In a quasi-dystopian future where the world has been turned upside down after centuries of demonic war against the forces of Hatred and Fear, humanity's last line of defense and best hope for survival lies in Humor and those who wield it: The Battle Clowns!
Think Harley Quinn meets The Witcher with a Deadpool chaser on the side.
“We Laugh at The Face of Danger”
Shortly after The Great Kefka Comet appeared in the sky, dark forces began to stir and the world of Cirque began to know fear. Over the years the deadly forces of hatred and fear known as the Cerebra Odollam gathered strength in the shadows slowly corrupting the hearts of humanity.
When they finally gathered enough strength to manifest, the first Demon Wars began, and the world soon fell into chaos and despair. In the century that followed history was lost, kingdoms were destroyed, and those who survived were left to scrape by as best they could under a nightmarish totalitarian regime. However, they never expected those who would hold them back would be an ancient order of court magicians masquerading as royal fools for the high kings and queens of Cirque.
Through the ages, this order has kept the evil at bay, unbeknownst of the demons recent, surreptitious plans that would eventually bring in their new world order. And the day came, after millennia of subliminal coercion, when society came to agree that humor would be banned. Now with the divine order of foolish fighters driven underground, evil’s rule finally was complete.
It’s now been a few centuries since the day their demon leader, Apocynaceae, has gained dominion over society. Fear now rules the land, transforming unwitting humans into horrifying monsters, called the Phobians, who stalk the ruins of the old world at the bidding of their demonic Odollam Overlords. Now the worlds’s last best hope lies with the order of THE BATTLE CLOWNS, who fight to restore the joy in the hearts of humanity and defeat evil with laughter and pie - hear their battlecry ring across the land! PFFFFFFFFFFTTTT (whoopie cushion sound)
Cave nobis Pictas Facies
“Beware our Painted Faces”
The World of Cirque - a world not quite unlike our own, but not our own. It is the twisted funhouse mirror reflection of our own - a thriving world still with a dash of post-apocalyptic feel, where the grass is still green but society still has had its cookies crumbled. Its locales are a mix of modern, fantastical, and nightmarish all tied together by the brightly colored handkerchief hidden up the sleeve of the universe.
The few cities that survived the Demon Wars now serve as the Capitals of the Six Demonic Domains that divide this post-apocalyptic world. Each domain is ruled by one of the governor-overlords of the Cerbera Odollam. While each domain is unique in its governance, they are all equally terrible for the human inhabitants who live there as second-class citizens (though somewhat blissfully ignorant that they are), and whose quality of life depends entirely on the whims of the Overlords they are frequently forced to serve.
Further outside the cities, Human Hideaway Villages exist, hidden among the ruins and waste of the old world. While living in a Hideaway may seem more pleasant than living in a city, it is not without its challenges. Without the protection of an Overlord, Hideaways are much more susceptible to Monster attacks, and should a Hideaway ever be discovered, its residents often face severe consequences for their disobedience.
Pierrot is a hideaway village that was discovered by a clan of lesser Demons a few years ago. Ever since then, life in Pierrot has been tough, as the Lesser Demons frequently demand Sacrificial offerings be made to them in exchange for keeping the town hidden from the overlords. What once was a thriving farming town is now a sad and depressing place.
The Big Top
A traveling circus tent that frequently serves as a way station for Battle Clowns. Not only can Clowns share resources and training, they can also find jobs, and other leads on where to find monsters and other places in need of a good laugh.
The Drag-Ons Den
The power of drag queens has always been feared by evil. After recent attacks on their efforts to deflect the forces of darkness in their own communities, they've been forced to retreat to their places of power - gay bars. But one spot has become a welcoming place for those who truly realize their power as bawdy berzerkers in this present age of monsters. The Drag-Ons Den has a wide network of impersonator spies, and allies in the ongoing war come here for information or to hire a mouthy mercenary for a particularly nasty mission that requires the power of a KWEEN.
Much has been lost to history, but there are many who believe the demons first appeared in a murky swamp region deep in the southern peninsula at the heart of the Odallam demon domain. Now this area is believed to be the epicenter of Demonic Power, where deep within its borders a ruined castle lies containing the lost remnants of humanity’s golden past.
(aka races, classes and characters):
‘Beware the Puppeteer that has a dark sense of humor.’
Artwork by Jerrod Schwarz.- Used with permission.
The Battle Clowns are a secret order sworn to bring laughter into the dark corners of the world. Nowadays they work more like underground Freedom Fighters dedicated to forming a resistance against the oppressive Cerebra Odollam. To be one of them, typically requires some training in a unique class and mastery of one or more of The Seven Sacred Senses of Humor.
(in terms of the Character Creator stuff for this game, we want there to be a big emphasis on Makeup as well!)
Humans: run of the mill race of every shape, size, and gender (or non!)
Phobians: mythical looking monsters and beings turned away from evil, same as above but a little bit more of a creative sort (think orcs-, tieflings-, elves?-, -like etc)
Jester: The oldest type of clown, the first to learn the ways of healing power of laughter.
Joker: fighter-type agents of chaos - you can’t spell slaughter without laughter.
Prankster: Artificer/Tinker-types who build elaborate props to use in pranks.
Harlequin: Acrobatic rogue-types because of course they are.
Tramp: Wandering Ronin/Gunslinger clowns, who are sometimes sad.
Puppeteer: Summoner-types who can call on puppets for aid.
Mime: Silent Monk-types who can use the power of telekinesis.
