Herbs again

From: Jane Williams (janewill@mail.nildram.co.uk)
Date: Sun 19 Oct 1997 - 18:57:59 EEST

After a bit of discussion and reading, I think I may have the start of a
useable system: but I also think I need some help.

What can herbs do? in game terms rather than Gloranthan ones, that is.

a) Fight a specific disease
b) Fight all diseases that affect a particular stat.
c) Fight all diseases that affect a particular part of the body (e.g. the
lungs) d) Fight all diseases that include a particular symptom (reduces
fever, dulls pain) e) Fight all diseases (by boosting CON?)

f) Enhance a particular stat temporarily (note overlap with (e))
g) Enhance a particular sense temporarily

h) Aid healing to a particular part of the body (e.g. skin)

No doubt there are more. To turn this into a system, we need to make sure
it fits the current system for disease (and just by listing the possible
effects like that, I think it does). Then we need to look at why each herb
has these effects.

Each herb has its own spirit, and that spirit has its own likes, dislikes,
and motivations. Most healing herbs want to be used for their particular
type of healing, and will go out of their way to make themselves easy to
spot and recognise for healers. Herbs with non-healing effects may be more
awkward to deal with, and some may be positively hostile.

Each herb has associations with some of the five elements, either positive
or negative. To work out the associations, look at what the herb does.
Some old notes of Greg's give hints:

The five (main) organs:
- - FIRE/LIGHT; Brain; thinking
- - DARKNESS; Tongue; communicating
- - AIR; Lungs; surviving
- - EARTH; Heart; feeling
- - WATER; Genitals; reproducing

The five perceptions:
- - DARKNESS; Hear
- - AIR; Smell
- - EARTH; Touch
- - WATER; Taste

The five fleshes:
- - FIRE/LIGHT; Sinew
- - AIR; Muscle
- - EARTH; Bone
- - WATER; Blood

So a herb that improved vision (perception: see) but had a side-effect of
making breathing difficult (organs: lungs) would have a positive
association with Light and a negative one with Air.

What I can't sort out yet is associations between the five elements and
the 7 stats. Some can be sorted out from the list above, others I'm stuck
on - perhaps we need more elements?

STR - often associated with Earth, though from above muscle=Air
CON - "surviving" = lungs = Air
SIZ - ?
INT - Brain: thinking: Light
POW - ? Spirit rune?
DEX - ?
APP - ?

Given that the disease system classifies diseases by stat, we need to be
able to classify treatment by stat as well, so I definitely need to get
this sorted out. And quickly, before anyone invents too many more stats!

Apart from associations with elements (and the corresponding uses for
balancing thosre elements in an individual), some herbs are associated
with certain deities or spirits, and perhaps get runic associations from
them. A herb sacred to Issaries for instance would not have elemental
links but might improve communication. Perhaps using the full set of
runes, rather than just the elements, would make a better system?

Jane Williams jane@williams.nildram.co.uk


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