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Watchers help

The watchers help (WH) is a popular plant used among watchmen and solders to keep them awake and attentive. also popular among assassins. Chewing one seed is enough to keep a man awake for 3 hours or a soldier in the middle of a battle fighting for 30 minuets.    

Characteristics

The WH has a thin green bamboo like stem with small branching arms leading to the seeds. It is only found in the desert lands which explains its form of reproduction (see life cycle). the stem and roots are inedible and are similar to bamboo in their structure. the seeds are dark green and are egg shaped.  

Life cycle

The seeds of the WH are found on the end of its shoots. The seed are dark green and are very attractive to animals. Once the seeds are bitten into it releasing a solution made of pure energy which will cause a small animal to become hyper and overexert themselves causing exhaustion and dehydration and the added desert environment causes small animals to die. once the animal is dead the plant will start to sprout its roots and grow through the animals carcass and into the ground. The WH will then leach of the body until it can grow its seeds and runs out of nutrients. The stem will then dry out and will hold the seeds in the air. the plant will die out if it no longer has access to nutrients. However the seeds will stay dormant until they are eaten.  

Farming

when planting WH the seed can be fed to a small animal which will then tire itself out and die of exhaustion at which time the seed will begin to sprout its roots through the corpse and into the ground. Alternatively the seed can be placed into meat and the seed will immediately begin sprouting roots and can be planted into the ground.   Once planted the WH plant no longer needs to gain its nutrients from meat and will instead use photosynthesis and the water from the ground to gain its nutrients.   The WH has evolved to keep producing seeds until its nutrients runs out so it will often grow up to 10 seeds at a time. If it has grown 10 and still has nutrients it will 'drop' its seeds and begin to grow more. Once WH is fully grown it only needs access to water and sunlight to keep producing seeds which means WH is very easy to farm.  

Human use

A single WH seed has enough energy in it to keep a human awake for 3 hours when chewed and the body will naturally absorb and store the energy over time. Using the seeds to remain awake holds no risk to a human however continued use is not advised.   During extreme sports or during fights the WH has enough energy for the user to go 30 minuets before feeling tiered

Side effects

  The only person to have access to enough WH to stay awake almost indefinitely is Cassius Lohef. The side effects of staying awake that Cassius exhibits is a pronounced paranoia and mistrust of people as well as terrible eyesight meaning he cannot remember peoples faces but he can remember names just fine. it is unsure currently how long Cassius Lohef has gone without sleep, he cant remember himself. in the past however he has lasted round 10 days before he has passed out and been taken back to his home and treated. The repetition of this cycle has left him with his current neurological conditions.   He also tested WH on a small number of his slaves who were able to work harder for longer. Cassius forced them to continue to use WH and due to the lack of rest and the desert climate many of them died of exhaustion often lasting no longer than 3 days.   WH is not addictive however the affects it gives can be addictive.  

In world use

currently WH is cultivated by Cassius Lohef who has a monopoly of the growing and distribution of WH. It is possible for the player characters to grown and sell WH. however after a certain amount of time Cassius Lohef will find out and can send a assassin or bounty hunter to ensure he keeps the monopoly on the plant.  

In game use

(I am very new to DND and do not know all the rules so these are more guidelines then rules)   Using the WH during combat allows a character to take an extra action each turn. If the character uses magic they may pick to gain either a extra action or a level spell slot (which levels are up to DM's discretion) .    When used: once: The player is not able to use a short rest for the next 3 hours if they were out of combat and are not partaking in strenuous activity(E.G. hiking, running, sports etc.) if the character is partaking is strenuous activity then they cannot use a short rest for 30 minuets after the activity has begun.   2-3 times consecutively: same as above however they may not be able to use a long rest due to being 'buzzed' up (DM's discretion.  

Continuous use 

If a character continues to use WH they may show symptoms of sleep deprivation. The next part is up to the DM but I suggest the effects of continuously using WH are shown as negative. Some examples are shown below and are based on various symptoms of sleep deprivation. However all symptoms can be cured by stopping use of WH and , depending on how long the character has been using WH, partaking in one or 2 long rest to remove all symptoms.   Continuous use of the WH may cause sight problems causing the player to roll at a disadvantage for all perception checks and any check needing eyesight.   The characters brain may become cloudy causing the to roll disadvantage on intelligence and wisdom checks.      The character may find it difficult to be able to feel things they are touching causing them to roll a disadvantage for dexterity checks.