Drag Queen/King: Bardic-lipsyncers and master impersonators who will insult you into the worst debuff of yo life
In the world of Battle Clowns a pie to the face, and a well placed whoopie cushion, may be just as effective against the evil forces of The Cerebra Odollam as an Eldritch Blast or Warding Wind spell. In order to learn more effective gags, gimmicks, and jokes, characters must earn proficiency points which they can then allocate into one of the seven senses of humor.
The Seven Senses of Humors
(proficiency points for extra talents that everyone can use, not necessarily stat based):
Slapstick: Better use of items/physicality.
Pun-fu (Wordplay/Wit): In battle, words and insults are exchanged, and gaining proficiency here will allow you to learn comebacks and insults more easily.
Absurd: Raises chances for randomness.
Deadpan: Increases intimidation/stealth/disguise.
Improvisation: Raises first strike chances, lowers enemies ability to first strike.
Parody: Blue Mage-ish ability to copy abilities of enemy…somehow.
Dark: Debuffs do more to enemies.
Main and Supporting Characters
‘Jolly Roger summoning the giant rubber ducky…of DOOM!’
Artwork by Sam Shaw - Used with permission
Sense of Humor: Wit
Armed with a razor-sharp wit, Punnette is always quick with a joke sure to leave her enemies in stitches, and should that ever fail her, she also carries a razor-sharp battle axe that usually gets the job done.
Sense of Humor: Absurd
A pirate themed clown whose absurdist sense of humor lends itself well to the nautical-styled antics he uses against his enemies despite rarely ever being near the ocean.
Mad Mangia (Mangiafuco)
Sense of Humor: Improvisation
Mad Mangia covets the tiny troop of stuffed puppets they consider to be family. They can quickly summon them to aid in overcoming any obstacle or combat encounter in improvised ways. Some call them Mad, as they are frequently seen talking to their puppets, but the real question is... Do they ever talk back?
Mr. Whip It
Sense of Humor: Slapstick
Mr. Whip It is a master pie-thrower who always seems able to "whip up" a pie with all the necessary ingredients (Whipped cream, cherry, and a pie dish) whenever the situation requires it.
Mercedes Sans Merci
Class: Drag Queen
Sense of Humor: Deadpan
Of all the drag knights for hire, she is perhaps the most stoic, only giving out snappy quips when absolutely appropriate. As the mistress of motors, if you need to get someplace and get the hell out, her drag racers will do the job. In a scrap, her high heels look as fierce as they hit, but her kindness is as equally unmatched. Her quiet nature makes her especially great when impersonation is needed, but it hides something in her past that may one day need to be reconciled….
Sense of Humor: Dark
Snowball is a wandering hobo clown with a Dark sense of humor and a Ronin-like quality about them. Those who cross their path rarely know which side they will take as there are rumors that Snowball has taken jobs with Demons in the past.
Digitum meum trahendum
“Pull my finger”
Other Notable Aspects of the World:
Items of significance:
Common Items (usables/equips):
Long Chain Hankerchief
Key/Story Based Items:
Lost Archive of Forbidden Jokes
Scepter of Screwiness
Dame Bunny’s (gigantic) Wig of Invisibility
The Marigoldas Moistinious (legendary squirting flower)
Unextinguishable Seltzer Bottle of Bonzo LaCloughn
TALES OF THE BATTLE CLOWNS
(aka sample plotlines):
Plot Line #1: Send In The Clowns - A group of battle clowns are assembled for a Suicide Mission deep into the heart of Old Ando. The mission: Retrieve the lost archives of forbidden jokes. A powerful manuscript with enough jokes to turn the tide in the fight against Apocynaceae. This action-packed Dungeon Crawl, with all of it’s twists, turns, and laughs is the perfect introduction to the world of Battle Clowns.
Plot Line #2: Send In The…Other Clowns? - A follow up to the above adventure where players take on the roles of a new group of Battle Clowns tasked with uncovering the mystery behind why the first group never returned from the fetid’s swamps of Old Ando.
Plot Line #3: Dungeons & Drag Queens - You have been summoned to the The Drag Ons den to help Kween Bea and King Arthur retrieve the Dame Bunny’s Wig of Invisibility (a giant enchanted wig with rabbit-eared antenna poking out) that helps keep the location of the bar cloaked from the Odallam demons. Luckily it’s so large that whoever took it can’t have gotten far. They send you out with Mercedes Sans Merci to retrieve it (spoiler - a new drag queen accidently took it thinking it was a communal wig and oh no Odollam boss fight ahoy!)
Plot Line #4: We All Float Down Here - When The Cerebra Odollam cuts off river trading among a community of human hideaway villages by building a giant Dam of The Damned, The Battle Clowns must summon the might of the ancient Rubber Duck deity Emperor Erine, a kaiju-sized puppet that makes for one fowl friend.
Halloween Special Timed Event Plot!: - Nobody does Halloween better than drag queens and kings (I mean, most people start at no costumes and move up to costumes once a year; drag queens are at costumes all year and they move up from there!)! Lady Cassandra of the Drag-Ons Den says she has the best couples costume for the annual costume contest, but her costume partner and best doggy, Nantucket, has been a no show! Luckily, she still has his hairs on her, and local resident Werewolf drag queen Lycan Virgin has his scent and is ready to help you on this quest before the big contest! (1000 points if you can guess the movie reference their couples costume within-legal-licensing-limits will be homaging…)
Concept, Settings, and The Whole Shebang by Kevin & Jake!
WOW THIS IS SO GOOD
-Definitely not the above mentioned Jake