Skeletons Reborn! (5e Race)

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Skeletons Reborn![edit]

Sometimes the light withers out. The soul is weak, enough that it can't defend itself in the afterlife. Whether it made a deal with a god, demon, or aberration, most find a new life somewhere else. Sometimes, the soul is strong enough to return to some bare semblance of what it had before. Ghosts, revenants, and zombies can exist by the will of the person, or some malicious force preventing their rest. However, on the rarest of occasions, a humanoid dies while caught between the precipice of life and death. The material plane is often thought to be the center of the multiverse, perfectly between the positive and negative energy planes. An equal theory is of the same distance between the Shadowfell and the Feywilde. In either case, such souls of greatest will may not even know the power they grow to wield, as they come back from the grave in a new form, but from these very energies themselves. At once alive and dead, these specimens are what we hunt today. Prepare, ladies and gentlemen, to see bones rise from the night.
—David Bird, narrating the opening of a play.

Physical Description[edit]

A shocking well put together set of clean looking, white bones. Unlike other skeleton variants on this wiki, the bodies of these skeletons tend to be in pristine condition, except for any bone-related injuries it had in life. These skeletons are animated by the ambient energies of opposite-aligned planes colliding with the soul of a humanoid dying in a location where both have influence, and the lack of guidance from any dark god tends to show in its ability to animate almost as if the bones of its face were flesh and the person were truly alive. This isn't quite the case, as these naturally-occurring skeletons are far closer to perfectly in-between life and death, while other undead tend to be much closer to the latter. This form can exist alongside other types of skeletons without contradicting them within a game therefore, and can even offer some explanation as to why they're allowed anywhere near civilization, as they have a brighter, distinct look. Little dim white dots light up their otherwise pitch black eye sockets, which light can't seem to enter outside of their own. In moments of great intensity of effort or emotion, one or both may change color and brighten temporarily. This, in combination with the above, makes it still possible to tell the emotions of a skeleton, although a particularly damaged individual may have their eyes change color this way seemingly at random to all but the individual.

History[edit]

These skeletons are fairly new, not occurring before the era that 5e D&D takes place in. It is often thought by scholars studying the race that this signifies something of grave importance, a possible change in the layout of the planes. Perhaps the planes that exist are shifting or colliding with one another, or perhaps a new plane has come into existence and this is a weird side-effect. Many of these skeletons tend to spend their newfound luck on the move, as dark forces circle in to learn what secrets their form might hold. After all, it's basically consequence-free lichdom, why wouldn't they be? Because of this, and the fact that these skeletons tend to remember everything about their previous lives, skeletons of this caliber don't normally form their own civilizations, with rare exceptions depending on the world's disposition towards them.

Society[edit]

People tend to treat these skeletons like more like they're sick than outright dangerous. Superstition is dangerous for these peoples, which might be perfectly normal and good people but still drive others to hide from them or request that they leave their company. Life would be very difficult for a normal person caught being a skeleton, if it weren't for the few benefits that this condition tends to give. Skeletons can't eat after all, nor can they get sick. They don't need to buy food or shelter therefore, except maybe to escape the more obvious threats in the wilderness. This still drives them towards existing civilization if they can get away with it, though more malevolent magic hating crowds might treat the humanoid like it really is a monster. It depends on the people really, as well as the closely-watched actions the skeleton takes. Some might be accepted back into society with open arms if they were well-known beforehand, while others might be vermin on the streets even if they otherwise wouldn't be.

Skeleton Names[edit]

Humanoids of practically any normal kind can be skeletons animated in this manner, and therefore any name template from any official 5e race should be allowed (As well as any of a race the DM would allow in the game). However, some that had unsavory lives beforehand take the opportunity to adopt new identities for themselves, often with rather obvious pun names. I'm not sorry.

Male: Big Boned, Boneless, Boney, Crackle, Funny Bone, Humerus, Knuckles, Mr. Bones, Trombone, Skull, Spiney

Female: Bona (Bona Fide), Carpal, Mrs. White, Radius, Sternum, Tibia

Skeleton Traits[edit]

Pure white bone bois for your games outside of the other variants on this wiki. Weaker, but less complex and more in-line with 5e race strengths.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 but your Constitution score decreases by 2.
Age. Skeletons are unconscious until their bones are reshaped and animated by the energies of the planar influence around them, which typically takes about a year, leaving their flesh vaporized by time. After becoming conscious, they have all the mental capacity they had in life beforehand, perhaps minus a small amount. None have yet been alive long enough to determine how long they can truly live for, and most are less than 30 years old as a skeleton.
Alignment. As almost any known humanoid race can become a skeleton if its in the right place at the wrong time, their alignment can be as diverse as humans. It skews towards neutrality however, since dying is quite the life-changing experience and often messes up the pre-conceived notions the individual had beforehand.
Size. Depending on your subrace, you may be small or medium, with any size range in-between. To represent this, the tables below in your subrace have a very broad height range. Your weight range is very low however, because bones are light. Alternatively, you can use the size range of the race you had in life, but use 1/7th or 1/8th of their weight or roll on the height and weight tables below just for your weight.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. If you are small size, it is 25 feet instead.
Bone Body. Your body parts are entirely composed of animated bones, allowing you to detach and use these bones separately from you at will as an action. When you do so, you must use your action on each of your turns to maintain the separation, or the bones won't move or act. Regardless of the bone, a detached bone has a movement speed of 5 feet, and only your hands, feet, or head can perform the use an object action or a single unarmed strike. Your detached bones can't perform any other actions, except grabbing and bringing objects to you that you can lift, drag, or push without being over-encumbered. You can still feel with detached bones, and still take the full amount of damage from any damage source that hits them. However, if you are hit by a spell or effect with an area on it that encompasses you and separated bones, you only take the effects of the spell once. When your detached bones are within 5 feet of you, you can retrieve them as a bonus action.
Bond of the Burning Bone. When you start dying as a result of taking damage from another creature that reduces you to 0 hit points, you can choose to force the creature that hit you to also start rolling death saving throws as if it were dying. The creature remains conscious and understands that you're responsible for this and feels what you're are doing to it as a lurking dread creeping up on them. If you stabilize, regain consciousness or die or the creature succeeds on three death saves as normal than the effect ends and the creature stops rolling death saving throws and is immune to your Bond of the Burning Bone for 24 hours. The creature does not stop rolling death saving throws as a result of healing. If they die as a result of failing their death saving throws because of this trait you regain 1 hit point. This trait does not work on creatures of the construct or undead creature types, or creatures with legendary actions or a CR higher than your level.
Undead Nature. Your creature type is undead, instead of humanoid. You are affected by spells and effects that affect either creature type. You are resistant to poison damage, immune to the poisoned condition, and don't require food, drink, air, or sleep. You are also immune to diseases. Finally, you are immune to curses that can turn you undead, into a lycanthrope, or alter your true form (I.E. polymorph and similar magic work normally). If you are killed and an effect brings you back to life, you are brought back to life as a skeleton, even with spells and effects that alter your race such as reincarnate. However, a wish spell, true resurrection spell, or a deity can bring you back to life with your original race. Casting wish this way can be done as duplicating a 8th-level or lower spell such as revivify for the effect.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice which you knew in life.

Subraces[edit]

The only differences between the two subraces of skeletons is whether you were a small or medium size race in life. If you have a specific race in mind rather than only a skeleton, you can also use the height and weight tables of the race you originate from, as explained above.

Medium Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 0″ +1D20 25 lb. × 1 lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Small Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
2′ 0″ +1D20 10 lb. × 1 lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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