Need Ideas for Demonic Clown Minions. Seriously.


Advice


Hello. I'm brainstorming for my first campaign, and I could use a little help. The gist of it is that the world is being torn apart by the cults of two competing evil entities: a minor god of undead, aberrations, and the sea vs. a demon prince of jesters, wrath, and madness. It is up to the players to either ally with one of the cults to take out the other, or go the hard route and try to destroy both.

Iv'e got most of the death god's cultists and minions worked out, but I'm drawing blanks on the clown demon. I have an Aranea IT knockoff and the high priest finished, but I need more encounter ideas. What monsters would be affiliated with the cult, and what would the cultists themselves be capable of? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Doll constructs would be perfect for this.
Like this.

Or this.
This would be creepy if made out of brightly colored scraps of cloth and various hides stitched to form a clown face.


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We fought evil clowns once. We had an encounter on some rooftops where they'd light themselves on fire and then try to tackle us off the roof. In any other situations they just had super high dex and would throw knives at us. They'd also juggle jars full of alchemist fire and throw those as well. As far as monsters, they trapped us in a giant room that they then filled with skeletons that they had painted red and purple and dressed in masquerade stuff. You could do that with any monster, really. Just give them whatever monsters you want and then dress the monsters up like jesters. If you went with the typical flippy, acrobatic, juggling and throwing kind of jester, you'd probably want some strength based monsters to give them a little back up. A golem would probably be cool, especially if they had built it to look jester-ish.


hmm, for a gamzee army, i'd say something like either constructs (as joex said), but really anything works. being a clown is an appearance and lifestyle, so really ANYTHING can be a clown. slap some makeup and a funny hat on a cacodaemon and you've got a clown minion. imps? clowns. succubi? clowns (hey, some people are into that--i'm not one to judge).

heck, you could have troupes of minions separated by circus acts. succubi contortionists, chain devil tightrope walkers, etc.


While I can't give very many suggestion from the bestiary (others are far more experienced at this than me), I can suggest some reading for inspiration, if you might be interested in making your own monsters, or at least to look at an interesting take on a semi-similar subject that could help flesh out your characters. With that, I introduce: Karakuri Circus

About 60 chapters into this series, it introduces a type of alchemical construct referred to as 'Automatons'. These mechanical monstrosities feed on human blood, have no regard for human life, and have a sick, twisted, and violent sense of humor.

Interestingly, the jester persona and motifs were originally intended as a way to help complete the original Automaton. Despite her beauty and elegance, she was not QUITE human. Her creator focused on the fact that she never laughed or smiled (personally, 'no breathing' would be the turn off for me, but to each his own..), and turned to whatever method he could use in order to fix that. Of course, with all the tropes this highlights and the description of Automatons above, it is fairly easy to predict that this failed and turned into unending bloodshed.

Overall, a decent enough read, and it can provide a wide array of wicked and inhuman monster designs and motivations that you could use for inspiration.

Liberty's Edge

The Bogeyman is pretty solidly a demonic clown of sorts. Succubi and Glabrezu can also do good clown impressions if they like. Derro are excellent additions as well, from a madness perspective. As are Vrocks, from a wrath perspective.

Aside from that, the Madness domain is very solid, and makes a good addition to almost any cultist who's a Cleric or Inquisitor. Oracles of the Dark Tapestry are also a good call. As are Barbarians from the perspective of both wrath and madness. Any of these can also dress up as clowns, which might be hilarious (and deeply frightening) in some cases.

Those are what leap immediately to mind, anyway.


Thanks for the feedback so far! I'm getting some great ideas here. Please keep it coming! :)

Soulbounds and Bogeymen are great, and Karakuri Circus looks like exactly the kind of manga I've been looking for.

EDIT:

What I Have So Far:
The high priest I mentioned is a Dark Tapestry Oracle/Hurler Barbarian/Rage Prophet. He is basically Gamzee from Homestuck in the form of a middle aged Half-Orc who runs the local joke shop. a pretty chill motherf*cker UNTIL YOU MAKE HIM MAD. HONK.

There is an Aranea that lives in the sewers. She has the giant template and a few levels in Accursed Bloodline Sorcerer. Basically Pennywise while in human form.


Re-skinning fiendish redcaps as killer clowns would work.

If you have a copy of the 3.5 book Heroes of Horror, there's a very creepy fey monster called a gray jester.

On that nook, there's also mention of a female gnome bard that had been very popular with children...until she disappeared a few weeks ago. Now she's back...as a vampire... preying on her innocent former audience!


"The term is 'craze.'"

Sorry, first thing I thought of.

Let's see, there should be a bebilith, who makes the tightropes and regular ropes and possibly costumes.

