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Fantasy Foodies (Part II): The Enchanted Diner

medeival-cuisine-resizedEnchanted food has played an important role in fantasy literature for many years now.  From the strange cake labeled “Eat Me”, which caused a young girl to grow to enormous proportions in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to the magical lembas bread of Tolkien’s elves in Lord of the Rings, magical edibles enrich a fantasy story by adding a bit of wonder to the simple task of eating.  Fantasy computer games, both single-player and MMOs, picked up on this trend to create a wide range of foods which benefit the adventuring character in his quests by providing minor buffs or talents.  I always thought it was a shame that D&D never picked up on this trend, particularly since I am a fan-boy of cooking shows and have a real passion for cooking myself, so decided I would create some variant rules for my own D&D campaign.

In Part I of Fantasy Foodies: The Epicurean Adventurer, I discussed the rules for cooking magical foods, introduced a new feat – the Mystical Chef.  I also discussed how magical foods are consumed to receive their benefits, and the detriments for gorging oneself on these enchanted meals too much between extended rests.  But now it is time to introduce some recipes (rituals) for preparing magical meals, and the benefits a hero can gain by having an enchanted dining experience.

Enchanted Recipes

Preparation and Raw Foodstuffs

A character who takes the Mystical Chef feat can learn and use enchanted recipes to prepare magical foods for themselves and their fellow adventurers.  Enchanted recipes are a form of ritual, and are kept in a recipe book which conforms to that of a ritual book.  Learning and adding new recipes to their recipe book is handled using the same rules as learning a new ritual (see PHB for details).

Like rituals, enchanted recipes use a particular skill to determine success – such as Arcana, Dungeoneering, and Nature – and a Mystical Chef may only use an enchanted recipe of their level or lower to prepare a magical food.  And also like rituals, enchanted recipes call for a particular amount of materials components (foodstuffs, herb, and spices) which may be obtained from traders in most large cities, as well as a certain amount of residuum to create a magical food.

Most of the time, the main ingredient of a magical meal is obtained from a trader or specialized butcher, but it is also possible for a Mystical Chef to harvest such ingredients themselves.  Using the requisite knowledge skill for the type of monster in question, the main ingredient of a meal may be obtained by butchering a defeated monster, using the level of the monster to determine the DC for the skill check.  Only a character which possesses both the Mystical Chef feat and the requisite knowledge skill may attempt to butcher a monster for raw foodstuffs, and assisting is only possible from other mystical chefs.  It takes only a single portion of raw food to execute an enchanted recipe, and a Mystical Chef will create 1 portion from an Easy success, 2 portions from a Moderate success, and 4 portions from a Difficult success.  It should be noted that unless a portion of raw foodstuff is used in an enchanted recipe immediately during an extended rest, it will begin to decompose and become unusable by the next extended rest.

Obviously, obtaining one’s own raw materials is an inexpensive way to cook a magical meal, and traders might hire adventurers to go seeking certain monsters to prepare enchanted delicacies (adventure hook).

Cooking an Enchanted Recipe

Preparing a magical food requires a kitchen and ovens in order to have the best chance of success, although some adventuring chefs carry a portable cooking kit which contains pots, pans, knives, skewers, and other cooking implements, as well as a stock of herbs and spices.  Using a cooking kit and a campfire allows a Mystical Chef to prepare magical foods, but it is more difficult, and raises the DC of making a success meal by 2. A base cooking kit weighs 15 pounds and costs 25gp, which includes 5gp worth of herbs and spices.  Additional herbs and spices can be purchased in any quantity desired, although each 50gp of spice weighs 1 pound.

An active skill check is required to cook from an enchanted recipe, and only characters with the Mystical Chef feat and the requisite skill may use a recipe or assist in the preparation.  Up to three mystical chefs may roll to assist the main chef to prepare a meal.  The DC to succeed at cooking an enchanted recipe is based upon the level of the recipe, with a Moderate success creating 1 serving and a Difficult success creating 2 servings of the magical food.  An Easy success still creates an edible meal, but it has none of the enchanted properties, and does little more than satisfy a hungry adventurer.  It should be noted that it is possible to double the enchanted recipe, if the Mystical Chef has the portions of raw foodstuffs available, which allows for two times the servings to be created in the same amount of time as preparing a single recipe.

