Druid Herbalism Breakdown


Rules Questions


So I'm planning to build a druid and I want to use the druid herbalism nature bond. However there's a fair amount of confusion regarding the rules on herbalism. I've done some searching, but I cannot find any fan's or developer clarifications. If anyone can find such I'd deeply appreciate a link :) So without further ado, here's the breakdown of how I think this is intended to function.

First level ability:
You get to make a number of potions for free (no monetary cost, time cost, or spell slot cost, or craft check) equal to your wisdom modifier each day. After being created they are exactly like regular potions mechanically. If you want to make more than that you use the normal potion crafting rules. They look funny, and though they have the normal value, selling them will be hard (basically a GM can keep you from breaking the WBL if they want to).

Fourth level improvements;
You can try to confuse people about what a concoction actually is. Woot?

You can create your extra concoctions in half the time and half the cost (1/4 market cost)

You can make concoctions of any spells you can cast, not just druid spells. Cause you are totally multiclassing with another caster class?

Seventh level improvments:
Your tricky cocncotions are even harder to identify. Again woot?

You can make concoctions in 1 minute. Sweet, you can brew up some stuff shower fast. This is actually useful.

You can turn a spell slot into an extract with the infusion discovery. Bombtastic, handing out all sorts of good buffs, action economy win!


baggageboy wrote:

So I'm planning to build a druid and I want to use the druid herbalism nature bond. However there's a fair amount of confusion regarding the rules on herbalism. I've done some searching, but I cannot find any fan's or developer clarifications. If anyone can find such I'd deeply appreciate a link :) So without further ado, here's the breakdown of how I think this is intended to function.

First level ability:
You get to make a number of potions for free (no monetary cost, time cost, or spell slot cost, or craft check) equal to your wisdom modifier each day. After being created they are exactly like regular potions mechanically. If you want to make more than that you use the normal potion crafting rules. They look funny, and though they have the normal value, selling them will be hard (basically a GM can keep you from breaking the WBL if they want to).

Fourth level improvements;
You can try to confuse people about what a concoction actually is. Woot?

You can create your extra concoctions in half the time and half the cost (1/4 market cost)

You can make concoctions of any spells you can cast, not just druid spells. Cause you are totally multiclassing with another caster class?

Seventh level improvments:
Your tricky cocncotions are even harder to identify. Again woot?

You can make concoctions in 1 minute. Sweet, you can brew up some stuff shower fast. This is actually useful.

You can turn a spell slot into an extract with the infusion discovery. Bombtastic, handing out all sorts of good buffs, action economy win!

Note that they follow the potion crafting rules before 7, and thus take the same time as a potion to make and require you to expend to spell you use to make them (they are free gp wise and no craft check needed).


How could they follow the time rules of potions before 7? Making a single level 3 potion should take an entire day (i think I could be wrong) and you're supposed to be able to make as many as your wisdom mod each day which could be as many as 5 potions...


Its a day if the cost is more than 1000gp its 2 hours if its 250 or less with no specified time for things that land between those costs.


baggageboy wrote:
How could they follow the time rules of potions before 7? Making a single level 3 potion should take an entire day (i think I could be wrong) and you're supposed to be able to make as many as your wisdom mod each day which could be as many as 5 potions...

Yep that is exactly how they work. You can either make 1 expensive potion, or 4 'cheap' potions per day until the ability modifies the creation time. So at first level you can make 4 free potions on a downtime day, since the most expensive potion you can make is 50gp.

Once you hit 3rd level you can finally make a potion that is valued over 250gp. Now you have the option of making 1 'powerful' potion per day, or 4 cheap ones.

4th level double the amount of "free" potions you could possibly make, like you have a +8 wis mod.

7th level: now you live the dream. 1 minute per potion means you can make your "free" potions very quickly. Also means you can test your GMs patience by making 1/4 price potions and selling them until you hit the purchase cap of the community you are in every day.

The most broken thing you can do is make Concoctions of Channel the Gift to give yourself (or others) your wis mod in extra 3rd level spells per day. Takes you 14 days to walk to the next dungeon? That is 14 x wis mod in liquid spell slots. Traveling with captain Fireball? Load him up and convince him to get one of those drinking feats. Grab that one tankard that lets you store 6 potions in it and you're basically rapid firing one of your prepared spells every round for 'free'.

