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Buffoons in a play in open air, by Matthijs Naiveu

Presenting a new iteration of the perennial Jester Class! Like my other “Reimagined” Character Classes for the B/X rules (such as the Dwarven Dungeoneer), this one is built using the five “Special Abilities” + two “Restrictions and Weaknesses” format, has no “Prime Requisite”, and assumes a five-point Alignment system. Otherwise, I’ll let the Jester speak for himself. Or herself. Or theirself. Or is it themselves? One of those!

Human Jester

Abilities: Str: 3d6 | Int: 3d6 | Wis: 1d8+10 | Dex: 1d8+10 | Con: 3d6 | Cha: 3d6
Special Abilities: Acrobatics, Dodge Blows, Imitate Sounds, Jester Routines, Ventriloquism.
Restrictions and Weaknesses: Comical Weapons Only, No Armor.
Hit Dice: d6 per Level, until 9th. Add 2 Hit Points per Level thereafter.
Alignment: Chaotic, Good, or Neutral. Lawful people can be personally funny, but are never irreverent and zany enough to make good Jesters. Evil Jesters are NPC Clowns (see below).
Starting Age: 16+d6
Starting Language(s): Western Common.


Typical Starting Equipment:

  • Ninny Stick, or other Comical Weapon (see below).
  • Puppet.
  • Colorful mask.
  • Fool’s cap, with bells at the end of both points.
  • Parti-colored outfit.
  • Brightly colored wig.
  • Imitation plucked chicken made from soft leather.
  • Throwing pie.
  • Backpack.
  • Spoon.
  • Lantern.
  • 1 pint of oil for lantern.
  • Sponge.
  • Make-up kit.
  • Wineskin (filled with cheap wine).
  • 1 week of rations (all candy and fried foods).
  • Donkey.
  • 1d20 gp.

Your character follows the ancient and honorable profession of the Jester, lightening the hearts of the afflicted. Okay, really they tell a lot of fart jokes. But, they’re really, really funny fart jokes. They tell other jokes as well, but let’s face it, farts are funny. And how funny would it be if you yourself were to fart while reading this? Do it. Nobody’s paying attention. And, if they are, do it anyway.

Why did your character become a Jester? Probably, they farted a lot. Then they learned to fart on command, and honestly, what else are they going to do with that skill? Perhaps they figured out that people will let a Jester get away with almost anything. Like farting as much they do. What the hell are you making your poor character eat?

Sure, there are some Jesters who don’t tell fart Jokes. Who cares about them?

But, all is not sweetness, light, and innocent farts in the world of Comedy. There are other who turn the awesome power of Comedy to Evil ends. Known as “Clowns”, they are known for painting their faces in garish styles, wearing frightful wigs, and cackling in malicious glee at their own jokes. They were responsible for some of the wost atrocities during the Reign of the Monsters, and are universally feared. When a normal Jester meets a Clown, the result is almost always a vicious duel of jokes, capers, pratfalls, and sight gags. Witnessing such awesome comedic power in one place might well drive an ordinary person to insanity.

 

Special Abilities of Human Jesters

Acrobatics: Your can roll a Dexterity Check for your character to do any of the following:

  • Jump up to 10 feet horizontally, or 5 feet vertically.
  • Balance on a ledge or tightrope.
  • Hide behind large objects (but not disappear into the shadows like a Thief can).
  • Climb trees, knotted ropes, and similar objects with large handholds (but not sheer walls like a Thief can).
  • Cartwheel forward or backwards.
  • Flip forward or backward.
  • Juggle up to four objects. (Plus one additional per successful Dexterity Check.)

Additionally, you can make a Saving Throw versus Breath Weapon to allow your character to tumble out of any fall of 10 feet or less, taking no damage at all.

Best of all, your character can fart and belch at will. It would be naughty and wrong, of course, for the GM to insist you role-play that properly – but it could happen. Prepare with beans and beer!

Dodge Blows: At 1st level, a Jester’s base Armor Class is 1 better than normal.

  • At 3rd Level a Jester’s base Armor Class improves by 1 point, and by 1 additional point per two Levels afterward.

Imitate Sounds: With a successful Dexterity Check your Jester can Imitate any sound they have heard before.