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Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
2 Apr, 2021 23:05

Nice article, this sounds like an interesting plant, and a very useful one! You mostly mention soldiers, but I think everyone in society would appreciate something similar, just like every one is drinking coffee. This would have a big market and so generate a lot of farming for it.   For the farming, do people feed the plants with live animals? Do they produce them in desert or in greenhouses made to recreate desert climate?   "however continued use is not advised and the results of continued use with out sleep are not known." I would think someone would have tried that, either the army or exhausted students :D But we know the effect of the lack of sleep leads to people dying. It's not just exhaustion, but sleep has important function for the brain, including the reinforcement of memory, the cleaning of all the stuff that get created during the day when the brain works, regulation of hormonal cycle… I think your plant is dampening the message that the brain sends when the body needs to sleep, so that people don't feel tired. It also has a similar effect to caffeine, making people more "awake" and attentive. It could also either give people more energy or the impression that they have more energy. So that means that below all of that the tiredness is still there, it's just not felt for a while. You could make something interesting out of that if you want.

tonky625
You may call me Tonky
3 Apr, 2021 14:10

Thank you for your comment. I am currently using this world as a sort of homebrew D&D world. There are in universe reasons to why watcher help is not commonly grown and is only available through one supplier; mainly he found the plant before anyone else did and was able to grow it in an isolated area surrounded by guards, This allows him to hold a monopoly on the market. This also explains why the watchers help is in short supply.   To begin with the plant needs meat to take root but once the plant has rooted they will gain all their nutrients from water and sunlight and no longer requires meat to survive. Due to Cassius Lohef being the only one who grows the plant he only grows them in desert climates but warm climate would be just as good.   In the world Cassius is the only one who over uses watchers help and he is prone to twitching and is rather paranoid. Some other side effects are not apparent as not many citizens or solders have access to a continuous supply of watchers help.   Thank you for commenting I really appreciate the feedback I hope it is ok that I answered your questions in such detail.

tonky625
You may call me Tonky
3 Apr, 2021 14:19

You have given my a lot to think about thank you

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Apr, 2021 20:46

No problem, thanks for your answers! I'm glad you find my comment helpful :D

9 Apr, 2021 08:56

Oooh, so fun! I love the dispersal mechanism, the name (spot on!), and the uses.   I do agree with Amélie that someone would have tried to go without sleep for as long as possible. It would make a really fun side-bar content, in my opinion: a shortlist of names of people who have gone the longest without sleep thanks to WH, a little story of someone who underwent sleep deprivation thanks to WH for a long time... This story may prove inspiring.   You've got a really neat article, with in-game uses included! I hope your players enjoy the use of WH (in which case, you may wanna think about detailing what the in-game effects are for your system of choice.

tonky625
You may call me Tonky
12 Apr, 2021 09:43

Thank you very much for your comment. You have given me a lot to think about and Ill definitely use your link. I'm rather new to DND and role playing games so Ill have to work that out once I have a better understanding of the different systems.

9 Apr, 2021 11:46

This sound like a nice and useful plant! The way that its energy giving ability is actually its reproduction method is quite interesting. You mention that people who are fighting can use it only for 30 minutes. Does this mean that if someone is performing in sports its effect only lasts 30 minutes as well? It's nice that you added some ingame ideas as well!   One thing to improve would perhaps be to use header titles instead of the underlined words. This will give the article a nicer layout :)

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
tonky625
You may call me Tonky
12 Apr, 2021 09:54

Thank you for your comment, I didn't even know I could add headers thank you for letting me know. I was thinking that if you were to preform a strenuous activity like sports or during battle and use the watchers help the effects would only last 30 minuets almost like the energy in the seed was used up.

12 Apr, 2021 22:40

Wonder if it's addictive if excessively used... Would explain a lot about Cassius Lohef.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
tonky625
You may call me Tonky
14 Apr, 2021 19:34

Thank you for your comment I had to think on that one. I think the WH plant itself is not addictive but the effect of feeling awake and 'buzzed' up will be addictive.