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ID: 4455


October 16, 2007, 1:14 pm

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The scent of magic

All too often the nose is left simply offended by the practice of magic, burned by caustic vapors, rankled by cloying fumes and left to it’s own in the aroma of the undead. Not so the largely under-developed school of the olfactomancers, the Sorcerers of Scent, the Smell-Binders, and the Magic Sniffers.

Smell Magic

The most basic ability of the olfactomancers is the ability to scent and differentiate the various realms of magic. While the scents associated with each realm of magic very from wizard to wizard, some of the schools have some similar characteristics. Necromancy always has some hint of death and the grave in it, and elemental spells leave scents similar to their elements. A fireball spell might leave a magical scent of sulfer, or of burning cedar, whereas a lightning bolt might smell like rain, or the air after a violent storm. This is a supernatural effect and such scents can linger long after the magic in question has passed.

Ghost Smell

Most of the time, olfactomancers examine odors, but with the Ghost Smell spell, they can leave specific smells as well. This can range from a light floral scent to ease a night in a dungeon, to prankster applications, to covering their own scent to deter tracking animals.

Endure Smell

So often using their nose for their magic, an olfactomancer could be greatly dimished if his sense of smell was compromised. The Endure Smell spell allows a sorcerer of scent to ignore penalties and distractions caused by smell, scuh as the stink of ghouls and ghasts, stinking clouds and the like. This infers no defense against poison or any other agent in a smell or cloud, so most olfactomancers use the spell with a degree of caution.

Comprehend Smell

Casting this spell, the first and most honored of the Olfactomancer’s spell history, allows the mage in question to differentiate and sort odors in the same fashion as a well trained bloodhound. The mage can use this power to track someone or something by it’s scent alone. it also allows for the sorting of scents, such as smelling a food dish and sorting out the list of spices in it, or much less appealing, sniffing a bit of droppings (you know, poo) to get an idea of what said creature/person ate and where they might have been in the last few days. Cue the Sherlock Holmes players.

Stinking Cloud

The Olfactomancer’s most common combat spell, Stinking Cloud creates a cloud of smell specific to the olfactomancer that is nauseating in a fashion very similar to tear gas. While the scents may vary, the specific effects are the same, gagging, choking, profuse mucus from the nose and a chance of vomiting. No other aspects of a scent are copied, thus a flammable based scent is not explosive, nor is a necrotic based scent poisonous.

Dismell Magic

While almost every olfactomancer can scent magic, the number that can remove the smell from their magic is much smaller. This is a sort of clean-up spell that allows an olfactomancer to magically clean an area of any and all smells, including supernatural and magica odors. Dismell Magic can be used on a single person rather than an area, and for a day per wizard level, that person will create no odor, no matter how poor their hygiene or filthy their surroundings.

Scent of Dreams

This spell creates a soothing cloud that lulls those who smell it to sleep, IE an area based sleep spell. Those who awaken after being hit by this spell remember a primal and emotionally deep scent that they had long since forgotton, such as a grown man remembering the smell of his mother when she held him as an infant, rocking him to sleep.

Gag the Dead

There are few things that smell worse than zombies and ghouls, and the horror of the thing is that the undead are immune to their own reek. Casting Gag the Dead renders any undead with a nose, which is pretty much all of them but skeletons, vulnerable and fully aware of their own rotting stench. This generally leaves most undead stopped in their tracks and more sentient forms of undead might be repelled by the stink and flee combat.

Confuse Smell

This is one of the few curses that is available to the school of olfactomancy and it allows the mage to swap scents in a single person. While this might seem a questionable power, it can be quite useful. If a mage suddenly finds his familiar now smells like boiled cabbage rather than a cat his magic is interrupted, and if a noble found the smell of the royal court too much to bear it could cause a scandal. This spell can be reversed by the caster or a Remove Curse spell.

