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Optional Ruleset: Microcosms

What are they?

Up until now, we assumed that plant distribution is homogeneous throughout a biome. Even in the real world, devoid as it is of magic, this is certainly not the case. Deserts have oases, mountains have volcanoes, and radiation tends to create mutant variants of everything. Volcanoes, oases, and areas of extreme radioactivity all share a thread of commonality in that they are blips on the radar, small areas that don’t follow the rules of their surroundings. Such features are known as microcosms, literally “little worlds”.

Using Microcosms

As collecting herbalism plants takes 1 hour, an herbalism character must be no more than half an hour away from a micrososm at the time she begins to find herbalism plants for the day in order to collect plants from it. Generally, this means the microcosm must be within 1 or 2 miles. However, any method that alters a character’s speed also alters this range, whether it be flight, a high base land speed, a sprained ankle, and so on. Herbalism classes seeking to harvest the unique plants of the various microcosms may begin to demand strange lodgings, such as graveyards, to assure that the plants are in reach come morning.

To search for microcosm herbalism plants, a character with levels in an herbalism class rolls on the appropriate biome’s find herbs table as normal, but does NOT collect any of the herbalism plants marked with an asterisk (*) on the rolled table entry. In exchange for giving up these plants, she also rolls on an applicable microcosm find herbs table (see the rest of this section) and collects the plants listed on the rolled table entry. If a biome table has no asterisks (*), then the herbalism character cannot look for microcosm herbs. (The fungus forest biome and all 6point find herbs tables have no asterisks.) Additionally, as searching for microcosm plants, searching for bugs, and searching for rocks all replace herbalism plants marked with an asterisk (*), she cannot search for two or more of these special quantities at once. She must choose to look for microcosm plants, rocks, or bugs.

How to Control Access

Microcosms can be accessed by the gourmend and herbalist base classes by virtue of their ability to collect 10 points worth of herbalism plants per find herbs roll. However, even those who can collect from microcosms have to find said microcosms to begin with. Worlds without death have no graveyards, and thus no graveyard microcosm, while a lack of radioactive waste or atomic weaponry shuts out the irradiated microcosm.

Given this modularity, new microcosms can be built rather readily. Simply create two 1-point herbalism plants, a 2-point plant, and a 4-point plant all with an overarching theme, and unleash them on your game.

List of Microcosms

Aberrant Microcosm

Table: Aberrant Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Douser x2, Mindshroom x2
5-8 Douser x1, Eyebloom x1, Mindshroom x1
9-12 Douser x2, Eyebloom x1
13-16 Eyebloom x1, Mindshroom x2
17-20 Underbloom x1

Microcosm Summary: In a world with wizards, angels, demons, daemons, fae, dragons, and more, the idea of “normal” only makes sense in a relative fashion. Given the aberrant likely think the same of say, humans, as the humans think of the aberrant, the aberrant microcosm is defined as what humans and other like races would find to be strange and alien, not the other way around.

Where it can be found: Plants of the aberrant microcosm can be found wherever the natural order has been told to take a hike, and finds use in conjunction with Lovecraftian themes, strange creatures lurking at the bones of the world, and so on.

Douser (Fungus)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 hour
Appearance: Dousers are small, ulcerous mushrooms that grow in pairs. It is said that dousers always know the location of their mates, and that, when separated, their caps point in the direction of their lost mate.

Effect: One unit of dousers can be split in half as a standard action, forming two nodules. So long as one of the two douser nodules is with the herbalist, she knows the precise angle and distance to the second nodule, up to a maximum distance of 500 feet per herbalist level.

Eyebloom (Fungus)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: The iris of the eyebloom resembles a bloodshot eyeball, complete with eyelids that continually blink when subjected to irritants. Some subspecies of the eyebloom produce a sticky mucus that catch flies and other small insects that provoke a blink.

Effect: One unit of eyebloom can be activated as a standard action while wielded as though it were a one-handed weapon, granting the holder the ability to see through it even if it is otherwise blind. Unlike most plants, eyebloom may be used by any creature, not just the picking herbalist, but the creature must have the picking herbalist’s consent to gain any benefit from it.

If an otherwise-blind wielder of eyebloom becomes subject to a gaze attack, he may destroy the eyebloom as an immediate action to avoid that gaze attack. If he does not, he is subject to the gaze as normal.