Also remember that there is no reason not to put your full levels into your 'free' potions. A normal Cure Moderate heals 2d6+3, yours cures 2d6+10 because its free. Your potion of Barkskin gets made at your full caster level, because you don't pay to make it.


baggageboy wrote:
How could they follow the time rules of potions before 7? Making a single level 3 potion should take an entire day (i think I could be wrong) and you're supposed to be able to make as many as your wisdom mod each day which could be as many as 5 potions...
Brew Potion wrote:

You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures or objects. Brewing a potion takes 2 hours if its base price is 250 gp or less, otherwise brewing a potion takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in its base price. When you create a potion, you set the caster level, which must be sufficient to cast the spell in question and no higher than your own level. To brew a potion, you must use up raw materials costing one half this base price.

When you create a potion, you make any choices that you would normally make when casting the spell. Whoever drinks the potion is the target of the spell and spells with a range of personal cannot be made into potions.

You potions have no price (they're free), so they take 2 hours to brew. Any additional take the normal amount of time as they would cost.

At level 4 they take an hour to brew.

At level 7 they take 1 minute.


willuwontu wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
How could they follow the time rules of potions before 7? Making a single level 3 potion should take an entire day (i think I could be wrong) and you're supposed to be able to make as many as your wisdom mod each day which could be as many as 5 potions...
Brew Potion wrote:

You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures or objects. Brewing a potion takes 2 hours if its base price is 250 gp or less, otherwise brewing a potion takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in its base price. When you create a potion, you set the caster level, which must be sufficient to cast the spell in question and no higher than your own level. To brew a potion, you must use up raw materials costing one half this base price.

When you create a potion, you make any choices that you would normally make when casting the spell. Whoever drinks the potion is the target of the spell and spells with a range of personal cannot be made into potions.

You potions have no price (they're free), so they take 2 hours to brew. Any additional take the normal amount of time as they would cost.

At level 4 they take an hour to brew.

At level 7 they take 1 minute.

Even if you make the potions for free, it doesn't change the base price of the potion, or the crafting time unless it explicitly says so.


Interesting. This means that the value of herbalism is even more dependent on the pacing of an adventure. If you don't really have hours to spend on it herbalism is useless until 7.


Technically not useless. You can get 4 hours of crafting done every 2 adventuring days. That is 2 potions of 250gp or less every 2 days traveling/adventuring.

Admittedly its no where near as useful as an animal companion or a domain without downtime. On the other hand, with downtime its arguably better than either since you can make a supply of concoctions greater than your daily limit of spells given enough time.

As you grow in level the value of Druidic Herbalism becomes questionable. Just how good is 5 extra 3rd level potions to a 15th level caster? It really depends. If you build yourself for it, you could be or help one of those casters that aimed for Spell Perfection and do something spectacular.


It's pretty good even without a lot of downtime, especially if your character concept just doesn't include an animal companion. I could also see a druid 4/wizard 3/mystic theurge getting even more mileage out of their ever-growing cache of free low-level spells, especially with that silly channel the gift business.


Unless magic item creation rules have had errata since I last saw them <Brew Potion> still follows normal creation rules with 'only one magic item per day' (max 1000gp of value per day)... (.-.) as written it's really bad. As intended, I think it's giving Druids the ability to act as a 'natural' Alchemist with potion making and extracts as such.


Alphavoltario wrote:
Unless magic item creation rules have had errata since I last saw them <Brew Potion> still follows normal creation rules with 'only one magic item per day' (max 1000gp of value per day)... (.-.) as written it's really bad. As intended, I think it's giving Druids the ability to act as a 'natural' Alchemist with potion making and extracts as such.

As far as I know people use craft alchemy for potions and thus are not restricted to the normal magical crafting rules since they aren't using spell craft.


Alphavoltario wrote:
Unless magic item creation rules have had errata since I last saw them <Brew Potion> still follows normal creation rules with 'only one magic item per day' (max 1000gp of value per day)... (.-.) as written it's really bad. As intended, I think it's giving Druids the ability to act as a 'natural' Alchemist with potion making and extracts as such.

you are correct about normal magic item creation.

