[RPG] How does finding herbs work


A druid in my game wants to pick herbs as they spend the day walking. How do I DM this? Should I pick a DC based on the environment (high in the desert, lower in a meadow), and have him roll for it? How many times a day/hour should this be allowed? Do the types of herbs he finds determine the types of potions he can use?

I figure this might be flushed out more in the DM Guide, but I wondered if I was missing something in the PHB now.

Best Answer

Is it this same Druid? What a troublemaker...

Everything I've found relating to this seems to leave the question for the DMG, either implicitly or explicitly. There are a few elements in the PHB that could probably give you some guidance.

  • Foraging for food (PHB, p 183) seems like it would be similar to foraging for herbs, removing that character from the list of potential look-outs and establishing an appropriate skill check (Survival) to use.
  • The various kits (p 154) seem to give an exhaustive list of the potion-type things a character can craft.
  • Crafting itself (p 187) is extremely slow (10 days for a potion of healing!), and limited by the characters' tool proficiencies. As a Druid, your player would only be able to make potions of healing from the herbalism kit (unless they took the Hermit background and used the redundant proficiency to acquire proficiency in another potion crafting tool), so you probably don't need to worry about that many potion types and their associated herbs.

Having exhausted the source material until the DMG is released, here is my opinion on how you could handle this.

The wording of the foraging skill seems to make it sound like a forager is just generally alert for opportunities, rather than searching a number of times per hour/day. Given how long it would take them to make the potion, I would just let them collect the herbs over the course of a day and put a time limit on how long herbs "retain their potency", to remove the temptation of loading the entire party down with crafting materials.

I would strongly encourage you to stress that this is a temporary ruling and that you reserve the right to alter how the process works once the DMG is released.