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Introducing the DnD Herbalism Kit : Healing Potion Dice Rollers – A Kickstarter Diary

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box

The Herbalism Kit: Healing Potion Dice Rollers are FUNDED!

With your continued support there it will mean that these kits can make their way into the hands of DnD enthusiasts for a long time to come.

There are 6 tiers of rewards, each following on with the theme of this kit. With the full kit being offered on Kickstarter for £50. You can see the full set of levels you can pledge at by clicking the banner above to find out more.

As a bonus to try and make 2020 just a little bit brighter, pledging before the 9th of December gets you into the draw to win a Special Edition Trainee Herbalist Kit (would normally cost £54!) complete with handmade sharp edge Potions of Healing dice!

If you have missed out on that one, the wonderful creators at Legend Craft are going to give away one of their Magentracker Spell Trackers with your choice of veneer to any of our backers who have pledged at level 4, 5 or 6.

We are also giving away a Trainee Herbalist Kit to one of Legend Craft’s lucky backers who have pledged for their single tier or higher, so the goodies just keep coming!

After launching the store in January this year the focus was on preparing things, mostly handmade, to take with me to Comicons and spread the word. 

I had already created my 2d4 healing potion dice rollers and was really pleased with how they had turned out, I had my handmade dice sets all polished up and looking for a new home but I wanted something that would really get people talking as they got to my stand.

I started jotting down ideas…

 – A5 Character Sheets were on the list, I didn’t make them. Instead I went for an entire 50 page campaign journal.

 – Dice Boxes that can be used to store and roll your dice in were on the list. Those I did do, spending countless hours staining and setting in the felt of a range of box sizes and shapes.

The other item that made the list but seemed pretty adventurous to try and complete was a Herbalist Kit. 

I had a basic idea of what I wanted it to look like, scribbling down a little sketch in my gold ‘ideas’ notebook.

I knew I wanted something that was not just a bunch of crammed full little bottles in a plain old box.

I wanted something that represented a herbalist who would make these potions. I wanted something that could be used without having to take the cork off.

I wanted something big.

And by big, I mean 2kg big.

The idea was to have a box, with the rollers inside… Nothing exciting you might think but I was adement that I didn’t want them to be just the same size ones that are stuffed full of dice that you have to empty out to even be able to use them.

Dice get everywhere, and d4’s are the Lego of DnD. They seem to get everywhere and nowhere at the same time once you drop them so if I could keep them contained somehow…

I pulled out ten of my own d4’s and measured out what size bottle I would need to be able to shake them in it and still be able to read everything. 
Then it was just a matter of finding the size needed for the 8d4, 4d4 and 2d4.

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box unfinished

I knew that I wanted them to be round bottles, like the ones you see in recreations of Victorian chemists. They needed to have a neck large enough to have twine wrapped around to add to the home made potion feel. They also needed to get taller the more potent the potion.

The size of the bottles was a big thing for me. I didn’t want my 2d4 to have the same feel as when you use a 10d4 one. 

It’s called a Supreme Potion of Healing and I wanted it to feel supreme in your hand. 
So I ordered some bottles to start making prototypes. To see if they would work as I imagined.

I added my resin, trying to vary the heights in them to give extra weight to the more potent potions and when they were cured I added my dice and printed labels and added decoration to the necks.

And they worked! 

They had the weight and feel that I wanted and you could roll them without having to empty them out.

Handmade potions of healing, dungeons and dragons herbalism kit healing potion dice rollers

So with the rollers working as intended, I needed to see how I was going to get the other components together and how they would fit in with the theme.

I had an idea about the box, I wanted something that looked like it could have come from the DnD world, rustic but still smart enough to display. 
The box also needed to be durable enough to hold everything. 

Scouring around I found one that measured up to be able to take all the bottles with enough space for dividers and I bought it. 

The wood stain was next. I wanted a colour that looked like it was well worn, well used and well loved. A trusty companion to an adventure as they travelled around. 

The insides needed dressing too. No adventurer worth their salt would just have their precious potions just clunking around inside their box, It needed padding.
The obvious choice was hessian, something that had a medieval feel to it while still being thick and durable.

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box unfinished
Handmade potions of healing, dungeons and dragons herbalism kit healing potion dice rollers

After dressing up the bottles with labels that tell you what they are and how to use them, I set them in the box. 

