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Skeleton, Warrior
Climate/Terrain: Any
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Nil
Intelligence: Exceptional (15-16)
Treasure: A
Alignment: Neutral evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 2
Movement: 6
Hit Dice: 9+2 to 9+12
THAC0: 11
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: By weapon (+3 to attack roll)
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: 90%
Size: M (6'-7' tall)
Morale: Champion (15)
XP Value: 4,000

Formerly powerful fighters, skeleton warriors are undead lords forced into their nightmarish states by powerful wizards or evil demigods who trapped their souls in golden circlets. The sole reason that skeleton warriors remain on the Prime Material plane is to search for and recover the circlets that contain their souls.
A skeletal warrior appears as a cracked and yellowing skeleton covered with shards of decaying flesh. Its eyes are black holes containing pinpoints of reddish light. It is clad in the blackened armor and rotted trappings it wore in its former life.

Combat: Anyone possessing a skeleton warrior's circlet can control its actions, so long as the controller remains within 240 feet of the warrior. The controller is either in active control of the warrior or in a passive mode. When in active control, the controller can see whatever the skeleton sees, and he can mentally command it to fight, search for treasure, or take any other actions; however, the controller himself is unable to cast spells, move, or take any other actions while in active control. When in the passive mode, the controller can take any normal actions, but he is unable to see through the warrior's eyes; the skeleton warrior remains inert while the controller is in passive mode. The controller can change between the passive mode and active control at will.
The controller must have the warrior's circlet on his head in order to control the warrior. If the circlet is removed from the controller's head, he can no longer control the warrior; likewise, if the controller and the warrior are separated by more than 240 feet, the controller can no longer control the warrior. If the circlet remains in the controller's possession, he can resume control at a later time. But if the controller loses the circlet, either by accident or by a deliberate act, the warrior immediately proceeds toward the controller at twice its normal movement rate (12) to attack and destroy him. The warrior does not rest until it destroys its former controller or until control is re-established. If the warrior holds the circlet to its head, both the warrior and the circlet turn to dust, never to reappear.
When a character first comes into possession of a circlet, he is unlikely to be aware that the skeleton warrior is tracking him, unless he recognizes the circlet's significance. To establish control for the first time, the character not only must hold the circlet to his head, he must be able to see the warrior and concentrate on the establishment of control for one round and then roll a successful Wisdom check; if he fails the Wisdom check, he can try again in subsequent rounds. Meanwhile, the skeleton warrior continues to approach, attempting to destroy the character and gain possession of the circlet. If his concentration is broken before control is established -- for instance, if he has to defend himself against an attack -- he must concentrate again for three rounds. Once control has been established for the first time, it can only be broken as indicated above. To be effective, the circlet cannot be worn with any other headgear; placing it in a helm, for instance, nullifies its powers, though the skeleton warrior is still aware of the circlet's presence.
Skeleton warriors usually fight with two-handed swords, but they can use other weapons as well. Skeleton warriors make all weapon attacks with a +3 bonus to their attack roll; this is an innate ability, the weapon itself is not magical.
Only magical weapons affect skeleton warriors. They have a 90% magical resistance. The mere sight of a skeleton warrior causes any creature with fewer than 5 Hit Dice to flee in panic. Skeleton warriors cannot be turned by priests.

Habitat/Society: Skeleton warriors are usually found near the areas where they died in their former lives, or where they were buried. A skeleton warrior usually has a sizeable collection of treasure, the remnants of a lifetime of adventure. Since a skeleton warrior is preoccupied with recovering its circlet, protecting its treasure is not a priority.

Ecology: Skeleton warriors are used by their controllers as bodyguards, servants, or workers. Since skeleton warriors are obsessed with their circlets and are therefore undependable, evil creatures and other undead seldom associate with them. Skeleton warriors do not eat, sleep, or perform any other physiological functions.

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