This encounter plays out best over time and through rumors, but up to the DM how you want to run it.
In the next city with a king, the party hears murmurs about the court jester being unable to leave the royal palace. When the party asks why, they will learn that the jester hasn’t made the king or queen (we’ll use king going forward) laugh in over a week!
More rumors to hear along the way:
- The jester was famously known for his ability to fart on command and set it alight.
- After a different adventuring party prevented an extremely explosive incident from occurring the jester found himself here in this court
- Something changed in his act, but no one is sure why.
- The jester isn’t a jester at all, he’s actually a bandit and the king caught him attempting to steal the royal jewels
- The jester has many aliases: Sir Stinker, Roland the Farter, Flavon Tusia, Lorde Fartquad, Scheets Allot, Rippus Expeditus, Cheffly, Toots McHoots, Peidro Pantalones, Knox Shusgas, The Silent Killer, The Flatchu Lance, Briser LeVent, Jimmy the Ripper, Borbor Rygmus, Lance Flatchu, though some just call him Steve.
- The jester always filled the hall with folks to watch his show
- He only performed a maximum of once per day
- While the gas and fire were dangerous, no one was ever injured
- The jester got his gaseous talents from a now-deceased wizard
The townsfolk are growing worried and implore the party to determine what is going on (after all, they want to see his act as well!).
Fool Me Once
If the party investigates, they can find their way into the king’s court. If you’ve built up lore around this castle, consider having it stocked with guards milling about, depending on what time of day it is.
Reaching the king’s courtroom, they find the jester in a stockade with no one else around. “Well, have you come to finish me off?” The jester looks forlornly at the party. “Seems as though you caught wind of my predicament, but I’m not telling you anything! Just leave me here to die.”
If the party pauses even for the briefest second he changes his tune. “Please! Take pity on me, I don’t want to die, I was just putting on a brave face.”
The real story: The jester did in fact get his powers from a wizard, but after a prior adventuring party stopped his act, he went to get checked out by a doctor who told him his large intestine was only a few farts away from rupturing. If he didn’t change his diet and his act, he was likely going to explode from the inside out.
Hearing this, the jester opted to change his ways, moving to more high-brow topical humor, like “what’s the deal with armourers? They’re always like ‘cling clang, cling clang, that’ll be 5gp.” Needless to say, the act is pretty bad, and it’s no wonder the king is displeased.
There’s an additional layer though, the king is actually holding the jester because he won’t give up details on where the jester’s wealth is stashed. The king is in a financial bind and knows the jester has a hoard stashed somewhere, but the jester isn’t talking. To keep up the charade, the king has been planting rumors (see above) around town in order to give him time and cover while he figures out a way to make the jester talk.
We’re Just Foolin’ Around
Learning the real story in one way or another, the party is presented with a few different options.
- They can get the jester the required foods in order to take him back to his gaseous state. The jester insists that with the right combination of cheeses, beans, and garlic, he can create enough cloud cover to get them all out of there. The king will have to let him perform if the party generates buzz around his final performance. Be warned though, going through with this plan will trigger some CON checks as the jester’s toot will be near deadly, potentially rending the townsfolk gathered unconscious.
- This route also opens the opportunity for longer-term fetch quests.
- For the cheese, maybe they need to go to a specific town that sells the stinkiest cheese because the cows are ill-tempered
- For the beans, possible that they have to visit a particular farm whose fertilizer uses a rare owlbear droppings, but the farmer has recently run out
- For the garlic, maybe the best garlic is from an area where there’s a heavy vampire population and the party needs to track it down.
- The party can put on their own comedy performance for the king. Distracting the king, other members can release the jester and escape with him from the castle. This will require topical Realm humor, a good mix of low-brow jokes, as well as some Performance checks.
- They can try to get the information from the jester on his hoard, though if he doesn’t trust the party it will be difficult to find.
- Determine the king’s reason for being in a bind and take care of it for him (he’s lost a fortune betting on rat races down at the local sewer casino and the ratfolk are sending their goons in a few days to “make it right”)
There are a lot of different ways this one could go and has a lot of opportunity for the DM to mix in their own spin. Let us know below what your party would do or which avenues we should expand upon!
Rewards will also be dependent on how the party shakes out, so another opportunity to toss in something from the party’s item wish list.
Thanks to these fine folks on Instagram for all of the jester names!
- @spelslotdnd – Roland the Farter
- @levi.l.h – Sir Stinker
- @barofabula – Flavon Tusia
- @saraseixascardoso & @jazzmern & @kostkamasua – Lorde Fartquad
- @leinadkeeb – Scheet (dutch for fart)
- @rickardstark – Rippus Expeditus
- @shanemmelzer – Cheffly
- @princebehindbars – Toots McHoots
- @penstoriess_ – Peidro (pedro+peido which is fart in portugese)
- @celloman04 – Knox Shusgas, The Flatchu Lance, The Silent Killer
- @steven_lazickas – Briser LeVent or some variation on that. Means “To break wind” in French
- @agentfoxsmulder – Steve
- @licordepatata + @canlo1 – Jimmy The Ripper
- @neil_hxyzamer – Borbor Rygmus
- @p3rfume – Tooter
- @hairy_psalms – Lance Flatchu