Red Jester “Scarlet Jester”
A horrid walking corpse appears, arrayed in brightly colored clothes, floppy shoes, and a bright red jester’s hat complete with jingling bells sewn to the ends of the cap. The rigor mortis seems to have permanently pulled the creature’s face into a broad and horrific grin.
Red jesters are thought to be the undead form of court jesters having been put to death for telling bad jokes, making fun of the local ruler, or dying in an untimely manner (which could be attributed to one or both of the first two). Another legend speaks of the red jesters as being the court jesters of Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead, sent to the Material Plane to “entertain” those the demon prince has chosen to pay special attention to. The actual truth to their origin remains a mystery.
While they can be encountered from the coldest to the warmest regions of the world and on any type of terrain, a red jester is generally encountered near civilized areas. Though it is dead (or undead) now, it still delights in entertaining living creatures through its humor and obviously cannot do that if it resides far away in unsettled lands. Some red jesters, in an effort to disguise their undead nature don masks or wear makeup.
They speak Common and at least two other languages and often engage in humor during combat, spilling bad puns and riddles at their opponents.
Medium undead, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 67 (15d8)
Speed 30 ft.
|15 (+2)||17 (+3)||10 (+0)||15 (+2)||14 (+2)||16 (+3)|
Saving Throws Dex +6
Skills Acrobatics +6, Deception +6, Sleight of Hand +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, poisoned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common and any two others
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
- Unassailable Mind. The mind of a red jester is a twisted and dangerous place to peer into. If a living creature targets a red jester with an attack that normally causes psychic damage or tries to use telepathy on a red jester, that creature must make a successful DC 13 Intelligence saving throw or be cursed, with an effect identical to a permanent confusion spell. The confusion effect can be ended only by magic that lifts the curse.
- Multiattack. A red jester makes two Fist attacks or two Mace attacks.
- Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (1d12 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
- Jester’s Deck. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20 ft., one creature. Hit: The target creature is affected as if it drew a random card from the deck of many things. In the hands of anyone but a red jester, the jester’s deck acts as a normal, nonmagical deck of playing cards. +2 Mace of Merriment. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a successful DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed with merriment for 1d3 rounds. In the hands of anyone but a red jester, the weapon acts as a +1 mace.
- Fear Cackle (1/day). The red jester unleashes a fear-inducing cackle. All creatures within 60 feet that hear the cackle must make a successful DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 2d4 rounds. A frightened creature has a 50% chance of immediately dropping everything it holds in its hands.
Red jesters are thought to be undead court jesters put to death for telling bad jokes, making fun of the local ruler, or dying in an untimely manner (which could be attributed to one or both of the first two). Another legend speaks of the red jesters as being the court jesters of Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead, sent to the Material Plane to “entertain” those the demon prince has chosen to pay special attention to.
While they can be encountered anywhere from the coldest to the warmest regions of the world and on any type of terrain, a red jester is generally encountered near civilized areas. Though it is dead (or undead) now, it still delights in entertaining living creatures through its humor and obviously cannot do that if it resides far away in unsettled lands. Some red jesters, in an effort to disguise their undead nature, don masks or wear makeup.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Horrors 2020, (C) 2020, Necromancer Games
|Red Jester CR 10|
CN Medium undead
Init +8; Senses Darkvision 60ft.; Perception +15
|AC 24, touch 14, flat-footed 20 (+4 Dexterity, +10 natural)|
hp 67 (15d8)
Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +11
Defensive Abilities Channel Resistance +4, unassailable mind;
DR 10/magic; Immune undead traits; SR 21
|Speed 30 ft.|
Melee +2 Light Mace of merriment +17 (1d6+4 plus merriment) or 2 slams +13 (1d4+2)
Ranged jester’s deck +15 (see below)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks fear cackle, jester’s deck, merriment
|A red jester opens combat using its fear cackle attempting to affect as many opponents as possible. Those that resist its effects are assailed with its magical playing cards and mace. During the entire combat, the red jester talks, laughs, and tells jokes and riddles.|
|Strength 15, Dexterity 18, Constitution –, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 14, Charisma 16|
Base Atk +11; CMB +13; CMD 27
Feats Ability Focus (fear cackle), Catch Off-Guard, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Throw Anything, Weapon Finesse
Skills Balance +17, Intimidate +16, Perform (act) +16, Perform (comedy) +20, Perform (oratory) +16, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Sleight of Hand +17, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Perform (comedy)
Languages Common plus any 2
Combat Gear jester’s deck; Other Gear +2 Light Mace of merriment
|Fear Cackle (Su) |
A red jester can unleash a fear-inducing cackle as a free action. All creatures within 60 feet that hear it must make a successful DC 22 Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. Panicked creatures suffer a -2 morale penalty on saves and flee (if possible). A panicked creature has a 50% chance to drop what it’s holding. If cornered or unable to flee, a panicked creature cowers. This is a sonic, mind-affecting fear effect. Whether or not the save is successful, an affected creature is immune to that red jester’s fear cackle for one day. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Jester’s Deck (Su)
The red jester uses a deck of playing cards in combat that functions as a deck of many things. Once per round, as a standard action, the red jester can draw a single card and throw it at an opponent to a range of 20 feet. This requires a successful ranged touch attack. If successful, the card takes effect that round and affects the target just as if he had drawn a card from a deck of many things. A red jester can draw the same card more than once. The playing cards only function in the hands of a red jester. To anyone else, they are merely normal playing cards.
If a red jester strikes an opponent with its mace, the creature must make a successful DC 20 Will save or fall to the ground laughing for 1d3 rounds. The opponent is not helpless, but is unable to move or act for the duration. A mace of merriment functions only in the hands of a red jester. In the hands of any other creature it functions as a masterwork Light Mace.
Unassailable Mind (Ex)
The mind of a red jester is a twisted and dangerous place to journey. Being undead, it is immune to all mind-influencing effects and should a creature target the mind of a red jester with such an effect (including psionics, telepathy, or the like), the creature attempting to invade the red jester’s mind must make a successful DC Will save or suffer the effects of an insanity spell (caster level 15th). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Section 15: Copyright Notice – Tome of Horrors Complete
Red Jester from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.