The Druid Equipment Pack
We have arrived at the Druid’s pack. Our nature-loving spellcaster currently starts off with an explorer’s pack, which has the following items:
Explorer’s Pack (10 gp). Includes a backpack, a bedroll, a mess kit, a tinderbox, 10 torches, 10 days of rations, and a waterskin. The pack also has 50 feet of hempen rope strapped to the side of it. pg. 151, PHB
Yeah! How completely, well, boring and useless. Not useless in the sense it’s nice to have some torches when it’s dark out, but none of these items assist the druid in doing all those special little things a Druid does. The Druid pack only has one major change versus the standard packs, and I feel it’s an important one; the addition of a new herbalism kit. Druids and herbalism are a natural combination, so it only seems logical to give them a new updated kit. But more on that below.
Before we drill down, I wanted to point out that the druid pack, like the other packs before it, are mostly for flavor. Each pack has an item or two that has in-game uses and that’s what makes them fun and interesting. But this is not the creation of a new mechanic, spell or class. It’s just a fun exercise that can be used in session zero. Plus you’ll actually have the holy water you need when you run into skeletons at the 1st level.
For those that don’t care about the whys behind it:
All previous packs are included below the Druid Equipment Pack
The Druid Pack
1. Backpack (2 gp.) - It’s a backpack and its cooler than the one you had in 4th grade. If you want to read more about backpacks in 5e, look here.
2. Herbalism Kit (20 gp.) - The items in the existing kit are really good, but I think a few additions are needed to make it the best herbalism kit it can be. Currently, the kit is as follows:
This kit contains a variety of instruments as clippers, mortar and pestle, and pouches and vials used by herbalists to create remedies and potions. pg. 154, PHB
Those are all great tools, but I think insufficient for all the things a herbalist can do. A Druid isn’t going to be exploring the wilds with your grandmother’s gardening bag. The problem I ran into was I needed to add a couple items, but not making the kit too big. I borrowed from Stephen’s Herbalism article but took it even one step further.
Now a herbalism kit is a small chest of sorts, big enough to hold all the equipment, but small enough to fit in your backpack. The picture to the right is bigger than I envision it, but a pretty close representation. The chest would be approximately 1’X1’X1’, but the size can vary. It’s an accordion box, like the picture. Inside would be a long drawer with small compartments in the center where the druid could put all the herbs in one place and even label them if he was some poor 1st level druid who didn’t know bark from basil. You still have your mortar and pestle and the vials, but now your tools are way more plentiful. Clippers, fine scissors, tweezers, and some basic measuring equipment would help you make sure that the healing tonic you’re trying to make doesn’t end up a poison. You’ll also need a small tinderbox in case you need to boils those herbs. Finally, I’d also add gloves and a small notebook, since you don’t want to get poison ivy and you’d be able to write down all the wonderful concoctions you brew up.
To add a little fun for the new kit, the player can roll on the table found in the kit’s description to see what herbs, twigs and so forth they will get with their kit. I’d have the players roll 2-3 times for materials. This way, the druid has a couple fun things that can be used to make some neat little concoctions. And if that doesn’t entice you, at least you get to roll more dice!
Now before you say that this is too much, too big or too heavy, think of it this way. A hempen rope is 10 lbs. and is bulky enough that it hangs from the side of the backpack instead of being put inside the pack. Sure, the kit will take up the entire backpack and that may seem like too big of an item to carry around. I can see your point, but the remainder of the items that the druid has can easily be carried on your belt or in the case of the bandolier (the bedroll goes on the side of the backpack as usual). Nothing in the herbalism kit is actually that heavy, and the box itself is probably the heaviest part of the kit. Therefore, I would say it probably would weigh no more than 15 lbs. So unless your druid has a really crappy strength, the herbalism kit shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
3. Spell Component Pouch (2 gp.) - A component pouch is listed as costing 25 gp. in the PHB. No wonder none of the existing equipment packs have them! What’s a poor spell caster to do? They need a spell component pouch since a lot of spells have those pesky material needs, but 25 gold is a lot for someone who has not even killed their first kobold.
The spell component pouch is the spell caster equivalent to the journeyman’s bread for adventurers. No one wants to keep track of food or spell components. We all know that spell casters need components to cast some spells, but no DM in his or her right mind is going to make a player keep track of a pinch of sulfur or 5 small berries. So we fall back on the spell component pouch. It will have everything a druid needs to cast their lower-level spells and can be easily refilled in every town on your plane of existence…not that anyone does that. Since this pouch isn’t really magical, we give it to players at first level and it solves the problem. Now no one has to worry about components again until you need diamond dust worth 100 gp. to cast Greater Restoration.
In place of the overpriced pouch, it’s been replaced with a set of three small pouches each with a couple of pockets on each side and the center being the largest space. What I am envisioning is one (of many) of my wife’s small purses. When you open it up, the big part in the middle and there are two pockets on either side. Now take that image and make it a small pouch that can hold up 5 lb. and doesn’t cost $200.00. For the druid, one pouch could hold plant life, another for small stones, and the other for powders, dust, and earth. So, for the cost of 15 sp. you’ve solved your problem. Is this mainly for flavor? Of course it is, but I also think it makes way more sense the existing spell component pouch and doesn’t cost 25 gp.
4. Bandolier (2 sp.) - My new favorite piece of clothing. This bad boy goes over the shoulder like a sash and can hold up to 8 small items, like vials, small daggers or grenades if you have them. Wear two across your chest and look badass like Chewbacca in the movie Solo.
5. Waterskin (2 sp.) - Can hold cold fresh water for your travels, or wine for drinking after your glorious victory in battle. Of course, when the wine is gone the party will expect you to go find the grapes to make more.
6. Journeybread (5 gp. each, 2 total in the pack. 4th edition PHB) - I will be using this as a replacement for rations for all of the classes. If you wish to use rations you are welcome to do so, just think about how many a player could carry if they only have a satchel. Journeybread is described as such: This magic bread fills the stomach and provides all necessary nutrients with only a few small bites, so you can carry food for a long journey without weighing yourself down. I know people may have a problem giving the barbarian a “magic” item right off the bat, and once again, if you do, just give them rations. Instead of calling it a magic item, I’d consider it an item that would be created through the use of specialized cooking skills. A nice cooking system can be found here.
7. Bedroll - Nothing like a sleeping bag for those long cold nights in the forest.
There it is, the Druid’s pack. It’s nothing too flashy, but when you need a warm cup of green tea on a cold fall night, your friendly neighborhood druid can help you out. Just one more reason the poor ranger feels useless (but he’s NOT!).
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