  • If your characters wants to imitate a the sound of a Monster other than a normal animal, you roll the Check with a Penalty equal to the Monster’s Hit Dice. The roll to Imitate a Black Dragon is made with a 7 point Penalty, for example. If the Jester’s Dexterity is 13, and they want to imitate a Black Dragon, they must roll a 6 or lower on the d20.
  • Specific people can be Imitated. If the imitated person has a Character Class, however, the Dexterity Check is made with a Penalty equal to the imitated person’s Level. Imitating Jaro the Blacksmith is easy – successfully replicating the infamously whiny voice of the Wizard Prince Naraque is nearly impossible for all but the most skilled Jesters.

Jester Routines: At 2nd Level, your character learns a supernaturally potent joke or gag that they can use once a day.

  • The first Routine you know can be any 1st Level one from the list of Jester Rountines.
  • Your Jester automatically learns a new Routine with each Level gained. This Routine can be of any Level they can perform at they new Level (as shown on the Jester Advancement table).
  • The total Levels of Routines your Jester can perform per day is equal to their Experience Level minus 1.
  • All Routines (except those with the word “pantomime” in their name) require that the target be an intelligent being able to hear and understand the Jester. Pantomimes merely need to be seen.
  • Your character can learn additional Routines either from other Jesters (by deliberate instruction, or by watching them perform and stealing the jokes), or from Fairies and Daimons (the Planar Spirits who have the best senses of humor).
  • There is no limit to the number of Jester Routines your character may potentially know.

Ventriloquism: With a Dexterity Check your character can speak (or Imitate Sounds) without moving their lips, and throw their voice so it appears to be coming from any place up to 50’ distant.

 

Restrictions and Weaknesses of Human Jesters

Comical Weapons Only: Jesters cannot effectively employ normal weapons. However, they are adept at the use of Comical Weapons which would be either impractical or completely ineffective in other hands. The following are some Comical Weapons (and the damage the inflict in hands of a Jester):

  • Slapstick (1d6). This is essentially two boards with a handle, held together by a hinge. It makes a loud “slap” sound when it strikes a target.
  • Ninny Stick / Marotte (1d4). This a rod or stick surmounted by a carved Jester’s head.
  • Ratchet (1d4). This device consists of a cog-wheeled handle with a board attached perpendicularly in such a way that it can be spun, creating a loud clicking noise.
  • Fish (1d3). Any fish at least a foot long can be used as a deadly weapon by a Jester, either in melee, or as a thrown missile.
  • Chicken (1d3). A Jester can use either an actual plucked chicken, or a soft leather imitation of one, as a melee weapon.
  • Throwing Pie (1d3). Harmless (albeit embarrassing) when used by others, Jesters can throw pies with deadly force and accuracy. The range of a pie is the same as a dagger. Jesters are also known to make throwing pies with Holy Water and/or Garlic, for use against Undead, Demons, and Devils.
  • Ball Bat (1d6). The Jester can use any bat originally intended for ball games as weapon. Oddly, the Jester cannot use clubs deliberately constructed for offensive use!
  • Paddle (1d6). A flat board with a handle, such as is used to discipline unruly children. Sadistic Clowns sometimes drill holes in the paddle, making it hurt much more.
  • Wooden Knife (1d4). A wooden blade of the type that is usually a child’s toy. A Jester could use a Wooden Knife, however, to effectively stake a Vampire.
  • Giant Mallet (1d6). The absurdly oversized head of this weapon is often padded, and would be completely unusable as a weapon by ordinary people.
  • Sock / Stocking (1d4). Filled with flour and rocks. The older and stinkier, the better!
  • Shoe (1d3). A jester can use an old shoe either as melee weapon, or as missile (with the same range as a dagger)
  • Squirt Bladder (Special). A squirt bladder (usually hidden behind a flower worn on the jester’s jacket) does no damage by itself, but can be used to splash damaging liquids on targets within 10 feet, who must Save versus Breath Weapon or be hit.

A unique quality of Comical Weapons is that they cannot actually kill any natural animal, or humanoid creature. Whenever the result of an attack indicates that the Jester would slay their target, the victim is actually “Bopped on the Head” – reduced to 1 hp, stunned, and unable to take any actions for as many Rounds as the Jester has Levels. A creature who is Bopped on the Head can be automatically killed by any meanie wielding a regular weapon.

No Armor: A Jester cannot use their Special Abilities while wearing armor of any kind.