Mindshroom (Fungus)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 round + 1 round/level; see text
Appearance: Essentially a purplish brainshape on a stalk, the mindshroom jiggles whenever a nearby creature thinks really, really hard.

Effect: When one unit of mindshroom is chewed as a standard action, the chewer’s mind screams out with a thousand voices, granting immunity to mind-affecting abilities by virtue of there being no room for yet another voice to get a word in edgewise, but confusing the chewer in the process. If the chewer is immune to confusion or has the confusion effect removed, then the effects of mindshroom end immediately.

Underbloom (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: see text
Appearance: Highly reminiscent of a species of flower used to make tea, this flower’s stem periodically jerks back and forth in daemonic paroxysms. That’s how you tell them apart from the teamaking ones.

Effect: Underbloom mimics the effects of any plant with a point value of 2 or less from the aberrant microcosm or the underground biome. Alternatively, it can mimic the effects of any plant with a point value of 1, so long as that plant deals damage. It may be used in recipes in the same manner.

Anger Microcosm

Table: Anger Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Old Man’s Invective x2, Surly Dwarf x2
5-8 Bigotweed x1, Old Man’s Invective x1, Surly Dwarf x1
9-12 Bigotweed x1, Old Man’s Invective x2
13-16 Bigotweed x1, Surly Dwarf x2
17-20 Red Cloud x1

Microcosm Summary: Everyone’s heard of those crazy bards who claim that plants respond well to music of varying emotions. Emotion, in particular elation and rage, is most definitely something a plant can sense, and if there’s enough of it, some pretty gnarly stuff starts to grow.

Where it can be found: Plants of the anger microcosm tend to congregate around sites of incredible negative emotion, such as mass graves produced by racism or war (as opposed to disease), oft-used lynching trees, vigilante gallows, and the birthplaces of bloody revolutions.

Bigotweed (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: Twisted and dark, this vile root blames you for everything wrong with its life.

Effect: When one unit of bigotweed is applied to a weapon as though it were an oil, choose a humanoid subtype, such as dwarf or halfling. The oiled weapon’s enhancement bonus increases by +1 (maximum +6) against creatures of the named subtype, and deals an additional point of damage against such creatures for every six herbalist levels the picking herbalist possesses. This additional damage is multiplied on a critical hit.

Old Man’s Invective (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 minute
Appearance: Though this fern looks downright wrinkled, it overflows with vitality when surrounded by negative emotions. Some things are just worth fighting for, apparently.

Effect: When one unit of old man’s invective is chewed as a standard action, the chewer gains 1 temporary hit point immediately and again at the beginning of each of its turns for the duration of old man’s invective. These temporary hit points persist for 1 round.

The number of temporary hit points granted by old man’s invective increases by +1 for every six herbalist levels the picker possesses.

Red Cloud (Fungus)

Point Value: 4
Duration: see text
Appearance: This bloodred mushroom releases a cloud of crimson spores when disturbed. The spores themselves smear like semi-congealed blood.

Effect: When one unit of red cloud is chewed as a standard action, one of two effects occur to the chewer.

1: If the chewer has the rage class feature, or the bloodrage class feature from any source, including sorcerer bloodlines, then it gains 2 temporary rounds of rage or bloodrage that last for 1 minute. If a temporary round of rage is used, then the chewer’s effective class level for the purpose of determining the strength of his rage for that round is equal to the lesser of his rage-granting class level or the picking herbalist’s class level.

2: If the chewer does not have the rage class feature, then it gains the rage class feature as a 1st level barbarian. It may rage for 2 rounds per day, and it retains the ability for 1 minute.

Surly Dwarf (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 minute/level or until discharged; see text
Appearance: Short, stocky, and bearded, this strange weed tends to show up within earshot of the bloodiest barfights to grace the material plane.

Effect: When chewed as a standard action, the chewer’s arms bulge with sudden strength, to the point that it looks like its arms were ripped off of somebody two or three sizes larger and planted upon the chewer’s torso. The next natural attack or unarmed attack made by the chewer deals additional damage equal to the picking herbalist’s class level, has a bonus to hit equal to the picking herbalist’s Wisdom modifier, and is treated as though it were delivered by a creature with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.