There should be a Strongman, The Baregara with class levels and boosted stats seems to fit the bill.

For annoying midget clowns (low threat, but they fight in a swarm) my first thought is Mephits or fiendish svirfneblin. But really, any demon of any size works, he's just dressed like a clown and fighting in a craze.

Jugglers and knife-throwers work best with extra arms, on the other hand a Glabrezu or a Marilith is freakin' big (stats and size). Maybe it could lead the troupe though. Or be the one playing the calliope.

Sexy contortionists have quite a number of options. Incubus, succubus, Lilitu, etc.

And don't forget the Animal Show. Anything from fiendish Mastodons to the more bestial demon races.


Dotting to see if there is any associated James Jacobs trauma in the future.

... oh, and to give some additional ideas later on once I'm not at work where typing about demonic clown minions might be... bad.

-TimD


I thought that's how all brood master summoners made their edilons appear....


Oooooo, or maybe undead!

Here's that Jester mentioned above.
Contortionist/hitman/spy/scary mo-fo
A good mook.
Just plain creepy as f**k!

*edit* Oops, just realized the other side is already undead. :)


Shub-Niggurath's cousin Al wrote:

Thanks for the feedback so far! I'm getting some great ideas here. Please keep it coming! :)

Soulbounds and Bogeymen are great, and Karakuri Circus looks like exactly the kind of manga I've been looking for.

EDIT:** spoiler omitted **

How about a wyrwood (spelling?) master crafter (wizard w/hedge wizard trait, magical lineage, and every item creation feat you can think of). Makes lots of "small" wyrwoods to be used as demon puppet mooks. Taking him out could prevent the clown army from replenishing it's normal soldiers.

This would also provide a lovely low-maintenance counter to low-maintenance undead and put both cults on a tactically equal footing.

Your high-end dolls would be equipped with magic items that provided boosts to constructs and items (such as increased hardness) which would be valuable to the players for protecting their magical gear from sunder attempts but otherwise not provide living creatures any bonuses.


Joex The Pale wrote:

Oooooo,or maybe undead!

Here's that Jester mentioned above.
Contortionist/hitman/spy/scary mo-fo
A good mook.
Just plain creepy as f**k!

Undead are, for the most part, the minions of the clown demon's enemy. But, THAT JESTER! Its just too good to pass up. Maybe a failed experiment of the death cult that retained its allegiance to the demon? Seems legit.


Shub-Niggurath's cousin Al wrote:
Joex The Pale wrote:

Oooooo,or maybe undead!

Here's that Jester mentioned above.
Contortionist/hitman/spy/scary mo-fo
A good mook.
Just plain creepy as f**k!

Undead are, for the most part, the minions of the clown demon's enemy. But, THAT JESTER! Its just too good to pass up. Maybe a failed experiment of the death cult that retained its allegiance to the demon? Seems legit.

How about something that is 'not' undead?

The worm that walks is a template for spellcasters that die, but the corruption of the ground and their own evil souls do not allow them to stay dead. Instead, they come back through the very insects and worms that eat their flesh. They are dead...but so full of horrible, horrible life (I am sure the irony would not be lost on the Jester)

I'm suggesting this because the daily bestiary did an entry which examined them in comparison to Liches (which I shamelessly steal from for this post). It portrayed lichdom as an extremely conservative existence where those who lacked the power to gain true immortality 'settled' for undeath because of their feat of dieing. Meanwhile, Worms that Walk are purpose filled individuals that treat death as a mere road bump for their goals.

....also, I loved Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I can easily see him fitting into this setting....


lemeres wrote:
Shub-Niggurath's cousin Al wrote:
Joex The Pale wrote:

Oooooo,or maybe undead!

Here's that Jester mentioned above.
Contortionist/hitman/spy/scary mo-fo
A good mook.
Just plain creepy as f**k!

Undead are, for the most part, the minions of the clown demon's enemy. But, THAT JESTER! Its just too good to pass up. Maybe a failed experiment of the death cult that retained its allegiance to the demon? Seems legit.

How about something that is 'not' undead?

The worm that walks is a template for spellcasters that die, but the corruption of the ground and their own evil souls do not allow them to stay dead. Instead, they come back through the very insects and worms that eat their flesh. They are dead...but so full of horrible, horrible life (I am sure the irony would not be lost on the Jester)

I'm suggesting this because the daily bestiary did an entry which examined them in comparison to Liches (which I shamelessly steal from for this post). It portrayed lichdom as an extremely conservative existence where those who lacked the power to gain true immortality 'settled' for undeath because of their feat of dieing. Meanwhile, Worms that Walk are purpose filled individuals that treat death as a mere road bump for their goals.

....also, I loved Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I can easily see him fitting into this setting....

