Grim Jester (Open Design)

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 136 (16d8 + 64)
Speed 30 ft.

14 (+2) 22 (+6) 18 (+4) 16 (+3) 16 (+3) 20 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +8, Cha +9
Skills Acrobatics +10, Deception +9, Perception +7, Performance +9, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +10
Damage Resistances cold
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Gnomish, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +4


  • Last Laugh. Unless it is destroyed in a manner amusing to the god of death that created it, the grim jester gains a new body in 1d20 days, regaining all its hp and becoming active again. The new body appears in a place of the god’s choosing.
  • Mock the Dying. Death saving throws made within 60 feet of the grim jester have disadvantage.
  • Turn Resistance. The grim jester has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.
  • Undead Nature. The grim jester doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.


    • Multiattack. The grim jester can use its Killing Joke. It then makes two Necrotic Claw attacks. It can replace one attack with a use of Spellcasting.
    • Necrotic Claw. Melee Spell Attack: +9 to hit, range 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage.
    • Killing Joke. The grim jester tells an ancient, nihilistic joke to one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or fall prone in a fit of laughter, becoming incapacitated and unable to stand up for 1 minute. A creature that fails this saving throw by 5 or more is reduced to 0 hp instead. The incapacitated target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, taking 14 (4d6) necrotic damage on a failed save or ending the effect on itself on a success.
    • Spellcasting. The grim jester casts one of the following spells, requiring no components and using Charisma as the spellcasting ability (spell save DC 17):


      • Joker’s Shuffle (Recharge 6). The grim jester exchanges locations with a Medium or smaller creature it can see within 60 feet of it. The jester and target each teleport to the other’s space, and each becomes covered in a magical illusion to look and sound like the other. A creature must take an action to visually inspect an illusion and succeed on a DC 19 Intelligence (Investigation) check to discern that the jester and target are disguised. The illusions last for 1 minute, until the jester dies, or until the jester dismisses them as a bonus action.


A skeletal cadaver bedecked in the motley attire of a fool capers about while making jokes that mock mortality.

Amusing Death. When a jester on its deathbed moves an evil death god to laughter, the fool sometimes gains a reprieve as a grim jester. Their purpose is to bring an end to mortal lives in a gruesome, comic, and absurd manner. As long as such jesters keep the death god amused, their continued unlife is assured.

Grisly Humor. A grim jester’s jokes are not funny to their victims, but they offer a grim finality in combat. A killing joke might be absurd or sheer braggadocio, while others might be high-flown. Grim jesters are famous for grim, bitter mockery, but such humor rarely entertains mortals.

Randomness. Grim jesters enjoy randomness and often get their hands on wands of wonder and scrolls of chaos magic. Beware the grim jester with a deck of many things—they are quite talented in pulling cards whose magic then applies to foes and spectators.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 1 ©2023 Open Design LLC; Authors: Daniel Kahn, Jeff Lee, and Mike Welham.

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