 

Destiny at 9th Level

  • Your character will be invited to become the “Court Jester” of some important official – a Duke, Prince, Governor, Senator, or even the Queen herself. If they accept, the Jester will be given a stipend of 5,000 gp per year, as well as free room and board.
  • Your Jester may establish a school of Comedy in any convenient structure – even building a castle if they like! If you do so, they will attract 1d4 Jesters of 1st, 2nd or 3rd Level, and 1d6 ordinary people who wan to become Jesters. Your character might even do this without your permission!

Destiny at 14th Level

  • As a Supreme Fool, your character may walk unmolested into any palace, stronghold, throne room, or royal residence anywhere in the Cosmos, and speak their mind to any ruler of people, Monsters, Bogeymen, or Planar Spirits.
  • No guard (natural or supernatural) will stop them, but they must enter openly and without subterfuge.
  • So long as they do not actually attempt to harm anyone, no punitive measures will ever be taken against your character.
  • Because they realize they are just a character in the eternal “Game of Playing Roles”, a Supreme Fool may address the entity known as “The Game Master” by name – as well as other, equally mysterious beings known as “The Players”.

Human Jester Advancement Table

Exp. Points (Hours played)

Exp. Level

Level Title

Hit Points

THAC0 [Attack Roll Bonus]

Base AC

Max. Level of Routines (Spells) Known

Total Levels of Routines (Spells) per Day.

0

1

Fool

1d6

0

8 [11]

2,000 (12 hours)

2

Buffoon

2d6

18 [+1]

8 [11]

1st

1

4,000 (24 hours)

3

Merrymaker

3d6

18 [+1]

7 [12]

1st

2

8,000 (36 hours)

4

Joker

4d6

17 [+2]

7 [12]

1st

3

15,000 (48 hours)

5

Caperer

5d6

17 [+2]

6 [13]

2nd

4

30,000 (60 hours)

6

Farceur

6d6

16 [+3]

6 [13]

2nd

5

60,000 (72 hours)

7

Prankster

7d6

16 [+3]

5 [14]

2nd

6

120,000 (84 hours)

8

Humorist

8d6

15 [+4]

5 [14]

3rd

7

220,000 (96 hours)

9

Harlequin

9d6

15 [+4]

4 [15]

3rd

8

300,000 (108 hours)

10

Harlequin

9d6+2

14 [+5]

4 [15]

3rd

9

420,000 (120 hours)

11

Harlequin

9d6+4

14 [+5]

3 [16]

4th

10

540,000 (132 hours)

12

Harlequin

9d6+6

13 [+5]

3 [16]

4th

11

660,000 (144 hours)

13

Harlequin

9d6+8

13 [+5]

2 [17]

4th

12

780,000 (156 hours)

14

Supreme Fool

9d6+10

12 [+6]

2 [17]

5th

13

Human Jester Saving Throws

Level

Poison / Death Ray / Disease

Wands / Psionics

Paralysis / Petrification

Dragon Breath / Explosives / Firearms

Spell /Staff / Rod

1

13

14

15

12

16

2

12

13

14

11

15

3

11

12

13

10

14

4

10

11

12

9

13

5

9

10

11

8

12

6

8

9

10

7

11

7

7

8

9

6

10

8

6

7

8

5

9

9

5

6

7

4

8

10 – 14

4

5

6

3

7

Fou regardant à travers ses doigts (Cassel)

Permutations and Variations of the Jester

ELVEN MADCAP

  • Special Abilities: Acrobatics, Dodge Blows, Jester Routines, Nightvision (as per Elven Warrior-Wizard), Resist Paralysis (as per Elven Warrior-Wizard).
  • Restrictions and Weaknesses: Comical Weapons Only, No Armor (For some reason, Elven Jesters are not especially hated by the Bogeymen).
  • Destiny at 9th Level: As Human Jester.
  • Destiny at 14th Level: As Human Jester.

GNOMISH COMEDIAN

  • Special Abilities: Infravision (as per Gnomish Tinkerer), Friend of Burrowing Critters (as per Gnomish Tinkerer), Imitate Sounds, Jester Routines, Ventriloquism.
  • Restrictions and Weaknesses: Comical Weapons Only, Short Legs.
  • Destiny at 9th Level: As Human Jester.
  • Destiny at 14th Level: As Human Jester.

Special: Gnomes are such naturally talented Jesters that they can actually wear armor – and armor that fits them poorly just makes them funnier!

