Monday, March 15, 2010

RPG Ability: Wuffle

"I don't trust the duke," the Fighter growled. "He's clearly in league with the vampires."

The Wizard pushed his spectacles up his nose. "I find it hard to believe that a man with as distinguished a lineage as our benefactor the Duke would be in league with common cadavers."

"There's only one way to know for sure," pointed out the Thief. They all looked expectantly at the Cleric. The Cleric sagged. "I'll just go sniff his butt, then, shall I?"

Image from Mark Watson's Flickr page.

Wuffle is the ability to get information from scents the same way dogs do. Adventurers with this ability who come across a spot "marked" by a monster can tell the monster's age, gender, and health. Further inspection may reveal how long ago the monster passed or even what mood it was in at the time. The adventurer can't just sniff the spot from a distance, though. They have to get right in there and get a good noseful.

Even better, when confronting a monster or NPC, the character can smell that creature's bottom to learn even more about it. This could reveal special abilities or weaknesses to the player. Depending on how cheeky the GM wants the campaign to be, the character could also become uncomfortably aware of whether NPCs in the area are 'in heat.'

This ability fits in well with wilderness types like druids and rangers, but I like the idea of an impish satyr or puca giving it to the most straight-laced, dramatic character in the party. If a player insists on playing a brooding exiled prince or a misunderstood dark wizard, give that character an ability that only becomes really useful when smelling an NPC's bottom.

The ability should be tied to a Perception-type skill, and can give bonuses to skills like Diplomacy and Persuade. A high enough roll can reveal information about a monster in a similar way to the Lore skill.

1 comment:

bluefish said...

"You can't understand the weight my dark fate has on me! I know my destiny is a dire one, and yet I fight because I know--"
"Hey, Jim. I want more info on that wizard before I agree to do his job."
"FINE, I'll go sniff his butt."