There has never been a better time to be a roleplaying gamer. There are hundreds of systems, based on westerns or pirate adventures or deep space exploration. There is realistic 3D terrain that visually brings your encounters to life, from dank dungeons to war-ravaged villages. And if you want to really build atmosphere, there are several choices to deliver clashing swords, whispering winds, and other ambient sound effects and music to your next session.
Now, another sense is being leveraged to enhance your gaming experiences. Adventure Scents makes potpourri to accompany games (and books, movies, or TV too). The scents are oils (obtained by harvesting the olfactory glands of aging gnomes, if you believe their FAQ) packed into hard plastic pellets and sold in tins, sachets, and loosely, in zipper bags.
All told, there are 40 scents available with tempting titles like Fetid Swamp, Bombed-Out Ruins, and Moldy Crypt. But there’s also Flying Airship, Healing Sanctuary, and Welcoming Inn. Last week, as we played a prototype for the upcoming Kickstarter game, Scythe, we opened a packet of Bombed-Out Ruin and another of Engine Room. (The game features mechs and a ruined battlefield.) Slowly, scents of rubble, smoke, metal, oil, and exhaust wafted to our noses. It truly enhanced the game. We also appreciated that most of the scents were subtle and not overwhelming; they were mostly evocative of a scent or a setting, rather than blowing out your nostrils with big, powerful odors–something my sensitive nose was thankful for.
Each of the scents includes beads whose colors suggest the smells inside. Wizard’s Tower has hues of nearly translucent purple and blue, hinting at a wizard’s robe. The Enchanted Forest is magical in vibrant greens and yellows.
Some scents are immediately identifiable, others creep up on you. Some are very pleasing, others are meant to be a bit off-putting (but never gross). For example, Ice Castle conjures the essence of frosty mint and cold steel; Moldy Crypt tells of mold, dirt, and decay. Still, one of the best parts of the experience is reading the descriptions. I could tell you that Blooming Prairie smells of wildflowers, grass, and weeds. Or you could refer to the tin’s flavor text, which says “Blooming Prairie – the perfect scent for unicorns and fair maidens, or for gathering herbs for potions.”
All that’s required is to open the tin or set out some beads or a sachet. There’s no heat necessary. Each pack of Adventure Scents is expected to last about six months and they are a unique and neat way to add extra atmosphere to your next game, book, or movie. Head over to their site and check them out. And if you can’t decide which scent to buy, use the Scent-O-Matic to help you make your choice!
Disclosure: GeekDad received samples of this product for review purposes.