Clowns, Posses and Pirates: Other Adventuring Parties

Clowns to the left of me

Jokers to the right, here I am,

Stuck in the middle with you

Maybe you need rivals for your PC’s or you just read Rat Queens, or you just want an adventurers tavern to be filled with adventurers, or you want to add tension to a dungeon by tossing in another group of hardened delvers.

I divvied the parties into 3 parts to inspire the Judge/DM/GM/whatevuh: Theme, First Module, Last Delve.

Roll a d12, d20 and d4 to get your adventuring party.

Photograph by Eolo Perfido Click picture for artist’s web site NSFW, especially if your HR department has policies about clown genitals.

Theme

  1. Clowns: putting on their carnival warpaint before delving, fending off despair with laughter
  2. Knights: trying their hand at delving before turning to outright banditry since the death of their duchess
  3. The Town’s Best: funded by a small town to bring back riches and glory
  4. The City’s Worst: sentenced to the city’s penal dungeons in order to pay off debts
  5. Fresh-Faced Guild Kids: well-to-do middle children of crafts-folk
  6. The Faithful Pilgrims: following the path of their demi-god who was born a mortal adventurer
  7. Sea-cursed Pirates: eeking out a living as tomb-raiders since they pissed off a sea-god
  8. Wizard’s Posse: cut-throats and reavers banded around a bad-ass arcane leader
  9. AWOL Soldiers: ditched their posts to try their hand at the dungeon delving gold rush they’ve heard about
  10. Runaway Apprentices: left a cruel master to try a dangerous new trade
  11. The Cult: knocking over altars to appease their heretical deity
  12. Born-Again Party: convinced they were famous adventurers in a past life, reborn to adventure again

First Module

  1. Untested & Unblooded: preparing for their first delve.
  2. Slave Pits of the Undercity: Ripped off slavers, who deserve no better
  3. In Search of the Unknown: Raided the abandoned, hidden HQ of long-dead adventurers
  4. Keep on the Borderlands: Delved into the Caves of Chaos from a frontier town with a treacherous priest
  5. The Lost City: Back from an ancient city buried in the desert sands torn apart by warring factions
  6. Horror on the Hill: Delved into a goblin and hobgoblin infested hill with a sleeping dragon at its lowest layer
  7. The Ghost Tower of Inverness: Looted a trapped tower to get the coveted Soul Gem
  8. Castle Caldwell: Cleared a castle from monstrous infestation for a local merchant
  9. Dungeonland/The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror: Traveled to a whimsical, dangerous distant demi-plane through a mirror portal
  10. Steading of the Hill Giant Chief: Raided a Hill Giant Chief’s keep, interrupting diplomatic negotiations with fell powers
  11. Ravenloft: Back from a mist-shrouded demi-plane of dread, having faced a powerful vampire lord
  12. Tomb of Horrors: raided the trapped tomb of Acerak the Demi-Lich
  13. White Plume Mountain: Exhumed a wizard’s vault, where 3 intelligent, magic items were locked away
  14. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks: Explored a ship, crashed in the mountains, with treasures from beyond the stars
  15. The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth: Delved into the underground treasure chambers of a demon-haunted archmage
  16. The Village of Homlet: Explored a crossroads village in the shadow of an evil temple
  17. The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh: Looted the abandoned mansion of an evil alchemist
  18. Isle of the Ape: Survived a dangerous island in another dimension, accessed via an archmage’s portal
  19. The Isle of Dread: Raided the remnants of a fallen civilization in the heart of a vicious jungle
  20. Carrion: Picked through the wreckage of the PC’s last adventure

Last Delve

  1. Success: swimming in gold, quick to spend it on something frivolous and buy drinks and smokes for everyone who will listen to their braggadocio.
  2. Scarred Success: some gold to spare but paid dearly for it. The mood is somber and dangerous.
  3. Scarred and Pained: lost most of their number in the delve and have to do some hard soul-searching about how much they want this adventuring life.
  4. Scarred, Pained and in Danger: See Scars and Pain but add to the fact that something from their past adventure followed them out and is stalking them even now.

P.S. Was this entire post really about imagining a party of adventures who put on clown paint and false smiles while gritting their teeth and delving into dangerous dungeons?

Maybe.

I love that you could roll a group of adventurers in blood-smeared clown make-up, just back from a profitable trip to the Demi-Plane of Dread.

Another P.S. I realized after a few days of reflection that this post was entirely inspired by the Planarch Codex: Dark Heart of the Dreamer. You can pick it up at the link for the all-too-reasonable price of FREE. Check it out.

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