Additional Ideas (3)

Enlarge Smell

This spell can both be used for beneft or curse. It magnifies intensity of a particular scent. When used on unpleasant odors, it can be used offensively cast upon enemies to magnify it's effects. Even on pleasent odors, they can become strong enough to be overpowering. It is best used to track objects with quite faint, but known, odors.


Caster becomes undetectable by scent (or taste, for that matter) for the duration of the spell unless they engage in offensive action. Spell has no effect on other senses.

Primatic Smell

This powerful spell will cause an area to be bombarded by an enslaught of terrible, powerful smells. Different smells have different effects:

Garlic: Repels vampires and other undead.
Lavander: Repels most evil humanoids
Pine: Repels insects
Rotting Corpse: Repels most living beings
Incense: Repels evil outsiders
.... (need two more!)

Polymorph Smell

This spell will cause any one object or being to permenantly smell like any one other being, object or substance. This effect is not an illusion.

2007-10-16 03:32 PM » Link: [4455#31408|text]
Shape Smell - When an odor is just too strong to remove a Smellbinder can shape the gas particles of the smell into a more manageable form, or even into a bottle for future use/studying.

Transmute Gas to Solid - Much easier than the fabled Transmute Solid to Gas, this spell can be used to give a solid material form to a small portion of some scents. It would usually appear as a small cube of unattractive color that vaguely smells of its former self.

Transmute Solid to Gas - This Legendary Power of the Smellbinders can turn solid object into smells, effectivly destroying them. It is not known if this awesome power can be used on the living.

2007-10-16 11:56 PM » Link: [4455#31419|text]
Scent Charm

This power of olfactomancy allows the mage in question to create pheromones, effectively charming the people around him to be more agreable to him or her. While this works almost identically to the Charm Person spell, it can be nullified by strong winds.

Soothing Scent

This power, more difficult to master than the Scent Charm has much the same effect but works on animals and monsters rather than people.

Scent of the Predator

This smell-spell causes the mage in question to evince the scent of a specific predator, which has the effect of keeping smaller creatures, which tend to be food, from bothering the mage. By imitating the scent of very dangerous creatures, dragon musk anyone? the mage can keep even normal predators at bay. This does come with the off hand chance of attracting a predator of the afore mentioned species.

2007-10-17 03:29 AM » Link: [4455#31422|text]
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Comments ( 10 )
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October 16, 2007, 13:09
Updated: I will expand on this submission as inspirations come to me. If anyone feels moved to add to the list of smell-spells, feel free to add them to the list. Like the Magic Cigar Challenge, whoever gives me either the most of the best spells will get their name on the submission as well.

Credit Given where Credit is Due
Pieh and his Smell-Binders are the primary inspiration for the school of Olfactomancy.
Voted valadaar
October 16, 2007, 15:34
Heh, I like this!
Voted Cheka Man
October 16, 2007, 19:33
Only voted
Voted manfred
October 17, 2007, 5:53
Nice! You know I like collections of themed spells and assorted magical effects, and this starts to be an exhaustive list. I'll see if I can add something.
Voted Murometz
October 17, 2007, 14:26
Pungent Prestidigitators. I approve.
Voted epsilon
October 21, 2007, 21:07
Smells like chicken! :)
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 14, 2007, 14:00
Argh! I love this! Awesome idea Scras.
Voted Strolen
May 28, 2009, 22:04
I know not to ask where these ideas come from.
May 29, 2009, 0:12
I believe it was Nobody who was to blame for this. I could be wrong, I am drinking at the moment
Voted RGTraynor
May 29, 2009, 2:49
Mm, I think there could be more offensive spells, come to that. GURPS has an array of "jet" spells, usable as magical weapons in some cases (Flame Jet) and as blinding spells in others (Snow Jet, Sand Jet). I'd think a "Skunk Jet" spell would work well in this area of magic; issuing a jet identical to a skunk's spray, which at the least would stagger the target, and if you got it up into his face, incapacitating.

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