To the average adventurer, food is a commodity; something one must bring with them on their journey to sustain their health and energy. Many live for years on nothing more than a few rations every day and the occasional bowl of stew at an inn. Feasts without magical components are viewed as a waste of time and effort when there’s questing to be done, and the idea of hunting something fresh for the fire is relegated to the occasional ranger who wants to either slow the party down or take the spotlight off of her companions to forage.

But no longer!

Cuisine opens up a new avenue through which adventurers can explore food, learning to enjoy it and reap its benefits, magic or no magic. A few, highly specialized heroes can even prepare extraordinary cuisine even as they fight off an ambush, a band of marauding orcs, or an army of undead. These bravest warriors prefer to be called chefs.

Baked Alaska by Brett Neufeld. (C) 2021 Samurai Sheepdog, used with Permission.

Baked Alaska by Brett Neufeld. (C) 2021 Samurai Sheepdog, used with Permission.


Mechanically, a meal is an ongoing effect that lasts for a limited time before it spoils, but which can be divided up between creatures and consumed for some benefit or forcibly served to enemies to cause them harm. Every meal has three components: Ingredients, cooking method, and end results.

For any questions not answered here (such as combining effects), refer to magic for specific rules.


These are the required flavor profiles that define individual meals and the additional ingredients that can be added to a meal for extra and stronger effects.

Buying and Gathering Ingredients

Any adventurer can purchase livestock, spices, fruits, and vegetables, but battle chefs and culinarians know how to turn those ingredients into flavor profiles for the meals they create. Culinarians also know how to find, grow, or raise those ingredients on their own, without need to buy them from a market.

In general, 1 lb. of any food or spice can be used by a chef to create up to 8 meals before she must restock.

Fruits, Herbs, Spices, and Vegetables

When in an area where a specific ingredient can be found, a chef can attempt a Survival check DC 10 to find it. This check takes 1 hour. Success indicates that she found enough of an ingredient for 1 meal plus 1 additional meal for every 2 points by which the check result exceeds the DC. A chef with excess ingredients can sell them to a market in 1 lb. (8 meal) increments for half their value.


Animals killed within 1 hour can be butchered with a Survival check DC 10. Success indicates the meat was butchered properly enough for 1 meal plus 1 additional meal for every 2 points by which the check result exceeds the DC.

Storing Ingredients

Food that is not somehow cured, pickled, or otherwise properly stored spoils in 1 day. Proper storage areas are usually cool, dry rooms where barrels can be sealed and kept. While adventuring, food stored in common, wooden barrels spoils after 1 week. Regular cooling can double this, while exceptionally hot or humid environments cut the time in half.

On their own, herbs and spices stored in barrels don’t spoil unless somehow contaminated or made wet. Food stored in a magical hot pot (such as those possessed by battle chefs and culinarians) does not spoil on its own. Characters with the Master Food Preserver feat can store food in jars for up to 2 months or more.


Spells such as purify food and drink instantly return the defined food to its best age, removing any chance of it spoiling again or poisoning creatures for the duration defined by the spell.


After butchering meat, the leftover carcass can be broken down to create a base or stock with a Profession (cook) check DC 15. A successful check yields 1 lb. of stock plus 1 for every 10 points by which the check result exceeds the DC. Stock can be used as a salty or spicy flavor profile for any meal with bitter or umami ingredients. Under normal circumstances, any stock can be stored for up to 1 month before spoiling.

Stock made from fruits, herbs, spices, and vegetables condenses their flavor. Cooking down 2 lbs. of these ingredients with a Profession (cook) check DC 15 always yields 1 lb. of stock that can be used as a bitter, salty, spicy, or sweet flavor profile for any meal with bitter or umami ingredients.

Cooking Method

Cooking method consists of a recipe combining ingredients with proper techniques. It also defines who can cook a specific meal, how long that meal lasts, and how many servings it provides.

Battle chefs and culinarians use different cooking methods, as defined by those classes.


Every chef’s brigade consists of 8 different stations, each of which handles the creation of specific meals. A chef who does not focus on one specific station is referred to as a roundsman.

The stations are boucher, entremetier, friturier, garde manger, grillardin, patissier, rotisseur, and saucier. Culinarians who specialize in a station gain additional benefits for doing so.

Battle chefs do not usually specialize in a station. Instead, they pick a specific type of cuisine, or combination of flavor profiles, in which to put their focus.

End Results

The end results of a meal are the effects it has when consumed and whether it requires a saving throw.

When a creature willingly consumes a meal, it accepts whatever effect that meal may have upon it, with no save allowed. A creature that is fed a meal, either because it cannot feed itself or the meal is forced upon it with a successful touch attack, can attempt a saving throw to reduce or negate the effect. If not specified, this is a Fortitude save with a DC equal to 10 + the meal’s complexity + the Intelligence or Wisdom modifier of the creature that created the meal. Specific meals may call for a Reflex or Will save instead.

