"I am at a loss to explain the average skeleton's somewhat ludicrous mental predisposition, however. Perhaps the implausibility of its own existence makes the skeleton think it hilarious to hide in a barrel, cackling intermittently for some three hundred years until a victim happens by?"— Abd al-Hazir(src)
"During the last days of King Leoric's reign, even the skeletons of the ancient dead could not rest. They took up their broken armor and weapons once more -- ready to cut down anything that yet drew breath. Though wasted and fragile, these creatures possess a twisted cleverness that makes them quite formidable."— Deckard Cain(src)
Fierce undead warriors, skeletons are the remains of warriors who either died as soldiers in some dark campaign, or were betrayed by those they most trusted. Animated through necromantic rites or the spells of demons skeletons do not seek to consume the flesh of the living, but only to extinguish the life of their victims. While they may seem mischievous or imbecilic, skeletons are unrelenting in their goals, move faster than zombies, and have some spark of intelligence, the extent of which varies on the based on the power and scope of the spell involved in the skeleton's creation. Theoretically one could have a single astute skeleton servant or a rather dense army of a hundred for the same expenditure of magical energy. While physically frail, skeletons never lack in number. Those who fall to skeletons in combat are damned to an eternal lust for living blood. Coupled with their unthinking rage, this makes skeletons dangerous opponents. Skeletons will swarm their targets unquestioningly until their commanding force orders them otherwise.
Skeletons have demonstrated the use of a wide variety of weapons, including swords, clubs, bows, and even armor and shields, and are often equipped in the same armament in which they fell or were buried with. Often these weapons are of poor quality. Even more terrifying are the animated skeletal remains of expired magic wielders, who prove that even the dead can wield the forces of magic.
Most skeletons are actually constructed from bits and pieces of any number of different skeletons, not a single one. Their diverse composition gives them the ability to form and reform, and makes them easily summoned, permitted there is adequate raw material at hand. For instance, one would have an easier time summoning skeletons in a graveyard than in a forest. They are usually found in places where they were laid to rest or the site of a great battle. An exception to this was during the Darkening of Tristram, when skeletons rose up due to Diablo's evil. Skeletons were encountered in the depths of the Tristram Cathedral, and it was believed that these were the remains of Horadric monks.
The Priests of Rathma, through necromancy, have the power to animate the remains of the deceased into skeletons. Animated partially through their own will and partially through the summoned spirits of ancient warriors, Necromancers often maintain a small host of these reanimated soldiers to do their bidding. As the Necromancer's knowledge of the undead improves, (s)he is able to harness and divert more powerful spirits to inhabit the corpses of the recently dead.
Some say that skeleton eyes contain magical properties, despite the fact that skeletons are eyeless by definition.
Skeletons are a recurring monster in all three of the Diablo games. Often among the most common enemies in the game, skeletons are counted among the lowest forms of undead along with zombies. They are generally fragile, but often appear in large groups.
Skeletons are commonly found throughout the Cathedral section of the labyrinth, and some appear in the upper Catacombs as well.
There are several types of skeletons. Some use swords, another group wields axes, while others still are archers. Later on, players will also encounter Skeleton Captains that wield shields in addition to one-handed swords. Along with zombies, skeletons share a resistance to magic. There are three other variants: Corpse Axes, Burning Dead, and Horrors, along with their corresponding Captains.
Skeletons return in Diablo II, still one of the most common enemies found throughout the game. They wield numerous types of weapons including Swords, Axes, Military Picks, Flails, Maces, and Shields. Skeletons also have several differences in appearance, some completely naked though others can be seen wearing Helms, shoulder pads, ripped pants and Kamas.
Some of the skeletons encountered in Act I even wear the remnants of feminine chest armor, revealing that they are the skeletal remains of long dead Rogues, and that at least some skeletons may be female.
Paladins excel in dealing with large groups of Skeletons due to their ability to utilize Holy Bolt, Fist of the Heavens, Sanctuary and similar abilities to full effect. While Skeletons are vulnerable to most attacks, Poison elements are not effective against them, while they take extra damage from blunt weapons, such as Clubs, Maces and Flails. Ranged weapons have less effect on Skeletons.
There are five variations, the basic Skeletons, Returned, Bone Warriors, Burning Dead and Horrors.
