101 herbs for D&D 5


Concocting an herbal preparation or crafting a poison are two different things.

In the first case, we seek to recover the essence of the plant as pure as possible, so that the preparation can be kept for as long as possible with the strongest possible effect.

But for poisons the difficulty is quite different. Maintaining the effect is generally not a problem, on the other hand we will endeavor to conceal its smell or its color, something which we do not worry about for herbal preparations.

In short, the works are different between a vegetal poison and an herbal preparation.

Nature contains many herbs with beneficial effects for those who know how to detect and prepare them. Certain druids and rangers, in particular, specialize in the art of herbalism. Note that if the most correct expression is "herbs", we will also frequently speak here of "plants" in the generic sense of the term. The resulting effects are classified into different types:

  • Altering. Change something on the subject.
  • Antipoison. Preventive, helps to resist the effects of certain poisons.
  • Boost. Gives a bonus for achieving something.
  • Curative. Allows you to recover hit points. These are the most common preparations.
  • Fortifying. Gives a bonus for resisting to something.

Buying a preparation

In cities, apothecaries are dedicated to selling herbs and making curative or medicinal preparations, while herbalists make ointments with more diverse properties. Some are old druids or rangers who have settled down and thus end their career quietly when the muscles no longer follow. The description of each herb indicates the suggested price for a dose, usually sold in a vial.

Finding a plant


Any self-respecting herbalist follows a kind of code:

• Always collect the herbs yourself, during dry weather and after the dew has evaporated.
• Cut herbs with neutral tools (wood, stone, silver, gold) and not with metal tools which can alter the properties of the plants.
• Never pick more than necessary, and always leave at least as many plants as you collect.

While an apothecary can make a craft from herbs brought to him or sold to him, an herbalist makes it a point of honor to collect what he needs himself. Finding a plant first requires fulfilling two conditions: being in the right place at the right time. For this, the description of each plant indicates in which natural environment it grows, and the season or seasons during which it must be picked or recovered to obtain its optimal effect.

  • Mushrooms. Harvest throughout the year, except in winter.
  • Barks. Harvested in autumn.
  • Plants. Leaves, flowers and berries are harvested in summer.
  • Roots. Harvest in spring or autumn.

Then, to be able to identify a herb by its appearance, its smell or its taste, you must succeed on a Wisdom (Nature) check whose DC depends on the type of preparation (see table below). The plants with the most powerful effects are also the rarest! Mastery of the herbalist kit applies to rolls if the character does not have proficiency in the Nature skill.

Concocting a preparation

A character can use the following rules to create preparations if he has proficiency with the herbalist's kit and the necessary herbs, of course. Note that none of these preparations are magic in terms of the rules. Moreover, whatever the preparation (infusion, decoction or maceration), it is not a simple operation. To extract the full essence of an herb and achieve its optimum effect, the picked plant must be in perfect condition, heated but not too much, enough, not too long, etc. Sometimes, the plant must also be mixed with other common components (fat, water, oil, nuts, acorn), but essential to obtain the desired effect.

With regard to concocting, preparations can be classified into four categories:

Direct Absorption. These plants or berries are eaten uncooked, just after picking, and therefore do not actually require any preparation. Once picked, they must be eaten quickly because, otherwise, they lose enough of their properties so that the desired effect does not occur. The effects of these plants without preparation are very limited, but their cost is zero.

Infusion. To prepare these plants, they must be immersed in hot or cold water for a few minutes. The resulting infusion, which can then be stored in a vial, retains its properties for several days. Beyond that, the infusion is no longer strong enough to produce real effects. The effects of herbal teas are generally a little stronger than those of herbs that are eaten directly.

Decoction. The decoction is usually applied to barks and roots. The plant must remain submerged in boiling water for about an hour. The resulting decoction, which can then be stored in a vial, retains its properties for several weeks. The effects of decoctions are generally stronger than those of simple infusions.

Maceration. A maceration is a mixture of oils and herbs that must rest for a long time and from which only the oil is kept in the end. This can keep its properties for more than a year. The cost is equal to the selling price divided by 10 (for the additional ingredients needed) and there is generally only enough in a place to end up with a single dose. Concocting a maceration is painstaking work and requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Nature) check. On a failure, the plants are lost.

Also be aware that when we talk about poultices, ointments or balms, we are simply referring to how we apply the preparation, and not how we prepare the herbs, which is what interests us here.


For each category, the table below indicates the DC of the Wisdom (Nature) check necessary to recognize the plant in the nature and know its effect, how long it takes to make the preparation, how many doses one draws from what we found in a place, and how long the preparation retains its effects.

Type Knowledge Cost Preparation Doses Proprieties
Direct Absorption DC 10 Wisdom (Nature) check none 0 1d6 1 day
Infusion DC 15 Wisdom (Nature) check none 10 minutes 1d4 1 week
Decoction DC 15 Wisdom (Nature) check none 1 hour 1d2 1 month
Maceration DC 20 Wisdom (Nature) check selling price/10 2 months 1 1 year

Below is a list of D&D 5 herbs, in alphabetical order. Note that you can also filter, sort and generate your own PDF using the HERBS app.