"Natural" magic items?

Scott Adams longshot at DARKTECH.ORG
Fri Apr 13 03:27:06 CEST 2001

At 04:38 AM 4/11/01 +0100, you wrote:
>    Ok, here's a question. How do you guys handle the natural magic items
>found in  P&P? By that I mean, what do you do when a player has a character
>that has Forest Survival, Healing and Herbalisim (let's call him a
>"Ranger"). The party gets in a scrap with some nasty forest beasty; blood
>flies, hit points plummet, but in the end, the PC's live. The player of the
>"ranger" then turns to the GM (you) and says this:
>    "I go out and look for some healing herbs."
>    Ok. As GM you think to yourself, 'no problem. There are rules for
>searching, right?' You flip through the book to see the chances. 'Hmmmm.',
>You think to yourself, 'Ahhh. 1.1131, Successful Searches. That's it....'.
>You read. '...A) The referee will set a Base Chance of success, depending on
>the size of the item searched for, how well it is hidden and other factors
>that he considers to be appropriate.'.  As the Referee, you panic! How big
>is the herb? Is it a big bush? A small weed? Heck, just *which* type of herb
>is it? Forget that...what herbs in the book are listed as healing anyway?
>More panic. The players see all the blood drain from your face as you think
>back...you know you remember reading a few natural magic items that were
>described as having some sort of healing properties. You grab Book 4 and
>flip to the back.  'Oh, here's one...Snake Grape'.  Now you are confronted
>with a new problem; where does Snake Grape grow? Does it grow in a forest?
>What about season? Summer? Spring? Fall? When is it 'ripe'? How many will be
>found that are useful? The book suggests "2d10 ounces". Great. How many
>ounces are required for the juice to be effective? Will one grape do it? Or
>do you need 10?
>    Anyway, I think you get my point. P&P has some very cool rules and
>"stuff" in it, but it seems that a lot of the time it misses the obvious
>questions. I'm sure that if P&P had survived, we would have seen some
>excellent supplements out (like maybe a book of new magic items, spells,
>etc.; a book of 'natural magic'; a book for expanded combat --mass
>combat/siege, construction, etc.), but it didn't survive and we have to
>"fill in the blanks".  So, how do you folks handle it?
>Paul L. Ming

I take it on a case per case basis really with characters and the region.
How to find them?  Well I tended to have Survival rolled on a base chance
on situation of course).  If that occured then I would roll avaliablity of the
item since your
are PARTICULARLY looking for that ONE item.  IF I recall the avail % is the
range on the charts.  

 For example Clove Pink is 32-36 while Chimedeon is 29 
Thus Pink would be found on a 5% chance while Chimedeon on a 1% chance.  At
least if
you read the rules strictly and I'm remebering right.  So you could then
this by base chance
(easy, difficult), etc.   Where are they found?  Well I'd take the description
as best I could.
Amenone is a flower if I recall and thus would be item 1 and a flower so where
flowers would
be and tend to be on growing seasons (alot of plants don't grow in winter).
you wanted you
could even adjust that by the difficulty factors (easy, moderate, etc.) as
for season.

Which are healing types?
 Amaranth (Plant), Angelica (Plant), Cinequofoil (Plant), Darbha (Plant) 
Just to name a few.  I just did a quick keyword search for healing in my
Nmagic.txt file :)
Has all the info on natural magic in one file.  

In the end its up to the GM on 90% of it.  A herb tends to be a small clump of
bushy stuff.
Isn't it always up to the gm?  :)
Maybe if someone had the time to research every item in historical or herbal
manuals one could
get the exact nature and type of item (size, shape, weight, etc.).  

I guess if a player were to go search for JUST healing herbs I'd take all the
herbs and use them
as a percentage chance of finding each type ignoring any rolls for plants and

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