I have a halfling bard who loves to smoke pipes. I imagine I (and others) may be fond of the aromas he creates. He is being chased by a bad guy with a big sword, riding a reindeer. The GM gave the reindeer scent. My halfling is invisible and running away from the tracking-reindeer commandeered by the bad guy with the big sword.

Can I use Prestidigitation to 'clean an area' and remove the scent from my halfling's body, effectively making him odorless (and undetectable by scent?)

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    \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like a fun session \$\endgroup\$
    – Nacht
    Jul 11, 2017 at 4:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nacht well, the party killed the evil queen and her sister wants revenge. Her and her guards knocked out our slayer, our cleric was reduced to healbot, and the paladin surrendered mid-fight. It was high time for this halfling street performer bard to make his grand exit. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2017 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just cover up your odor with some old spices... \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    May 3, 2021 at 1:30

3 Answers 3


Unless the GM allows the spell prestidigitation to mask a creature's scent, the spell probably can't make a creature undetectable by the extraordinary ability scent. Other spells already defeat or mitigate the special ability scent, and the prestidigitation spell "lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects." (If willing to venture back to 's forebear the common uses of that game's prestidigitation spell are outlined in this Web column; the two spells' descriptions are nearly identical.)

Instead, to lessen the effectiveness of the special ability scent, try, for example, the alchemical tool scent cloak, the feat Conceal Scent, the spell negate aroma, or, in some cases, the spell pass without trace.

Were the GM to allow the prestidigitation spell—a 0th-level spell that a typical caster can employ at will—to conceal the caster's odor anyway, the special ability scent becomes largely useless against any mildly prepared foe. For example, 2,500 gp would buy immunity to the special ability scent using any cloak of the hedge wizard.

Note: The d20PFSRD includes no reindeer, but the deer, elk, and giant elk (this last's size category is Large therefore suitable as mount for the typical Medium creature) lack the special ability scent, but the river elk and megaloceros (both Large creatures) possess the special ability scent. If the rider's mounted on a reskinned version of either of these last two, the GM's given the dude with a big sword chasing your halfling no special treatment.

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    \$\begingroup\$ He homebrewed the reindeer. (I asked.... this GM is quite pernicious.) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2017 at 18:58


You can certainly clean yourself and reduce the smoke odor to where you're not rank to a normal sense of smell (or at least not any more rank than the average halfling), but the extraordinary ability scent can smell you regardless of other powerful scents.

Now, it does take you down to normal smell levels and not "strong" or "overpowering" (as described in the ability), reducing the range at which it can smell you. So it can still help you evade the reindeer, but it certainly doesn't make you immune to scent as if it were invisibility.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for scent not requiring pungent odors to function. It's just a strong sense of smell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    May 3, 2021 at 1:28

You can't clean yourself, but you can hide.

The description for scent says that the creature with scent can "detect opponents by sense of smell". It doesn't say "Can detect dirty opponents by sense of smell". As mxyzplk points out, the reindeer can probably smell you from 60 feet away instead of 30 if your halfling has a "strong" scent (which it probably does: smoke counts as a strong smell). So it might help to clean your clothes, but it wouldn't make you undetectable. One other concern, prestidigitation cleans "items" in a 1-foot cube. I'm not sure if prestidigitation would get the smell out of your hair or off your skin.

On the other hand, you can also use prestidigitation to soil items. And false, powerful odors can easily mask other scents. From the description of scent linked above:

False, powerful odors can easily mask other scents. The presence of such an odor completely spoils the ability to properly detect or identify creatures, and the base Survival DC to track becomes 20 rather than 10.

So you could soil a leaf or snowball, and the reindeer wouldn't be able to smell you and would have a hard time tracking you. It would need to make a Survival check of 21 (with the +1 modifier to track a lone Small creature - there's a link in the description for scent) to track you. If your GM is feeling generous, the reindeer might need to make a new check for every soiled snowball it passes, since it needs to make a new Survival check every time the tracks become difficult to follow (as per Survival rules). Don't soil more than one snowball at a time. Strangely, scent only works on opponents or via tracks, but if you leave a trail of soiled snowballs, that probably doesn't count as a false smell. But you could change direction and soil a new snowball each time the reindeer seems to be getting closer to you.


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