A Skeleton For Every Occasion (18 of them, in fact!)

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The old fashioned skeleton is a great monster for low level parties – maybe even mid-level parties in large enough numbers – but I thought I’d put my mind to making a skeleton for every level. Enjoy …

SAWBONES
Medium Undead, Neutral (N), Non-Intelligent; Gang (1d6)

HD: 2
AC: 15
ATK: 1 cleaver (1d4+1) and 1 saw (1d4 + rend flesh)
MV: 30
SV: F15 R15 W12
XP: 100 (CL 2)

Sawbones are animated skeletons that have had cleavers grafted to the right arms and serrated blades attached to their left arms, in both cases replacing their hands. Victims of a saw-blade attack who suffer maximum damage must pass a Reflex saving throw or suffer an additional 1d4 points of damage from the blade sawing at their flesh and bone. If said victim is wearing armor, they instead make an item saving throw for their armor; failure indicates the armor has been damaged and loses one point of its armor bonus until repaired. No armor can lose more than half its armor value (rounding down) from this attack.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

DRY BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Low Intelligence; Gang (1d4)

HD: 3
AC: 15
ATK: 2 claws (1d4) or by weapon
MV: 30
SV: F14 R14 W13
XP: 300 (CL 4)

Dry bones are animated skeletons capable of drawing the moisture out of the surrounding environment, including creatures. The dry bones always generates a 10-ft. radius area of blight (per the spell). Once every 1d4 rounds it can generate a cone (10′) of desiccating wind that deals 3d6 points of damage to most living creatures and 3d8 points of damage to plant creatures and water elemental creatures (Fortitude save for half damage). Any liquids within the cone must pass an item saving throw or be destroyed (including magic potions, which save at +1). Other items might also be ruined, as determined by the Treasure Keeper.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), resistance to fire

HURLER
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Low Intelligence; Gang (1d6)

HD: 4
AC: 15
ATK: 2 claws (1d6) and skull (1d4 + poison III)
MV: 30
SV: F14 R14 W12
XP: 400 (CL 5)

Hurlers are skeletons that can remove their skulls and hurl them at targets. If these skulls hit, they bite the target for 1d4 points of damage and inject Poison III into them (Fortitude save to negate poison). The target must also make a Fortitude saving throw or the skull clamps down on them and continues to deal bite damage (but not inject more poison) each round thereafter until the target can make a successful grapple attack against it to remove it. A hurler can continue to fight without its head, and if it gets the chance can pick it back up and throw it again. A hurler skull can only be thrown by the hurler it belongs to.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

WINGED SKELETON
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d4)

HD: 5
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws or talons (1d6) or by weapon
MV: 30 (Fly 40)
SV: F13 R13 W11
XP: 500 (CL 6)

These skeletons are covered in leathery flesh and have two large, bat-like wings sprouting from their backs. They are more intelligent than normal skeletons, and use their ability to fly to full effect.
Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

DRAGON BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (LE), Low Intelligence; Gang (1d6)

HD: 6
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws (1d6) or by weapon (1d8)
MV: 30
SV: F12 R12 W11
XP: 600 (CL 7)

Dragon bones are skeletons that rise from chromatic dragon teeth that have been sewn into the ground. The skeletons rise fully armed and armored, with scale mail (the color approximates the color of the dragon to whom the teeth belonged), shield and longsword or battle axe. These skeletons are immune to either fire, electricity, acid or cold, depending on their dragon “parent”.

Black Dragon: Acid
Blue Dragon: Electricity
Green Dragon: Acid
Red Dragon: Fire
White Dragon: Cold

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), resistance to energy (see above), magic resistance 5%

BLOODY BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d4)

HD: 6
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws (1d4 + blood drain) or by weapon (1d6)
MV: 30
SV: F12 R12 W10
XP: 600 (CL 7)

Bloody bones are skeleton covered in a sheen of slimy, red blood. They are especially difficult to grapple (DC 20), though why one would want to is beyond me, and they are surrounded by a 5-ft. radius of blood that acts as a grease spell. Creatures struck by the bloody bone’s claws must pass a Fortitude save or those claws pierce the flesh for an additional 1d4 points of damage and then begin draining blood at the rate of 1 point of constitution damage per round until the bloody bone’s grasp is broken, either with a successful grapple attack, or with an attack from a weapon that deals at least 6 points of damage.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

LAZY BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (NE), Average Intelligence; Yawn (1d4)

HD: 7
AC: 15
ATK: 2 slams (1d4) or by weapon (1d6)
MV: 30
SV: F12 R12 W10
XP: 700 (CL 8)