Once prepared, most enchanted meals can last for up to a week, if carefully stored.  Adventuring hazards such as full immersion in water, falling down pits, or extreme heat can reduce the shelf-life of a prepared food and render it inedible, at the discretion of the Dungeon Master.

The Enchanted Cookbook

[Author’s Note: Here is a sampling of enchanted recipes which I plan to introduce into my campaign.  If you use these variant rules yourself, as either a player or dungeon master, please let me know how they work for you by leaving a comment!]
Please note that the cooking costs have been broken down by the component materials, in the event the raw foodstuffs are harvested from monsters and used in the recipe.

Fey Spiced Honey Bread

Level: 3                              Cooking Time: 1 hour
Skill: Arcana                        Cooking Cost: 35gp (25gp giant fey bee honey + 5gp spices + 5gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 125gp

This delicious bread is the staple of eladrin armies on the march.  It provides a hearty meal, is light and easy to carry, and creates a sense of health and well-being upon eating it.  It is made from the honey of giant bees which are native to the Feywild, and their hives are kept a closely guarded secret by neighboring eladrin communities.

Effect:  Restores 1 healing surge and the diner gains a +1 to Endurance Checks until their next extended rest.  This benefit can only be gained once between extended rests.

Pickled Spider Legs

Level: 4                                 Cooking Time: 2 hours
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 40gp (30gp of giant spider legs + 5gp spices + 5gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 150gp

Although pesky giant spiders are the bane of many adventurers, these succulently pickled spider legs will have heroes begging for more!  Cool and salty in a hot and spicy brine, they can keep for a long time, and are a hearty alternative to dried travel rations.

Effect: Diner gains +1 to Reflex Defense and +1 to Athletics checks for climbing and jumping until their next extended rest.

Sautéed Myconid Caps

Level: 5                                 Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Skill: Arcana                        Cooking Cost: 50gp (35gp of myconid caps + 5gp spices + 10gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 250gp

Delectable slices of myconid caps make a wonderful meal when sautéed.  Although the cooking process removes the toxins from the myconid caps, some diners have been known to experience vivid dreams as an aftereffect of their meal.

Effect: Gain toxic blood power. Toxic Blood (Daily): Close Burst 1; Immediate reaction; Trigger – upon becoming bloody the first time during a combat; Effect: all creatures in blast take ½ character’s level poison damage.

Fillet of Dragon’s Tongue

Level: 5                                 Cooking Time: 1 hour
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 50gp (35gp of dragon tongue fillets + 5gp spices + 10gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 250gp

While most meaty parts of a dragon are tough and gamey, and covered with thick scales, the dragon’s tongue is quite tender.  It can be prepared into a delicious melt-in-your-mouth fillet which will convince even the most timid hero to become a dragon hunter with just one bite!

Effect: Diner gains resistance 5 to the elemental attack form used by the dragon prepared as a fillet.  The resistance lasts until the character takes a short rest.  The diner also gains a +1 to Intimidate Checks which lasts until their next extended rest.

Cream of Vine Soup

Level: 5                                 Cooking Time: 1 hour
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 50gp (35gp of carnivorous plant vines + 5gp spices + 10gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 250gp

This rich vegetarian soup is prepared from the tendrils of vine horrors and other carnivorous plants.  Its hearty flavor and creamy texture make it a filling meal all unto itself, and is said to lend a healthful vigor to heroes who have been eating too much dried meat and hardtack.

Effect: The diner can activate this power once before their next extended rest to ignore difficult terrain from shrubs, weeds, and undergrowth in a natural setting.  Once activated, the effect lasts until the end of the encounter.

Carpaccio of Basilisk Tail

Level: 6                                 Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 75gp (50gp of basilisk tail meat + 10gp spices + 15gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 360gp

Although the gaze of the venom-eye basilisk is toxic, its flesh is not, and the creature’s meaty tail can spiced and pounded into a tender and delightful entrée.

Effect: Diner gains +1 to Fortitude defense against attacks with the poison keyword, and gains a +1 to saves versus ongoing poison effects.  The effect lasts until the diner’s next extended rest.