Arcane Microcosm

Table: Arcane Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Dampening Ivy x2, Fallen Apprentice x2
5-8 Dampening Ivy x1, Fallen Apprentice x1, Rival’s Rose x1
9-12 Dampening Ivy x2, Rival’s Rose x1
13-16 Fallen Apprentice x2, Rival’s Rose x1
17-20 Mageweed x1

Microcosm Summary: Magic is powerful stuff, and most wizards twist the laws of reality without a care in the world for how reality feels about it. In places where arcane practitioners put down roots, nature inevitably cracks under the constant pressure, and the just plain weird begins to grow.

Where it can be found: Plants of the arcane microcosm can be found near wizard towers, arcane universities, sites of magical experimentation, zones of wild magic, and other places with an artificial magical footprint. If arcane influence results in a wasteland, then use the irradiated microcosm instead.

Dampening Ivy (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 minute/level or until discharged; see text
Appearance: This slightly off-blue ivy is the bane of all arcane institutions, for it is prolific and its very presence makes magic a little harder to cast. As a result, groundskeepers are always in high demand, and a prestigious campus is a clean campus.

Effect: When tied about the neck of a willing creature, a standard action, dampening ivy grants temporary immunity to all damage from spells or spell-like sources. When the herb absorbs points of damage equal to 3 + the tying herbalist’s class level, it crumbles and its effect ends immediately.

While active, dampening ivy occupies the neck slot, suppressing the effects of any magic item already present in that slot, if present.

Fallen Apprentice (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 hour or until discharged; see text
Appearance: The eye of the fallen apprentice looks disquietingly like a humanoid face, though the way its petals droop, seemingly in shame, does much to obscure it.

Effect: When one unit of fallen apprentice is chewed as a standard action, the chewer gains knowledge of a single random cantrip from the wizard spell list. This cantrip may be cast as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to the chewer’s character level and Intelligence as its key ability. The chewer retains this ability until it has cast the cantrip once for every four levels the picking herbalist possesses (minimum 1).

Mageweed (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: see text
Appearance: This scraggly, herbaceous plant contains flecks of iridescent blue. When dried and used in place of tobacco, it produces a foul-smelling smoke that enhances magical ability.

Effect: Mageweed has two uses.

1: When one unit of mageweed is lit all at once, a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a willing ally within 30 feet becomes inundated in magical smoke. The next metamagic feat with a level increase of +2 or less that the ally applies to a spell doesn’t increase its casting time or spell level. This effect persists for 1 round, or until consumed.

2: An herbalist can process one unit of mageweed, a process that requires 1 minute of uninterrupted effort, to produce one unit of “smokable mageweed”. When put in a pipe (or rolled up as a cigarette or cigar) and smoked, a standard action, the smoker gains the ability to produce smoke rings as the dancing lights spell, save that it’s smoke and not lights that are dancing. Additionally, once over the course of the smoke, the smoker may grant himself a +1 bonus to caster level for 1 round as a swift action. A unit of smokable mageweed lasts for 10 minutes once lit.

Starting at 9th level, the herbalist produces an additional unit of smokable mageweed whenever she processes mageweed.

Rival’s Rose (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level or until discharged; see text
Appearance: Rival’s rose is renowned for its thorns.

Effect: While wielded as though it were a one-handed weapon, one unit of rival’s rose may be expended as an immediate action in response to any spell that affects the wielder. If expended, the wielder negates all effects of that spell on a successful saving throw, but only if that spell normally allows for one.

Evil Microcosm

Table: Evil Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Glumprong Bark x2, Wormy Tendril x2
5-8 Glumprong Bark x1, Sliver Barb x1, Wormy Tendril x1
9-12 Glumprong Bark x2, Sliver Barb x1
13-16 Sliver Barb x1, Wormy Tendril x2
17-20 Staring Eyeball x1

Microcosm Summary: There exist countless demiplanes commanded by powerful beings, realms that shift and change at the beck and call of their creators. All planes are like this to some extent, to the point that where powerful creatures congregate, their influence warps the land.

Where it can be found: Plants of the evil microcosm tend to grow where a great evil has lived for a prolonged period of time. The very power this being radiates alters the very nature of the local area, producing twisted plants more in line with what the being represents.

Glumprong Bark (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: The glumprong tree distinguishes itself from all others with its extreme density and purple wood.

