The RPG Series
Illustrations by the inimitable Julie Dillon.
“You all meet at an inn.…”
Pen and paper role-playing games have been a tremendous influence in my life since my formative years. My parents bought me the magenta D&D boxed set back in 1982, along with the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. My lifelong passion for fantasy, science fiction, war games, and mythology was well-channeled through RPGs, and I credit playing D&D with helping me sustain my imagination and sense of wonder through adulthood.
I played with one particular group through the bulk of my late teens and early 20s, and this series — along with the atmosphere tools that Black Phoenix Trading Post has introduced — was inspired, specifically, by the time that we spent campaigning together. Our group was somewhat prop-driven in our gaming: we felt that setting a mood was conducive to our style of gameplay. Little things like changes in lighting, minor sound effects, and music made a world of difference, and we found that utilizing miniatures, model railroad scenery, and other tools in order to physically illustrate strategies and provide visual cues was tremendously useful. How much more immersive would it have been if we’d been able to smell the crypt we were crawling through? Or the stench of steel and blood that permeates a warrior’s cloak? What do the wizard’s spell components smell like? What does winter in the desert smell like? Or spring in a druid’s sanctuary?
Pen and paper role playing games are, to me, dynamic stories that are propelled by the active participation of many individuals. You can’t have a strong storyline without creating characters of some depth. When you create a character, you generally have their personalities, priorities, and history in mind, along with a clear vision of what your character looks and sounds like. But how does she smell? What does the world around her smell like?
In most pen and paper fantasy RPGs, three of the primary attributes that you must choose for your character are race, class, and alignment. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s RPG scent series was designed to emulate the character creation process, and are meant to be layered in order to create a character concept. In short: you layer your class, race, and the two fragrances that compose your alignment to construct your character scent. RPGs in all their myriad forms — CRPGs, MMOs, and old school pen and paper — have brought me immeasurable joy. This is my homage. This series is dedicated to my first DMs — my parents — for laughing off the nutter-perpetuated AD&D Satan Scare of the 80’s. Thanks for taking the time to play with your little girl. I miss you, and I love you.
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$17.50 per 5ml bottle. Presented in an amber apothecary vial.
RPG Series - Adventuring Gear
A growing selection of adventuring gear, character-specific items, and dungeoneering accessories to further personalize your character!
Dwarven AleSelect options
Brewed with fermented mushrooms, pumpkin rind, honey, and apple rootstock.
Thieves’ RosinSelect options
Increases the chance of successfully picking pockets by 25%.
Vial of Holy WaterSelect options
The gleaming, indescribably clean scent of purified, ritually consecrated holy water.
RPG Series - Alignment
Alignment refers to your character’s ethics: which way does his or her moral compass point? There are two aspects to alignment: law vs. chaos, and good vs. evil. Does your character respect authority and venerate tradition? She’s likely Lawful. Does she value personal freedom above all else? Chaotic. Does your character give alms to the poor and protect the innocent? He’s Good. Is your character of a mercenary bend, willing and eager to step on others to get ahead? Evil. A character that is Neutral (or any combination of Neutral) either finds perfect balance in their worldview, or is apathetic towards the constraints of either good and evil or law and chaos. A lawful neutral character values the letter of the law above any concern for good or evil, and the chaotic neutral character is, generally, driven completely by a desire for absolute freedom. Sometimes they’re just nuts.
A whirling mélange of multicolored musks with wasabi, rooibos, heliotrope, and mastic.
Smouldering opium tar, tobacco absolute, green tea, black plum, kush, ambergris accord, ambrette seed, and costus root.
Shimmering celestial musk with vanilla, white honey, acacia, and sugar cane.
Rigid oak, blue chamomile, rhubarb, and fig leaf.
A flawless skin musk.
RPG Series - Classes
Class refers to your character’s choice of adventuring profession.
A ridiculously charismatic blend of bay rum, honey, and white musk mingling with the scent of harp wood and lute strings and the twang of horn brass.
Rose amber, frankincense, myrrh, champaca flower, Peru balsam, cistus, palisander, cananga, hyssop, and narcissus absolute.
A woolen robe infused with the scent of a vast, primordial forest: ancient trees, fertile soil, wild herbs, spring grasses, and burgundy pitch incense.
Leather, musk, blood, and steel.
All mystique and thrumming power: gurjum balsam, Sumatran dragon's blood resin, olibanum, galangal, oleo gum resin, and frankincense.
Immaculate white musk, sweet frankincense, bourbon vanilla, white leather, and shining armor.
Untamed wilderness: buckskin accord with Terebinth pine, Russian birch, black ironwood, elder bark, hay, armoise, juniper, patchouli, galangal root, Spanish moss, and cabreuva.
Soft, well-worn black leather, hemp, and rosin.
RPG Series - Races
In gaming terms, choosing your character’s race means you will select which sentient species you would like to belong to.
Iron filings and chips of stone, Styrian Golding hops, and soot-covered leather.
Pale golden musk, honeycomb, amber, parma violet, hawthorne bark, aspen leaf, forest lily, life everlasting, white moss, and a hint of wild berry.
An explosive blend of effervescent golden ginger and black peppercorn with sarsaparilla, gurjum balsam, nutmeg, gear lubricant, and smoke.
White sandalwood, beeswax, white tea leaf, oud, and a hint of sophisticated urban musk.
Porridge, kukui nuts, and pastry crumbs.
Field grey courgette musk, roughly cured leather, and vetiver.