Thursday, April 22, 2021

#AtoZChallenge2021: S is for Skeleton, Electric

When I was young, like four years old young, I remember we had this Halloween decoration that we hung up in my parent's first house.  It was a skeleton with a lightning bolt coming from its forehead.  Now this would have been 1973 (we moved in 1974) so my memory of it is a little foggy, but I knew it was a skeleton with a lightning bolt. Why? Because my older brother Mike used to scare me with it. He told me that if you crack open the skull of a skeleton then lightning would shoot out.  Made sense to my 4-year old brain. I mean I knew electricity brought Frankenstein to life. 

Between my mom's horror stories, my dad's love of old monster movies, and my older brothers telling about skeletons made of lightning and giant spiders living in the backseat of my dad's old 1934 Hudson it's no wonder I am still writing stuff like this.

So for my late brother Mike who used to love to scare the shit out of me, here is this one.

Man fighting skelleton
Skeleton, Electric

Medium Undead (Corporeal)

Frequency: Very Rare
Number Appearing: 1d2 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic [Chaotic Evil]
Movement: 90' (30') [9"]
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 2d8** (9 hp)
THAC0: 18 (+1)
Attacks: 2 claws + or special
Damage: 1d6 x2 + electrical discharge
Special: Undead, immune to Charm, Hold, and Sleep magic. Electric discharge
Save: Monster 2
Morale: 12 (12)
Treasure Hoard Class: None
XP: 30 (OSE) 38 (LL)

Str: 10 (0) Dex: 10 (0) Con: 10 (0) Int: 4 (-2) Wis: 4 (-2) Cha: 8 (-1)

Electric Skeletons are the remains of people who died while being subjected to terrible experiments using elemental electricity instead of necromantic powers.

These skeletons look like normal skeletons, save that they appear to have been burned down to the bone. Their eyes flicker with an evil light. They are faster than normal skeletons and can attack with two claws per round. They are mindless and attack without regard to whom they are attacking, just as long as who they are attacking is alive.

Attacking these skeletons with an edged weapon such as a sword or spear will result in a discharge of electricity that deals 1d4 damage to the attacker (saving throw vs. paralyzation for half). Attacks using electricity, such as lighting bolt or shocking grasp, do no damage. These creatures are Turned as zombies or 2 HD creatures.


Not bad. They don't need to be fierce or huge or even terribly deadly, they are from the fears of a four-year-old.  

April 2021 A to Z


Dick McGee said...

I've had a "copper skeleton" custom monster from back in the late 80s that was essentially the same critter, only deliberately made by a Frankenstein-style mad scientist/necromancer copper-plating regular skeletons before animating them. Great minds think alike, hmmm? :)

Melanie Atherton Allen said...

I love the fact that you are stat-ing your childhood fears. That is really awesome, and a touching tribute, too. And I also love the idea of the electric skeleton. I think I would have believed in (and feared) them too, as a kid.

Medicus said...

This is a vicious variant of a skeleton. Thank you for sharing. I will put it in my store to make sure, my players get a nasty surprise when they encounter skeletons the next time.

Deborah Weber said...

Your four-year-old self has managed to scare me. :-)

SpacerGuy said...

A fitting tribute in memory of your brother Timothy, I'm sure he's smiling down. You will always be happily united in spirit, soul and mind forevermore.

Jayashree (pagesfromjayashree) said...

Yikes!!! And imagine every one of us has a skeleton right beneath us and beneath our skin and flesh we all look the same ugly electrifyingly scary way

Jennifer Duggin said...

Very interesting. I love their sort of backhanded power. The cuts you make in others often come back to get you. Wicked.

Lynn Proctor said...

Awww your childhood sounds very sweet- I love how you’ve honored your dear brother ❤️

AJ Blythe said...

Brothers! Gotta love 'em, right? I have two so I had similar experiences (except being in Australia, we didn't have Halloween).

Never heard of this monster. I'm curious, what is the background to it - I'm assuming a game because of the scores?

Lois Roelofs said...

Skeletons. Your story immediately reminded me of anatomy lab where I had to learn all the bones of a hanging skeleton back in college over 60 years ago. I must have been as traumatized as you by your memory to have remembered my experience!

Mike said...

Yes brothers the reason I got in trouble

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

I like the idea of a monster that discharges electricity when attacked with metal. Could you use an obsidian blade against it without getting the electrical discharge?
Black and White: S for Shangri-La

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Yes, I think an obsidian blade might do the trick here. ;)