HALFLING HUMORIST

  • Special Abilities: Acrobatics, Dodge Blows, Jester Routines, Nightvision (as per Halfling Rover), Ventriloquism.
  • Restrictions and Weaknesses: Comical Weapons Only (Halfling Humorists can actually use Comical Weapons that appear much too big for them), No Armor.
  • Destiny at 9th Level: As Human Jester.
  • Destiny at 14th Level: As Human Jester.

1st Level Jester Routines

1

Belittling Joke: Recipient becomes 1 foot smaller than their original size per Jester Level, suffering -1 to Strength per foot reduced. Below 1 foot, the Victim becomes 1 inch tall. Victims more than half their original size gain +2 AC. 1 inch tall Recipients gain +4 AC. {1 hour} *Save negates if undesired.

2

Bored to Sleep: A visible living Victim with no more HD than the Jester falls asleep. {Until dawn} *Save negates.

3

Can’t Fool Me: Jester can detect if anything they see or otherwise sense is actually an illusion. [Normal visual range] {Until Jester moves from current position}

4

Climbing the Walls: Recipient can walk (but not run) up walls and across ceilings in a manner similar to a spider. Recipient will not become disoriented by such movement. [1 hour]

5

Comical Leaps: Jester or Recipient can make incredible jumps – up to 30′ forward, and 10′ feet vertically or backwards. The distances increase by 5’ per Jester Level. {1 jump per Experience Level of Jester}

6

Down, Boy!: Jester calms all hostile, frightened, or otherwise uncontrollable animals, whether wild or domestic, in 50’ radius. {1 hour}

7

Emboldening Joke: All Fear effects, mundane or magical, are removed from the Recipient. [1 person]

8

Fooled Ya!: Jester can make an item fool Detect effects (such as Detect Magic) in a desired way. [Object up to 5lbs] {Next New Moon}

9

Hypnotism Act: Jester commands the attention of one person with 25’. Victim will perform easy, apparently safe requests for as long as the Jester pays undivided attention to them. Afterward, the Victim will forget the whole experience. {No more than 1 hour} * Save negates.

10

Joy Buzzer: Jester inflicts 1d6 points of electrical Damage with a touch – and double damage if the Victim is wearing metal armor. [1 touched target]

11

Oooh, Spooky Noises: Jester creates phantom sounds (other than comprehensible speech) equal in maximum volume to that of 4 people per Jester Level. [within 50’] {1 hour} *Save reveals illusion.

12

Prestidigitation: Jester can perform minor tricks of an entertaining variety – such as a Cup and Balls routine, making a coin disappear and reappear, etc.

2nd Level Jester Routines

1

Analgesic Joke: Jester or Recipient become immune to all pain, mundane or magical. {Until dawn}

2

Bewildering Gag: Victim becomes disoriented, and acts randomly. Roll d10 each round: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. [50 feet] {1 Turn} *Save negates.

3

Demoralizing Satire: All intelligent creatures within earshot, other than the Jester’s fiends and allies, must check Morale. There is no Save other than a successful Morale Check.

4

Healing Jest: A Recipient is cured of 1 point of Damage per own Experience Level (or HD if a creature). For example: A 3rd Level Recipient regains 3 lost Hit Points. [1 Recipient other than the Jester]

5

Know Your Audience: Jester learns a target’s actual Alignment. [1 Target in visual range] *Save negates.

6

Liberating Insight: The Recipient is cured of all paralyzing or movement inhibiting effects.

7

Romantic Comedy: The Recipient is overcome with love for the Jester. If the Jester does not properly reciprocate, or ever mistreats the Recipient in any way, they will leave the Jester (and hate their former love forever after). [1 person who can hear Jester] * Save negates.

Player Characters are immune to the effects of Romantic Comedy.

8

Rope Trick: A length of rope up to 30’ long stands upright the air, and can be climbed to an invisible (and otherwise inaccessible) hiding place. Hidden people can see the out, but not be seen. The rope can be pulled inside, and is also the only means of exit. {Until dawn}

9

Scramble Thoughts: The Jester or Recipient is immune to the effect of ESP. {1 hour}

10

Seeing Double: Jester surrounds themselves with as many illusory copies of their body as their own Experience Level. An attacker must make a successful Save to hit or affect the real Jester {1 hour}

3rd Level Jester Routines

1

Babbling Idiot: Victim loses the ability to read, comprehend, or speak any language. [1 touched victim] {1 hour} * Save negates.

