the branching erect stem.
Knowledge (nature): DC 15. Martyr’s Blood is a perennial
herbaceous wildflower that blooms in uncultivated ground, often
near woods, hedges, or other growth which shelters it from con-
stant sun. The flowers bloom in mid- to late-summer and are fol-
lowed by small round crimson seeds that have a resinous smell
when crushed.
A needler has the following statistics (see next
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A Dozen Plants and Herbs
cacti surrounding it is by a large air hole on the needler’s top.
This air hole is covered by an inward-opening flap that allows
the needler to draw in the air required to fire its needles, but
does not allow that air to escape in any other way.
Once it has killed its prey, the needler moves over the
corpse and plants its roots into the victim, drawing forth the
nutrients. A needler always moves on once it has finished
digesting its victim. A handful of corpses of its victims, most-
ly small animals and vermin, can usually be found to mark the
progress of a needler.
Medium Plant
Hit Dice:
2d8+6 (15 hp)
10 ft. (2 squares)
Armor Class:
13 (–1 size, +4 natural), touch 9,
flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple:
Needles +6 ranged (1d6 + poison)
Full Attack:
Needles +6 ranged (1d6 + poison)
5 ft./5 ft.
A needler always attacks in the same way:
It stands motionless until prey comes within range, then
attacks by shooting a fusillade of poisonous needles. Because
of its limited detection range, it does not pursue fleeing prey
unless the prey’s movement rate is as slow, or slower, than the
Blindsight (Ex): A needler has no visual organs but can
ascertain all foes within 30 feet using sound, scent, and vibra-
Camouflage (Ex): Since a needler looks like a normal
plant when at rest, it takes a DC 20 Spot check to notice it
before it attacks.
Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (nature) can
use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the plant.
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 12, initial and secondary
damage 1d4 Con. The save DC is Constitution based.
Spikes (Ex): With a sudden intake of air, the needler is able
to loose a volley of hundreds of needles as a standard action
(make a single attack roll for everyone within a 30 radius of the
plant). This attack has a range of 30 feet with no range incre-
ment. Any creature with a natural armor bonus of +3 is
immune to this attack as the needles are unable to penetrate
such thick skin. A needler can make up to four such attacks in
a 24-hour period.
Special Attacks:
Poison, spikes
Special Qualities:
Blindsight 30 ft., camouflage,
plant traits, resistance to cold 10
and fire 10
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1
Str 10, Dex 20, Con 16, Int —,
Wis 13, Cha 9
Temperate deserts
Solitary or patch (2–4)
Challenge Rating:
1/10th coins; 50% goods; 50%
Always neutral
3–5 HD (Medium); 6–10 HD
Level Adjustment:
A needler is a carnivorous mobile plant that looks much like
a cactus. A needler’s shallow roots act like little feet, moving
the needler along at a respectable pace for a plant; it can with-
draw these roots from the ground, or a victim, and re-plant
them as a move-equivalent action.
A needler has the same lifecycle as a cactus, blooming with
red flowers in early spring and growing burgundy fist-sized
seeded fruit by early fall. The only way to tell a needler from
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A Dozen Plants and Herbs
Appearance: This waist-high shrub has thin, oval leaves,
white flowers, and bright blue berries the size of large peas.
Knowledge (nature): DC 11. Peasant’s Hope is a shrub that
grows wild most anywhere and also takes well to cultivation. It
grows from 3 to 6 feet in height with thin, oval, lanceolate
leaves. It blooms in late summer and the berries arrive in fall to
early winter, a fact that makes the shrub stand out when all other
vegetation is leafless.
Popular myth has it that Peasant’s Hope is a gift from the
goddess of hearth and home given to the peasant Allydra, who
took the goddess in and fed her when she was disguised as a dis-
eased crone.
Qualities: The bark and fresh fruit of Peasant’s Hope are tra-
ditionally gathered prior to the first autumnal frost. Because of
its varied uses in herbal and folk medicine, Peasant’s Hope pro-
vides a +4 chemical bonus to any Heal checks for long-term care
(see the Heal skill).
Knowledge (nature): DC 14. Wizard’s Temptation grows
in rich woods along mountains throughout the world. It is most
easily recognizable by the fact that its stems invariably have
exactly seven finely toothed leaves. The plant grows a single
rounded cluster of white flowers that bear purple berries in late
The main focus of the plant is its root, which is relatively
large and fleshy. It is oblong, pale yellow to pale brown in color,
and adds a ring annually; the root tastes like bitter licorice.
Qualities: After chewing on a thumb-sized piece of root for
one minute the creature must make a Fortitude saving throw
(DC 13). Success means that the root provides the creature with
enhanced mental acuity (although the creature does become a bit
excited and jumpy) and grants a +4 enhancement bonus to
Intelligence for one hour. Failure means that the creature
becomes confused (as per the spell) for the same amount of time.
Note that taking more than one dose of Wizards’ Temptation
per day increases the difficulty of the saving throw by 2 for each
additional dose (i.e. DC 15 with 2 doses in a 24-hour period, DC
17 with three doses, etc.).
Appearance: This prickly bush is filled with ripe purplish-
black berries the size of a man’s thumb.
Knowledge (nature): DC 14. A sweetberry bush can be
found in all temperate climates. The bright purple flowers that
bloom in late spring herald the fruit of a sweetberry bush, which
ripens in mid- to late-summer.
The fruit of the sweetberry bush is indeed quite sweet, a fact
that makes it very likely to be eaten by those ignorant of its poi-
sonous qualities.
Qualities: The berries of the sweetberry bush are quite poi-
sonous: Ingested, Fortitude DC 13, 1d2 Con/1d6 Con.
Appearance: This plant is some two feet tall with woody
stems covered by fine hairs. The leaves are green on top and
white on bottom and the flowerheads are also greenish-white.
Knowledge (nature): DC 13. Wyrmroot grows in wild
meadows and other uncultivated open spaces in temperate to
cold climates. The plant blooms from mid-summer to early fall
and the leaves and flowers have an extremely bitter taste,
although the root is much less so.
Qualities: The dried herb, that is the leaves and tops but not
the root, is harvested when the plant is in flower and then dried;
it is this portion that has medicinal properties. When the flow-
ers are brewed as a tea it acts as purgative and diuretic, a rather
messy method but one that rids the body of all manner of toxins.
It can do this in one of two ways; the selection is up to the GM:
Appearance: This small plant, about a foot high, consists of
a single stem bearing seven finely toothed leaves.
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