5e SRD >Gamemastering >Monsters & Foes >Monsters By Type >Undead >Skeletons >

Skeleton, Black

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 17 (chain shirt)
Hit Points 71 (13d8 + 13)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
11 (+0) 19 (+4) 13 (+1) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 14 (+2)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +6
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning, radiant Damage Resistances cold
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages understands the languages it knew in life but can’t speak
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Shortsword Masters. Black skeletons gain +2 to AC and +2 to hit when wielding dual shortswords (included in the statistics).

Actions

  • Multiattack. The black skeleton makes two claw attacks or two shortsword attacks.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage, and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest.
  • Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage, and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest

About

Much more powerful than standard skeletons, these minions of evil are often employed as guardians or protectors to keep sealed some ancient knowledge best left undiscovered. They are intelligent monsters and are not subject to the mindless commands that can be given to such undead as skeletons or zombies. They have a clear mind, and sometimes go against the commands and wishes of those they serve, if it benefits the black skeleton in question.

Black skeletons are the remnants of living creatures slain in an area where the ground is soaked through with evil. The bodies of fallen heroes are contaminated and polluted by such evil and within days after their death, the slain creatures rise as black skeletons, leaving their former lives and bodies behind. Black skeletons are intelligent and do maintain some memories of their former lives.

Black skeletons wear any clothes or armor they had in life, and some still carry their gear or weapons (most discard their weapons in favor of two short swords as soon as they can).

Black skeletons attack with two short swords in battle with little more than the intention of cutting their foes to pieces. They are intelligent opponents and will use tactics during battle, often sending several of their number against a foe’s front, while the others move into position to flank their adversaries. Black skeletons are smart enough to know when the battle is lost and withdraw from combat, though rarely. Most simply fight to the death, driven by some unseen hatred for the living.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

City of Brass ©2018 Frog God Games; Authors: Casey Christofferson and Scott Greene