View Full Version : DM Help Help me think of ingredient-gathering activities!

2018-07-14, 02:37 PM
My players will be brewing an important potion, and I need some inspiration for challenges that they値l face while collecting the ingredients.

It shouldn稚 be something that would take a full-fledged quest to acquire (e.g. a hair from the three-headed dog that guards the gate to the underworld), but rather something that can be combined into a chain of short challenges. Something like:

- Mandrake root: You値l have to find one in the forest, then pull it out and bag it before it runs away, all the while avoiding its poisonous bite and ear-shattering scream.

I like that one, but I知 blanking on anything else. So if you all are more inspired than I am, let me hear it!

(The nature of the potion doesn't matter that much, I just want to hear any and all ideas for current and future use.)

2018-07-14, 02:41 PM
Unicorn tears-you either have to make them cry in joy or despair.

Solid rainbow-no idea how you'd get this, but seems cool.

A virgin's blood-mostly to embarrass a player character. :P

A Roc feather-depending on how high level they are, this may or may not be appropriate.

Earth elemental sweat-possibly a droplet-shaped gemstone, possibly magma.

2018-07-16, 08:26 AM
Cheese curdled by the gaze of a basilisk, Medusa, or touch of a cockatrice.

Saliva spat out in anger. Doing it after deliberately working oneself up for the purpose of fulfilling this requirement is risky, since the anger must be unquestionably legitimate.

Blood shed in battle with a rusty blade.

Lord Torath
2018-07-16, 11:07 AM
Saliva spat out in anger. Doing it after deliberately working oneself up for the purpose of fulfilling this requirement is risky, since the anger must be unquestionably legitimate. Nah, this one's easy. Just have your character think about all the things their king/ruler/grand vizier/magistrate/BBEG is doing. After just a few minutes of this, he or she (or it, or whatever) is almost certain to be in a raging fury.

Blood shed in battle with a rusty blade.Careful! Those rusty blades are frightful opponents! Hope your cleric can cast Cure Tetanus, because, since rusty blades don't bleed, any blood shed in such a battle is certain to be yours! :smalltongue:

On topic: A Diamond that's been exposed all night to the light of the full moon by resting on the bare belly of a virgin. Said virgin must be living, and of a human, demi-human, or humanoid race. No age limit (yes, you could get your four-year-old little sister to do this), but the virgin must spend all night on their back with a bare belly. If they fall asleep and roll over, you need to try again. If your world has more than one moon, you can either pick a specific moon (the brightest, the dimmest, the one most closely associated in myth and legend with the purpose of the potion in question, etc.) of just take any night any of the moons is full.

Dew gathered from the web of a garden spider.

Live tadpoles. Frog, toad, salamander, mind flayer - any type will do.

An intact-egg that's been pushed from its nest by a cuckoo bird.

2018-07-16, 11:21 AM
A tear shed in sorrow in sympathy for a hated foe.

The tongue of a cannibal (could be any creature that has eaten the flesh of its own species).

Vegan's blood.

A father's blessing.

2018-07-16, 11:52 AM
A coin willingly given by a thief
A truth dismissed
A lie believed

2018-07-16, 01:59 PM
A flower that grows on top of the rocks, requiring some climbing. Problem is, the local mountain goats are infamously bad-tempered, and also the favourite hunting game of the local lord, to the point that he made it forbidden for anyone else to kill them.

A twig from an eagle's nest.

2018-07-16, 08:15 PM
Each of these is going to be phrased as a noun but they will generally have activities which would be easily associated with them:

A lump of coal that has never seen daylight.

A piece of a fallen star. (This is a little anachronistic- it wasn't until the the late 1700s/early 1800s that there was a general consensus that meteorites actually came from meteors but most players won't care especially given all the other anachronisms in D&D like platinum coins.)

Dust from the grave of a vampire.

Ash from a tree struck by lightning.

Water blessed by a king.

Water blessed by the high priest of a deity. (For more difficulty water blessed by high priests of two deities of opposing alignments.)

Blood from a mage, willingly given.

A noose used to hang a wrongly convicted man. (If PCs are evil, they could actively frame someone themselves for a crime and then use the noose after the person has been killed. For extra evil insist that the noose won't work if the person is later resurrected.)

A noose used to hang a murderer.

The finger bone of a stillborn child.

A crown from a kingdom that no longer exists.

Snot from a dragon.

Swamp water from a swamp inhabited by a hag.

A chip of stone off an ancient dolmen.

A crystal which a psion has focused energy into.

The burnt remains of the holy symbol of a dead god. (If to be made more difficult, the holy symbol has to have been used by a priest of the deity when the deity was still around.)

Threads of carpet from the coronation of a monarch.

Parchment from the spellbook of a lich.

2018-07-16, 09:01 PM
Something called "kissed mistletoe", i.e. a sprig of mistletoe that someone has kissed under.

The shedded skin of a wyrmling dragon (if you assume they're reptilian and they shed their skin as they grow).

A coin given in charity (i.e. ripped off from the donations bowl of a church)

2018-07-17, 08:47 AM

2018-07-17, 08:41 PM
The wisdom teeth of an elf.

If one of the PCs is an elf, substitute "elf" for a race not represented in the party.
All four teeth have to be from the same person. (For bonus fun, ask for five wisdom teeth, so they have to look for someone with a fairly uncommon genetic trait.)
Damaged teeth won't work, so they have to be collected carefully.

The venom of a six-eyed sand spider.

The spider must still be alive when the potion is brewed.
Putting the whole spider in will cause problems because {a} the rest of the spider is an extra ingredient that will throw things off and {b} this will be fatal to the spider; see previous list entry.
Bonus fun: ask for a specific amount of venom -- "milking" even a fraction of an ounce is labor-intensive and might require multiple spiders.

Something that isn't real.

No, literally, that's what the ingredients list says. "Something that isn't real."
It's up to the PCs to think of something that doesn't qualify as "real" (what even is "real", man, anyway, when you think about it...) and work out how to collect it.
It's up to the GM to decide whether their idea actually qualifies / works.

A lobster without blemish or scar.

Any lobster with the slightest imperfection on its shell doesn't work.
Usual fishing methods tend to ding them up a bit, so just heading down to the docks to buy one doesn't work as well as you might think.

A giant tube worm.

This one doesn't have to be alive, but it's a pain to get even a dead one.
Now you have an excuse to bust out some of those neglected underwater monsters.

A moon rock.

I'm just a big fan of making D&D parties figure out how to get to the moon. I don't know why, but it's always funny to me.

A fingerbone from a man forty years of age, who died at night, on a Tuesday, during the summer... by accident.

Of course, some morally-divergent PCs might try to engineer a death that fits the criteria, but then it's not an accident, is it?

A scale from an ancient dragon.

It's up to the PCs to figure out how to get that without having to fight an ancient dragon.