From PathfinderWiki
(Redirected from Skeleton guard)
Skeletons attack.

A skeleton is a typically mindless undead being that was animated through basic necromantic magic from the bones of any creature with a skeletal structure.1


Skeletons have the skeletal form of whatever creature they were animated from2 and are not limited to humanoids.3 They retain features like horns, wings, and tails if they were present and skeletal in nature in life.1

Many skeletons are mindless automatons, while others possess enough of their lost intelligence to wield weapons and wear armor,2 and a rare few retain enough of their former consciousness to exercise sentient free will.1 (See Adventurers.)

Habitat and ecology

Skeletons are among the most common types of undead and often dwell in old dungeons, deserted graveyards, and ancient battlefields. Skeletal horses often serve other undead as intimidating mounts, while reanimated giants are much more powerful skeletons than those animated from smaller beings. Despite their lack of muscles skeletons still move with ease, being animated by necromantic negative energy that both grants them false life and makes many of them evil.3


See also: Skeletal champion

A rare few skeletons, whether through willpower or unusual circumstances, retain aspects of their memories, personalities, and free will after being reanimated. These aware skeletons broadly lean in alignment toward that of their mortal forms, though most twist toward evil or neutrality over time. They are aware of their animated state but stand out from mindless skeletons by exhibiting a sense of fashion, or through carved tattoo-like decorations in their bones and decorative skull paints.1

Intelligent skeletons have little culture to rely on even in nations welcoming to undead such as Geb, which still views them as servants, or Nidal or the Darklands regions of Sekamina, where they can be tolerated but not respected. They gravitate to deities compatible with their view on their new existence; those who embrace the corruption of undeath turn to Urgathoa, while those who resist it seek powers like Shelyn who represent redemption but hold no prejudice against the undead.1

Since skeleton adventurers lack flesh and blood, they mend themselves by collecting bones.1


A burning skeleton.

Many varieties of skeletons exist, including:

  • bloody skeletons, whose bones drip with gore that grant them unholy healing2
  • burning skeleton, infused with supernatural flames that burn any who come near them, upon death the explode in a deadly fireball2
  • compact skeletons, animated from smaller ancestries such as halflings and gnomes capable of fitting in small spaces1
  • fodder skeletons, simple but efficient skeletons animated from humans1
  • monstrous skeletons, animated from beasts and monstrous humanoids1
  • skeletal champions, more powerful versions of a normal skeleton that retain their some of their intelligence2
  • sturdy skeletons, animated from dwarves or orcs and suited for physical hazards1


Paizo featured skeletons as an ancestry in Book of the Dead pgs. 54–57.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “2: Hymns for the Dead” in Book of the Dead, 54–57. Paizo Inc., 2022
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 250. Paizo Inc., 2009
  3. 3.0 3.1 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 2, 298–299. Paizo Inc., 2020

External links