• Justin Handlin

Dungeon Dressing: 20 Side Effects of Eating Wild Vegetation in Dungeons & Dragons



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Dungeon Dressing: 20 Side Effects of Eating Wild Vegetation in Dungeons & Dragons


The fantasy world is one of adventure, magic, and monsters. When a character decides to step into the life of adventuring, it becomes one of almost all business. With this comes the dangers of surviving in the wilderness. Adventurers often pack plenty of nuts, berries, dried meats, and other rations for a trip. While spells such as create food and water are perfect for these situations, an adventuring party may not always have access to them. That’s when foraging and survival skill checks come into play. While oftentimes a poor roll is treated as a failure to locate an edible resource, we’ve taken a different approach. One that is more engaging and likely to make the players think twice about their resources and who they send out to collect food.


Sometimes the unexpected can lead them to need to survive off the land and that requires knowledge of vegetation. Since the roll of the dice adds randomness, let's have fun with it. Let’s assume they find enough food for the party, but with a twist. Let's use the poor roll of the dice to drive our story. What I mean is simply have the character misidentify a plant, fruit, and other wild vegetation. The result? Unusual side effects for better or worse. We’ve included some samples. All the plants provide necessary sustenance but just have additional effects.


You could choose to even have these be utilized as potions or poultices created with the herbalism kit or poisoner's kit. When doing this, appropriate level Intelligence (Nature) checks can be used to identify and/or create any concoctions. Rarity determines difficulty. The DCs equal Common = 13, Uncommon = 15, Rare = 18, Very Rare = 20.


1) Delphinium Glauca is a large common plant with light yellow leaves that give off a sweet scent found in moist forests. Their stalks on average are thick as a dwarf's thumb and as tall as a halfling. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, every hour the creature’s Intelligence score is reduced by 1 to a minimum of 5. At the end of each long rest, the creature can make another Intelligence saving throw, ending this effect on a success. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


2) Decumaria Variegatus is a rare and large light brown and yellow plant. It can be found in dry and dusty locations. It has thin, yellow, and brown oval leaves. Each plant grows a single large flower containing a cabbage-like vegetable when it blooms. A creature that ingests the fruit must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, 1d6 hours later the creature breaks a thunderous wind. The creature releases a stinking cloud as if the spell was cast centered on them. Once released, the creature is no longer diseased.

3) Ogeche is a vary rare cactus-like plant. Growing to only a handspan tall. These tall spiky blue and green plants have spear-shaped leaves and a coat of needles. They store water and consume it slowly, making it the most common in dusty savannas, but can grow in a wide variety of areas. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution save or gain blindsight out to 15 feet for 1d4 days. The target's eyes swell and they become blind beyond the radius of their blindsight. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


4) Calycanthus Tripetala is a small push no larger than a human skull. Generally found in caverns and caves deep away from sunlight. Their bright blue spoon-shaped leaves are bioluminescent and produce dim-light out to 1 foot. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or gain sunlight sensitivity and darkvision out to 30 feet. If they already have darkvision its range is extended an additional 30 feet. This effect lasts for 1d4 days. This disease can be removed by the lesser restoration spell or similar magic.


5) Erythronium Recutita is a common plant of modest size. This red and purple plant is bountiful in swamps and marshes but can be found in most wet areas. Its shovel-shaped leaves grow a myriad of blue and red flowers. The creature’s eyes are gripped with pain. A creature that ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or their eyes turn milky white and have disadvantage on Wisdom checks and Wisdom saving throws and is blinded. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


6) Cosmos Decussata is a huge plant found in dry and dusty environments. It has thick, lime green barbed dagger-shaped leaves. Each plant grows small light pink flowers with purple cherry-like fruit. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or suffer severe vertigo. The creature's movement speed is reduced by 10 feet and has disadvantage on all Dexterity checks and saving throws. This disease can be removed by the lesser restoration spell or similar magic.


