New Monster – Spiritfire Skeleton [template]

17 December, 2010

Stepping out from the ruined building was a skeleton draped in ill-fitting mail and wreathed with blue-green fire, flames of which licked down the sabre it carried in its left hand.  “I am been commanded to kill all who try to pass this way, leave now before I must carry out my orders,” it said is a voice like that of a furnace speaking, yet somehow, it carried a note of sadness.


Spiritfire Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, bound with a fragment of the creatures spirit, so they burn with an unending and unholy fire.  Spiritfire skeletons retain a glimmer of their past lives, and the skills they had learned in them, making them exceedingly dangerous.  Unlike some undead, a spiritfire skeleton is not mindless, though its intellect is limited, they possess a low cunning and talent for mayhem.  Universally, they hate their condition and seek both their own destruction and that of others, a strong hand is required to keep them in line.

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

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

Hit Dice: Change all Hit Dice to d8s. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it cannot be made into a spiritfire skeleton.  A skeleton uses its Cha modifier (instead of its Con modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

Speed: Winged spiritfire skeletons cannot use their wings to fly. If the base creature flew magically, so can the spiritfire skeleton.

Armor Class: Natural armor bonus changes to a number based on the spiritfire skeleton’s size:
Tiny or smaller    +0
Small            +1
Medium or Large    +2
Huge            +3
Gargantuan        +6
Colossal        +10
A spiritfire skeleton with a Charisma of 13 or higher gains a +1 deflection bonus to its armor class.

Attacks: A spiritfire skeleton retains all the natural weapons, manufactured weapon attacks, and weapon proficiencies of the base creature, except for attacks that cannot 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 spiritfire skeleton’s base attack is that of the base creature.

Damage: Natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. A claw attack deals damage depending on the spiritfire skeleton’s size. (If the base creature already had claw attacks with its hands, use the spiritfire skeleton claw damage only if it is better.)
Diminutive or Fine    1
Tiny            1d2
Small            1d3
Medium        1d4
Large            1d6
Huge            1d8
Gargantuan        2d6
Colossal        2d8

Special Attacks: A spiritfire skeleton retains only the base creature’s supernatural attacks.

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

Burn (Su): The spiritfire skeleton continually burns with soulfire which also surrounds any weapon it uses.  Any melee attack made by a spiritfire skeleton inflicts an additional 1d4 fire damage.  Any unarmed attack against a spiritfire skeleton causes the attacker to take 1d4 points of fire damage or 1d6 if it is a grapple.

Damage Reduction 5/Bludgeoning: Like all such animated skeletons, spiritfire skeletons lack flesh or internal organs, making them harder to seriously damage with piercing and slashing weapons.

Detonate (Su): Some spiritfire skeletons (though never Tormented ones) explode in a burst of fire when killed, causing 1d4 fire damage per HD to all (except other spiritfire skeletons) in a 10′ radius, Reflex save for half, DC of 10 + ½ HD + Charisma modifier.

Resistance to Fire 20 (Ex): Spiritfire skeletons are virtually immune to fire.

Spiritfire skeleton created from creatures of good alignment have the following additional trait:
Tormented (Ex): The fragment of spirit that animates this spiritfire skeleton despises and despairs of what it has become, it suffers a -2 penalty on attacks, saves and checks.  These spiritfire skeleton throw themselves into battle in the hopes of being released.

Saves: As base creature.

Abilities: A spiritfire skeleton’s Dexterity increases by 2 and it has no Constitution.  Its Intelligence and Wisdom are decreased by 4 (minimum 6 for a former sentient, minimum 1 otherwise) and Charisma score is decreased by 2 if Tormented.

Skills: A spiritfire skeleton retains the skills it had in life, reduced by its lose of Intelligence.

Feats: A spiritfire skeleton retains all feats of the base creature and gains Improved Initiative and,  if Tormented, Toughness.

Environment: Any, usually same as base creature.

Organization: Any.

Challenge Rating: +1 (+0 if Tormented)

Treasure: None.

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Notes: These creatures show up as the primary enforcers of the sorceress Burns Brightly in my Asku-Korla game.

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