A lazy bones looks like a normal skeleton, though it is always wrapped in a black cloak. The skeleton constantly emits a strange, piping noise that acts as a sleep spell (Will save to resist; sleep for 1 hour). It gives off a 10-ft. radius aura that drains strength. Each foot of distance one travels within this aura forces a character to pass a Will saving throw or suffer 1d3 points of strength damage. Strength returns at a rate of 1 point per hour after one leaves the lazy bone’s aura.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

SCREAMING MEANIE
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Low Intelligence; Howl (1d4)

HD: 7
AC: 15
ATK: 2 claws (1d4) or by weapon (1d6) or scream (see below)
MV: 30
SV: F12 R12 W11
XP: 700 (CL 8)

A screaming meanie can emit a piercing scream, once per battle and lasting for 4 rounds. This scream does not prevent it from attacking with claws or weapon. All within a 30-ft. cone must pass a Fortitude saving throw or be struck deaf for 1d6 hours and must also pass a Will saving throw or flee from the screaming meanie for 1d6 rounds.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

BLACK BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (NE), Average Intelligence; Solitary

HD: 8
AC: 15
ATK: 2 claws (1d4) or by weapon (1d4 + poison IV)
MV: 30
SV: F11 R11 W9
XP: 800 (CL 9)

Black bones are the animated remains of skilled assassins. They generate a field of impenetrable darkness 20 feet in radius and are also under the permanent effect of a silence spell. Naturally, a black bones can see through its own darkness, though the darkvision of other creatures does not pierce it. They are always armed with poisoned daggers. A black bones can backstab as an assassin for triple damage.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

BONE-SPUR
Large Undead, Chaotic (CE), Low Intelligence; Gang (1d3)

HD: 8
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws (1d6)
MV: 30
SV: F10 R11 W10
XP: 800 (CL 9)

Bone spurs are animated from the remains of ogres. They are covered with barb-like growths that slash and tear at the flesh of creatures engaged with them in hand-to-hand combat. All creatures engaged in melee combat with a bone-spur must pass a Reflex save each round or be slashed for 1d4 points of damage. If 4 points of damage are scored, the bone barb detaches from the bone-spur and becomes caught in the victim’s flesh or clothing. The next round, the barb grows into a full-sized skeleton (per the normal skeleton stats) that can make a free grapple attack on its victim. A bone-spur can produce a maximum of ten skeletons in this way.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons)

BLAZING BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d3)

HD: 9
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws (1d4 + 1d6 fire)
MV: 30
SV: F11 R11 W9
XP: 900 (CL 10)

A blazing bones appears as a skeleton wreathed in flame. All creatures within 10 feet of the monster are affected as though by a heat metal spell, and all in melee combat with the skeleton must pass a Fortitude save each round or suffer 1d4 points of fire damage. Once per day, a blazing bones can breath a cone (20′) of fire that deals 4d6 points of damage (Reflex save for half damage).

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), immune to fire, vulnerable to cold

BONE CHILLER
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d3)

HD: 9
AC: 16
ATK: 2 claws (1d4 + 1d6 cold)
MV: 30
SV: F11 R11 W9
XP: 900 (CL 10)

A bone chiller appears as a skeleton clad in a thick layer of ice. All creatures within 10 feet of the monster are affected as though by a chill metal spell, and the ground to a 20-ft. radius around the monster is covered in frost and ice (per a grease spell).

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), immune to cold, vulnerable to fire

BRONZE BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d3)

HD: 10
AC: Variable
ATK: 2 claws (1d8)
MV: 30
SV: F10 R10 W8
XP: 1000 (CL 11)

Bronze bones are skeletons covered in a coating of metal. Despite the name, the metal varies, determining the monster’s Armor Class as well as special abilities:

Bronze: True bronze bones have an AC of 17 and can heat metal around them in a 5-ft. radius.

Steel: Steel bones have an AC of 18; wooden weapons that hit them (including metal weapons with wooden hafts) must make an item saving throw or be broken.

Lead: Lead bones have an AC of 16 and are surrounded by a 30 ft. radius aura of slow (per the spell) that permits no saving throw (though it is countered by a character under the effects of the haste spell).

Mithral: Mithral bones have an AC of 19; in the presence of light, all creatures within 10 feet of a mithral bones must pass a Fortitude save each round or be blinded for 1d6 minutes.

