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P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman, Prince of Humbug, America’s Foremost Showman”

P.T. Barnum, "The Greatest Showman, Prince of Humbug, America's Foremost Showman"
  • Alias – The Greatest Showman, Prince of Humbug, America’s Foremost Showman
  • Gender – Male
  • Race – Human
  • Occupation – Showman, Entertainer, Entrepreneur
  • Religion – Various sources suggest he was a Universalist or had an affiliation with spiritualism.
  • Allies – Various performers and entertainers, General Tom Thumb, Jenny Lind, Jumbo the Elephant also including his business partners and collaborators.
  • Enemies – Critics and skeptics of his shows and methods, as well as competitors in the entertainment industry.
  • Abode/ Base of operations – Primarily operated in America, with bases in cities such as New York and Bridgeport, Connecticut.
  • Nationality – American
  • Languages – English
  • Alignment – Chaotic Good
  • Affiliation(s) – The Barnum & Bailey Circus, American Museum, Barnum’s American Museum and Menagerie
  • Significant others – Charity Hallett (first wife), Nancy Fish (second wife), Bridgeport residence.

P.T. Barnum, the charismatic showman, is driven by an insatiable thirst for entertainment and a desire to captivate audiences with his grand spectacles. With a flair for the dramatic and an unwavering belief in the power of the extraordinary, he brings to life the wonders of the world in all their glory. Standing at an average height with a portly frame and a twinkle in his eye, Barnum possesses an infectious energy that draws people in.

From a young age, Barnum yearned to escape the ordinary and embark on a life filled with wonder. With an entrepreneurial spirit coursing through his veins, he orchestrates elaborate exhibitions, curiosities, and curates the most mesmerizing shows the world has ever seen. He weaves tales of awe and astonishment, pushing the boundaries of what is deemed possible, and challenges the conventional norms of society.

Driven by an unwavering belief that people crave the extraordinary, Barnum tirelessly seeks out unique individuals with extraordinary talents, transforming their lives by showcasing their gifts to the world. He champions the underdog, giving them a platform to shine and demonstrating that every person possesses a spark of brilliance waiting to be unleashed. Through his shows, he aims to inspire, entertain, and ignite a sense of wonder in the hearts of those who witness his marvels.

Barnum’s ultimate goal is to create a legacy of entertainment that will be remembered for generations to come. He yearns to leave an indelible mark on the world, carving his name into the annals of history as the greatest showman who ever lived. With each new spectacle, he seeks to push the boundaries of what is considered possible and redefine the very notion of entertainment.

Despite his larger-than-life persona, Barnum is not without his flaws. His pursuit of sensationalism and unrelenting drive for success can sometimes overshadow his empathy for others. Yet, deep down, he is a man of vision, audacity, and dreams. And with each step he takes, he leaves a trail of wonder and enchantment, forever changing the landscape of entertainment.

In his quest to mesmerize the masses and redefine the world of entertainment, P.T. Barnum remains a captivating character who refuses to settle for anything less than the extraordinary.

P.T. Barnum, the Showman Extraordinaire

Medium humanoid (human), lawful neutral

Armor Class 12 Hit Points 68 (8d8 + 32) Speed 30 ft.


Saving Throws Dex +4, Cha +7 Skills Deception +11, Insight +4, Persuasion +11 Senses Passive Perception 11 Languages Common Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Background: Showman. P.T. Barnum has a knack for showmanship and persuasion. He gains expertise in the Deception and Persuasion skills.


Cane Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Silver-Tongued Charm. P.T. Barnum weaves his words with charisma and charm. He makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by the target’s Wisdom (Insight) check. On a success, the target is charmed by Barnum for 1 minute or until they take damage. The charmed target is friendly and regards Barnum as a trusted ally.

Inspiring Presence (3/Day). P.T. Barnum can use a bonus action to bolster the morale of his allies within 30 feet. Each ally gains temporary hit points equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) and advantage on saving throws against being frightened for 1 minute.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If P.T. Barnum fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.


Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker that P.T. Barnum can see hits him with an attack, he can use his reaction to halve the attack’s damage against him.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), P.T. Barnum can take a lair action to manipulate his surroundings to enhance his performance.

  • Magnificent Illusion. P.T. Barnum creates an illusory spectacle, granting advantage on Charisma-based ability checks for him and his allies within 30 feet until the start of his next turn.
  • Captivating Performance. P.T. Barnum captivates his audience, forcing all creatures within 60 feet to make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 15) or become charmed for 1 minute or until they take damage. The charmed targets regard Barnum as their trusted friend and will not willingly attack him.


