“Something in my peripheral vision. I turned my head and my skin tightened into gooseflesh as I beheld a jester, all in a dirty, tattered, black and white costume. The only body part visible was a skull, browned from the rotting away of flesh. It carried the scent of decay but, even more horrid, the thing radiated a nearly tangible malignancy.”
An avatar of Nyarlathotep, this being will appear when one or more Investigators turn or otherwise look in a direction they previously were not. It will silently face the Investigators, usually at a distance; sometimes, however, it will be immediately before an Investigator when they open a door, etc. The Skeletal Jester never moves.
This being appears as a jester, fully clad in a dirty, black and white, jester’s outfit, including gloves. The only body part visible is a brown-tinged skull, appearing as if the flesh has rotted away.
Given any degree of close examination, this thing smells faintly of a rotting corpse, and the skeletal face is seen to be a mask.
If the mask is ever removed, there is nothing beneath it, showing the jester costume to be entirely hollow. Then the costume simply collapses to the ground, empty. This collapse also occurs if the Jester is struck hard enough to cause at least 1 hit point of damage. The Investigators are then free to collect the costume if they wish, but all traces of it will disappear over the next 48 hours, mysteriously “lost.”
If an Innocent removes the mask, the Skeletal Jester will never again appear to that person as long as they remain an Innocent. What qualifies someone as an Innocent is at the discretion of the Keeper: examples may include a child.
Skeletal Jester, Age of the Universe, Silent Taunter.
Damage Bonus: None
Skills: Be silently and appropriately creepy 99%
Sanity Loss: 0/1 as the Skeletal Jester. When the mask is removed, or the “body” is otherwise shown to be empty, an additional 1/1D3
The Jester’s Cap: This is a dirty, black and white jester’s cap. Upon seeing or touching it for the first time, an Investigator finds it fascinating, and must resist a POW test against the cap’s POW of 20. Failing this, they experience a warm, contended feeling and will want to wear the cap whenever possible.
If they succeed at this first roll, they immediately view the cap as a terrible, evil thing. Any attempt to dispose of the cap other than burning results in it reappearing within the next 48 hours, to someone dear to the Investigator. Any time the cap is burned, the flames consume it readily and it no longer appears to the group of people involved.
Once under the influence of the Jester’s Cap, the victim will attempt to wear it as often and for as long as possible. They will be irritable and argumentative toward anyone who asks them not to, and will be jealous and paranoid toward anyone who asks them to surrender the cap. If it is hidden from them, they will sneak and search for it. The yearning for the cap only affects one person at a time, so any well-meaning friends may handle it without danger.
Each night the victim spends under the influence of the cap, they lose 1 POW and have nightmares relating to Nyarlathotep and the Cthulhu Mythos, gaining 1D3 points in Cthulhu Mythos knowledge. Once they have lost half their POW, they will view these dreams as blessings of a greater wisdom.
During this lessening of POW, the victim will become increasingly sallow and bony, regardless of any healthy diet or medical care. Once their POW reaches zero, they and the cap simply vanish. At this point, the Skeletal Jester manifests somewhere to someone investigating and attempting to defeat the threat the Mythos poses to humanity. Viewing someone vanishing in this way causes a Sanity loss of 0/1D6 (+1 if they are a friend.)
If another attempts to burn the cap, which is very easy, the victim will become acutely aware of its imminent demise and will do all in their power to prevent this. Once the cap is destroyed, however, its influence will immediately cease and they will be joyful to be rid of its hideous influence.
My name is CthulhuBob Lovely. I help run MisCon, which occurs each year on Memorial Day Weekend in Missoula, Montana, thanks to the wonderful people who make it happen. I also help out, however I can, at RadCon, SpoCon, The Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous, the GAMA Trade Show and the Origins Game Fair.
Always a dreamer and very imaginative, I began playing Dungeons and Dragons at the age of 13. Prior to this, I had seen H.P. Lovecraft’s books in the collection of my older brother, Brian, who is also responsible for introducing me to Monty Python, Star Wars and many other things geek.
When Call of Cthulhu was first published I immediately fell in love with the game, and the system, and have been running Call of Cthulhu ever since. I am a Missionary for Chaosium, a MIB for Steve Jackson Games and a Demo Monkey for Cheapass games.