Friday, June 26, 2015

Frightful Fridays! Vampire Clown

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful Fridays! This is the third of three monsters whose images my friend Patrick provided. I loathe clowns, so this was an extra challenging monster to work on, but I hope I channeled that intense dislike into a nasty undead creature. One that can create more of the same clowns...shudder.

I hope you enjoy these awful, awful monsters, and I'll be back next time with something cheerier (maybe a spider that has spiders for limbs, for example). Thanks for reading!


“Dying is easy; comedy is hard.”
Vampire Clown      CR 10
XP 9,600
CE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural)
hp 142 (15d8+75)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +12
DR 10/magic or silver; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10
Weaknesses pain of emotions, vulnerable to sonic
40 ft.; spider climb
Melee bite +10 (1d8–1 plus energy drain), 2 claws +10 (1d6­–1)
Special Attacks bardic performance, create spawn, energy drain (2 levels, DC 22)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +20)
   Constant—spider climb
   At will—hideous laughter (DC 19)
   3/day—quickened hideous laughter, refine improvised weapon, shocking grasp
   1/day—summon monster IV
Str 9, Dex 20, Con —, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 21
Base Atk +11; CMB +10 (+12 trip); CMD 26 (28 vs. trip)
Feats Catch Off-Guard, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Trip, Improvised Weapon Mastery, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (hideous laughter), Skill Focus (Perform [comedy]), Throw Anything
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+19 to jump), Disguise +23, Escape Artist +15, Knowledge (local) +12, Perception +16, Perform (comedy) +26, Sleight of Hand +15, Stealth +18
Languages Common, Gnome
SQ compression, laughter of the damned
Environment any land
Organization solitary or alley (2–12)
Treasure incidental
Bardic Performance (Su)
A vampire clown may use bardic performance as a 15th-level bard, and can only use fascinate (5 targets, DC 22).
Create Spawn (Su) A creature that dies as a result of a vampire clown’s energy drain rises 24 hours later as a vampire clown, under the command of the clown that created it for 1 year and 1 day or until the siring clown’s death, after which it becomes free-willed.
Energy Drain (Su) A vampire clown can only drain levels from a creature under the effect of the clown’s hideous laughter.
Laughter of the Damned (Su) A humanoid creature does not benefit from the +4 bonus to its save against hideous laughter by being a different type than the vampire clown. Additionally, the save DC for a vampire clown’s hideous laughter includes a +2 racial bonus.
Pain of Emotions (Su) A vampire clown loses its immunity to mind-affecting effects with respect to spells and effects with the emotion descriptor. It does not suffer the normal effects of such spells and effects when it fails its save; instead, it takes 1d6 points of damage per spell level.

Legend tells that the first vampire clown was an unpopular circus performer who rose in unlife after spending a number of bitter years destitute, homeless, and unloved. When he died, he vowed to bring smiles to people even if it killed them. During the year following his death, towns visited by the clown’s former circus troupe dealt with puzzling murders where the victims had rictus grins and whose bodies disappeared a day later. Eventually, a powerful priestess figured out that the murders and disappearances were the work of undead creatures, and she gathered a group to destroy the abominations. Unfortunately, some of the vampire clowns escaped to spread their forlorn brand of humor elsewhere.

Strangely, the need to make others laugh drives vampire clowns. Unlike typical vampires, they can operate during the day, and perform on street corners in an attempt to delight onlookers. Despite their ability to blend into society and their considerable practice with comedic performances, there is something off about their attempts at entertainment. Those who do not react with laughter mark themselves as targets for vampire clowns, who stalk their victims at night and use magic to force them to laugh. While victims suffer from this uncontrollable laughter, the clowns drain them of energy and, in the process, create terrifying progeny.

In order to protect themselves from attack, vampire clowns learn to use their props as weapons and know how to summon fiendish bears or tigers, usually dressed up in garish costumes.