This armored skeleton stands in a battle-ready pose, its weapon held high as cold blue light shines in its eye sockets.
Skeletal Champion CR 2
Human skeletal champion warrior 1
NE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+6 armor, +1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 shield)
hp 17 (3 HD; 2d8+1d10+3)
Fort +3 Ref +1 Will +3; channel resistance +4
DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk longsword +7 (1d8+3/19–20)
Str 17, Dex 13, Con —, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 12
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 16
Feats Cleave, Improved InitiativeB, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Intimidate +7, Perception +6, Stealth –1
Organization solitary, pair, or platoon (3–12)
Treasure standard (breastplate, heavy steel shield, masterwork longsword, other treasure)
Some skeletons retain their intelligence and cunning, making them formidable warriors. These undead are far more powerful than their mindless kin, and many gain class levels.
Creating a Skeletal Champion
"Skeletal Champion" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature) and a minimum Intelligence of 3.
CR: A skeletal champion's CR is +1 higher than a normal skeleton with the same HD.
Type: The creature's type becomes undead. It keeps subtypes save for alignment subtypes and subtypes that indicate kind.
Alignment: Any evil.
Armor Class: Natural armor as per skeleton.
Hit Dice: Change all of the creature's racial HD to d8s, then add 2 racial Hit Dice to this total (creatures without racial HD gain 2). HD from class levels are unchanged.
Defensive Abilities: A skeletal champion gains DR 5/bludgeoning, channel resistance +4, and immunity to cold. It also gains all of the standard undead traits.
Speed: As standard skeleton.
Attacks: As standard skeleton.
Abilities: Str +2, Dex +2. As undead, it has no Constitution score.
BAB: Its BAB for racial HD equals 3/4 of its HD.
Skills: Gains skill ranks per racial Hit Die equal to 4 + its Int modifier. Class skills for racial HD are Climb, Disguise, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Stealth. Skills gained from class levels remain unchanged.
Feats: A skeletal champion gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.
Saves: Base save bonuses for racial Hit Dice are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +1/2 HD + 2.