Effect: When one unit of glumprong tree bark is chewed as a standard action, the chewer becomes significantly bulkier for the duration and is treated as one size category larger for the purpose of combat maneuvers.

Sliver Barb (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: Sliver barbs sport wicked thorns, but can be milled into high-quality oils and dyes.

Effect: When one unit of sliver barb is applied to a weapon as though it were an oil, that weapon begins to radiate a deleterious power. For the duration of the plant’s effect, the oiled weapon deals an additional point of negative energy damage, plus a further point of negative energy damage for every three herbalist levels the picker possesses. Undead are only immune to negative energy damage inflicted by this plant rather than healed by it.

Staring Eyeball (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: For reasons yet unknown, somebody made a grass that looks like a carpet of eyestalks.

Effect: When one unit of staring eyeball is chewed as a standard action, the chewer gains immunity to becoming flanked for the duration of the plant’s effect. This effect is suppressed if the chewer is, or becomes, blind.

Wormy Tendril

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 minute/level; see text
Appearance: Wormy tendrils look much like pink tubules of muscle that decided to become a ground covering. In that regard, it’s much like a carpet of dry tongues.

Effect: When one unit of wormy tendril is chewed as a standard action, the chewer gains a tendril charge, plus an additional tendril charge if the picking herbalist is of 11th level or higher. As an immediate action, the chewer may expend a tendril charge to gain the ability to take an attack of opportunity without expending one of his attacks of opportunity for the round. When the last tendril charge is consumed, the effects of wormy tendril end immediately.

Good Microcosm

Table: Good Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Bubble Bulbs x2, Downy Grass x2
5-8 Bubble Bulbs x1, Downy Grass x1, Feather Tree Bark x1
9-12 Bubble Bulbs x2, Feather Tree Bark x1
13-16 Downy Grass x2, Feather Tree Bark x1
17-20 Sun Berry x1

Microcosm Summary: There exist countless demiplanes commanded by powerful beings, realms that shift and change at the beck and call of their creators. All planes are like this to some extent, to the point that where powerful creatures congregate, their influence warps the land.

Where it can be found: Plants of the good microcosm tend to grow in places of extreme Good. The sites of miracles, archon expeditionary outposts on the prime material plane, and the like all tend to support a more wholesome variety of plants than do their immediate surroundings.

Bubble Bulbs (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: Bubble bulbs grow much like a grass, but where there would be grains in a stalk about to go to seed, there are instead indescribably-delicious bubbles.

Effect: One unit of bubble bulbs yields two bulbs, and a bulb can be chewed as though it were a goodberry, as the spell. At 4th level and every four herbalist levels thereafter, a unit of bubble bulbs yields an additional bulb, to a maximum of seven bulbs at 20th level.

Downy Grass (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 hour/level
Appearance: Downy grass is a strange cross between turfy plants and ferns, resulting in a carpet of fronds that looks much like a green sheet of feathers.

Effect: When one unit of downy grass is chewed as a standard action, the chewer’s body becomes significantly lighter, weighing only one-third the usual amount for the duration of the plant’s effect. This does not affect the weight of any equipment the chewer carries.

Feather Tree Bark (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: The feather tree sports eggs as fruit, wispy leaves that look much like feathers, some of the lightest lumber known to man, and cream-colored wood.

Effect: When one unit of feather tree bark is chewed as a standard action, the chewer gains a fly speed of 30 feet with good maneuverability. The chewer loses the ability to fly at the end of his turn, then regains it at the beginning of his next turn each round for the duration of the plant’s effect. Starting at 5th level, the chewer no longer loses the ability to fly at the end of his turn, and instead has a fly speed for the full duration of the plant’s effect. Starting at 11th level, the fly speed granted by feather tree bark increases to 60 feet.

Sun Berry (Fruit)

Point Value: 4
Duration: 1 minute/level (brew)
Appearance: Despite its name, the sun berry is prized for its inner light. In other words, it makes some of the best alcohol known to anyone.

Effect: An herbalist can brew a batch of fresh sunshine from one unit of sun berry, a process that requires 10 minutes of uninterrupted concentration. A batch of sunshine contains 2 doses, each of which be consumed as though it were a potion. Each dose grants the drinker temporary hit points equal to the herbalist’s class level, as well as a +4 morale bonus to saving throws against fear effects.