2

Enraging Pantomime: Jester performs a silent pantomime routine that causes all who see it to immediately go berserk and attack the nearest creature. [25’ radius] {1d6 Rounds} *Save negates

3

Fart Blast: Jester emits a blast of gale-force wind. Small creatures are blown back 50’ each Round, Human-sized creatures are blown back 25’, and large creatures cannot move forward. Missile attacks into the wind automatically miss. [25’ x 300’ column in front of Jester] {6 Rounds} *Save negates.

4

Horrific Fart (or Belch): Jester emits a 25’ diameter cloud of vapors that smell horrifically bad. Anyone inside is nauseated, and unable to do anything but retch and flee. [1 hour]

5

Knock ‘em Speechless: Everyone within a 25′ radius must Save, or lose the ability to speak (or use magic that requires speech) [1d6 Rounds] *Save negates

6

Why Don’tcha: Jester causes one Victim to obey a reasonable sounding directive which can be phrased in one sentence. {Until dawn, or a suggested task is completed} * Save negates.

4th Level Jester Routines

1

Blessing of Comedy: Jester or Recipient is freed from any supernatural curses currently afflicting them. A “curse” is defined by any Spell which includes the word “curse” in its description.

2

Blistering Insult: Victim suffers 1d4 points of Damage per own Exp. Level or HD (if a creature). For example: A 5th Level target loses 5d4 Hit Points. [1 victim within earshot]. *Save negates.

3

Disappearing Act: Jester is teleported to any place they can see. [Only Jester]

4

Humiliating Jibe: Every being not allied with the Jester within a 50′ foot radius must Save versus Wisdom or be so overcome with embarrassment that they run away until they can no longer be seen. Affected beings stay embarrassed for 1 hour. *Save negates, and new Save can be made each Round.

5

Hurry Up!: Victim moves twice as fast as normal. Receives +3 on AC; two actions per Round; and +3 on Saves versus Wands & Breath. Loses 1 point Constitution, and ages 1 year! {1 hour} *Save negates

6

Mass Confusion: All within 50’ (except Jester) become disoriented, and act randomly. Roll d10 each Round per victim: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = strange and pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. {1 Turn} *Save negates.

7

Put the Crowd to Sleep: As many visible, living Victims as the Jester has Levels fall asleep. Those with greater HD than the Jester are immune. {Until dawn} *Save negates.

8

Rain of Fish: A large quantity of real, living fish fall from the sky or ceiling. All witnesses under 5 HD must Save or stare dumbfounded (and unable to attack) for 6 Rounds. Dumbfounded creatures take 1 hp of damage per Round from falling fish. [150’ radius around Jester] {1 Minute}

9

Shout: Jester emits a shriek that deafens every being within 50’ (except themselves), inflicts 4d6 points of Damage, and shatter glass and crystal. *Save negates deafness, and reduces damage by half.

10

You Really Like Me: Targeted creature regards the Caster as a friend who has their best interests at heart. [1 Monster or person, but not a Spirit or Undead] {30 days, minus Monster’s Int. score} * Save negates.

5th Level Jester Routines

1

I See Right Through You: Jester sees things exactly as they are, or were before they being affected by any Spells or Special Abilities that produce illusions, Glamours, or Transmutations. [Visual range] {1 hour}

2

Knock ‘Em Dead: 4d8 HD of intelligent living beings (lowest HD beings first) laugh themselves to death. Beings with 8 or more HD are immune. *Save negates.

3

Irresistible Laughter: Target is unable to do anything but laugh for 6 Rounds, and must thereafter Save every 6 Rounds to stop. A successful Save ends the laughter. *No Save for first 6 Rounds, Save negates thereafter.

4

Laugh at Death: Recipient cannot be harmed by offensive Spells (or Maledictions) for the duration of the effect, and is immune to XP loss or Ability damage from contact with the Undead. [Jester, or 1 Recipient] {Until dawn}

5

Pantomime Wall: Jester creates an invisible wall that blocks movement. The nearest part of the wall must begin within arm’s length of the Jester. [A 50’ x 50’ wall, or 25’ diameter ring 20’ high] {1 hour}

6

Stupefying Joke: Victim’s Intelligence is reduced to 2. [25’] {Until next full moon} *Save negates