Archives of Nethys

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Skeleton

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 250
Its eyes glowing like bluish-white flames amid the shadows of its kingly helm, this skeleton wields two fearsome scimitars.

Skeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

Challenge Rating: Depends on Hit Dice, as follows:

HDCRXP
1/21/665
11/3135
2–31400
4–52600
6–73800
8–941,200
10–1151,600
12–1462,400
15–1773,200
18–2084,800

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. It retains any subtype except for alignment subtypes (such as good) and subtypes that indicate kind (such as giant). It does not gain the augmented subtype. It uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Armor Class: Natural armor bonus changes as follows:

Skeleton SizeNatural Armor Bonus
Tiny or smaller+0
Small+1
Medium or Large+2
Huge+3
Gargantuan+6
Colossal+10

Hit Dice: A skeleton drops any HD gained from class levels and changes racial HD to d8s. Creatures without racial HD are treated as if they have 1 racial HD. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can’t be made into a skeleton by the animate dead spell. A skeleton uses its Cha modifier (instead of its Con modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

Saves: Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.

Defensive Abilities: A skeleton loses the base creature’s defensive abilities and gains DR 5/bludgeoning and immunity to cold. It also gains all of the standard immunities and traits possessed by undead creatures.

Speed: A winged skeleton can’t use its wings to fly. If the base creature flew magically, so can the skeleton. All other movement types are retained.

Attacks: A skeleton retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except for attacks that can’t work without flesh. A creature with hands gains one claw attack per hand; the skeleton can strike with each of its claw attacks at its full attack bonus. A claw attack deals damage depending on the skeleton’s size (see Natural Attacks). If the base creature already had claw attacks with its hands, use the skeleton claw damage only if it’s better.

Special Attacks: A skeleton retains none of the base creature’s special attacks.

Abilities: A skeleton’s Dexterity increases by +2. It has no Constitution or Intelligence score, and its Wisdom and Charisma scores change to 10.

BAB: A skeleton’s base attack bonus is equal to 3/4 of its Hit Dice.

Skills: A skeleton loses all skill ranks possessed by the base creature and gains none of its own.

Feats: A skeleton loses all feats possessed by the base creature and gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.

Special Qualities: A skeleton loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.

Environment: Any, usually the same as base creature.

Organization: Any.

Treasure: Generally none, although sometimes a skeleton’s creator arms it with magical armor or weapons.

Variant Skeletons

Numerous variant skeletons exist, such as those whose bones burn with an unending fire and those who drip with gore and reassemble themselves over time. Both of these variant skeletons can be created using animate dead, but they count as twice their normal number of Hit Dice per casting. Once controlled, they count normally against the controller’s limit.

Perhaps the most dangerous variant skeleton, though, is the skeletal champion. This skeleton retains its intellect, and often any class levels it possessed in life. A skeletal champion cannot be created with animate dead—these potent undead only arise under rare conditions similar to those that cause the manifestation of ghosts or via rare and highly evil rituals.

Each of the following skeleton types modifies the base skeleton in a few key ways. Except as noted, these variations can be stacked with one another—it’s possible to have a bloody burning skeletal champion.

Bloody Skeleton

A bloody skeleton is coated in a slick layer of blood and gore infused with negative energy. This gore allows the skeleton to reform and heal itself. In addition to the changes for the skeleton template, make the following adjustments to the base creature.

Challenge Rating: As a normal skeleton + 1.

Fast Healing: A bloody skeleton has fast healing equal to 1 per 2 Hit Dice it possesses (minimum 1).

Saves: A bloody skeleton gains channel resistance +4.

Abilities: A bloody skeleton’s Charisma is 14.

Special Qualities: A bloody skeleton gains the deathless special quality.

Deathless (Su): A bloody skeleton is destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, but it returns to unlife 1 hour later at 1 hit point, allowing its fast healing thereafter to resume healing it. A bloody skeleton can be permanently destroyed if it is destroyed by positive energy, if it is reduced to 0 hit points in the area of a bless or hallow spell, or if its remains are sprinkled with a vial of holy water.