Magic Items wrote:
The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for preparing spells is suitable for making items. Creating an item requires 8 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price (or fraction thereof), with a minimum of at least 8 hours. Potions and scrolls are an exception to this rule; they can take as little as 2 hours to create (if their base price is 250 gp or less). Scrolls and potions whose base price is more than 250 gp, but less than 1,000 gp, take 8 hours to create, just like any other magic item. The character must spend the gold at the beginning of the construction process. Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day. This process can be accelerated to 4 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price (or fraction thereof) by increasing the DC to create the item by 5.

However, the druidic herbalism ability changes this.

Druidic Herbalism wrote:

This acts like the Brew Potion feat, but only for spells on the druid spell list. Herbal concoctions are typically thick and sludgy, and their creation time, caster level, spell duplication capabilities, and all other variables and properties are identical to those of potions created using Brew Potion. Herbal concoctions created with herbs that cause special effects when ingested retain those effects as well as the appropriate spell effect.

A druid can create a number of free herbal concoctions per day equal to her Wisdom modifier. Additional concoctions cost the same as creating an equivalent potion using Brew Potion.

So, you can make X potions per day with the following properties

*X = your wisdom mod
*have a cost = zero
*last until consumed

At levels 1-3 the potions have the following limitations
*Are on the druid spell list
*You must cast the specific spell as part of the creation process
*Take 2 hours to create, unless you use expensive herbs which push it above the 250gp cap in which case each one takes 8 hours.
*Can make 1 potion beyond X but it costs the normal amount

At levels 4-6 the potions limitations change to be
*Are a spell you can cast
*You must cast the spell as part of the creation process
*Take 1 hour to create, unless you use expensive herbs which push it above the 250gp cap in which case each one takes 4 hours.
*Can make 1 potion beyond X and it costs half the normal amount

At levels 7+ the potions limitations change to be
*Are a spell you can cast
*You must cast the spell as part of the creation process
*Take 1 minute to create regardless of cost
*Can make 1 potion beyond X and it costs half the normal amount
*Can create potions above 3rd level, however they are treated as alchemist extracts. These extracts gain the infusion property automatically.

This means that the 4th Spell level+ herbalist items have the following properties
*They go inert after 24 hours.
*Have a cost that is negligible.
*Consume a spell slot equal to the spell level of the item being created.

When I initially read this ability I was under the impression that a when a druid created a free one it counted against the druid until it was consumed. However, reading over it again I see no such limitation and I am now reading it that they can make X per day meaning that a druid could stockpile these things such that given 30 days and a +4 wis mod they could make a 120 potions.

The conceal true purpose ability now feels like it's in place because it's expected that the character will get robbed.


On a side note. I always figured if you were going the druid herbalism route it made sense to take a 1 level dip in alchemist and the feats vaporous potion and healing potion.

Now you can throw your potions at people and have the potion heal the person and do whatever it would normally do.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
doomman47 wrote:
Alphavoltario wrote:
Unless magic item creation rules have had errata since I last saw them <Brew Potion> still follows normal creation rules with 'only one magic item per day' (max 1000gp of value per day)... (.-.) as written it's really bad. As intended, I think it's giving Druids the ability to act as a 'natural' Alchemist with potion making and extracts as such.
As far as I know people use craft alchemy for potions and thus are not restricted to the normal magical crafting rules since they aren't using spell craft.

Um... no. You use spellcraft.

You can't use alchemy to make potions at all unless you're an alchemist


Honestly, if the GM removes the ability to sell concoctions effectively, the rest of the Herbalism caps out to "infinite 1st and 3rd level spells, from a the very reduced list of spells that qualify for potions (namely, targeted, non-personal). On top of that, using potions offensively isn't easily done, so you're practically limited to buffs and cure spells, and the druid's list of non-personal buff spells is pretty sparse. Sure, you'll have the best cure potions around, and lots of them, so you can pretty much remove the obligatory wand of CLW, saving the party 750gp.