  • Top Hat and Tails
  • Cane of Charismatic Display
  • Pocket Watch of Perfect Timing
  • Quill Pen of Quick Wit

Legendary Actions

P.T. Barnum can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. P.T. Barnum regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Charismatic Flourish. P.T. Barnum makes a Charisma (Performance) check. Each creature of his choice within 30 feet must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 15) or become charmed by him for 1 minute.
  • Curtain Call. P.T. Barnum ends one of his concentration spells.
  • Grand Entrance (Costs 2 Actions). P.T. Barnum creates a grand entrance, stunning all creatures of his choice within 30 feet. Each creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC 15) or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

Note: The above stat block is a representation of P.T. Barnum in a fantasy setting, showcasing his showmanship abilities while incorporating elements from his historical persona. Adjustments can be made as desired for your specific campaign.

Currently in the World

P.T. Barnum1

P.T. Barnum is a charismatic man with a stout build and a well-groomed mustache. He carries himself with an air of confidence, his eyes sparkling with enthusiasm and mischief. Currently, he is standing in the midst of a bustling circus tent, surrounded by performers practicing their acts and animals being prepared for the show. The air is filled with the sounds of laughter, music, and anticipation.

Barnum’s mood is electric, his energy contagious as he orchestrates the final preparations for the upcoming spectacle. His eyes dart from one corner to another, ensuring everything is in place and ready to captivate the audience. There is a twinkle of excitement in his gaze, reflecting his unwavering passion for entertainment and showmanship. Despite the chaos around him, Barnum remains composed and focused, driven by the desire to create a world of wonder and awe for his audience.

In a fantasy setting, the attractions at P.T. Barnum’s circus could include a mix of magical creatures, awe-inspiring performances, and fantastical wonders. Here are some examples of attractions you might find:

  1. The Unicorn Menagerie: Enter a realm of enchantment and marvel at the Unicorn Menagerie, where a collection of rare and majestic unicorns from across the realms roam gracefully. Their iridescent coats glisten in the sunlight, and their ethereal presence captivates the hearts of all who witness their beauty. Visitors can observe these magical creatures up close, their gentle nature radiating an aura of pure magic.
  2. The Dragon Tamer: Prepare to be awestruck as the Dragon Tamer steps into the center ring, showcasing their remarkable bond with the mighty dragons. With a commanding presence and unmatched bravery, they guide these majestic creatures through daring aerial displays and heart-stopping stunts. Witness the awe-inspiring sight of dragons soaring through the air, their scales gleaming and fiery breath lighting up the sky.
  3. The Mermaid Tank: Immerse yourself in a watery wonderland as you gaze into the massive tank filled with enchanted water, home to graceful mermaids. These ethereal beings perform mesmerizing aquatic acrobatics, their shimmering tails and flowing hair creating a mesmerizing display. Marvel at their elegant movements, synchronized choreography, and the enchanting melodies that resonate through the water.
  4. The Griffon Aerial Show: Hold your breath as you witness the breathtaking aerial acrobatics of the Griffon Aerial Show. Skilled performers soar through the air atop the backs of majestic griffons, their wings beating in perfect harmony. They twist, twirl, and dive, executing daring maneuvers that defy gravity. The audience watches in wonder as these extraordinary creatures carry their riders through a mesmerizing display of agility and beauty.
  5. The Golem Symphony: Prepare to be enchanted by the magical harmony of the Golem Symphony. In an extraordinary display of artistry and enchantment, a group of magically animated golems comes to life, each playing a different instrument. Their synchronized movements and ethereal melodies create a symphony that resonates through the air, filling the hearts of all who listen with a sense of wonder and awe.
  6. The Troll Strongman: Tremble before the immense power of the Troll Strongman. Towering over the crowd, this colossal troll demonstrates its incredible strength by lifting heavy objects, smashing boulders, and engaging in feats of power that seem impossible. Its deep, rumbling voice echoes through the circus grounds, captivating the audience with displays of raw might and showcasing the untamed strength of mythical creatures.
  7. The Enchanted Mirror Maze: Step into a world of illusions and perplexing reflections in the Enchanted Mirror Maze. Magical mirrors line the twisting corridors, distorting reality and challenging visitors to find their way through the labyrinth of enchantment. Mirror images change, pathways shift, and riddles abound, testing the wit and perception of those who venture within.
  8. The Fairy Circus: Be transported to a realm of enchantment as a troupe of tiny fairies takes center stage. These ethereal beings perform mesmerizing aerial routines, gracefully soaring through the air with wings aglow. They juggle spells, casting dazzling bursts of light and captivating enchantments. The Fairy Circus weaves together the delicate artistry of flight, magic, and song, leaving spectators spellbound.
  9. The Elemental Showdown: Witness a spectacle of elemental forces in the thrilling Elemental Showdown. The stage becomes a battleground as elemental creatures of fire, water, earth, and air engage in a breathtaking display of power. Flames dance, waves crash, rocks shatter, and gusts of wind swirl, demonstrating the raw might and captivating beauty of the elements in a mesmerizing clash of powers.
  10. The Illusionist’s Extravaganza: Prepare to have your mind twisted and reality questioned as the master illusionist takes the stage. With deft hands and a mischievous smile, they perform mind-bending tricks, vanishing acts, teleportation stunts, and mind-reading spectacles that leave the audience in awe. Prepare to be transported to the realm of imagination, where nothing is as it seems, and magic becomes the ultimate entertainer.

