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MyGURPS - Bunnies And Burrows Herbalists

Bunnies And Burrows Herbalists

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Requirement: Stunt (Herbalist)

You know how to turn plants into potent herbal concoctions (here shortened to "herbs") using Flora skill. Herbalists are the rabbit equivalent of alchemists, the closest thing they have to "magic." Anyone may use or attempt to identify an herb, but only herbalists can create them. An herbalist starts the game with a maximum load of herbs, as per the Crafting Herbs rules below.

Herb List

These are divided into Basic and Advanced, based on how difficult it is to find and prepare the ingredients. They are further split into Helpful (good effects) and Hostile (bad effects, always resistible). As an interesting side note, because certain "hostile" herbs cause intoxicating effects, some rabbits will take them voluntarily and even get addicted to them. Multiple doses are not cumulative.

Every herb includes a brief description of what it does. For an explanation of "inflicts damage," see Resisting Hostile Herbs, below. "CAA" is short for "creates an advantage"; see Ingesting Helpful Herbs and Resisting Hostile Herbs for rules. Each herb is also noted with a (B), (P), or (S) depending on its form:

  • Blowball (B): A tufted ball (like a mature dandelion) or leaf full of pollen or dust. When thrown, it explodes into a cloud big enough to encompass two or possibly three rabbits, but only if they're packed tightly together. Throwing a blowball is an action. It requires no roll against a target in the same zone; to target someone one zone away, roll Athletics or Fight, difficulty Good (3).
  • Pulp (P): This must be eaten to take effect — an action, unless the herb is already in your mouth. Unaware subjects may roll against the higher of Flora or Notice (difficulty equals crafter's Flora) to notice the taste before swallowing.
  • Salve (S): Must be held and smeared onto the subject's skin or fur, as an action. Against an unwilling subject, this requires a Fight roll with difficult equal to the target's Athletics or Fight. It does no damage; a smear is not a punch.

Basic Herbs

Helpful Basic Herbs

  • Arrow Root (P): Immunity to poison for one hour. If you're already poisoned, it helps your Physique rolls (CAA) instead.
  • Bardflower (P): Likable and a great speaker (CAA) for one hour.
  • Bitter Mushroom (P): Increased strength (CAA) for one hour.
  • Bounceberry (P): Improved reflexes to avoid attacks (CAA) for one hour.
  • Eyebright (P): Enhanced vision (CAA) for one hour.
  • Feverleaf (P): Subject may make an immediate, extra recovery roll for any disease.
  • Foxglove Pollen (S): Rabbits and their tracks smell like a fox for 10 minutes.
  • Fumitory (S): Neutralizes odor for 8 hours.
  • Perk-Ear Leaf (P): Enhanced hearing (CAA) for one hour.
  • Quickthorn (S): Instantly awakens and alerts subject.
  • Skunkflower (S): Vile odor that causes a predator to miss the first bite, for one hour.
  • Squawk Berry (P): Rabbit sounds like a crow for 10 minutes.

Hostile Basic Herbs

  • Bitterberry (P): Hallucinates on suggestion (requires Deceive vs. Will roll) for 10 minutes.
  • Blackweed (S): Intense fear of everything (CAA) for 10 minutes.
  • Creeping Vine (P): Weakened (CAA for reduced strength) for one hour.
  • Dimweed (P): Dulled intelligence (CAA) for 10 minutes.
  • Lemonberry Pollen (B): Inflicts damage at +0.
  • Loveweed (P): Interested in romance and vulnerable to seduction (CAA) for one hour.
  • Purpleberry (P): Senses dulled (CAA) for one hour.
  • Scritchweed (S): Intense itching (CAA) for one hour.
  • Slumberleaf (P): Falls asleep for 10 minutes.
  • Snuffball (B): Sneezing (CAA) for 10 minutes — a very common armament for Warreners!
  • Stinging Nettle (S): Inflicts damage at +2.
  • Sweetberry (P): Clumsy (CAA) for 10 minutes.
  • Wild Thyme* (P): Intoxicated, feisty, and overconfident (CAA) for one hour.

Advanced Herbs

Helpful Advanced Herbs

  • Fleeting Violet (P): Double running speed for one hour. In combat, can move an extra zone each turn.
  • Golden Seal (P): Improves (CAA) anything the subject does for 10 minutes!
  • Hardberry (P): Grants Armor 1 for one hour.
  • Heedwell (P): Perfect photographic memory for the next hour. The memory of that hour will be retained forever.
  • Mystic Mint (P): Gives an empathic healer or seer +1 on every applicable roll for 10 minutes, after which it inflicts damage at +0 (resist the damage with Physique as usual).
  • Oak Bud (P): Grants the Brave stunt (see Bunnies and Burrows Skills and Stunts) for one hour.
  • Redberry (P): Instantly clears the subject's highest stress box (physical or mental).
  • Seerflower* (P): Gives a vision of a possible future; the GM will secretly roll against Will and use that to gauge how useful the vision is. Subject is then drained, mentally and physically (aspect with one free compel for the GM), for one hour. Tastes too terrible to cover up; cannot be snuck into someone's food.