Marinated Griffon Cutlets

Level: 7                                 Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 100gp (65gp of griffin meat + 15gp spices + 20gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 520gp

Griffons are known for their boldness, but you don’t have to worry about your fellow adventurers shying away from these hearty cutlets of griffon, marinated and roasted to a turn.  The marinade can be used to make a tasty reduction and served as a dipping sauce.

Effect: Diner gains a +1 bonus to Will defense against powers with the fear keyword, and increase their speed by +1 until their next extended rest.

Savory Dire Boar Chops

Level: 7                                 Cooking Time: 1 hour
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 100gp (65gp of dire boar meat + 15gp spices + 20gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 520gp

Wild boar has been served at the tables of kings, but these dire boar chops are meant for true heroes.  Slow-roasted, the aroma of these chops cooking will drive any adventurer berserk with hunger.

Effect: Diner has the ability to become enraged, which adds a +2 to bonus to attack rolls on charge attacks and powers which use charge.  The effect, once activated, lasts until the end of the encounter.

Spicy Bulette Bangers

Level: 8                                 Cooking Time: 2 hours
Skill: Nature                        Cooking Cost: 125gp (80gp of bulette meat + 20gp spices + 25gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 680gp

These spicy sausages, purported to have been invented by Halfling heroes who had a dead bulette on their hands, are a tasty treat whether roasted or boiled fresh, or cured by drying.

Effect: Diner has the ability to gain tremorsense 5.  This effect, once activated, lasts until  the end of the encounter.

Fricassee of Owlbear Wings

Level: 8                                 Cooking Time: 3 hours
Skill: Arcana                        Cooking Cost: 125gp (80gp of owlbear meat + 20gp spices + 25gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 680gp

Although strong and ferocious in battle, owlbears have tender wings which can be fricasseed into a delicious entrée.  The wing is slow-cooked in a rich gravy, and are a hearty feast served hot or cold.

Effect: Diner gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls on powers which use Strength.  This effect, once activated, lasts until the end of the encounter.

Confit of Displacer Beast

Level: 9                                 Cooking Time: 2 hours
Skill: Arcana                        Cooking Cost: 160gp (100gp of displacer beast tentacle + 30gp spices + 30gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 800gp

Ferocious displacer beasts are a wiry and savage creature, but their tentacles contain a well-marbled red meat.  The fat is rendered from the meat and used to preserve the tender flesh, in a traditional dwarven technique, to make a rich and hearty meal.

Effect: Diner gains the ability to displace as an immediate reaction to a single incoming attack, causing the attack to miss 50% of the time.

Beholder Eye Kabobs

Level: 10                              Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Skill: Dungeoneering      Cooking Cost: 400gp (250gp of beholder eyes + 75gp spices + 75gp residuum)
Recipe Market Price: 1000gp

Terrors of lost dungeons and the Underdark, eye tyrants end the lives of many adventurers, but their eyes can make a wondrous repast!  Skewered and roasted as a kabob, each eye is said to have a different flavor, and make a surprisingly delightful meal for the survivors of a beholder attack.

Effect: Diner gains darkvision and a +1 bonus to Will defense until the end of their next extended rest.

Editor’s Note: Recipes offered and rejected for this compendium, due to questionable safety to the mystical chef include: pit fiend jerky, angel of valor cake, and tarrasque tartare.

About The Author

Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.


3 Responses to “Fantasy Foodies (Part II): The Enchanted Diner”

  1. TwoFang says:

    What? No troll sashimi?

  2. @TwoFang – LOL… troll sashimi would make a darned good regeneration food! While I considered alot of different creatures for my fantasy recipes, in the end, I decided to limit the monstrous meats to mainly come from beasts, with the exception of the dragon and the beholder of course. The idea of eating even a semi-intelligent humanoid seemed a bit too close to cannibalism, and I wanted to avoid that slippery slope so that PC races would not start to be considered delicacies. I should mention that the running joke in one of my campaigns is that halflings are indeed delicious, and taste somewhat like cheese blintzes. This was due to the fact that the halfling always seemed to be the first member of the party attacked by a monster in encounter after encounter… so they must be really yummy!

  3. SirNight says:

    Jell-Otinous Cubes?
    Cockatrice Nuggets?
    Rust Monster Antennae sauteed in their caustic saliva– Not for the faint of heart, or dwarves with Cast-Iron Stomachs.

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