For October, the travelling RPG Blog Carnival has paid a return visit to Scot Newbury at of Dice and Dragons.
As is his tradition, Scot nominated a suitably seasonal theme for the month.
The of Dice and Dragons site outlines the topic like this:
This year the topic of choice is POTIONS!
So break open your cauldrons or your chemistry set and share your favourite concoctions, recipes and let’s try not to singe our eyebrows.
Do you have a favourite potion? A memorable quest for that last needed component? A story of a potion gone wrong? This is the month to share those stories, tips, and tricks (it is the month of All Hallow’s Eve after all).
Earlier this year I returned to the theme of the Carnival I hosted last summer. I am drawn to revisit Summerland with this topic.
- Read more about Summerland, my own Blog Carnival from last year.
- Earlier this year I wrote about the Dancing Wizards
Briefly, Summerland is an idyllic setting of eternal summer. The days are long and hot, the evenings balmy and the short nights are cool and refreshing. The population of the Kingdom of Eternal Summer is a mix of fantastical creatures and various groups of fae. Summerland is also home to all manner of wondrous magic, mostly associated with the sun and summer. The glades of Summerland are full of blooms, which gave me an idea for this month’s carnival.
Given the huge numbers of flowers found in the Kingdom of Eternal Summer, it is inevitable the fae residents use this resource in their herbalism. There are many ways of brewing a potion, and a great variety of possible ingredients. For the bulk of the summer fae, the simplest potions use the most abundant vegetation as their base ingredients. Thus, Summerland is famed for the many flower-based potions they produce.
This essay will run through a few options for a GM wishing to include flower potions in their game. A few rolls on the following tables should create an interesting potion for the Heroes to discover.
At the heart of each flower potion is a base flower. There are many magical powers associated with flowers. A quick search online will uncover plenty of resources. To start you off, here is a short list of some common Summerland flowers.
As with all the tables presented here, the GM is free to roll, or choose a suitable result. If the outcomes seem contradictory, or nonsensical, then re-roll or simply choose another option.
|1||Bluebell||summoning of spirits|
|3||Honeysuckle||ward against the evil eye|
|5||Ivy||stops bleeding and speeds healing|
|9||Primrose||strength in battle|
Describing the Potion
To add texture to the potions in your game, here are a few ways to describe them. You could make it easy for the Players, and have all iris potions glow bright azure, for example. This gives consistency to your world, and security to the Players.
Alternatively, you could rule that magic is variable, subject to arcane tides and each herbalist brews in a different manner. In this scenario, you should roll separately for every potion. No two iris potions will be alike, and the Players must tread warily.
For this introduction to flower potions, I include three different descriptors:
Some of the entries on this table require a subsidiary roll on the Colour table. Those entries are marked [COLOUR].
|1||Alternating layers, roll twice for [COLOUR]|
|2||Clear with [COLOUR] bubbles|
|3||Emits clouds of [COLOUR] steam|
|6||Lumps of [COLOUR]|
|8||Thick and gloopy|
|9||[COLOUR] with large [COLOUR] flower suspended in the centre|
|10||[COLOUR] with small floating leaves|
The scent of a potion might reflect the taste. This could require a constitution roll, or similar, for the imbiber to drink the entirety of a foul-tasting potion. Alternatively, you could roll again on this table to determine the taste. Friendly GMs could rule that a potion tastes of the primary flower component, thereby giving Players some clue to the effect of the potion just from a sip.
|3||Freshly mown grass|
There are more options for potions, but this short list gives you enough to begin with. Add extra flower powers yourself, according to your online research. I hope your Players enjoy these flowery gifts from Summerland.
What flowers would you add to the list? Do you think a potion should taste the same as it smells? How do your Players identify a potion? Share your thoughts with your fellow GMs in the comments below.
- Read all the current entries to the October Carnival at of Dice and Dragons.
- The RPG Blog Carnival is under the stewardship of Johnn Four, at his Roleplaying Tips website.
- See my Index page for a full list of all my RPG Blog Carnival contributions
- The host for the September event was Johnn Four at Roleplaying Tips, where the chosen topic was GM tools.
- Do you need more Tales?
If you enjoyed this article, then please share it, or the associated quotations. You may also be interested in the following links:
- Something for the Weekend last week: Heroic Nicknames Preview 01: Introduction
- Something for the Weekend next week: Improv Gaming part 11, Improv at the Table