Starting at 10th level, sunshine grants immunity to fear for the rather than a mere morale bonus to saving throws against fear effects. While brewing, the herbalist may expend a unit of herbalism plant that can be used as though it were a unit of generic fresh produce when cooking. If the herbalist expends such a plant, she produces an additional dose of sunshine. Further, if the expended plant increases the herbalist’s effective level when used in cooking, it also increases her effective level when brewing.

As a brewed product, sunshine can be passed from the herbalist to another creature without it losing its efficacy.

Graveyard Microcosm

Table: Graveyard Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Embalming Grass x2, Reaper’s Duty x2
5-8 Embalming Grass x1, Reaper’s Duty x1, Widow’s Tears x1
9-12 Embalming Grass x2, Widow’s Tears x1
13-16 Reaper’s Duty x2, Widow’s Tears x1
17-20 Grave Moss x1

Microcosm Summary: The dead outnumber the living, and their cities alter the very world itself.

Where it can be found: Wherever the dead are interred in mass numbers, be it county graveyard or genocide, the graveyard microcosm is there.

Embalming Grass (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 day/2 levels (minimum 1 day)
Appearance: Found among patches of grave moss, embalming grass is one of the few graveyard-specific plants that have much vitality to it. Scraggly and dry, it is nevertheless quite green no matter how bad a drought may get.

Effect: When one unit of embalming grass is crushed and sprinkled upon a corpse, a standard action, that corpse resists decay as the gentle repose spell.

Grave Moss (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: 1 round/level
Appearance: A sickly, grey moss, grave moss tends to grow on or around tombstones, mass graves, old battlefields, and anywhere else bodies are interred. Fires and other means of destroying a corpse tends to end grave moss colonization.

Effect: When one unit of grave moss is thrown as a splash weapon with a range increment of 20 feet, a standard action, it affixes itself to a random creature in the square in which it lands. Ripping grave moss off of a creature requires a DC 10 + 1/2 the herbalist’s class level + the herbalist’s Wisdom modifier Strength check, and may be attempted as a standard action, or in place of an attack in a full-attack action. If ripped off, grave moss ends immediately and cannot be used again. If the creature onto which the grave moss is latched dies over the course of the plant’s duration, that creature is temporarily raised as a zombie under the control of the herbalist, provided the resulting zombie would fulfill the following requirements.

1: The resulting zombie’s Hit Dice must either be less than or equal to three-quarters the herbalist’s class level, or less than or equal to 1.

2: The creature must be of a type that can be raised as a zombie. (not a construct, not already undead, and so on) Zombies raised in this fashion remain raised for 1 minute per herbalist level, at which point the magic in the grave moss simply runs out and the dead corpse collapses to the ground once more. If not destroyed while temporarily raised by grave moss, a corpse may be raised once more using more pedestrian animation techniques, such as animate dead or raise dead.

Reaper’s Duty (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: see text
Appearance: Reaper’s duty is a dry, woody grass that shoots out leaves perpendicular to the primary stalk. Curved and wicked, this pest of a plant is known for its ability to score shallow lacerations along shin and ankle simply by being forced to stomp through a patch of the stuff.

Effect: The herbalist may wield one unit of reaper’s duty as though it were a sickle of her size. Unlike a sickle, however, reaper’s duty hits on a successful melee touch attack, ignores damage reduction (excluding DR/epic), and deals damage directly to the target’s hit point total if the target has temporary hit points. Reaper’s duty breaks and becomes useless once it makes a single successful attack.

Poisons and oils may be applied to reaper’s duty as though it were a weapon.

Widow’s Tears (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: Widow’s tears is a heavy, hooded purple flower on a weak, whippy stalk, so named because the weight of the flower causes the entire plant to bend over like a widow crying at a lost love’s grave.

Effect: One unit of widow’s tears can be applied to a weapon as though it were a poison with the following profile.