Burning Skeleton

A burning skeleton is surrounded by an aura of flames that deals fire damage to those it strikes. In addition to the changes for the skeleton template, make the following adjustments to the base creature.

Challenge Rating: As a normal skeleton + 1.

Aura: Burning skeletons possess a fiery aura.

Fiery Aura (Ex): Creatures adjacent to a burning skeleton take 1d6 points of fire damage at the start of their turn. Anyone striking a burning skeleton with an unarmed strike or natural attack takes 1d6 points of fire damage.

Defensive Abilities: Burning skeletons lose their immunity to cold but gain immunity to fire. A burning skeleton gains vulnerability to cold damage.

Melee Attacks: A burning skeleton’s melee attacks (including both those made with a natural weapon and those made with a manufactured weapon) deal an additional 1d6 points of fire damage.

Abilities: A burning skeleton’s Charisma is 12.

Special Qualities: A burning skeleton gains fiery death.

Fiery Death (Su): A burning skeleton explodes into a burst of flame when it dies. Anyone adjacent to the skeleton when it is destroyed takes 1d6 points of fire damage per 2 Hit Dice the skeleton possessed (minimum 1d6). A Reflex save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the skeleton’s Hit Dice + the skeleton’s Cha bonus) halves this damage.

Creatures in Mythic "Skeleton" Category

NameCRMR
Human Skeleton11

Skeleton, Human Skeleton

Mythic Human Skeleton CR 1/MR 1

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 216
XP 400
NE Medium undead (mythic)
Init +7M; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

Defense

AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 17 (2d8+8)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +3
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2; DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead traits

Offense

Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 scimitars +3 (1d6+2/18–20) or 2 claws +3 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks mythic power (1/day, surge +1d6), relentless, superior two-weapon fighting

Statistics

Str 15, Dex 14, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Improved InitiativeB; M

Ecology

Environment any
Organization any
Treasure standard (2 scimitars, other treasure)

Description

A mythic skeleton is an animated corpse created with mythic magic such as mythic animate dead. It has an unnatural cunning that belies its mindless nature and a natural instinct for killing.

Creating a Mythic Skeleton

“Mythic skeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any creature with the skeleton template (referred to hereafter as the base skeleton).

Mythic Subtype: A mythic skeleton gains the mythic subtype, with a rank equal to half the CR of the base skeleton. Instead of gaining additional abilities according to its CR, it always gains channel resistance +2, relentless, and superior two-weapon fighting. The mythic skeleton gains all other benefits of having the mythic subtype: ability score bonuses, bonus hit points, mythic feats, mythic power, natural armor bonus, and spell resistance increase (if any).

CR: Adjust the base skeleton’s CR according to its mythic rank (this template doesn’t increase the base skeleton’s CR other than from the mythic rank).

Hit Dice: A mythic skeleton’s Hit Dice are determined as though it were a zombie (Bestiary 288) instead of a skeleton.

Relentless (Ex): Any melee attack made against a mythic skeleton provokes an attack of opportunity from the skeleton.

Superior Two Weapon Fighting (Ex): A mythic humanoid skeleton usually fights with a scimitar in each hand. It does not take a penalty on attack or damage rolls for attacking with two weapons.

Other Mythic Skeletons

Other types of skeletons have the following additional or altered abilities.

Mythic Bloody Skeleton: Destroying a mythic bloody skeleton in the area of a non-mythic bless spell doesn’t prevent it from returning to unlife.

Mythic Burning Skeleton: Add half the burning skeleton’s mythic rank to its fiery aura damage and melee attack fire damage. Add its mythic rank to the DC of its fiery death ability.

Mythic Skeletal Champion

To create a mythic skeletal champion, increase its channel resistance by +2, and add the mythic subtype, additional Hit Dice as if the skeletal champion were a zombie of its size, and mythic abilities according to the base skeletal champion’s Hit Dice.