Botany: Not your Grandmother's hobby anymore There was a time when growing plants was almost solely for providing decoration around the house and garden. With every new expansion that changes as does the role-playing experience of botany. The ideal of a quietly contemplative figure elbow deep in soil and a stack of seeds and pitcher of water next to them has been altered. Now days, the typical plant grower has some sort of fighting skill to ward off ant lions in the Solen Hive and has, to some degree learned how to be a merchant. You see, botany boasts many uses now days. Thorns, Orange petals, red leaves, cocoa pulp and the ever present need for natural dyes (Thanks to Stygian Abyss) has caused those who tend the greenery to take note of economies too. There is nothing simple about a botanist. Cailleach of Europa, is a good example. To be a botanist, means you pull the resources of other skills. Alchemy and cooking specifically are tied into botany on an intricate level. With the emergence of high seas and the new twin packs, this need for co-usage intensified. When I spoke to Cailleach about this her words were clear. "I wish they would do more. But I will not complain at all." Pleased with every new addition, she was polite and humble. The more the better! One of the first to answer any question that comes up, she is a “People” person as well as a plant person. Guild first! It is a running theme with this wonderful character and as I perused her gardens, we talked of many things. Strolling idly through her lush balconies and landscaped lawns we talked of fertile dirt and what plants to keep in stock. Role-playing a botanist means being in touch with what surrounds you. The Sosarian earth you have your hands in.. and the people who walk on top of it. You have to be observant and you have to have patience. Applying a small dab of poison to a leaf infested and listening to a guildmate discuss his day are much the same. Attention to detail is everything here. As previously mentioned today's botanist need to have a merchants talents as well. Case in point Cailleach grows plants to order for deco, dyes and resources. On shards all across Ultima, you will find the same. This dabble into economics produces various roles as well that you can add to the roleplay. Will you be a kind, thoughtful and giving botanist who thinks of the clan first like Cailleach of Europa and Wildstar of Baja? The kind who think only of the enjoyment in growing and giving? Will you be a healer who uses the plants she grows for medicinal purposes? The directions to take botany in roleplay are extensive as it is a skill that goes hand in hand with so many others. Because it does not require you to actively grind it, it will not mess up a template. I do not believe just anyone can actively role-play a plant growing character, though. Subtlety is key and as such, requires a light hand and a willing ear.. Thankfully Cailleach, has both. *Small addendum* With the latest booster packs, growing plants requires no real time and skill. You stick the seeds in and you wait. This is not roleplaying a botanist. It is a convenience and a shortcut. There is a big difference.