Rising from the grave, summoned back to terrify the living!
(Pinterest, James Mark Debano)
These long dead bones will obey the every command of whoever brought them back from the dead. Brought to life on the big screen by the legendary Ray Harryhausen. His many monsters thrilled audiences for decades, myself included. Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes that he created was from the 1963 film “Jason and the Argonauts“.
Lurking in long abandoned crypts and ruins, Skeleton Warriors often act as sentries and guards. Protecting the secrets of those that practice dark sorcery and magic. They are a staple for fantasy roleplay games and their computer game counterparts. Skeleton Warriors are bound to the will of their creator. As mindless minions, they need to be given instruction. For example, lets say a group of adventurers stumble upon a nefarious Necromancer. This evil doer has been kidnapping and carrying out ghastly experiments on the local population of a village or town. The adventurers may then have these bony horrors to deal with. Skeleton warriors are expendable and not likely to complain of being tired or hungry. They also make excellent foot-soldiers in the armies of an undead Lord out for conquest. If you lose one, why not raise another from the grave?
As monsters go, skeletons are fairly average. They are normally fairly low level, but can often be part of a larger group making them more of a threat. Chances are though that whoever created them is nearby and if they can bring back the dead, they can probably do much worse! As they have no capable will or mind of their own, skeleton warriors do not suffer from fear or other afflictions that would plague the living. Relentless foes that will stop at nothing to destroy their opponents. Skeletons are vulnerable to those that can call upon their Deities and can be “turned” by Clerics for example and made to beat a skeletal retreat.
Skeletons make great opponents for low to mid level characters, especially as there is often something bigger and nastier lurking further on which can give a good overall challenge for player characters and perhaps, a chance for some nice loot.