Thursday, July 4, 2019

Passage-Coin Skeletons

Thanks to The Renaissance Troll for posting up a look at a new(ish) boxed set of skeleton minis.

The minis themselves are Greek-themed, making them great for Jason and the Argonauts moments. But it's the description that makes this worth posting about:


They are the shades of the men of Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Macedon. When a Necromancer plunders the coins meant for Charon, she can reanimate their remains and bind them to her will. Only by removing the skull from the body, or destroying the coins, may the warriors break their curse and return to the grave.

Wow. Those are some awesome skeletons. No just whacking these guys with a club and moving on. You've got to decapitate them . . . or destroy the coins the Necromancer used to summon them up.

This is a great way to make skeletons interesting. Get rid of the decapitation thing - it's too easy for PCs to just whack them down and cut off the head and move on. Make it all about the coins. Which, clearly, need not be on or anywhere near the skeletons.

Unkillable 2 (Achilles' Heel: Destruction of personal passage coin) is a good way to represent that. So is Unkillable 3 if you like skeletons that fall to dust which whisks off without a breeze to re-form back at their master's lair.

With that in hand, you have a Necromancer with some seemingly frail and fragile minions, but actually ones which will keep coming back no matter what you do to them, until you break up those coins. Which she presumably needs to keep close by to command them. Or you can defeat the necromancer, and claim the skeleton-coins for yourself. Will you lay the suffering souls to rest or abuse them yourself?


  1. Two things flow from this...

    1 - If the coins are required... do the skeles repair themselves over time back to full, or with the destruction of the bodies do the 'souls' become incorporeal minions of the Necromancer? The first is cool from a "here's a difficult group of baddies to defeat" aspect, where the second is cool from a "destroying the skeles doesn't really reduce the Necromancer's power" aspect.

    2 - How does this fit your cosmology? In many of my games, fae and faespawn don't have souls, so elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc, wouldn't be raisable this way (*)... but 'true men' like humans and halflings would... and the stolen coins bring a further horror. When Bob the Torchbearer died in the dungeon and we fled leaving his corpse behind... is his very /soul/ in peril at the hands of a Necromancer?

    (*) Their corpses can be animated, but they will be mindless undead, not willed or willable (in that they require direct orders and without supervision do nothing).

    1. There are definitely lots of options here. I like those. I have another in mind, but I'd rather just use it in play first . . .


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