Type poison (injury); Save none; Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; Effect Randomly select an ability score to which the subject has taken ability score damage. 1 point of ability damage converts to 1 point of ability drain. Starting at 9th level, this increases to converting up to 2 points of ability damage to ability drainCure none

Irradiated Microcosm

Table: Irradiated Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Eyestalk x2, Screaming Pome x2
5-8 Eyestalk x1, Screaming Pome x1, Vaseline Bloom x2
9-12 Eyestalk x2, Vaseline Bloom x1
13-16 Screaming Pome x2, Vaseling Bloom x1
17-20 Mutagen Root

Microcosm Summary: The irradiated microcosm is the result of contamination, not by powerful extraplanar entities, but by the over-concentration of the earth’s bounty itself.

Where it can be found: Wherever the geiger counter goes wild, radiation is in strong enough supply to produce the mutated plants of the irradiated microcosm. This can vary based on setting. Some may play with radiation, radioactivity, and good ol’ uranium in a straight manner, while other settings can get some mileage out of this microcosm as the contamination of particularly dangerous crystals.

Eyestalk (Herb)

Microcosm: Irradiated
Point Value: 1
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: This bizarre plant is effectively a thick stalk with what appears to be a plant’s attempt at an eyeball at its end.

Effect: When one unit of eyestalk is consumed as though it were a potion, all non-permanent blindness and dazzling effects affecting the consumer end immediately, with the sole exception that blindness and dazzling effects caused by contact with an external quantity, such as gunk over the eyes or the glitterdust spell, cannot be cured in this manner.

Mutagen Root (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: The mutagen root is so named because it never stops shifting and changing. Describing it beyond being a tuber is an exercise in futility.

Effect: When one unit of mutagen root is chewed, the chewer gains two tentacles as secondary natural attacks. These tentacles deal 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage on a successful hit regardless of the subject’s size.

Screaming Pome (Fruit)

Point Value: 1
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: For some unknown reason, this pome fruit has a humanoid mouth. When jostled, it complains. When thrown, the real noise begins.

Effect: As a standard action, one unit of screaming pome can be thrown as a thrown splash weapon with a range increment of 20 feet. When it lands, the fruit erupts into a cacophony of horrible wailing, dealing 1d6 + the herbalist’s class level points of sonic damage and deafening all creatures in a 10-foot-radius centered upon the square in which it landed with a Fortitude save to halve the damage and negate the deafened effect.

Vaseline Bloom (Herb)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 minute/level
Appearance: Vaseline blooms are small clusters of flowers that glow with an eerie green light, much like vaseline glass. When chopped into pieces, they yield a small amount of glowing, radioactive fluid.

Effect: When one unit of vaseline bloom is applied to a weapon as though it were an oil, that weapon begins to glow with a sickly green light, shedding light as a candle. Additionally, the weapon deals 1 point of damage to a random ability score on a successful hit. A successful Fortitude save negates this ability score damage.

Legend Microcosm

Table: Legend Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-5 Breath of the Hero x1
6-10 Dew of the Ages x1
11-15 Keenblade Leaf x1
16-20 The Last Warrior x1

Microcosm Summary: Legends die, and their bones are interred in the earth to molder for all eternity. Even centuries later, nature has a way of reclaiming the remnants of realized potential that went into these paragons made flesh.

Where it is found: The burial places of truly exceptional individuals become focal points for the plants of the legend microcosm. Only those who changed the world (for good or ill) with their influence need apply.

Special Rules: Plants that exhibit the properties of the legend microcosm are exceptionally rare and difficult to pick correctly. As a result, the legend microcosm is subject to the following restrictions:

  • A character must have an herbalist level of at least 10th in order to pick herbs from the legend microcosm.
  • A character may only roll on the legend microcosm find herbs table once per week.
  • A roll on the legend microcosm pick herbs table completely replaces a roll on a biome table rather than replacing plants marked with an asterisk (*).
  • Herbs from the legend microcosm cannot be preserved in a preservation vessel.

Breath of the Hero (Herb)

Point Value: 10
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: Tiny speckles of white and pink cover the graves of great heroes and villains alike. The name is simply because heroes are more popular.

Effect: When one unit of breath of the hero is sprinkled over the corpse of a creature, a 10-minute ritual that also requires the sacrifice of 900 GP worth of powdered silver dust, the corpse is resurrected as the reincarnate spell.

With GM approval, the creature to be raised is raised as the same race as the legendary being interred in the grave from which the breath of the hero was picked.

Dew of the Ages (Herb)

Point Value: 10
Duration: 8 hours
Appearance: This herbaceous plant stores droplets of the purest water in little waxy cells interspersed through its structure.

