Skeletons are undead animated corpses similar to zombies, but are completely devoid of flesh and do not feed on the living. They can be made from virtually any solid creature, and as such their size and power varies widely. In addition to the basic humanoid skeleton, there are also skeletons created from wolves, trolls, ettins and even giants. Animated skeletons are immune to mind affecting spells; they cannot be rendered unconscious and cannot tire. Clerics often have the ability to repel or destroy undead creatures, of which animated skeletons are usually the weakest such adversaries.[2]

Edged and piercing weapons, such as swords and arrows, are mostly ineffective against skeletons; only blunt weapons, such as warhammers, are effective at knocking the bones apart. [2]

The necromantic spell animate dead allows the caster to create skeletons.[citation needed]


First developed by priests of Bane, these skeletons can phase in and out and hurl bolts of magical energy.[3][4]
Blazing Bones 
Fiery skeletal undead created when a spellcaster's contingency spell goes wrong, these rare undead can be found in Myth Drannor.[citation needed]


Bonecrusher skeleton 
Large creature skeletons able to swing a greatclub with devastating results.[5]
Powerful priests of Cyric who have been transformed into their current undead state as a special favor from the Dark Sun. Their place within the church of Cyric is as the baneliches' within the church of Bane.[6]
Crystal skeleton 
A human or demihuman skeleton that has been magically transformed to be made from ice.[7]
Baneguards improved by the Church of Cyric, these skeletons are wreathed in a shadowy field of force that functions as armor. They can also see invisible foes.[8]

A humanoid skeleton.

Dust skeleton 
Appearing like regular skeletons but with very dry bones, and much lighter as a result.[9]
Fiery skeleton 
Burns with never-ending flames and it is immune to fire.[citation needed]
Merrow skeleton 
A skeletal undead form of the merrow.[10]
Nimble skeleton 
More agile than standard skeletons and able to climb as fast as it can walk.[citation needed]
Skeleton warrior 
Powerful skeletons created from great warriors and who retain all of their fighting skill. Highly resistant to magic and difficult to command, skeleton warriors are rarely found in groups greater than two or three.[citation needed]
Skeletal dragon 
Created from a dragon and retains some of their deadly abilities. Not to be confused with a dracolich.[citation needed]
Spike skeleton 
Tougher than regular skeletons and covered with bony thorns.[11]

Other VarietiesEdit

Athach skeletonBlazing skeletonBloody bonesBonepile skeletonBoneshard skeletonBonewretch skeletonDeath kin skeletonDecrepit skeletonDefiling skeletonDry bonesFrost skeletonGem eyesInsectoidLightning skeletonMarrowshriek skeletonObsidian skeltonRuneflame skeletonShattergloom skeletonSkeletal tomb guardianSkinwalker skeltonSklerosSpine creep skeletonStonespawned skeletonTortured skeletonVicious skeleton


  1. Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 272. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 225–227. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 162–163. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  4. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  5. Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 19, 2009). Monster Manual 2 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 183. ISBN 0786995101.
  6. Kevin Melka and John Terra (April 1995). Ruins of Zhentil Keep (Monstrous Compendium). (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 0-7869-0109-8.
  7. Belinda G. Ashley (1997). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Arctic Monsters”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #2 (TSR, Inc.), p. 34.
  8. Greenwood, Martin, Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Monstrous Compendium. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  9. Rudy Thauberger (October 1996). “The Dragon's Bestiary: The necromancer's armory”. Dragon #234 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 55–56.
  10. Matthew G. Adkins (March 2000). “The Akriloth”. Dungeon #79 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72.
  11. Rudy Thauberger (October 1996). “The Dragon's Bestiary: The necromancer's armory”. Dragon #234 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 54–55.