Hostile Advanced Herbs

  • Bitterweed (P): Inflicts damage at +5.
  • Magic Mushroom* (P): Has pleasant hallucinations, completely unaware of reality, for one hour.
  • Powderball (B): Blinded (CAA) for 10 minutes.
  • Slumberdust (B): Falls asleep for 10 minutes.
  • Slumberroot (P): Falls asleep for 8 hours.
  • Sugarleaf (P): Paralyzes for 10 minutes.
  • Twisted Root (P): Subject hates what she normally loves for one hour.
* Some rabbits get addicted to these double-edged herbs.

Carrying Herbs

All herbs come wrapped in protective leaves for safe handling. Most are kept in a backpack; this is safe, but the herbs take time to retrieve. See Bunnies and Burrows General Rules for more on packs and the time required.

A rabbit can also tuck an herb behind each ear and/or keep one in the mouth. This allows each such herb to be retrieved or swallowed as a free action — however, the GM has the right to compel an herb being lost, set off, or (for the mouth) accidentally swallowed anytime the bunny engages in energetic movement or fails a roll for a physical action.

Ingesting Helpful Herbs

Many herbs simply provide the listed effects. However, any herb marked with "CAA" requires a roll against the crafter's Flora to create an advantage. The difficulty depends on the subject's Physique, with healthier subjects being more receptive to the effects:

Subject's PhysiqueDifficulty
+0 or worseGood (3)
+1 or +2Fair (2)
+3 or +4Average (1)
+5 or betterMediocre (0)

(In other words, difficulty is 3 minus half their Physique, rounded down.)

Larger creatures require extra doses equal to Scale to be affected. Each missing dose increases the difficulty of the roll to create an advantage by +1. For other effects, the GM will rule on what benefit (if any) underdosing provides.

Resisting Hostile Herbs

All hostile herbs give the subject a Physique roll to resist (defend) as an opposed roll against the crafter's Flora. A tied defense usually gives the herb wielder a boost — however, at the subject's option, an herb with an "all or nothing" effect (like sleep) instead takes full effect but for a much shorter time (1-3 actions, in a fight). For example, the dog you drug may pass out, but wake up right as you're walking by!

For herbs that "inflict damage," treat this as an attack using the crafter's Flora skill plus any bonus listed. The subject uses Physique to defend. The only difference is that Armor (whether actual or from Scale) never applies.

Larger creatures require extra doses equal to Scale to be affected. A weaker attack may have an effect, but the Physique roll is at +1 for each missing dose!

Identifying Herbs

Anyone may roll against Flora to identify an herb. The difficulty is Fair (2) for a basic herb or Good (3) for an advanced one. Success identifies the herb. Success with style provides some additional useful info about the crafter or situation or provides a boost for using it. Failure reveals nothing, though it is always obvious whether it's a blowball, pulp, or salve.

Rabbits often trade herbs for other herbs or food. Their relative value is up to the GM; a warren may be overstocked on Snuffballs but desperate for Fumitory. As a rough guideline, herbs usually fall somewhere between "lettuce" and "truffle" in value (see Food and Other Stuff in Bunnies and Burrows General Rules), with advanced herbs being more valuable than basic ones.

Crafting Herbs

Only herbalists can create herbs. This can be done at most once per session, and it requires (A) a few hours of "downtime" in the game and (B) that the herbalist has recently had the opportunity to procure some ingredients from the area. (The latter doesn't have to be done "on screen"; it's enough that the herbalist had access to the outdoors. Basically, this only fails to apply if the herbalist has been confined to a small area.)

This crafting stint refreshes the herbalist's supply up to her maximum, which is 4 + (Flora x 2). This assumes basic herbs; each advanced herb counts as two herbs for this purpose. She may choose freely from the list of available herbs.

Example: Sunny has Flora +3, for a maximum of 10 herbs. At the moment, she's down to two Snuffballs, a Fumitory, and a Redberry (advanced, so it counts double), a total of five herbs. When she takes time to craft, she can therefore create an additional five herbs — or fewer, if some are advanced — bringing her total back to 10.

The herb limit is a dramatic convention, both to simulate the short shelf-life of herbs but also to avoid herbalists who spend a month stockpiling a hundred herbs before each adventure. It has nothing to do with who's carrying the herbs.

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