Creatures that do not eat (such as astomois) or that lack a metabolism (constructs and most undead) can choose not to gain the benefits or suffer the effects of a meal.

Common Effects

Meals have options almost as expansive as spells. Some common effects possessed by meals are referenced here. If a conflict arises between a common effect and the effect defined by a meal, the meal’s wording takes precedence.

Additional Ingredients

Almost every meal has some extra effect when additional ingredients are used. These effects can be general or specific to one or more flavor profiles. Unless otherwise stated, a meal can only have one of each additional ingredient listed in its recipe at any time.


Meals that grant an attack are usually created with an item that is left over once the meal is consumed. Examples include kebobs (piercing), tenderizers (bludgeoning), and butchering utensils (slashing). A meal that grants an attack treats the creature consuming it as wielding the weapon for the duration. The meal defines how frequently the attack can be made since the weapon is not usually intended for combat use.


Meals can provide circumstance, enhancement, and morale bonuses. Unless otherwise noted, these bonuses do not stack with themselves as normal.


Some meals can extend their own duration through additional ingredients or the duration of another meal when added in place of another flavor profiles (see replacing flavor profiles below). Meals work in increments of rounds, minutes, hours, and days. When a meal refers to a general increment, it means the increment defined by the duration of the meal.

Enemy Effects

Meals intended for enemies usually include a saving throw next to their duration. Serving a meal to an enemy requires a successful touch attack. Creatures with hard to find mouths, or that actively cover their mouth in some way get a +4 bonus to their touch AC to avoid being fed a meal.

Replacing Flavor Profiles

Some meals, and most sauces in particular, can be added to a meal as an ingredient themselves for an additional effect. This usually replaces another flavor profile or counts as an additional ingredient.


A recipe is a combination of ingredients and techniques that result in a complete meal. A battle chef’s recipes consist of 1 or more ingredients prepared during the morning and used as part of one or more attacks. Their effects are largely defined by their flavor profile, with exception to three and five-course meals.

Culinarians, on the other hand, define their meals in complex recipes that include station, one or more flavor profiles, additional ingredients, duration, and other specific aspects which occur upon consuming the meal. They are more cerebral, putting the creation of the meal before anything else, and only making attacks when the meal allows a brief pause between ingredients.

Battle Chefs and Culinarian Recipes

A battle chef can learn 1 culinarian recipe with a complexity no higher than half her battle chef level in place of 2 battle chef recipes when she gains a new level. A culinarian recipe can be prepared using a number of recipe slots equal to its complexity, and the battle chef can later use that recipe the same number of times, choosing which of the profiles to feature each time, or combining them into complex meals. 1 use of a culinarian recipe can be applied as part of a three or five-course meal.

When using a culinarian recipe, a battle chef treats texture flavor profiles as filling ingredients and umami flavor profiles as savory. Temperature flavor profiles have no bearing on a battle chef’s recipes other than to increase the complexity and thus the slots required to prepare the meal.

For example, Scotticus can use 3 of her battle chef recipe slots to prepare a culinarian’s pizza recipe. When she gets into combat, she can use pizza up to 3 times. With each use, she chooses to benefit from the meal’s filling, salty, or savory components. If she chooses to prepare a three-course meal, she can use pizza as a salty appetizer, an entrée, or a savory dessert.

Additional Ingredients

The additional ingredients of a culinarian meal only matter to a battle chef when she can create complex meals beginning at 10th level. For each flavor profile of a meal, the battle chef can include up to 1 additional ingredient. At 20th level, when she gains top of the food chain, the battle chef can include up to 3 additional ingredients with each flavor profile.

Culinarians and Battle Chef Recipes

A culinarian cannot learn battle chef recipes without copying them from a cookbook (see below). Common battle chef recipes are learned as complexity 2 meals requiring the specific flavor profile of the recipe and either a temperature or a texture ingredient. Complex meals, three-course meals, five-course meals and meals created with top of the food chain are learned as complexity 3, 4, 6 and 5 meals, respectively. Again, these meals include their required flavor profiles plus either temperature or texture.


Cookbooks are the source of a chef’s recipes. A blank cookbook costs 15 gp and weighs 3 lbs. It consists of 100 total pages, front and back. Like spellbooks, cookbooks come in compact and traveling sizes.

Adding New Recipes to a Cookbook

Recipes takes up 1 page per complexity in a cookbook. For culinarians, this usually mirrors the number of required flavor profiles in the recipe. Battle chefs tend to quickly scribble notes about their recipes, taking up 1 page each, but those with the Shorthand Recipe feat can use that feat to write more difficult meals into their cookbooks and speed up their preparation times.

Recipes Gained at a New Level

Each chef performs a certain amount of research between adventures. Each time a character attains a new culinarian level, she gains two recipes of her choice to add to her cookbook. The two free recipes must be of a complexity she can create. A battle chef can add two battle chef recipes or one culinarian recipe with a complexity no higher than half her battle chef level.

