Tuesday, July 21, 2020

For Legends of Gath: The Skelly Boy Class Nobody Asked For

It's been awhile since Christian has posted any Gath stuff, so here's my tribute to him: a playable skelly boy class.

The dead do not rest easily on Gath, especially the poor mofos who died in the great disaster of long ago. Indeed, Gath is just thick with reanimated skeletal corpses. The restless skelly boys and bony babes of Gath most commonly come in two varieties: the first simply lay where they fell until disturbed, at which point the reanimate and usually start mindlessly attacking whoever touched them until one or the other is destroyed, while the second type tend to mindlessly repeat whatever they were doing when they met their end, typically attacking anyone who interrupts this routine. These are obviously unsuitable for player characters, but sometimes, just sometimes, a skelly will somehow retain or acquire enough intelligence to act of its own free will. These ornery ossa sometimes become adventurers. Some scholars argue that the ones who do are just the second type who were adventurers in life, but the point is largely academic.


Requirements: None
Prime requisite: STR
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum level: 10
Armor: Any, including shields
Weapons: Any
Languages: Understands Common

Combat: Skellies fight using the same tables as fighters. They can use any weapons and armor, but tend to stick to whatever they used in life.

Built Undead Tough: Skellies take only half damage from slashing or piercing type weapons/attacks. Blunt force damage, magic, and energy inflicts full damage. Skellies do not need to eat, drink, sleep, or rest, and they are totally immune to disease and poison.

Godforsaken: Skellies take damage from holy water like it was acid. They are also subject to being turned by clerics. A nice DM might allow a turned skelly PC to roll a saving throw as if targeted by a fear spell, or perhaps to simply take damage like a fireball instead of being instantly destroyed.

Weird Perception: Skellies can somehow see and hear, despite lacking the organs. They cannot speak, even if they understand a language. Casting speak with dead on a skellie will allow the caster to converse with them normally for 1 turn/level of caster.

One of Us, One of Us: Skellies can safely disturb other skellies without being instantly attacked. Roll for reaction as if encountering a normal NPC. Normal humans, on the other hand, treat the skelly as if they had charisma 3. (Unless they're a necromancer, super open-minded, or just a weirdo.)

Play Dead: It can be really hard to tell a skelly apart from just a corpse. A skellie has a 3-in-6 chance to surprise opponents if it plays dead (is it technically playing, though?) and enemies have not yet seen it and don't have any reason to suspect that this skelly is animated.

Welcome Back: Skellies have been dead too long for a normal raise spell to help them out. If they somehow get resurrected, treat it as if the character was subject to reincarnate with a human result. They remember their time as a skelly, but their first life is a little fuzzy.

Saving Throws: Skellies save as dwarves. They also enjoy a +2 bonus to save vs. any technological threat, due to memories of the world before.

Experience: Skellies gain experience as a dwarf. (That's fighter + 10%, if you've been living under a rock)

Magic Items: Skellies can use any magic item not restricted to  clerics, thieves, or magic-users. Well, except for potions. They definitely can't use magic potions.


  1. This is absolutely fantastic! As the chronicle has progressed I have become rather fixated on the skeletal undead, especially the ones who robotically go about their former routines. I feel a bit like them as this whole ordeal progresses. Oh well. I have a new Gath episode coming up. Thank you so much for your awesome contribution!!

    1. I look forward to it. I hope someone rolls a skelly for your game someday.