Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Using Herbs in DragonQuest

One of the additions that Arcane Wisdom brought to DragonQuest was a section on Herbal Lore.  This described 50+ herbs (depending on which version of Arcane Wisdom you have) giving information about where they are found, how common or uncommon they are and what properties they have for various purposes.  A somewhat vague framework for how much of a given herb can be gathered and how much the gathered herbs are worth can be teased out of the section.  How they can be prepared for use by Alchemists, at what cost and what selling price can also be found in the text.  Altogether though it isn't particularly convenient for use and so some years back I put together a few tables to remedy that.  I have cleaned them up a bit for public consumption and put them into a PDF on the Downloads page.

Herb Prices

The first page of the PDF has several tables about pricing for herbs in their raw and processed forms.  The top table, Healing Herb Retail Prices, is the important one as it lists the retail prices for the various healing herbs in the different forms that they can be processed into as well as what benefits they grant.  The pricing that is given in this table is all derived from the guidance in Arcane Wisdom though I added some additional cost multipliers when determining the prices.  Without the multipliers I felt they were just too inexpensive.  In addition I apply limits on how often they can be used based on [82.7].  I also added a Concentrate form to go with the Powdered and Distillation forms found in Arcane Wisdom.  In my campaign Concentrates can be used by anyone but do require preparation and so can't be used in combat.  Distillations can be used the same as potions in combat.

The other tables on this page are used to determine the prices for herbs sold to Alchemists as well as what prices the processed herbs might be sold at for use by others.  Arcane Wisdom provided for each Availability rating an amount of herb that might be gathered.  For gathering of herbs there were four amounts that may be found: sprig, handful, bag and basket.  Each one being 12 times as much as the previous one.  For my uses I dropped the Sprigs per Handful down to 6:1 just because 12 sprigs seemed like a lot.

Herb Location Table

Page 2 has the Herb Location Table.  This table is for randomly rolling what herbs might be found during a random herb gathering such as when the party might be camped for several hours waiting on something and the Ranger is bored.  Under the rules [60.5] it takes a Ranger 12 hours to find just one application of herbs but that's has always seemed pretty silly to me.  Arcane Wisdom didn't provide any extra guidance for this and I've typically just winged it depending up the rank of the Ranger and whether or not he was searching in his chosen environment.  I figure 2 to 4 hours is enough searching to get a roll on the table.  Arcane Wisdom does give chances of finding particular herbs based on their rarity and this would be used if hunting for something specific with a similar time period spent.

Herb List

The last two pages are a list of herbs from Arcane Wisdom in tabular format.  There are columns that indicate where they are found, availability and three that indicate general usage.  Nothing too exciting but it can be handy if you want to see what herbs are found in what environment.

I think everything is pretty self-explanatory but please hit me up with any questions you have.

Update: I should mention that Poor Brendan's Almanac includes rules for an Herbalist skill that is similar to an Alchemist.


  1. Yeah... There's one slight problem -- when you click on the herb link, you get the weapons and experience tables instead.

    1. While I thanked you over on the DQ group, I forgot to come here and thank you for fixing that. So, a belated "Thanks!" both for posting it in the first place, and fixing the link for us!