Harvest Poisonous Herb (sage ability)
Indicates that the character is competent to effectively gather all sorts of poison herbs, plants, fungus and other vegetable matter from a wilderness environment, with greater alacrity and scrutiny than might an ordinary person. The ability includes the character's awareness of more or less toxic varieties of the same approximate family of plants; even which specific plants are bound to produce more or less toxicity based upon the placement and soil where the plant grows.
This is best done at certain times of the year; flowering plants must be harvested from late spring until the middle of summer; seeds and fruits cannot be harvested until the last weeks of summer; some of these may be harvested even into the winter months. During the dry season of tropical and sub-tropical climates, gathering is reduced to 25% of normal. In temperate climates, gathering will fall by 20% cumulatively per week, following the 1st of August, to a minimum of 10% of normal.
The amount of poisonous herbs that can be gathered per day, during good seasons, equals one to four pounds of good materials — enough to make quite a lot of poison. The nature and species gathered is dictated by the player, so that all of it might be, say, belladonna, or it might be equally divided between belladonna and some other material. The limit in amount is not due to the lack of poisonous matter, but to the time needed to carefully collect and locate what's available.
The ability grants the character the ability to do this safely, using gloves, tools and containers that ensure the character will not self-poison while harvesting. This material is then assumed to be stored safely and managed carefully, so that cross-contamination with other substances and materials can't happen.
It falls upon the DM to determine which specific herbs are available for harvesting in the character's locale. Many poisonous plants will be available throughout a given continent. Many poisonous plants will not exist in certain areas of vegetation — alpine highlands, deserts, steppelands and tundras are notable places where it may be difficult to find the amount of matter specified above, particularly if there is no vegetation at all. Decidious and broadleaf forests, on the other hand, will be a virtual Mecca with regards to exhaustive varieties of poisonous species. Some information about available poison plants may be found under equipment notes.
Poisoning (sage study)