Any GM who’s seen the agile, indefatigable skeletons of Ray Harryhausen has wanted to hurl them at PCs—why should zombies have all the fun, right?—and skeletal champions have that added oomph skeletons are so sorely missing. Skeletal champions aren’t just smarter and tougher, but they can have class levels as well. So it’s an out-of-game math problem—what’s the coolest combination of abilities and races/monsters you can come up with?—and an in-game story problem—and what fell forces (or undying obsessions of their own) could bring these creatures back from death at nearly full strength?
The Skull Lords of Himmelstadt husband their resources carefully. To prevent enemy clerics from blasting through their ranks, they hide two skeletal champions in every platoon of skeletons. When a cleric presents herself to channel energy against the undead, the lifeless fighters cut her down.
Taberion Powell’s promising career as a wizard was hobbled by his racism—when word got out of his disdain for nonhuman intelligent creatures, no library or mage circle would support him. He turned to adventuring to access the spellbooks that eluded him by conventional means, but his casual disregard for nonhumans continued. The blink dogs he poisoned now serve him as skeletal champions, grisly flickering manikins of their former noble selves.
Whoever said “There is no honor among thieves” never met a halfling assassin. Having had to struggle to survive and prosper, these rogues and killers are intensely loyal to their friends and fellow guild members, going so far as to surrender their bodies for reanimation after death. Every halfling assassins’ guild is guarded by “the boys in the Bone Boxes”—skeletal champions who slip from carefully concealed coffins to cut down intruders from behind.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 252
Looking for the skaveling? We covered them back when we did mobats.
Lots of new readers lately—hey all! I think wholerealmstavern gets the salute for getting us to the big round 400, and thanks to the rest of you for visiting, reading, reblogging, and otherwise enjoying yourselves.
Regular readers may have noticed no radio show lately—cons, traveling, and other obligations have had me off these past three weeks. But this week, The New Indie Canon came back to...station maintenance!
So sadly this Saturday the music took a back seat to helping my operations manager troubleshoot, and my usual insistence on new music went right out the window. Casual TNIC fans can skip this week; diehards (I love you!) should skip to Minute 19—due to technical reasons the first chunk of the show is silent.
(The usual drill applies: If the feed skips, Save As an mp3 and enjoy in iTunes. The file is good—even if this week “good” is a relative term—till Friday, 8/30, at midnight.)