Adamantine: Adamantine bones have an AC of 20; non-adamantine weapons that hit them must make an item saving throw or be broken; weapons that break deal only half damage.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), resistance to fire, immune to electricity

FUNNY BONES
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Gang (1d4)

HD: 10
AC: 17
ATK: 2 claws (1d6)
MV: 30
SV: F10 R10 W8
XP: 1000 (CL 11)

Funny bones are capable of separating into their constituent parts and then re-assembling. When struck for 4 or more points of damage by a physical attack from a bludgeoning weapon (or force effect), the funny bones separates into two demi-skeletons, each with 5 hit dice, a single attack and a movement rate of 20. These demi-skeletons can also be divided into piles of bones with 2 hit dice, no attacks, and a movement rate of 10. Demi-skeletons and bone piles can reassemble by touching. If 3 demi-skeletons (or 6 bone piles) manage to come together, or a full funny bones and a single demi-skeleton or 2 bone piles comes together, they form a creature with 15 hit dice, four attacks and a movement rate of 40. These creatures can only be divided (into funny bones) by scoring at least 8 points of damage. Two of these super-skeletons can join together to form a 20 hit dice mega-skeleton with six attacks. Mega-skeletons can only be divided (into super-skeletons) by scoring at least 16 points of damage.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), regenerate

HOLY BONES
Medium Undead, Lawful (LG, NG, CG), High Intelligence; Solitary

HD: 11
AC: 18
ATK: 2 slams (1d4+1) or heavy mace (1d6+1)
MV: 30
SV: F10 R10 W7
XP: 1100 (CL 12)

Holy bones are the animated remains of lawful high priests. In effect, they are living reliquaries, sealed into plate armor (15% chance of being +1 plate armor) and armed with a heavy mace (15% chance of being a +1 heavy mace). Holy bones function under a permanent protection from evil effect, and in each of their bony fingers they can score a single cleric spell (two spells each of levels 1 through 5) that can be cast once per day. They are typically left as guardians of the catacombs under monasteries.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), magic resistance 25%

SKELEPEDE
Large Undead, Neutral (N), Non-Intelligent; Solitary

HD: 12
AC: 18 [+1]
ATK: 6 slashes (1d8) and bite (1d6 + poison -see below)
MV: 40
SV: F8 R9 W7
XP: 3000 (CL 14)

A skelepede is a massive centipede-shaped monster composed of hundreds of humanoid or animal bones. They are non-intelligent and usually left as brutish guardians by necromancers. The clicking sound of the monster’s myriad components forces attackers within 10 feet to pass a Will save each round or suffer from a confusion effect. Targets bitten by the monster must pass a Fortitude save or succumb to a bone-softening poison. Targets who fail this save suffer 1d4 points of constitution damage and lose 5 feet from their normal movement rate.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), regenerate, magic resistance 30%

CRYSTAL SKULL
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), High Intelligence; Solitary

HD: 13
AC: 18 [+1]
ATK: 2 claws (1d6) or spell (see below)
MV: 30
SV: F9 R9 W6
XP: 3250 (CL 15)

A crystal skull looks like a skeleton composed of a crystalline substance as hard as steel. Their bones glow with a light as powerful as that produced by a lantern, and so long as this light is not suppressed by magic darkness (the monster has magic resistance 50% against magical darkness effects), it can use one of the following spells: At will-dancing lights, hypnotic pattern, searing light; 3/day-prismatic spray, sunbeam; 1/day-prismatic sphere, sunburst.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), magic resistance 30%, immune to fire, acid and electricity, vulnerable to sonic damage

SKELETRIX
Medium Undead, Chaotic (CE), High Intelligence; Solitary

HD: 14
AC: 16 [+1]
ATK: 2 claws (1d6 + energy drain) or symbol (see below)
MV: 30
SV: F8 R8 W5
XP: 3500 (CL 16)

A skeletrix is a skeletal figure, usually garbed in women’s clothing and always painted in bright patterns that are actually glyphs of power. A skeletrix can use each of the symbol spells once per day, and can generate two symbols per round. The touch of a skeletrix drains 1 level (Will save to negate). Their presence causes fear (as the spell) in creatures with 5 or fewer Hit Dice.

Special Qualities: Immune to illusions and all mind-affecting spells, weapon resistance (edged and piercing weapons), magic resistance 45%

5 thoughts on “A Skeleton For Every Occasion (18 of them, in fact!)

  1. Excellent! May I steal these for the second issue of the zine I'm planning? The first issue isn't out yet, but the second will be devoted to the theme “HELL YEAH SKELETONS!” and these fit right in!

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  2. These are slated for a future project of mine … but I'll let you snatch three. Just give me credit and make sure they aren't released as open content.

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