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.


2 Answers 2


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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As @chester points out, potions of healing are magical items--can you comment on why you're quoting the PHB's mundane crafting guidelines, rather than the DMG's magical crafting guidelines? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:46

Herbs are not really a thing in D&D 5e: there is no list of existing herbs nor are there specific recipes for potions.

So what does the PHB description of the herbalism kit mean with herbs? Its just a basic description the crafting rules want you to literally cough up the ingredients in hard cold cash. You don't need to forage for herbs or buy them from a store you just need to pay for it.

Even though there are spells like hallow which needs components like "herbs" and some other stuff with a worth of 1000gp meaning an arcane focus or a comp pouch wont work.

You would think that there would be a section about finding herbs or buying them or anything specific -- sorry to say there is nothing of the sort.

So either the DM needs to make something up like you going to a store saying "Hello, I want to buy 1000gp worth of herbs," and he gives you a bag of herbs.

Or he can make up some homebrew recipe list (which would not really be homebrew, because these things are supposed to be made up by the DM).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've voted to delete this post as it seems to have nothing to do with the question posed, about finding herbs, but rather with the question of how long it takes to make a healing potion when one has herbs in hand. (Which was not asked.) This may be an excellent question to ask-and-answer yourself, though, @Chester. It could be a good addition to the resource that is this site's expert Q&A. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just fixed it in my complete guide for making a healing potion i also explained why finding herbs is not explained in the phb. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chester
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some things worth taking a look at: Don't signal edits in text, the help center's paragraph on context for links, Style guide for posts... \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not super familiair with edit history, it doesnt help either that this is the first time i posted on these forums. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chester
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited this to simply remove the part that is off topic, instead of having it apologise for the part that is off topic. To learn more about the Stack (which is not a type of discussion forum, and works very differently), you can look at the short Tour and the larger Help center. Cheers! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2017 at 7:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .