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RPG: Jester Spells

April 3, 2009

In my ill-spent youth, a group of friends asked me to play an RPG called Palladium Fantasy. The house campaign went on for a few years, until life intervened and we ended up scattered all over the world (literally!). During the campaign, we bent many of the original rules to our pleasing…heh, heh, heh…

At some point, we all tinkered around with a ‘jester mage’…a type of character that only cast magic for fun, mayhem, and anarchy…my kind of guy (or gal, as the case may be)… Palladium actually created this character class in an issue of The Rifter. They probably did a better job than we did, but we had a lot of fun sessions trying out different things…our way. I spent a weekend coming up with spells I thought a magic-wielding jester would have at their disposal.

I present here (in a rules-agnostic way), some of the spells I managed to come up with. You should be able to adapt these fairly quickly to any rules system you’re playing.

If you have no idea what’s going on, this is role-playing game material, not real life. It’s a game. Just a game. Chill. My original post on this should make things (hopefully) a little clearer.

AAAAARRGHHH!!!!!!!

Victims of this diabolical attack will attempt to pull out their hair with both hands while screaming “AAAAARRGHHH!!!!!!!” at the top of their lungs. They can do nothing else while this ear-splitting compulsion has overtaken them.

Acting Appropriately Stupid

The spell only Jesters of Legend and Wit and Cunning and Bravado and Chutzpah and…oh, you know, can ever aspire to. It is said that this is the spell that helped create Trolls. (Heh, heh, just kidding, folks…and trolls…especially trolls…I’m such a kidder.) Anyone under the influence of this, the deadliest magick in the universe, will Act Appropriately Stupid until the spell elapses. This means that they will leave their weapons at the blacksmith, charge into the den of dragons shouting “Burn, baby, burn!”, spit in the King’s face, and call Sauron a weenie.

Balrog Can Opener

(Note: I actually didn’t create this…it was created by a friend who I role-played with a long time ago. I present it here in the form I like best.)

The Summoner of Santiago heard the sound of yet another jar breaking, and finally snapped, binding his clumsy minions to this insidious evil. The caster must have a sealed container of any kind in order for this spell to work. Once BCO is cast, a huge balrog, wrapped in flame, steam issuing forth from its hideous maw, hurtling earthward in pain and glory, a blood-curdling howl ripping the heavens…ahem, sorry. Anyway, a balrog comes streaking down from out of nowhere, lands next to the caster, grabs the jar, pops the lid, hands it back, then leaps skyward once again!! Um, sorry. He also keeps the lid. Well, that’s balrogs for you.

Card Shark

The Card Shard of Zahir loves ending a game with this one. The mage must have a full (52) deck of cards in order for this spell to work. The mage points the deck towards whomever he wants, and attacks as normal. If successful, a stream of cards shoots out of the deck, streaking towards the target. A successful hit causes damage (according to the rules system you’re using and how lethal you play your game). The deck can be reused, but the mage must assemble the deck from where it has fallen. The Shard is said to pack a deck that mystically returns to him after every hit. In the confusion that follows that last hand, who can tell?

Carpet Humour

Flarg, the Really Rather Stupid Slave of Emeritus Mastermind, concocted this shocker. After spending at least one minute rubbing your feet across any carpet or furry surface, you can deliver an electrical shock that will make all the victims body hair stand on end for at least five minutes. These victims will look Appropriately Silly.

Concrete to Candy

Another jester first, this allows the caster to turn rock, granite, or concrete into a hard semi-transparent confection. It is always delicious, and comes in a variety of flavors: grape, papaya, wintergreen, cool mint, orange, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, black cherry, lemon, lime, licorice, apple, peppermint, banana, caramel, vanilla, mango, melon, watermelon, tangerine, passion fruit, and mixed (different every square foot). Only the mightiest fortifications have fallen prey to this silliness, and tales abound of thieves that have licked their way out of prison…

Exploding Cigar

A choice spell of Mack Haminah, the Druid of Perilous Perihelions. The mage can make any smoking device (cigarette, pipe, cigar, reefer, etc.) explode, completely blackening the characters face, making all the hair on his head stand on end, and causing a look of utter and complete dismay and shock to cross the victim’s face. This spell causes no damage (to the body, anyway. Pride? Well…)

Flood of Popcorn

This deft evil will slow even the most implacable foe. Uttering the words, “The kernel’s home, baby…” will create an almost solid downpour of popcorn, that will fill up to five cubic feet per level of caster. The popcorn itself is normal, and can be any flavor the caster wishes.

Mud Pie

For all those wishing you could relive your childhood, here’s just the thing. This spell creates a mud pie in mid-air that the jester can then aim and launch at whoever he wants. The pie will cause a minor amount of damage and is hard to avoid do to it’s dizzying speed. It will also blind the victim until they have a chance to scrape the mud off their face.

Out of Tune

Developed by Grond the Deaf Roadie, this one will put you on any bard’s “Hit” Parade. When cast, this ear-splitting evocation will force any musical instrument (one per spell), when played, to emit repelling, noxious, horrible sounds. Anyone within earshot must make a saving throw or vomit uncontrollably. The only real way to fend off this aural assault is to bang your head in the air.

Sneeze of Flame

The irascible Shnozzz, That Guy with The Big Nose and a Lot of Z’s at The End of His Name, takes a lot of pride in having thought this one up. To cast, the jester must first be on the verge of sneezing. After uttering the power words “Bless me and the horse I rode in on”, the sneeze erupts as a huge gout of flaming booger!!! (Follow the rules for whatever passes for fireball in your game system).

Splat Balls

The jester known only as the Jokerman is said to have created this oily little treat. Three greasy, rubbery, transparent balls appear in the air before the jester when he utters the Word of Power, “Antidisestablishmentarianism!” The balls are controlled by the jester’s hand movements. With a flick of his finger, he can send one hurtling towards an unsuspecting foe. The balls are harmless, but ruin clothing, and make the person oily and slippery. The balls are also sticky, and will remain glued to a person where they hit for 1D4 hours. If the splat balls make contact with a wall, cliff, or other surface they stick to that as well. Only characters with a large amount of physical strength can break free. The resounding ‘Splat!’ heard upon a successful hit is the true reward of this spell.

Summon Dancing Hot Dog

A truly wacky incantation that summons a dancing hot dog to the aid of the jester. This hot dog will dance, prance, and do silly things, all to attract the attention of the players (much like a game referee). ALL characters except the caster must make a saving throw to avoid being mesmerized by this zany little guy. Distracted characters will gape in open-mouthed horror, wondering aloud why such things are allowed existance. Alas, this existential quandary may never be solved.

Tonguetwister

It is said that Piraro-Mano, the Jade Demon of Death, tired of confronting talkative arch-fiends, devised the ultimate punishment. This is it. If the victim fails his saving throw, not only can he not finish his sentence, he is a blithering idiot for the duration of the spell. This will not interrupt spell-casting. It is also said that the Jade Demon casts this spell when making entrances.

Wedgie

Oh boy… This one’s bad. Victims of this truly evil attack will find their underwear hitches up their…ahem…posterior, and falls out. This causes the unfortunate person to suffer a rash for several days (don’t ask where), talk in a high-pitched voice and walk funny for 1D4 hours afterwards. Magical underwear not effected. Nobody’s claimed the honour of creating this one.

Wooden Nickel

Although used by jesters with alarming frequency, this spell was concocted by the Mad Monk of Zahariman, known for his frugal ways. This spell will turn metal coins into wood, and paper money into bark. It only works on official ‘coin of the realm’, and not gems or precious stones or metals that have not been converted into state-issued money. The spell is permanent, and leaves no traces that the bark and wood may have actually been money at some point. The Mad Monk is said to never be low on firewood.

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