I’m all about improving my gaming experience beyond what comes in the box. That’s pretty much the essence of what Level Up My Game is all about. In the past, we’ve talked on two different storage solutions and a component upgrades for Robinson Crusoe. But today we are going to dive into something completely different and talk about Role Playing Games (RPGs).
When it comes to RPGs, there isn’t much in the way of components that you can trick out. Usually it’s just paper, dice and occasionally minis. The fancy people even buy 3D terrain, which I always drool over. When I run an RPG, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve the experience. In the past, I’ve tried using candles or colored lights when I want to set a particular mood. I’ve also thought about using those soundtracks, but think they might end up being more of a distraction.
Recently though, I was approached about a new Kickstarter campaign for a product called Adventure Scents. My first thought was, “What the heck are those?” In case you aren’t sure either, Adventure Scents are fragrant scents that promise to give a more immersive experience to your movie night, reading time, costume or RPG game session. These scents run the gamut from pleasant to “please put that away”.
They sounded interesting, but I really wasn’t sure what they’d be like. Personally, I was a bit skeptical, I mean I can’t even walk past the Bath and Body Works store in the mall without complaining to my wife about the overpowering stench.
Anyway, I was still curious and frankly, I’m here to take a bullet for you. If they end up smelling like an exploded perfume bottle, someone should be able to warn you, right? So I talked with Jen Howlett from Adventure Scents and told her I want to know more. She offered to send me a sample pack to check out so I could get a feel for it and how they might work. Included in what she sent me was one large ScentFX jar, 10 sample bags of various fragrances, and a scent locket for cosplaying.
For what I could only assume was a burning desire to punish me, the large ScentFX container she sent was titled “Moldy Crypt”. Described as “Break the seal of the crypt and brace yourself for the scents of dust, mildew, mold, dirt, crumbled stone, and a disturbing hint of decay.” Haha, it’s a joke right? It’s really going to smell like some kind of old potpourri?
First off, the ScentFX container is not meant to be inhaled deeply (boy do I regret that one). It’s more so meant to be left open so the aroma could permeate the room. So what does a moldy crypt smell like? Pretty bad actually… but also quite spot on from what I’d expect one to smell like. To be fair, it wasn’t so bad that I wanted to throw the can immediately in the trash. I think they did a great job of making it so that it was still a bit foul, but not so off-putting as to be useless.
So obviously you aren’t going to use the Moldy Crypt jar to spruce up your house before a dinner party (although I REALLY thought about hiding it open in my friend Lou’s bedroom…). However, I DO think it would actually be fun for an RPG session where players are delving into a crypt full of undead. Open the jar of Moldy Crypt, perhaps dim the lights, have a nice cold breeze blowing through the room and you could really set an immersive feel for your game.
But maybe that’s a bit too much for you. Having your gaming room smell like a Moldy Crypt for the better part of a few hours might not fly with other people you share the house with. Fortunately, there are quite a range of other smells.
These are listed on the Kickstarter:
|Dragon’s Cave||Moldy Crypt||Vampire’s Lair|
|Mummy’s Tomb||Field of Battle||Enchanted Forest|
|Wizard’s Tower||Ice Castle||Alchemist’s Lab|
|Dusty Library||Pirate Ship||Gypsy Wagon|
|Steam Train||Smoky Campfire||Flying Airship|
|Welcoming Inn||Horse Stables||Fishing Docks|
|Rowdy Tavern||Healing Sanctuary|
We got to try out a number of those and everyone at our gaming table had their personal favorites. I actually liked Smokey Campfire and Welcoming Inn a lot. I could see easily using those without the fear of driving people away. I can imagine that this is a harder online purchase to make though, especially because some of these scents are really unique. Adventure Scents does have a “Scent-O-Matic” on their website that is supposed to help you pick out the right fragrance.
I’m guessing that Adventure Scents won’t be for everybody. It’s a luxury item for sure. Some people are content with their graph paper, dice and books, and that’s OK. Others just don’t like smelly stuff (good or bad).
But if you want to take your RPG game to the next level, and really, that’s what we are here for, then this could be a lot of fun. A Dungeon Master who plans accordingly could make use of these and really build a more immersive experience for his players. Not that they will thank him for it, because lets face it, most player’s just leach the life out of their DM until he ends up as a broken shell of a man smelling like a moldy crypt…
If you’d like get some scents for yourself, pledges start at $10 for a few samples. Adventure Scents is scheduled to be in backers hands in May of 2015 and you have until Friday, March 20th to become a backer. Head over today and check it out.