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ID: 5984


January 25, 2010, 6:54 pm

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Cheka Man

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Dew Nettle


Mind the nettles son, it's wet out.


The Dew Nettle is an easily overlooked plant. It's leaves are tri-form and have a slick and glossy appearance. The plant produces small black berries that are moderately poisonous, and small blue flowers that have a slightly bitter smell.

Dangerous When Wet

The Dew Nettle is normally a safe plant to handle, despite being poisonous, and a nettle. The plant remains safely inert so long as it is dry. If the leaves are wet, the nettle becomes dangerous to handle, its poisons seeping out. This adaptation protects the plants from herbivores as one mouthful of the plant is enough to blister the inside of a cow's mouth and cause it gastro-intestinal distress.

In Game Use

The Dew Nettle can be a local menace that local folk know to avoid, and when they can deal with it. Travelers are less likely to know about this plant. Seeing the locals pushing through a field of nettles would give them no warning of the plants danger. They could then be exposed to the plant's poison during a rainstorm, passing through a field wet with mornging dew and the like. The plant could also be used as a deterrent, a spray of water turning a nettle hedge into a stinging barrier.


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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
January 25, 2010, 22:30
If someone touches a dry one of these and later gets wet, does he or she get poisoned by it?
Voted manfred
January 26, 2010, 9:17
The assumption is, that it is (relatively) safe when dry. I'd imagine that the locals remove it from their fields, but leave it around fences just in case. Some might harvest them for more nefarious purposes.

Nice plant there, Scras!
Voted Ancient Gamer
January 26, 2010, 9:32
Only voted
Voted Redgre
January 26, 2010, 12:17
Interesting idea seed. Not overpowered, but a new hazard that could be added to any rpg. Sadly, I'm not too thrilled with this 'autodamage to the uneducated' plant and would have a hard time adding it to my rpg without some modifications and probably some additions. This submission was well written and very straightforward. Another simple straightforward plant that could be added to any alchemist's ingredient list.
January 26, 2010, 16:03
Autodamage to the uneducated, that applies to poison ivy, poison oak, and regular nettles. If you don't know what it is, its going to get you because it doesn't look threatening or dangerous.

I am curious what changes or additions you would have to make to this plant to use it in your game (aside from adding dice values and such)
January 27, 2010, 11:50
Well, I haven't really settled on any for the time being, but here's a few ideas.
1. Have the dew nettles produce a paralytic poison instead of stinging. Have a carnivorous amphibian, who is immune to the poison and likes to come out in the rain, prey upon the paralyzed victims. The amphibian would normally be not be much of a threat unless it's victim is paralyzed. Then have the amphibian's dung, victim's blood, or whatever be the perfect fertilizer for the dew nettles. Kind of a mutualistic relationship. The nettles would be valuable to healers as kind of a local anesthetic for patients.
2. The dew nettles are actually carnivorous plants and are trying to kill animals that come close. The preferred prey of the dew nettle is rodents. But if a person or something bigger were to die/fall unconscious on top of the nettles. They might chow down on whatever. The berries would be a natural rat poison.
3. Assuming that the dew nettles are annuals, they have a certain maturity point that is reached every year before they die. At that maturity point, the poison is eliminated and the berries are delicious and nutritious to eat (or contain an interesting magical effect or somehow are useful).
January 28, 2010, 16:40
I will be honest, it seems like you are trying to make something that is quite simple artificially complicated.

Not every plant is going to be part of an elaborate scheme to harm PCs, nor is every plant existant for the benefit of PCs.

Your ideas aren't bad, this is just a stinging nettle that only stings when it is wet. Simple.
January 28, 2010, 20:49
First, if I didn't make this clear earlier, the versions I proposed of your plants are exactly what you wrote. If I added or changed something, I wrote it in my ideas, otherwise they are exactly the same.

Second, every plant has a value... no matter how small and marginal. If the PCs want to harvest a field of hay with their time, I'm ok with giving them a few coppers or whatever from a local farmer (provided it takes less than one minute real time). If a lion were hiding in the hay, did I put the hay there just to get the PCs? The hay was just there, whether for the benefit or harm of the PCs depends on the situation. All three of my ideas could have nothing to do with the PCs. Again it really depends on what the plant is doing in your adventure. Are you trying to teach the PCs that they need a guide? Are you trying to strip a few health (hp) off of your PCs to keep their cockiness down? Are you just wanting a simple complication in the middle of a more complex crisis? Whatever the purpose for including the plant would be accomplished with whichever version of the plant we have discussed.

Finally, if you want to make poison oak that only works when wet, cool. Good for you, whatever makes you happy. Simple ideas are not always bad, but they're usually not terrific either. I like my props a little more interesting and dynamic. That's me. If it bugs you, I won't apologize. I want to be honest with you too. When you make something good. I will tell you about it. I love some of your previous ideas and have given you the votes to prove it. If you make a plain Jane idea... expect plain marks from me. If anything, I'm hoping to help you make better submissions, because I know you can.
Voted tinypoisonousfish
January 27, 2010, 21:16
Only voted
Voted Moonlake
June 19, 2013, 1:02
Short and sweet.
Voted Murometz
November 1, 2016, 10:19
...Just trudging through a field of dew nettles, nothing to see here, then bang! Rainstorm! I like these for that scenario alone.
Voted valadaar
February 3, 2017, 11:37
Short and simple. Could serve as a nice mini-challenge for low-level scenarios.

But seriously, nettles suck:)

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