Folk Lore: Remedies and Healing

Many RPG campaigns take place in medieval-like settings and, as a result, it’s pretty easy to spice things up with a few folk remedies.  And where better to turn for these remedies than history itself?

Whether these remedies actually work or whether they are just quackery, of course, will depend on your campaign.  As an example, in my Europa campaign for Pathfinder, the following folk remedies based off of real-world medieval beliefs and medicine grant a +1 enhancement bonus to Heal checks to treat or cure the condition.

  • Mandrake root placed in a bowl of milk mixed with three drops of human blood can ease childbirth.
  • Eating a meal of skinned and roasted mice can help with whooping cough.
  • Insanity can be reated by digging a hole 3ft around by 6ft deep and burying the patient with only their head above ground and leaving the patient there for three days.
  • Applying a poultice of bread mixed with warm buttermilk can aid with hemorrhoids.
  • A snuff made from the dried and powdered moss taken from a dead man’s skull can aid with headaches.
  • Wearing steel and copper rings can help with colic and rheumatic pain.
  • A child passed through a cleft in an ash sapling at sunrise can be cured of rickets.
  • A philter made of baked earthworms reduced to powder is a treatment for jaundice.
  • A louse placed under the eyelid can help cure eye infections.
  • Drops of liquid from a heated piece of green wood placed in the ear can aid with ear aches.
  • Cobwebs placed over a wound can stop the flow of blood.

So, why not milk the rich plethora of real-world folk cures to add a touch of flavor to your pseudo-medieval campaign?

[tags]gaming,role playing games,pathfinder[/tags]

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