7) Colocasia Asperata is a common large plant that can be found in damp locations. It has thin, forked black and purple leaves. Each plant tends to grow a single, large light red and silver flower. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target suffers from dysentery which causes severe bloody diarrhea. When the creature takes a long rest it must repeat the saving throw. On a fail, the creature loses 1d4 hit dice. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


8) Chlidanthus Floridulus is an uncommon medium plant found in a variety of temperate climates. It has wide, circular bronze leaves. It grows overly sized dark silver, blue and purple flowers. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. After 1d8 hours, whenever the creature eats, it must repeat the saving throw or projectile vomit the contents of its stomach. The creature does not gain the benefits of eating and feels weak. Subtract 1d4 from Constitution saving throws. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


9) Dilochos Cerifera is a common plant that is most often found in arctic locations but can on rare occasions is found in more temperate areas. It has thick, dark orange and yellow-toothed leaves. While it doesn’t grow any flowers, it does grow thin grape-like fruit. The fruit's translucent skin reveals the seeds within. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 8 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target suffers the effects of the invisibility spell for 1d6 +1 hours. Each hour the creature must repeat the saving throw or suffer a level of exhaustion. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


10) Crocus Tetragona is an uncommon modest plant with dark green with yellow highlights. It has tiny, pointed leaves each with four points. The base of the plant is a purple tuber. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or suffer the effects of the slow spell for up to 1d4 days. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the lesser restoration spell or similar magic.

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11) Dyssodia Alopecuroides is a common plant. It stands as high as a goliath and can generally be found in mountains or other high altitudes. This dark and ashy plant has thousands of tiny white, rosette leaves. A creature that ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature becomes acclimated to cold temperatures below 0 degrees. It gains resistance to cold damage and gains vulnerability to fire damage. This effect lasts for 1d4 days. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


12) Feijoa Sinensis is an uncommon mediocre plant twice as wide as it is tall. It's especially plentiful in moist marshes and swamps. Its thin, circular white and red leaves look like red veins running through an ivory tusk. The flowers produce small dark nuts the size of a copper piece. The edible nuts can cause mindfire. A creature that ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the creature’s mind becomes feverish. For 1d4 days it has disadvantage on Intelligence checks and Intelligence saving throws and the creature behaves as if under the effects of the confusion spell during combat. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


13) Simicfuga Paludosum is a common silver and brown vine. It can be found climbing trees, buildings, and even cavern walls. It has diamond-shaped maroon leaves. It grows quite large dark bronze and gold flowers. A creature that ingests this plant begins to experience painful mutation to its body. The creature must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or their body slowly becomes covered in boils over the next 2d4 hours. The creature is vulnerable to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


14) Eleagnus Glabra is a very rare and small double-fist-sized green and red plant. They can be found near lakes, swamps, and oceans. It has thick, wide dome-like leaves with dozens of tiny light and dark pink flowers. A creature that ingests must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a fail, the creature begins to radiate an aura of splendor. The creature has advantage on Charisma checks for 1d4 days. This disease can be removed by the lesser restoration spell or similar magic.


15) Castilleja is a very rare plant with wide, lobed pine green leaves. Tiny dark pink and purple flowers with swirling designs belie its dangerous nature. A creature ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or develop extreme paranoia after 1d4 hours. The creature is unable to gain the benefits of a long rest. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


16) Coriandrum Glaberrima is a huge uncommon pea-green triangular plant with light green around its edges. Its leaves are long and thin and often sprout up and arch over like a bridge. A creature that ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the creature can’t speak a deliberate lie and is compelled to reveal things they tend to keep secret. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


17) Fritillaria Psycodes is an uncommon giant black and bronze plant. It grows in a variety of areas that receive little or no sunlight. Its massive leaves are shaped like a paw print. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the creature suffers a raging fever that sweeps through its body. The creature has disadvantage on Strength checks, Strength saving throws, and attack rolls that use Strength. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


18) Chionodoxa Hybrida is a small plant with huge green and white needle leaves. It grows small light red, dark blue, and light brown thumbnail-sized flowers. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or develop a stuttering speech impediment after 1d8 hours. The character has disadvantage on all Charisma (Deception and Persuasion) checks until the disease is removed. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


19) Erianthus Peltatum is a very rare towering plant. This tree-like plant has large dark green and blue spoon shaped leaves. It also grows enough dark yellow and light blue flowers to cover its entire canopy. This plant produces long purple slender fruit similar to a banana. A creature who ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or suffer chronic fatigue. The creature gains one level of exhaustion that cannot be removed. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


20) Dandranthema Incana is a common, large plant that can be found in forests, plains and other areas of temperate climate. It has huge, oval leaves, which are naturally black and purple with a splash of red. It produces berries that can easily be mistaken for raspberries. A creature that ingests this plant must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or the creature is overcome with shaking seizures. The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity checks, Dexterity saving throws, and attack rolls that use Dexterity. When the creature takes a long rest it can repeat the saving throw. This disease can be removed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.


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