Stolen and Destroyed Cookbooks

A culinarian without her cookbook can only prepare the same recipes she prepared the day before. A destroyed cookbook can be replaced, and its meals rewritten exactly after 1 week, during which time the culinarian is distracted and takes a –2 penalty on concentration checks when creating meals.

Copying Recipes from a Cookbook

Both battle chefs and culinarians can add meals found in other cookbooks to their own. This functions just like copying spells from a spellbook, except as follows. The chef does not have to decipher the recipe unless it is in a language she doesn’t know, in which case she uses Linguistics (DC 20 + the meal’s complexity) in place of Spellcraft, and a comprehend languages spell automatically deciphers the recipe without a check.

Next, the chef spends 1 hour studying the recipe. At the end of the hour, she must make a Profession (cook) check (DC 15 + the meal’s complexity). A chef de partie gains a +2 bonus on the Profession (cook) check if the new meal is from her chosen station. A battle chef gains this same bonus if the recipe is part of her cuisine specialty. If the check succeeds, the chef understands the meal and can copy it into her spellbook (see Adding New Recipes to a Cookbook, above).

Family Recipes

Family recipes are those kept away from others by a chef or group of chefs. They usually include exotic ingredients in place of other flavor profiles, or combine effects in new and different ways.

A chef can research a family recipe during downtime. This works in the same way as a wizard creating a spell, except the chef uses Profession (cook) in place of both Spellcraft and a related Knowledge skill to do so.

Reading a Culinarian Recipe

What are spells if not magical recipes? What are recipes if not non-magical spells? A recipe has many of the same components as a spell, and thus is written in a similar fashion. Individual terms related to the components of a recipe can be found here. For specific effects, read the recipes themselves.

Unlike spells, recipes do not always follow a strict pattern. Each meal is treated individually, and while there are consistencies (salty ingredients tend to add electricity damage, sour adds acid, and so on), two recipes at the same station won’t immediately look the same (fried ice cream and a scotch egg are very different meals). The important thing when reading a meal’s recipe is that you come away with an understanding of why that meal has the effect it does. As your familiarity with different recipes grows, you’ll hopefully start to see how your creation of the meals can help your allies or harm your enemies.


The method of preparation for a meal. Culinarians can specialize in a station or act as chefs de tournant (roundsmen), gaining access to recipes from every station. Some recipes can be created using more than one station, but are more complex when prepared at one station over the other.


How difficult the recipe is to turn into a meal. A character with access to recipes defines when she can learn to create more complex meals (culinarians can learn meals with a complexity up to half their level).

Flavor Profiles

The mandatory ingredients used to create the meal. These must be added in the listed order during creation of the meal or the culinarian risks ruining it. Adding a single ingredient to a meal can be done as a standard action and sometimes offers an additional benefit (such as the culinarian also making an attack).

Without an ability such as sous chef, a creature can only add 1 ingredient to a meal each round. At least 1 mandatory ingredient must be added to a meal each round or there is a risk of the meal being ruined.


If a culinarian ends her turn without placing at least 1 ingredient into her hot pot, moves more than half her speed while carrying it, or is attacked while creating a meal, she must succeed at a Profession (cook) check to avoid ruining the meal. This functions as concentrating on a spell, with the meal’s complexity acting as the spell level.

Additional Ingredients

Additional ingredients are flavor profiles that can be added for extra effect or to stall completing a meal for 1 or more rounds. Unless otherwise noted in the effect, each additional ingredient can only be added once per meal.


How long the meal lasts before it spoils and can no longer be consumed.

Serving Size

Indicates how many servings of a meal are available once all required ingredients are added. If the serving size is variable (1d6, etc), you can roll before deciding to add additional ingredients that would increase the serving size.

Saving Throw

When consumed by an enemy, some meals allow a saving throw to reduce or negate their effects.


The effect the meal has when consumed. A meal cannot usually be consumed prior to being completed. When it is complete, the meal can be consumed as a move action that draws attacks of opportunity or fed to a creature with a successful touch attack.

Any creature can willingly consume a meal once it is created. To prevent an enemy from gaining the effects of her meal, a culinarian within reach of her hot pot can pick up and close it as a swift action. Culinarians with the Food Allergen feat can prepare meals that don’t agree with certain creatures.

Effects “As the Spell”: Occasionally, a meal will grant or cause an effect “as the spell.” In these cases, the effect is both magical and subject to spell resistance. Meals that grant supernatural effects work exactly like other supernatural effects. All other effects of meals are non-magical. Only the culinarian’s hot pot is considered magical in this case, and thus its ability to create and store meals is suppressed in areas with no magic or when dispelled.


Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Book of Many Things Decidedly Laughable Collection, © 2019-2021,Samurai Sheepdog; author Kevin Glusing.

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