A web enhancement for d12 Monthly, Issue 22 (Forests & Jungles).
This post is an extension of the Bountiful Harvest article in issue 22, which lists a number of trees and the resources they provide. Enjoy!
I couldn’t possible have listed all of the trees in the zine and I had to cut many that I wanted to include. Below is a list of three more trees and the resources they provide.
These can be used to add a little more realism and flavour to your campaign world; and to give druids, rangers, elves, and other nature types something to use for character building.
Elm trees are some of the tallest you will find, rivalling oak (see below) for sheer size. Elms are either deciduous and semi-deciduous.
There are about 30 to 40 species of elm.
They are associated with death and the underworld, and have a connection with elves, who guard nearby burial mounds and the passage to the afterlife.
Elm wood is strong and durable, but can bend easily, so it is not the best wood for large construction; although it is used extensively for building boats and barges, cartwheels, furniture, and coffins.
Hollowed out elm is often used to make urban water pipes as it can withstand water and wet conditions.
Due to the wood’s flexibility, longbows were also made from them.
Elm’s bark is used extensively for dyeing wool. Twine is also made from the inner back.
The inner back can also be chewed, or boiled into a liquor, to treat colds and sore throats. The boiled bark can be eaten, or used to treat burns.
In game terms, when used to treat burns, it heals an additional D6 hit points of fire damage when used as part of natural healing.
Finally, the seeds of the elm can be eaten and are particularly nutritious, containing 45% protein.
Oak trees are strong and steeped in druidic history.
Druids use oak groves as holy places and it is said their power grows within such groves. For game purposes increase the druid’s spellcasting level by one.
Oak trees can live for thousands of years (some of the oldest in our world are over 2,000 years old), and grow to an average of 50 – 70 feet across all species. Some varieties, like the white oak, can grow upwards of 140-ft.
Oak trees are prone to lightning strikes* (due to their height and water content). They are seen as a symbol of strength and endurance.
* Weapons made from oak wood that have been struck by lightning are stronger than regular oak wood, and can more easily hold lightning-based magic. In game terms, the wielder needs to roll two natural 1s before they are damaged (see article Weapons & Armour Damage in Issue 3 of d12 Monthly). Any lightning-based spell imbued into the weapon takes half the cost and time than usual.
The wood from oak is strong and dense, and is used for anything from internal beams for buildings, to flooring, to ships, to wagons and carts, to furniture and barrels (mainly for wines and spirits).
Oak wood is durable and resistant to decay.
Carvers also like using this wood; and strong but supple whips can be made from it.
The bark of an oak is used to create a brown dye, as well as a tonic (after boiling) to cure harness sores on horses and other mounts.
The bark is also used extensively in medicine – mostly as either an antiseptic, used to cure aches, or to reduce pain in light wounds. It can also be used to aid in stopping blood flow, and as a healing agent with burns.
In game terms, oak bark can be created into a healing balm by herbalists that will cure D6 hit points per application (one application per 24 period is allowed).
Finally, the bark is used in the leather tanning process.
Oak Galls are also a major source of black ink used across the land. Iron Gall Ink is the standard ink used by scribes and adventures.
Oak acorns are also a nutritious food for pigs (farmers often let pigs roam oak forests, allowing them to gorge themselves on the acorns to fatten them up before slaughter).
While the raw acorn is poisonous to humans and other sentient beings, it can be processed by a herbalist for medicinal purposes.
Hin (Halflings) consister acorns from oak trees good luck, and often carry one with them for that purpose (in game terms, anyone carrying an oak acorn that has been blessed by a druid receives a +1 luck bonus to all saving throws).
Druids often make magic wands from oak wood. Wizards covet it for staves.
Willow trees love water and they often thrive close to streams and riverbanks, or in damp places.
They have a tendency to grow back vigorously after being cut back (they can grow several feet in a season), and so there are many of these coppiced copses near settlements.
Willow is associated with the moon in some cultures. And it is said that harvesting willow during a waning moon will lower the quality of the wood.
Willow wood is also present in many witches’ items and spell ingredients.
Willow is well-known for making wicker, used to make a wide array of containers.
The wood has an ability to absorb shock without splintering, and is used to make coffins, lobster pots (creels), and beehives; as well as shelters with bent willow frames and dugout boats, and coracles.
It is also used for house building, charcoal manufacture, making clogs, and chariot wheels.
Young willow twigs can be chewed to relieve pain.
The bark was used for a myriad of uses as well. An infusion from the bark was used as a remedy for fevers and to treat inflammation.
The bark is also used to make a reddish-brown dye and for tanning leather. As well as fodder for livestock. It is also pliable enough to make ropes (especially anchor ropes) from. It can also be used to make cloth.
Over to You
Are there any other trees you would like me to write up? Let me know in the comments below.
While You’re Here…
Since 2021 I have been publishing d12 Monthly, a monthly zine, which has a ton of articles for any edition of Dungeons and Dragons.
I will also be releasing some more products in the near future.
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