Sorting out the dividers in the bottom and adding some of the hessian I stood back and appraised my handywork… and was underwhelmed…

The bottles seemed lost in there, especially the two smaller ones. The idea was on the right track but it didn’t seem to be working out. 

I thought that it might just be because I didn’t have any of the other bits in there that I was planning to have so I started work on the props that would make this special.

The set wouldn’t make any sense as a Herbalism Kit if it didn’t contain some herbs. 

I already had the idea of containing herbs and/or other supplies in vials so that they could be displayed in the lid, meaning that when you had it on display, when the lid was up you weren’t just faced with a bland expanse of wood.

My plan was to display four vials, each housing a different herb/agent that a herbalist would find. I took my inspiration from video games and also the holistic remedies you find in health food shops. 

With a clearer idea of what could be in them I then had to source my vials and my herbs all while ensuring that what I put in them wouldn’t get stopped at customs and thrown out by the border control staff! While it was easy enough checking with what was ok if sent to America, I had to trawl through a database and ‘cases’ to ensure that if it ended up in Australia, half the contents were not going to be destroyed. And thankfully, everything I had picked was A-Ok to be imported.

Having to buy in bulk when I only wanted a sprig of something would prove to costly for a prototype, especially if the vials ended up being something that just wasn’t going to work. So I compromised. I bought bulk for two of them that I wouldn’t easily find and went out into the wild for the other two.

Handmade dungeons and dragons herbalism kit herb vials

The wax and the ‘lichen’ were bought and both the lavender and the Bloodgrass had their bulk purchase listings jotted down should the vials work out.

As this was still in the prototype stage I turned to actual herbs and plants for the other two. Wandering around the town until I found some lavender (that wasn’t in someone’s garden!) and set it to the side to dry out. 

For the Bloodgrass, I plucked up some thick and long grass from the back garden, again setting it aside to dry out before painting it in two tones of red nail varnish.

Printing out some old style name labels, the vials came to life and added something extra to the box…

I had posted my excitement about what I was creating to my store Instagram page, with a little blurb containing the base ideas about where in the world you would find this. 

While writing it, the idea that this information would be the kind you would find in a notebook started to come together in my head. 

I pulled together the imagery and sketched out a plan of what else a budding herbalist might make notes about. creating an A5 booklet that read like field notes.

The contents for the display in the lid were coming together…

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller notebooks unfinished

The ideas I had created separately now needed to be pulled together into the box to see how it would all work as a whole.

I printed off a rough copy of the Herbalism Notes and cut them down to the right size, checking that the inner pages had printed correctly (this time!) and got together the vials to display in the lid.

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box unfinished

While I knew that I wanted a backing for the lid, and I had the felt to hand, laying the items in their right place told me all I needed to know. 

The idea was great but the box itself was way too big.

The bottles were drowning in vacant space and the depth meant that the smaller bottles were sitting under the half way point, they would be lost from sight unless you either tipped the box far enough forward to see them (and run the risk of them slipping down to the bottom) or you had to look right in the box itself to see them.

The vials also had far too much empty space around them. Even if they were secured to the backing fabric as I intended, they would seem dwarfed by the lid size.

So, I needed a rethink and an internet search to find something that would make more sense.

I found a smaller box!

Placing the hessian I had already cut in there and modifying the crude dividers to fit the new size meant that I could create something that looked more coherent to what an adventurer might take with them.

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box unfinished

The smaller size of the box meant that the smaller bottles didn’t look insignificant next to the two larger ones and the reduction in space made it feel like these were being carefully transported to the next battle, ready to save the day.

Feeling more certain I cut the felt backing and made a rough sketch on it with chalk to work out pocket sizes for the detailing that was going to reside in the lid. 

And reprinting the Herbalist Notes in a cute A6 format.

The whole box suddenly started to come together. 

There were a few more tweaks to do, like printing the Herbalism Notes on heavier cardstock to give it an actual notebook feel. Sewing the felt up to create the required pockets and then adding the elastic to hold the top of the vials in place while still allowing the labels to be seen.

The hessian, even though cut for the larger box seemed to work better as an almost hastily folded over protective sheet than the neatly edged look I had originally anticipated.

Once those final few steps were completed…

 

It was time to begin the countdown to the Kickstarter Launch.

Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box
Handmade herbalism kit healing potion dice roller box
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