Effect: When one unit of dew of the ages is chewed, the chewer loses all penalties imposed by its age category, but retains all of its age-based bonuses. Additionally, the chewer gains a +1 inherent bonus to all ability scores and immunity to fear.

Keenblade Leaf (Herb)

Point Value: 10
Duration: 10 minutes/level
Appearance: The viciously-sharp keenblade leaf was hunted to extinction, only to return near the graves of heroes.

Effect: When one unit of keenblade leaf is applied to a metal weapon as though it were an oil, the weapon begins to emit an unearthly shine. At 1st level, keenblade leaf grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 19th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, keen, vorpal, and wounding. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (see Table: Melee Weapon Special Abilities). These bonuses are added to any properties the weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. The bonus and properties granted by the keenblade leaf are determined when it is used and cannot be changed until keenblade leaf is used again. These bonuses apply to both ends of a double weapon.

The Last Warrior (Herb)

Point Value: 10
Duration: see text
Appearance: Like an indomitable sentinel, this plain white flower stays in bloom through the bleakest of winters, the harshest of droughts, and the most persistent of groundskeepers.

Effect: When one unit of the last warrior is chewed, the chewer gains the benefits of the Diehard feat, as well as DR 3/- and resistance 3 against acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, negative energy, positive energy, and sonic. Whenever its current hit points are 0 or less, the granted DR increases to 15/- and the granted resistance increases to 15. This effect persists for 8 hours, or until the chewer has its current hit points reduced below 0 for 5 rounds, whichever comes first.

Sylvan Microcosm

Table: Microcosm Find Herbs
d20 Plants Found
1-4 Ironbane x2, Pixie Dust x2
5-8 Ironbane x1, Pixie Dust x1, Trickberry x1
9-12 Ironbane x2, Trickberry x1
13-16 Pixie Dust x2, Trickberry x1
17-20 Vowflower x1

Microcosm Summary: Sylvan. The very word conjures up images of faerie rings, dryads, and pixie tricksters, but the Fair Folk go much deeper than that. Theirs is a world entirely alien to our own, one with a code of morality that makes absolutely no sense when overlaid with what we take for granted.

Where it is found: This microcosm pops up wherever the Fair Folk have been present for a significant length of time. Depending on your campaign setting, this can be places where their home world is manifest, or just places of historical sylvan occupation.

Ironbane (Herb)

Point Value: 1
Duration: 1 round + 1 round/level
Appearance: This rust-colored vine is ubiquitous to areas of sylvan occupation. It acts as their first and best line of defense against those who drag iron weaponry into their home.

Effect: When one unit of ironbane is applied to a nonferrous (iron-containing) melee weapon as though it were an oil, that weapon ignores the hardness of ferrous weapons when used to sunder them.

Pixie Dust (Fungus)

Point Value: 2
Duration: 1 hour/level or until discharged; see text
Appearance: This neon-colored mushroom looks like it should only been seen in the middle of an acid trip. However, there’s absolutely nothing psychedelic about its properties. It’s just bright. So very bright.

Effect: When one unit of pixie dust is applied to a melee weapon as though it were an oil, that weapon becomes sticky with phosphorescent red, blue, and yellow spores. The next creature hit by the coated weapon is blinded for 1d4 rounds with a Fortitude save to negate.

Trickberry (Fruit)

Point Value: 1
Duration: instantaneous
Appearance: This blood-red berry explodes in a fit of giggling when poked.

Effect: One unit of trickberry can be thrown as though it were a ranged splash weapon with a range increment of 10 feet, a standard action. Those directly hit are subject to the trip combat maneuver with a CMB equal to the herbalist’s class level + her Wisdom modifier.

Vowflower (Herb)

Point Value: 4
Duration: 1 round + 1 round/level
Appearance: It is said that though vowflower has a distinct form, no two individuals see the same plant.

Effect: As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, one unit of vowflower can be crumbled upon a creature in reach, a melee touch attack. On a successful hit, choose druid or paladin. Starting at the beginning of the herbalist’s next turn, the subject must follow the chosen class’ vows to the letter or lose access to its supernatural abilities, spell-like abilities, and spells for the duration of vowflower. A successful Will save negates. The atonement spell ends the effects of vowflower immediately.