Level Up (A5E) Dungeon Delver’s Guide: Skeletal Hordes

Welcome to Dungeon Delver’s Guide (coming to Kickstarter very soon!) Our skeletons are smart, have extra arms, are indestructible, and are on fire.

I love designing Level Up monsters (you can check out a whole book of ‘em here), and I couldn’t resist writing lots of new subterranean beasts for Dungeon Delver’s Guide. Besides myself, monster designers Cassandra Macdonald, Peter N Martin, Sarah Madsen, and Will Gawned all contributed new horrors. All in all, DDG contains about fifty new monster, variant, and NPC stat blocks, ranging from the mostly-harmless mycelial traveler to the elite CR 24 titan Midir the Reborn.

Today I want to preview just a single monster entry—the skeleton. Lurking in catacombs and ruins, and doing the bidding of necromancers and more powerful undead, skeletons are an incredibly versatile monster, and we aim to make them even more so. We’ve got three new skeletal stat blocks: the decrepit bonespawn, which you can throw in great numbers at even low-level parties; the skeletal immortal, inspired by equal parts Ray Harryhausen movies and old Prince of Persia video games, that knits back together after it is felled; and the skeletal warlord, an intelligent lieutenant suitable for any would-be necromancer. Besides that, we’ve got new skeletal variants. You can turn any of the skeletons in this book, or any other bestiary, into a burning, four-armed, or winged skeleton.


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Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Yeeeeeah... this is gonna be UNCOMFORTABLY IMPORTANT to my designs.

Anyone remember the ol' "World's Largest Dungeon" from 3.5? One of the ideas that it had in it, that it didn't -actually- play out at ALL, was that some of the monsters, there, could be described as from "extinct" species once you get into the deeper levels. The more shadowed vaults. Sort of a way to spice up the game.

And since then I've been fascinated by this idea of "Failed Designs" by the Gods. Hence the creation of the Wasteland as a concept in my campaigns. So having a four-armed skeleton that puts itself back together in a world where no humanoid -has- four arms speaks to either magic... or such failed designs by the Gods. And to me that's a really powerful idea.

"We know very little of the ancient Ottoran people, save that their remaining artwork depicts them as tall and imposing beings with elongated skulls and four arms."

in comes a skeleton with an elongated skull and four arms


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