'...needs to find balance in his personal life. However, his skill at diagnosing indicates a solid medical talent. I am confident that within a year a little guidance...'
(from the evaluation of a senior resident)
For a Modern or Pulp Super Campaign. Could be adapted to other genres and settings.
Called simply Billy, or Doctor Feldsham, he likes to be called that. In his late twenties, he is an intern at St.Paul's ER. Young, wild haircut, decent looks, he sure likes to flirt with the personnel and patients alike. He can be annoying, but he looks promising.
But Billy does have a secret. He can... smell. He found out only a year ago when he was suddenly assaulted by all smells. The adjustment period was pretty harsh, he refers to it now as Â‘that horrible cold'. He learns to integrate it into his life, perhaps to do some good as a doctor.
Billy is a smart guy, but this is really not his specialty. He decided to keep it a secret, and it turned out to be a good decision. Okay, a few of his relatives know... and a friend or two... and most of his girlfriends learn quickly about his nose. Mostly not the full truth. Oh, and there is another doctor in his hospital he slept with once. Their relationship is strained, but she knows his potential, and helps him to cover it up.
Privately, there is not much to tell. Well, there is a brother and sister, and a mum that goes on his nerves about settling down, but that's about it. Dad has died a few years ago.
Billy comes from the same city he studied and works at. Some day, he wants to travel a lot. For a smart guy with a (minor) supertalent there is not much depth to him. He has yet to find true love or face a real challenge.
What he specializes on, are people. For a doctor a good nose offers a surprising amount of hints. That someone has drunk alcohol is trivial, the intake of more exotic substances takes some time to notice.
- With concentration and time, he can sense cancerous growths, that are not too deep in the body.
- If no other open wound is present, he can smell blood loss, even from covered places.
- Infections are easy to detect and there is a number of types to pick up on.
- He is quite sensitive to hormones, easily able to pick out women 'in the mood'. His love life has become so much more exciting and troublesome as he is now the hospital's womanizer.
- Lately, he started picking up the more extreme moods of his colleagues and patients. One day, he might be able to detect lies from purely physical reactions.
- He also started to pick up the Â‘personal scents' of people on others, and knows who got close with whom. So far it has cost him a girlfriend and almost the friendship of his mentor.
- What he didn't try yet, but may be able of, is to track by scent as a hound dog.
The friend - Billy can be a hero's doctor, understanding well how strange abilities get you into trouble. Only his ability to keep secrets needs to improve.
The expert - need to find about a specific smell? Drag him out of the latest party, or from his new flame, and get him to work.
The suspect - his attempt to sniff at a patient closely was misinterpreted... now he needs to save his career without revealing himself. Help!
The finder - what if he finds someone very strange, or with no scent at all? What if he becomes able to sense others with special abilities? Or you need someone to find the latest batch of aliens/robotic duplicates posing as humans?
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? Responses (5)
An oldie that was sitting in the draft zone for too long, someone may find him useful.
This is a (s)nifty minor super. He would fit in the Daredevil universe.
I would call him the Nose, and I could see him in something as mundane as a CSI/forensics based crime game, but would really enjoy running him in something like a Dick Tracy type game, or a pulp adventure game.
I really liked the last hook, with sniffing out something that shouldn't be. Vampires, shapeshifters, aliens, etc.
I read some book somewhere, where the main character, which I am pretty sure was a dinosaur, demonstrated exceptional sense of smell, and sorting through the various aspects of scent were no more offensive than our visual inputs as a sight based mammal.
There was also Willard, with Elijah Wood talking to his dog, Willard, and Willard told Elijah that the eyes weren't the windows to the soul, the arse was. One whiff and he could tell anything he needed to know about anyone
4/5 Very nice minor character with super cool ability
Good one, I like rambling informal voice you used, it gave the prose some energy and help set a 'none too serious' tone for the piece. This guys could be a fun NPC for your PC detectives to lean on occasionally, but this write up could also be the first step for an interesting player character in a modern detective story, super game or light-horror game.