My take away from the above is that the "free" concoctions each day are not only free in cost, but also in not requiring a spell slot to make, as further supported at level 7 when it says "She can also create a special concoction of any spell higher than 3rd level that she can cast, but to do so, she must expend a spell slot of the same level." Why clarify the slot expenditure now, unless it was bundled in to the "free" statement earlier?

Just as importantly, from a GM perspective, how would you rather see a player use this ability? To cast lots of low-level spells, and provide situational potions that they otherwise wouldn't make space for in their prepared spells? Or to make high CL versions of 3rd level potions, and then attempt to sell them to every NPC they meet, trusting in sheer numbers to eventually find some that are comfortable with druidic concoctions? Which sounds harder to balance, a druid with infinite 1-3 level potions (again, from only the druid's list, unless they multiclass casting classes and REALLY make themselves just a dispensary with no other purpose), or deciding just how much above the rest of the party you should allow their WBL to reach, since that's now the primary purpose of the Nature Bond? That's my take on it. As written, it's open to interpretation, so I recommend interpreting in a way that won't make you miserable.


Virid Dillest wrote:
My take away from the above is that the "free" concoctions each day are not only free in cost, but also in not requiring a spell slot to make, as further supported at level 7 when it says "She can also create a special concoction of any spell higher than 3rd level that she can cast, but to do so, she must expend a spell slot of the same level." Why clarify the slot expenditure now, unless it was bundled in to the "free" statement earlier?

Umm... still no. Only free in cost; Herbalism works verbatim "...This acts like the Brew Potion feat, but only for spells on the druid spell list..." it is <Brew Potion> without giving you the actual feat, so that it cannot be used with any other class, effectively separating this class feature from any other classes you may have (retraining it into a direct mimic of the feat at 7th level with removal of the 3rd level limit). So if it functions like <Brew Potion> you need the correct spell... no matter what. Even at level 7, if the Druid doesn't have access to, say, <Mage Armor>, they cannot make potions of it, as they don't have the spell (Potions have been errata'd to not allow creation without having the actual spell).

The 7th level '...to make over 3rd level potions expending a spell slot...' is redundant only if you forget there is no 'real' thing as a potion of a spell level over 3. It's written for re-clarification on that rule.


Isn't there a rule that you can only make 1 magic item/day regardless of cost? This bond ability is the only thing that breaks that rule, as far as I can tell. So a druid with Herbalism can make a number of concoctions = their Wis bonus for free, taking 2 hours/potion (unless it is expensive) and then ALSO being able to make 1 more at normal cost and time limits as per the Brew Potion feat, but a person with the actual feat Brew Potion can only make 1 potion/day regardless of time/cost right? At least, this is the way I understood things.


There is a lot in hebalism that doesn't make sense. The writer tried to save space by referencing other existent rules and expected everyone to interpret how the herbalism rules and the existent rules interacted in a sensible manner. Obviously it didn't go as well as hoped.


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Isn't there a rule that you can only make 1 magic item/day regardless of cost? This bond ability is the only thing that breaks that rule, as far as I can tell. So a druid with Herbalism can make a number of concoctions = their Wis bonus for free, taking 2 hours/potion (unless it is expensive) and then ALSO being able to make 1 more at normal cost and time limits as per the Brew Potion feat, but a person with the actual feat Brew Potion can only make 1 potion/day regardless of time/cost right? At least, this is the way I understood things.

I think the frequent consensus is that the "2 hours/potion" rule is the specific that trumps the general "one magic item per day" rule, although it RAW doesn't explicitly say, "You can craft potions at a rate of 4 per day AND can work a full 8 hour day", so technically you're probably right. It would be pretty s@*+ty though for a player with Brew Potion as an item creation feat to be stuck making only 50gp-250gp of items in a day, while the Craft Wondrous guy is easily getting his full 1kgp worth.


Name Violation wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
Alphavoltario wrote:
Unless magic item creation rules have had errata since I last saw them <Brew Potion> still follows normal creation rules with 'only one magic item per day' (max 1000gp of value per day)... (.-.) as written it's really bad. As intended, I think it's giving Druids the ability to act as a 'natural' Alchemist with potion making and extracts as such.
As far as I know people use craft alchemy for potions and thus are not restricted to the normal magical crafting rules since they aren't using spell craft.

