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.
- Clowns: putting on their carnival warpaint before delving, fending off despair with laughter
- Knights: trying their hand at delving before turning to outright banditry since the death of their duchess
- The Town’s Best: funded by a small town to bring back riches and glory
- The City’s Worst: sentenced to the city’s penal dungeons in order to pay off debts
- Fresh-Faced Guild Kids: well-to-do middle children of crafts-folk
- The Faithful Pilgrims: following the path of their demi-god who was born a mortal adventurer
- Sea-cursed Pirates: eeking out a living as tomb-raiders since they pissed off a sea-god
- Wizard’s Posse: cut-throats and reavers banded around a bad-ass arcane leader
- AWOL Soldiers: ditched their posts to try their hand at the dungeon delving gold rush they’ve heard about
- Runaway Apprentices: left a cruel master to try a dangerous new trade
- The Cult: knocking over altars to appease their heretical deity
- Born-Again Party: convinced they were famous adventurers in a past life, reborn to adventure again
- Untested & Unblooded: preparing for their first delve.
- Slave Pits of the Undercity: Ripped off slavers, who deserve no better
- In Search of the Unknown: Raided the abandoned, hidden HQ of long-dead adventurers
- Keep on the Borderlands: Delved into the Caves of Chaos from a frontier town with a treacherous priest
- The Lost City: Back from an ancient city buried in the desert sands torn apart by warring factions
- Horror on the Hill: Delved into a goblin and hobgoblin infested hill with a sleeping dragon at its lowest layer
- The Ghost Tower of Inverness: Looted a trapped tower to get the coveted Soul Gem
- Castle Caldwell: Cleared a castle from monstrous infestation for a local merchant
- Dungeonland/The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror: Traveled to a whimsical, dangerous distant demi-plane through a mirror portal
- Steading of the Hill Giant Chief: Raided a Hill Giant Chief’s keep, interrupting diplomatic negotiations with fell powers
- Ravenloft: Back from a mist-shrouded demi-plane of dread, having faced a powerful vampire lord
- Tomb of Horrors: raided the trapped tomb of Acerak the Demi-Lich
- White Plume Mountain: Exhumed a wizard’s vault, where 3 intelligent, magic items were locked away
- Expedition to the Barrier Peaks: Explored a ship, crashed in the mountains, with treasures from beyond the stars
- The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth: Delved into the underground treasure chambers of a demon-haunted archmage
- The Village of Homlet: Explored a crossroads village in the shadow of an evil temple
- The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh: Looted the abandoned mansion of an evil alchemist
- Isle of the Ape: Survived a dangerous island in another dimension, accessed via an archmage’s portal
- The Isle of Dread: Raided the remnants of a fallen civilization in the heart of a vicious jungle
- Carrion: Picked through the wreckage of the PC’s last adventure
- Success: swimming in gold, quick to spend it on something frivolous and buy drinks and smokes for everyone who will listen to their braggadocio.
- Scarred Success: some gold to spare but paid dearly for it. The mood is somber and dangerous.
- 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.
- 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?
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.