A tougher type of skeleton which is in a separate category are the Reanimated Horde in Act V. They drag massive two-handed swords and move very slowly, but are capable of unleashing a fast, short range charge attack. Unlike regular skeletons, Reanimated Horde can spontaneously reanimate often repeatedly, with the self-resurrected monster is made anew, fully restored in hit points, worth normal experience and capable of dropping items again. The Reanimated Horde serve Baal, unlike regular skeletons that are mostly associated with Mephisto.
"Skeletons are the weakest of the skeletal variants, but show a relentless tenacity in their attacks."— Monster summary(src)
|Act(s) found in||1||1||1|
|Attack Rating 1||12||907||3314|
|Attack Rating 2||12||945||3452|
|% to Block||10||10||10|
"Returned are only distinguishable from others of their ilk by rotting bits of remaining flesh that still cling to their undead bones."— Monster summary(src)
|Act(s) found in||1||1||1|
|Attack Rating 1||41||928||3360|
|Attack Rating 2||41||967||3500|
|% to Block||15||15||15|
"Bone Warriors are a more dangerous form of Skeleton. They often serve as guards in eldritch temples and lost tombs."— Monster summary(src)
|Act(s) found in||1||1||1|
|Attack Rating 1||125||1425||3998|
|Attack Rating 2||125||1485||4165|
|% to Block||30||30||30|
"Burning Dead were killed in hellish conflagrations. They cast a flickering red radiance wherever they go."— Monster summary(src)
|Act(s) found in||2||2||1|
|Attack Rating 1||113||1036||3289|
|Attack Rating 2||113||1080||3737|
|% to Block||25||25||25|
"Horrors bear the final rictus of pure terror that killed them. They are grim manifestations of the worst in the world."— Monster summary(src)
|Act(s) found in||2||2||2|
|Attack Rating 1||125||1058||3770|
|Attack Rating 2||125||1102||3613|
|% to Block||30||30||30|
- Skeletons are undead and are vulnerable to Undead-specific spells and abilities (e.g., the Paladin's Sanctuary).
- Items with "Life Stolen Per Hit" or "Mana Stolen Per Hit" do not work on Skeletons. A Paladin can use Redemption on their "corpses," though, and the Necromancer skill Life Tap does work.
- Bone Warriors have a chance to deal Lightning and Cold damage.
- Burning Dead have a chance to deal Fire damage.
- Horrors have a chance to deal Lightning damage.
In Diablo III, plain Skeleton Warriors (with no special abilities) are joined by:
- Skeletal Summoners (spawn additional Skeletons and hurl bolts of energy)
- Skeletal Archers (attack from afar with arrows)
- Skeletal Shieldmen (bear a protective shield in addition to swords)
- Skeletal Guardians (replace Skeletal Magi; hurl powerful magic missiles)
- Skeletal Executioners (slow and very powerful axe-bearers)
- Risen Bones (the weakest variant summoned by Corpse Raisers)
Royal Henchmen also serve Leoric.
These skeletons spawn in mixed packs and work together with much better AI than they have shown in the previous games in the series. Often skeletons will hide in barrels, piles of bones and other breakable objects. Summoners may raise skeletons, though the numbers are not unlimited.
Plain skeletons are a regular, fragile, numerous and weak cannon fodder, which will be massively encountered in Acts I, II and III. In later Acts, they will mostly be of red color, dealing small Fire damage on each melee hit.
- Boneripper (Forged in Battle event)
- Boyarsk (Royal Quarters)
- Brother Larel (Drowned Temple)
- Brother Moek (Drowned Temple)
- Caretaker McCree (Cathedral Garden)
- Funerus (Briarthorn Cemetery, Altar of Sadness)
- Galush Valdant (Festering Woods)
- Headcleaver (Leoric's Passage, Legacy of Cain quest)
- Janderson (Realms of Fate)
- Jarryd (Realms of Fate)
- Lord Brone (Festering Woods)
- Merrium Skullthorn (Cathedral)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Diablo Manual
- ↑ Diablo II Manual
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Skeleton, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2014-07-23
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Awakening
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Writings of Abd al-Hazir: The Skeletal Undead
- ↑ Rise of the Necromancer, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2017-06-30
- ↑ Summoning Spells, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2014-07-23
- ↑ Diablo III, Eyes of the Dead
- ↑ 2018-11-03, BlizzCon 2018: Diablo Immortal. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-06
- ↑ 2018-11-03, BlizzCon 2018 Diablo Q&A Liveblog. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2019-11-01, Diablo IV Official Gameplay Trailer. YouTube, accessed on 2019-11-10
- ↑ 2019-11-13, BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV Systems and Features Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-05-20