Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Undead in the 17th Century - Skeletons

No. Encountered:  Varies
Movement:  120'
Size:  Man-sized
Armor Class:  7
Hit Dice:  1 (d8)
Attacks:  1
Damage:  1d6
Special Attacks: 
Special Defenses:  Vanity, Undead Resistances
Save:  Fighter 1
Morale: 12
Treasure:  TBD

Skeletons are the manifestation of vanity. They are walking corpses stripped of skin and muscle leaving just a frame of bone, sinew, and tendons. Skeletons cling to vanity even in death, clothing themselves in the finest linens they can find and bathing themselves in scented oils. Skeletons are driven by a malevolent spirit bent on destroying beauty.

Skeletons strike upon the Vanity of all who behold them as undead; Skeletons can pass for living beings from a distance. All must roll higher than their Charisma score on a D20 or flee in terror.

All undead are immune to charms, enchantments, sleep, and hold spells.


  1. I like the vanity idea, where did you come up with that idea for skeletons?

  2. As far as visually, I envision a kind of Masque of the Red Death vibe.

    Thematically, the undead should either represent the presence of a fear/vice/whatnot or the absence of virtue or humanity. So in this case, a skeleton represents an absence of beauty since they are just a bag of bones. Their extreme vanity in trying to hide their condition stokes the sin of vanity in humans and so on and so forth.

    Mechanically, I want the undead's "turn living" to be more robust than a save that gradually increases with level. Otherwise, it is no different than turn undead which gradually trivializes the undead as the Cleric level sup. Depending on the type of undead, the save should be tough for low levels or high levels or even level independent (such as Charisma score here).