These attractions, each showcasing a different aspect of fantasy and wonder, combine to create an extraordinary circus experience that captures the imagination and leaves spectators in awe of the magical world they have stepped into.

Other Stars of the Circus

  1. Jasper “The Mercurial Magician” Huxley: Inspired by Joice Heth, a real-life performer in P.T. Barnum’s circus, Jasper is a talented illusionist who possesses the ability to manipulate elemental forces. With a wave of his hand, he conjures breathtaking displays of fire, water, wind, and earth, leaving the audience in awe of his magical prowess. His performances are a fusion of spellbinding illusions and captivating elemental displays, showcasing his mastery over the arcane arts.
  2. Amelia “The Diminutive Dynamo” Everglade: Inspired by Charles Stratton, also known as “General Tom Thumb,” Amelia is a halfling illusionist with extraordinary magical abilities. Despite her small stature, she astounds the audience with grand illusions, teleportation tricks, and mind-bending spells. Her performances are a spectacle of misdirection and wonder, showcasing her skill in manipulating reality itself.
  3. Ezekiel “The Beastmaster” Ironclaw: Inspired by Isaac Sprague, known as the “Living Skeleton,” Ezekiel is a rugged and mysterious figure with the ability to communicate with and tame monstrous creatures. With his uncanny ability to control beasts, he showcases a menagerie of fantastical creatures, from gryphons to chimera, creating a sense of awe and wonder. His performances are a thrilling combination of daring feats, showcasing the harmony he shares with his monstrous companions.
  4. Lydia “The Enchanting Siren” Songbird: Inspired by Jenny Lind, a renowned opera singer promoted by P.T. Barnum, Lydia is a half-elf bard with a voice that can mesmerize and enchant all who hear it. Her melodic tunes have the power to heal, inspire, and even compel others to act in her favor. With her enchanting voice, she transports the audience to distant realms, evoking powerful emotions and weaving tales of heroism and love.
  5. Barnabus “The Incredible Strongman” Stonebreaker: Inspired by Charles O’Brien, a strongman performer in P.T. Barnum’s circus, Barnabus is a hulking half-orc with extraordinary strength and durability. He astounds the audience with his displays of superhuman might, bending metal bars and lifting massive weights effortlessly. His feats of strength are legendary, and he often engages in friendly competitions with other strongmen to showcase his unmatched power.
  6. Seraphina “The Fire Dancer” Emberheart: Inspired by Annie Jones, a bearded lady in P.T. Barnum’s circus, Seraphina is a tiefling fire dancer with a fiery mane and an uncanny control over flames. She twirls and dances amidst pillars of fire, captivating the crowd with her stunning pyrotechnic displays. Her fire dances are a fusion of grace and danger, as she moves in perfect harmony with the flames, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of light and heat.
  7. Winston “The Mind Reader” Astor: Inspired by William Mumler, a spirit photographer associated with P.T. Barnum, Winston is a human psychic with the ability to read minds and communicate with spirits. He dazzles the audience with his uncanny insights, revealing their deepest thoughts and secrets. With his telepathic abilities, he connects with the minds of the audience, offering glimpses into their past, present, and future.
  8. Octavia “The Serpent Charmer” Nightshade: Inspired by Madame Devere, a snake charmer in P.T. Barnum’s circus, Octavia is a half-elf enchantress who has an affinity for serpents and reptiles. She entrances and controls venomous snakes, using their graceful movements to create spellbinding displays of illusion and danger. Her performances are a dance of mystic energy and serpentine elegance, leaving the audience both enchanted and slightly unnerved.
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