In VanillaCraft one often has lots of extra plant stuff laying around. What if we were able to use it as an efficient fuel? Many societies take non-wood plant matter like leaves and stalks and turn them into "brown" charcoal.
In my idea one can take 8 of any eligible pieces of plant matter and craft them in a square, making a pile of plants or "plantball"(name?). The plantball can then be cooked in a furnace into brown charcoal, which is as good as regular charcoal or coal.
* Reeds/Sugar Cane
* Saplings (any type)
* Wood Bits, formed by crafting 1 Stick into 1 Wood Bits. Wood, Wood Planks, and Sticks cannot be used directly.
If this is considered too powerful, ideas for balance:
* Reeds/Sugar Cane would first have two pieces crafted together vertically into 1 Crushed Sugar Cane, which then can be used. This could be used because Sugar Cane is easily farmed and/or when burned in a furnace it doesn't burn for much anyway (maybe because it's too wet).
* Seeds, since they're so small, would first have four crafted in a square to produce 1 Pile of Seeds which could then be used.
* Since the fuel value is lower, brown charcoal would burn only 75% as long - for 6 uses.
* Or, since the inputs have so much water, the brown charcoal must be cooked twice before use.
This would be especially useful for mods such as IndustrialCraft and BuildCraft that require fuel for things other than a traditional furnace - but would still be useful in Vanilla Minecraft.
Credit: Plantball idea from IndustrialCraft.
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Maybe instead of making it complicated why not just be able to toss plants into an oven to turn into fuel (just like logs) and make the fuel that way.... though yes fuel will be needed why not allow plants (if not already) as the fuel to make the charcoal equal fuel (like some do with saplings) also the idea would make it easier for finding fuel for torches on the first night and fuel for ovens and be convient for cacti in the dessert (but cooking them already makes the green die) so maybe using the useless brown plants instead?