...and Skinstitches can hold swarms in them. Okay, this is definitely going in. A magical Oogie Boogie murderclown? Yes please!


What are the names of the 2 cults.(Curiosity)


ME LIKE SMASH wrote:

What are the names of the 2 cults.(Curiosity)

The Church of the Lifeless Stars worship Dödsfall, the minor god of undeath. The Bringers of the Blood Circus worship The Smiling Man, the demon lord of jesters.

Mildly Important Backstory:
Their feud goes waaaay back. The Smiling Man is actually responsible for the existence of Dödsfall. He was just your average sea god until the serial killer who would eventually become the Jester murdered his mortal lover. The sea god...didn't take it well. He got into some stuff he shouldn't have, one thing led to another, and now Dödsfall is basically an undead Great Old One with a serious revenge boner. Crap happened.


Good names and back story.
NPC: 15 point buy minions
Human CR:3
Cleric/3 rogue/1
STR:12
DEX:14
CON:12
INT:10
WIS:16(+2)
CHA:13

Deity's fav weapon (Lets assume war razor) 1.War razor +3 (1d4+1 19-20x2)
Feats:Weapon finesse,Selective channeling,TWF 2.War razor +3 (1d4+1 19-20x2)

Chan negative energy 2d6 dc=13
Sneak attack 1d6
Ac=16(+2 Dex+4 Armor coat)
Hp= (4d8+4)
Spells:0.Light,Det magic,Create water,Mending
1.Inflict light wounds,Cure light wounds,
2.Sum monster 2 (Giant spider)
Skills:Stealth +4,Perception+4,Acrobatics+2,Sleight of hand+2(An additional +2 with the war razor)

Table: CR Equivalencies
Number of Creatures Equal to…
1 Creature CR
2 Creatures CR +2
3 Creatures CR +3
4 Creatures CR +4
6 Creatures CR +5
8 Creatures CR +6
12 Creatures CR +7
16 Creatures CR +8
Combat Style:Love to Flank,In groups of 4 or more they often start combat of with a channel negative energy.
War razor 8 gp 1d3 1d4 19-20/×2 — 1 lb. S — ISWG
Good Luck and I hope this helps!


You could use rogues as clowns -- sneak attack with pies (non-lethal or maybe poisoned), lots of acrobatics moving around, clowns with teamwork feats ganging up on the players...


I want to thank everyone who posted in this thread. You are all lovely people and you helped me out a lot. Thank you!


playing up the trickery/joke nature of clowns, you could use gremlins as low level minions.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Trained bears are an option. They walk in and see a near on s unicycle. It seems friendly, or at least unconcerned with them. Till it tried to kill them. Could also have a bear of some kind be unleashed on them mid fight. Tigers too.


MMCJawa wrote:
playing up the trickery/joke nature of clowns, you could use gremlins as low level minions.

And if you were feeling sadistic, you could throw pugwampis. Or by the more correct name: "45' across circles of Automatic, AoE, no save misfortune hex."

Thinking about it, a first worlder summoner could be useful. Their SLA summon pugwampis, and it is also changed to summon nature's allies (because hey, circus animals).


Clowns scare the crap out of me (which no doubt is part of why you are doing this)...

The Gibbering Mouther fits in nicely with the idea of madness and clownish ness, again, throw on a clown hat for creepiness... One laying in a pit as part of a trap also may work.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One of the cultists should be a bard with a hand puppet named... Banjo!


Westerner wrote:

Clowns scare the crap out of me (which no doubt is part of why you are doing this)...

The Gibbering Mouther fits in nicely with the idea of madness and clownish ness, again, throw on a clown hat for creepiness... One laying in a pit as part of a trap also may work.

Clown Gibbering Mouthers. God, yes.

Sczarni

I don't know if we've got any Magic: the Gathering players in the thread, but the demonic cult you're describing is pretty similar to their Cult of Rakdos. A cult of personality built up around the demon Rakdos the Defiler, its members are almost entirely assassins, butchers, wetworkers, and psycopaths when they're not putting on incredibly hedonistic and dangerous revels or gory performance art. There's plenty of inspiration to draw from here-- from the monstrous to the all-too-human. For starters...

Gladiators to fight in an arena and whip the crowd into a frenzy.

Trained animals always make a good show, right?

A spellcaster with some decent enchantment spells to act as a... "talent scout" let's call it.

An act with some audience participation whether they like it or not.

And if they don't like it, we call in the bouncers.

If you want something a little less extreme, how about a human fighter with Exotic Prof: Battle Poi and Dazzling Display?

Really anybody could be a member as long as they like bloodshed and torture. And tittilation of course!

Where there's danger for fun's sake, there must be a little gambling right?

Just make sure the act ends on a strong finale and you're all set!

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