Deities of madness and genius, rare results from an insanity spell, or just simply the result of a supernatural creature’s mind breaking, regardless of the origin mad harlequins are damnable foes. Their temperament changes like the wind, from simple psychopaths with sadistic senses of humor to goofy pranksters. They tend to pick out dark grim would-be-heroes as their “arch-nemesis”, some avoid killing their “arch-nemesis” instead harming or maiming those closest to them. The loss of their arch-nemesis often sends them on mad kill sprees or into catatonia. Mad harlequin’s when not in disguise wear supernatural garnish vestments and always possess frozen grins and a face maimed to look clownish.
Creating a Mad Harlequin Creature
“Mad Harlequin” is an acquired template that can be added to any creature with an Intelligence of 3 or greater.
A mad harlequin uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Alignment: Changes to chaotic evil.
Defensive Abilities: fast healing 1, damage reduction 5/bludgeoning and good (if the mad harlequin’s CR is 6 or higher, increase to DR 10/ bludgeoning, magic and good; if 12 or higher, increase to 15/bludgeoning, magic, lawful, and good); Immune mind-affecting (see absurd thoughts)
Special Abilities: A mad harlequin creature retains all the special abilities of the base creature, plus the special abilities as described below:
Absurd Thoughts (Su)
A mad harlequin’s madness is like a virus, using any mind-affecting spell or effect on it causes it to fail. In addition, the user must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 the mad harlequin’s HD + its Charisma modifier) or become subject to a random form of madness affliction, with an immediate onset time.
Acid Squirt (Su)
Some part of the mad harlequin’s outfit can shoot a stream of extremely corrosive acid once per day as a swift action, this requires making a ranged touch attack against any one target within 5 feet. This deals 1d6 points of acid damage + the mad harlequin’s Constitution modifier, plus an additional 1d6 points of acid damage for every 2 HD beyond 1st the base creature possesses, with no splash damage (to a maximum of 10d6 at 18 HD). In addition, the subject is blinded and sickened. The subject gets a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 the mad harlequin’s HD + its Constitution modifier) to negate the blind and sickened conditions. For every 3 HD the mad harlequin possesses, the acid and the conditions, unless neutralized, lasts for another round (to a maximum of 6 additional rounds at 18 HD). At 6 HD the blind condition’s duration becomes permanent.
Aura of Confusion (Su)
If the mad harlequin is at least 8 HD, it emits a 30-foot aura. Creatures within this aura are affected by confusion, a successful Will save (DC 10 +1/2 the mad harlequin’s HD + its Charisma modifier) negates. The mad harlequin can activate or suppress this aura as an immediate action.
Breath Weapon (Su)
The mad harlequin can breathe a cone of laughing gas as a swift action once every 1d4 rounds. Creatures within the cone must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 the mad harlequin’s HD + its Constitution modifier) or be subject to hideous laughter for 1 round per HD the base creature possesses. The range of the cone is based on the base creature’s HD.
Change Shape (Su)
as the universal monster ability (shapechange).
In most cases, it’s difficult to destroy a mad harlequin through simple combat: the “destroyed” or “slain” mad harlequin restores itself in 1 day. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. The only way to permanently destroy a mad harlequin is for the creature chosen as its arch-nemesis (chosen by the GM when the template is applied) to also be slain or destroyed; if that creature is later returned to life (or existence as say an undead creature), the mad harlequin also returns. So most often, this results in self-sacrifice by the chosen arch-nemesis or imprisonment for the mad harlequin.
Vulnerability to Sanity (Su)
Remove curse does not remove insanity and hence cannot cure a mad harlequin. However greater restoration, heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish can restore the creature’s sanity and remove this template if it is alive. It suffers a -4 penalty to its save against these spells.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Con +6 (+3 hp per HD, +3 to Fort saves, +3 to any of the base creature’s Constitution-based DCs) Cha +8 (+4 to Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device; attempts to influence others, and Channel Energy DCs, +4 to any of the base creature’s Charisma-based DCs).
Pathways Bestiary (c) 2017, Rite Publishing LLC.; Author: Steven D. Russell.