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Paleoskeleton Creature (CR fixed)

Example Creature

Paleoskeletons are the fossil remains of long-dead creatures animated by necromantic rituals. These undead dinosaurs are used as temple guardians by evil witch doctors.

Only fossilized remains can become paleoskeletons. The bones that comprise a paleoskeleton must have been in the earth for thousands or even millions of years. Provided the skull and at least 20% of the actual bones remain, an animate dead spell cast by an arcane spellcaster of at least 12th level produces a paleoskeleton. The very rock of the fossil site itself becomes charged with negative energy, and takes the place of any missing bones in the skeleton. The fossilization process mineralizes most of the actual bones in a paleoskeleton as well, replacing them with stone or other silicates. The extreme age of the bones and the strange properties of the mineralization interact with the negative energy to produce a very powerful undead creature.

Creating a Paleoskeleton

“Paleoskeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to dinosaur or prehistoric animal (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A paleoskeleton retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: Depends on the Hit Dice of the base creature. See the table below:

Hit Dice Challenge Rating Hit Dice Challenge Rating
1/2 1/2 8-9 5
1 1 10-11 6
2-3 2 12-14 7
4-5 3 15-17 8
6-7 4 18-20 9

Alignment: Always neutral evil.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead and it gains the earth subtype. It does not gain the augmented subtype. Recalculate base attack, saves, and skill points based on creature’s new type. Size does not change.

AC: A paleoskeleton gains a natural armor bonus based on its size. This replaces (does not stack with) any current natural armor bonus the creature has.

Size Natural AC Size Natural AC
Tiny or smaller +0 Huge +4
Small +1 Gargantuan +6
Medium +2 Colossal +10
Large +3

Hit Dice: Change all current and future Hit Dice to d8s. A paleoskeleton uses its Charisma modifier (instead of its Constitution modifier) to determine bonus hit points.

Defensive Abilities: A paleoskeleton retains all the defensive abilities of the base creature, and also gains the following.

Damage Reduction

Because it is comprised of partially mineralized bone and rock, a paleoskeleton gains damage reduction 5/bludgeoning or adamantine.

Immunity to Cold

Paleoskeletons gain immunity to cold.

Speed: Same as base creature. If the base creature has the natural ability to fly, it loses this movement mode.
Special Attacks: A paleoskeleton retains all the special attacks of the base creature except those that rely on the creature having flesh (such as swallow whole), and gains those listed below. The save DC for all special attacks is 10 + 1/2 paleoskeleton’s HD + paleoskeleton’s Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted.

Fossilize (Su)

Once every 1d4 rounds, a paleoskeleton can forfeit its first melee attack to make a touch attack. Any opponent struck by this attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or be turned to stone permanently.

Primal Roar (Su)

A paleoskeleton can, once every other round, unleash an eerie roar. Creatures with fewer Hit Dice than the paleoskeleton must succeed on a Will save or be shaken for 2d6 rounds.

Abilities: Adjust the base creature as follows: Dex +2, Wisdom and Charisma change to 10. Being undead, it has no Constitution score and being mindless, it has no Intelligence score.

Feats: A paleoskeleton loses all feats, including any bonus feats, possessed by the base creature. It gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.

Skills: A paleoskeleton loses all skill ranks and racial bonuses possessed by the base creature.

Special Qualities: A paleoskeleton retains all special qualities that do not rely on flesh to function. Save DCs originally based on Constitution are instead computed using Charisma.

Organization: Solitary.

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Tome of Horrors Complete
Paleoskeleton Creature from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Erica Balsley.