5e SRD >Creatures >

Leaping Skin

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 37 (5d8 + 15)
Speed 15 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
15 (+2) 16 (+3) 16 (+3) 7 (–2) 6 (–2) 2 (–4)

Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages Common
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Damage Transfer. While it is grappling a creature, the skin takes only half the damage dealt to it, and the creature grappled by the skin takes the other half.
  • Puppet Corpse. As a bonus action, the leaping skin can wrap itself around a Medium or Small corpse or skeleton within 5 feet. Until it drops the corpse (including using its Smother attack), the leaping skin has a walking speed of 30 feet. The corpse can be attacked and destroyed (AC 12, 9 hit points, immunity to poison and psychic damage). While wrapped around a corpse, the leaping skin recovers 1 hit point at the beginning of its turn, up to its maximum hit points. Eventually (DM’s discretion), it drains all the useful strength from a corpse, leaving a dissolved skeleton from which it can absorb no more hit points from but can still use as a puppet

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The leaping skin makes three attacks: two slam attacks and one smother attack.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.
  • Smother. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one Medium or smaller creature. Hit: The creature is grappled (escape DC 12). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, blinded, and at risk of suffocating, and the skin can’t smother another target. In addition, at the start of each of the target’s turns, the target takes 9 (2d8) acid damage.

ABOUT

In extremely rare circumstances, the energies of the Underhell can animate only a portion of a corpse, such as a skeleton that erupts forth from the flesh. Other times, however, the corpse’s skin will animate, tearing itself from the muscle of the corpse. These animated skins constantly seep unique acids from their pores that allow a skin to break down the tissue of any creature it engulfs, effectively allowing a skin to “digest” a creature. The animated skin makes use of digested organic matter to reconstitute itself and repair damage to itself, unlike most undead created by the Underhell. Many tales of these animated skins detail a corpse walking about, only for the skin to jump off and attack a victim, hence the name “leaping skin.”

A leaping skin resembles dead flesh and manifests any damage or decomposition it underwent before its reanimation, unless it has recently eaten the skin of a recently slain creature, in which case it looks mostly fresh and possibly alive. As such, anyone that sees a body engulfed by a leaping skin tends to confuse the body with an ordinary corpse or zombie. This common mistake allows a leaping skin to hide in plain sight, especially among the ranks of corpses or other undead. Only when the skin jumps from the body, leaving a partially digested corpse behind, does it become obvious that the skin is not what it seems.

A leaping skin is constantly on the search for more tissue to digest to maintain its own form, using its latest meals as transportation. The leaping skin can pull the body’s skeleton along, partially mimicking the use of muscles and joints to move a body.

Spies for Fiends. In rare cases, leaping skins are used for reconnaissance by fiends. They offer the leaping skin a steady supply of bodies in exchange for the skin using its ability to animate a fresh body and pilot it into a place where it can observe the actions of mortals fighting against the invasion.

This animated skin is the size of full-grown adult with a large tear running along its back. It quivers and shakes without the support of a body and digestive acids ooze from its internal surface.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Planet Apocalypse, © 2021, Petersen Games.

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