A Necromancer's Grimoire: Herbs of the Desert
An Oasis of Magic!
Do you wish that alchemy in your game had a little more “oomph?” Have you ever been disappointed that no matter what it is that you’re trying to craft, all it takes is gold, time, and a skill check, with no concern as to what ingredients you’re using or how they’re prepared? Have you ever GM’d for a player who always seemed to want to wander off into the woods (or the merchant district) in search of rare and exotic reagents and compounds for his next magical experiment, and struggled to come up with an exciting and suitably fantastic material for him to find?
Then this is the book for you. Successor to the critically-acclaimed A Necromancer’s Grimoire: The Secret of Herbs and A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Herbs of the Jungle, A Necromancer's Grimoire: Herbs of the Desert continues its predecessors' unique approach to the sorts of low-cost special substances that can be created with the Craft (alchemy) skill. Presented herein are ten new desert-themed herbs with very special properties, as well as everything you need to know about how to use them in your game.
Take for example the clinging fire plant. A parasitic herb, clinging fire is a bright red mass of needle-like webbing that grows beneath the skin of plants and animals, and is one of the few herbs that may wind up harvesting you, instead! Those brave enough to gather a few doses might use them to make a clinging fire bomb, a nasty splash weapon that exposes those it hits to the herb's spores, possibly infecting them with the parasite. Alternatively, it can be used to make the sickness siphon, an auto-immune booster that helps the body fight off diseases and infections using the dead clinging fire pathogen as a decoy.
Or perhaps you prefer the walking cactus, a monstrous plant that lives up to its name, and is the only herb that can truly fight back. These creatures may be monsters (with full stat-blocks for standard, giant, and deadly walking cactuses), but they're also herbs, and harvesting doses from slain walking cactuses can grant the ability to craft potent thorn armor, which damages those who attack you, cactus drool, a nasty acidic substance, or reinvigoration serum, a powerful curative, all of which are more effective the larger the walking cactus that they were harvested from.
Other highlights include berries that can render you invisible for a short time, poisons that are resistant to magical healing, numerous different perfumes, all of which enhance one's interpersonal skills in subtly different ways, and a very potent elixir that offers a permanent one-time increase to the imbiber's caster level.
By themselves, each herb can be specially prepared into a handful of different special substances called preparations with a successful check, and further information outlines additional compounds and poisons that can be created by mixing two of these herbs together, for a total of over 70 new special substances and poisons.
Also included are guidelines for foraging and preparing these herbs, as well as optional rules for cultivating herbs deliberately and identifying the properties of unknown herbs, and many of the herbs in this book have special properties even without any special preparation. Whether you want to make the best alchemist (or witch, or hedgewizard, or even druid or ranger) ever, and display your superior knowledge of special plants, or just want to make sure that your players never look at a flower stand the same way ever again, don’t pass this book up.