Um... no. You use spellcraft.

You can't use alchemy to make potions at all unless you're an alchemist

As with most item creation feats, there's an alternative to Spellcraft for brewing potions:

CRB -> Magic Item Creation -> Creating Potions wrote:
Skill Used in Creation: Spellcraft or Craft (alchemy)


Virid Dillest wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Isn't there a rule that you can only make 1 magic item/day regardless of cost? This bond ability is the only thing that breaks that rule, as far as I can tell. So a druid with Herbalism can make a number of concoctions = their Wis bonus for free, taking 2 hours/potion (unless it is expensive) and then ALSO being able to make 1 more at normal cost and time limits as per the Brew Potion feat, but a person with the actual feat Brew Potion can only make 1 potion/day regardless of time/cost right? At least, this is the way I understood things.
I think the frequent consensus is that the "2 hours/potion" rule is the specific that trumps the general "one magic item per day" rule, although it RAW doesn't explicitly say, "You can craft potions at a rate of 4 per day AND can work a full 8 hour day", so technically you're probably right. It would be pretty s###ty though for a player with Brew Potion as an item creation feat to be stuck making only 50gp-250gp of items in a day, while the Craft Wondrous guy is easily getting his full 1kgp worth.

Yep, this is a bog-standard "specific trumps general" application.


Does anyone know who was the writer for herbalism? I know it would not be official or binding in any way, but It would be really nice to get the writer's take on how he/she intended it to work. I know for the home games I generally play is a dev's opinion holds a lot of weight even if the RAW/rules say otherwise.

Also I don't ever expect to get an FAQ clarification since it comes from a splat and is PF1.


blahpers wrote:
Virid Dillest wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Isn't there a rule that you can only make 1 magic item/day regardless of cost? This bond ability is the only thing that breaks that rule, as far as I can tell. So a druid with Herbalism can make a number of concoctions = their Wis bonus for free, taking 2 hours/potion (unless it is expensive) and then ALSO being able to make 1 more at normal cost and time limits as per the Brew Potion feat, but a person with the actual feat Brew Potion can only make 1 potion/day regardless of time/cost right? At least, this is the way I understood things.
I think the frequent consensus is that the "2 hours/potion" rule is the specific that trumps the general "one magic item per day" rule, although it RAW doesn't explicitly say, "You can craft potions at a rate of 4 per day AND can work a full 8 hour day", so technically you're probably right. It would be pretty s###ty though for a player with Brew Potion as an item creation feat to be stuck making only 50gp-250gp of items in a day, while the Craft Wondrous guy is easily getting his full 1kgp worth.
Yep, this is a bog-standard "specific trumps general" application.

Not to get off topic then... but would the same "specific presidents general" rule also apply to writing scrolls? I have a house rule in place for writing multiple scrolls/day but if I don't NEED to it's one less thing then.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Druid Herbalism Source Healer's Handbook, Authors • Alexander Augunas, David N. Ross, and Stephen Rowe.
Having read the original material and some of the above posts, I think you are reading into the ability.
The spell list for herbal concoctions is essentially confined to the druid spell list unless the user is multiclassed or has racial spells or imported spells from something like samsaran's mythic past life.
Some game terms are bandied about and it's not PFS sanctioned so this will take a critical eye from a GM.

The Healer's Handbook covers a LOT of ground and it was an ambitious project for a small player companion product. I'm not surprised that some of it wasn't as defined as it could be. Kudos for taking something of that scope on.


Azothath wrote:
Druid Herbalism Source Healer's Handbook, Authors • Alexander Augunas, David N. Ross, and Stephen Rowe.

Is there any way to solicit their response?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
baggageboy wrote:
Azothath wrote:
Druid Herbalism Source Healer's Handbook, Authors • Alexander Augunas, David N. Ross, and Stephen Rowe.
Is there any way to solicit their response?

send cash?

it's a work of art done for a publisher, a job. I'd read the reviews and product discussion and maybe post in the "ask whomever anything". But honestly as it was a job and you want more I'd expect you'd have to pay for it as that's fair. Otherwise it is up to your GM, as usual.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Druid Herbalism Breakdown All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.