The transformation into a skeleton warrior traps the character’s soul in a golden circlet. Anyone possessing one of these circlets may exude control over the skeleton warrior (whose soul is trapped therein). In order to establish or maintain control, the controller must be within 300 feet of the skeleton warrior and must wear the circlet on his head and spend one full round concentrating on the skeleton warrior. If the controller is interrupted during this time, he must succeed on a DC 20 concentration check to establish control. If the check fails, the controller can try again. While wearing the circlet, the controller cannot wear any other item on his head. Doing so causes the circlet to cease functioning until the other headgear is removed. (A skeleton warrior can still detect the location of its circlet even if the controller wears something on his head to nullify the circlet’s powers.)
While wearing the circlet and within 300 feet of the skeleton warrior, the controller can see through the skeleton warrior’s eyes and force it to act (attack, search, and so forth). This is called “active” mode. While the skeleton warrior is in active mode, the controller himself cannot take any action other than a 5-foot step. Alternately, the controller can place the skeleton warrior in “passive” mode. In this mode, the skeleton warrior stands motionless and inert. The controller cannot see through the skeleton warrior’s eyes but he himself is free to act. If the controller moves more than 300 feet away from the skeleton warrior or if the circlet is removed from the controller’s head, the skeleton warrior automatically enters passive mode.
The controller can switch the skeleton warrior between active and passive mode as a free action. Should the controller ever lose the circlet (through accident, theft, or simply by discarding it), the skeleton warrior instantly stops what it is doing and moves as quickly as possible toward the former controller and attempts to destroy him (or her). If a skeleton warrior ever gains control of the circlet that contains its soul, it places the circlet on its head and “dies”, vanishing in a flash of light. The circlet falls to the ground and crumbles to dust.
The skeleton warrior is a lich-like undead that was once a powerful fighter of at least 8th level. Legend says that the skeleton warriors were forced into their undead state by a powerful demon prince who trapped each of their souls in a golden circlet. A skeleton warrior’s only purpose is to search for and regain the circlet containing its soul.
A skeleton warrior appears as a lich-like creature dressed in the same type of armor and clothes worn during life. Its clothes and armor usually show signs of wear and age.
“Skeleton Warrior” is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A skeleton warrior retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Senses: A skeleton warrior gains darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.
AC: A skeleton warrior has a natural armor bonus of +4 or the base creature’s, whichever is greater.
Hit Dice: Change all of the creature’s racial Hit Dice to d8s. All Hit Dice derived from class levels remain unchanged. As undead, skeleton warriors use their Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).
Special Attacks: A skeleton warrior gains the following special attacks. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the skeleton warrior’s HD + the skeleton warrior’s Charisma modifier.
Skeleton warriors are shrouded in an aura of fear. Creatures with less than 5 HD and in a 30-foot radius must succeed on a Will save or be affected as though by fear cast by a caster of the skeleton warrior’s levels.
A skeleton warrior can track and find the possessor of its circlet unerringly, as though guided by discern location. Using this ability, it can also find the last person to possess its circlet. Its caster level is equal to its total Hit Dice.
Skeleton Warrior from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene, based on original material by Nigel Morgan.