# What sort of substance could a humanoid release to befuddle others around them?

Creature in question: appears humanoid, but secretes some sort of substance which befuddles humans around them. 'Befuddlement' is an inability to think properly, but not to a great enough degree that people notice that they're being drugged (otherwise the game is given away, of course).

It could be achieved by any means, so long as it distracts, confuses or sedates just enough to make people noticably less quick-witted (though hopefully not noticable to themselves).

Also, the creature is unaware that they aren't human, and I don't want them to find out. (Aren't I cruel?) So something which isn't easy to notice by the user either would be preferred.

What kind of chemical could achieve this effect?

• Humans already do this a bit with pheromones. – user41674 Jan 21 '18 at 19:29
• But I never noticed it! Oh, wait - "not to a great enough degree that people notice"... (Anyhow I wanted something a little stronger.) – C. R. Yasuo Jan 21 '18 at 19:31
• Alcohol, per chance ? :-) – StephenG Jan 21 '18 at 19:58
• Actually, people are already paying for this service. As for it being detectable; if your alcohol is (say) Scotch, then sure. If it's PURE alcohol, easier to hide the scent, and way more potent. – Tim B II Jan 21 '18 at 22:25
• @timb If you want to fix your comment your should be able to delete it and enter a new corrected comment instead of editing. And I actually meant my comment about alcohol as a joke (hence the smiley). Many of my friends would regard using Scotch as a weapon sacrilege. – StephenG Jan 22 '18 at 6:44

# Nitrous oxide

A.k.a. the laughing gas. It is a colorless, with an almost unnoticeable metallic taste. Some WB users may know it as a mild anesthetic, for instance in dentistry.

Exposure to nitrous oxide causes short-term decreases in mental performance, audiovisual ability, and manual dexterity.

And, interestingly,

Because nitrous oxide is minimally metabolised in humans (with a rate of 0.004%), it retains its potency when exhaled into the room.

The creature mentioned in the question could "easily" create it from two of the most common gases already present in the air. In practice, it would go via the creation of ammonia, which is already there in a human-like body for urine production.

Direct oxidation of ammonia with a manganese dioxide-bismuth oxide catalyst has been reported:[88] cf. Ostwald process.

2 NH3 + 2 O2 → N2O + 3 H2O

Just coat the bladder of the creature with the right catalyst and allow the N2O to flow back in the blood stream and be either exhaled during respiration, or released via the sweat pores.

For a slightly less user-friendly experience, the creature could release instead Carbon Monoxide. This could be the result of a direct "digestion" of purified carbon in reduced oxygen, perhaps in an additional specialized stomach, just like a cow. We are thus talking about a creature that purifies graphite from sugars and farts carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is tasteless colorless odorless, and, once inhaled, it sticks in the blood causing poisoning. The effect on human metabolism are quite severe, but at low dosage it may just cause a slight dizziness.

• Would the nitrus be concentrated enough to have any real effect? Would it work outdoors or only in closed rooms? – Tim B Jan 22 '18 at 16:14
• @TimB if the beast has roughly the same metabolism as human being (plus the N2O part), then I doubt it would be concentrated enough to work outdoors. In confined spaces it will accumulate due to the low metabolization rate, hence gradually increase the toxicity level. – NofP Jan 22 '18 at 16:53
• Would this intoxicate the user, too? – C. R. Yasuo Jan 23 '18 at 18:55
• @C.R.Yasuo It is designed to intoxicate humans. The severity of the effects depend on the concentration. Minor doses would do exactly what requested in the question. Non-humans, including the creature, need to be intoxicated. For one, the metabolic reactions involving N2O could be rewired by using mutant receptor proteins. Does that answer your question? – NofP Jan 23 '18 at 23:19
• @NofP yes. Thanks for the added detail. And sorry for not marking your answer as correct sooner – C. R. Yasuo Jan 30 '18 at 18:02